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Archive for the ‘Election Day’ Category

Venezuela’s Maduro re-elected with 1.5% margin, 93% counted/updated

Posted by Charles II on April 15, 2013

So says Telesur.

He very nearly lost himself the election–he was tipped to win by double digits. Let’s hope Maduro is better at governing than at running for office.
Update: Oh, great. The loser, Henrique Capriles is apparently serious in refusing to recognize the election, and has called for street protests. He is demanding a 100% recount, which legal experts say is not envisioned in the law.

While we have learned to expect irredentist tactics from the right, this is truly moronic. And it is matched by our State Department, which has failed to join Latin America in congratulating Maduro on his victory, instead focusing on the recount and calling him “candidate Maduro.” They could have sprung for “president-elect,” but they apparently continue to believe that behaving like a–holes will win hearts and minds.

Marc Weisbrot has a column in The Guardian.

Posted in Election Day, Venezuela | 2 Comments »

Hugo Chavez’s successor publishes column in Guardian

Posted by Charles II on April 12, 2013

Nicolas Maduro, who is running to succeed Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, has published a thoughtful column in The Guardian. An excerpt:

The media myth that our political project would fall apart without Chávez was a fundamental misreading of Venezuela’s revolution. Chávez has left a solid edifice, its foundation a broad, united movement that supports the process of transformation. We’ve lost our extraordinary leader, but his project – built collectively by workers, farmers, women, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, and the young – is more alive than ever.

The media often portray Venezuela as on the brink of economic collapse – but our economy is stronger than ever. We have a low debt burden and a significant trade surplus, and have accumulated close to $30bn in international reserves.

I don’t know if Maduro will be a good or even an effective leader. But I do know that when the likely president of one our largest oil suppliers writes a calm, coherent statement of this kind, a free press would report it. What I read in the NYT is a bad joke, a parody of what a free press should look like (here, here, here)

The election is this Sunday.

Posted in Election Day, Latin America, Venezuela | 2 Comments »

Hate Lost

Posted by MEC on November 10, 2012

In Maine, Maryland, and Washington state, voters approved ballot initiatives legalizing same-sex marriage.

In Minnesota, voters defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage, although a legal prohibition remains in place.

In Iowa, a state Supreme Court judge who ruled in favor of marriage equality was re-elected in spite of rightwing attacks on him; and Democrats retain control of the Iowa Senate, averting the Republican determination to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Wisconsin voters elected the first openly gay Senator. Her House seat was won by Mark Pocan, who is also gay.

In Troy, Michigan, Teabagger mayor Janice Daniels lost a recall election, in large part because national headlines about her homophobic pronouncements embarrassed the city and alarmed business leaders.

It’s not just homophobia that voters all over the country rejected.

Sexism lost. Republican candidates who asserted that rape isn’t really rape lost their elections. The U.S. Senate will have a record number of female members.

In New Hampshire, the governor and the entire Congressional delegation are all women.

Florida voters rejected an amendment that would have severely restricted abortion rights.

There are still many battles to be fought (and re-fought), but I’m feeling pretty good about the battles we won on November 6.

Posted in doing the right thing, Election Day | 4 Comments »

A lesson for progressives from Wisconsin/corrected and updated

Posted by Charles II on June 5, 2012

The results are still coming in, but it looks as though Walker has retained his seat. Given that Republicans vote lockstep, Kleefisch is almost guaranteed election.

Now, this is beyond disappointing. It’s devastating. The Democrats will point to the 8:1 advantage in funding that Walker had, and that’s unquestionably important. [Chris Cilizza says that some Democrats also blame the multi-candidate primary]. He also says that, “Walker is a damn good campaigner”. Since what I witnessed from Barrett was certainly adequate but not something that would energize me, maybe my assessment of him as a candidate is too weak.

But the early numbers suggest to me that Democrats did not even get a third of the people who signed the recall petition to vote, while Republicans got most Party members/Republican leaners to vote [final numbers show that Barrett did turn out 200,000 more voters than signed the recall petition]. Only 33% of union households even voted [This is incorrect. crosstabs show that 33% of voters were from union households, but that 38% voted for Walker. This seems at odds with the WaPo report that people who were in union households but not union members split almost evenly]. Many people who intend to vote for Obama voted for Walker. Independents almost certainly swung the race. We’ll have to see what the crosstabs say. Me, I think Barrett was the wrong candidate, but he was the only one with the name recognition to have a chance in a four week campaign. And the failure of Obama to campaign for Barrett was a major, major misstep.

The lesson that I hope lefties are taking home is that the masses are not just waiting for a revolution, and that grassroots politics is not enough unless your grassroots reach everywhere, especially into independent households. The electronic propaganda smog makes a huge difference, and will right up until the moment when people are out on the streets and can no longer watch/listen.

This is why Democrats care so little about their liberal base. That base makes up a declining fraction of contributions (thanks to the destruction of the middle class) and a not very important part of the electorate, because they are failing to connect with the broader population. This is sad because liberal policy, especially economic policy, is generally pretty sensible. But great ideas go nowhere unless they have a good sales pitch.

