No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for the 'Elections' Category

January 4, 2017

Election bauble

Though this place may not exactly reflect the truism, the election cycle never really stops. Yesterday saw the last date candidates could file for the spring non-partisan election, headlined (at least on paper) by the state Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Annette Ziegler and the state superintendent of public instruction seat currently held by Tony Evers, as well as the release of most of the counties’ reimbursement requests for conducting the Presidential recount.

First, the shocking and surprising item. The Jill Stein campaign will almost certainly have spent significantly less than originally billed for her total net 66 vote gain (and 778 net vote loss vice winner/President-elect Donald Trump). With final reimbursement requests from 69 of 72 counties and a preliminary request from a 70th (Milwaukee), those 70 counties spent a total of $1,533,488.25 on the recount, a mere 51.6% of their estimates of $2,992,849.31. If Brown and Kenosha Counties spent a similar percentage of their original $368,757 estimates, the counties/municipalities portion of the bill will come to just a tick over $2 million.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has yet to produce its costs, but I somehow doubt that it will be anywhere close to $1.5 million. This may be a Flashing VCR Correct moment (more rare than the Stopped Clock Right moment), but you do have to love efficient, accurate government. If only the DOT would take a lesson from this and not do expensive stuff like putting in a 300-foot dedicated right-turn lane to service a half-dozen residences.

Next, the shocking-but-shouldn’t-have-surprised-anyone moment. Justice Annette Ziegler will be unopposed on the ballot. It’s shocking in that the last person to run unopposed was the late Justice Patrick Crooks in 2006, with 7 contested elections, the last 6 with sitting Justices (though the last was essentially an open seat) in the interim. It shouldn’t have been surprising because 5 of those sitting Justices won re-election, with Justice Michael Gableman’s defeat of then-Justice Louis Butler in 2008 being the only defeat of a sitting Justice since 1967.

Another item in the “shouldn’t have been surprising” bin – JR Ross notes Justice Ann Walsh Bradley was unopposed in 2005.

Meanwhile, Evers (WEAC-WEAC) drew a former Beloit superindent Lowell Holtz and Walker recall signer John Humphries to force a February 21 primary.

December 2, 2016

Wisconsin is the swingingest swing state that ever swung

Dr. Eric Ostermeier analyzed the history of plurality wins by a Presidential candidate over at Smart Politics. He has a whole host of remarkable numbers, but I’ll highlight a couple of Wisconsin-specific items.

With Trump’s (pending recount) plurality win, one of 14 this cycle, Wisconsin now has the highest percentage of plurality Presidential wins in the nation at 30.2%. That includes 4 straight plurality wins between 1992 and 2004, just one cycle off the record of 5 set by Indiana between 1876 and 1892.

That also makes Wisconsin one of only 3 states to have produced 5 plurality winners between 1992 and 2016, with New Mexico and Florida the other 2. New Mexico also produced plurality winners in the same years as Wisconsin, while Florida produced a plurality winner in 2012 instead of 2004.

That alone doesn’t make Wisconsin the swingingest swing state. It is also the margins of victory that matter, and since 2000, Wisconsin stands alone in that regard. Unless Trump gains a net of some 6,000 votes in the recount (or Clinton somehow gains a net of 29,000 votes or Stein some 1.4 million, neither of which appears likely to happen even after the most-Democrat-leaning county in the state, Menominee County, finished their portion of the recount), this will be the 3rd election of the last 5 to be decided by less than a percentage point.

November 5, 2014

The 2014 election – instant reactions

It’s been far too long since I posted here, but it’s high time to do so once again. As it’s 3 am, it will be stream-of-(semi)consciousness.

– The big winner is Republicans in general, and Scott Walker in particular. With nearly every precinct counted, but with some late-arriving absentee ballots still out, Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch won re-election (again), they beat the Democrat ticket of Mary Burke and John Lehman by a 52.3%-46.6% margin.

– The Republicans extended their majorities in the Legislature to 19-14 in the Senate and at least 61-38 in the Assembly, with 2 races with Republicans in the lead likely going to a recount. If the Republicans hold onto both of those leads, the 63-36 margin would be the largest Republican margin since Dwight Eisenhower was President.

– That 19-14 Senate margin, while equal to that coming out of the 2010 election, is a more-conservative margin with the departures of Dale Schultz and Mike Ellis. Current Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald might want to take note of what happened to each of his 4 immediate full-session predecessors in the majority office (including Democrat Russ Decker). The bad news – Fleebagging is still an option for the Dems.

– One would be tempted to call Mary Burke The Big Loser in Wisconsin, but that “honor” goes to Democrat Party of Wisconsin chair Mike “Ahab” Tate. After 4 years of raging, and after some false hope in 2012 with the recall “rental” of a couple of Senate seats, Barack Obama’s win, and Rob Zerban getting within 10 percentage points of Paul Ryan, all he and his fellow Dems have to show for it is a smaller minority in the Assembly and a 28-point pasting of Zerban by Tate’s White Whale. The question now is not whether he’s re-elected to his chair next June, but whether he’s pushed out before then.

– I guess running a soft-on-crime DA for attorney general is about as successful as running a career politician for attorney general. The hardest hit – Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (D-Milwaukee), who is likely drowning his sorrows in John Doe III papers.

– Even with the Republican wave, there was one Democrat statewide survivor, Secretary of State Doug La Follette. Given his reluctance to do the one duty of SecState left to him, his 2018 SecState win will likely be a hollow one as his office is eliminated in that same election.

– The minor parties won’t like the pending elimination of the state treasurer’s and secretary of state’s office. While the Libertarian Party candidate also got 3% in the attorney general’s race, both the Green Party and Constitution Party had to dip into the tertiary statewide races to get the 1.0% of the vote in a statewide election necessary to have a state-run primary and automatic ballot access for the next 4 years.

– Nationally, it was a disaster for the Democrats. Once Mark Begich (D-Alaska) realizes the votes simply aren’t there, it will be an 8-seat pickup in the Senate, and it is likely that the Republicans will win the runoff in Louisiana. Once that happens, Angus King (I-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) may well bolt the Democrat caucus to make it a 12-seat Republican margin.

– The news isn’t any better in the House – the Republicans picked up at least 12 seats to extend their majority to at least 241 seats.

– The news isn’t much better for Democrat governors. While Sarah Palin successfully backstabbed her successor over his cutting of oil-financed welfare (negotiated by her), Republican pick-ups in places like Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts made up for it. I guess the Fleebaggers will have to run to Minnesota.

November 19, 2013

No NRE Decision Desk tonight

by @ 17:57. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

I had hoped to bring you the results from the 21st Assembly special general election and the 82nd Assembly special primary election as they come in, but I will be otherwise occupied tonight. For those of you who want the results long before the rest of the media gets around to mentioning them, WisPolitics will have those results, as well as the results for the 69th Assembly special general election, on their election blog.

Election day in southern Milwaukee County – TODAY

by @ 6:51. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

There are two special elections for the State Assembly today:

– The 21st Assembly District, in Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and the strip of Franklin between 27th and 35th, and between Drexel and Central. I wholeheartedly endorse Jessie Rodriguez, who is going up against carpetbagging Democrat Elizabeth Coppola.

