5 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in This Weekend’s Midterm Races

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Photo: null/© Copyright 2014 Corbis

The midterm elections are next week, but nobody is paying attention. It’s a real shame, because this is the most important election of our lives. Okay, that’s not true, but you should still be paying attention because this is the most riveting midterm election in recent memory. Fine, that’s not true either, but there are still a lot of important, entertaining, and just plain weird moments happening on the campaign trail every day — and conveniently, we at Intelligencer are rounding them up for you.

In today’s thrilling installment, Mitch McConnell heroically writes himself a check, a candidate jokes about killing a dog (again), and Hillary debuts her “you didn’t build that.”

Both a Borrower and a Lender Be
While last week Democratic groups appeared to be giving up on the Kentucky Senate race, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority PAC just invested another $1.5 million in Alison Lundergan Grimes after a new poll found Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has only a one-point lead.

McConnell responded by writing his campaign a $1.8 million check. It might look like the senator is a bit worried, but his spokesman had a different spin. “Sen. McConnell has maintained a longstanding personal commitment to his members that he won’t draw any resources from the team,” John Ashbrook told Politico. “So he’s going to match Obama’s money men out of his own pocket.”

It’s great to see the little guy (with $1.8 million to spare and $5.2 million left in his campaign account as of last week) stand up against the influence of money in politics.

Bloomberg’s Latest Target
Somehow, two years after Newtown, gun control is not an issue in every race across the country. However, it’s still a factor in Connecticut’s close gubernatorial race, thanks in part to Michael Bloomberg and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Their respective super-PACs are spending $2.4 million on ads supporting Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, who helped passed strict gun-control laws. Both ads reference the massacre, and Bloomberg’s even has a shot of a Newtown memorial.

Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation hopes that Connecticut voters will be more deeply offended by Malloy driving gun manufacturers out of the state and attacking “one of his state’s historic industries” on national television. “The governor has never apologized,” notes the horrified narrator.

You Still Didn’t Build That
Hillary Clinton has been stumping for Democrats across the country, and while her appearances have been unremarkable up to this point, she just made a comment we’re all going to be sick of hearing about by November 2016. On Friday Clinton appeared at a rally for Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, and since Senator Elizabeth Warren was also speaking, Clinton decided to increase her populism to dangerous levels.

Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried; that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly,” Clinton said. If you come up with a way to condense that into a snappy theme for the 2016 Republican National Convention, the GOP is all ears.

Candidate’s Joke Kills
You may remember Mike Bost as the Illinois state legislator who delivered a rant so angry and passionate that Glenn Beck would’ve told him to take it down a notch. The tirade earned the House candidate the nickname “Meltdown Mike,” but a Politico profile published Friday reports that he’s also a man of contradictions: “Bost is a Marine veteran who’s worked as a high school dance coach, a former firefighter who co-owns a beauty salon with his wife, and a grizzled two-decade veteran of the state House of Representatives who admits to having his feelings hurt by TV attack ads.”

Oh, and by the way, he “also once hunted down and killed a beagle that bit his daughter.” Bost got emotional when discussing the 1984 incident, which emerged last month, saying, “It brings back memories I don’t really like. No one wants to go kill an animal.” However, that didn’t stop him from making this joke when his labradoodle, Betty, darted in front of his car: “What if I killed a second dog in front of a reporter?”

Double, Double, Mathematics Trouble
Here’s a weird fact: Due to a 2000 state Supreme Court decision, the Tennessee legislature can’t make laws about abortion. Here’s a weirder fact: A new ad campaign claims that if people want to change this, they shouldn’t vote.

Amendment 1 would allow the legislature to pass restrictions on abortion, and an anonymous campaign is urging Tennesseans to vote yes on the amendment but leave the governor’s slot on their ballot blank. That won’t really give people a “double vote,” as the ad claims, but because of a quirk in state law it will be easier for the amendment to succeed if fewer people vote in the gubernatorial race (Republican Governor Bill Haslam is heavily favored to win).

I know you may think this is crazy, but it doesn’t matter,” the narrator says. “It’s the law.” In fact, why vote at all? I know you may think our elected officials are crazy, but it doesn’t matter. They get to make our laws.

5 Things You Missed in Weekend Midterm Races