It’s a bad day for the United States of America. But maybe we can learn from this.

Finally, I am now less convinced that Walker will be indicted. Prosecutors (outside of Alabama and a few other choice locations) don’t let politics dictate who they indict, but they would hesitate to prosecute a man who has just been re-elected. The judicial branch is supposed to stay clear of meddling in elections. Most people in that branch, even pretty conservative ones, are careful in that regard.

Via ks, at Sideshow, Matt Stoller at Naked Capitalism thinks that the problem is that people are simply not drawn to centrists like Barrett. Where I differ from him is that progressives had a chance in their primary to nominate a true progressive, and they did not. And this pattern has repeated in district after district. Ilya Sheyman. Eric Griego.

Blaming Obama is a nice, easy, persuasive answer that happens to be rather obviously wrong. Blame the lack of fire among Democrats, but don’t single Obama out as being the sole cause.

Posted in Election Day | 4 Comments »

Definitely re-elect

Posted by Charles II on June 4, 2012

Mary Bottari, PRWatch (via t/o)

So far the investigators have charged six people with 15 felonies; one person, who turned himself in to prosecutors, was convicted on two counts:

* Timothy Russell (former deputy chief of staff to Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker) was charged with two felonies, and one misdemeanor related to embezzlement of donations intended for Wisconsin veterans in a special fund, which was created at Walker’s direction. The money was used by Russell and his partner, Brian Pierick, to take a few vacations. Read the criminal complaint here.

* Brian Pierick (partner of Timothy Russell): charged with two felonies involving child solicitation. It appears Russell’s phone records led to Pierick and a nasty story about two men soliciting a 17-year old minor for sex. Read the criminal complaint here.

* Kevin Kavanaugh (appointed by Walker as a county veterans’ official): charged with five felonies related to embezzlement from the veterans fund. Kavanaugh appears to have been raiding the funds separately from Russell. Read the criminal complaint here.

* Kelly Rindfleisch (former deputy chief of staff to then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker): charged with four felonies relating to campaign fundraising while on the county payroll. Rindfleisch’s worked on a secret wifi system in her office just steps away from Walker’s office. Rindfleisch continued to work for Walker’s campaign until she was charged. Read the criminal complaint here.

* Darlene Wink (former aide to then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker): pled guilty to two unclassified misdemeanors as part of a deal that she made with the prosecutors relating to working on campaign fundraising while on the county payroll. Winks office was down a short hallway from Walker’s. Read the complaint here.

* William Gardner (President and CEO of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad): Gardner pled guilty to felony violations of Wisconsin’s election campaign laws in April of 2011. Gardner tried to convince prosecutors that his $50,000 in illegal contributions to Walker, which he funneled through his employees and a girlfriend, was an innocent mistake, except he had done the same thing the previous year. Read the criminal complaint here.

So far, 13 people have been granted immunity in the case, but not Walker according to court records

In addition to this, Walker has been dishonest and ineffectual. Yet he still leads in the polls, thanks to independents being split.

What is wrong with half of Wisconsin voters?

The Barrett campaign alleges there are voter suppression squads operating in Wisconsin.

I have to say, the failure of DPW and Tom Barrett to raise sufficient funds is disheartening. As Rachel Maddow pointed out, if the middle class were sufficiently energized to put up ten or twenty bucks, they could match the billionaires.

Posted in corruption, Election Day | 8 Comments »

Be still, my heart

Posted by Charles II on April 5, 2011

Update: I am delighted to be wrong about the outcome of the election.

Congratulations, Justice Kloppenburg!
12:01 Eastern. Kloppenburg by 35,000 with 84% of precincts counted. One red county and one purple county yet to be counted (and a number of counties on either side partial).
12:03. Kloppenburg by 12,000
12:06 Kloppenburg by 3,200 with 89% counted. 40 precincts in Dane and 30 in Milwaukee out of 408 to be counted vs. 73 in red-red Waukesha.
12:10 Kloppenburg by 3,500. At this point, would have to say odds favor Prosser, but it could go either way.
12:12 Kloppenburg by 3,500 with 90.4% of precincts counted.
12:19 Kloppenburg by 3,300
12:21 Kloppenburg by 1,500 with 92% counted… but that included red-red Waupaca. Blue Dane has 41 and Milwaukee 13 and Eau Claire 41 out of 300 remaining.
12:21 Prosser up by 500.
12:24 Prosser up by 500, 92% counted. Another Prosser stronghold is Marathon, with 33 precincts to go and then there’s Washington with 19 precincts and Waukesha with 68 vs. Dane with 41 and Eau Claire with 40. Odds favor Prosser.
12:30 Prosser by 400, 93.4% counted
12:33 Prosser by 6,400. Dane is almost completely counted. I think it’s over, and the wrong person won.
12:37 Prosser by 1,800. 95% counted, and the only big pools of votes are Marathon and Waukesha. The big question in this election will be why did Milwaukee give 44% of its votes to Prosser.
12:42. Prosser by 1,900. Racine, another red county, has 10 precincts outstanding. Eau Claire, a blue county, has 21. Of red counties, Waukesha and Washington are in, but Marathon (32 precincts) is not.
12:51 Kloppenburg by 1,500 (!) Red Marathon and reddish Racine still out, but Eau Claire and Milwaukee also out. 96.7% counted.
12:55 Prosser by 4700. Approximately 40,000 votes remain to be counted, so Kloppenburg would have to take about 22,500 , or 56%. This is unlikely.
12:57 Prosser by 2,400. 97.2% counted.
1:00 Prosser by 2,400.
1:06 Prosser by 1,700. Prediction: tomorrow, a lot of people in Wisconsin will wish they had voted.
1:09. 32 precincts from red Marathon remain out. 12 from blue Milwaukee. 21 from blue Eau Claire. Ninety seven total.
1:18 No change in precincts counted or in Prosser lead. Josh Marshall says they may be counting absentees and that some vote totals haven’t been corrected yet.
11:33 WISN says only 27 precincts have not been counted, so evidently AP has stopped updating. WISN also says that Eau Claire has to do its hand count
11:42 Prosser by 2,000. Calumetand Adams County counted.
11:46 Prosser campaign says that the outstanding precincts in Eau Claire are in the suburbs.

