African Americans

Major Roles To Be Played By Democratic Committee Chairs In 116th Congress

The 116th Congress will see Democrats taking over the committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives.

Adam Schiff of California will be the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and will require many Trump Administration figures, including his children and son in law, to testify.

Elijah Cummings of Maryland will head the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Jerrold Nadler of New York will head the House Judiciary Committee, which might move to have impeachment hearings against Donald Trump.

Eliot Engel of New York will lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and deal with the problems of unstable foreign policy of Donald Trump.

Maxine Waters will lead the House Financial Services Committee, and is sure to demand lots of testimony and documents from the Trump Administration.

Nita Lowey of New York will be the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, clearly crucial in dealing with spending programs.

Raul Grijalva of Arizona will be the Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, and will be engaged in combat with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department over Donald Trump’s refusal to combat global warming.

These seven committee Chairs are going to face a constant assault by the right wing extremists, Fox News Channel, and Donald Trump himself, along with others who are Chairs of other committees in the House of Representatives.

One point of particular concern is that four of these seven committee Chairs named above are Jewish (Schiff, Nadler, Engel, Lowey), two (Cummings and Waters) are African American, and Grijalva is Hispanic, which makes it likely that white supremacists, encouraged by Donald Trump rhetoric, are likely to pose a growing threat to these committee Chairs, and makes it likely they will need security services to protect them, a horrendous reality.

But the move to investigate and hold Donald Trump and his administration responsible is urgent, even with the growing threat.

Final Projection On The 2018 Midterm Elections: Democratic House And Senate, And Massive Gain In Democratic Governors

The time has come, the day before the Midterm Elections of 2018, to come up with a final projection on the results.

The sense is that the Democrats are in better shape than many polls indicate, although it might be seen by many as fanciful thinking on my part.

But I sense that the Democrats will do very well on Tuesday, as the first time, other than special elections, to register the people’s view on Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Yes, there is the loyal base, but that is below 40 percent of the nation.

It seems clear that Independents, Suburban men and women, millennials of both genders, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, the Jewish community, and Social Justice Catholics are united in their disgust at the behavior, policies, and corruption of Donald Trump and his administration.

The American people are a good people overall, and one must remember that Donald Trump lost the popular vote massively, but now all that matters is winning more votes than any opponent, and in that regard, Trump and the Republicans who refused to take a stand against him, are on the way to a massive repudiation by the voters.

That does not mean that every nasty Republican will lose or every Democrat that many would wish elected will be successful.

And it could be that, as in 2016, this blogger and author could be way off in his assessment, and I am prepared for that, as much as one can be.

But my inner being tells me the following:

There are so many Republican seats in play in the House of Representatives, including those that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, that one has to believe that many are turning Democratic in this election—including in upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and California. So expect that while in theory there could be as many as maybe 71 or as few as 15 gains by the Democrats, my feeling is that a safe number is 40-45 seats, which if 45, would make for about 240 Democrats to 195 Republicans, basically a switch from what it is now.

In the US Senate, the Democrats would have to win a net gain of two seats, which now seems attainable. This blogger senses a gain of four Republican seats—Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and even Texas with Beto O’Rourke, but with a loss of two seats, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. But that means Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida would retain their seats, as all three are tough political leaders. So if this all happened, a bit of a miracle, there would be 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, so the Democrats would control and organize the Senate. This prognosis also means the three leading politicians who this author has placed on his “Dream List” of those he wanted defeated, would be—-Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and Marsha Blackburn.

As far as Governorships, the Democrats have 16 right now, and my projection is that they would gain the Midwest states of Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas, along with Southern states Florida and Georgia, along with New Mexico, Nevada, and New England states Maine and Vermont, giving them a total of 28 states under Democratic control. This also means that Scott Walker and Kris Kobach would not be elected in Wisconsin and Kansas, making my “Dream List” fulfilled for the first five on the list.

On the other hand, it is likely that Steve King will win in Iowa for his Congressional seat, although this blogger believes David Brat in his Richmond, Virginia Congressional seat, will lose.

So overall, all but Steve King on my “Dream List” to defeat would lose, while all five of my “Dream List” to win—Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Richard Cordray, and Gavin Newsom, would be triumphant.

