A Voter’s Guide to Untangling the ‘Jungle’ Election That Could Keep America Waiting

Kelsey Harkness /

America’s political operatives are spread across the land fighting for their candidates, from the frosty U.S. Senate race in Alaska to the red-hot governor’s race in Florida.

But if control of the Senate hangs in the balance after Tuesday’s midterm elections—and multiple scenarios suggest it could—then most of those operatives will be bound for Louisiana after the polls close.

The Bayou State doesn’t have party primaries. All candidates from all parties run in a “jungle primary,” which is what’s on tap Tues. If none of the nine candidates for Senate garners more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two must compete in a runoff election Dec. 6.

So Louisiana’s Senate race is unlikely to be decided Tuesday.

According to the most recent polling, incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu, whose father served as mayor of New Orleans and whose brother is mayor now, sits at about 38 percent of the vote.

Bill Cassidy, a Republican congressman from Baton Rouge, is just behind at 34 percent. And Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel from Madisonville with enthusiastic tea party backing, comes in third at 9 percent.

Lay of the Land

Louisiana’s election system dates to the 1970s, when the state’s Democratic Party ran the ideological gamut and statewide elections would pit one Republican against eight or nine qualified Democrats.

The system was designed to ensure the two strongest candidates got on the final ballot, even if they were of the same party.

Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Mary Landrieu Campaign Event in Baton Rouge Louisiana.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Democratic incumbent, campaigns in Baton Rouge.

Today, with many of the conservative Democrats having switched to the Republican Party, the situation is reversed. The nine candidates for Senate on the ballot Tuesday include multiple Republicans and right-leaning independents but only one Democrat.

And that Democrat is not having a smooth ride.

Like many Democratic hopefuls, incumbents or not, Landrieu is struggling to distance herself from the increasingly unpopular President Obama.

Landrieu, 58, supported Obama on issues ranging from spending $800 billion in “economic stimulus” to remaking the U.S. health care system under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Obama didn’t carry Louisiana in either 2008 or 2012, and is even less popular there now. Landrieu also is viewed as having become aloof from the state and more a creature of Washington, D.C.

One ad by an outside group shows District Mayor Vince Gray calling Landrieu a citizen of Capitol Hill, where she has a $2.5 million townhouse, and referring to her as the District’s senator because of all she has done for his city.

Landrieu also came under attack for using taxpayer money to cover campaign flights and for listing that townhouse as her residence on a statement of candidacy filed in January.

Cassidy, 57, a medical doctor who practiced in the state’s charity hospital system, fits the pattern of what many conservatives today call an establishment Republican. He campaigns on health care reform and energy policy, and he enjoys the support of most of the party machinery—statewide and nationally.

Cassidy is a three-term congressman with a slew of endorsements, from the Susan B. Anthony List and the National Rifle Association to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter.

Louisiana Senate Campaign

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hopes to step up to the U.S. Senate.

Given his close ties to Vitter, a conservative eying governorship in the state, some experts say it is “interesting” that Cassidy is cast as an establishment Republican.

“If there is any one GOP politician in Louisiana [who] Cassidy owes a debt of gratitude to, it’s David Vitter,” says Jeremy Alford, a syndicated columnist in Louisiana, adding:

David Vitter very early on convinced a number of movers and shakers not to run for the U.S. Senate, so he cleared the field for Cassidy. He allowed a member of his staff to run his campaign [and] he was instrumental in getting major players to Louisiana, like [Sen.] John McCain, to campaign for Cassidy.

Maness, who served 32 years in the Air Force but never has held public office, has run a solid and energetic campaign. He visited all 64 parishes, putting more than 80,000 miles on his pickup truck.

By late September, Maness, 52, had gained real momentum. His dogged work and hard line on liberty as well as fiscal, defense and energy issues make him a darling of tea party conservatives.

With endorsements from prominent organizations such as the Senate Conservatives Fund, public figures such as Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, plus talk show giant Mark Levin, Maness became a serious contender.

Maness also has struck the right notes in this year of voter discontent, positioning himself as an alternative to the “career politicians” he says don’t always put Louisiana’s needs first.

