Bob Graham

Crucial Gubernatorial Races That Could Affect The Future In Reapportionment Of Seats In Congress And State Legislatures After 2020 Census

There are a number of crucial gubernatorial races coming up in November, which could dramatically change the future of American politics, and change the reapportionment of seats that comes about after the Census of 2020.

In Florida, Gwen Graham, the daughter of well respected former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, is now leading the Democratic primary in the polls, and she could affect the beginning of the return of Democrats to influence in the state legislature and in Congress, and is far preferable to Congressman Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, the Democrats have nominated Stacey Abrams, who has been the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, and is African American, against Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who is extreme on gun rights.

In Ohio, Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and past Attorney General and State Treasurer, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, and is challenged by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, former US Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Congressman.

In Illinois, the Democratic nominee for Governor is J B Pritzker, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, competing against incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who has had a contentious relationship with the Democratic controlled state legislature.

In California, Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against Republican John Cox, a businessman, attorney and political activist backed by Donald Trump.

In Pennsylvania, sitting Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is heavily favored to win reelection, over Republican nominee and state representative Scott Wagner.

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is challenged by former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, with Abbott strongly favored to be reelected, but thought that she would be a strong challenge to Abbott.

These seven large states in population could see six out of seven victories for the Democrats, all but Texas, in all likelihood.

With Democrats having only 16 state Governors, but 36 gubernatorial elections coming up, the odds of a majority or more of state governors being Democrats in 2019 is considered a likelihood, and would allow the Democrats to have a great influence on reapportionment and gerrymandering in the next decade.

Two Democratic Women Governors, And Six Democratic Women Candidates For Governor In 2018 Midterm Elections

The Democrats have two women Governors, and six other women running for Governor in the 2018 midterm elections.

Gina Raimondo in Rhode Island and Kate Brown in Oregon are running for reelection, and both would be favored to keep their Governorships in strongly Democratic states.

The six candidates have a more difficult road to travel, as they will have male challengers and opponents, and some of them in states won by Donald Trump.

Gwen Graham, daughter of former Florida Senator Bob Graham, will have challengers and opponents in the Sunshine State, which is strongly Republican in state elections.

Stacey Abrams is African American, and running in Georgia, also heavily Republican in recent decades.

Gretchen Whitmer is running in Michigan, a state that Donald Trump won by a small margin in 2016.

Cary Kennedy in Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, and African American wife of Congressman Elijah Cummings, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings in Maryland, have the advantage of running in Democratic states, but will have to fight off male opponents in the primaries.

None of the six women are guaranteed even nomination at this point, as primaries will decide that.

The End Of The Political Careers Of Several Politicians

Tuesday’s Midterm Elections ended the careers of several well known politicians.

Charlie Crist now has the distinction of losing a Senate race as a Republican in 1998 to Senator Bob Graham; losing a Senate race as an Independent in 2010 to Senator Marco Rubio; and losing a gubernatorial race as a Democrat to Governor Rick Scott!

Scott Brown now has the distinction of losing two Senate races two years apart, both times to women, in two neighboring states in New England–to Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts in 2012 and to Senator Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire in 2014. He also won the remainder of the Senate term of Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts early in 2010 over another woman, Attorney General Martha Coakley, who now also has lost the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts on Tuesday to Republican candidate Charlie Baker in a very “blue” state. As far as anyone is aware, Brown is the only candidate to run against three women for a Senate seat, winning once, and losing twice.

While no one can say for sure that one defeat ends a political career, the fact that Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn lost a race for a Senate seat; and that Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, lost the gubernatorial race in the same state, which is grandfather had won 44 years ago on his road to the White House, likely ends their careers.

The same goes for Senator Mark Udall in Colorado, son of former Congressman and Presidential seeker Morris Udall of Arizona; and for Senator Mark Pryor, son of former Senator David Pryor in Arkansas; and the odds seem against Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, whose father, Nick Begich, was Congressman from that state; and for Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, whose dad and brother were Mayors of New Orleans, although those two races are not settled as of this writing, and Landrieu faces a runoff against a heavily favored Republican rival.