This blogger and author may look silly two or three days from now, but that is my final projection, and we shall see!

The Potential For More Women Senators And Governors After The 2018 Midterm Elections, Mostly Democrats

More women than ever before are running for public office on the state legislative level, for the US House of Representatives, and for the state governorships and the US Senate.

Particularly in the Democratic Party, women will have a much greater role after the midterm elections, no matter who might lose.

2018 is the greatest year of women candidates for public office, surpassing 1992 and 2012, and the difference is that this round is a midterm election, while the other two were years of presidential elections.

So 53 women are running for the Senate and 476 running for the House of Representatives, while in 2012, the numbers were 36 for the Senate and 298 for the House, and in 1992, the numbers were 11 for the Senate, and 106 for the House.

There are presently 23 women Senators, and the numbers, depending on results in the midterm, could increase to 26, or if a number of women Senators lost their seat next week, the number could be as low as 16.

The Democrats have 17 women in the Senate, with the Republicans having six at the present time. Jacky Rosen in Nevada and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona, along with Republican Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, could raise the number up to 26, assuming all women running for reelection were to keep their seats.

12 women are running for governor, and there are six women governors at present. Stacey Abrams in Georgia, who is African American; Laura Kelly in Kansas; Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan; Molly Kelly in New Hampshire; Janet Mills in Maine; Christine Hallquist in Vermont; and Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, all Democrats, seem to have strong possibilities of being elected, joining two other Democratic women governors, and four Republican women governors at present.

The Possibility Of Two African American Governors In Neighboring Southern States–Florida (Andrew Gillum), Georgia (Stacey Abrams)

The possibility is growing, with one week to the midterm elections of 2018, that we may be witnessing an event no one would have thought possible at any point in American politics.

That would be the election of two African American Governors in the South, but that now seems more likely than before.

Florida is on the verge of electing Andrew Gillum its first male African American Governor, and Georgia is on the verge of electing Stacey Abrams its first, and the nation’s first, female African American Governor.

The more likely choice to win is Gillum, since Abrams’ opponent in Georgia, Brian Kemp, is the state’s Secretary of State, and has the ability to control the voting rolls, and has rejected adding 70,000 voters, most of them African American, to the voting rolls for no good reason.

Former President Jimmy Carter has asked that Kemp do the right thing and resign as Secretary of State, as he would be giving up that job after the election whether he wins or loses the Governorship, but Kemp has refused.

That election could have a second round runoff as in Georgia, one is required to win a majority of all votes cast, and there is a third independent candidate on the ballot, which may prevent any candidate from reaching 50 percent plus one.

In Florida, Ron DeSantis, the Republican opponent of Gillum, is running a nasty and racist race, making him look even more evil than outgoing Governor Rick Scott, who is trying to win the Senate seat of Bill Nelson.

It will be down to the wire in both races, and in the Florida Senate race, and hopefully, the Democrats will manage to win all three, but it is hard to be totally confident at this point.

Two Outliers: Republican Governors In Heavily Democratic States—Larry Hogan In Maryland And Charlie Baker In Massachusetts

In the midst of highly partisan elections being the norm in America under Donald Trump, we have the two outliers that are hard to explain.

In Maryland and Massachusetts, two heavily “Blue” states, we have very popular moderate Republican governors on their way to easy reelection victories.

Maryland, a heavily Democratic state, with strong backing from those living in the Washington DC suburbs, Larry Hogan has a 68 percent rating in his popular support, and is way ahead of Ben Jealous, the African American Democratic nominee for Governor, who was former head of the NAACP. Barack Obama twice and Hillary Clinton won the last three Presidential races by 25 to 26 points in each of those contests.

But somehow, Hogan is seen as an easy victor for a second term. He has 65 percent approval from Democrats, 64 percent backing from Independents, and 81 percent support from Republicans. Hogan has avoided being supportive of Donald Trump, and in fact, has been clearly critical of the President.

Every poll shows Hogan winning, as high as 58 percent, with a undecided percentage being as high as 10-18 percent in some polls, indicating the likelihood that Hogan will win a landslide victory of more than 60 percent in November. Hogan has had to deal with a heavily two thirds Democratic legislature and a Congressional delegation (7 Democrats to one Republican) dominated by Democrats.

