Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* Last month, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), his wife, and three aides flew in a luxury jet to D.C., in part because the governor wanted to deliver a speech on spending fewer taxpayer dollars. Barbour then had taxpayers pay for the trip.

* In related news, Barbour claims he wasn’t involved with this corporate lobbying firm’s work on creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented Mexican immigrants. His firm’s federal filings suggest he’s not telling the truth.

* This controversy keeps getting a little worse for the senior senator from Missouri: “Sen. Claire McCaskill’s final bill for back taxes on her airplane now totals close to $320,000. That’s because of $80,000 in additional interest that she expected would be added to the final amount.”

* In Ohio, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) leading a generic Republican opponent next year, 45% to 29%.

* Speaking of Ohio, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) is apparently considering a Senate campaign against Brown. The far-right Blackwell is perhaps best known for losing a gubernatorial race in 2006 by a whopping 24 points, followed by a failed bid to become chairman of the RNC.

* In Michigan, Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D) re-election prospects also appear to be improving. The latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows the incumbent leading all of her likely Republican challengers by double digits.

* In California, a new Field Poll shows Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) with a 48% approval rating, and a 46% plurality believes she deserves another term. Those are underwhelming numbers, but Feinstein is in better shape than Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was at this point in 2009.

* The far-right Club for Growth has already raised $350,000 for Rep. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) Senate campaign.

* Former Reagan consultant Fred Karger is apparently the first Republican presidential candidate to formally launch a national bid this year, but he’s not expected to do well — he’s running as a conservative gay rights activist.