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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
October 22, 2013

BART strike update: possible deal could get trains running Tuesday

Negotiations in the ongoing BART labor dispute resumed Monday with hopes of reaching a deal in time for the Tuesday commute.

After talking quietly Sunday night, BART management and its two large unions were meeting Monday afternoon with the help of a federal mediator. Both sides were hoping to finally reach a settlement after more than six months of bargaining.

It comes after a break in the negotiations that began just before unions walked off the job and shut down the nation's fifth-largest rail system on Friday morning.

An on-again-off-again gag order is back on, as both sides have declined to discuss any details from the table. The remaining issues are salary increases and various work rules for the system's 2,300 union workers.


October 22, 2013

De Blasio Headed for Huge Win

New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for mayor, tops Republican Joseph Lhota 68 - 24 percent among likely voters, with few voters undecided or likely to change their mind, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independence Party candidate Adolfo Carrion has 2 percent.

This compares to a 71 - 21 percent de Blasio lead in an October 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Today, de Blasio leads 54 - 42 percent among white voters, 94 - 5 percent among black voters, 79 - 10 percent, with 6 percent for Carrion, among Hispanic voters, 71 - 21 percent among women, 65 - 29 percent among men, 86 - 9 percent among Democrats and 55 - 33 percent among independent voters. Lhota takes Republicans 84 - 13 percent.

Only 5 percent of likely voters remain undecided and 8 percent of those who name a candidate say there's a "good chance" they will change their mind by November 5.


October 22, 2013

Not Larry Sabato: Virginia AG race down to the wire.

By far the most interesting statewide race of 2013 has been between Mark Obenshain and Mark Herring for Attorney General. Both began the year strongly favored for their party nominations, and both were almost caught by challengers at the end- Obenshain needing an endorsement from Ken Cuccinelli to save him at the GOP convention, and Mark Herring barely pulling out a 51% win in the Democratic primary.

Most political observers expected a stark contrast in this race- while Herring is no liberal, he is left of center in voting patterns in the Senate for sure, while Obenshain is one of the most conservative members of the Virginia Senate- a virtual clone to Cuccinelli when they served together. But that is not the race that happened. Obenshain was able to quickly move and capture the political center and took control of the narrative in this race early on. His deft maneuvering to distance himself from Ken Cuccinelli on a few issues (mostly in terms of style, but a little bit of substance) got widespread coverage and since then the media has been covering him as some sort of GOP maverick compared to Cuccinelli.

Herring's campaign has done the right thing in response- to just hammer Obenshain on his voting record and try to remind people to look at his votes and bills- not at his rhetoric in the campaign. But while that's the best you can do when someone pulls a dramatic shift in a campaign like this, most voters are not searching legislative records.

There's no question at this point that Obenshain will lead the GOP ticket in votes- perhaps by a substantial margin. But with the recent voter anger over the federal government shutdown blaming Republicans- and the anger in the electorate- that may not be enough for Obenshain. Right now we rate this race- otherwise a pure tossup- as Slight-Lean Democratic because of the political winds. If T-Mac wins by 10%, that's about a 200,000 vote margin- likely too much for Obenshain to overcome in crossover. 100,000 (5% margin) is more doable, as both Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell can attest from 2005 when they barely won downballot from Tim Kaine. Either way, there is no doubt this will be the last statewide race called on election night.


October 22, 2013

AP Reporter And Editor Fired Over False McAuliffe Report

The Associated Press has fired a reporter and editor in connection to a false story alleging Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lied to a postal inspector in a fraud scheme, according to The Huffington Post.

The author of the report, which was retracted soon after it was published, Bob Lewis has been fired, the news services announced Monday. Dena Potter, a news editor for the Associated Press who covered Virginia and West Virginia, has also been fired.

Earlier in October the news service reported that McAuliffe had lied to a federal official investigating a fraud scheme run by a Rhode Island estate planner. The report cited documents which referred to a person named "T.M." T.M. turned out to be somebody other than McAuliffe.


October 21, 2013

Some New Jersey towns refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

For the first couples to tie the knot legally, it's been a weekend of fast wedding planning and confusion.