Navigating the Jungle

Folks associated with the Cassidy campaign describe Maness as “this political fly they just couldn’t swat away from their face,” says Alford, publisher and editor of LaPolitics.com and LaPolitics Weekly.

“They wish they could have spent 100 percent of their efforts on Landrieu, rather than having to look over their shoulders wondering exactly what Maness is doing.”

Some Republicans fear Maness could spoil the race and give victory—and possibly control of the Senate—to Landrieu and the Democrats. But this is unlikely under the jungle system.

“There’s definitely a feeling that Maness, by staying in this race, is a spoiler; that Cassidy could have had a good shot of building ahead of steam to capture victory in the primary,” says Alford.

Conservative Political Action Conference

Rob Maness, the “other” Republican, doesn’t consider himself a spoiler.

But when it only costs $900 for candidates to enter the jungle primary, even the favorites will have competition. This year, nine Senate hopefuls put their name on the ballot.

Until a few weeks ago, most voters had only heard of two — Cassidy and Landrieu.

 

But with the help of prominent backers, Maness shook things up. Some hope he will be the next David Brat — the underdog who ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Republican primary, to the surprise of political gurus of all sorts.

If the race winds up as polls project and Cassidy then can shore up support among Maness voters, he could claim the seat from Landrieu.

Political prognosticator Charlie Cook, a native of the state, lists the race as a toss-up, and the Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Cassidy a 4.5-point lead over Landrieu head to head.

>>> Watch Senate Hopefuls Score Performance of Obama, Jindal in One Sentence

Come as You Are, Leave Different

Louisiana isn’t like most other states. It has parishes instead of counties. It has gumbo instead of soup. It is alone among the states — and joined only by Quebec in all of North America — in basing its laws on the Napoleonic Code rather than the English common law system.

The state’s Democrats are sometimes as conservative as its Republicans. Its voters tend to reward the flamboyant over the substantive. And its politics this year is further complicated by a love-hate relationship with the Republican governor, Bobby Jindal.

Yet, the math seems simple enough. Landrieu appears unlikely to get much more than her current 38 percent. Cassidy has 34 percent now. He presumably would get most of the 9 percent who support Maness and probably enough from the minor candidates to prevail.

But, as is usually the case with Louisiana politics, it’s not that simple.

Geoff Skelley, associate editor of  Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, says tensions between the two Republican candidates reflect the divide between mainstream and tea party Republicans.

>>> 9 Senate Races That Could Tip the Balance of Power

And that could be a problem for Cassidy among more conservative elements of the electorate.

“In this polarized era, more conservative Republicans are loathe to back GOP candidates they consider to be even somewhat moderate, though given Louisiana’s Democratic past, many Democrats-turned-Republicans exist and do well in elections,” Skelley told The Daily Signal, adding:

While Cassidy’s voting record has been conservative during his time in Congress, he’s not known for being a rabble-rouser or for making strong denunciations of the Obama administration. Given his demeanor and Democratic roots, some tea partiers are suspicious of his conservatism.

Louisiana-1024x532

Stay or Get Out?

This explains why establishment Republicans keep suggesting Maness could make matters easier by getting out and giving Cassidy a chance to win outright Tuesday.

Maness told The Daily Signal that isn’t going to happen.

“Our goal is to put America back on track,” he says, adding:

I happen to be a life-long Republican, I’m running on the Republican Party’s platform [and] I wish the party was joining us because their base and my candidacy are all about their platform because we believe in it.

Cassidy’s team would not respond to The Daily Signal’s requests for an interview, or even a comment.

But Gaston Mooney, executive director of  Conservative Review and longtime Republican policy adviser, says Maness is right to ignore establishment calls to drop out.

“Landrieu is in a freefall, so it’s no surprise that the Washington political establishment has begun orchestrating more calls for Maness to drop out,” Mooney says, adding:

With this race looking more winnable for conservatives, this split-the-vote scare tactic is all the establishment has left to throw at Maness. With Landrieu nowhere near the 50 percent needed, it makes these calls even more ridiculous.

Louisiana’s jungle primary provides “the purest example of candidates across the spectrum,” Mooney says, but “the establishment is fearful of that type of referendum vote.”

