Bill Nelson

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

Potential White Male Vice Presidential Nominees For Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign In 2016

If Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton decides not to go “radical” and select a woman or a person of minority heritage as her Vice Presidential choice for the upcoming Presidential Election of 2016, she has a long list of potential white males to choose from.

She could go for a Senator from a “swing” state, including the following:

Virginia–Senator Mark Warner or Senator Tim Kaine

Ohio–Senator Sherrod Brown (who I projected on December 31 as the likely choice)

Florida–Senator Bill Nelson

But there are other potential nominees, including:

Incumbent Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware, which I recommended on this blog in February 2015, and was interviewed about it by John Hockenberry of THE TAKEAWAY on National Public Radio on January 21 of this year, which can be found under “Interviews” on the right side of the blog

Senator Al Franken of Minnesota

Former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Of these nine potential candidates, the most likely would seem to be Brown, Kaine, and Franken in that order.

Biden and Nelson will both be 74 this year, five years older than Hillary Clinton, while O’Malley opposed Hillary in the early primaries and Merkley is the only US Senator to have endorsed Bernie Sanders, making them less likely.

Warner seems less likely than Kaine from Virginia, due to his close race for reelection in 2014, one he almost lost, and Murphy, one of the brightest young liberals, is more of a “dark horse”, not mentioned by many, but a possible surprise choice.

The Future Of The Democratic Party: Younger Liberals In The US Senate

When one sees that Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, California Senator Barbara Boxer, and Nevada Senator Harry Reid are retiring in 2016, and know that other older Senate Democrats have limited time left in the Senate, it makes it clear that it is time to examine who among the “younger” generation of liberal Senate Democrats may be perceived as the future of the Democrats beyond Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Even if Hillary Clinton becomes President, where is the hope for liberal Democrats in the future, as there are very few Democratic governors. The “youth” movement in the Democratic Party is therefore in the hands of the following younger liberal Senate Democrats:

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (41)
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz (42)
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (45)
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (48)
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (50)
Delaware Senator Christopher Coons (51)
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (53)
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (54)
Michigan Senator Gary Peters (56)
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (57)
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (58)
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (59)

These are the present Democratic hopes for the future, to make an impact on the level of Mikulski, Boxer, Reid, along with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, California Senator Diane Feinstein, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Washington Senator Patty Murray, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Of course, more liberal Senate Democrats yet unknown could be elected in 2016, including Kamala Harris in California and Patrick Murphy in Florida, and hopefully, the Democrats will take back control of the United States Senate, and some new Democratic governors might be elected, assuming a coattail effect of the candidacy of the Democratic nominee in the Electoral College, still highly likely!

The Complete Reversal Of American Politics: Republicans In The South, Democrats In Large Populated Northeastern, Midwestern And Western States!

The defeat of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday marks the complete reversal of American politics from the years 1877 to the present.

After the Reconstruction of the South ended, with Union Army troops leaving, twelve years after the Civil War, the South became an area totally dominated by Democrats, resentful of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War defeat, and the passage of Amendments 13, 14, and 15, ending slavery, making blacks citizens, and giving the men the right to vote.

The South went into massive resistance, creating Jim Crow segregation to replace slavery, and until the election of Herbert Hoover in 1928 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, it was always a solid Democratic South with no black voting, due to discriminatory state laws that were ignored by generations of the federal government. Hoover won much of the South due to his Catholic opponent, Alfred E. Smith, in 1928, and Eisenhower won over Adlai Stevenson twice in the 1950s due to his personal popularity and World War II D Day reputation.

But only when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, starting in the 1950s, and reaching its peak with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, did we see the beginning of a mass exodus of office holders and ordinary white population, to the Republican Party, starting with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1964, switching parties to back Republican Senator Barry Goldwater against President Lyndon B. Johnson.

As the Democrats started to lose power in the South, the nomination of Southern governors Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and the rise of “New South” Governors like them and others in the Democratic Party, slowed up the switch to the GOP.

But the election of Barack Obama, considered anathema in the South, has now led to the entire wiping out of Southern Democrats in Congress, except for black and Jewish members of the House in districts gerrymandered that give the Republicans more total Congressional and state legislative seats in the South. Only a few other white non jewish members of the House remain, and they are endangered in the political climate of the South in 2014.

