Thursday, June 24, 2004

Markey eyes U.S. Senate

Anyone who doesn't think that the Massachusetts political landscape will be turned upside in the wake of Sen. John Kerry being elected president of the United States should think again. Kerry hasn't even won and already a number of Democrats are prepping to run for the presumed open seat.

While mingling with Democratic supporters at Saturday night's Winchester Area Democracy in Action event, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said he will be a candidate for the open seat if Kerry wins. Markey's confirmation wasn't much of a surprise. Some of his supporters have already begun talking up his candidacy and fund-raising letters promoting the special election have reportedly been sent out to potential donors. Markey considered running for the seat in 1984 against Kerry.

But Markey isn't the only member of the state's delegation rumored to be eyeing Kerry's seat.

Rep. Marty Meehan, Rep. Stephen Lynch, Rep. Bill Delahunt, and Rep. Barney Frank are all rumored to be ramping up their campaign committees for an early 2005 special election primary. Former 2002 gubernatorial candidate Robert Reich has also been mentioned as a possible candidate.

And why not run? A special election to fill Kerry's seat is essentially a free pass - no one running will have to relinquish his elected post during the campaign. The race would probably be short and nasty, with many millions of dollars thrown around and divergent Democrat Party interests going at each other.

Lynch would represent pro-life voters and those few lunch bucket Reagan Democrats left in the state while getting good numbers from conservative suburban voters. Frank and Reich would get the bulk of their support from the liberal intellectual enclaves, like Cambridge and Amherst, and could effectively cancel each other out in a tight, low turnout primary. Meehan's base is in the Merrimack Valley but he would pick up centrist votes from certain sectors of the high technology community, who tend to be independent swing voters. Ditto Delahunt whose congressional district - a bastion of moderate and conservative voters since redistricting - has seen spurts of growth.

So where would Markey's statewide support come from? And will his slippery positions on some issues and centrist stance allow him to compete for fickle primary votes in a race with the likes of Frank or Lynch?

Markey's remarks on Saturday had all the makings of a campaign stump speech and show why he will be competitive against anyone [Markey does have a Republican opponent, Ken Chase, and an independent opponent, former Democrat Jim Hall - so he is in campaign mode]. The incumbent verbally lashed out at the Republicans currently in control of D.C. and at President Bush for lying about the invasion of Iraq. But he conveniently disregarded his own vote for the invasion. Markey attacked Attorney General John Ashcroft's secrecy yet failed to mention his own support for the Constitutional-challenging PATRIOT Act and other anti-terrorism legislation. Markey complained that Republicans were passing bills in the dead of night and faulted the media for not covering the discretions. Yet, at the same time, he ignored his own role in weakening the media with the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Bill which allowed a handful of corporations to gobble up all the radio and TV stations, effectively limiting the news coverage.

The throngs of cheering concerned voters at the event didn't seem to notice - or mind - the duplicity. Instead, they enjoyed the political invectives, rightfully angered by the state of the nation.

But listening to Markey complain - while ignoring his role in enabling the problems - was disheartening at best, frightening at worst. And one has to wonder how it will sell on the statewide political stage.

At the same time, Republicans are frantically trying to squelch the special election legislation.

And why shouldn't they? As the law stands now, Romney gets to select Kerry's successor. This law has been in effect since the time when senators were selected by the Legislature and not elected by the people. Some suggest Romney would nominate himself. Others say he could tap Lt. Gov. Kerry Murphy Healy. Former Suffolk D.A. Ralph Martin's and Convention Board chairwoman Gloria Larson's names have also been floated, with Turnpike Authority Board member Christy Mihos saying he would consider running in a special election.

However, are the Democrats overstepping their bounds by even suggesting a special election? Yes, holding onto Kerry's senate seat is extremely important. But the last time the Democrats pulled a ruse like this it backfired.

Earlier this year when the state senate set up a special election to be held on the Democrat's presidential primary day, more voters than expected voted. Some were so angry that they swung to the right and elected a very conservative Republican in otherwise safe Democratic territory. Do Democrats want to repeat this political mistake with a U.S. Senate seat?

