minnesota

Let Governors Lead the Way for the GOP

Bill Kristol has mostly the right idea here:

That's why one has to be careful about what one wishes for. Republicans, newly liberated, need to resist calls to shackle themselves to prematurely announced agendas and already anointed leaders. This is the time for a thousand Republicans to bloom. Congressmen used to looking to the White House for guidance or approval--or fearing disapprobation--should show some healthy ambition and unleash their inner policy entrepreneur. Backbenchers need to come forward with heterodox ideas. There should be vigorous debate. Disharmonious disarray is in the short term much less of a danger than a false and stultifying unity.

When I floated the idea of an "ideas czar" several of my fellow contributors were disapproving, arguing that we needed exactly this sort of freelancing from the backbench. I would add a modifier to this line of thinking: don't look to backbench Congressmen for leadership. Look to sitting Republican governors who are already managing state budgets in the tens of billions of dollars and can actually enact some new ideas. Look to Tim Pawlenty, who wants to cut state business taxes, or to Bobby Jindal, or to Charlie Crist and Republicans in the Florida legislature who are refusing tax increases of any kind, or to Mark Sanford.

Republican governors in 22 states means 22 opportunities to show we can govern better than Obama, prudently cutting back on spending and cutting taxes, rather than massively increasing spending and creating a deficit a third the size of the entire Federal budget.

[what, we need editors now?]

Right Wing Entertainment from the Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123111967642552909.html

And, what Nate had to say about the ... fact challenged article:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/01/did-wall-street-jorunal-fire-thei...

And, what the Ramsey County Judge had to say:

http://www.minnpost.com/braublog/2009/01/06/5639/recount_judge_blasts_wa...

Round 1:

Minnesota K.O.'s WSJ's partisanship.

Election Night Redoux

 
Minnesota- Franken vs Coleman:
In the final day of the Minnesota U.S. Senate race recount, reports are that 171 uncounted ballots mysteriously turned up and had apparently been uncounted because of a ballot-counting-machine malfunction on Election Day. Al Franken made a net gain of 37 votes from these ballots, as he got 91 of the total, to 54 for Sen. Coleman, (26 went to other candidates). This gives Coleman an official edge of 305 votes, assuming all the challenged ballots will remain uncounted. The Franken campaign somehow insists Coleman's lead is only about 50 votes.

Georgia- Chambliss vs Martin
Two of the last polls give Chambliss what appears to be a solid edge. Public Policy Polling gives him a 7 pt advantage and the Insider Advantage poll has him up by 4. Additional good signs for the incumbent- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that turnout is light but steady. This probably means the democratic turnout that so helped Obama is not coming out for Martin.

So it looks likely that Republicans will win both of these seats and the question becomes, what does this mean?

It means the Republicans will have to be active participants in the next congress. They won't be able to hide behind a Democratic super-majority and instead will have to engage the other side both on issues they agree on and those they don't. Centrist Republican senators like Susan Collins, Arlen Specter and yes, John McCain, will become pivotal players leading up to 2010. They will feel pressure from the right to obstruct everything that comes down the democratic pike, and they will be pressure from the left to "cross the aisle" and put "country first."

It is going to be an interesting couple of years.

 

State Of The Senate Races In Minnesota, Alaska, And Georgia

 There is a lot of confusion and misinformation that I am seeing about the Senate races that currently hang in the balance in the states of Minnesota, Alaska, and Georgia. The Democrats hold 57 Senate seats as of this writing, and were they to win all three of these contested races they would hit the magic number of 60. 

This of course can not be allowed to happen, and it is imperative that Republicans mobilize in full force in order to prevent these seats from turning to Democratic hands. All three are seats that are filled by incumbent Republicans, one who has now been conviced on several felonies, which complicates his bid for re-election.

