Daily Archives: 12/12/2011

In NH, Gingrich Target of Robo-Calls by Gun-Rights Group

Boston Globe Reports: As Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich campaigned in New Hampshire today, the National Association for Gun Rights sent out robo-calls in New Hampshire accusing the former House speaker of being “anti-gun.”

The calls say Gingrich has not returned the organization’s survey, adding, “Maybe it’s because of his past support for gun control.”

The call says that as speaker, Gingrich “wanted to strengthen the anti-gun Brady Bill that created a national gun registry.”

“Newt also supported the Lautenberg law that takes away gun rights for crimes as simple as spanking your child,” the call says. “In fact, even he wants to mandate a thumb print scan for all gun owners.”

The Brady Bill instituted background checks on gun buyers – and Gingrich actually voted against a version of the bill.

Christie Praises Romney’s at $1 Million NJ Fundraiser

Haberman at Politico Reports: From the pool report after the fundraiser Chris Christie held tonight for Mitt Romney in New Jersey, the Garden State governor picked up the refrain about his candidate as a man of “constants,” as he put it, including having “the integrity of his principles:”

“It’s also a great night for America because the Republicans of all stripes here in New Jersey are coming together tonight because we know that the most important mission we have over the next 11 months is to send Barack Obama out of the Oval Office and to bring conservative leadership back to America.”

“More important than any of the position (Romney) holds, more important than any of the jobs he’s had, more important than any of that is that standing here on my left is a good and decent man who will always make you proud he’s your president.”

“We know it will be a fight,” he added, saying, “There’s never anything worth getting in life that doesn’t involve a fight.”

The event, he told the crowd, raised $1.1 million for Romney’s campaign, part of what may end up as a close to $3 million week for him in the New York area, with a string of four events slated for Wednesday.

Video: Paul Again Takes out Gingrich in Two-Minute Web Ad

RCP Reports: The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign announced today the release of its latest ad, ‘Selling Access’, another two-minute web video aimed at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, calling him out as a corrupt Washington insider who got rich through influence-peddling.

The video, which the campaign plans to promote prominently on conservative web sites, includes a clip of Gingrich calling himself an ‘insider’ and another in which the former Speaker brags about getting paid $60,000-a-speech.

Savage Slams Orthodox Jewish Rabbis for Attending Obama Chanukah Party

Yechezkel Gordon Reports: Michael Savage, a conservative talk radio host, had some harsh words for the orthodox Jewish Rabbis that attended the annual Chanukah party at the White House last week together with President Obama.

On his show, which is syndicated across the U.S. in over 400 markets and heard by 8-10 million listeners a week, Mr. Savage wanted to know what deal these Rabbis received for attending the party with Obama and, “which sect of hasidim went there as quislings, to sell Israel down the river,” singling out Satmar and Lubavitch as the possible culprits.

He started off criticizing the President for celebrating Chanukah two weeks early, saying Obama would never disrespect a Muslim holiday like that. But what really got him going was an off the cuff joke that Obama made at the celebration. Obama joked that he would give a kiss and a hug to everyone in attendance except for the Rabbis with the whiskers.

“Why wouldn’t he ever say that to the guys with whiskers who practice Islam? Anyone have an answer to that? Anything with Muslims and Islam there like grim faced in the White House, they follow it to a tea, like they walk on glass.” He continued, “But with Jews it’s two weeks early, we’ll light all the candles (and) we’ll joke about you guys with beards. Alright come on up, let’s break some Matzoh together. But sir it’s not Passover? Never mind, come on have some Manischewitz, we like a good party over here ha ha ha.”

That’s when he turned his anger away from Obama and redirected it towards the Rabbis that attended.