– The 82nd Assembly District, in the rest of Franklin (except the northwest corner bounded by Woods, North Cape, Forest Home, and the city limits), Greendale, and the eastern part of Greenfield. That is a primary election, with 4 Republicans looking to advance to take on the sole Democrat in 4 weeks’ time. I didn’t follow that primary because I don’t live in that district, but Kevin Fischer has endorsed Shari Hanneman.

October 22, 2013

The NRE Decision Desk calls the 21st Assembly District Republican nomination for Jessie Rodriguez

by @ 21:00. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

Based on the unofficial results from Oak Creek’s Facebook site, The No Runny Eggs Decision Desk has called the 21st Assembly District Republican nomination for Jessie Rodriguez. Yes, South Milwaukee and Franklin have not posted results online yet, and the local media hasn’t reported anything, but Oak Creek does comprise more than half of the district, and a larger majority of those who are likely to participate on the Republican side of the primary even with an uncontested primary on the Democrat side.

The results in Oak Creek are:

Jessie Rodriguez 939
Ken Gehl 415
Chris Kujawa 350
Larry Gamble 89
Red Arnold 22

Revisions/extensions (9:09 pm 10/22/2013) – Franklin’s results are in, and push the totals to:

Jessie Rodriguez 996
Ken Gehl 425
Chris Jukawa 372
Larry Gamble 111
Red Arnold 22

R&E parts 2 and 3 (9:16 pm and 9:19 pm 10/22/2013 for more info) – Now South Milwaukee has reported, and it’s all over but the certification later this week. Jessie Rodriguez is the Republican nominee for the 21st Assembly District, and she will face Democrat Elizabeth Coppola on November 19.

The residents in the rest of Franklin and the other parts of Assembly District 82 will have a Repubilcan primary to begin the process of filling that seat on November 19 as well.

The unofficial final vote totals:

Jessie Rodriguez 1,512
Chris Kujawa 864
Ken Gehl 535
Larry Gamble 170
Red Arnold 73

May 21, 2012

Minority Nation

by @ 14:44. Filed under Elections.

The story of Elizabeth Warren just won’t go away!

If you aren’t up to speed, Elizabeth is running for a Senate seat in Massachusetts currently held by Scott Brown.

Elizabeth is a Democrat’s dream candidate. Female, Harvard law school professor, Obama administrative appointee and for frosting, native American ancestry…well, kind of.

Ms. Warren’s claimed Cherokee ancestry has run into a heap load of problems. Turns out she probably has no Cherokee blood at all. In fact, in irony only available from the “man bites dog” world of politics, her heritage does include family members who were responsibly for forcibly relocating Cherokees!

However, Warren’s biggest problem is not the lore of her ancestry but the fact that like Obama and his “Kenyan birth,” she allowed it to be used when it served to advance her desired agenda. Warren seemed to have a penchant for invoking her Cherokee status to benefit herself like when she allowed Harvard to list her as the law school’s “First woman of color.”

I’ve written a song for Ms. Warren. I think it would resonate with many of her supporters. I offer the following as the Elizabeth Warren campaign song. To be sung to the tune of “Cherokee Nation” which is embedded at the end.

She had the whole minority nation
To aid her in her education
Female didn’t seem enough
For grants to cover all her stuff

Family lore was her basis
high cheek bones was their focus
never mind the lack of fact
partial squaw was her full act

Cherokee nation
that’s what she tried
so much to gain
she had to lie

a Senate seat she chose to chase
when there was question about her race
“wasn’t me” was her deny
But Cherokee nation wouldn’t die

Cherokee nation
that’s what she tried
so much to gain
she had to lie

And some day when she’s learned
Elizabeth Warren will return
Will return will return
Will return will return


April 21, 2012

GAB to directly receive election-night results from some Waukesha County municipalities

by @ 10:42. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the roughly-half of Waukesha County’s municipalities that can send their eleciton results directly to the Government Accountability Board will do so on future election nights. The reason, quoting from the MJS, is:

The move is being made so results get reported online more quickly and people have more immediate access to the vote totals through the GAB website, said Shawn Lundie, a spokesman for Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Wait a minute. Neither the GAB nor the former State Elections Board has ever reported election-night numbers. The closest they have come is tracking the Prosser-Kloppenburg recount at the end of each business day.

I do have an inquiry into GAB spokesman Reid Magney to clear up a few questions. I will update this post when he gets back to me.

Revisions/extensions (4:40 pm 4/24/2012) – The GAB released a statement earlier today that provides some background procedural information. To wit, all of the Waukesha County municipal clerks (a change from the previously-reported half) will use the optional municipal-level features in the state-built Canvass Reporting System to enter the municipal-level results and electronically transmit them to the Waukesha County Clerk’s office, versus hand-delivering the results as was the case in prior elections. The county clerk’s staff, headed by Deputy Clerk Kelly Yaeger, will then use the CRS to publish the results in multiple formats.

It does not appear that the GAB will be independently reporting election-night results from Waukesha County. Indeed, the various methods used by county clerks to collect election-night results tends to prevent the GAB from collating that information in real-time.

February 12, 2012

Peek-A-Boo America!

As the battle between President Obama and the Catholic Church continued, President Obama attempted to diffuse the growing angst with something he classified as a “compromise.” The compromise from the White House’s fact sheet:

Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works. The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.

Wow, that’s great! Religious organizations no longer have to pay for insurance that provides for contraceptive coverage! How magnanimous on the part of the President! In fact, the President who would be King, has fixed the problem by decreeing that all insurance companies must provide said contraceptive coverage in the plans offered to these religious institutions for FREE!

o Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.

If I’m reading this right, Obama believes that the issue the Catholic Church had, was paying for the cost of contraception. I’m not Catholic but I do understand a fair amount of their doctrine. I’m pretty sure that the Church didn’t have a proviso that allowed for contraception if you could get someone else to pay for it! In fact, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have already called out Obama for his ruse that he claims is a “compromise:”

And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

Beyond the theological issue, I’m having a tough time figuring out how exactly, Obama believes that forcing the insurance companies to provide something “for free” does not result in having the insurer pay for it? Does Obama really believe that by simply saying “it is free” that it actually is free? I’ve been a Southerner for nearly two years now. However, unless they’ve rewritten the rules of economics in that time, the only thing Obama’s mandate has done is shift costs and increase the costs for all of our insurance to pay for the contraceptive services for those who get it for “free”. In fact, some accounts have the costs for this “free contraception” as high as $2.8B, a portion of which will now be shared by all 60+ year old women and all males. Speaking of which, if we’re all so concerned about making sure contraception is free, where are my coupons for condoms?

Peek-A-Boo is a game played with young children. We’ve all likely played it at some time. In Peek-A-Boo we play on the young child’s lack of understanding about reality. We attempt to convince them that when we cover our eyes, we somehow disappear even though the child can still see us. it’s a game that loses it’s cuteness as the child grows to understand that reality is reality and that words or claims that reality isn’t so, doesn’t change reality.

Obama’s contraception “compromise” is in the end, nothing more than a game of Peek-A-Boo with the American public. Obama makes claims about insurance economics that simply are not born out by reality. Of course, you would have to have matured beyond the economic age of two to actually realize such a thing. An economic age that most on the left never approach, let alone grow beyond.

