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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: 19,502

About Me

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

Journal Archives

IA-03: Young Moves From Lean Republican to Toss Up

This Des Moines district has frustrated Democrats before, but it's exactly the kind of seat that will decide the House. Barack Obama won it by four points in 2012, but it voted for President Trump 48 percent to 45 percent in 2016. GOP Rep. David Young hasn't cracked 54 percent since winning the seat in 2014, and the former chief of staff to Sen. Chuck Grassley lacks a truly independent political brand. Last year, he voted for the AHCA and the GOP tax bill.

However, Democrats took a while to sort themselves out here this cycle. Digital design businesswoman Cindy Axne wasn't her party's front-runner in 2017, but caught a break this March when real estate businesswoman Theresa Greenfield dropped out of the race after discovering her staff forged ballot petitions. In June, Axne won the Democratic primary against two well-funded men with an impressive 58 percent of the vote.

Axne grew up on the south side of Des Moines, where her height served her well on the high school basketball team. She graduated from the University of Iowa, earned an MBA at Northwestern and worked for the Tribune Company in Chicago before moving back to Iowa to raise her family. She worked as a strategic planner for state agencies under Govs. Chet Culver and Terry Branstad, and successfully lobbied her local school district for full-day kindergarten.

After emerging from a turbulent primary process, Axne's campaign has developed into a serious threat to the incumbent. Between April and June, Axne outraised Young $657,000 to $538,000 (Young still had more cash on hand, $1.4 million to $465,000). She'll try to capitalize on Democratic enthusiasm in Des Moines and its suburbs while talking about spending time on her grandparents' Warren County farm to connect with rural voters.

For his part, Young won't be shy about his break from the Trump administration on tariffs (he calls steel and aluminum tariffs a "tax on Iowans", and he'll highlight Axne's refusal to say whether she'll back Nancy Pelosi for speaker. But he may not be able to escape the president's shadow, especially as soybean and corn prices tumble further. Axne and Democrats will use Young's votes for the healthcare and tax bills as evidence he's in lockstep with Republican leaders.

This week, Axne's campaign released an early July poll taken by ALG Research showing her leading Young, 45 percent to 41 percent. Republicans dispute that Axne is in the lead, but admit it's a very competitive race. Democratic businessman Fred Hubbell is also competitive against GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds and will likely need to carry the 3rd CD to win. He could help Axne. Young's race moves from Lean Republican to the Toss Up column.


The DCCC raised $15 million in June

(CNN)The committee charged with delivering a House majority for Democrats in the midterm elections raised $15.2 million in the month of June, its best fundraising month of the 2018 cycle so far and the latest sign of Democratic enthusiasm ahead of November.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced the haul Wednesday. The announcement comes on the heels of a strong fundraising quarter for Democratic House candidates and builds on months of robust fundraising by House Democrats' chief campaign committee.

Last month, the DCCC broke its record for May fundraising with a $11.2 million haul.

The National Republican Congressional Committee had yet to release its June fundraising figures as of Wednesday but has trailed the DCCC in monthly fundraising since January of this year. While the committees ended May neck-and-neck in cash-on-hand at just over $60 million, the DCCC announced it now had over $68 million banked going forward.

June was the strongest fundraising month of the 2018 election cycle for the DCCC, which said it raised nearly $5.5 million online, and over $2.2 million on June 30 alone -- the last day of the reporting period. The committee also said it has received donations from over 387,000 first-time contributors this cycle and that the average June contribution online was $20.

For the entire 2018 election cycle, the DCCC announced it had raised a total of $177 million with $65 million coming online.
"The DCCC's historic fundraising and grassroots support combined with record candidate fundraising ensures that incredible Democratic candidates will have the resources to share their unique stories and records of service with the voters," said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján.

The NRCC did not immediately respond for comment on their June fundraising totals.


FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Ned Lamont for Connecticut Governor

For Ned, this isn't about politics; this is about getting the job done. As governor, Ned will fight every day for Connecticut as an example of what politics can and should be.

As a businessman, Ned started his own company, taking on the large and established giants of the telecom industry. His driving idea was a simple but revolutionary one: a better product at a lower price, with a commitment to put the needs of his customers first. Under Ned’s vision and stewardship, the company grew to serve over 400 of America's largest college campuses and 1 million college students across the nation.

As a public servant, Ned got his start shortly after college, founding a weekly newspaper in a town hit by the loss of its largest employer. Covering town meetings and the Board of Selectmen, he helped to bring voice and transparency to a community working to recover from job losses and reinvent itself. Later, as a member of both the Greenwich Board of Selectmen and the Board of Estimate and Taxation, Ned worked in a bipartisan effort to safeguard a multimillion-dollar budget and deliver results for constituents. For four years, Ned also served as Chairman of the State Investment Advisory Council, overseeing a multibillion-dollar state pension fund.