Massachusetts, another heavily Democratic state, and a heavily (80 percent) Democratic legislature, and an all Democratic Congressional delegation, yet has had Republican Charlie Baker as its governor for the past four years, and in polls, Baker is ahead of his Hispanic Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, by margins of 52 to 68 percent, depending on the poll. Barack Obama won by 26 and 23 percent, and Hillary Clinton by 27 points in the last three Presidential elections.

Baker has also shown himself to be a moderate Republican who has been regularly critical of Donald Trump, and has had as high as a 71 percent majority of popularity in his term of office, higher even than Larry Hogan in Maryland. One can assume that he will win two thirds or more of the vote on November 6.

So both Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker are outliers, on the way to what is conceived as a “Blue Wave”.

Two Secretaries Of State Running For Governor And Suppressing Voter Rights–Brian Kemp In Georgia And Kris Kobach In Kansas

A new level of political corruption is now occurring in upcoming state elections for Governor.

In Georgia, Brian Kemp is the Secretary of State since 2010, responsible for keeping track of voter registration. He is the Republican nominee for Governor, and has refused to allow updating of registration, with 70 percent of 53,000 voters not being allowed to vote being African Americans, and with his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, an African American female, protesting that Kemp should resign as Secretary of State, because he is interfering unjustly with the right to vote. Kemp has dismissed such calls for him to give up his government position as Secretary of State, despite the fact that he will be leaving that position at the end of the year, whether he wins or loses the Governorship race, but trying meanwhile to stack the deck against his African American opponent.

In Kansas, Republican nominee for Governor Kris Kobach, has been Secretary of State since 2011, and has removed nearly 20,000 people from voter rolls, and implemented some of the strictest voter ID laws in America. He has been noted nationally for his charges of voter fraud being widespread, and he has purged voter rolls in the same corrupt way that Kemp has in Georgia, and it will affect voting next month, as it will in Georgia. He has been the strongest advocate of nativism toward immigrants, and headed a White House Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity in May 2017, disbanded without a report in January 2018. Kobach has been a lightning rod for many who have accused him of massive corruption, and discriminatory policies toward immigrants, making him the hero of white supremacists and nativists, even more than Brian Kemp.

Both Kemp and Kobach are close friends of Donald Trump, who, of course, has no problem with what they are doing, since it benefits Republicans.

Effectively, both Kemp and Kobach are working to fix the election results by limiting the right to vote, and all this occurring because the Supreme Court in Shelby County V Holder in 2013 allowed weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and gave states the right to set up new voter restrictions.

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

The Miracle Of Andrew Gillum, The Democratic Nominee For Governor In Florida

Today has been a glorious day, one of the best this author has experienced in a long time.

What seemed impossible happened, as Andrew Gillum, the African American Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida (the state capitol), overcame the disadvantages of no money, no winning of any polls, no advertising to speak of. He triumphed over four other candidates, all with tons of money, and polls and advertising on a large scale.

So now we have three African American candidates for Governor, with Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Ben Jealous in Maryland, along with Andrew Gillum.

Gillum was an unknown, and this author did not vote for him, assuming he had no chance to win, but now that he has won, this author is thrilled beyond belief, and ready to help Andrew Gillum win and bring a Democratic government on the executive level to the Sunshine State, the third largest behind California and Texas.

Andrew Gillum is educated, intelligent, a great orator, with great charisma and presence, a sense of humor, exudes confidence and has had executive experience, and displays a humility that is very appealing.

Gillum is someone to take seriously, as since independents could not vote in Florida for either party’s nomination, the potential for a “blue wave” is there, with not only independents, but also moderates in the Republican Party who are unhappy with the Donald Trump led Republican Party and its candidate, a nasty, mean spirited, arrogant three term Congressman, Ron DeSantis, who already the day after the primary, is using the word “monkey”, appealing to white supremacy and white racists.

Additionally, the fact that Gillum is only 39 will appeal to African Americans, young people, educated suburbanites, and the growing Puerto Rican population after Hurricane Irma, and with them being citizens of the US, and able to vote against Trump, who was shameful in his treatment of the hurricane disaster on that island. Now we are learning that 2,975 died in Puerto Rico, 60 percent higher than died in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

To make the situation even more impressive, the Attorney General nominee for the Democrats is also an African American, Sean Shaw, and the candidate for State Agricultural Commissioner is Nikki Fried, who is Jewish. So we have a truly diverse ticket, and all this should help Senator Bill Nelson hold off Governor Rick Scott, who is spending three times what Nelson is able to raise, for his campaign.

