Rick Santorum

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Guam: Guam and Saipan Make Tempting Targets for Delegate-Hungry GOP Candidates | The Daily Beast

Until this week, the last time Guam and Saipan were fought over was during World War II. However, as the GOP presidential primary season goes on and on and on and on, the caucuses held on Guam and Saipan, the main island of the Northern Mariana Islands, will loom surprisingly large. Because of the strange delegate math the GOP uses, these relatively unpopulated islands in the middle of Pacific Ocean will combine to send six more delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa as the crucial early state of New Hampshire. This normally would make for a quirky factoid, paired with the fact that Guam is apparently home to the world’s largest Kmart, or that Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, took off from the Northern Marianas. But the increasingly fraught nature of the Republican race means that their presidential caucuses tomorrow will actually matter.

Full Article: Guam and Saipan Make Tempting Targets for Delegate-Hungry GOP Candidates - The Daily Beast.

National: Super Tuesday brings super PAC spending milestone | iWatch News

Heading into Super Tuesday, spending by super PACs aligned with presidential candidates has surpassed spending by all super PACs in the 2010 mid-term election. To date, super PACs aligned with one of the 2012 White House hopefuls have spent more than $66 million, an iWatch News analysis of data filed with the Federal Election Commission has found. Notably, the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC “Restore Our Future” accounts for almost 50 percent of this spending. The super PAC has spent more than $32 million so far this election, nearly all of it on ads bashing his opponents. That’s nearly twice as much as the $16 million spent by pro-Newt Gingrich “Winning Our Future.” And it’s roughly six times as much as the $5.3 million spent by the pro-Rick Santorum “Red, White and Blue Fund.”

Full Article: Super Tuesday brings super PAC spending milestone | iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity.

National: ‘Super PACs,’ Not Campaigns, Do Bulk of Ad Spending | NYTimes.com

The crucial role the “super PAC” now plays in modern presidential politics has been on vivid display in the week before the Super Tuesday primaries, as these outside groups have all outspent the campaigns and become their de facto advertising arms. The super PACs supporting Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have poured nearly $4 million into advertising in Ohio ahead of the primary next week, accounting for most of the spending on commercials there in what has become an overwhelmingly negative contest. Beyond Ohio the story is the same. The money spent by super PACs, another $8 million, continues to outpace what candidates themselves are willing and able to spend. Mr. Romney, whose campaign spent almost three times as much as it brought in during January, has chosen not to advertise in any Super Tuesday state but Ohio. He has committed about $1.2 million to advertising there, according to figures provided by media strategists.

Full Article: ‘Super PACs,’ Not Campaigns, Do Bulk of Ad Spending - NYTimes.com.

Michigan: Santorum camp accuses Michigan GOP of ‘political thuggery’ in awarding delegates to Romney | The Washington Post

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s campaign is accusing Michigan Republicans of engaging in “political thuggery” for awarding the state’s two at-large delegates to Mitt Romney (R) instead of dividing them evenly between both candidates. Romney won Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary in the Wolverine State with 41 percent to Santorum’s 38 percent. Each candidate won 7 of the state’s 14 congressional districts, evenly splitting the 28 of Michigan’s national convention delegates that are awarded winner-take-all by district. There has been confusion over how the remaining two at-large delegates were to be awarded. Originally, the state GOP had announced that those two delegates would be allocated proportionally based on the statewide vote – meaning Romney and Santorum would each get one. But the state Republican Party’s credentials committee voted Wednesday night to award both delegates to Romney, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Full Article: Santorum camp accuses Michigan GOP of ‘political thuggery’ in awarding delegates to Romney - Election 2012 - The Washington Post.

Ohio: Rick Santorum’s Ohio Delegate Problems Pile Up | ABC News

Even if Rick Santorum wins Ohio on Super Tuesday, he won’t be able to claim all of its delegates. In fact, he is at risk of forfeiting more than one-quarter of them. In three of the state’s 16 congressional districts, including two that are near Ohio’s border with Pennsylvania, Santorum will lose any delegates he might have won because his campaign failed to meet the state’s eligibility requirements months ago. Those three districts alone take 9 delegates out of a total of 66 off the table for Santorum. But it gets worse: Nine more Ohio delegates may also be in jeopardy. Sources say that in six other congressional districts — the third, fourth, eighth, tenth, twelfth and sixteenth — Santorum submitted fewer names than required to be eligible for all three delegates up-for-grabs in each district. That means even if he wins in those places, he might not be able to receive the full contingent of delegates.

Full Article: Rick Santorum’s Ohio Delegate Problems Pile Up - ABC News.

National: Super PACs, candidates blur lines ahead of Nov. 6 | USAToday.com

Presidential candidates and the super PACs accepting unlimited donations to help their campaigns cannot coordinate their activity, yet they are sharing consultants, donors and even advertising footage, raising new questions about the independence of outside groups. Campaign-finance experts say there’s little federal regulators can or will do to curb the activity ahead of November’s election.

Some recent examples:
•Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Republican Mitt Romney, came under fire from a campaign-watchdog group this week for running the same commercial Romney aired in 2007 during his earlier presidential campaign. The super PAC, run by former Romney aides, also shares a direct-mail and polling consultant with the campaign, new federal disclosures show.

