Posts Tagged ‘Elections’

LinkSwarm for March 27, 2015

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Those two outstanding Obama successes, ObamaCare and Middle East foreign policy, just keep succeeding…

  • Yet another ObamaCare timebomb threatens small businesses.
  • In case you hadn’t noticed, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are intervening directly in Yemen with other Sunni Arab nations, raising the significant possibility that Iran’s Big Yemen Adventure will turn into a full-blown Sunni/Shia Civil War.
  • Don’t you hate it when a bomb goes off in your mosque right in the middle of your “Death to America” chant?
  • But Iran supporting terrorists and attacking America’s allies in the region won’t stop Obama and Kerry from giving in on every Iranian demand for their toothless Iranian nuclear weapon deal.
  • Also, the Obama Administration just declassified a report on Israel’s nuclear program. It’s almost as if Obama truly wants to punish America ‘s allies and reward America’s enemies.
  • Think the Israelis are pissed at the fall of Yemen? It’s nothing compared to the rage of the Saudis and other Arabs.
  • Even Turkey’s Islamic government has decided Iran has gone too far.
  • Obama’s superpower is ignoring reality.
  • Think UK Muslim child rape stories couldn’t possibly get any more creepy or depressing? A gang in Croydon targeted Down Syndrome girls. (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Is Obama hindering the fight against Boko Haram because he favors the Muslim Nigerian Presidential candidate over the Christian one?
  • Harry Reid to retire from Senate. That hissing sound you hear is the air rushing out of Democrats’ chances to retake the senate in 2016… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty.)
  • Speaking of Democrats and the Senate, there are bruising primary battles heating up up between the party’s corrupt wing and the party’s insane wing. (Sure, National Journal uses the words “pragmatic liberal” and “progressive,” but we all know what they mean.) (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Of course Ted Cruz can win.
  • It doesn’t hurt that he’s running against corporate welfare.
  • Cruz set out a fundraising goal of raising $1 million the first week of his campaign. he did that in just over a day and has already hit $2 million.
  • Different jobs, different perks. If you work at a high tech start-up, you may get free snacks and catered meals. If you work at the DEA, you might get orgies with prostitutes paid for by drug lords.
  • An early leader for Mother of the Year.
  • A tale of two rapes, one that didn’t happen the media hyped, and one that did the media ignored.
  • Judging from the comments in this Slashdot thread, techies are getting tired of frivolous Social Justice Warrior lawsuits.
  • Since that was a mostly very depressing roundup of news, here’s a Golden Retriever puppy sliding down a ramp.

    Ted Cruz’s Presidential Race Announcement Speech

    Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

    Here’s Ted Cruz’s full kickoff speech for his 2016 Presidential campaign:

    Ted Cruz to Declare Presidential Bid Tomorrow

    Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz is expected to announce his 2016 Presidential bid tomorrow at Liberty University in Virginia.

    This should not be a surprise to anyone following this blog, or keeping track of his travel schedule.

    Probably more on the announcement tomorrow…

    Jeremy Byrd Just as Effective at Knocking Off Benjamin Netanyahu as he Was Knocking Off Greg Abbott

    Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

    You might remember that Obama dispatched Battleground Texas head Jeremy Byrd to Israel to help defeat incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Polls closed in Israel at 5 PM CDT. The results?

    Netanyahu just declared victory and will likely have enough votes to form a coalition government in the Knesset. To be sure, polls are still close and his opponents are saying his declaration is premature, but it looks like Likud will end up with 27-28 seats, up from their 18 in the current Knesset

    Assuming that holds, it means that Jeremy Byrd, who worked for the anti-Likud V15 group (which evidently bussed Arab voters to the polls) has continued his impressive streak of helping the politicians he opposes win bigger victories for their parties than the previous election…

    An In-Depth Look at Scam PACs

    Monday, March 2nd, 2015

    If you remember my pieces exposing Conservative Action Fund, Conservative America Now and Patriots for Economic Freedom as scam PACs, you know it’s an ongoing concern.

    Now Right Wing news has done an in-depth piece on 17 high-profile PACs, only three of which gave more than 50% of the money raised to candidates. It was particularly disappointing to see Tea Party Express use only miserable 5% of the funds raised on candidates and campaigns.

    Read the whole thing, including their caveats about the difficulty in measuring spending from some groups.

    Wisconsin Unions Double Down On Stupid

    Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

    If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then Wisconsin union leaders may be clinically insane.

    Their suicidal idée fixe is on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his labor law reforms. You may remember how the rude, narcissistic, and counterproductive intimidation tactics employed during the Walker’s recall election backfired on them.

    Indeed, it was the recall election that made Scott Walker what he is today:

    The ferocity of the anti-Walker attacks during the recall attempt cannot be understated: no stone was left unturned, no “scandal” or slip of the tongue left unmentioned, and this may only help candidate Walker going into 2016. The Democrats spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours digging, scooping, ad-cutting, and hammering. They threw the kitchen sink at the guy in 2012, threw their neighbor’s sink at him in 2014, and now nobody on the block will let them inside to pee. Out of useful topsoil, what do they do now?