 

The End Game

Although Skelley says support for Maness “hasn’t dissipated,” a David Brat-like finish is becoming more far-fetched.

On Monday, his former campaign manager attacked Maness’s loyalty to the tea party, calling the retired colonel a “political opportunist.”

“He tries to adapt to different groups,” said John Kerry, who managed Maness’ campaign for six months in 2013. “He made it very clear, ‘I’m not a tea partier. I don’t want to be known as a tea party candidate.’ Then, he learned that was the only way he was going to get funds.”

Kerry sent his email, obtained by the Associated Press, to political activists and community leaders. Kerry claims he isn’t affiliated with the Cassidy campaign or any organization supporting him.

The Maness campaign calls the claims ridiculous.

Even if the claims have some legs, Skelley says, because Maness has yet to cut deeply into Cassidy’s position as the leading Republican, a Cassidy-Landrieu runoff Dec. 6 is “pretty certain.”

But when he gets there, conservatives could take some convincing, Skelley stresses:

Cassidy is going to have about a month to shore up his support among Maness’s backers, a not-insignificant chunk of the electorate, to help him defeat Landrieu.

Brian McNicoll contributed to this report.

Exclusive: Rand Paul Says Obama Thinks He Can ‘Act Like a King’ - Daily Signal

Exclusive: Rand Paul Says Obama Thinks He Can ‘Act Like a King’

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson /

Taking a break from campaign stops for fellow Republicans, Sen. Rand Paul was back in Washington, D.C., yesterday to deliver a keynote address at The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting.

Afterward, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal, the Kentucky Republican answered questions on President Obama’s plans to implement administrative amnesty following the election, the religious liberty debate playing out in Houston, the government’s response to Ebola and the fallout in Ferguson, Mo., where Paul recently visited.

The video was produced by Steve Weyrich.

Find Out How Your State Ranks When Measured by Unemployment - Daily Signal

Find Out How Your State Ranks When Measured by Unemployment

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello /

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released its latest report identifying state-by-state unemployment rates, based on current population data. In 31 states, unemployment rates among workers ages 15 and older declined between August and September 2014. Take a look at the numbers below to see how your state stacks up.

         STATE

RATE

North Dakota 2.8 percent
South Dakota 3.4 percent
Utah 3.5 percent
Nebraska 3.6 percent
Minnesota 4.1 percent
Hawaii 4.2 percent
New Hampshire 4.3 percent
Vermont 4.4 percent
Idaho 4.5 percent
Iowa 4.6 percent
Montana 4.6 percent
Colorado 4.7 percent
Oklahoma 4.7 percent
Wyoming 4.7 percent
Kansas 4.8 percent
Texas 5.2 percent
Virginia 5.5 percent
Wisconsin 5.5 percent
Ohio 5.6 percent
Indiana 5.7 percent
Pennsylvania 5.7 percent
Washington 5.7 percent
Maine 5.8 percent
Louisiana 6.0 percent
Massachusetts 6.0 percent
Florida 6.1 percent
Arkansas 6.2 percent
New York 6.2 percent
Maryland 6.3 percent
Missouri 6.3 percent
Connecticut 6.4 percent
Delaware 6.5 percent
New Jersey 6.5 percent
Alabama 6.6 percent
Illinois 6.6 percent
New Mexico 6.6 percent
South Carolina 6.6 percent
West Virginia 6.6 percent
Kentucky 6.7 percent
North Carolina 6.7 percent
Alaska 6.8 percent
Arizona 6.9 percent
Oregon 7.1 percent
Michigan 7.2 percent
California 7.3 percent
Nevada 7.3 percent
Tennessee 7.3 percent
Rhode Island 7.4 percent
Mississippi 7.7 percent
Georgia 7.9 percent

The 7 Scariest Uses of Your Tax Dollars in 2014 - Daily Signal

The 7 Scariest Uses of Your Tax Dollars in 2014

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe /

Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual “Wastebook” chronicles the most outrageous government waste—spending that is so frightening that it taxpayers ought to be scared.

Halloween is upon us, so what better way to document some of the wackiest examples than with the short horror flick above.

“Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects,” the Oklahoma Republican said when releasing the book earlier this month.

13 Photos You Don’t Want to Miss From This Week’s News - Daily Signal

13 Photos You Don’t Want to Miss From This Week’s News

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe / Kelsey Harris /

Too busy collecting costume materials to keep up with headlines this week? No worries. We’ve collected some of the best news photography from this week’s trending stories to catch you up before trick-or-treaters come knocking. 

Last Friday, Hillary Clinton declared that businesses and corporations don’t create jobs. On Oct. 28, she clarified things.

Photo: Steve Jurvetson/Creative Commons

‘You don’t create jobs!’ (Photo: Steve Jurvetson/Creative Commons)

Lady Liberty celebrated her 125th birthday on Oct. 28.

The Statue of Liberty is pictured during the flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, N.Y., July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by

The Statue of Liberty during a flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. (Photo: Pete Souza/Newscom)

Social media blew up all day Oct. 29 in honor of National Cat Day. Here’s my favorite:

The small British kitten sleeps

Adorable. (Photo: Newscom)

Republicans thought they were set to win the U.S. Senate race in Georgia, but polls suggest there might be a runoff election in January.

epalive390967-1024x766

Republican Senate candidate David Perdue arrives for a rally before a debate at the Georgia National Fair. (Photo: Newscom)

Brittany Maynard made news earlier this month because she planned to “die with dignity” on Nov. 1. But in a new video released yesterday, she announced she’s not ready to die—yet.

141008_Maynard_Trink-FEATURE-1024x531

Brittany Maynard and her husband on their wedding day before she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. (Photo: The Brittany Maynard Fund)

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens—.” That’s what a senior Obama administration official was cited as saying, using Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname. Netanyahu has reportedly told advisers that he has “written off” the Obama administration.

Israel s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu C gestures as he speaks as Israeli President Reuven Ri

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Newscom)

Elephants at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna are celebrating Halloween with fresh pumpkins being fed to them.

Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said the elephants also enjoy playing with the pumpkins. (Photo: Newscom)

Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said the elephants also enjoy playing with the pumpkins. (Photo: Newscom)

ISIS is still terrorizing the Middle East.

Iranians gather to show their support of the people of Syria and Iraq, in Tehran, Iran. (Photo: Maryam Rahmanian/Newscom)

Iranians gather to show their support of the people of Syria and Iraq, in Tehran, Iran. (Photo: Maryam Rahmanian/Newscom)

Iraqi refugees girls, who fled from ISIS violence in Mosul, wait up to receive food. (Photo: Ceerwan Aziz/Newscom)

Iraqi refugees girls, who fled from ISIS violence in Mosul, wait up to receive food. (Photo: Ceerwan Aziz/Newscom)

Experts at The Heritage Foundation say the United States shouldn’t trust Iran. The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blames America for creating ISIS. 

Hundreds of people in the Turkish village of Suruc, near the border town of Kobane mourn the death of Kurdish fighters who died while battling ISIS militants. (Photo: Barbaros Kayan/Newscom)

Hundreds of people in the Turkish village of Suruc, near the border town of Kobane, mourn the death of Kurdish fighters who died while battling ISIS militants. (Photo: Barbaros Kayan/Newscom)

Have you noticed that bag of Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters is getting more expensive every year? It is—thanks to a federal sugar program that artificially keeps the price of sugar excessively high. 

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According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it cost 37.5 cents to buy a pound of wholesale refined beet sugar in the United States. (Photo: Creative Commons)

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, 4-3, against the Kansas City Royals on Oct. 29.

Michael Morse of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning of Game 7 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. (Photo: Kyodo/Newscom)

Michael Morse of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning of Game 7 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. (Photo: Kyodo/Newscom)

Kaci Hickox, a Maine nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, dominated headlines this week because she decided to defy her 21-day quarantine. Meanwhile, President Obama addressed the nation saying, “progress is possible.”

President Barack Obama delivers a statement about Ebola on the South Lawn of the White House Oct. 28.

President Obama delivers a statement about Ebola on the South Lawn of the White House Oct. 28.

