Obama for Childers

Good catch over at CottonMouth with this endorsement of Childers by the Obama Campaign. WillBardwell.com mentions, "Notably, Hillary Clinton's campaign did not send out a similar message to its Mississippi e-mail recipients. If Childers ends up winning this thing, then I assume that can't help her chances of snaring his superdelegate vote."



NRCC Hits Childers

Travis Childers Doesn't Care About Seniors

HatTip: ROM - NRCC Hits Travis Childers hard on his nursing home

Politco says, "The committee is also up with a corresponding radio ad airing in the district -- which adds an additional allegation accusing Childers of not paying his taxes on time."

Travis Childers Claims He's No Magician

A Forum, The Race Card, Fundraising, & Joey Langston

Candidate Forum - Thursday, April 17: Travis Childers and Greg Davis are to answer questions from a panel of journalists. Audience members may also submit questions to be posed by a moderator. The event is co-sponsored by the Lott Leadership Institute and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

TalkingPointsMemo suggests a race problem in two upcoming special elections - in Mississippi and Lousiana: "An intriguing pattern has emerged in two special elections for the House in Louisiana and Mississippi: Both of the candidates backed by the National Republican Congressional Committee have had a bit of a, shall we say, white supremacy issue. This is not to say that the two are white supremacists -- rather, they have both flirted with organizations and/or people who are known for, at a minimum, dabbling rather heavily in such sentiments...In Mississippi's Second District, Southaven Mayor Greg Davis agreed in 2001 to accept a plaque as a gift from the Council of Conservative Citizens, thanking the town for flying the state flag in the midst of a controversy over the flag's Confederate emblems, according to press reports at the time. There was a brief public outcry, during which Davis initially defended accepting the gift from the CCC, which is well-known for espousing doctrines of "racial integrity." In the end though, Davis declined the gift. The episode involving the CCC hasn't emerged as an issue in the current campaign -- yet. But Davis won a seriously contested primary, and might just be vulnerable against Prentiss County clerk Travis Childers, the Dem challenger."

CottonMouth - Travis Childers Event in Jackson Report - "After work I headed down to Schimmel's in the Fondren business district for a fund raiser for Travis Childers. In attendance were William Winter, Ronnie Musgrove, Ronnie Shows, Wayne Dowdy, Jim Hood, and Steve Holland among many others. We enjoyed appetizers and a cash bar for about an hour before Mr. Childers spoke. He talked about how he lost his father at the age of 16 and had to take a job to help his mother pay the mortgage and bills. He understands the plight of the working class and promises to fight for them when he gets to Washington. He has me on board and I can't vote for him, but I can try to help him raise money."

ROM - Travis Childers and Joey Langston, Guilt by Association Volume 8


CQ: Moves race from "Safe Republican" to "Leans Republican"

CQpolitics - Departure of Popular GOP Incumbent Puts Mississippi House Seat in Play - The conservative leanings and usual Republican voting tendencies in northern Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District would appear to give a strong advantage to front-running GOP candidate Greg Davis in his bid for Congress. Yet Democrats insist that divisions within the district’s Republican ranks that surfaced during a recent primary campaign — and the emergence of Travis Childers, a local official with a conservative profile, as the leading Democratic candidate — gives them a shot at the seat that seven-term Republican incumbent Roger Wicker vacated in December after his appointment to the U.S. Senate.

Some Mississippi political analysts say the Democrats’ optimism may not be misplaced. “I even get some raised eyebrows around here when I say a Democrat can win in the 1st District,” said Marty Wiseman, a well-known authority on Mississippi politics who directs the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. “But it’s not unreasonable to say it’s too close to call.”

CQ Politics is changing its rating of the race to Leans Republican from Safe Republican. The new rating reflects the competitive nature of the race, but identifies Davis as the candidate who holds an edge.

“Everybody realizes that we have a nominee and we are going to get behind that nominee to maintain this seat,” said Brad White, the state Republican Party’s executive director and incoming chairman.

White described as “just rhetoric” the Democrats’ contention that they could win this year. “This would be the first legitimate shot they’ve had of electing someone, because there was no way they were ever going to defeat Roger Wicker ,” White said. “But to say that’s it’s just a given, I think that’s just a lot of talk coming out of the Democratic Party simply because it’s an open seat.”

Q&A with Childers, Davis, Pang, Wages

The Daily Journal has questions and answers with the four candidates in the special election.

Pang and Wages on taxes, immigration

Daily Journal - Special election candidates take on the issues - Pang and Wages believe the tax cuts have hurt the country and put the burden on future generations. While all agree that securing the border is one possible way to control illegal immigration, and that laws need to be changed, Wages says trade policies need to be examined as well. He believes NAFTA - the North America Free Trade Act - is causing Mexican farmers to look for work in the United States. His solution: "Replace free trade with fair trade."


Blogs on Childers

In no particular order...

