by Karl Kurtz
State Net's ever-useful Capitol Journal last week carried an update by Lou Cannon of potential party-switching legislative chambers in this fall's elections--based at least partially on his conversations with NCSL's Tim Storey--and a couple of other interesting items.
Cannon's list of vulnerable chambers under Republican control includes the Colorado House, the Maine House and Senate, the New Hampshire House ("an outside chance"), the New York Senate and the Wisconsin Senate. In the case of the Wisconsin Senate, the chamber is currently tied with one vacancy. The tie will be resolved on June 5 when four Republican senators face recall elections, and the one vacancy will be filled. Although Cannon doesn't say this, it's possible that the Democrats could take control on June 5 only to lose it in November when senators have to run in newly drawn districts.
The chambers that could switch from D to R include the Arkansas House and Senate, the New Mexico House (erroneously identified as the Senate in the article) and the Iowa and Nevada senates. Tim and I would add the Oregon Senate and the Minnesota House--and possibly the Senate--to that list.
Also missing from Capitol Journal's list of chambers that could switch are two tied chambers: the Alaska Senate and the Oregon House.
The same issue of Capitol Journal reports on primary defeats of two incumbents in Oregon. Republican Sen. Chris Telford was defeated by a former House member, Tim Knopp. In the House, challenger Jeff Reardon defeated Democratic Rep. Mike Schaufler. In both races at least a few incumbent legislators supported the challengers over their colleagues from the same party.
Finally, Capitol Journal calls attention to an op ed article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal last week in which two Republican members of Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas) and Sen. Jim DeMint (South Carolina), likened the financial management of the states of California, Illinois and Michigan to that of Greece and praised New Jersey, Rhode Island, Utah and Wisconsin for pursuing Germany's "model of fiscal prudence."
"States that have followed Europe's economic policy model of unbridled spending are getting Europe's economic results: low growth and looming fiscal catastrophe," the two Republicans wrote. "Congress must — in word and if necessary in law — make plain that the taxpayers will not protect these states from the consequences of their policies."
They did not suggest, however, that any states would have to leave the dollar zone and switch to the drachma.