Peek-A-Boo seems so innocuous with toddlers, and it is. However, as adults, Peek-A-Boo is escapism and an inability to deal with the world in real terms. Unfortunately, it is this very game of Peek-A-Boo that most in DC would use to tell us that: Massive Deficits aren’t a problem, Every increasing debt isn’t a problem, growing numbers of people on the government dole is not a problem, fewer and fewer actual tax payers aren’t a problem, Iran isn’t a problem, increasing costs of energy aren’t a problem and 8+% unemployment is the new norm. To those people who want to continue to play Peek-A-Boo rather than solve problems I say:

“I see you!”

August 16, 2011

Recall Mania, Last Call – liveblog

by @ 19:32. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

In case you got here early, there’s a few good takes on what is happening today (besides mine) to tide you over until things start moving along from Kevin Binversie, Randy Melchert (focusing on the 12th) and Christian Schneider. Also worth reading is WisPolitics’ Election Blog, with a treasure trove of stories and links.

For those of you stepping in late, today’s recall elections of Democrats Jim Holperin (12th District) and Robert Wirch (22nd District) against, respectively, Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz, are the last of the series of recalls that originally stemmed from the budget repair battle that saw all 14 Democrat Senators flee the state in an ultimately-futile attempt to keep all of the exhaustive and expensive collective bargaining privileges public unions had in Wisconsin. The Democrats were initially more energized once recall efforts began, and forced 6 of 8 Republican Senators to face recall elections, while Republicans were only able to force 3 of 8 Democrat Senators to face recall elections. Last month, the first of the Democrats, Dave Hansen, easily survived his recall after the better of the two potential challengers was tossed off the ballot. Last week, Republicans held onto 4 of 6 seats up for election to keep a 17-16 majority in elections that approached the turnout of November’s gubernatorial election (and in one case, exceeded the turnout).

The early reports suggest that, despite control of the Senate not being at stake, turnout in both the 12th and 22nd Districts are very high. While the claims that the turnout will approach Presidential elections will, like last week, almost certainly fall short, they appear to be close to the gubernatorial election last year, and greater than the Supreme Court election back in April.

Just a quick note before I direct you to the Cover It Live window (direct link/mobile link if for some reason your browser doesn’t suport iframes), which will open for business about 8 pm when the polls close – this is a “news” liveblog, so keep it clean.

Recall Mania, Last Call – What to look for

by @ 2:24. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

Today is the last round of recalls in Wisconsin for at least a little while. This time, it’s the Democrats that have seats to lose, as the 12th District’s Jim Holperin (Conover) and the 22nd District’s Robert Wirch (Pleasant Prairie) face, respectively, Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz. Since, unlike last week, I’m in town and will be able to better track the results, and also because Michelle Malkin linked to last week’s analysis, I’ll put down what trends I’m looking for once the polls close at 8 pm.

12th District

There are a pair of dueling polls, one from Public Policy Polling for their biggest partisan client, Daily Kos, and one from We Are America for the right-advocating Red Racing Horses (crosstabs of the latter courtesy WisPolitics). Even though both polled roughly the same number of people over the weekend and have an effectively-identical 2.6% margin of error, the top line can’t possibly be more different. While PPP/DKos has Holperin up 55%-41% overall, and 51%-43% among “independents”, WAA/RRH has Holperin up 51%-49% (actually a few tenths less) overall, and Simac up 52%-48% among “independents”.

The big difference is, as is often the case, the partisan weighting. PPP/DKos has the Democrat/Republican/”independent” ratio at 35%/26%/39%, while WAA/RRH has it at 28%/28%/43% (with 1% refused, and the Dems with a statistically-insignificant advantage). As followers of Wisconsin politics know, there is no such thing as partisan registration in Wisconsin, so one has to dig into the results to figure out which is right and which is BS. My “generic R-v-D” calculation, averaging out the 2008 Presidential and 2010 gubernatorial results, gives the generic Republican a 5.0 percentage point advantage. The high-water mark for the Democrats in competitive races this past decade was, ignoring minor-party and write-in candidates, a 7.0 percentage-point margin, gained by long-time incumbent state Senator Roger Breske in 2004 (who departed for a state job in 2008, opening the door for Holperin), US Senator Russ Feingold in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008. Holperin, against the same opponent as Breske, managed only a 2.4 percentage point margin in 2008.

I could almost argue that both polls overweight Democrats, especially since Red Racing Horses cited Republican internal polls that have Simac up by at least 4 percentage points, and last week, incumbency was worth an average of roughly 3 percentage points over “generic”. However, the race is all about turnout, and despite both campaigns pouring everything into it (story via WisPolitics), nobody really knows what the turnout is going to be.

The problem is nobody is going to have fully-collated reporting-unit-level results, partly because not every county clerk will have them available on their websites. If those numbers are available, I’ll be looking at the following places for the trend:

Strong Republican areas – Towns of Minocqua (R+17) and Three Lakes (R+19) in Oneida County, towns of Boulder Junction (R+24), Lincoln (R+15, and Simac’s home) and St. Germain (R+25) in Vilas County
Strong Democrat areas – City of Tomahawk (D+8) in Lincoln County, Menominee County (D+60), city of Rhinelander (average of D+24 in the various wards) in Oneida County, town of Lac du Flambeau (D+17) in Vilas County

22nd District

There haven’t been nearly as much focus on this district, though WTMJ-AM’s Charlie Sykes got an interview with Steitz (go to the 39:00 mark), and WISN-TV’s Mike Gousha did a joint interview with both candidates. I haven’t seen any TV ads the past week (though I don’t watch much TV) and what little music radio I catch (including a Kenosha-licensed station) has been essentially ad-free, though Steitz’s ads have been on conservative talk radio stations.

The only recently-released poll is a PPP/DailyKos poll from the weekend that had Wirch up 55%-42%. While the partisan split is 39% D/28% R/34% I, given the generic Democrat has a 4.8 percentage point advantage, and up until last year, the only Republican to win a district-wide election the past decade was Congressman Paul Ryan, that split is actually closer to reality.

It’s basically the city of Kenosha (and to a lesser extent, the town of Somers) versus the rest of the district. If Steitz can get to 41% in the city of Kenosha (what current RNC chair Reince Priebus did in his unsuccessful run at Wirch in 2004 and a couple points less than what Scott Walker did in the 2010 gubernatorial election) and 64% in the city/town of Burlington (again, a couple points less than what Walker did, though several points more than what Priebus did), he may well pull off the upset.

July 20, 2011

Wisconsin Senate Recall Elections – Round 2 post-mortem

by @ 17:50. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

Yesterday over at Hot Air, I ruminated on what to look for out of the results from yesterday’s round of elections. There’s one bit of good and a whole boatload of ugly that came out of last night, including something I didn’t quite foresee that should shake my side to its core.

The one bit of good came from the 12th Senate district, where the number of votes for winner Kim Simac (11,301 votes according to the Associated Press) and Robert Lussow (7,767 votes) came very close to the 19,255 signatures that Simac and her group gathered to force the recall election of incumbent Democrat Jim Holperin. Among what can be fairly described as the “anybody but the incumbent” crowd, that 99% “retention” rate from the recall to the election is the second-best of any effort.

The percentages were not nearly as good in the 22nd Senate district, where the votes for winner Jonathan Steitz (5,981 votes, again according to the Associated Press) and Fred Ekornaas (3,369 votes) totaled under 55% of the 17,138 signatures gathered by the recall group. That is the worst “retention” effort of the bunch, even worse than Democrat Nancy Nusbaum’s 59% “retention” rate last week or David VanderLeest’s utter failure against Sen. Dave Hansen in the 30th last night, with a 71% “retention” rate.