Knowing the Democratically-controlled Legislature like we do, I doubt they will pass up the opportunity to do what is in the best interests of their party. Plus, if one of the congressional candidates wins, there will be another special election to fill the congressional vacancy. Who better to run for that seat than state reps and senators waiting for the chance to move up and out?

Combine all of this with Green-Rainbow and Libertarian candidates, candidates scrambling to get 10,000 qualifying signatures in a couple of weeks, and one thing is for sure: A special election for Kerry's seat will be a free-for-all - and every political junkie's dream.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Goodbye, for now:
As of this moment, I am suspending publication of Politizine until further notice. I have decided to spend what precious personal time I have working on other projects. However, I do want to thank the thousands of people who have viewed this site over the years and the hundreds who have sent emails of support, news links, and political thoughts. I have great hope for the world because of all of you out here in online land. Thank you all so much - it was a lot of fun. And don't forget to vote!


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Buchanan promotes Nader:

The cover of the 2004 campaign? Ralph Nader makes a play for conservatives.

Conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan lobs a softball interview to Ralph Nader in the latest edition of The American Conservative Magazine: ["Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking"]. This is pretty amazing stuff and clearly proves the case Nader has been making: He can appeal to both conservatives pissed off at President George W. Bush and liberals who are just not going to vote for John Kerry. Combine this with the efforts of conservatives across the country to get Nader on the ballot in states and donate money to his campaign, and Nader's strategy seems to be working. With Kerry's current Electoral College lead over Bush in most surveys and we will have a new nation by November! Conservative-Naderites - a new political designation? Maybe after all.

U.S. Senator from N.H., hmm ...:
It really sucks to be Democrat N.H. state Sen. Burt Cohen right now.
For the last 18 months, Cohen has been gunning for Republican Sen. Judd Gregg. And why not? Sure, Gregg isn't as bad as most Republicans - but he is still pretty bad. With Kerry looking good here, maybe Cohen could pull off a miracle. Cohen had some pretty good radio ads but didn't seem to have as powerful a message as other Democrats. While he was quick to criticize Republicans, he was tentative on solutions to the issues - which was a problem. But somebody over at the campaign was pilfering campaign funds: ["Sources: Cohen Campaign Funds May Have Been Stolen"]. The fledging PoliticsNH site broke the story first: ["Cohen drops U.S. Senate bid one day before filing period ends"] while word spread around the Web about what was happening.
However, what a tempting situation. Apparently in N.H., registered party members don't have to collect signatures, all they have to do is sign up for the race and they are on the ballot. How easy is that? But just when all hope is lost, the Democrats have a true champion who signed up to run: Granny D!: ["Granny D and two others file for U.S. Senate"]. As the song goes, Go Granny go Granny go Granny go! You have my vote for sure.

In other political news ...:
U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano, D-MA-8, escaped a real close one after former Ambassador Charles Stith decided not to challenge him as an independent this fall: ["Stith decides against a run for Congress"]. And here is my old bud Paul Simmons - finally getting into the papers - by shooting his mouth off in the Boston Phoenix: ["STITH VERSUS CAPUANO"].

"Stith would be road kill," Simmons says. "Capuano is arguably the best field politician currently in Massachusetts, as he proved in the 1998 race. I wonder if this isn’t some sort of trial balloon, because Charlie Stith never struck me as being politically stupid — and it would be stupid to the point of masochism for him to run."

Ouch. While Simmons is probably correct - Stith would lose - he would hardly be road kill, one of Simmons' fave expressions. It would have been a difficult race. Stith was planning on running as an independent - a very difficult task, especially with the arrogant media, who would probably ignore his campaign. However, Stith could easily lay the ground work for 2006, when Capuano is most assuredly going to run for governor against Mitt Romney. And let's be honest: While there is all kinds of talk about "diversity" in Massachusetts, they always manage to find a way not to actually implement diversity. Twelve white males representing them in the Senate and Congress. What an example. There are more black Republicans in elected office in most states then there is in Massachusetts. While Capuano is an okay rep., a Stith campaign would have been a good thing for the state and the black community.