Only Virginia has both its Senators and Governor (Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe) as Democrats, and only Florida has one other Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson at this point, as we enter 2015.

And both Virginia and Florida have Republican dominated legislatures, as well as the other states that made up the Confederate States of America.

And, of course, Florida includes the heavily Northern South Florida, and Virginia has the heavily Northern North Virginia, influenced by being part of the DC suburbs, and otherwise, these three Senators and one Governor would not be in public office.

So the complete reversal of a century and a half ago has occurred, and is unlikely to be changed for a generation or more, at the least.

This means that the South will remain as it is now for a generation or more, and that the issue of race nearly a century and a half ago, again stands out as the key difference that separates that section from the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the heavily populated areas of the nation in the Northeast, Midwest and West are more Democratic than ever, and are unlikely to change either over time, creating political deadlock long term over the future, stifling change and creating constant political conflict and deadlock!

Virginia The Only “Blue” State In The Old South In 2015, In Regards To Governorship And Senators!

Who would ever have thought that Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America a century and a half ago, and the home of the Harry Byrd Dynasty for so long, resisting civil rights advancements, would end up the only state of the “Old South” to have a Democratic Governor, and two Democratic Senators going into 2015?

Terry McAuliffe, Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine are the only ones from the Democratic Party to be in office, although the state Congressional delegation is actually 8 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

Only Steve Beshear in border state Kentucky is a Democratic Governor, but he is term limited and leaves at the end of 2015.

Only Bill Nelson in Florida is a Democratic Senator, other than the Virginians mentioned above, although Mary Landrieu in Louisiana has not yet lost her Senate seat, although seen as likely to lose it this coming weekend.

This historic transition from the Democratic to Republican Party in the Old South is now as complete as it has ever been!

The US Senate Becomes More Ideological Than Ever!

The US Senate used to be a legislative body with moderate and even liberal Republicans, and moderate and conservative Democrats, allowing for a “crossing of the aisle”, and the creation of coalitions of Republicans and Democrats to promote legislation.

The recent Senate elections further destroyed any such “crossing of the aisle”, and insured more deadlock and gridlock, as moderate Democrats were defeated, and the most moderate Republican Senate nominee was defeated.

I am referring to the defeat of Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and the pending likely defeat of Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, on the Democratic side, and the defeat of Scott Brown of New Hampshire, who was often called the most moderate Republican.

When one looks at the new 2015 Senate, who is really “Moderate”?

On the Democratic side, we could say Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and the almost defeated Mark Warner of Virginia, who shocked everyone, including himself, by his almost loss to Ed Gillespie.

On the Republican side, the list of “Moderates” would include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

Some readers might be shocked to see McCain and Flake included on this list, but in comparison to the rest of the GOP, they are, often, somewhat moderate and reasonable, although not reliably so.

This is a sad state of affairs, and not likely to change anytime soon!

The Confederate South Lost To Democrats For The Long Haul!

Hard to believe, but 150 years after the Civil War, the party of Abraham Lincoln, which was hated in the South for a century, now controls 70 percent of all Congressional seats, helped along by Republican gerrymandering, and the future is gloomy for the Democratic Party in the Confederate South.

For the eleven states involved, there are now only four Democrats to the 18 for the Republicans, and it is thought likely that Mary Landrieu’s Louisiana Senate seat will be lost in the runoff election in that state in December. Only Bill Nelson’s seat in Florida and Tim Kaine’s and Mark Warner’s seats in Virginia are Democratic, and Warner nearly lost his seat eleven days ago!

In the House of Representatives, in the eleven states, there are only 37 Democrats to 99 Republicans, and 21 of the 37 Democratic seats are in mostly urban areas of Texas and Florida, and most of those seats are held by African Americans, Latinos, or Jews.

So the South has become an area totally different now than in the 19th century, but with, sadly, the same mentality on race, and lack of concern about the poor amongst themselves!

Florida In Play For Democrats In 2012: A Shock To Republicans!

Florida has become in many ways the center of right wing conservatism, what with the election of Governor Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, and Congressman Allen West in the midterm 2010 elections.