That leads me to the 30th Senate District. The 66% (once write-ins are considered, something the Associated Press did not track) of the vote Hansen received went above the 65% “trouble” level I set based on a DailyKos/PPP poll that had Hansen beating VanderLeest 62%-34%.

More troubling than the percentage is the raw number of votes Hansen received. Special elections, which is what a recall election is, are “turnout” elections. The 22,052 votes Hansen received is nearly 88% of the 25,192 votes fellow Democrat Tom Barrett received in the gubernatorial election last November. It is also greater than the number of votes either Supreme Court Justice David Prosser (20,536) or challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg (18,706) received in April, and far greater than the 15,540 signatures VanderLeest’s group gathered to force the recall election.

I toyed with the idea of titling this “Big Trouble in Little Suamico” because the results from that town in Oconto County and the 30th Senate District perfectly illustrates the current enthusiasm gap. In November, now-Governor Scott Walker beat Barrett 1,115 to 554. In April, Prosser beat Kloppenburg 549-348. Yesterday, Hansen beat VanderLeest 520-385.

That is not, to say, all is lost. The two challengers to the incumbent Democrats still under election threat who I consider to be stronger won last night. As we found in both November 2010 and April, a “max effort” from the Left can be beaten; however it takes a “max effort” on our part. We also know, thanks to the Supreme Court election, even a belated “max effort” can carry the day. In this regard, I am (almost) thankful John Nygren screwed up on his nomination papers – we know there is an enthusiasm gap and there is just under three weeks to counter it.

Revisions/extensions (9:34 am 7/21/2011) – Craig Gilbert took a different tack on turnout, looking at total turnout versus “opposition” turnout. While he noted that none of these races were expected to be competitive, he also noted the one serious precedent, the recall of George Petak down in Racine County after he flipped on the Miller Park tax vote, saw a turnout of estimated 37% of voting-age-population.

Assuming the Democrats actually had a “max effort/near-max turnout” in the 30th, Hansen would have been in trouble had turnout been 34% instead of 25%, may well have lost had turnout been the 37% it was in Racine in 1996, and would have lost had turnout been the 42% it was in November.

April 22, 2011

Sloth makes waste, electoral edition

(H/T – Lisa Sink)

Over at Shorewood Patch, Marie Rohde explains why those municipalities still using Optech Eagle opitical-scan machines and seeking to upgrade to the current version of the software are going to go through a hand recount of those ballots – the software update that would allow the storage of both the election-day run of ballots and a recount of that election on the same memory cartridge took close to three years to be approved by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (in fact, it was approved only earlier this year) and has yet to be approved by the Government Accountability Board, a process which will likely take another several months.

Thanks to that, the recount will cost just Miwlaukee County an additional $500,000 over the cost of doing the recount by-the-book (optical-scan ballots are run through the machines, the DRE/touch-screen ballots are hand-counted). That is expected to drive up the cost of the recount to close to $1,000,000.

I wonder how many modern optical-scan machines could be bought with that money. I know Oak Creek has a few of those, as not all the wards here will need a full hand recount, but unfortunately, none of them were at my polling place on April 5.

Revisions/extensions (5:57 pm 4/25/2011) – The story gets curiouser and curiouser. Even though the Government Accountability Board lists ES&S as the vendor of the majority of the Eagle systems in use in Wisconsin (the link lists all the voting systems by municipality), it’s actually a Sequoia Voting Systems (since acquired by Dominion Voting Systems) machine. Moreover, not only is no system from Dominion currently certified by the Election Assistance Commission, it appears that the version that includes the Optech line that is still under testing (WinEDS 4.0) does not include the Eagle as part of the test.

R&E part 2 (6:43 pm 4/28/2011) – Things are quite a bit clearer after representatives from Dominion contacted me. To wit, Dominion Voting Systems says that WinEDS 4.0 does work with the Optech Eagle optical-scan machine, and once the underlying system is approved by the EAC, the GAB will test the software with the Eagle.

April 18, 2011

Wisconsin Supreme Court election – what now?

by @ 7:26. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

In case you’ve been in a cave since mid-day Friday, the county-level canvasses of the election have been completed, and Justice David Prosser has a 7,316-vote (or a 0.4881-percentage-point) lead. The 3-business-day clock is running on challenger Joanne Kloppenburg’s and her campaign’s ability to ask for a recount of any or all of the wards in the state, with the costs to the counties being borne by the taxpayers as the margin is just under the 0.5-percentage-point cut-off. The word on the ether, or at least WISN-AM and the Jay Weber Show, is that the Kloppenburg campaign will have a press conference this afternoon, even though they do have until 5 pm Wednesday to inform the Government Accountability Board (Wisconsin’s state-level election authority) of their decision.

There are two choices the Kloppenburg campaign has at this point. They could decide to not ask for a recount, and let the pending GAB re-canvass be the final word. That would result in GAB announcing on May 15, the date assigned for the announcement, that Justice Prosser has won another 10-year term on the Supreme Court.

They could also decide to ask for a recount. It doesn’t matter how many or few wards they request, because, if they choose this path, the goal is not going to be to overcome the 0.4881-percentage-point lead Prosser has. No recent recount with at least 1.5 million votes at stake has resulted in a change of margin of more than 0.05 percentage points, even with a post-recount judicial challenge to boost the margin-of-change.

Assuming that the Kloppenburg campaign strategy is to “win” by any means possible, their goal, under this scenario, is to get a post-recount judicial appeal into what will amount to a kangaroo court, presided over by a reserve (retired, for those of you outside Wisconsin, and thus no longer accountable to the voters) judge appointed by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who has a thinly-veiled vested interest in a specific outcome. Their strategy will be to have declared, at a minimum, the city of Brookfield (which Waukesha County clerk Kathy Nickoulas forgot to report to the Associated Press on election night, but which was reported on the county-level canvass) incompetent to determine the affairs of Wisconsin the Kingdom of Dane. Assuming no margin change in a recount, tossing out the city of Brookfield results woudl give Kloppenburg an 87-vote “lead”.

Of course, if the recount finds a further net gain for Prosser (after all, the county-level canvass found, not counting Brookfield, a net gain of 117 for Prosser over the election-night numbers collated by the AP), they might be forced to have declared the entirety of Waukesha County incompetent to determine the affairs of the Kingdom of Dane. Tossing the entirety of Waukesha County would give Kloppenburg a 52,000-vote “lead”.

Any state-level appeal would probably be pointless on its own as it would first go to the Madison-based 4th District Court of Appeals. They would be expected to uphold whatever novel “judicial finding” the kangaroo court creates out of thin air to justify disenfranchising either an entire municipality or an entire county. At best, since either Justice Prosser would need to recuse himself or the seat would be vacant pending a final disposition, a further appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court would result in a 3-3 deadlock.

However, whatever novel “judicial finding” the kangaroo court would create out of thin air would almost certainly invoke an equal protection claim a federal court could latch onto. I would expect that, no later than the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, that claim would find a friendly judicial panel, and after tens of millions of dollars wasted under this scenario, the result would end up being what it is as of today – a Prosser victory.

The ball is in the Kloppenburg campaign’s court. I urge them to consider that, at the end of the day, they can’t win, and spare the state the pain and expense of a “by any means necessary” strategy.

