Tuesday, October 10, 2006

on air?

I got interviewed this afternoon for KSL nightside on the topic of bloggers and libel suits. (Thanks Ethan!) Maybe I was too boring or maybe I convinced them that libel is not as much of a worry as disclosing priviledged or secret information is...but it looks like it won't air anytime soon.

I talked about my legal and ethical obligations to make sure that I don't prejudice potential jurors on criminal cases, or spill the beans on inside information for legislative or executive process.

If Chris Buttars or LaVar Christensen or Chris Cannon or Joe Cannon or any other local political figure that has made an a$$ of themselves by saying dumb things, doing dumb things, or being hypocritical, I welcome their lawsuit. Besides being a lawyer in training, I know lots of lawyers and I am sure I could find a libel/first amendment lawyer willing to go to bat for blogger's rights to call a spade a spade.

I can only dream of getting hit with a lawsuit...my blog's hits would go through the roof and my legal career would be cemented after I helped beat the pants off one of those clowns. To quote George W. Bush, "Bring it on."

Monday, October 09, 2006

relative holidays

Today is Columbus Day. In Boston, this makes for a large parade and everything being closed. In Utah, the post office, courts, and other annoyances are closed.

On Pioneer Day, Utah shuts down, but everyone else in the country is wondering why Utahns won't pick up the phone. Minor holidays will do that. Even though Columbus and Martin Luther King day are federal holidays, you can't force places besides federal offices to take the day off. There needs to be a cultural support for the holiday.

If only we could make Election Day one of those super federal holidays, like the 4th of July. Would some people make it into a long weekend? Sure, but others would be happy to vote without the stress of worrying about getting back to work. Both party's GOTV operation would be so much easier. The poor would be more likely to vote.

If we really value democracy and the people as much as we say we do, we would make it a holiday too. and if this polling holds up, it looks like it will be Christmas for Democrats in November.

In 1994, Speaker Foley lost his seat. This was seen as emblematic of the catostrophic losses the Democrats faced. In 2006, it looks like it will be NRCC chair Tom Reynolds turn. He is down 15% after this Foley scandal broke. And I am almost 100% that Hastert won't be around next year either. He will resign after losing the Speaker's spot, either by losing control of the House or in falling on the sword after a narrow victory.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Earth to LaVar: you've lost already

LaVar Christensen believes that he can make the pitch that if Matheson wins reelection, Pelosi will be Speaker and the Democrats will legislate immorality...Even after Rep. Mark Foley's scandal continues to break.
Christensen's ad says: "Political experts are reporting that for the first time in 12 years, Democrats in Washington have a strong chance of winning enough seats in the coming election to take control of Congress.
"What will that mean for you, for Utah and America? ...
"It will mean increased dependence on foreign oil, rising gas prices and falling moral standards."

This is what he means by 'America needs Utah.' Utah needs to save America from itself because somehow more people will have abortions with a Democratically controlled House. Even though in this same America (I haven't seen polling in Utah on it), a majority/plurality of Americans trust Democrats over Republicans in EVERY area...including moral values. And having Chris Cannon blame Mark Foley's lust for underage boys on the boys themselves isn't going to help LaVar any.
The irony of blaming Democrats for any dropping moral standard "is self-evident on its face," said Matheson. "It is their (Republican) Party that's seen four different members resign" for questionable behavior "in just this term of Congress."
"Democrats are the ones who embrace abortion and same-sex marriage," he [LaVar] says.
"Massachusetts has chosen to accept (Rep.) Barney Frank and what he does. But in Utah that is not our standard. Why should Utah contribute to the taking over of Congress by the Democrats?" said Christensen. Frank has openly declared that he is gay.

Somehow with Mark Foley, Iraq, Abramoff, the economy, health care costs, and all the rest, that the imaginary specter of gay marriage and abortion is going to do it. Let's face facts, Utah is never going to allow gay marriage unless some future Supreme Court forces it to. Ditto for loosening some of the tightest abortion regulations in the country. So anything a Democratic Congress might do will have no effect on Utahns.

Meanwhile, the NRCC hasn't given Utah's second district a dime of their money. LaVar claims it is because his campaign is doing so well that he hasn't bothered to ask for money. Riiiight. Matheson has AT LEAST twice as much money has you, and is up over 20 points in the polls, but you are doing great. Reality check from soon to be ex-Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign advisor Kirk Jowers:
The party's unwillingness to put money in the 2nd District "is one of the big signs that they don't consider it a competitive race."
"It's essentially the party throwing up the white flag that they know this is over for this seat" and is now focusing its finances on defending one of the multitude of vulnerable Republicans in other states, Jowers said.
Matheson, however, isn't counting the national party out, yet.
"There's no guarantee they won't come in. There's five weeks to go. I can't assume it's not going to happen. It's happened every other year."

Matheson is smart not to assume the best is going to happen and to campaign aggressively. Better to run up the score and really ensure that he will never get challenged seriously again then kick back and let it get close.

We have yet to see the third quarter numbers for this race, but I doubt there is much in LaVar's account other than his $650k. Jim probably has 1.5-2M, and has yet to spend any serious money yet. The good news for Utahns is that the only negative ads you will see will be from the candidates themselves, and most if not all will be from LaVar. Jim has no need to go negative or even acknowledge that LaVar exists.