“What do the Rabbis get for this, the guys with the whiskers, what deal did they get for going there? I don’t get this because most orthodox Jews are pretty conservative. Don’t they understand that Obama is the most anti-Israel President in history? So who are these quisling Rabbis who were there with the black coats? Which sect of Hasidim was there? Is there a Hasidic Jew listening? Which sect of Hasidim went there as quislings to sell Israel down the river? Anyone know? I don’t know who the guys with the whiskers were. Was it the Satmar’s, was it the Lubavitch, was it another group I never heard of?”

Apparently, Mr. Savage didn’t realize that orthodox Jews don’t listen to the radio or make phone calls on Shabbos, which starts at sunset on Friday. Thus, no one called in to respond to these comments that he made during the first hour of his Friday show, which airs from 6-9pm eastern time.

Finally, Savage dared his audience to report him to the ADL for his remarks.

“Go ahead, call up the ADL and see if I care, a lot of good they’ve ever done for me. They’re not there when you need them, and they’re there when you don’t need them. That’s all.”

If Obama Treated Israel Like Reagan Did, He’d be Impeached

Chemi Shalev Writers: Imagine if Israel would launch a successful preemptive strike against a country that is building a nuclear bomb that threatens its very existence, and the American president would describe it as “a tragedy”.

And then, not only would the U.S. administration fail to “stand by its ally”, as Republicans pledged this week, but it would actually lend its hand to a UN Security Council decision that condemns Israel, calls on it to place its nuclear facilities under international supervision and demands that it pay reparations (!) for the damage it had wrought.

And then, to add insult to injury, the U.S. president would impose an embargo on further sales of F-16 aircraft because Israel had “violated its commitment to use the planes only in self-defense”.

Can you imagine the uproar? Can you contemplate the brouhaha? I mean, if Mitt Romney believes that President Obama “threw Israel under the bus” just for suggesting that a peace settlement with Israel be based on the 1967 borders – what would he say about a president who actually turns his back on Israel in its greatest time of need? That he hurled Israel over the cliff with a live grenade in its pocket and into a burning volcano?

And what if that very same president, only a few months later, would decide to sell truly game-changing sophisticated weaponry to Saudi Arabia, an Arab country that is a sworn enemy of Israel? And not only would this president  dismiss Israeli objections that these weapons endanger its security, but he would actually warn, in a manner that sent shivers down the spines of American Jews,  that “it is not the business of other nations to make American foreign policy”. And his Secretary of State would mince no words, just in case Walt or Mearsheimer hadn’t heard the first time, saying ominously that if the deal would be blocked by Israeli influence, there would be “serious implications on all American policies in the Middle East… I’ll just leave it there.”  And then the two of them would extend the abovementioned arms embargo, just to twist Israel’s arm a little bit more.

I mean, what words would be left to describe such behavior, after the entire thesaurus’ arsenal of synonyms for “insult” “perfidy” and “knife in the back” have been exhausted  to describe the official White House photo of President Obama talking to Prime Minister Netanyahu with his shoes on the table?

And what if this same president – you know who I’m talking about by now, but let’s keep up the charade – what if this same president, time after time after time, not only failed to exercise the U.S. veto in the UN Security Council to block anti-Israeli resolutions, but actually joined Muslim and Communist and other heathen countries in supporting Security Council decisions that condemned Israel for assassinating well-known terrorists; for annexing territories that Michele Bachman has clearly stated belong only to Israel;  for killing violent jihadist students at Bir Zeit University; for waging war against the enemies of Western civilization in Lebanon;  and even for “Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.” Denying the human rights of Palestinians? Who wrote that? Judge Goldstone? Khaled Meshal?

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Video: Santorum Tastes Beer in Iowa

Rick Sontorum is not getting much press these days, besides during debates. But a drink of beer he did get these days. Here it is:

Huntsman rules out running as an Independent

NBC’s Jo Ling Kent reports that after dodging the question twice in two days, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman appeared to shut the door on running as a third-party candidate for president, if he doesn’t become the Republican presidential nominee.

“I’m not running as an independent. I’m not running as an independent,” Huntsman told reporters after a town hall meeting this morning. “I don’t know how many times I have to say that.”