Revisions/extensions (11:43 am 4/18/2011) – I swear that, while Kevin Binversie and I discussed the Butch Coolidge/Marcellus Wallace question, I didn’t crib from Kevin’s take (both his and mine are featured on this morning’s WisOpnion’s round-up). His close – “Because the worst fear the Kloppenburg legal team truly has, is not ‘losing’ a recount. It’s if Waukesha County is allowed to re-run its ballots through its machines again, and the numbers come out the same.”

Just as a reminder, if Kloppenburg opens the recount door, Prosser will be able to force a recount in any ward Klopenburg doesn’t have recounted before any judicial appeal. Given the last anybody heard of GAB’s investigation into Waukesha County was that the as-canvassed numbers from Brookfield were legitimate, one has to wonder if Kloppenburg wants to politically go down that road.

December 3, 2010

Was Chad Lee a “bad” candidate? – revisited

by @ 18:26. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

Right after the November election, UW student Todd Stevens asserted so, and I retorted using the AP’s countywide numbers. On Wednesday, the Government Accountability Board certified the results and, more-importantly, released the ward-by-ward data. For those who don’t remember, the 2nd Congressional District, which incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Chad Lee by a 61.77%-38.16% margin (with the remainder writing in somebody), covers all of Columbia, Dane and Green Counties, significant parts of Jefferson, Rock and Sauk Counties, and almost the entirety of the part of Whitewater that is in Walworth County.

Meanwhile, Republican Scott Walker (and his running mate as lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch) beat Democrat Tom Barrett (and his running mate, Tom Nelson) by a statewide 52.25%-46.48% margin, with the remainder either voting for a couple other candidates who qualified for the ballot or writing somebody in. With that background, let’s take a county-by-partial-county look at how Walker did versus how Lee did:

  • Columbia County (whole county, 21,385 votes in the gubernatorial election and 21,149 votes in the Congressional election) – Walker 51.71%/Barrett 46.83%, Lee 52.93%/Baldwin 47.01%. Advantage – Lee by 1.03 percentage points.
  • Dane County (whole county, 220,273 votes in the gubernatorial election and 218,865 votes in the Congressional election) – Barrett 67.96%/Walker 30.98%, Baldwin 66.56%/Lee 33.38%. Advantage – Lee by 3.80 percentage points.
  • Green County (whole county, 13,187 votes in the gubernatorial election and 13,227 votes in the Congressional election) – Barrett 49.00%/Walker 48.46%, Baldwin 51.03%/Lee 48.92%. Advantage – Walker by 0.78 percentage points.
  • Jefferson County (just the portion in the 2nd Congressional District, 18,194 votes in the gubernatorial election, 18,005 votes in the Congressional election) – Walker 54.45%/Barrett 43.98%, Lee 52.24%/Baldwin 47.66%. Advantage – Walker by 5.90 percentage points.
  • Rock County (just the portion in the 2nd Congressional District, 23,657 votes in the gubernatorial election, 23,606 votes in the Congressional election) – Barrett 53.07%/Walker 45.01%, Baldwin 53.18%/Lee 46.79%. Advantage – Lee by 1.68 percentage points.
  • Sauk County (just the portion in the 2nd Congressional District, 11,228 votes in the gubernatorial election, 11,262 votes in the Congressional election) – Barrett 51.41%/Walker 47.13%, Baldwin 51.52%/Lee 48.42%. Advantage – Lee by 1.18 percentage points.
  • Walworth County (city of Whitewater specifically, 3,377 votes in the gubernatorial election, 3,346 votes in the Congressional election) – Barrett 52.09%/Walker 46.14%, Baldwin 55.77%/Lee 44.11%. Advantage – Walker by 5.70 percentage points.

The bottom line:

Out of 311,301 total votes in the gubernatorial election, Barrett beat Walker by a 62.44%-36.33% margin. Meanwhile, out of 309,460 total votes in the Congressional election, Baldwin beat Lee by a 61.77%-38.16% margin. By my math, Lee did better than Walker by 2.50 percentage points, and I don’t hear anybody (other than the sore losers on the far left) calling Walker a “bad” candidate. I’m sorry to have to break the bad news to Stevens that the 2nd District will elect a Democrat as long as the district has roughly its current borders.

October 26, 2010

Nevada, North Carolina electronic voting machines preset for straight-D votes

by @ 14:42. Filed under Politics - National, Vote Fraud.

(H/T – Drudge)

Somebody cue Capt. Louis Renault – Democrat election officials are up to the newest versions of their old tricks in trying to steal elections in both Nevada and North Carolina.

Las Vegas’ KVVU-TV reports that voters in Boulder City found that before they had voted for the United States Senate race, Harry Reid’s name was already checked on the touch-screen voting machines. Meanwhile, the New Bern Sun Journal reports that voters who attempted to select a straight-Republican ballot had a straight-Democrat ballot selected by the touch-screen voting machines.

October 15, 2010

Here’s another name for you, Barrett – Kevin Clancy

by @ 16:30. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Vote Fraud.

Former ACORN worker Kevin Clancy pled guilty to a single charge of Falsely Procuring Voter Registration as a Party to a Crime today. Clancy was accused of submitting multiple voter registration applications for the same individuals, and also was part of a scheme in which he and other Special Registration Deputies registered each other to vote multiple times in order to meet voter registration quotas imposed by ACORN.

Clancy is the 12th person to be convicted by the Election Fraud Task Force for electoin fraud, created by the Wisconsin Attorney General’s and Milwaukee County District Attorney’s offices.

August 30, 2010

MOVE Act and Wisconsin

by @ 13:38. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

I see the federal government has rejected Wisconsin’s request for a one-time exemption from the new-for-2010 45-day window for sending out federal absentee ballots to overseas and military voters while I was away. Since Wisconsin’s primary election is 49 days before the general election, on September 14, it would be logistically impossible to comply with the requirement that absentee ballots be available to overseas and military voters by September 18, 45 days before the general election.

Before I get to the “Who the hell screwed up and how?” question, I first must clarify what the new requirement is. From page 133 of the National Defense Authorization
Act for Fiscal Year 2010’’
, which is amending the states’ requirements under the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act:

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)(1)), as amended by sections 577 and 578, is amended—
(1) in subsection (a)—
(A) in paragraph (6), by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end; (B) in paragraph (7), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
(C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
‘‘(8) transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter—
‘‘(A) except as provided in subsection (g), in the case in which the request is received at least 45 days before an election for Federal office, not later than 45 days before the election; and
‘‘(B) in the case in which the request is received less than 45 days before an election for Federal office—
‘‘(i) in accordance with State law; and
‘‘(ii) if practicable and as determined appropriate by the State, in a manner that expedites the transmission of such absentee ballot.’’;

The first part is going to be blown because Wisconsin takes 19 days to certify the primary results and get the ballots printed. However, the second part won’t be a problem becuase Wisconsin already allows military/overseas absentee ballots to be sent out if the request comes in 30 days prior to the election, and as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out, somewhere less than 4% of the military/overseas ballots were rejected in the 2008 general election for all reasons, not just for being late.

So, what is the consequence of not having the absentee ballots out 45 days prior to the election? That is covered by 42 USC § 1973ff–4, which gives the US Attorney General the power to seek federal judicial relief. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which handles those lawsuits, says in their FAQ on the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act:

If a county is late in mailing absentee ballots to soldiers, what can the Department of Justice do?