As a volunteer teacher, Ned also sought to give back to his community by volunteering at Harding High School in Bridgeport. In an effort to pass on the entrepreneurial spark, Ned taught students about the inner-workings of small businesses, bringing in local businesspeople to share their own experiences, and helping to place students in local internships. Ned is on the faculty of Central Connecticut State University as an adjunct professor of political science and philosophy, where he also helped to found a popular business start-up competition. In early 2009, he helped lead an initiative to bring together Connecticut leaders from across the business, nonprofit, and labor sectors to unite in a strategy to create new jobs in the state.

As a candidate for United States Senate in 2006, he stood up for his convictions and challenged the political establishment. Taking on long-time incumbent Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination for United States Senate, Ned campaigned on the platform that wars in the Middle East were draining resources and attention that could be better focused on pressing domestic issues like the economy, education, and healthcare. In their endorsement of Ned for the general election, the New York Times wrote that Ned's "willingness to take on Mr. Lieberman when no one else dared to do it showed real courage and conviction." Though he was defeated in the general election, he has stayed active in Democratic politics, serving as co-chairman of the Obama campaign in Connecticut. As a private citizen he has continued to fight for the issues he believes, serving on the boards of Mercy Corps and the Conservation Services Group, non-profits which seek to make a difference in the humanitarian and renewable energy fields, respectively.

As governor, Ned Lamont will draw on these varied experiences to challenge the conventional wisdom in Hartford and get our state back on track.


FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Cathy Myers for Congress WI-01

I’m the daughter of an army veteran and an Army Reserve nurse who started a small business running a truck stop, worked hard, and later added a diner. They worked tirelessly to give our family of six a middle-class life. It was a team effort. They, with the help of their employees, built something pretty great, and they taught us kids the value of hard work, public service, and taking responsibility for community and country.

My brothers, sister, and I have always lived those values in our own lives. Each of us started at the truckstop, picking up trash, waiting tables, washing dishes, painting, you name it. Mom and Dad always insisted that we start from the ground floor and work our way up. My siblings and I have worked hard to support our family to ensure everyone has a roof over their head and food on the table.

I understand what folks here are going through because I have had a few careers myself. I’ve been a radio station news producer, a child care provider, a stay at home mom, and, for the last 23 years, a teacher.

It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes fighting for opportunity has meant going into debt, taking an extra job, or even taking some equity out of my home. But I’m proud, that like my parents, I have always been able to provide a fair shot and a decent opportunity to my kids.

Public service has been vitally important to me, my entire life, so I have thrown myself into our community. I have been selected to the Advisory Committee on Appointments, I joined the board of the Red Road House continuum of care facility for chronic alcoholics and drug abusers, and have done grassroots organizing around local issues, national issues, and for many local campaigns. In 2013, I was elected to the Janesville School Board and reelected in 2016.

I’m running because, for far too many, opportunity is slipping away. The middle class I was raised in is going away. I worry about our kids and the future they have to look forward to. But I also know this: ordinary Americans are capable of extraordinary things when we come together to demand a new direction. I reject any notion that we can’t build an even better America. I know it’s possible because I know people like you can help make it so.

So if you think now is the time for a Member of Congress to represent the truckers, the teachers, the factory workers, and the small business owners; I am asking you to join this campaign.


Rand Paul wants to strip John Brennan's federal pension after calling Trump "traitor".


Did Butina offer sex to get a job at the NRA?

The indictment describes an offer to sleep with someone for a position at a special interest group. M

All Hands On Deck: OH-12 could flip red to blue in two weeks


Every Republican votes to confirm judicial nominee hostile to voting rights

“The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm another one of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Andrew Oldham, despite more than 200 civil rights groups opposing him over his record of trying to restrict voting and civil rights,” the HuffPost reports.

“Every Republican voted to put Oldham, 39, into a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans. Every Democrat opposed him. The final tally was 50-49.”


IA-03 moves from Lean Republican to Toss-up


Democrats Cut Way Back on Caucus States

A quiet but significant shift across a handful of states could reshape the Democratic nominating process ahead of 2020: The party is now poised to see a historic reduction in the number of states that use caucuses over primaries to pick a presidential nominee.

By next year, Democrats could see the number of caucus states cut in half.

Four states have already moved from a caucus system to a traditional primary: Maine, Minnesota, Colorado, and, as of last month, Idaho made the switch. Party officials say two more states — Nebraska and Washington — are now considering the same change. And as Democratic Party members prepare to adopt changes to the nominating process at their annual summer meeting next month — including a new rule to “encourage” the use of primaries over caucuses “whenever possible” — caucus states may face new outside pressure to embrace state-run primaries.

The shift could leave just seven caucus states on the nominating calendar. For more than 20 years, Democrats have held caucuses in no fewer than 14 states.

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