This is the first time Huntsman appeared to completely rule out a run outside the Republican Party, and it’s his most definitive answer to date. Previously, the former ambassador to China seemed to leave the option open, saying he was running in the GOP and planned to win the Republican nomination.

“I’ve been a lifelong Republican. I expect to be the nominee, and that’s how we are going to resolve it,” Huntsman said, ducking the question in Londonderry on Friday evening.

Huntsman also tried to play down news that his former campaign manager Susie Wiles endorsed Mitt Romney today.

“That’s all political gamesmanship,” Huntsman said when asked about Wiles’ jump.

Huntsman also lost a key New Hampshire supporter Robert Brothers last night, to which Huntsman said, “Oh, we are picking up people all the time. That’s how politics goes sometimes.”

Bklyn Boro Prez Markowitz, Who’s Jewish, Hopes More go to Church

Azi Paybarah Reports: at a Mayor Bloomberg event was Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who said that access to probationary officers, continuing education and better job training weren’t the only things young people on parole could benefit from.

“To go to church regularly, for the young people of Brownsville, would have a very positive impact on their lives, absolutely, absolutely,” Markowitz told me. “I know there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. I highly recommend that young people go to church, yes.”

Markowitz elaborated on the point in another interview.

“When a child begins to show their first brush with the law, whether it’s spitting on the floor, whether it’s graffiti, or going over a turnstile, I believe you should send a member of the clergy or a deacon in the local area to visit the family,” Markowitz said.

ARG Iowa Poll: Newt 22; Mitt-Paul 17; Perry 13; Bach-Sant 7

Washington Examiner Reports: Iowa poll today that suggests Newt Gingrich faces a much closer race in Iowa than some have expected, in large part because Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, has gained strength following major television ad buys.

ARG, after polling 600 likely Republican caucus-goers over the weekend, reports that Gingrich has fallen to 22 percent support in Iowa, while Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are tied with 17 percent, and Perry has 13 percent support among respondents.

Gingrich has lost the most support, and Perry gained the most support, since ARG’s November poll, which showed Gingrich surging to 27 percent support in Iowa, while Perry had a mere 5 percent. Romney had 20 percent support in the previous poll, which means he has dropped 3 points in Iowa over the last month.

Behind Turner’s Potential Senate Run

Reports this morning have it that Congressman Bob Turner (Republican, NY-9) is being “touted” to run against U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who is up for a full term in November 2012.

But sources tell GestetnerUpdates.Com that instead of being “touted” to run, Mr. Turner is looking to warn the Albany bosses that they should not dice and slice him out during redistricting. If yes, the signal is ‘Turner will be willing to use the broad support he gained in the Special Elections just months ago to build an effort to upset Gillibrand next year; a Senator of whom only 41% in a Marist poll a month ago said did a good or excellent job.’

Said one activist who worked tirelessly to help Turner win, “We didn’t work day and night; we didn’t raise and spend thousands of dollars to have Mr. Turner get cutout just because some senior politician someplace in New York has other math and interests on his mind. We will fight all the way to protect it!”

Flashback: It Was Maliki’s Demand in 2008 That U.S. Should Leave Iraq by End of 2011

Call it appeasement or call it “the situation on the ground permits it,” but if we go back to August 26, 2008, we learn that it was Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who demanded that the U.S. should leave Iraq in full by the end of 2011, and President Obama seems to be proudly obeying it.

Here is what the RedCorbit reported back in August 2008:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Monday that all foreign troops must leave Iraq by the end of 2011. It was the Iraqi leader’s toughest public statement since the U.S. and Iraq began negotiations over a security agreement last March.

As the Chicago Tribune Reported on the same day:

Maliki’s comments appeared to be an attempt to extract further concessions from American officials, less than a week after both sides said they had agreed to remove all U.S. combat troops by the end of 2011, if the security situation remained relatively stable, but leave other American forces in place.

