Archive for October, 2010
The Governorship elections nationally, in 37 states, are crucial for the future of both Democrats and Republicans, due to the 2010 census and its effect on reapportionment of state legislatures and congressional seats in the House of Representatives. Governors have the power to affect political balances for the next decade, and the news is not good for Democrats, as it is clear that the Republicans will have 30 Governorships after the election results are in!
What major states will the Democrats win?
New York–Andrew Cuomo over Carl Paladino
California–Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman
Florida–Alex Sink over Rick Scott
Maryland–Martin O’Malley over Robert Ehrlich
Minnesota–Mark Dayton over Tom Emmer
Oregon–John Kitzhaber over Chris Dudley
Colorado–John Hickenlooper over Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes
Hawaii–Neil Abercrombie over James Aiona
Massachusetts–Deval Patrick over Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill
New Hampshire–John Lynch over John Stephen
Connecticut–Dan Malloy over Tom Foley
Illinois–Pat Quinn over Bill Brady
Michigan–Virg Bernero over Rick Snyder
Arkansas–Mike Beebe over Jim Keet
Add the following states that don’t have gubernatorial elections in 2010, but have Democratic Governors:
North Carolina–Beverly Perdue
If Republicans have 30 Governorships as predicted, it will be four more than they have now, including the following prominent Governors:
Arizona–Jan Brewer over Terry Goddard
Ohio–John Kasich over Ted Strickland
Rhode Island-Independent Lincoln Chafee (formerly Republican) over Frank Caprio and John Robitaille
Texas–Rick Perry over Bill White
Kansas–Sam Brownback over Tom Holland
South Carolina–Nikki Haley over Vincent Sheheen
Alaska–Sean Parnell over Ethan Berkowitz
Wisconsin–Scott Walker over Tom Barrett
Pennsylvania–Tom Corbett over Dan Onorato
Iowa–Terry Brandstad over Chet Culver
Georgia–Nathan Deal over Roy Barnes
Add the following GOP Governors who do not face re-election this year:
New Jersey-Chris Christie
These sixteen Republicans are added to by Governors in the following states:
Alabama, Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.
So if the author’s projections are correct, it will be 20 Democrats, 29 Republicans, and one Independent Republican (Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island)!
The one saving grace for the Democrats is the likelihood of Democratic Governors in three of the top four states–California, Florida and New York–a gain of two key states that have had GOP Governors, and states that have many more seats in the House of Representatives that can be affected by gubernatorial impact on reapportionment!
It is time to start assessing and prognosticating how the election results will play out this coming Tuesday!
It will likely take a few days to be sure of the final results in all 435 races for the House of Representatives.
As the author sees it, there is no question that the opposition party will win seats, as that is traditional in a midterm election.
The question is whether the Republicans will be able to gain a net total of 39 seats, with the expectation that the Democrats will win 4-6 Republican held seats, which effectively means that the GOP will have to gain 43-45 seats.
Predictions are between the low 30s and the very high number of 60-70 seats if there is a total collapse of the Democrats on Election Day.
The belief of the author is that, after all the votes are in, the Republicans will gain a net total of 33 seats, six short of a majority, meaning a House of Representatives with 224 Democrats and 211 Republicans!
Of course, with such a small margin, it is always possible, after the fact, that six or seven Democratic survivors who are more moderate to conservative could switch over to the Republican party, and have an effect on organization of the House in January!
So, imagine a Democratic held House by a small margin where a few Democrats votes to back a Republican Speaker of the House!
So will Nancy Pelosi be Speaker of the House in a closely divided House, or will she bow out and even possibly resign from her seat?
The prediction is that to manage to keep the small Democratic majority, she will resign and be replaced by her deputy, seen as somewhat more moderate, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland!
And should the GOP gain enough seats to win control of the House of Representatives, will John Boehner become Speaker of the House? Don’t bet on it, as one must watch the “Young Guns”, led by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, who are overly ambitious and much more aggressive, and planning for future leadership in the House. So if Boehner ends up as the Speaker, he will know he has these younger members sniping at his heels, ready to undermine him if he does not tow to their line!
So in summary, neither Nancy Pelosi nor John Boehner will have an easy time if either is the potential Speaker of the House in the 112th Congress!
It is more likely that Steny Hoyer or Eric Cantor will be the ultimate beneficiary of these congressional elections two days from now!
With so many races so evenly split, according to polls, attention must be drawn to the cell phone vote, which is NOT measured by polling companies, which call people only on land line phones!
With the growing number of citizens who do not have a land line phone, and with so many of these people being young and often less affluent, the potential for mistakes in the polls is enormous!