I’m going to have to do a little sleeping, but at the moment, one would have to say that Prosser has probably won.

Posted in Election Day | 5 Comments »

MoveOn Goes Up Against Target

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 4, 2010

This may be what saves us all:

Target, the Minnesota-based company whose brand has become treasured by young urbanites across the country, provided $150,000 in seed money to a group called Minnesota Forward, a political group running ads supporting Republican Tom Emmer in the state’s gubernatorial race. At first, the LGBT community began to oppose Target for its support of Emmer, who opposes gay marriage. Target’s CEO did some damage control on that, claiming to support LGBT rights. However, the progressive group took this to another level, threatening a nationwide boycott against Target for their use of corporate money in campaign activities.


This is a very important effort. As MoveOn says in their petition, the Target funding is really “the tip of the iceberg” for corporate campaign spending in a post-Citizens United world. By letting Target know that they will face financial repercussions for influencing elections, MoveOn can send a powerful message to other retailers to stay out of the controversy. And they’re practically the only group with enough members – over 5 million – to make that threat tangible.

I wish them well.

Posted in big money, Election Day, gay rights, Minnesota, Republicans | 5 Comments »

“A Referendum On Health Care”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 14, 2010


…Ed Lynch, a Republican in FL-19, spent the last month or so telling everyone who would listen – and a few who wouldn’t – that his campaign in the FL-19 special election to replace the retired Robert Wexler would be a referendum on the out of control Democratic Party in the wake of the health care vote. That passage was wildly unpopular across the country, Lynch maintained, and he would benefit.

If by “benefit” he meant “merely get beaten like a gong as opposed to utterly and abjectly humiliated”, perhaps he was right. Otherwise, not so much.

Posted in 2010, eedjits, Election Day, health care | Comments Off on “A Referendum On Health Care”

If Scott Brown’s Win Is A Sign That The Public Likes The GOP Once Again

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 25, 2010

Then why is the word “Republican” AWOL from his campaign website?

Seriously — here’s a screenshot of the front page:

It’s not just the front page, either. I can’t find the word anywhere on his site.

Somebody should tell John Boehner.

Posted in Democrats, Election Day, Republicans | Tagged: | Comments Off on If Scott Brown’s Win Is A Sign That The Public Likes The GOP Once Again

How Many Other Dems Have Been Hurt By This?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 19, 2010

In the wake of Martha Coakley’s losing Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat to Scott Brown, wanna know what’s really sad?

If Obama and Rahm and Harry had gone with reconciliation from the beginning, rather than pretended that they need 60 votes just to blow their noses, Martha Coakley’s polls wouldn’t have nosedived because of her being forced to back the sellout to Ben Nelson:

— Coakley’s lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Eve “bombing” incident. Polling showed significant concerns with the actions of Senator Nelson to hold out for a better deal. Senator Nelson’s actions specifically hurt Coakley who was forced to backtrack on her opposition to the abortion restriction amendment.

I have to wonder: How many other Democrats have been hurt by this? (We know that Vic Snyder was running neck-and-neck with his GOP opponent as recently as November; now, of course, he’s retiring in the face of cratering poll numbers.)

If the Democrats had used reconciliation from the start, they only would have needed 51 votes (50 plus Biden) to get a bill through the Senate. Furthermore, as Jon Walker points out, it would have prevented the bill from being trashed and allowed the conservative Democratic Senators and Lieberman to avoid having to back a bill they still didn’t like even after it was trashed to their specifications.

Oh, and while the White House (through their surrogate Steny Hoyer) is trying to pretend the ‘rush’ strategy is viable, that’s not an option, as Jim Webb wants no part of it for starters.

So guess what, Rahm? Either use reconciliation (as even Chris Van Hollen admits could be done) and get the decent bill we could have had from the start, or dump HCR rather than risk pissing off the PhRMA folk with whom you have a “deal”.

Your choice, bud.

Posted in big money, Democrats, Edward Kennedy, Election Day, Obama Administration, Rahm Emanuel | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

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