School Issues ‘No Trespass Order’ on Iraq Veteran Who Questioned Daughter’s Homework Assignment on Islam - Daily Signal

School Issues ‘No Trespass Order’ on Iraq Veteran Who Questioned Daughter’s Homework Assignment on Islam

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe / Kelsey Harris / Kelsey Harkness /

An Iraq veteran was banned from his daughter’s high school after objecting to a required homework assignment about Islam.

Kevin Wood, father of an 11th-grader at La Plata High School in Charles County, Md., was upset to discover a teacher had asked his daughter to write a three-page essay about Islam’s Five Pillars, Mecca and Mohammed.

After Wood met  with the school’s vice principal to discuss the matter, the school banned Wood from the property late last week.

“I don’t agree with it,” Wood  said in a phone interview with Fox News. “I said you can’t study God or Christianity in school; you have atheists suing schools for saying God and the pledge, and not being able to say prayers before football games … but we can force-feed our kids Islam.”

Katie O’Malley-Simpson, spokeswoman for Charles County Public Schools, told The Daily Signal today that Wood, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, was banned from school property because he was “threatening to cause a disruption at the school that could compromise the safety of the students and staff.”

“We don’t issue no trespassing orders lightly,” she said.

O’Malley-Simpson defended the assignment on the Islam, saying it is part of Maryland ‘s “world history curricular standards that are a requirement for all counties in the state.” She said:

The particular unit in question at La Plata High School is on the formation of Middle Eastern empires in which students learned the basic concepts of the Islamic faith and how it, along with politics, culture, economics and geography, contributed to the development of the Middle East. Other religions are introduced when they influence or impact a particular historical era or geographic region.

Tearing up, Wood’s wife said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday that the school doesn’t understand the sensitivity of the subject.

“The people do not understand what he endured when he was over in Iraq,” she said. “[H]e lost friends, and he lost brothers and sisters to these people.”

O’Malley-Simpson said the dispute between Wood and the school is not yet resolved, and the school and Wood are in discussions that will continue into next week.

US Lawmen Allowed Drug Cartels’ Grenade Trafficker to Move Freely, Report Finds - Daily Signal

US Lawmen Allowed Drug Cartels’ Grenade Trafficker to Move Freely, Report Finds

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe / Kelsey Harris / Kelsey Harkness / Sharyl Attkisson /

A long-awaited report from the Department of Justice’s inspector general sharply criticizes U.S. law enforcement officials for allowing a grenade trafficker for vicious Mexican drug cartels to operate unfettered, endangering public safety.

The Office of the Inspector General calls the federal operation “poorly conceived and executed” and “particularly irresponsible” because of information agents had about a dangerous suspect.

The case reminded some observers of how the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed thousands of assault rifles to be trafficked to Mexican drug cartels in the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious.

>>> Multiple Controversies Plagued Eric Holder Prior to Resignation

In fact,  Jean Baptiste Kingery,  the California man accused of being a grenade trafficker, came to the attention of the inspector general’s office during the probe of Fast and Furious, which also occurred on Attorney General Eric Holder’s watch as head of the Justice Department.

The missteps of the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed Kingery, a 43-year-old U.S. citizen, to move massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels, Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded.

This “grenade walking” mirrored, in some respects, the controversial gun-walking strategy used in ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and also involved the same U.S. attorney and ATF offices.

Grenade hull, fuse assembly, spoon and grande pin ordered by Kingery and received by ATF on Nov. 2009. (Photo: DOJ-OIG Oversight Report)

Grenade hull, fuse assembly, spoon and grande pin ordered by Kingery and received by ATF in 2009. (Photos: OIG Oversight Report)

Horowitz’s  93-page report concludes:

Kingery should have been arrested and charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) … long before he finally was. We also believe that some of the decision-making in the Kingery case reflected agents’ and prosecutors’ inadequate consideration of the risk to public safety in the United States and Mexico created by Kingery’s illegal activities.

Roots of the Operation

ATF began watching Kingery in 2004 “related to AK47 purchases,” according to an internal email that also says “it is believed that he is trafficking them to Mexico.”

