Tag Archives: election
Weatherproof: Just like the Democratic Party.
After eating too much chocolate and staring dolefully at my bedroom ceiling for the last few days, I have finally dragged myself to the computer to write this post. None of us — especially those of us who invested countless hours into campaigning — want to acknowledge the Republicans’ sweep on Tuesday. While a GOP majority in the House doesn’t bode well for substantive policy over the next two years, it’s critical for us, as progressives, to recognize some of the positive things that came out of November 2, 2010.
Legalizing weed got more votes than Meg Whitman: Yes, you read that right. While Proposition 19 — the legalization of marijuana — failed to pass in California, the measure still received 321,439 more votes than GOP gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman. The corporate candidate shattered campaign spending records with a cool $160 million, including $141.5 million of her own funds. (That could pay my college tuition a couple times over, you know.) And despite her general election flip-flopping and heavy investment in wooing Latino voters, her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown cruised to victory with support of 64 percent of Hispanic voters.
People still have to be born in Colorado: In Colorado, Amendment 62 would have “would have outlawed abortion at every stage of gestation, would have outlawed all forms of hormonal contraception, and would have made it difficult if not impossible for pregnant women to receive medical treatment if there was any chance of harming the pregnancy.” Such legislation, which values the survival of a fertilized egg over a living woman’s, is part of the supposed “personhood” movement. It’s genuinely crazypants legislation, so as a whole-hearted pro-choice advocate, I am relieved that the Amendment failed (for the second time around!) by 72 percent to 28 percent, at last count.
But don’t worry, they’re going to try a third time in 2012.
Democrats did win — some tough races too: We don’t have to go very far to find one competitive race that Democrats won — just look at MI-09, where Gary Peters beat Rocky Ralksjdfa;ksdf-something despite the Republican party throwing thousands of dollars in negative everything. In Colorado, Democrat John Hickenlooper won the governorship over Palin-backed Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo and Republican Dan Maes. Moreover, Michael Bennet won the Colorado Senate seat over Republican Ken Buck — man who said he should be elected over his primary opponent because he “doesn’t wear heels.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed to a victory over Sharron Angle. Pat Quinn in Illinois won the governor’s race over Bill Brady, despite series of polls leading to the election indicating otherwise.
Proposition 23 fails resoundingly in California: Delivering a decisive victory to environmental activists and the state’s clean energy economy, Prop 23 failed by an overwhelming 61 percent to 39 percent. Prop 23 — naturally filed by the oil industry — would suspend provisions of California’s greenhouse gas law until until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters. (As the current rate is 12.4%, the wording seemed to trick voters and many worried that it would freeze California’s regulations cutting carbon emissions indefinitely.)
It’s hard to look for the good in the post-election drudgery, but it is nonetheless important for us to keep our heads up. There’s a lot of good happening in lots of places, and 2012 is just around the corner.
Justin Schon: Giant
From the Michigan Daily… great Letter to the Editor by Justin Schon. Good luck in South Africa friend!
January 15th, 2009
Patrick Zabawaâ€™s criticism of apathy on the side of progressive activists is unfounded and demonstrates a lack of understanding of what is truly going on (Hope not in Obama, 01/14/2008) . Yes, progressive activists are trying to get inauguration tickets. Who wouldn’t? However, there is a lot more that progressives are doing than just trying to go to Washington.
The College Democrats includes many of these activists. We are actively working on issues from health care, the environment, women’s issues and prison reform. For example, the Social Justice Committee is working on a postcard campaign to push Governor Granholm to fight for reforms in our prison system that have been recommended by the Department of Corrections. Issue-specific campaigns like these are what are necessary to work on right now, and they are not always out in the open. Unlike a campaign, they do not always involve people waving signs in the street. This does not mean we are any less active. It just means our work has changed, and we are adapting to that change.
We showed this video at our rally on the eve of the election. Governor Granholm was in attendance, as well as hundreds of students as we rallied together one last time before the historic day.
Edited by Ashley Harrison and Barbara Twist
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MSNBC is now projecting that Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss will win the Georgia Senate Runoff election against Democratic challenger Jim Martin. This means that Democrats will not be able to have a fillibuster-proof majority of 60 Senators in the Senate, although that dream looked increasingly slim in the last few weeks.
The Alaska Board of Elections is now reporting that Democrat Mark Begich is leading Republican Ted Stevens for the Alaskan Senate seat by 814 votes!! As of Nov. 5, Begich was down by more that 3,000 votes, but has since caught up and surpassed Stevens due to the large number of absentee ballots cast, a majority of which in favor of Begich. AND! it only gets better from here! FiveThirtyEight‘sÂ Sean Quinn writes:
All I can say is, “YAY!! Thank God!!” Now it looks like Sarah Palin can’t sneak her way into the Senate!
