Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* With no debate at all, Republicans included a provision in the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill that “dramatically” expands the amount of money wealthy political donors can give the national parties: “Top donors would be allowed to give three times the annual cap on national party donations to three additional party committees set up for the purposes of the presidential conventions, building expenses and election recounts.”
* Remember that weird Maine state Senate race I mentioned last week? It’s been resolved: “A review of ballots from Long Island revealed Tuesday that a simple counting error caused a discrepancy in the state Senate District 25 election results, ending weeks of intrigue and swirling speculation about ballot stuffing and election fraud.”
* This seems important: “The Koch brothers and their allies are pumping tens of millions of dollars into a data company that’s developing detailed, state-of-the-art profiles of 250 million Americans, giving the brothers’ political operation all the earmarks of a national party.”
* An alleged bribery scandal forced Jesse Benton to resign this year as Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R) campaign manager, but Benton, a longtime ally of the Paul family, will apparently still be welcome in Sen. Rand Paul’s (R) 2016 political operation.
* In Vermont’s gubernatorial campaign, Scott Milne (R) may have come in second to Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), but because neither candidate got 50% of the vote, Milne is taking advantage of a quirky state law and pushing the race into the state legislature, where he’s likely to lose.
* Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) may not have a major national profile, but he’s about to become much better known outside his home state: Bullock will serve as the new chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
* With Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) curtailing her fundraising, it’s widely believed she’ll retire in 2016. California Democrats are already tripping over each other to prepare for a possible statewide campaign.
* With Sen. David Vitter (R) the frontrunner in Louisiana’s 2015 gubernatorial race, Rep. John Fleming (R) wants everyone to know he’s “very interested” is taking Vitter’s place in the Senate.
* And speaking of Louisiana, voters may have ended Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D) career after three terms, but less than a week later, she’s already “a hot commodity on K Street.”