A full five years later, in late 2009, ATF also learned Kingery was dealing in grenades: He’d ordered 120 grenade bodies on the Internet.

Documents show ATF secretly intercepted the grenade bodies Kingery had ordered, marked them and delivered them to him on Jan. 26, 2010. The agency’s plan was to follow Kingery to his weapons factory in Mexico, with help from Mexican authorities and U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents.

>>> FBI Radio: Public Service or Self-Serving?

ATF agents realized they might lose track of Kingery and the grenade parts in Mexico. But their emails show little attention to those who could be killed.

Instead, officials expressed concern with tying the grenades to Kingery after the weapons reached Mexico.

“Even in a post blast, as long as the safety lever is recovered we will be able to identify these tagged grenades,” one email says.

Truck spare tire contains grenade hulls and components. (Photo: DOJ-OIG Oversight Report)

Truck spare tire contains grenade hulls and components.

‘Seriously Flawed’ Planning and Execution

The inspector general concludes that  “ATF agents’ planning and execution of the November 2009 operation was seriously flawed.”

Horowitz’s report faults the plan for not including adequate resources to conduct surveillance or meaningful coordination with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

The inspector general calls the operation “poorly conceived and executed” and “particularly irresponsible in light of the totality of information about Kingery available to agents at the time.”

Even within ATF, the plan to allow Kingery to traffic grenade parts into a foreign country and track him to his factory drew strong objections.

A lead ATF official in Mexico wrote:

That’s not possible. We are forbidden from doing that type of activity. If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of [expletive].

Grenade hulls and components seized from spare tire of Kingery's vehicle on June 15, 2010.

Grenade hulls and components seized from spare tire of Kingery’s vehicle June 15, 2010.

Grenade Walker Resurfaces

Officials did lose track of Kingery in Mexico. But that wasn’t the last time he would be on law enforcement’s radar, yet allowed to remain on the street.

Kingery resurfaced several months later in 2010, trying to smuggle a stash of grenade bodies and ammunition into Mexico.

But the inspector general concluded the prosecutor with the federal prosecutor  “decided not to charge Kingery” in hopes of agents working him as a “source,” and ATF’s senior leadership in Arizona did not raise objections.

Horowitz’s report says the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF should have brought charges “immediately” against Kingery or taken steps to control his movements and the danger he posed to the public.

Evidence photos later turned over to Congress under subpoena showed a frightening collection of grenade parts and fuse assemblies and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition hidden in a spare tire of Kingery’s SUV that  crossed from the U.S. to Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona said to have blocked Kingery’s arrest is the same one that oversaw Fast and Furious during the same time period.

Grenade fuse assemblies received by ATF in January 2010.

Grenade fuse assemblies received by ATF in January 2010.

In Fast and Furious, ATF agents let thousands of assault rifles and other weapons be sold to Mexican drug cartels unimpeded. The strategy was to try to get to the cartel kingpins, but it was halted after CBS News reported that weapons from Fast and Furious were used by cartel thugs in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

Weapons trafficked by other ATF suspects under surveillance were used two months later in the ambush and cartel murder of Immigration and Customs agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on Feb. 15, 2011.

Mexico Raid and Arrest

In 2011, a year and half after Kingery was said to be caught smuggling grenade parts from the U.S. to Mexico but released, Mexican authorities raided Kingery’s factory in Mexico and arrested him. The authorities say  say he confessed to teaching cartel members how to build grenades and convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic.

>>> 5 Ways Fast and Furious Tarnishes Eric Holder’s Justice Department

Responding to the inspector general’s report, the Justice Department, which oversees ATF and all U.S. attorney’s offices, said ATF has made “positive steps toward improving coordination and information sharing with ICE.”

In a two-page letter to Horowitz dated Oct. 28, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole  adds that ATF already was “actively addressing the issue of risk management in criminal investigations.”

Horowitz’s report says marked grenade hulls from ATF’s November 2009 operation involving Kingery may have been used by drug cartel members in a March 2011 gun battle with Mexican soldiers.

According to a Justice Department “Significant Information Report,” evidence connected a Kingery grenade to a fierce battle in Guadalajara that took the lives of three Mexican police in October 2013. Authorities say five members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel used at least nine firearms and 10 hand grenades in their attack on Mexican police.