Under Section 105 of UOCAVA, the Attorney General is authorized to bring civil actions to enforce UOCAVA requirements. When states have failed to make sure that ballots are sent to qualified servicemembers in a timely manner, the Department of Justice has successfully obtained court orders and consent decrees. Many of these have required states to extend their deadlines for receiving these ballots and to count the late-mailed ballots, even when they arrived after Election Day. In some cases, the states were required to make permanent changes to their laws or procedures to make sure the problems are not repeated in future elections. Through these cases brought to enforce the federal law, the Department has ensured that qualified servicemembers were able to cast their ballots, and know that they were counted.

In short, we may not know who won the Senate race on 11/3 (the day after the election), or even on 11/11, when military ballots postmarked by the day of the election can arrive and still be counted under current state law.

Now, for who screwed up. As much as I dislike the Government Accountability Board, the date of the election and the timing of certification is really out of their hands. That is all set by state statute, with the final state certification due on the third Wednesday after the primary. Indeed, because state law (under the direction of federal law) requires military ballots postmarked by the day of the primary to be counted if they arrive up to 7 days after the primary, they cannot certify a federal election in the 4 days between September 14 and September 18.

The ball falls squarely on the Legislature and Gov. Jim Doyle. The MOVE Act became law on 10/29/2009. While the Legislature was in session at the time, I’ll give them a pass for not dealing with it in that particular floorperiod because that ended on 11/5/2009. However, they had three more floorperiods to deal with it – 1/19/2010-1/28/2010, 2/16/2010-3/4/2010, and 4/13/2010-4/22/2010. The Legislature didn’t even attempt to deal with any part of complying with the MOVE Act until the last session possible, and then rolled a very-partial attempt into the “Driver/Voter” bill that would have automatically registered everybody who receives a driver’s license, given the information to ACORN’s successors, and in general would have made vote fraud even easier to accomplish. Notably, they didn’t even attempt to change the date of the primary in that bill. From the Legislative Reference Bureau’s summary of the version that went the farthest along the legislative process (AB895, Assembly Substitute Amendment 1):

Under current federal law, states are required to transmit absentee ballots to military and overseas electors no later than 45 days before each federal election at which the electors are entitled to vote, if the electors have requested their ballots by that time. However, a state may request a hardship waiver from the federal government, for a single election only, if the state’s primary election date does not permit compliance with this requirement and the state takes other actions to ensure expeditious delivery of absentee ballots to military and overseas electors. This substitute amendment directs GAB to report to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature no later than January 1, 2011, concerning GAB’s recommended method for compliance with the federal timeline for the absentee voting process. To achieve compliance, this state will likely need to advance the date of the September primary, beginning in 2012.

Even after the last day of the general floorperiod of the Legislature passed without so much as a token effort to comply with just a part of the MOVE Act passing the Legislature, Doyle could have called the Legislature back into session to ensure compliance with something their fellow Democrats in DC wrote. I guess that lack of desire to do anything without further encouraging vote fraud by the Wisconsin Democrats trumps all else.

July 22, 2010

Thursday Hot View – Ald. Jim Witkowiak’s testimony to GAB regarding vote fraud

Kevin Fischer points to a rather remarkable presentation by Milwaukee Alderman Jim Witkowiak during yesterday’s Government Accountability Board hearing. Wisconsin Eye brought its cameras to the meeting, which first dealt with challenges to the nomination papers, and moved to an indepemdent candidate for state Assembly who wanted to put “NOT the ‘whiteman’s bitch'” as her statement of principle on the ballot (the GAB board narrowly did not overturn the staff recommendation of not allowing it, with 3 of 5 present board members voting to allow it and the potential 4th/deciding vote for allowing it absent).

Immediately after that, the GAB began taking open public comments. Ald. Witkowiak was second on the list, and he explained how both same-day registration and a lack of an ID check can and does affect elections, even to the point of changing the results. I do recommend watching the entire appearance, which begins at the 1:50:50 mark of part 2 of WisEye’s coverage and runs to the end of part 2. A quick summary:

  • In the spring 2000 election, Witkowiak lost his re-election bid by 17 votes.
  • During the recount, after the campaign of Witkowiak’s opponent admitted to him they caused irregularities, Witkowiak found about 200 people who didn’t exist yet voted in the election, scattered between those who registered at the polls and those who claimed to be somebody they were not. The Milwaukee Election Commission did disallow a bunch of votes, but because there is no way to tell who the disqualified voters voted for, it was a random vote removal and thus did not change the result of the election.
  • An assistant city attorney who sat in on the 2000 recount process said that Witkowiak, “There’s more meat in this sandwich than I’ve ever seen before in my life.” Of course, this is Milwaukee, so nothing was done..
  • Witkowiak thought he was done with politics after 2000, but the residents of his district pulled him back into the race in 2004, and he once again became an alderman.
  • Fast forward to 2008. Witkowiak found that 400 people had registered at the polls in the spring primary, which for the first time in Wisconsin also included the Presidential primary (previously, the Presidential primary was held with the spring general election). Since Witkowiak had a spring general election to run in, he wanted to get a hold of those 400 to campaign to them. After a bit of a delay, the Milwaukee Election Commission gave them to him.
  • Witkowiak did a mailing to those 400, and about 80 of those mailings came back as undeliverable. He then went out to try to find those 80, and while he did find a few that existed, he couldn’t find about 75, with reasons ranging from people living at or managing apartments at the location never hearing of the alleged registered voter to the address being a non-residential property to the address simply not existing.
  • Witkowiak turned over the evidence to the Milwaukee County District Attorney and the Milwaukee Police Department. Guess what happened? If you said, “Nothing,” give yourself a prize.

June 16, 2010

Vote early, vote often – no longer just a Chicago Machine Expression

Ace dug out the memory of wanna-be Assistant General for Civil Rights Lani Guiner when he found that Port Chester, New York was forced by a Lawgiver-In-Black to give up its at-large voting system for its six village trustees and adopt “cumulative voting” in order to assure Hispanic representation, and also keep the in-person polls open for five full days.

The difference between at-large voting systems and cumulative voting systems is, in an at-large system, one can only vote for each candidate once, casting votes up to the maximum number of offices being filled. Meanwhile, in a cumulative voting system, one can apportion votes up to the maximum number of offices being filled with no limit on the number of votes cast for a particular candidate.

The reason this “works” for the “aggrieved minority”, and indeed, worked for one Luis Marino, who The Journal News cheered as the first Latino elected in Port Chester, is a minority group can multiply their votes behind a single candidate, while the “high-minded majority” splits their votes among multiple candidates. The effect is enhanced if, like Port Chester, there is no primary to narrow the field to “the number of offices plus one”.

Bear in mind that, while what Jay Weber calls the Accomplice Media notes, correctly yet incompletely, that Latinos make up close to half Port Chester’s population, there is a small detail that most of them will miss, and I will give kudos to The Journal News for mentioning it – Latinos make up only roughly 20% of the voting-age citizens in the village. The fact that, up until yesterday, no Latino had been elected to the board is more a statistical quirk than anything else.

April 21, 2010

There He Goes Again

by @ 5:35. Filed under Elections, Politics - National.

Formulaic – made according to a formula

He inherited the recession

Banks were greedy

Insurance companies are greedy

Tea party people caused divisions in America

Congress was responsible for the back room Placebocare deals




Is there anything negative that President Obama has taken responsibility for?