In other words, President Bush was ready to implement a massive draw-down of U.S. Troops through 2009-2011. However he wanted to secure the peace after 2011, but President Obama who during the campaign promised to draw down combat troops within sixteen months after taking office (meaning, a similar timeline as Bush), capitulated to Maliki and is pulling out all the troops by the end 0f 2011.

Video: DNC Chair Says Unemployment Has Not Gone up Under Obama

The Right Scoop Reports: Somebody please get Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head out of the washing machine because it is clearly in the spin cycle! You know, that unbalanced spin cycle where the washing machine is shaking back and forth.

DWS has gone nut-so trying to suggest that the unemployment rate hasn’t gone up under Obama.

Ed Morrissey at HotAir did the hard work on a few statistics to contradict the DNC Chair:

  • Jobless rate in January 2009: 7.8%.  Jobless rate in November 2011: 8.6%.
  • Number of employed in January 2009, in thousands: 133,563.  In November 2011: 131,708
  • Civilian participation rate in January 2009: 65.7%.  In November 2011: 64.0%
  • Unemployment level in January 2009, in thousands: 11,984.  In November 2011: 13,303
  • Number of people not in labor force, January 2009, in thousands: 80,554.  In November 2011: 86,558.

Here is the video:

Perry Admits July Back Surgery Made Him ‘Different’ Than What People Expected

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air Reports: When Rick Perry jumped into the race, many of us expected his skill at retail politicking to swamp the field in Iowa and perhaps run away with the nomination.  Instead, a series of debate blunders and a lack of engagement in Iowa produced a stalled campaign struggling in the second tier.  Perry admits that a back surgery in July took a bigger toll on his campaign than previously acknowledged, but that’s no excuse for the errors:

Q: How is your back?

A: My back is great. I’m back running again for the last six weeks. I think part of the reason you have seen a somewhat different candidate on the debates is my health, and (I’m) both physically and mentally just back in the game. You have fusion on your back, and it takes you a while to get back on your game.

Q: So were you not feeling good in those early debates?

A: I would suggest to you that I was pretty fatigued. No excuses. It was error. It’s what it is. Look, if anybody is looking for the perfect candidate, I’m not it.

I had a conversation about this over the weekend in Des Moines with a couple of friends before the debate.  I’ve had back surgery — a laminectomy/disc evacuation, not a fusion, which is more serious — and five years later, I still have problems standing in one spot for a lengthy period of time.  (Disneyland can be a bummer in that regard.)  I couldn’t imagine having to go on the campaign trail a few weeks after surgery; in my case, I could barely walk without a cane by that time, and when I’m very fatigued, I still have issues with my right leg that can cause me to limp a bit.

That’s why I suspected that his performance issues were related to this surgery, and I’m not sure he’s entirely past them.  I’ve seen Perry in person a few times before this summer, and he has always been dynamic and charismatic.  In his campaign appearances this year, he has seemed more tentative, less energetic, and as a result less effective.  In Des Moines on Saturday, Perry’s appearance at a veterans forum a few hours before the debate still seemed tentative and reserved, although Perry ended up making a pretty good impression on the attendees.

Turner Touted To Take On Gillibrand

Liz Benjamin Reports: it could turn out to be an embarrassment of riches for E. O’Brien Murray.

Not one, but two Republicans connected to the veteran operative have been approached by party leaders and asked to consider challenging New York’s junior senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, next fall. And both are mulling it over.

As the NY Post reported this morning, Marc Cenedella, a 41-year-old Fredonia native and founder of the job-funding Website TheLadders.com, is in discussions with O’Brien about entering the political arena.

He has already discussed his possible U.S. Senate candidacy with state GOP Chairman Ed Cox and Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long.

In addition, according to Murray, freshman Rep. Bob Turner, whom Murray helped guide to an unexpected victory this fall, has also “repeatedly” been asked to run against Gillibrand and is considering it.