"You say times are tough ..."
Who says ex-rock and rollers can't run for public office? Here is one of my faves, Peter Garrett, running for a Labor Party seat in Australia: ["Ex-Midnight Oil Singer Runs for Office"]. There is hope in the world.

Sunday polls:
Illinois: Kerry 52, Bush 39 [Survey USA].
Michigan: Kerry 45, Bush 43, Nader 3 [EPIC/MRA].
Missouri: Bush 48, Kerry 37, Nader 5 [L.A. Times].
New Hampshire: Bush 46, Kerry 46, Nader 2 [American Research Group, without Nader both Bush and Kerry have 47].
Ohio: Kerry 45, Bush 42, Nader 4 [L.A. Times, without Nader it's Kerry 46, Bush 45. Nader takes more votes from Bush than Kerry].
Pennsylvania: Kerry 47, Bush 46 [Survey USA].
Wisconsin: Bush 44, Bush 42, Nader 4 [L.A. Times, without Nader Kerry and Bush are tied with 44].

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Montana primary:
Kerry - 58,973 - 67.9 percent - 14 delegates.
Kucinich - 9,109 - 10.5 percent.
Edwards - 8,059 - 9.3 percent.
No Preference - 6,172 - 7.1 percent.
Clark - 3,837 - 4.4 percent.
LaRouche - 740 - 0.9 percent.

Bush - 93,502 - 95.2 percent.
No Preference - 4,707 - 4.8 percent.

New Jersey:
Kerry - 191,816 - 92.1 percent - 106 delegates.
Kucinich - 9,074 - 4.4 percent.
LaRouche - 4,528 - 2.2 percent.
George Ballard - 2,758 - 1.3 percent.

Bush - 211,218 - 100 percent - 52 delegates.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Sunday headlines ... and questions:
I am going to be busy today so instead of posting the usual weekend rant, here are some headlines for everyone to peruse:

What is going on in Bush's mind?: ["Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides"]. Holy sh*t:

"President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader's state of mind. In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as 'enemies of the state.'"

Very interesting. There is also this, a pretty good overview of Bush's flip-flops by consultant Dan Payne: ["'Steadfast' Bush's amazing flip-flops"].
Why are liberals worried about Kerry?: Here's why: ["Liberal activists lukewarm on Kerry"]. I meant to post this earlier in the week but I have been busy. Simply, the wrong Democrat is the nominee.
What's going on with Nader?: Nader's press coverage hasn't been bad considering this time four years ago there was practically nothing. Here is a pretty good piece by William Safire: ["Who's a 'spoiler,' and who's not?"]. Worrying about Kerry's energy policy is a legitimate issue these days, with gas prices where they are and no one calling Kerry on his positions: ["Nader skeptical about Kerry on energy"]. Though Nader doesn't mention it, people forget that Kerry was advocating new nuclear power plants in early 2001. But then, there is this: ["Candidates Risk 'Glum' Label for Criticism"]. Sure, this is a "news article" but is also soaked with opinion. The point shouldn't be lost however: Candidates opposing a popular incumbent need to get a bit more positive and allow the surrogates to be negative. Other articles include this one, about efforts to get Nader on the ballot in Mass.: ["Nader supporters crash graduations: Backers want enough signatures to put candidate on ballot"] and this one from New Jersey ["Nader's aim on a viable third party"].
Why isn't this guy mopping up floors somewhere?: ["Rome on $12,000 a Month: The Return of Cardinal Bernard Law"]. So, this is what the Pope thinks should be done to people who don't protect the most innocent among us? The holy father goes on and on about the unborn. Yet, when priests were raping boys, over and over again, for years and years, and Law did nothing but attack those who were being raped, the Pope rewards the man. This is a disgrace.