Races that seem settled may not be over; evenly competitive races could be more one sided; and the appeal of President Obama and others that the coalition of people who elected him in 2008 should get out there and save the reforms that have been brought about, could indeed lead to major upsets in the polls that might be memorable!
The election is still coming, and everyone should be voting, as it can have an historic impact on the future, or be a detriment to our recovery from the economic recession caused by Republican party policies, and “sweetheart” deals with the major banks, insurance companies, and other corporations!
More than a century ago, corporations were dominating our politics and corrupting it in what was called “The Gilded Age”!
Many corporations pressured employees to vote for the Republican party as the party of big business and its belief in laissez faire capitalism. So when William Jennings Bryan was nominated by the Democrats in 1896, corporations became intimately involved in working to defeat him, depicting him as a socialist, a Marxist, a radical, and an extremist. Many corporations warned their workers that if Bryan was elected, the companies would be firing workers and eventually shutting down!
The tactic worked, and conservative William McKinley won the Presidency, continuing GOP and big business dominance of American politics. Only with his tragic assassination in 1901 did the nation gain Theodore Roosevelt, who represented the beginning of progressive change, including some of the ideas and visions of William Jennings Bryan!
Now, more than a century later, and thanks to the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case in January of this year, corporations are again running amuck in their determination to defeat the Democrats, and reverse the reforms brought about by President Barack Obama! They are spending inordinate amounts of money, and promoting distorted commercials to scare and intimidate voters, either not to vote, or to vote out of fear and trepidation of what Barack Obama represents, a very typical depiction similar to that used against William Jennings Bryan more than a century ago!
But even more outrageous is what one franchise owner of a McDonald’s in Ohio has done–to warn workers that if the Republicans do not win the political races in the state, that their measly pay will be lowered and benefits will be lost!
This is just one example of how corporations are intimidating their employees and trying to fix the election results, and it is evidence of how labor rights hard won over the past century are now endangered by newly gained corporate powers that make us realize that the Supreme Court is setting the nation backward, before the reforms of the Progressive Era, to the traditional corporate dominance and abuses of the Gilded Age!
Are Americans going to sit back and allow a century of political, social and economic reform to be wiped out by the reactionary desires of corporate America, which caused the Great Depression and the Great Recession?
Will the Supreme Court be allowed to take us back to the 19th century Gilded Age, and repeal the 20th century?
One thing is clear: no matter what happens on November 2, the struggle for progressive political, social and economic reform, which many had thought had been won under Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama, will have to continue!
We may have to redo old battles for reforms we thought were permanent, and the division that exists in this country may become greater than ever, as progressives cannot allow the return of the 19th century and the Gilded Age without continuing to fight for change!
As we are about to witness the midterm elections of 2010, the future of the Republican party is becoming quite evident!
The battle for the Presidential nomination is likely to be a struggle between more educated, less religiously devout Republicans and those who are poorly educated, much more religiously devout, and are attracted to the Tea Party Movement emphasis on anger and bitterness toward government!
The leader of the first group is likely to be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is supported 2-1 by college graduates and 3-1 by those with more than one college degree, according to a Gallup poll.
The leader favored by the group of people without college degrees is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who has worked very hard to attract these voters who are angry and bitter about government, and are drawn to the anarchy and ignorance which the Tea Party Movement and Sarah Palin represents!
And the fact that Romney is a Mormon, a religion which many evangelical Christians consider not to be Christian, will be a major barrier for him in 2012, and will benefit both Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is an ordained Baptist preacher!
So it may very well be a class warfare struggle facing the GOP over the next two years, which will be to the benefit of President Obama for the 2012 Presidential campaign!
Congressman Kendrick Meek of Miami has been a good public servant to his congressional district, but his Senate campaign is a hopeless exercise in futility!
There have been reports that former President Bill Clinton, a good friend of Meek, and a vigorous campaigner for Meek in the past month, has been urging him to withdraw from the Senate contest in Florida, due to his low poll ratings, and the real danger that Marco Rubio, who represents the extreme right wing of the Republican and Tea Party Movement, seems about ready to win the Senate seat next Tuesday.
One can be a party loyalist, but one also needs to be a party realist, and even at this late date, Kendrick Meek should realize the handwriting on the wall, and withdraw from the race, and endorse Governor Charlie Crist, who is seen as very liikely to caucus with the Democrats if he was fortunate enough to win the Senate seat.
Crist has already admitted that it would be difficult to caucus with the Republican party which has trashed him so badly, and Crist has shown as Governor that he has courage and a willingness to reconsider some of his more conservative views. This should be seen as a sign of maturity and growth, not as a cynical political move!