“Marc or Bob would be a great candidate against (Gillibrand),” O’Brien said in an early-morning email. “These are two people who have put New Yorkers to work.  They have made payrolls, she hasn’t.”

“Marc Cenedella has helped millions of people get jobs.  Bob Turner has reached across the aisle to show he can build support from all parties. Marc can put New York back to work and Bob has a proven track record of winning in Democratic areas. Either one could beat her.”

Gillibrand won her first statewide election last fall, easily beating former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, who defeated Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass in a GOP primary after he petitioned his way onto the ballot.

But Gillibrand’s poll numbers have remained fairly anemic, even as she has raised her profile by taking prominent roles in everything from DOMA to the Zadroga Act.

Still Alive? “No Labels” Group to Meet in D.C. on Tuesday

Here is a Press Release from the NO Labels Group:

WHAT:

No Labels, the coalition of more than 180,000 members from across the country, current and former lawmakers and top opinion makers, will hold a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, to release a sweeping congressional action plan called Make Congress Work. The event is the official start of No Labels’ campaign to create systemic change in Washington through the implementation of a 12-point action plan aimed at breaking gridlock, reducing polarization and promoting constructive debate. The No Labels coalition intends to use this proposal to pressure lawmakers on the rules committees in the House and Senate to adopt these measures as quickly as possible.  For more information on No Labels and the Make Congress Work plan, please visit: www.nolabels.org.

WHO:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)

Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN)

Former Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE)

Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA)

Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-OK)

Hon. David Walker, No Labels co-founder and former U.S. Comptroller General

Mark McKinnon, No Labels co-founder and former adviser to President George Bush

Kiki McLean, No Labels co-founder and fmr. communications adviser to VP Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry

Bill Galston, No Labels co-founder, Brookings Sr. Fellow, and former adviser to President Clinton

Jonathan Miller, Citizen Leader, No Labels co-founder and former Kentucky State Treasurer

Lisa Borders, Citizen Leader, No Labels co-founder and former head of Atlanta City Council

Ted Buerger, Citizen Leader, entrepreneur, long-time community volunteer and co-founder Americantowns.com

WHEN:

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011
10:30am (ET)

WHERE:

Cannon House Office Building

Caucus Room

Independence Avenue and 1st Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Budget Problems: In California, a Plan to Charge Inmates for Their Stay

NYT Reports: A one-night stay in this city’s finest hotel costs $190, complete with sumptuous sheets and a gourmet restaurant. Soon, a twin metal bunk at the county jail, with meals served on plastic trays, will run $142.42.

With already crowded jails filling quickly and an $80 million shortfall in the budget, Riverside County officials are increasingly desperate to find every source of revenue they can. So last month, the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a plan to charge inmates for their stay, reimbursing the county for food, clothing and health care.

Prisoners with no assets will not have to pay, but the county has the ability to garnish wages and place liens on homes under the ordinance, which goes into effect this week.

As the county supervisor who pressed for the ordinance, Jeff Stone, likes to put it: “You do the crime, you will serve the time, and now you will also pay the dime.”

While a few other local governments have tried similar ideas, Riverside is by far the largest to enact what many call a “pay to stay” plan. Mr. Stone estimates that about 25 percent of the county’s prisoners would be able to pay something and that the county could collect as much as $6 million a year.

But the county attorney cautioned that the move was unlikely to bring in significant revenue, because many inmates were destitute and because convicts would be expected to pay restitution and other fines first.

Like all counties in California, Riverside is in the midst of accepting a new influx of inmates who would have normally gone to state prison. Faced with an order from the Supreme Court to shed 30,000 prisoners from state prisons over the next two years, the Legislature approved a plan to shift thousands of prisoners to local jails.

Many local leaders and law enforcement officials are skeptical of the plan and say the state is unlikely to cover the counties’ costs for the new inmates. In many counties, including Riverside, the jails are already near capacity, and officials worry about being forced to release some inmates before their sentences are complete.

