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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 6,836

About Me

Husband, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

If the California election is so "quiet", explain the mountain of campaign literature on our table.

Our I just finished ripping up enough campaign literature to fill an entire mailbox. And they were all for the myriad California and San Francisco ballot proposals, for and against. I saw only two that actually advocated voting for an actual human being. So, if you think we have it easy in the Golden State, please think again.

Latest Iowa absentee ballot numbers (as of October 19)

Every weekday through November 4, Bleeding Heartland is posting early voting numbers for all of Iowa and in each of the four Congressional districts. All data come from the Iowa Secretary of State's Office. The latest tables are after the jump. Click here for previous tables going back to September 22.

Absentee ballot requests from Iowa Republicans and no-party voters now exceed the total early vote from those groups in Iowa's 2010 midterm election. Ballot requests from Iowa Democrats are only about 4,000 below the total early vote cast by Democrats in 2010.

Three big unanswered questions remain: which party is generating more absentee ballot requests from "unreliable" voters who otherwise would not participate in the midterm? Which party has mobilized more of the independents who are voting early? And which party will do better in making sure its supporters not only request an absentee ballot, but also return it to the county auditor on time?

All 99 county auditors' offices are open for in-person early voting during regular business hours through Monday, November 3. Larger-population counties also have satellite voting locations, often in public libraries or community centers. Click here (pdf) for the full list of Polk County satellite voting locations, with dates and hours. The last day for in-person early voting at satellite locations in Polk County is this Friday, October 24.


Poll: Alison Lundergan Grimes Trails Mitch McConnell By 1 Point

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes remains very competitive in the Kentucky Senate race against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, according to a new poll released just two weeks before Election Day.

McConnell leads by a mere 1 point among likely voters — 44 percent to 43 percent — in a Bluegrass Poll released Monday, well within the survey's margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

Eight percent were undecided and 5 percent supported Libertarian candidate David Patterson.

The result comes as Grimes, the secretary of state, faces strong political headwinds in the conservative state. It's the first poll in the race since Grimes captured national headlines — and criticism — for refusing to answer questions about whether she voted for President Barack Obama.


Penn. Supreme Court Suspends Justice Over Pornographic Emails

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday suspended Justice Seamus McCaffery (pictured top left) for using his personal email to send pornographic images to state employees, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

McCaffery admitted that he sent sexually explicit emails with a private account. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille released an account of over 200 emails sent or received by McCaffery containing inappropriate materials, according to the Inquirer.

The revelations that McCaffery sent these emails follow the resignation of two state officials for sending pornographic emails to other state employees. Attorney General Kathleen Kane in September identified eight individuals who had worked in the Attorney General's office that exchanged explicit emails.

Chief Justice Castille called for a special prosecutor to investigate the case, but for now the Judicial Conduct Board will decide whether charges will be filed against McCaffery. The board has 30 days to make a determination.


KY-SEN: Clintons to make another appearance for Grimes.

FRANKFORT, KY. — Candidates in Kentucky's combative U.S. Senate race are bringing in outside help with two weeks to go as Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes will campaign with Bill Clinton on Tuesday and a trio of Republican congressmen will stump for Sen. Mitch McConnell beginning Monday.

It will be the third visit for Clinton, who won the state twice as a presidential candidate and remains popular with Kentuckians. The former president is a top surrogate for Democrats this fall. But Clinton's latest visit to Kentucky comes after a new Gallup survey shows that, for the first time since 2008, more Kentuckians identify or lean toward Republicans than Democrats.

Kentucky Democrats still lead Republicans by more than 460,000 registered voters. But the Gallup survey, conducted from January to June, shows 45 percent of Kentuckians identify as Republicans while 39 percent identify as Democrats. In 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president, Gallup said 52 percent of Kentuckians identified or leaned toward Democrats. That number has fallen every year. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

"The six-percentage-point edge favoring Republicans ... underscores the uphill battle Grimes faces in trying to unseat McConnell," Justin McCarthy wrote for Gallup. "Given typical Republican advantages in voter turnout, the Democratic deficit on partisanship among those Kentucky residents who actually turn out to vote may be even greater than six points."

Republican Party of Kentucky chairman Steve Robertson says the poll reflects the party's recent gains in voter registration. Since 2008, Republicans have added 165,131 voters while Democrats have added 20,424.


PA-GOV: For Corbett, an uphill battle for a second term

Now, as the weeks until the Nov. 4 election turn into days, those close to Mr. Corbett — and even the governor himself — point to the prosecutorial experiences and tendencies that propelled his political rise as factors that also have contributed to the challenges facing his re-election.

He has been polling behind his Democratic challenger, Tom Wolf, by so much for so long that Republicans point with excitement to two polls this month showing the governor losing by less than 10 points in a state whose chief executives have been re-elected ever since the constitutional change of 1968 permitted consecutive terms.

