Brown Out for Mass Gov.
August 21, 2013

Former Sen. Scott Brown announced Wednesday that he will not run for governor of Massachusetts next year.

“For the first time in 15-plus years, I have had a summer to spend with my family. In addition, I have been fortunate to have private sector opportunities that I find fulfilling and exhilarating,” the Republican said in a statement on his Facebook page. “These new opportunities have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I want to continue with that process.” reported that Brown made his initial statement about not running for governor in a radio interview with longtime Boston journalist Dan Rea.

Gov. Deval Patrick, a two-term Democrat, is not running again. Charlie Baker, the Republican who lost to Patrick in 2010, is widely expected to run for the office again in 2014. According to CBS Boston, Brown told Rea he would support Baker if he should choose to run.


Missouri Senate Race was one of the Most Expensive for Candidates
November 9, 2012

Missouri’s rough and tumble US Senate race was one of the most expensive in the country in 2012.
The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) says the candidates who ran for the senate this year spent almost $33 million dollars on the campaign ($32,912,609). That includes candidate spending in the Missouri Republican primary. Businessman John Brunner spent 8 million of his own money in a losing cause. The CRP totals do not include outside spending which is estimated to have been another $10-12 million dollars.
The most expensive Senate campaign for candidates, according to CRP, was in Massachusetts. Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated incumbent Scott Brown. Together, they spent more than $70 million dollars.
The Virginia Senate race, won by Kansas City native, Democrat Tim Kaine, was another very expensive campaign in 2012.
Kaine defeated Republican George Allen in another tough fight that drew national attention. The total spending in that race, including outside groups, Candidates in Virginia, and outside groups, according to CRP went over the $82.4 million dollar mark, making it the most expensive US Senate race in the nation.
. More than half of that was from third party groups trying to influence the race.

Commentator David Gergen on the Missouri Sebate Race, Super PACs and Did Bill Clinton His Fastball
June 7, 2012

Commentator David Gergen

Political analyst David Gergen told a Kansas City crowd that that the top of the ticket, the presidential campaign in Missouri, may be the real key to the state’s US Senate race.

Gergen was the speaker at a Greater Chamber of Commerce Thursday in downtown Kansas City.

The latest poll, by the Democratic leaning, by the firm, Public Policy Polling, gave the President a one-point lead, 45-44 over Mitt Romney.. That poll was in the field in late May.

“Increasingly, Senate candidates are tied to the coattails of the presidential candidate”, Gergen said in an interview with KMBC TV

Much of McCaskill’s current campaign in centered on knocking groups like ‘Crossroads GPS’ and the US Chamber of Commerce. Last week, she called them ‘front groups” for anonymous conservative money.

Gergen, however, says McCaskill is not unique. He says Super PACs all over the nation are targeting the other side’s vulnerable candidates.

“I live in Massachusetts, we’ve got a Republican Senator, Scott Brown,” said Gergen.

“Money is pouring in for Elizabeth Warren, his Democratic opponent. So it happens both ways.”

Gergen predicts the Super PACs will continue to be a major factor in the 2012 campaign and maybe for a couple of more years. But he also expects Congress to try and add more transparency to the Super PAC process.

Gergen appears on CNN as part of its political coverage. He is also on the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In the interview, he defended former President Bill Clinton.

Democrats have been criticizing the former President for advocating an extension of the Bush era tax cuts. Clinton has also stated recently he thinks the US continues to be in a recession. Both statements are at odds with the Obama re-election campaign

Gergen called it ‘insulting’ for some Democrats to complain about Clinton. Some hint, at age 65, he may has ‘lost some of his fastball’.

“I think whether he consciously decided it or not, I think he was trying to nudge President Obama to change his campaign tactics.”

Report: FBI Now Investigating Arlinton Cemetery Burial Scandal
June 29, 2011

Politico cites a Washington Post article on a potential FBI investigation into the problem is misidentified graves at the historic Arlington national cemetery.

The problem was first exposed in 2010. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill was among the first to bring it up.

She and four other senators got a bill passed late last year calling for more supervision on how the hallowed cemetery is operated.

The Politic pice says, “The FBI is launching a criminal investigation into the mishandling of remains at Arlington National Cemetery, including a probe into possible contract fraud, it was reported Wednesday.

A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., has been subpoenaing witnesses and documents related to mismanagement at the military burial site, reports The Washington Post, citing sources familiar to the investigation. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, and has been under way for at least six months.

In a report released a year ago, the Army’s inspector general noted serious problems with the management of the cemetery, including millions of dollars spent on technology contracts generated purposeless results and at least four cases in which cremated remains had been dug up and cast into a dirt pile.

The report led Arlington National Cemetery’s top officials, Superintendent John C. Metzler Jr. and Deputy Superintendent Thurman Higginbotham, to be forced out.

Despite a change in leadership, new problems have been discovered over the last year. In December, the cremated remains of eight individuals were found dumped into a single grave site. A spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command said at the time that this was “not likely a mistake.”

The Justice Department’s inquiry into the matter joins several ongoing Congressional probes. The Congressional hearings have focused on how Metzler and Higginbotham were allowed to retire with full benefits.

In December 2010, Congress passed a law that required Arlington National Cemetery to verify that remains are properly accounted for at every one of its 330,000 graves.

McCaskill co-sponsored the Arlington cemetery bill along with Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts; Susan Collins of Maine; Richard Burr of North Carolina and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Conn.