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:
* Scandal-plagued Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) will not seek re-election. The announcement comes on the heels of revelations about a sexual encounter with a teenage girl, which follow reports on Wu struggling with mental illness.
* Rep. Mike Ross (D) of Arkansas, one of Congress’ higher-profile Blue Dogs, announced this morning that he will retire at the end of his term next year.
* The GOP ballot for the Ames Straw poll is now set, with nine candidates in the running on Aug. 13. The ballot will feature Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Thad McCottter, all of whom are running hard in Iowa, as well as Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich, all of whom are less invested in the state.
* There’s apparently some kind of feud underway between Bachmann and Pawlenty. Given the gap between them in the polls — Bachmann is a leading contender, and Pawlenty is struggling badly — the former governor is probably pleased by the dispute.
* The 2012 Republican nominating calendar may get a little more complicated, with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) considering a plan to move her state’s primary to January. The Colorado GOP, meanwhile, wants to move up its contest to the first week in February, which would also cause considerable chaos.
* Patriot Majority USA is running ads in support of Sen. Ben Nelson (D) in Nebraska, telling voters, “Ben’s fighting to tear up Washington’s credit card while protecting senior citizens.”
* The latest data from Pew Research shows white voters, even young white voters, moving to the Republican Party.
* In New York, where there’s a special election coming up to replace Anthony Weiner, Republican Bob Turner was asked whether he supports the House Republican budget plan, which ends Medicare. He called the Paul Ryan plan “a starting point for negotiations,” but would go no further. The toxicity, in other words, hasn’t gone away.