“He has the natural tendencies of an attorney general to keep everything close to his vest,” said Jim Roddey, the GOP chairman in Allegheny County. “He’s not the typical Ed Rendell type of politician who has a press conference every day and everything he does, he beats his chest and makes announcements. He went about his work quietly and efficiently, maybe too much so.”

Allies suggest, too, that both his years practicing law and his personal character have made Mr. Corbett a loyal soldier for what he believes is right, perhaps too much so to allow for nimble politics.


MD-GOV: Obama touts Brown's message in Md.

Pesident Barack Obama sought to rally support for Anthony G. Brown's gubernatorial campaign at an event in Prince George's County on Sunday, telling an enthusiastic crowd that the lieutenant governor is offering a better vision for the middle class than his Republican opponent.

In his first appearance on stage with a candidate running in this year's midterm elections, the president sounded themes from his own campaigns, arguing that Brown's positions on education and the economy represented a message of hope and that Republicans were peddling fear and cynicism in races across the country.

Howard County executive Ken Ulman, Brown's running mate, spoke to the crowd before Brown. President Barack Obama joined Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown at a campaign rally for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate at the Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School gym.
Brown campaign rally.

"You deserve leaders that don't root for failure, don't try to re-fight the old battles, don't try to peddle fear," the president told about 8,000 people — mainly African-Americans — packed into a high school gymnasium in Upper Marlboro. "If you want good policies to continue in Maryland, you've got to vote for it."


ME-GOV: Hillary Clinton to campaign for Michaud in Maine on Friday

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud on Friday at Scarborough High School, 11 Municipal Drive, according to information posted on Michaud’s campaign website....


The Seven Senate Races Democrats Should Be Optimistic About in 2016

6/7. Missouri/New Hampshire. Both of these states were seen as Democratic pick-up opportunities early in 2009; both fell easily to Republicans. But in both states, Democrats have elected broadly popular governors who've run ahead of Obama. Missouri's Jay Nixon (who lost a 1998 Senate race by 9 points) will be finishing a second term, as (probably) will New Hampshire's Maggie Hassan. (She's up again this year but not struggling.) If either are coaxed to run, they make competitive races.

4/5. Kentucky/Florida. Both states are represented by senators with barely-disguised national ambitions. Neither can run for re-election if he runs for the presidency. After Arkansas and Missouri, Kentucky is the state where the Clinton-led ticket is expected to run most strongly ahead of the two doomed Obama-Biden tickets. (This has at least a little to do with race.) It's also one of the last red state redoubts of electable Democrats. If Attorney General Jack Conway or Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes lose races this year and next year (he's running for governor, she's running for Senate), both would be beseeched by Democrats to look at the open Senate seat. Florida's Democratic bench is weaker, funny enough, but the state is trending blue.

3. Wisconsin. First-time candidate Ron Johnson defeated Sen. Russ Feingold easier than anyone not paid by Johnson had thought possible. Feingold left politics, joining the Obama administration to work on African issues. Johnson has established himself as a b.s.-free conservative who refused to engage in shutdown politics and has picked smart fights with the Obama administration. He is, according to reporter Ken Vogel, seen by the Koch network as a model politician. But in 2016 he'll be running in a state likely to break for Hillary Clinton. Feingold could return from the Bush, or Rep. Ron Kind could finally make the statewide run he's been passing on for years.

2. Pennsylvania. Sen. Pat Toomey narrowly lost a 2004 primary to Arlen Specter, spent six years building a political base, then scared Specter out of Republican politics. In November 2010, Toomey narrowly (narrower than polling predicted) triumphed over Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak. This was the recent apogee of the Pennsylvania Republican party; four years later, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett looks certain to lose to challenger Tom Wolf. Democrats are giddy about their chances of winning Pennsylvania with Hillary atop the ticket, and either Sestak or another ambitious Democrat will happily oppose Toomey. In a recent PPP poll, he actually trailed Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who was elected in the surprisingly strong Democratic year of 2012.

1. Illinois. As soon as Barack Obama won the presidency, Illinois's Democratic majority started fumbling away everything they'd done. Gov. Rod Blagojevich immediately plunged in a scheme to basically sell Obama's vacant Senate seat. It ended Blagojevich's career and destroyed Rep. Jesse Jackson, who had big ambitions for statewide office. Like a member of The Who leaving a 1970s hotel room, Blagojevich went out by ruining things for his party, appointing the vainglorious and dim Roland Burris to the Senate seat. That made Rep. Mark Kirk's seemingly impossible job -- winning the president's old Senate seat -- doable. And even then, Kirk only beat scandal-plagued State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias by 1.9 points, falling short of an outright majority.


Washington Post's Gubernatorial races most likely to switch parties.

I'll leave it to you to read their rationales for the sake of time and copyright.

1. Pennsylvania.
2. Arkansas
3. Maine.
4. Florida
5. Kansas
6. Connecticut
7. Illinois
8. Colorado
9. Michigan
10. Wisconsin
11. Alaska
12. Massachusetts
13. Georgia

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