Minnesota, could potentially be the closest and therefor most hotly contested race. As of this writing, because of corrupt vote counting, or fair vote counting, depending of course on your party, incumbent Norm Coleman leads by .007% of the vote, or just 206 ballots. Anything under .5% triggers a mandatory recount, which will begin on November 18th. Even before the recount, Franken has been gaining. On election night, Coleman led by more than 700 votes, but has lost ground quickly. It is interesting to note, the gains Franken has made outperforms how Democrats including Obama performed in Minnesota, which raises some eyebrows. I believe there is some peculiar vote counting going on, for this reason. This race will be decided by court battles and long hand recounts. In the end, I think Franken is in the stronger position, despite the current tally. I believe Coleman is in serious trouble, and has a good chance of losing his seat, in fact, I believe Franken will win it, and I call this seat for the Democrats. 

In Alaska, the race is very close as well. Incumbent Senator Ted Stevens leads by only 1.5% over Democratic challenger Mark Begich, a 3,257 vote lead. Stevens will most likely pull it out, despite his conviction and the close race. However, should he win, it is almost certain he will resign, which under Alaska law will trigger a special election. The only reason Mark Begich came close to defeating Stevens is because Stevens is seen as corrupt, a fresh non incumbent, young Republican would easily win a special election regardless of how strong a contender the Democrats throw at the race. Many think should this scenario come to pass, Sarah Palin is likely to run to fill the seat, she is immensely popular in Alaska and would win the seat easily. This seat is safe for Republicans, it is just unclear which Republican will be sitting in it when the dust settles. 

The last race is truly a toss up. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss won the popular vote, but fell .2% short of the 50% mark needed to avoid a run off. Allen Buckley, the Libertarian candidate, siphoned 4% of the votes off, almost ensuring the Dec. 2nd runoff. Essentially, turnout is the key in this election. There is no presidential vote this time around, and this will work to make turnout very low, most likely below 45%. Whoever gets the most turnout wins, as the Libertarian is not a factor this time, come Dec. 2nd, one man will have a plurality of the vote. Traditionally, the Democrats get-out-the-vote machine is superior to that of the Republicans, and I am very worried about Chambliss' seat. There is no way to make a good prediction, but if I was forced to say who is in the better position, I would say Democrat Jim Martin. Again, this race is very close though, and it is the only one that will be decided by the voters. 

By my tally, the Senate balance of power looks like this. Currently, the Democrats have 57 seats, I predice they will win Coleman's seat in Minnesota, bringing them to 58. I predict a Republican will win the Alaska seat, but I have not the slightest clue who. This keeps the balance at 58. Should Martin win the Georgia seat, which is more likely I think then Chambliss winnning, then the balance shifts to 59, one vote shy of 60.

Of course, Democrats do not need 60 to get past a filibuster. With 59 votes, they can almost always pick off a moderate Republican to support the measure and ram legislation through. Effectively, the Democrats have a working majority in both houses, and they have a president in the White House who is more than willing to sign there legislation. Now, all that remains to be seen is how they will use, or abuse, this new power. 

Another ACORN Secretary of State in Minnesota will be running the Coleman-Franken recount

Last week, I wrote that the links between ACORN, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and the group Secretary of State Project were concerning. I asked how many other Secretaries of State were backed by ACORN.

Well. There's a recount in Minnesota that will determine whether Norm Coleman keeps his seat. And another ACORN backed, Secretary of State Project-backed candidate will be doing the recount. Let's see what they say about Ritchie.

The Secretary of State Project describes him as:

In 2006, the SoS Project helped elect one of the most progressive Secretaries of State in the nation, Mark Ritchie. How he got his start in politics? As a community organizer.

The SoS Project describes Brunner and Ritchie as their success stories. Recall that Brunner tried to throw out all of the McCain absentee ballot applications, violated federal law by sepcifically directing Ohio to turn off validity checks on registration, and encouraged county election officials to not allow Republican election officials to observe voting. In every case, courts said she was simply wrong. There is a reason that SoS Project backed Ritchie, just like they backed Brunner. Partisanship at the cost of electoral integrity.