Youtube of Bill Clinton and Travis Childers

From CottonMouth: Childers opposes Columbian Free Trade

RightofMississippi: Childers and Joey Langston

RightofMississippi: Childers and John Kerry

RightofMississippi: Childers and the DCCC

CottonMouth: Republicans are scared

RightOfMississippi: GOP and Dem polling memos

TheNewRepublic: Via Daily Kos, though, one interesting point to note is that the ballot in the Mississippi race doesn't show the candidates' party membership (see ballot at right). Travis Childers is the Democratic nominee in the race; Greg Davis is the Republican nominee. This probably benefits Childers. Since the district is fairly solidly Republican, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+10, the Democrat benefits if the salience of party identification is lower. (One wonders, indeed, if this ballot was designed deliberately by a partisan Democrat.) From a normative standpoint, though, this is incredibly problematic. Given the rules governing the operation of the House of Representatives, for better or for worse, in any House race partisanship is the single most important factor to consider if your goal is to move national policy in a direction that aligns with your preferences. To deprive voters of that information on the ballot is a major impediment to the functioning of the democratic process. The common response is that by omitting party affiliation, in effect you impose a political literacy test on voters: In order for your vote to have maximum ideological efficacy, you must have paid enough attention to the campaign to know which candidate is a Republican and which is a Democrat. I think this asks too much of voters, though, at least in the context of House races. It's perfectly rational to say: "I'm busy and I have no interest in following the details of this political campaign. I know my preferences align largely with the platform of the (Republican/Democratic) party, and since the House functions in a manner such that the majority party sets the agenda, I'm simply going to vote along party lines." Of course it would be nice if voters engaged in a more nuanced calculation than this, but it's hard to make the case that it should be a de facto requirement that they do so. This matters slightly less during a special election, where the vast majority of people informed and motivated enough to actually go vote will probably know the candidates' party affiliations anyway. And the nonpartisan ballot--a major reform pushed by early-twentieth-century progressives to dilute the influence of party bosses--may have slightly more to recommend it in a municipal context. But denying voters the ability to cast a party-line vote for a party-line institution, during an era in which partisanship and ideology are closely intertwined, does a major disservice to democracy.


Childers claims tie in poll for special

The Hill - Dems hopeful to pick up Wicker’s House seat - Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers’s (D) campaign released an internal poll Wednesday showing the Democrat in a virtual tie with the GOP nominee, Southaven Mayor Greg Davis. Childers took 41 percent of the vote to Davis’s 40 percent in the poll, which was performed in recent days by Anzalone Liszt Research. It surveyed 500 likely special-election voters, weighted according to expected geographical turnout. The race still has many variables, but the poll indicates the April 22 contest could be competitive....When all six candidates, including McCullough and Holland, are tested in the Childers poll, McCullough takes 14 percent and Holland takes 7 percent. But Childers actually loses his slight lead when all six candidates are included, as Davis takes a 29-27 edge. Davis’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russell Endorses Davis; Wages Pledges

In today's Daily Journal Campaign Notebook: Randy Russell endorses Greg Davis and John Wages takes the Change Congress Pledge.

ROM: Childers and Langston

RightofMississippi asks about the connections between Travis Childers and Joey Langston: "These two have a history, one is a convicted Felon and judge briber the other is the Democratic candidate for MS-01. Childers and Langston are long-time associates and business partners in some shady real estate deals as well as the Landmark Nursing home. We will continue to explore this connection, there are too many folks in congress with these kind of connections to shady characters who operate outside of the law. There are too many unanswered questions about Travis Childers and we intend to explore them."

UPDATE: Right of Mississppi: Travis Childers and Joey Langston, Guilt by Association Volume 2


Waller Endorses Childers

Daily Journal - 1st District race endorsements - Former Gov. Bill Waller, a Democrat who has endorsed Republicans of late, said Monday he'll support Travis Childers of Booneville in his quest to win the 1st District House seat. "He is a consensus builder, a conservative Democrat who will be very effective at working across party lines to get things done for Mississippi," Waller said in a campaign email. "These are traits that Washington sorely needs."

Funding the Campaigns

Patsy Brumfield for the Tupelo Daily Journal:

Davis still had a substantial lead in campaign money, federal reports show.

Up to the runoff, Federal Election Commission financial reports showed:

- Childers, the Prentiss County chancery clerk, had less than $10,000 cash on hand.

- Davis, the mayor of Southaven, had about $44,000 cash on hand.

Financial reports for Pang and Wages are yet to be filed with the FEC.

Campaign totals can't be assessed just by the numbers.

- Davis spent $359,587 or $10.93 per vote.

- Childers spent $196,373 or $3.34.

Davis aide Ted Prill says the campaign is back on the trail, seeking to familiarize the voters with his candidate's message: Do you want a conservative Republican or somebody who's going to vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House? Pelosi is a liberal Democrat from California, who was elected House speaker in 2007.

Childers continues to remind the region's voters he's a conservative North Mississippi Democrat who's pro-marriage and against abortion and illegal immigration. His campaign aide, Brad Morris, said they knew what they were facing in their elections and they spent accordingly, but he said the campaign has felt "tremendous" renewed support after the April 1 runoff when Democratic opponent Steve Holland of Plantersville pledged his "1 million percent endorsement."