Full Article: Super PACs, candidates blur lines ahead of Nov. 6 – USATODAY.com.

Michigan: Romney, Santorum to split Michigan’s delegates | Detroit Free Press

The Michigan presidential primary vote was close and so will be the distribution of delegates based on the results in Michigan’s 14 congressional districts. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the popular vote by a 41-38% margin as well as the tally in seven of 14 congressional districts, most of them in southern Michigan. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won six congressional districts, including the 1st district, which includes the Upper Peninsula an a portion of northern Lower Michigan by just two votes. All of Santorum’s wins came in the northern and western portions of the state. The only district that hadn’t been determined as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday was the 13th district, which encompasses Detroit and portions of western Wayne County.

Full Article: Romney, Santorum to split Michigan's delegates | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

National: Republicans rethink the caucus format | The Washington Post

Top Republicans are calling for a review of the methods used in presidential caucuses after a series of vote-counting mishaps in three early states. Maine on Tuesday became the latest state to fall victim to the caucus bug, with a local report noting that the state GOP declared Mitt Romney the winner of a close race without many localities reporting votes in the totals, including some that had submitted their results and some whose caucuses were set for later this month. It was just the latest foible in what has been a very rough year for the caucus format.

Full Article: Republicans rethink the caucus format - The Washington Post.

Editorials: Congress should kill the Republican and Democratic state caucuses and mandate primaries instead | Rick Hasen/Slate Magazine

In the last few weeks, the Keystone Kops have taken over the Republican presidential caucuses.  First Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses by a scant eight votes, and then Republican Party officials in Iowa said that there were so many local reporting problems that a winner could not be declared even though Rick Santorum was 34 votes ahead. Oops, they declared Santorum the winner anyway. In Nevada, Republican officials decided to hold a special late-night session of their Saturday caucus to accommodate Orthodox Jews and Seventh-day Adventists.  This caused an uproar when Ron Paul supporters objected to requiring the late-comers to sign a statement that their religious obligations prevented earlier attendance, saying that people who had to work during the day should have the right to vote at the late-night caucus, too.  Adding to the tumult, it took election officials in one Nevada county an extra day to count a small number of votes and deal with a “trouble box” of disputed ballots. Now comes news from Maine that Mitt Romney may not have won the Maine caucuses by 200 votes as initially reported, because some ballots have gone uncounted

Full Article: Congress should kill the Republican and Democratic state caucuses and mandate primaries instead. - Slate Magazine.

Indiana: Election Commission, led by Romney state co-chair, to decide Santorum’s ballot fate | The Daily Caller

Dan Dumezich, a Scherville, Indiana lawyer–lobbyist who chairs the Hoosier State presidential campaign organization of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, also chairs the election board that will decide whether former Senator Rick Santorum will appear on the state’s May primary ballot. “I can be impartial,” Dumezich told the Indianapolis Star on Monday. “It doesn’t present a problem for me. Of course, if someone wants to argue [that he should step aside] I’d listen to it.”

Full Article: Rick Santorum | Mitt Romney | Indiana | Dan Dumezich | The Daily Caller.

National: Super PACs: Real life, or Comedy Central? | Kenneth P. Vogel/Politico.com

When it comes to super PACs, it’s getting hard to tell the difference between reality and a Comedy Central bit. Stephen Colbert made an ongoing gag last month out of lampooning the rules barring coordination between outside groups and campaigns. When he announced a plan to run for president, he made a big show of handing off his super PAC to his fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart. Stewart promised not to coordinate with Colbert — giving the camera a wink and a nod. But it was no joke last week when President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney cleared their top aides to raise cash for the super PACs supporting their campaign.

Full Article: Super PACs: Real life, or Comedy Central? - Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com.

Indiana: Romney Indiana co-chair could decide Santorum fate | Post-Tribune

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney’s Indiana co-chairman could decide whether opponent Rick Santorum makes it onto the state’s May primary ballot. Dan Dumezich is guiding Romney’s effort to win Indiana. He also chairs the Indiana Election Commission, which considers challenges to candidates’ ballot access. Santorum is eight signatures shy of the 500 needed from Indiana’s 7th District.

Full Article: Romney Indiana co-chair could decide Santorum fate - Post-Tribune.

National: Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC straw poll victory | The Hill

Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that Mitt Romney’s campaign may have rigged a straw poll of conservative activists by paying the entrance fee for supporters. Romney beat Santorum by 7 points Saturday in a straw poll of almost 3,500 attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Santorum pointed out that Ron Paul had won the poll in both of the past two years “because he just trucks in a lot of people pays for their ticket, they come in and vote and then leave.” “I don’t try to rig straw polls,” Santorum said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Full Article: Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC straw poll victory - The Hill's Ballot Box.

