Thursday, October 19, 2006

America needs blogs

So for those of you who believe that posting on the internet is just placing words in the ether, here's a story for you:

I have written posts critiquing billboards of local politicans, and their slogans. I also suggested that folks show up to tonight's panel on health care in Utah. Well, at this event was State Senator Scott McCoy and Dr. Joe Jarvis, amoung others. During the reception, I spotted Senator McCoy and shook his hand.

Immediately, he thanked me for the input on my blog on his signs. "Next time, we'll focus group them through you," he said. I assume it was a joke, although it sounded like he agreed with my analysis. We both agreed that "America needs Utah" is the dumbest slogan out there.

That made my night. That, and Hansen's soda. Man that stuff is good.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Care about heath care in Utah?

It seems by looking at the lawnsign war, and the Salt Lake Tribune endorsement of Joseph Q. ("Dr. Joe") Jarvis, that my local state senate race will be a nail biter, since the GOP found a LDS hospital doctor to run in this liberal avenues seat.

If you are undecided, or just plain interested in health care, I urge you to come to the law school (332 South University Street)on October 19, 2006 [Tomorrow, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM] and meet the candidates who will be talking about a proposed constitutional amendment.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson will moderate, and the panel will feature Senator Scott McCoy; Senate candidate Joe Jarvis; Bill Tibbits, Director of the
Anti-Hunger Action Committee; Roberta Herzberg, Department Head of Political Science at Utah State University; and Brad Kuhnhausen, Utah Association of Health Underwriters.

The proposed amendment states: "Each resident of the State has the right to health care. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that no resident of the State lacks access to basic, affordable health care." I happen to agree.

My old student organization, PILO, will be hosting. If you have any questions, post a comment and I will direct it to our fabulous new leadership. See you there.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

sleeper in Salt Lake City

The Deseret News headline: "District 2 looks like Matheson cakewalk"

Utah's 2nd district isn't on Hotline's top 60, or any national ranking group's radar. The national parties are staying out of Utah after failing so badly last time. It is over, Jim has a seat in the House until at least 2012.
A late September survey by Dan Jones & Associates found Matheson ahead of Christensen, 60-24 percent.
Matheson also leads Christensen in fund raising. The latest Federal Election Commission reports show that Matheson has $1.1 million in cash while Christensen has nearly $300,000.
A millionaire, Christensen has put $490,000 of his own money into his race, and he may well put more in as he runs more TV and radio ads up to Election Day.

So far, I have seen TV ads from Jim 3 times (two different ads) and zero from LaVar. Keep trying to insinuate homophobia with your Pelosi=San Francisco talking points, but only a handful of people in Utah even know who she is.

Other third quarter results of blow out Utah races: "Ashdown has $14,217 in cash; Hatch has $2.8 million." And that is after Hatch gave lots of money to the National Republican committees and threw away some money by giving it to LaVar. Pete Ashdown is bummed that no one gave him money, especially the technology PACs...sorry Pete but they don't want to piss off a very powerful soon to be reelected Senator. I will vote for you, but you aren't going to win.

Monday, October 16, 2006

a changing Democratic majority?

If the Democrats re-gain control of the House, which pundits and prognosticators say they will, it will do so without the old Confederacy as a base of support. This is a big deal, and signifies a shift in the politics of the South and the Northeast.

But it doesn't necessarily mean that the Democratic Party itself will become more Liberal. Many of the new seats to be gained are by definition in Republican held areas. Sure, some are in blue states or areas Kerry or Gore won, but a majority will only come from Republican areas (that is, Bush districts and some in Bush states).

For example, Indiana seems to be fruitfull territory this year for House seats. But Indiana has supported Republicans for President for decades, and they just elected a Republican Governor. Granted, the Republican Governor's unpopular decisions are part of the reason Democrats look good in that state this year, but these candidates are not liberals by any means.

There will be a lot more new Melissa Beans in Congress on January 2007 than there will be Chris Van Hollen's because of where Democrats will be sucessful. To me, it looks like Connecticut will not be a good state this year. All of the GOP incumbents knew it was going to be a tough year, and were prepared. Some may still lose, but I doubt all of them will. And Joe Lieberman's continued presence really hurts Democratic challengers, as Joe's quasi-Republicanism becomes more pronounced with each day.

Upstate New York will yield a few, but again these are in conservative areas...even if Clinton will carry them twice and Spitzer will run circles around the GOP. The region still elects GOP state Senators and voted for Bush in 2004. Ohio's gains will come from very GOP regions, as will any California gains (1-2 might materialize).

By contrast, Penn. will be a good state for Democrats this year, so more progressive Dems will come from there. There are a handful of seats that if they flip will like Chis Van Hollen's stay flipped: Northrup's in KY, almost all of the CT districts, the Philly burbs, Wilson's in NM...but the rest of the gains will be challenged very hard in 2008, when turn out will be higher and the GOP will have NOTBush as their presidential candidate (most likely McCain). So all of the class of 2006 will play it safe and not vote especially liberal on social isssues (save stem cells).

The same story will be true for the Senate as well. A Senator Ford, Webb, McCaskill, Casey, and probabbly Tester would vote fairly moderately and make pains to disagree with their liberal collegues when possible.

Bottom line: the New Democrat caucus in both the House and the Senate will not die out. While the Democratic majority will not be beholden to the South in the House, it will in the Senate. But again, either way, there will be more moderates in both chambers after 2006, not less. This will not make the would be Democratic majorities more liberal. If anything, House Democrats as a whole will be less liberal.