The state legislature is about three fourths Republican as well, and only six Democrats serve Florida in the House of Representatives.

No one is saying that the Democrats are about to take over state politics, as that will be a long haul, but public opinion polls show that Barack Obama leads both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in state polls about the Presidential election, and that Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has a big lead over Congressman Connie Mack IV, and that former appointed Senator George Lemieux is not even in the equation for the upcoming race.

The odds for Lois Frankel to overcome Adam Hasner for the Palm Beach County seat, that West held before he chose to move to a new congressional district in northern Palm Beach County and Martin and St. Lucie Counties, is seen as very good. And West is facing a major challenge in a young, charismatic CPA named Patrick Erin Murphy.

This is probably due to the improving economy, and the growing alienation nationwide of Independents, non Cuban Hispanics, and women to the GOP agenda.

Since Florida is the ultimate “swing state”, this might improve the possibility of Senator Rubio as the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney, even though Rubio keeps on saying that he has no interest, at age 41, rising to that level.

Florida will certainly be paid a lot of attention in this year’s political races!

Republican Solution To Jobs Crisis: Promote Importation Of Dangerous Snakes, Including The Burmese Python, Already A Major Threat To Everglades!

In the midst of the jobs crisis in America, members of the House of Representatives Republican majority are holding hearings trying to prevent an end to the transportation and importation of nine varieties of snakes, including the Burmese Python, Boa Constrictors, and Anacondas, that have become to inundate the Florida Everglades, posing a risk to other species, and ultimately, to humans! We have the report of a Burmese Python swallowing a live alligator whole and then exploding from the effect of doing it!

A snake breeder testified that the ban proposed by Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar, would interfere with the right of snake owners and snake breeders to purse their hobby and livelihood, and prevent them from moving interstate!

Are we living in an insane society, which already allows the abuse of gun ownership, to the detriment of thousands of innocent victims every year, by saying that there should be allowance for BREEDING of snakes that are dangerous to all of us, and come from tropical climates in Asia, Africa and Latin America? Is it necessary for one to pursue his hobby or livelihood in an “industry” which already is laying havoc in the Everglades, killing various species and threatening Floridians who go into that national park?

It is guaranteed that the snakes, particularly the extremely dangerous Burmese Pythons, which number 100,000 in the Everglades by reckless breeding and escapes from captivity, will start to spread not just through all of Florida, but eventually be a threat all over the United States!

This is a clear and present danger to our security, and yet the Republicans latch onto this insane proposal as an interference to job growth! It makes one wonder about their ethics, their sense of right and wrong, their understanding of human needs!

We do NOT need to engage in such dangerous “commerce” in order to revive our economy, and if such a law passes by some looney reasoning that it is necessary, President Obama needs to veto it and send it into the dustbins of history, making the Republicans who sponsored it look as what they are: CRAZY LUNATICS!

Florida Republicans Declare War On Democracy In Florida: Making It More Difficult To Vote!

The Florida legislature, more than two thirds Republican, in league with Governor Rick Scott, has decided to take democracy away from the people of the Sunshine State, and in so doing, return Florida to the first half of the 20th century, and in many ways, to the late 19th century.

The goal in America has been to expand the right to vote, not inhibit it, but remember Florida, as a southern state, did everything it could after the Civil War and up to 1965, a full century, to deny African Americans the right to vote.

Now the legislature has decided to do the following:

1. Cut early voting before election day from 14 days to eight days, making it more difficult for many voters to participate, since many may not want to wait in long lines, particularly senior citizens. One third of Florida voters went to the polls before election day, and this will make it more difficult for them to do what they prefer, and assuredly will cut down the vote numbers.

2. College students and newlyweds with a name or address change will have to cast privisional ballots, which might not be counted, as there will be no allowance to change information as one votes. Half of all provisional ballots were not counted in 2008.

3. Groups that help register voters, such as the League of Women Voters, would only have two days to return the registration cards to the supervisor of elections, or would face the possibility of fines up to $1000, plus volunteers who made mistakes in voter applications could also be fined.

Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson made a public appeal to prevent these changes, but the GOP went ahead and did it anyway, so it is a bad sign for the future of Florida democracy!