    Had the Democrats not targeted Walker with a recall, that massive fundraiser network, the national profile, the party unity, and his highly developed get-out-the-vote team almost certainly wouldn’t exist. He may have still won re-election, but he would be just another Midwestern Republican governor who enacted reforms and faced push-back, not the conservative folk hero of a party longing for a win. He would most likely resemble Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a reformer but hardly a man with a cult following. There would still be plenty of new problems with the governor his opposition could cite, instead of leaving him mostly vetted for 2016.

    They shot the king and missed, making a balding, sleepy-eyed executive into a god among a growing horde of followers. That’s bad enough for the Progressive set. In the unlikely event he wins the Republican nomination and the presidency? They struck the match that ignited their own national hell.

    And what happened after Walker’s reforms went through and public employee unions could no longer force people to join? Union membership plummeted. Over 100,000 workers availed themselves of the opportunity to escape union clutches when they were finally allowed to. That’s why unions will never forgive Scott Walker: his reforms proved that workers hated the unions that supposedly represented them.

    And Walker’s success has emboldened Republicans in other states to take on unions, which has the Democratic Party terrified. “Public-employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic party.”

    Now Walker and the Republican legislature aim to make Wisconsin a full right to work state. Naturally, Democrats and unions (the latter being an extension of the former) are gearing up to fight it.

    Strategically, I understand why Democrats and unions have to fight this fight. What I don’t understand is why the anti-Walker crowd continues to employ the same “stuck on stupid” tactics against Walker that have lost them the last three elections.

    Loud, annoying protest in the capitol rotunda guaranteed to alienate swing voters? Check.

    Marches? Chants? Check.

    Clenched fist Socialist Realism iconography? Check.

    About the only thing they’re missing from the recall circus is the drum circle.

    They even sent union goons to harass Walkers’ parents at their home. Because that’s such a sure fire way to win over people.

    Now word comes that Wisconsin Unions are contemplating a general strike. Presumably because they couldn’t think of anything else so likely to: A.) Fail, and B.) Lose the supporting of those few remaining independents their previous tactics hadn’t already turned off.

    It’s like Wisconsin unions are doing everything they can to get Scott Walker elected President in 2016…

    Jeremy Bird To Bring Magic of Battleground Texas Campaign to Israel

    Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

    When word dropped that Jeremy Bird, manager of Battleground Texas’ disastrous 2014 campaign, was going to Israel to help campaign against Benjamin Netanyahu, (“With the help of American money and a former campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, V15 is trying to replace Israel’s government”), I held off on the news because I wanted to do a little research. After all, given his involvement with core Democratic Party causes, I thought there was a pretty good chance he’d played footsie with at least one pro-Palestinian/ant-Israeli cause along the way.

    Turns out my hunch was right.

    Obama adviser Jeremy C. Bird once worked for an anti-Israel activist condemned by the Anti-Defamation League.

    Bird, then a student at Harvard’s Divinity School, worked for Edmund Hanauer, one of America’s most prominent anti-Israel activists, in 2002.

    Bird worked for Hanaeuer while Hanaeuer wrote a virulently anti-Israel op-ed that accused Israel of “state terrorism” and “war crimes,” and called for the arrest and prosecution of Israeli soldiers.

    Never mind the deep impropriety of an American administration sending an adviser to defeat the sitting Prime Minister of an American ally. (Remember when Ronald Reagan sent Ed Rollins to Israel to defeat Shimon Peres? Me neither.)

    So Democrats are sending an anti-Israel activist to try to influence an Israeli election.

    That’s some might fine electioneering, Lou…

    John B. Judis Turns 180º, Proclaims Coming Republican Advantage

    Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

    John B. Judis is most famous for proclaiming that rising minority populations would make Democrats America’s natural majority party before too long, a theme he expounded upon in The Emerging Democratic Majority (with Ruy Teixeira) in 2002.

    Now Judis has taken a look at trends from the last few elections and said Whoa! Not so fast Jose…

    At the time, some commentators, including me, hailed the onset of an enduring Democratic majority. And the arguments in defense of this view did seem to be backed by persuasive evidence. Obama and the Democrats appeared to have captured the youngest generation of voters, whereas Republicans were relying disproportionately on an aging coalition. The electorate’s growing ethnic diversity also seemed likely to help the Democrats going forward.

    These advantages remain partially in place for Democrats today, but they are being severely undermined by two trends that have emerged in the past few elections—one surprising, the other less so. The less surprising trend is that Democrats have continued to hemorrhage support among white working-class voters—a group that generally works in blue-collar and lower-income service jobs and that is roughly identifiable in exit polls as those whites who have not graduated from a four-year college. These voters, and particularly those well above the poverty line, began to shift toward the GOP decades ago, but in recent years that shift has become progressively more pronounced.

