Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday thoughts

Sometimes, my post contain multiple topics and ideas, and while they seem to all interrelate with tidy transitions to me, most see them as disjointed. So today, I will just do bullets my disconnected thoughts:
  • This last week is probably the first time anyone other than Illinios voters and political junkies have even heard of Speaker Hastert. And their first impression: a guy who would rather keep a seat safe and save a couple million than protect teenagers from a known sexual predator.
    Hastert has become radioactive: no one wants him to raise money for them, let alone campaign with them. It is only a manner of time before he loses his job, either after or before November.

  • Lohra Miller's "ask a cop" slogan referrs to the fact that the policeman's union of SLC and SL Co. Sheriff's union have endorced her. Why not just "say endorsed by county and SLC police officers?" Instead, people have defaced signs by mocking the slogan. i have seen the word "ask" struck through with and replaced with "kill" (which is terrible and I condone). Another has "Don't" inserted before "ask." Stupid slogan, if she just kept it simple with her "justice first" and a "endorsed" one would be better. "Ask a cop" requires the voter to do the work, and they won't.

    "Justice first" I found out, does refer to her critics of the DA's office, most of which are based on her lack of understanding or willful ignorance of the system.
    Her point that over 70% of sex crimes cases are dismissed when the defendant pleads guilty overlooks the fact that many times victims are unwilling to testify and sex cases tend to get weaker as time goes by: couples get back together, people forget details, stuff gets lost/destroyed, people move away, etc. The felony DUI cases dismissal rate is high because a felony DUI needs two certified DUI convictions within the last 10 years. These are often hard to obtain. Case numbers are misentered into the RAP sheet, files are archived or destoryed within a few years. Often, this means that a felony DUI charge is dismissed, and refiled as a misdemeanor DUI. So the notion that 20% of DUIs go away completely is eroneous.

    As to her charge that politics comes first, I haven't seen that personally.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Page-gate: how to handle it

This all could have blown over in 2005 and gotten rolled into a news dump on Katrina. Rep. Foley could have been pushed to not run for reelection, and the GOP could have kept his money (all $2.7M of it) and had time to find a decent replacement. The might have lost the seat, anyway, but at least they would have a fighting chance.

But once the news came out, the last thing the GOP leadership should have done was each talk about it separately and point the blame. With each telling differing stories and blaming each other, voters begin to think, "well one of them is lying, let's throw them all out." Next time, hold a closed door caucus meeting and vote the dude out of caucus and then have him resign immediately afterwards.

Next, take some blame. Say "hindsight is 20/20, but we should have heeded the warnings signs." Fire the staffer who tried to shove it under the rug that day too. Offer to have a full investigation after the election by the ethics committee.

Offer bills to reform the page program so that members cannot get too close, since appearantly pages in the well of the House are like Cookies in a jar.

In fact, the handling looks so bad that I am beginning to think this a coup to chop off the head of the GOP House leadership. Rep. Blunt lost the Maj. Leader race, and with Boehner, Hastart, and Reynolds all implicated in this scandal, he could become speaker/min. leader. Blunt could blame the loss of control on those guys, and cruise up the leadership ladder. And if the Dems win is very narrow, and 2008 is a big GOP year, his 4 year plan for the Speakership is done.

Or this could be a plan to purify the GOP by arch conservatives, social and economic. There is a list of Gay GOP staffers going around, ripe for posting on the internet and blacklisting. Some religious conservatives are blaming Foley's behavior oh his homosexuality. You don't see Barney Frank propositioning pages though. The current GOP in the House spend like drunken sailors with wads of cash, lust for power like they lust for pages and mistresses. The fist rots at the head as they say, and boy does that fish stink.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

SLCo DA neck and neck

This race interests me because I will in all likelihood be applying for a position with the District Attorney about a year from now. And right now, my would be boss is unknown.

Another interesting finding is that
Gill has a lot more money in his war chest to get him through the last month of the election. According to recent financial reports filed with the county, Gill has approximately $30,099 left in his campaign fund, while Miller has $1,699.
Throughout the campaign, Miller has raised $94,338, while Gill has total contributions of $116,613.
Other races for Salt Lake County elected positions aren't nearly as close, with incumbents holding commanding leads, according to the poll.

By commanding they mean 60-40 races.
So with Gill's money edge, slight polling (within the margin of error) edge, and slightly superior billboards, it will all come down to turn out. Will Jim's massive cash edge and GOTV machine help Sim? Will it be a Democratic year in Utah too? These questions will all soon be answered in a month's time.

I love elections, as Herold Ford said, it's like Christmas. Except the day after Christmas has never been depressing for me.