Under California law, counties are allowed to collect money as a condition of probation, but only after a judge determines that the inmate can afford to pay. And counties are the last in line to get money from a convict.

Opinion: Romney Aside from Getting Votes, is a Great Candidate…

Jonathan V. Last writes: There are three basic theories to explain why Mitt Romney hasn’t been able to build support above the 30 percent level, despite being the heavily favored frontrunner for most of the past six years: (1) Republicans distrust Romney because of his history of flip-flopping. (2) Republicans view Romney as insufficiently conservative. (3) Republicans aren’t comfortable with the idea of a Mormon as president.

Each of these explanations has some validity. There is indeed a segment of voters uncomfortable with Romney’s Mormonism. Yet in polls, most of the people who view it negatively are Democrats. Among Republicans, the number who view Romney’s religion as a hindrance typically registers around 15 percent. That’s a hurdle for Romney in the primaries, but a relatively low one. And it doesn’t explain his inability to rise much above 30 percent in the polls.

As for Romney’s conservatism, it’s true that if you were to tally up a scorecard, Romney is probably the most moderate candidate in the field. But this cycle happens to feature a group of candidates who are, pound for pound, the most conservative set in recent Republican history. And Romney isn’t exactly running as Nelson Rockefeller. In fact, during the only intensely ideological fight of the campaign so far—the long joust over immigration—Romney has led the charge from the right. The only real “conservative” problem Romney has is a matter of policy and not ideology: It’s his Massachusetts health care reform. He says it worked great for his state, that he’s proud of it, and that his first act as president will be to make sure no one else in America ever has to experience anything like it.

Which brings us to the flip-flops. Romney has spent the 20 years of his political career whipsawing from one view to another. But so have lots of politicians. The only thing particularly distinctive about Romney’s positioning is that normally politicians evolve from one stance to the next as they march upward through government. They win an election with one set of positions, and then have to modify their beliefs in order to play on a larger stage.

Romney’s changes in position have followed defeats, rather than victories. He’s progressed from liberal New Republican (1994) to moderate technocrat (2002) to rock-ribbed movement conservative (2006) to sane, free-market Mr. Fix-It (2011). (The 2006 transformation came when it was clear from polling that he could not possibly win reelection as governor of Massachusetts.) But other than this stylistic oddity, there’s no real reason Romney’s flip-flops should cripple him more than, say, Newt Gingrich’s many changes of position over the years have hampered his ability to attract support.

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NEW ERA: A Flood of Jewish GOP Federal-Level Candidates

Roll Call Reports: A few weeks after former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle entered the Senate race, she flew to New York City for a fundraiser at a kosher steakhouse, Le Marais, geared toward her fellow Jewish Republicans.

“I’ve been to events that have already raised in excess of six figures for her,” Republican Jewish Coalition President Matt Brooks said. “This is going to be a real priority race for the organization.”

Just last week, as almost every GOP White House hopeful paraded through the RJC’s presidential forum, Florida Senate candidate Adam Hasner worked the confab, too. Lingle and Hasner aren’t strangers to the Jewish Republican community, and neither is Josh Mandel, a Republican running for Senate in Ohio and one of the most successful fundraisers this cycle.

There’s a small tribe of Jewish Republicans in Congress, with a current membership of just one: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.). But that could change this cycle, especially in the Senate where three Jewish Republicans are running in competitive 2012 races.

“We are blessed with many. The harvest is bountiful,” said former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who is Jewish. “There’s a real possibility of doubling or tripling the number of Republican Jews in the Senate. It’s been a pretty exclusive club.”

Coleman, who lost a lengthy 2008 recount battle in mid-2009, was one of the last Jewish Republicans to serve in the Senate. Around the same time, the Senate’s remaining Jewish Republican, then-Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), left the GOP to become a Democrat. Specter then lost re-election in 2010.

Their departure broke a 50-year tradition of at least one Jewish Republican in the Senate that started in 1957, when former Sen. Jacob Javits (N.Y.) joined the chamber.