Read the Significant Information Report

Find links to all of Sharyl Attkisson’s stories on Fast and Furious and Grenade Walker

Oct. 17, 2013 CBS News story on Grenade Walker connection to Mexican cartel shootout

 

Poll Shows Young Voters Switching Allegiance From Democrats to GOP - Daily Signal

Poll Shows Young Voters Switching Allegiance From Democrats to GOP

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe / Kelsey Harris / Kelsey Harkness / Sharyl Attkisson / Josh Siegel /

In a sign that Republican efforts to target the youth vote is paying off, a new poll finds a majority of young Americans who intend to vote next week prefer a Republican-controlled Congress.

>>> This Spunky College Intern Is the Face of the New Republican Ground Game

A survey released yesterday by Harvard Institute of Politics shows that of those age 18 to 29 who say they “definitely” will vote in the midterm elections Tuesday, 51 percent want Congress in GOP hands, compared to 47 percent who would rather have Democrats in charge.

Among all young people surveyed — whether they planned to vote or not — Democrats still held an edge, 50 percent to 43 percent.

Democrats have depended on the youth vote in past elections, and Republicans this year have made it a strategy to close the gap with millennials.

Republicans are seen as having a good shot at wresting control of the Senate from Democrats as well as increasing their majority in the House.

>>> On the Campaign Trail: ‘Ground Zero’ in North Carolina and the GOP Chase for College Kids

An Institute of Politics poll taken before the midterm elections in 2010 revealed that 55 percent of young likely voters preferred Democrats to lead Congress, compared to 43 percent who wanted Republicans.

The new survey questioned 2,029 voters age 18 to 29 between Sept. 26 and Oct. 9. It has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Senate’s No. 1 Republican Explains Why a GOP-Controlled Senate Doesn’t Mean Repeal of Obamacare - Daily Signal

Senate’s No. 1 Republican Explains Why a GOP-Controlled Senate Doesn’t Mean Repeal of Obamacare

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe / Kelsey Harris / Kelsey Harkness / Sharyl Attkisson / Josh Siegel / Melissa Quinn /

Hopes for repeal of  Obamacare by a Republican-controlled Senate dimmed a week before the crucial midterm elections with surprising words from the man who likely would lead that new Senate.

In an interview Tuesday with Fox’s Neil Cavuto, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s unlikely a Republican-controlled Senate would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in its entirety. McConnell, who leads Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Senate race in Kentucky, is poised to become majority leader if the upper chamber changes hands.

Congressional Republicans worked to defund Obamacare last year, but were stymied by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

>>> Here’s Who Got Obamacare Coverage, Explained in Just 1 Minute

 

Caught on Tape: Lindsey Graham Riffs on White Men and Baptists in Leaked Recordings - Daily Signal

Caught on Tape: Lindsey Graham Riffs on White Men and Baptists in Leaked Recordings

Kelsey Harkness / Jackie Anderson / Gabriella Morrongiello / Ben Howe / Kelsey Harris / Kelsey Harkness / Sharyl Attkisson / Josh Siegel / Melissa Quinn / Josh Siegel /

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is considering a run for president, was caught on tape at a private gathering this month saying, “White men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.”

In the meeting, Graham, a Republican, also joked about Baptists, saying “they’re the ones who drink and don’t admit it.”

The recordings were reported by CNN. Two South Carolina Democrats, who received the recordings from a person using an anonymous Gmail address, provided CNN with the recordings.

After CNN contacted him, Graham said that he made the comments several weeks ago at a meeting of the Hibernian Society of Charleston, the Irish-Catholic charity organization.

Graham said the Hibernian Society encourages speakers “to be earthy, to make fun of yourself, to make fun of them. Then you say something serious and sit down. And if you talk over 20 minutes, they throw something at you.”

Graham told CNN he was making fun of the society’s all-male membership, joking that they are the lone organization that only admits men after Augusta National Golf Club admitted women.

Graham holds a sizeable lead in his re-election race against Democrat Brad Hutto.

The Daily Signal has reached out to Graham’s office for comment.