All Democrats and progressives in Florida, whether or not Meek withdraws, should face reality and cast their ballot for Charlie Crist as the best choice for our new Senator, and pray that Marco Rubio, with his right wing agenda, is overcome by Crist, despite the pessimistic results of public opinion polls!
Who would have thought that the Alaska Senate race would become such a center of attention?
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, best described as a moderate conservative, was too lax in campaigning in the primary against Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, and lost her party’s nomination by a very small margin of votes.
Joe Miller has turned out to be a true disaster, with his outrageous views on many issues; the controversy over private security roughing up a journalist and briefly handcuffing him at a Miller public event; and Miller admitting to illegal actions at his workplace, leading to his suspension and admission to having lied!
This man is one of the worst of all of the Tea Party activists running as Republicans in this fall’s election, and while he was first in polls for a long time, he has now dropped to third place behind Murkowski, who seems to be about to achieve victory as a write in candidate, and Democrat Scott McAdams, mayor of Sitka, Alaska!
If either McAdams, who has been gaining support–or Murkowski as a write in candidate–was to defeat Miller, it would be a major victory against the Tea Party movement!
But it would also be a major blow in prestige to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who is actively considering running for President in 2012, and has backed Miller!
Palin said yesterday that Murkowski was a “liberal”, which is totally ridiculous, but shows just how far right Palin is, and how it is essential to deflate her ego and image, as a way to weaken her Presidential bid!
So either a victory for Murkowski, or for McAdams, would be a major contribution to the dignity of the US Senate, and would send a message to Sarah Palin that she should realize that the American people, based on public opinion polls, do not see her as qualified for the Presidency, and that she would effectively destroy the Republican party if she were to run–whether she became the actual nominee of the party or failed to do so!
Again, it must be said that Senator John McCain did tremendous damage to this country by selecting Palin as his running mate in 2008! We are not ready to elect a candidate as dense and stupid and clueless as Sarah Palin is!
So as the author said in a posting awhile back, Sarah, face the facts, that you are NOT qualified to be President, and just milk the ignorant part of the population with your public appearances, your books, and your cable show, and make money, but DO NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT, and embarrass yourself and the American people and undermine the potential future of this country!
Pope Benedict XVI spoke up yesterday in the Vatican in support of science and scientists, although he insisted that God created the universe!
This is a step forward by an important organized religion leader, and it should set a standard for other Christians to emulate!
Unfortunately, there are too many evangelical Christian sects who reject science, and preach a narrow view of religion which has, in the past, included a belief in slavery and racial segregation, and now includes anti gay rhetoric in many of these churches!
Even more unfortunate is the fact that many Republican and conservative politicians and talk show hosts have adopted an anti science view, including refusal to consider the validity of evolution and the reality of climate change and global warming!
There is no reason why one cannot believe in God, but also believe in science, and also see the evil of promoting hate and narrow mindedness in the name of God! Promoting ignorance and hate is a sacrilege in itself!
Clint McCance, the Vice President of the School Board of the Midland school district in northern Arkansas, who claims to be a “good Christian” has stirred up a tremendous outrage among decent people by issuing an anti gay tirade on his Facebook account!
Calling gays “fags” and “queers”, McCance asserted that he is disgusted that there is so much sympathy being expressed for gay kids who have committed suicide in recent weeks!
He said it would be best that all gays commit suicide, and that it was good that gays cannot procreate!
He also said that if his kids were gay, he would disown them, but that they were aware that they could not expect his love and support, were they to reveal themselves as gay!
It is horrible enough that such an excuse for a human being exists, and that he would treat his own children in such a despicable way, were they to be gay!
But it is absolutely unacceptable for such a hate monger and bigot to be involved on a school board which deals with the growth and development of children and adolescents, with the certainty that some are already, or will discover that they are gay!
No school board should contain people who promote such hate and narrow mindedness!
There must be a recall movement to remove this scum from the school board! Find another career, Mr. McCance, but not around children who will become your victims, and not around children who will feel they have an endorsement to bully other adolescents who might be gay!
What a disgrace and a commentary on supposedly “good Christians” who promote hate and prejudice in the name of Jesus Christ, who would not approve of such behavior!
While so much attention has been addressed to the US Senate and House races this election year, the voters’ choices of 37 Governors are crucial for the long term health, or lack of it, of the two major political parties for the next decade!
This is due to the fact that the Governors will have the major input to the approval of reapportionment plans in the states for seats in the US House of Representatives, as well as state legislative districts.
Even if the state legislature is controlled by one party, if the Governor in office in 2011 is of the opposition party, it can have a dramatic effect on how the districts are gerrymandered, and can determine fortunes politically for the next ten years!
This is particularly significant in large states such as Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, among others.
So the state governorship races require more analysis than would be often imagined, because of their effect on the national political scene!