Democrats have dominated the ranks of Jewish Members on Capitol Hill for decades. Twenty-four Jewish Democrats currently serve in the House, and 12 Jewish Democrats serve in the Senate.

But since spring of 2009, there’s been a drought on the campaign trail, too. Not a single Jewish Republican has headlined a major Senate race since Coleman’s loss.

What makes this cycle different from all other cycles?

Republicans such as Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said it’s been an evolution over many years. As one of Israel’s most outspoken GOP supporters on Capitol Hill, Kirk represented — and raised prolific money from — a large Jewish population in his former House district on Chicago’s North Shore for 10 years.

“It was quite small initially. The number of Jewish Republicans who would gather in Illinois could fit in a small diner, and that’s it,” said Kirk, who is not Jewish. “But it has changed pretty profoundly so that now the Republican Jewish Coalition meetings in Illinois will have anywhere between 500 and 2,000 people at the events.”

Kirk said he’s also seen a candidate sea change in his former district, where the entire slate of GOP state legislative candidates this cycle are Jewish. While Jewish voters still tend to be Democrats, Kirk said, Republicans have made inroads with a pro-Israel agenda.

Jewish Republican donors rose to prominence and power over the past decade, working to build a national network of financial support for candidates. They point to well-known GOP fundraisers, such as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas, hedge fund manager Paul Singer in New York and former Ambassadors Mel Sembler and Sam Fox of Florida and Missouri, respectively.

But only recently has the bench of Jewish Republican candidates caught up with donors’ wallets — and the money shows.

Most notably, Mandel raised more than his opponent, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), for the last two quarters in the competitive Ohio Senate race. Part of Mandel’s funds include a fundraiser in St. Louis hosted by Fox, who helped him raise six figures at an event with RJC members.

Lingle hasn’t had to file her fundraising totals yet for her first quarter in the race, but news outlets reported she brought in $400,000 in the first week of her candidacy. That’s more than either of her Democratic opponents, former Rep. Ed Case or Rep. Mazie Hirono, brought in during the third quarter.

Hasner outpaced his GOP opponents last quarter by raising $535,000 for his challenge to Sen. Bill Nelson (D). However, the dynamic of the primary changed completely when Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) entered the Florida Senate race this month.

Hasner served as Florida’s Jewish outreach chairman for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and held a similar role for the national GOP ticket in 2008. It was on that campaign, Hasner said, that he got to know Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

“I haven’t come across a disadvantage yet” as a candidate, Hasner said. “When you’re a Jewish Republican, when you’re a minority of a minority, you have to be even more principled and even more resolved and committed to what you believe in.”

There is one other high-profile Republican Senate candidate with Jewish roots this cycle — although his heritage only came to light six years ago in the midst of another hard-fought Senate race.

Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) was caught off guard in his failed 2006 re-election race when he, a practicing Methodist, discovered his mother was raised Jewish. The revelation came in the wake of the now-infamous “macaca” moment that ultimately sank his campaign.

Jewish Republicans said he’s always forged ties with their community, but he’s embraced the community in a whole new manner since that revelation.

In August 2010, the former governor delivered a speech to the Jewish Learning Institute, five months before he announced his comeback bid for Senate against former Gov. Tim Kaine (D). Video clips of the event show Allen trying to blow into shofar — the horn of a ram used in Jewish religious ceremonies.

Video: Minute-Long Perry Ad Highlights Romney’s $10K Bet

Mitt Romney may have cracked a joke about his $10,000 bet today in New Hampshire, but Rick Perry’s campaign doesn’t think it’s a laughing matter. The campaign released a minute-long web video highlighting Romney’s wager proposition and calling “Romneycare a losing bet for America.”

ABC footage of the debate coverage — including cameos by Jake Tapper, David Muir and Matt Dowd — plays heavily throughout the video along with video of the Texas governor talking with American voters.

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