Even if Obama loses all of these battleground states (assuming he wins those on the safer side of this list), he will still win 286-252. More good news for Obama! Granted, a LOT can happen in 19 days, and we can not let up an inch, but at this point it’s looking pretty good.
From October 5th, 30 Reasons will have a different artist each day until November 4th posting a graphic and a reason why we should vote for Obama. Not like we need convincing, but I think the premise and the art is pretty cool. Check it out!
Now I normally wouldn’t post a first lady fashion critique because it’s sexist and trivial and tacky and blah, blah, blah. But, when my man Tim Gunn (Project Runway, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style) weighs in on candidate couture I just cannot be stopped.
“From a fashion viewpoint, Michelle Obama looks so comfortable and relaxed in her style and her fashion, and she exudes that. She has a presence that gives you confidence in her. Cindy McCain looks like someone has twisted her pony tail into a knot and tried to give her a face lift.”
Tim Gunn in Time Magazine
Name The Other Republicans!
By now we all know that the race for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District is one of the top targeted races in the nation. The seat is occupied by the highly conservative Tim Walberg (R), and is being challenged by the Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mark Schauer (D). This election presents a clear choice between a man who can out-flank George W. Bush on the right, and a candidate with a progressive plan for Michigan’s future.
Today I want to take a look at the money funding each campaign. Already Shcauer has been able to out raise the incumbent, Tim Walberg, in a phenomenal wave of early campaign fundraising. According to the March 31st campaign finance report Schauer had raised a total of $894,726 ($751,359 cash on hand). This is pretty impressive for a newcomer on the Congressional stagem, while facing an incumbent.
Tim Walberg has raised $829,066 overall with only $604,466 cash on hand has been beat time and time again in fundraising totals.
What I find interesting about these numbers is where the money is coming from. Using the in-depth website OpenSecrets we can look at who and what are financing the soon-to-be-former Congressman Tim Walberg.
At the top of Walberg’s list of donors is the famous Club for Growth – an anti-tax, small government organization that only backs those that want to starve the government in to obscurity. The Club for Growth stands as one of the biggest groups pushing against reforms to bring Michigan’s economy into the 21st century. $27,200
Another PAC coming to Walberg’s aid is The Freedom Project – the PAC associated with House Minority Leader John Boehner. This has been one of the most successful congressional PACs helping the Republican Party.
With the fund, Boehner raised money from companies such as Sallie Mae, Merrill Lynch, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Cincinnati Financial Corp., and doled out nearly $3 million to dozens of House members over the last 11 years.
Boehner has come under fire for taking so much money from student lenders, like Sallie Mae, while at the same time chairing the committee working on revamping the student loan system. With this money a voter has to wonder where Walberg’s loyalties are… Big Tobaco, Loan Companies – or the people of Michigan. $10,000
Rely On Your Beliefs – this is probably the most interesting PAC giving money to Walberg… Led by Roy Blunt this PAC has accepted money from Altria, formally Phillip Morris and employer of Blunt’s current wife/lobbyist, Enron, and Microsoft. These companies represent your usual big money donors to the Republican Party. Tim Walberg – On Your Side? $10,000
Furthermore, Rely On Your Beliefs, was one of PACs that felony lobbyist Jack Abramoff directed the Tigua tribe to donate to in order to greese the wheels of their casino approval process. Through this PAC, Blunt has brought together a “core” of 25 business lobbyists to sit down on pieces of legislation in order to make them feel more “comfortable.” Interestingly enough, the man leading this bullpen of lobbyists is none other than Mike Rogers (Douche – MI). From the WaPo:
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Blunt’s deputy whip, said he meets regularly with the lobbying community and, as different bills come up, “we go over lists to see who knows this member, how can we get that person feeling more comfortable, can we get him more information.” These drives are conducted “on bills that are big — tax, energy, bankruptcy, class action, tort reform. The whole world swoops in,” Rogers said. For each bill, a steering committee is created that “hands out assignments, coordinates activities.”
Tim Walberg – Making Government More Comfortable for Big Business. Do you want this man representing Michigan?
In this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal, the author observes that a new method could produce the most accurate polling of candidates. This method uses predictive markets to bet on which candidate will win an election. Simply put, having lots ofÂ people put money down on which candidate they believe will win can produce very accurate polling.
As the article points out, predictive markets were one of the early sources to show Barack Obama’s popularity among Democrats. They are also showing increased odds of John McCain winning the presidency, a bad sign if they are as accurate as the author expects they are.
Predictive markets have only recently been really looked at for their potential to predict outcomes of an election. However, if they turn out to be as accurate as people claim they are, then the nature of polling could dramatically change by the time the next election comes around.