Editorials: Assessing the Minnesota Caucuses – Final Thoughts On Why It is Times to Scrap Them | Schultz’s Take

Minnesota’s February 7, political caucuses meant something this year…sort of. This year they were part of a trifecta of non-binding events that included the Colorado caucus and the Missouri primary that awarded no delegates but nonetheless had a significant media impact in rendering Rick Santorum a viable challenger to Mitt Romney.  In winning these three states the political world heralded that the party activists had again repudiated Romney.  Thus, Minnesota’s caucuses had a signal effect even if no delegates were awarded. But there are real problems with the caucus process in Minnesota and across the country.  Criticism of the Iowa caucus is growing as arguments are again mounted that it should not be first int nation since no delegates are awarded and its demographics are not representative of the country. 

Full Article: Schultz's Take: Assessing the Minnesota Caucuses–Final Thoughts On Why It is Times to Scrap Them.

Colorado: Messy contests in Nevada, Iowa raise questions as several states prepare to caucus for GOP | The Washington Post

After back-to-back fiascos in Nevada and Iowa, the term “caucus” may be on its way to becoming a bad word in the GOP lexicon. Those troubled contests cast a shadow over the volunteer-run presidential selection process as the GOP’s caucus season begins Tuesday night in Colorado and Minnesota. In all, 10 states are scheduled to hold caucuses in February and March. For now, national Republicans have shied away from calling for the end of caucuses in favor of straight-vote primaries. Critics say it is only a matter of time before the caucus troubles become too great to ignore. “The average voter does not want to go to an event that is going to take one, two or three hours,” said Republican state Assemblyman Pat Hickey of Reno. “In that regard, I think it doesn’t work well, especially in states like Nevada.”

Full Article: Messy contests in Nevada, Iowa raise questions as several states prepare to caucus for GOP - The Washington Post.

Nevada: Move Over, Iowa, Nevada Has A Caucus Problem Too | NPR

Imagine this: You’re the Super Bowl host city, and you’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get the big game in your town. Now everyone’s watching as the game comes to an end, and you can’t get the scoreboard to work. Suddenly no one’s sure who’s ahead or how much time is left to play. That nightmare scenario probably could not happen. But we have seen some highly improbable events lately that embarrassed the host states in the presidential nominating process. Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn resigned this week, taking the hit for the botch that was made of the caucus count in his state last month. Mitt Romney was initially declared the winner, then told he had finished second by 34 votes behind Rick Santorum. But the party admitted it was not really sure, and some votes might be missing. Ouch. 

Full Article: Move Over, Iowa, Nevada Has A Caucus Problem Too : It's All Politics : NPR.

Indiana: Election official says Santorum doesn’t qualify for Indiana ballot | CBS News

Rick Santorum has failed to qualify for the May 8 Indiana presidential primary ballot, the Marion County voter registration office determined on Friday – a decision that Santorum’s campaign says it plans to challenge. “We are very confident that we are gonna end up being on the ballot in Indiana,” campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley told National Journal/CBS News. “We submitted almost double the amount of required signatures, and more than anyone else. We are working with Secretary of State’s office and other state officials to ensure all of those signatures count.”

Full Article: Election official says Santorum doesn't qualify for Indiana ballot - Political Hotsheet - CBS News.

Iowa: After Iowa, Reliability is Questioned in Caucus System | NYTimes.com

The errors started to emerge even before Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa caucus by eight votes. By the time the results were certified two weeks later, mistakes had been found in so many districts that the state Republican Party chairman declared that it would be impossible to determine a winner. Critics responded almost immediately with a seemingly obvious assertion: real elections have winners. But even after the party chairman reversed himself and called the race for Rick Santorum, many state leaders justified the confusion in a way that may appear at odds with the level of attention awarded the first-in-the-nation caucus: This was not, in fact, a real election.

Full Article: After Iowa, Reliability is Questioned in Caucus System - NYTimes.com.

Editorials: Editorial: Ex-felons’ voting rights in Kentucky | The Courier-Journal

In a list found on the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures, state after state after state is on the books as restoring the voting rights of felons upon the completion of their sentence, probation and/or parole. Kentucky is not — but it is time for the Bluegrass State to join the ranks of the fair and enlightened. House Bill 70 proposes to amend the Kentucky state constitution “to allow persons convicted of a felony other than treason, intentional killing, a sex crime or bribery the right to vote after expiration of probation, final discharge from parole, or maximum expiration of sentence.” The amendment would be placed before voters for ratification or rejection. At the very least, the people of Kentucky ought to have the opportunity to weigh in on whether to correct the state’s virtual disenfranchisement for ex-felons, even after they have served their prescribed sentences. To allow a governor’s restoration of civil rights as the only way back to citizenship is unfair and onerous.

Full Article: Editorial | Ex-felons' voting rights | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.

National: Super PAC takeover? Not so fast, campaigns say | Politico.com

The big money outside groups best known for airing ruthless ads in the early state GOP primaries are elbowing their way onto the turf of presidential campaigns and parties — and some campaigns aren’t happy. In the last few weeks, super PACs and other outside groups supporting Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and President Barack Obama launched activities in Florida, other key states, and nationally — including phone banking, field organizing, direct mail, polling, state-of-the-race memos and even surrogate operations — that were once left mostly to the campaigns and parties.

Full Article: Super PAC takeover? Not so fast, campaigns say - Kenneth P. Vogel and Dave Levinthal - POLITICO.com.