In a sign of true leadership, President Obama is teaching those willing to learn, the fine art of blaming someone else.  At a fund raiser for challenged California Senator, Barbara Boxer, President Obama laid the blame for her potential defeat squarely on……Boxer’s supporters!

“I don’t want anyone here taking this for granted,” he said at a reception at the California Science Center, the first of a trio of fundraisers Monday night for Boxer and the Democratic National Committee.

“Unless she’s got that support she might not win this thing, and I don’t think that’s an acceptable outcome. So I want everyone to work hard,” the president said.

Just like Obama’s previous deflections, Obama believes that none of the actions of the person responsible for their actions are the reason for the rejection they now face.  No, Boxer’s challenges have nothing to do with her vote on health care or her unblemished support for Obama’s far left agenda.  According to Obama, the sole reason Boxer might lose is a lack of support and effort from her supports.

Just keep dreamin’ those unicorn dreams Mr. President.  November is rapidly approaching!

February 4, 2010

Permanent Casting

by @ 9:50. Filed under Economy, Elections, Politics - National.

Happy Blogiversary to me!  Two years ago I posted for the first time at Norunnyeggs.  Thanks to you for reading, encouraging and correcting me.  Thanks to Steve for his long suffering of allowing me to squat on his site!

Hopefully, the following is worthy of a 2 year blogiversary posting!

Quick, what do the following actors have in common?

Alan Alda, Carroll O’Connor, Ted Danson, James Garner and Kelsey Grammer.

Each of these actors, while having a varied and successful career having played numerous other characters, are immediately recognized for a single role that they played.  Alan Alda is forever Hawkeye from MASH.  Carroll O’Connor is immortalized as Archie Bunker.  Ted Danson is Sam Malone, James Garner is Jim Rockford (or Bret Maverick if you’re of a certain age) and Kelsey Grammer was Frasier Crane across two long running sitcoms.  These actors are victims of typecasting. 

Typecasting occurs when an actor or actress becomes so associated with a type of role, or specific role that no matter how hard they try, they are never able to fully keep people from thinking of a new role as an extension of the role they were type-casted as.  Typecasting varies in severity.  Some people, like James Garner, while fondly remembered for a role, go on to have very successful careers with other roles and genres.  In the most severe cases, typecasting can be so severe that actors or actresses are unable to get another role beyond the one that they were typecast in.  The most notorious of this level of typecasting was George Reeves who once he became Superman, was Superman even on TV shows that had no connection to the character.

President Obama has released his budget proposal for the next year.  His budget encompasess total spending of $3.8 trillion and a deficit of $1.56 trillion.

While President Obama has taken nothing from the Scott Brown victory, numerous Democrats in both the House and the Senate seem to be attempting to position themselves as aligned with the fiscal sensitivities of the populous.  From the WSJ:

“I guess I don’t understand…the vision of the administration when it comes to putting in place economic policy that works for our nation in today’s economy and the economic climate today,” Sen. Lincoln said during the same hearing with Mr. Geithner.


“I don’t know anybody in business who hires an employee because they’re going to get a tax credit,” said Rep. Thompson during the hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee.

There are scores of additional examples of Democrats now trying to convince their constituents that they aren’t aligned with those tax and spend liberals in Congress.

The problem for those Democrats now attempting to become the next Ron Paul is that nearly every one of them seem to have limits to their new found fiscal conservatism.  From the Baltimore Sun:

A headline on the 2010 campaign website of Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), blares her opposition to Obama’s farm budget: “Blanche stands up for Arkansas farm families,”


Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), a recent party-switcher, questioned trade policies battering the steel industry. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) asked about health care for first responders involved in the Sept. 11attack. The message from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.): “California is hurting.”


Elsewhere around the country, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas — a freshman Democrat from a Republican leaning part of Florida — minced no words in complaining about Obama’s proposed cuts to the NASA budget. The space industry is one of the largest employers in her district.

“The president’s proposal lacks a bold vision for space exploration and begs for the type of leadership that he has described as critical for inspiring innovation for the 21st century,” said Kosmas.


In the swing state of Missouri, Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan wasted no time this week denouncing Obama’s budget as profligate.

“I’m disappointed in the president’s budget recommendation,” she said. “Missouri families have to balance their checkbooks and our government is no different.”

Clearly, Democrats are trying to show their fiercer, budget hawk side.  After all, it wasn’t just the threat of health care that got Scott Brown elected and has put a number of the Dem’s jobs in jeopardy.  Equally, the ever ballooning spending and deficit has also gotten people’s attention.  Also clearly, while they talk budget hawk out of one side of their mouth, the Dem’s hawkishness ends right at the end of the particular program or jurisdiction that they have their nose stuck into!

As hard as Democrats may try from now until November, to paint themselves as characters other than the fiscally  irresponsible characters they are, it won’t work.  The Dems have become victims of their own “success”.  They were swept into office promising not one, but a whole flock of chickens in every pot, never considering how they were going to pay for those chickens.  Now that they find that those chickens actually cost money, and they don’t have any, they are left with the choice of not providing the chickens or attempting to con the public into believing that continuing investment we get from China each month is not really anything to worry about. 

The public is not buying a word of the Dems attempt to claim fiscal responsibility.  Like George Reeves the Dems are irreversibly typecast.  Try as they may, no one, at least not for this election cycle, will believe their claims that they can actually play a different role.

January 7, 2010


I hate to say “I told you so!” But, “I told you so!”

A week ago I told youabout the debate that Birdman and I were having about placebocare.  In a nutshell, Birdman believes that eventually, self preservation will rule and some portion of the Democrats will jump from the placebocare express.  My argument has been that this train was not going to stop.  Democrats who got in the way would be rolled over and those who voted for it and got nailed by their constituents, would have cushy administration jobs promised to them.

I told you so!

You’ve heard the news, Byron Dorgan of ND and Chris Dodds of CT have both announced they will not run next year.  The reasons for not running are obvious.

For Dorgan, he represents one of the most conservative states in the nation.  He has ignored polling that made Ben Nelson look wise in his placebocare vote and flipped his constituents the bird by voting for placebocare.  Numerous polls are out showing that if the current Republican Governor of ND ran, Dorgan would pine for the level of support that Walter Mondale received in his race against Ronald Reagan.

Dodd’s the same but different.  Placebocare isn’t his undoing, the financial debacle of last year was.  Turns out Chris was getting some special favors from the folks he was supposed to be policing.  Even the normally reliable Democrat voters of Connecticut couldn’t stand the level of corruption and hypocrisy that Dodd portrayed.  All recent polls showed Dodd losing to everyone and anyone in a Senate rebid.

There have been several Democrat Representatives that have announced their retirement.  However, none of those have the visibility of either of the two Senators who recently announced their retirement.  Rumors and most prognostication, say that we are no where near the end of the announced retirements.  I expect we may well hear similar announcements from Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Specter and (get ready, here’s my big bet) Harry Reid.

The latest generic Congressional ballot poll by Rasmussen shows the Republicans now leading by 9 points.  The most notable part of this astounding lead is that it is not so much that the Republicans are getting more support as it is that the Democrats are losing support on each and every front.