Sunday polls:
Alabama: Bush 57, Kerry 36, Other 4, Not sure 4 [Rasmussen].
California: Kerry 49, Bush 41, Other 5, Not sure 5 [Rasmussen].
Connecticut: Kerry 46, Bush 36, Nader 8 [Qunnipiac, Without Nader, Kerry gains 4 points, Bush gains 2 points].
Georgia: Bush 51, Kerry 39, Other 5, Not sure 5 [Rasmussen].
Georgia: Bush 49, Kerry 32 [Insider Advantage].
Illinois: Kerry 54, Bush 38, Other 2, Not sure 6 [Rasmussen].
Illinois: Kerry 53, Bush 37, Nader 4 [Market Shares Corp.].
Louisiana: Bush 48, Kerry 42 [Marketing Research Institute].
Maine: Kerry 54, Bush 35, Other 3, Not sure 7 [Rasmussen].
Michigan: Kerry 47, Bush 43 [Survey USA].
Minnesota: Kerry 48, Bush 43, Other 4, Not sure 5 [Rasmussen].
Missouri: Bush 44, Kerry 43, Other 5, Not sure 8 [Rasmussen].
New Jersey: Kerry 51, Bush 39, Other 4, Not sure 6 [Rasmussen].
New York: Kerry 57, Bush 34, Other 4, Not sure 5 [Rasmussen].
North Carolina: Bush 48, Kerry 44, Other 3, Not sure 5 [Rasmussen].
Ohio: Bush 46, Kerry 44, Other 5, Not sure 6 [Rasmussen].
Oregon: Bush 46, Kerry 45, Other 6, Not sure 3 [Rasmussen].
Pennsylvania: Bush 45, Kerry 44 [Rasmussen].
South Carolina: Bush 49, Kerry 39, Other 3, Not sure 8 [Rasmussen].
Texas: Bush 55, Kerry 38, Other 3, Not sure 4 [Rasmussen].
Virgina: Bush 47, Kerry 45, Other 3, Not sure 5 [Rasmussen].

Election Projection has the race Kerry 337, Bush 201: [].
Samboni now has it at Kerry 312, Bush 226: [].
David Wissing has it at Bush 307, Kerry 231: [].
MyDD Blog has it Kerry 316, Bush 222: [].

Rasmussen comments on why they aren't including Nader in their polls here: ["Why We're Not Including Ralph Nader"]. Here is an interesting quote: "These polls have caused some to conclude that Nader will once again play the role of spoiler for the Democratic contender. We respectfully disagree."

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Nearly half Nader voters would vote for Bush!
Thanks to Kevin for sending me some of the raw data from this ABC News/Washington Post Poll which shows almost half of Nader's support coming from Bush. I did a google and found the link: ["White House 2004: General Election"]. The poll talked to 1,005 adults over May 20-23.
When asked who they were supporting, the results were Bush 46, Kerry 46, Nader 4, None/Wouldn't vote 2, No Opinion 1.
However, when Nader and undecided voters were asked, "If Nader does not run or is not on the ballot, for whom would you vote: Bush or Kerry?" Bush got 47 percent to Kerry's 49 percent. In April, the results were Bush 49, Kerry 48.
So nearly half of Nader voters in May and over half of Nader voters in April planned to vote for Bush if Nader wasn't a choice. Again, more polling evidence that shows that Nader is hurting Bush just as much as Kerry and goes to the heart of what Nader has been saying about his 2004 campaign.

R.I.P. Reagan:
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died earlier this afternoon. Since I try to make a habit of not speaking ill of the dead, I won't say anything about his passing. I feel for his family and wish them condolences.

Friday, June 4, 2004

From June 1, Democrat:
Kerry - 162,958 - 75 percent - 44 delegates.
Uncommitted - 37,986 - 17.5 percent - 6 delegates.
Kucinich - 9,043 - 4.2 percent.
LaRouche - 7,241 - 3.3 percent.

Bush - 186,926 - 93 percent - 45 delegates.
Uncommitted - 13,971 - 7 percent.

New Mexico:
Bush - 47,341 - 21 percent.

South Dakota:
Kerry - 69,454 - 82.3 percent - 14 delegates.
Uncommitted - 5,104 - 6.0 percent - 6 delegates.
Dean - 4,837 - 5.7 percent.
LaRouche - 2,942 - 3.5 percent.
Kucinich - 2,043 - 2.4 percent.