Such is politics, in office one day, and out the next, and the bigger losers are their staff members!

The Worst Governor In Florida History: Rick Scott!

Florida Governor Rick Scott may have gained less attention than other “Bully” Republican Governors elected in 2010, but he is, in many ways, the absolutely worst governor in America, and easily, the worst Governor Florida has ever had in modern history!

Florida has had some really outstanding Governors, including Leroy Collins (1955-1961); Reubin Askew (1971-1979); Bob Graham (1979-1987); Lawton Chiles (1991-1999); and Charlie Crist (2007-2011). Republican Governors Claude Kirk (1967-1971) and Bob Martinez (1987-1991) both lost re-election and were controversial. Jeb Bush (1999-2007) had his controversies, but did an excellent job dealing with eight hurricanes during his time in office.

Rick Scott came into office with the record of having paid a record fine for his Medicare corruption as the leader of the nation’s largest hospital chain, and should have gone to prison instead, for his misdeeds. He won the Governorship by only 50,000 votes, the smallest margin in Florida history.

Scott spent $73 million of his own money to get himself elected, despite a personality that was and is a turn off to most people who have any intelligence or compassion for others. It was an example of how backward Floridians were, that they would allow a convicted felon to become their Governor.

Scott has done massive damage on voting rights, privacy rights, public schools and higher education, environmental protection, and health care. His party controls three fourths of the seats in the legislature, and has taken Florida backwards at a time when it is about to become the third largest state in population.

Scott has made it harder for Florida citizens to vote; for those who are unemployed to gain unemployment compensation; for renters to avoid eviction; and made it easier for borrowers to be charged high interest rates on short term loans.

Scott has refused to accept Medicaid money for the poor, despite the fact that the federal government will pay all the costs for three years, and 90 percent after that. He fought ObamaCare tooth and nail, and still makes it difficult for citizens to apply for it.

Scott rejected federal money for high speed rail, while creating another state university, Florida Polytechnic University, which undermines the University of South Florida market for students. His administration spends less per public school student than when he took office, and promotes private charter schools over public schools. He has undermined respect for a liberal arts education, and teachers at all levels have been treated with disrespect by his education policies.

Scott has undermined the environment protections put into effect by his predecessors, and sees Florida as equivalent of a corporation that needs to be given freedom to abuse in every way possible, including health insurance rates, higher electric rates, and tax breaks for businesses that have not created the promised number of jobs.

Scott has demonstrated little concern for individual rights, wanting drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients; purging voter rolls, and restricting early voting. Luckily, there has been reaction against these ideas by courts, county elections supervisors, and the public.

The man has no compassion or empathy, and comes across as a cold, calculating individual, and it makes one wonder how Floridians could possibly consider him for a second term, but Scott is willing to spend whatever it takes to fool people, and to keep the vote numbers down by any means he can conjure up.

Scott gains less attention nationally than Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other “Bully” Governors, all of whom are considered Presidential possibilities, but IF Rick Scott is re-elected, do not be surprised if he tries to bring his corruption, mean spirit, callousness, and lack of empathy or compassion to a national campaign for President.

One might say, wait, there is already Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as potential candidates for President from Florida! The answer is: So What? Scott has never let ego or ethics get in his way in the past, and do not be surprised he might mount a national campaign if he defeats former Governor Charlie Crist, who has switched parties, and faces a massive challenge to be elected Governor as a Democrat, in a state with such a large Republican dominance in the state legislature!

The problem is that, even if Crist were to win, he is likely to face a hardline legislature, where only his veto might sometimes be effective, as Florida politics now represents one of the most backward agendas of any state, despite the fact that the state has nearly 20 million citizens, including many elderly, poor, sick, and disabled!

This is NOT a state where anyone who has a choice to move would decide to remain. YES, the weather is great, but the future for the elderly, the poor, the sick and the disabled, and for children in general, is gloomy!

