The Process is Political: Targeting Manhattan Fundraisers

Republican challenger targets incumbent's link to Bloomberg and "New York liberals." A fundraiser for Mitt Romney is disrupted by dressed-up Occupy Tampa protesters. Former presidential campaign strategist Howard Wolfson explains his move from Washington to local government. 

Bloomberg Fundraiser Attacked by Indiana Republican: While Occupy protesters target an Obama fundraiser in Manhattan tonight, a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana is focusing on another New York money-raiser: a gathering next week for Sen. Dick Luger hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is challenging six-term Sen. Lugar, calls it another example of Lugar's "soliciting assistance from another liberal politician in an effort to fill his campaign coffers."

Mourdock's press release takes particular humbrage with Bloomberg's departure from the Republican Party, his "pro-abortion" position, and support for gun control. "Now is the time for Senator Lugar to decide if he stands with New York liberals or Hoosier Republicans," Murdouck swipes. The Republican primary challenge to Lugar is also backed by the Tea Party-linked group FreedomWorks. Lugar one of two incumbents facing a full-forced challenge by the group. (The other is Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.) “In a world of scarcity, we can’t do everything,” the FreedomWorks political director told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.  

Meanwhile, in Tampa...: Occupy protesters broke out their finest to try to "look the part" as they brought their protest to a Romney fundraiser in Tampa. "One wore a black dress and high heels," reports the St. Petersburg Times. "Security and police officers rushed toward them in a scene that unfolded in front of the roughly 75 protesters watching through the museum's glass atrium walls." No one was arrested, and it's not clear if Romney himself noticed the disturbance. 

Why a Washington Star Came to City Hall: After his top post on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, why on earth would Howard Wolfson deign himself to join a local administration, albeit the highest profile in the country? That's the question asked by the latest Wolfson profile in the New York Observer, which compares the leap to Karl Rove opting to join the Dallas Water Utilities after the White House. He was a political superstar in one sense, but Wolfson himself points out, “I have never won a political campaign."

The article concludes that it could just be that he likes combining the rough-and-tumble work of political messaging with wonky policy, rather than basking in the pundit spotlight of those who have gone before. And Wolfson dismissed the notion that his tenure give any hints about Bloomberg's next move on the national stage. “I was coming here to do the job of deputy mayor for government affairs and communications. I was not aware that we were launching the Apollo Project." But Wolfson's influence has been helpful as the mayor has worked to expand his national platform. "He has given a political sense to an administration that has often lacked a political touch," said one local observer.