Here's Ritchie's background. He used his government office for political gain:

Ritchie acknowledged asking a campaign volunteer to copy a list of participants in a civic engagement program through the secretary of state's office to his campaign newsletter, which included a political contribution request.

He was endorsed by ACORN.

So we have a guy who was elected by a group whose practices encourage at least voter registration fraud and make it easier to cheat in elections. He was elected by a group that is seeking to make sure that the people who count votes are partisans, and their other success story in 2006 has been shot down by the court repeatedly in her attempts to rig Ohio elections. And he misused government resources for political purposes.

This is the guy counting the votes. Who is he going to dance with? The ones that brought him? We know how they play.

Is Minnesota gonna be nice?

Minnesota may turn out to be the most promsing of all the "blue" states, barring perhaps the traditional McCain playground of New Hampshire. A recent poll shows McCain within 5 points there and Coleman regaining the lead for the Senate

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/688a8abb-f1a6-4ef1-a588-63fcb2b3bed1

Now MN's 10 EV's aren't PA's 21, but it still seems like PA is further out of reach than this despite immense effort brought to bear by the McCaniacs.  Besides, Obama has pretty much thought MN was in his corner previously.

MN is also a state where Palin's outdoorswomen background could be expected to be a plus; besides she sounds like the police chief in this famous movie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo_(film).

It will be interesting to see if McCain or Palin make any appearances here over the last week. Certaintly Norm Coleman and Michelle Bachmann could use the help in the final days.

 

No Ageism for radical thugs

The same day a teenager was accosted in a political form of cyberstalking by the rabid Left, their foot soldiers took out after other age groups

The elderly mother of the CT Republican chariman was attacked by thugs while trying to enter the XCel Center http://www.everydayrepublican.com/2008/09/01/ct-delegation-attacked/

When Chairman Healy’s mother Lila was spat upon by a protester, former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons stepped between the elder Healy and the crowd. He was doused with a liquid substance that was later determined to be a mix of clorox and water. At least 10 other delegates also were hit with liquid.

This is what we are fighting against this November. Letting the inmates take over the asylum.

 

Palin: Hockey mom and married to steelworker

I learned two things from watching Sarah Palin.

First she is a hockey mom. That plpays in New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Second, her husband is a member of the Steelworkers' union. That plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

 

Will Ventura & Franken Split the Clown Vote?

Jesse Ventura's NPR interview sparked huge wave of speculation about his entry into the marquee Coleman-Franken Minnesota Senate race over the last few days and although he backtracked slightly this morning, it was a fairly weak denial.

So which candidate does he hurt?  So far a pair of polls from Rasmussen and Survey USA are the only numbers I’ve seen testing Ventura’s potential entry.  Neither of these polls are particularly reliable sources, but broadly they show Ventura as either helping Coleman or not making much of a difference.

My gut on it is that after his tenure as governor Ventura is very well know – meaning that the early poll numbers are broadly accurate.  The Body's stated rational for running is opposition to the Iraq War which moves him to the left while his "crazy S.O.B." appeal would siphon angry/change/anti-system votes away from Franken.  All of that bodes well for Coleman.

Anyone know Minnesota politics and have an on the ground read on which candidate Ventura will help or any good rumors about him being in or out? 

 

Mac's Veepstakes: Pawlenty does Stamford

Last night the CT Republicans did their annual big fundraising dinner, the Prescott Bush dinner (named after the President's grandad) down in Stamford

I attended last year's dinner featuring Fred Thompson but family obligations kept me at home last night.  This year's speaker was MN Governor Tim Pawlenty. I've attached accounts of his performance.

"Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty last night encouraged the Republican Party to make itself accessible to working people, once known as Reagan Democrats, and highlighted the differences between John McCain and Barack Obama.

"We have great choice before us as country," Pawlenty said at the annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel on Summer Street. "We are going to pick someone who is the commander of the Free World, if you just looked at the resumes of these two individuals it is not even close."

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