Maryland, anyone?

The “Might Have Been” Vice Presidents And Presidents!

Every four years, Presidential candidates pick a running mate for Vice President, and every four years, there are potential running mates who are passed over.

Sometimes, these potential running mates for Vice President may feel as they are “a bridesmaid, instead of the bride”, when they come close to being the choice more than once.

And sometimes, a potential running mate passed over sees someone else become President by succession.

Examples in the last half century are numerous!

Florida Senator Bob Graham was on the “short list” for both Bill Clinton in 1992 and Al Gore in 2000.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty made the “short list” for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

Missouri Senator Stuart Symington was the favored choice for John F. Kennedy in 1960, but Lyndon B. Johnson was picked instead for political and sectional reasons, to gain the support of the South for Kennedy, despite his Catholicism. Of course, Johnson went on to be President.

Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy was on the “short list” to be Vice President with Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, but Hubert Humphrey was selected instead, and McCarthy went on to become a major critic of the Vietnam War, and challenge Johnson in the New Hampshire primary in 1968. Who knows whether or not Johnson might have avoided a primary challenge altogether if he had picked McCarthy in 1964, although it is still likely that Robert Kennedy would have challenged Johnson for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968 in any case. And of course, there were rumors that Kennedy was considered by Johnson to be his running mate in 1964, which would have made it impossible for Kennedy to challenge Johnson in 1968 altogether. But then, maybe Humphrey would have done so instead, without the trap of being Vice President under Johnson!

Mayor John Lindsey of New York City was on the “short list” for Richard Nixon in 1968, and had he been on the ticket and become Vice President, he would have succeeded Nixon after the President resigned due to the Watergate scandal!

When Nixon faced having to replace Spiro Agnew in 1973, due to scandal, he considered John Connally, former Democratic Governor of Texas, but who had become a Republican and was his Treasury Secretary, as his new Vice President, but knew that there would be a battle for him to be confirmed, so Nixon picked Gerald Ford instead, and Ford became President. Connally might have been President, if he had not alienated Democrats by switching parties!

So if things had worked out differently, we might have had President Symington in 1963, President Lindsey in 1974, or President Connally in 1974, and President Johnson might have had no challenge, run and defeated Nixon in 1968!

And poor Bob Graham and Tim Pawlenty were passed over twice each, by two different candidates for President in their parties! Graham never had another opportunity, and Pawlenty will not, either!

The Growing Chasm Politically In Major States, And Across The Nation!

As a result of the midterm elections of 2010, we see California becoming a state where Republicans are a dying breed, failing to win one statewide office, not gaining even one House seat, and losing any control over what the state legislature does in either house! It is hard to believe that at one point, the Republicans dominated the governorship and House and Senate seats, and that this was the state of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon!

But at the same time, the Democrats lost a couple of House seats in Florida, no longer have any influence in the state legislature, and failed to gain one statewide office, as the Republicans swept over the Democrats in all but black and Jewish areas of the Sunshine state. It is hard to remember that this was the state that once elected Bob Graham, Rubin Askew, and Lawton Chiles!

And Georgia, once the state of Jimmy Carter and Sam Nunn saw an equivalent GOP sweep, as did Texas and Oklahoma and Kansas among others!

At the same time, New York remained a dominant stronghold for the Democrats, as also occurred in Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, among other states!

Finally, the Midwest saw a major GOP gain in such states as Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa!

What this all tells us is that the nation is becoming more and more divided politically, as we see the development of two nations–the Northeast Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast as Democratic strongholds more than ever before, and the South and the Great Plains and much of the Mountain West more Republican, and the Midwest tending in the direction of the GOP!

The political flux is amazing, having witnessed what seemed like a permanent GOP gain in the early Bush II era, succeeded by what looked like a permanent Democratic gain under Obama, followed by what now seems like a major Republican gain that could be long lasting due to reapportionment being affected by their triumphs in the state legislative battles of 2010!