But the belief is that Gillum, Shaw, and Fried could carry Nelson on their backs, and lead to an all Democratic victory in Florida in November.

Theoretical Possibility Of Nine Business People Or Celebrities With No Government Experience Who Might Run For The Presidency In 2020

Donald Trump is the first totally non government experience candidate ever to win the Presidency.

Before him, Wendell Willkie for the Republicans in 1940, and Ross Perot, as an Independent in 1992 and 1996, also had no government experience.

With the horrific Trump experience, the question arises whether another business person or celebrity with no government experience might run for the White House in 2020, and might have a chance to win.

At least nine potential candidates have been mentioned, but most are not considered serious possibilities.

Oprah Winfrey , Kanye West, and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson come from the entertainment world, but none of these has seemed serious about running, and somehow, with all three being African American, and Oprah being a woman, it is hard to imagine, without government experience, and just basically being a celebrity, that anyone of them would get very far.

Then, we have Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook billionaire, who is Jewish and would be only 36 years old in 2020, and has controversy surrounding Facebook’s role in affecting the 2016 Presidential election. Also, he has made controversial statements, and comes across to many, including this blogger, as extremely arrogant, and needing much more maturity and judgment to even consider running at any time in the future.

Then we have Andrew Yang, who is an entrepreneur, promoting startups in business in many different cities across America. Yang, born of Chinese parents from Taiwan, would be 45 years old, and wants to promote a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month to all Americans 18-64, as part of his platform, and he has already announced for President, but the question is whether he can gain any traction.

Bob Iger, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, is Jewish, and is rumored to be interested, but there has been criticism of his leadership of Disney, and he would be close to 70 on Inauguration Day 2021.

Howard Schultz, the former Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks, is Jewish, and would be 67 years old if he won in 2020, and has a very liberal image, and seems to be seriously considering announcing his candidacy.

We also have Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, is very outspoken, and has hinted at running for President. He has been all over the map politically, having expressed admiration for libertarian author Ayn Rand, but backing Hillary Clinton for President in 2016. Also Jewish in his religion, Cuban has been more of a public relations oriented person, much more noticed in the news media than most other businessmen, including Zuckerberg, Yang, Iger and Schultz. He would be likely a Republican candidate if he ran, as he calls himself fiscally conservative, although a social moderate by his own definition.

Finally, much more in the public eye since Donald Trump became President, is Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager, philanthropist, environmentalist, liberal activist, and fundraiser, who has been on an active campaign to impeach Donald Trump, gaining a lot of attention. He has long been a Democratic activist, going back to Walter Mondale in 1984 through Hillary Clinton in 2016, and was considered to be a cabinet member twice under Barack Obama, for Secretary of the Treasury in 2009 and Secretary of Energy in 2013, but others were chosen. Steyer is often seen as the adversary of Charles and David Koch.

The only ones on this list of nine who this author and blogger see as “legitimate” are Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer, who seem to have the best credentials, but still, no desire here to have another businessman or celebrity without any government experience as our President in 2021.

In the “real world”, somehow, three African Americans (Winfrey, West, Johnson); one woman (Winfrey); four Jews (Zuckerberg, Iger, Schultz, Cuban); and one Asian American (Yang) potential candidates seems highly unlikely, in the political climate we are in, to have a real shot at being the nominee. So this means probably Tom Steyer, who is most “out there” in the present political climate and is a white Episcopalian, might be the one of the nine with the best potential. Had he actually served in Barack Obama’s cabinet, he might seem to many as a more legitimate candidate, as we have had Presidents who were never elected before the Presidency but were cabinet members, specifically William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover.

The Trump experience makes it difficult to look at others in the non political world as better than having a Governor, Senator, Congressman, Mayor, or Cabinet Officer in the White House.

We shall see how far these nine possible candidates go in seeking the Presidency, as after the next 100 days, the announcement of Presidential candidacies, will rapidly emerge!