As they do every time they get power, the Democrats have over reached and tried to foist their vision of remaking the country not in the mold of Europe, but Eastern, Soviet Bloc, Europe, upon all of us.  Fortunately, they are being resisted on all sides and will surely lose their stranglehold on both Houses this year if not their leadership altogether.

While I’m obviously happy about what is happening to the Democrats I am disappointed by one thing.  The people who think Marxism is such a great thing that they are voting to have it implemented against the people’s will should have to stand for another election and get the final verdict of their constituents.  If they did, I have no doubt they would hear, loudly, clearly and in a snarky British accent:

YOU are the weakest link.  Goodbye!”

August 26, 2009

The Killer Instinct

Large amounts of talent combined with training and technology have made it reasonably easy to field “good” teams in hockey, football, basketball or baseball. However, it is the rare team that moves beyond good and becomes dominating. The difference between the “good” teams and those that dominate their sport is one thing; killer instinct.

You may not be able to precisely define “killer instinct” but all sports fans know it when they see it.  Nobody left a Joe Montana and the Fortyniners game no matter what the score.  You knew that Joe was going to play until the last down of the game scoring at every opportunity he had.  Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, some years of the Yankees and the Edmonton Oilers with Wayne Gretzy are all examples of athletes and teams that played with “killer instinct”

But, you say, this is a political blog.  What’s going on with the sports analysis?

As with sports, politicians are separated by the ability to have a “killer instinct.”  Look at Norm Coleman against Al Franken.  Ahead in the polls until he decided to side step ANWAR, vote for the stimulus and decide that he no longer wanted to run a “negative campaign” even though he had done that from day one until they day he changed with 6 weeks left.  Norm is the perfect example of a politician who not only didn’t have a killer instinct, he showed he had little political instinct of any kind.

The race between John McCain and Barack Obama also came down to killer instinct.  One had it and one didn’t.  You can probably figure out which was which.

Anyone paying attention can see that the health care plan is on the ropes and cap and trade may well be on life support.  The public, across all demographics except the extreme loons, are responding to polls with the equivalent of “I didn’t vote for Obama!”  We see early contests in Virginia and New Jersey showing polls that seem to support a significant and sudden swing towards Republicans.  Everything is pointing towards a significant resurgence for Republicans.  The question is, do they have the killer instinct?

Unlike the left who has never had any concern about “rubbing their nose in it” when winning, Republicans seem to have an inbred need to be liked by the other side.  The result is that when they get a chance to gain ground, Republicans often feel the need to “compromise” to allow the other side the ability to save face.

The Republicans (I use this term generically and certainly don’t mean all people who run under that banner) have gained ground, not through their own actions.  Rather, the Republicans are gaining in popularity mostly because in a two party system, they are the only other option.  While the Republicans benefit from being “the only other choice” today, I wouldn’t be betting my house on it sticking.  Based on the fact that a large portion of the general population are revolting against their political masters I think there is a fair chance that a “throw all the bums out” mentality takes hold if the Republicans look to cave on health care or once again become Democrat lite.

You don’t think the Republicans could be that dumb again right?  Wrong!

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a Michigan Republican Representative, has introduced a bill that would provide a $3,500 deduction for “qualified pet care expenses.”  The Representative is concerned of family hardships as a result of pet care costs during this time tough economic time.

How can any clear headed Republican think that providing a tax deduction for pet care makes sense when A: we have a hellacious deficit already,  B: human health care costs are subject to a 7% threshold of adjusted gross income and C: most of the Republicans and the general public are fighting to abolish further government intrusion into health care for people.  Does Thaddeus really think there is an urgency of any kind for the government (me and you) subsidizing health care for animals when we don’t want to do it for humans?

A stupid bill like this proves that Thaddeus McCotter does not have the killer instinct!  I hope to hell the rest of the Republicans have better political instincts.  If they don’t I’ll lead the parade for a third party.

July 21, 2009

Hey, GOP, Are You Taking Note?, Part II

by @ 13:00. Filed under Elections, Politics - National.

Shoebox ran with a Newsmax story saying that, in terms of percentage, voter turnout went down between the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections, the first time that has happened since 1996. I decided to try to do some analysis of the numbers the Census Bureau has been collecting since 1980, focusing on the past two elections. The numbers are, shall we say, “interesting”:

  • The number of adult citizens went up 9.1 million, from 197.0 million in 2004 to 206.1 million in 2008, a 4.5% increase.
  • The number of registered voters went up only 4.2 million from 142.1 million in 2004 (72.1% of citizens) to 146.3 million in 2008 (71.0% of citizens), a 3.0% increase. Of note, the number of registered voters as a percentage of citizens went down 2.1 percentage points.
  • The number of those who showed up to vote went up from 125.7 million in 2004 (63.8% of citizens, 88.5% of registered voters) to 131.1 million in 2008 (63.6% of citizens, 89.6% of registered voters). While that is a 0.18 percentage-point drop among citizens, that is also a 1.18 percentage-point increase among registered voters. It also is the highest registered-voter percentage since 1992.
  • In Minnesota in 2008, there were 132,000 more adults (+3.5%), 33,000 more adult citizens (+0.9%), 144,000 fewer registered voters (-4.8%), and 128,000 fewer people who showed up to vote (-4.4%).
  • In Wisconsin in 2008, there were 86,000 more adults (+2.1%), 125,000 more adult citizens (+3.2%), 130,000 fewer registered voters (-4.0%), and 123,000 fewer people who showed up to vote (-4.1%)
  • Four states (Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Georgia) had adult citizen population increases of at least 10%. Three of them (excepting Utah) also had double-digit percentage voter registration increases and double-digit percentage voter turnout increases.
  • Five states (Michigan, Maine, West Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana) had adult citizen population decreases, with Mighican defying logic with a voter registration increase and Michgan, Connecticut and Louisana defying logic with turnout increases.
  • Five states (Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, North Carolina) plus the District of Columbia had double-digit percentage voter registration increases, with corresponding double-digit percentage turnout increases.
  • Eighteen states (Pennsylvania, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Vermont, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Utah) had absolute voter registration decreases, with Louisiana and Missouri having absolute turnout increases, and a couple other states having a significantly-lower turnout decrease than registration decrease.
  • No state had a double-digit registered-voter increase as a percentage of citizens, though Virginia came closest at 7.3% (or 5.08 percentage-point increase), and 12 other states/DC (Rhode Island, Georgia, Mississippi, Connecticut, North Carolina, Louisiana, DC, Michigan, Delaware, Nevada, Maryland and Hawaii) increased their registered-voter/citizen ratio.
  • Ten states/DC (Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Virginia, Mississippi, DC, Arizona, South Carolina, Idaho and Colorado) had double-digit percentage absolute turnout increases, while 18 states (Ohio, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Montana, Oklahoma, Vermont, Maine, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oregon, West Virginia and Utah) had absolute turnout decreases.
  • Mississippi (13.1%, 8.08 percentage points) and Georgia (13.0%, 7.40 percentage points) had the largest turnout increase as a percentage of citizens, and they were joined in the increase by North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, DC, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, South Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Nevada, Colorado, Delaware and Michigan.
  • Eighteen states (Wisconsin, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Montana, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona and West Virginia) had turnout decreases as a percentage of registered voters.

There’s a lot more info than I can digest. I did, however, manage to get a state-by-state comparison put into an Excel spreadsheet, which also includes the total number of adults in each state, whether they are citizens, legal aliens, or illegal aliens.

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