Some towns began taking applications for same-sex marriage licenses on Thursday and continued even after the state government told them not to until there was clarity from the courts.

Other towns refused to grant licenses even after the state Health Department said Friday evening that towns should accept the applications.

It's expected that a rush of weddings will continue in coming days as couples are able to get licenses.


October 21, 2013

I'm not happy that Christie dropped his appeal on gay marriage.

I wanted the New Jersey Supreme Court to say loud and clear that the law as it stands on the books is unconstitutional. If they won't rule, I want the legislature to override the veto and pass marriage equity into statutory law as well. Call me a downer, but I don't like resting on lower court rulings.

October 20, 2013

No end yet for BART strike in San Francisco

(Reuters) - San Francisco faced another day without its commuter rail system on Sunday with no new strike talks scheduled to resolve the labor dispute.

Vigils were planned in honor of two workers who were struck and killed by a train as they checked a section of the track over the weekend.

The strike against the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency, which carries about 400,000 riders a day, began on Friday after contract talks broke down over pay and workplace rules.

With no negotiating talks scheduled, the walkout is expected to snarl traffic in the coming week as the city returns to work.

On Sunday, members of one of the unions leading the strike planned vigils for the two workers, according to a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union Local 1021.


October 20, 2013

PA: Democrats now outnumber Republicans in Delaware County

Going into the Nov. 5 election, the county Democratic Party has an edge of 664 voters over the local Republican Party.

The deadline to register for the election was last week. As of Oct. 15, the county had 385,609 total registered voters. Of that amount, there are 170,317 Democrats and 169,653 Republicans which left 45,639 registered with other parties or without affiliation.

The latest voter registration figures in Delaware County are a stark contrast from two decades ago. In 1992, there were 324,241 registered voters in Delaware County, according to county officials. Of that total, 218,774 were Republicans and 82,783 were Democrats.

And in 2002, there were 327,453 registered voters in Delaware County. Of that total, 196,614 were Republicans and 99,296 were Democrats.


October 20, 2013

Not Larry Sabato: Lt. Governor's Race Over As Well

There's no question that after the tea party revolt at the GOP convention brought in E.W. Jackson, the value of the Democratic nomination soared to incredible levels. A couple of weeks later, Senator Ralph Northam rode older voters to a victory over Aneesh Chopra.

The only way for Northam to lose this election to Jackson would have been for the candidates to be completely unknown to the public. Jackson figured this out after his awful launch and went into hiding over the summer and early fall as best as he could. Northam disappeared as well, and public polling in September showed Jackson running ahead of Ken Cuccinelli. If McAuliffe ran close, could Jackson win with him?

But in the last couple of weeks, Northam seems to have woken up and his voter communication is starting. His numbers have rebounded to match or exceed McAuliffe and he is now in total command of this campaign.

But after his 3 month sleepwalk, will Democrats want to nominate him for Governor in 2017? Northam will win LG, but he may have damaged his chances at the big prize in four years.


October 19, 2013

Not Larry Sabato: Terry Mac heading for record win for a Dem in Virginia.

The election of 2013 can be summed up with some very simple numbers.

In 2001, Mark Warner averaged a net +31% in favorability over unfavorability ratings as he ran for Governor. He won by 5%. Many people who liked Warner didn't end up voting for him but helped him form a strong base of support while he was Governor.

In 2005, Tim Kaine averaged a net +24% in favorability over unfavorability ratings in his race for Governor. He won by 6%.

In 2013, Terry McAuliffe is averaging a -7% in favorability versus unfavorability. Yes, a *negative* 7%. But he is leading in polling by a wider margin than Warner or Kaine and looks to win the largest margin for any Democrat for Governor since Gerry Bailies in 1985. In fact- he may even break that record (just over 10%) for the biggest Democratic win for Governor in the modern era.

How could this be? It's because this years election isn't about the Democrats or Terry McAuliffe. It is solely about Ken Cuccinelli. Voters have decided to reject his candidacy and they don't seem to care about McAuliffe- even voters that say they dislike Terry are favoring him by massive margins when they say they also dislike Cuccinelli.


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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
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About RandySF

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