Between Childers and Davis, they raised nearly $600,000 - $388,950 for Davis and $205,830 for Childers.

Other FEC report breakdowns show Davis' and Childers' money came pretty much from regional sources:

- Davis' campaign owes $15,000 (from Davis) and received $7,000 from Political Action Committees.

- Childers' campaign owes $100,000 (from Childers) and received $1,500 from PACs.

The special election on April 22 is considered a seperate election from the primary, the run-off, and the general. Which means a contributor who has maxed out at any other stage, can still give up to $2300 for use in the special election.

Wally Pang

If I remember correctly, Wally Pang, an independent from Batesville, will be running in the special election on April 22, but will not be in the regular general election in November. I went to his web page to be sure, and while my question was not ansered, I thought I'd share some of his content.

Hello America. WALLY PANG WILL NEVER TAKE CAMPAIGN MONEY. While our congressmen continue to take campaign money, Americans are watching their jobs disappearing to foreign countries. America is heading down the road of financial crisis, foreclosure and bankruptcy. America is crying. See their faces. See their tears. It’s heart is breaking. Corporate America wants cheap wages and They found a way of not paying for health insurance. Americans are hurt by high cost of gasoline. Same for health insurance.

Pharmaceutical companies make an enormous amount of profit. Doctors, politicians are charging too much for their services. Hospital stays are too expensive and out of control banks charge too much for overdrafts. Payday loans are too expensive. We need to bridle the way collection agencies conduct business. We need to re-establish how credit scores are achieved and used. All unused campaign money of politicians should be donated to charity, not their bank accounts.
I support real voters IDs. There should be no amnesty, no citizenship and no giveaways. We need to secure our borders. Illegal immigrants pay nothing for the best health care in the World, while we pay dearly. State and Federal legislators who voted and support this bill should be voted out of office. Politicians who voted for cheap labor that takes jobs from Americans should be voted out of office. Finally, I want to assure you that I am for you, not the CEOs.


Dems Eye Dist 1

CottonMouth posted this analysis of the First District from DailyKos which suggests Dems might "shock the world there" and pick up this seat in the special election. Meanwhile Swing State Project makes a similar argument while tempering the possible outcome:

So can Childers make a real race of this? The traditional prognosticators -- CQ, Cook (friend of SSP), et al -- currently rate the seat as "Safe Republican". It's hard to fault them for that -- after all, this is an R+10 Southern seat that Bush won with 62% of the vote in 2004. But I subscribe to a different view, and the Swing State Project currently puts this race at the more competitive rating of Likely Republican....Make no mistake -- this seat is an uphill climb for Childers, but it by no means can be written off completely. With his support in county courthouse circles, his economic populism, and a regional rift to play to his advantage, Childers can make this seemingly-sleepy special election a race to watch.

The mainstream press is following this story. The Commercial Appeal writes:

So Davis should have it made, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. Although partisan voting trends certainly seem to be in his favor, Davis faces several serious challenges in both upcoming elections. Voter fatigue could be a problem. The April 22 election will be the third in six weeks for the district's voters....Davis also must try to broaden his base beyond DeSoto and surrounding counties. In his win over McCullough, Davis carried only six of the district's 24 counties....Being from DeSoto could put Davis in a somewhat awkward spot in the heavily rural district, though....Davis may also face some difficulties in drawing distinctions between himself and Childers. Although he's a Democrat, Childers has conservative views on many issues. And as a court clerk, he doesn't have a legislative record that's easy for Davis to analyze and attack. And after attacking and counterattacking McCullough's negative ads in two successive campaigns, Davis runs the risk of alienating some voters if he uses similar tactics against Childers. None of which means that Davis is doomed. King, the Ole Miss professor, said Childers is unlikely to get a lot of fundraising help from the Democratic National Committee, which may decide to funnel more of its resources into races that seem like safer bets. Also, it would be a mistake to underestimate the voting strength of DeSoto residents, who carried Davis to victory after he finished second behind McCullough in the primary.

UPDATE: RightOfMississippi says on this subject:

Question: Does Travis Childers Have a Chance?
Answer: No

Someone over at DailyKos and our friends at Cottonmouth are really trying to sell a bill of goods that says Travis Childers has a chance in NE MS. They forget one important fact; Haley Barbour is the Governor of Mississippi, he made the Senate appointment and I hardly doubt that our good Governor would stand by and not put the full efforts of the MS GOP towards retaining this seat.

Plus everyone already knows that Travis Childers is a shady fellow, just look at who he hangs out with, using his office to make sweet-heart land deals. This is a very well known fact in Prentiss County.

In a year that might be good for Democrats nationwide, they better look somewhere else than here in Mississippi. We think Greg Davis has a pretty good shot at taking the election on the first ballot April 22nd.


Davis v Childers

Greg Davis - 16,830 - 50.8%
Glen McCullough - 16,305 - 49.2%

Ttravis Childers - 20,729 - 57.3%
Steve Holland - 15,439 - 43.7%