    The more surprising trend is that Republicans are gaining dramatically among a group that had tilted toward Democrats in 2006 and 2008: Call them middle-class Americans. These are voters who generally work in what economist Stephen Rose has called “the office economy.” In exit polling, they can roughly be identified as those who have college—but not postgraduate—degrees and those whose household incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000. (Obviously, the overlap here is imperfect, but there is a broad congruence between these polling categories.)

    The defection of these voters—who, unlike the white working class, are a growing part of the electorate—is genuinely bad news for Democrats, and very good news indeed for Republicans. The question, of course, is whether it is going to continue. It’s tough to say for sure, but I think there is a case to be made that it will.

    Never mind that Judis is a fairly hardcore Democratic Party partisan, or that some of his “advice” to Republicans is off-base. To basically reverse himself on his biggest prediction is rather like Charles Murray going “I’ve changed my mind, the Great Society welfare programs were great!”

    The piece is heavy on demographic shifts and very light on the causes of those shifts. He makes some noises on tax burdens (which I’m sure is true), but makes little or no mention of ObamaCare’s deep unpopularity, widespread opposition to illegal alien amnesty, or the counterproductive, alienating effects of the Democratic Party’s Social justice Warrior cadres alienating “core swing voters,” i.e. the “70 to 75 percent” of middle class voters who are white.

    Maybe Judis is using this as an opportunity for concern trolling (as when he suggests the GOP’s ideal 2016 nominee “soft-pedals social issues, including immigration”). But for him to not only say he was wrong before, but to come to conclusions that can’t help but alienate significant fractions of the Democratic Liberal Mediopolitical Complex, he must be seeing something in the data even more momentous than what he’s already describing, and he wants to get ahead of the curve…

    Ted Cruz’s Speech At The Iowa Freedom Summit

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

    Why yes, I am feeling a bit lazy today. Why do you ask?

    Sorry for the audio buzz, but it seems to be from the event itself rather than a video artifact.

    Annie’s List of Fail

    Monday, January 12th, 2015

    Via PushJunction comes word that Amber Mostyn (wife of rich trial lawyer Steve Mostyn) is stepping down as chair of Annie’s List. What’s Annie’s List, you ask? Essentially an attempt to do Emily’s List for Texas, i.e. elect liberal female Democrats to office.

    So how did Annie’s List do in 2014? By one measure they were quite successful: They raised 18th largest amount of money of any statewide political entity in 2014, raising $1,422,009.16 and spending $1,601,945.83.

    But by another, more important measure, namely winning elections…not so hot. Let’s look at the results for the candidates they endorsed

  • Wendy Davis – Candidate for Governor: Lost to Greg Abbott 2,790,227 votes (59.3%) to 1,832,254 votes (38.9%).
  • Leticia Van de Putte – Candidate for Lieutenant Governor: Lost to Dan Patrick 2,718,406 votes (58.1%), to 1,810,720 votes (38.7%).
  • Libby Willis – Candidate for Senate District 10 (Wendy Davis’s old seat): Lost to Konni Burton, 95,484 votes (52.8%) to 80,806 votes (44.7%).
  • Susan Criss – Candidate for House District 23 (Galveston Island, La Marque and Texas City): Lost to Wayne Faircloth 17,702 votes (54.6%) to 14,716 votes (45.4%).
  • Kim Gonzalez – Candidate for House District 43 (San Patricio, Jim Wells, Kleberg and Bee Counties): Lost to Jose Manuel Lozano 17,273 votes (61.4%) to 10,847 votes (38.6%).
  • Susan Motley – Candidate for House District 105 (Irving and Grand Prairie): Lost to Rodney Anderson 13,587 votes (55.4%) to 10,469 votes (42.7%).
  • Carol Donovan – Candidate for House District 107 (Dallas, Garland and Mesquite): Lost to Kenneth Sheets 16,879 votes (55%) to 13,803 votes (45%).
  • Leigh Bailey – Candidate for House District 108 (Dan Branch’s old district): Lost to Morgan Meyer, 24,953 votes (60.7%) to 16,170 votes (39.3%).
  • Celia Israel – Candidate for House District 50 (Austin, Pflugerville and Wells Branch): The lone bright spot among their endorsed candidates, she Won, beating Mike VanDeWalle 22,651 votes (58.7%) to 14,339 votes (37.1%). This is the district Democratic incumbent Mark Strama left to run Google Fiber Austin.
  • So Annie’s List racked up a winning percentage of .111 for the races they publicly supported, which is pretty far below the Mendoza Line, and their lone win came for a seat Democrats already held. Going through Annie’s List campaign reports for 2013-2014 (more about which anon) shows two other campaigns they backed at some point in the cycle:

  • Incumbent Mary Ann Perez’s campaign to retain House District 144 (Southeast suburban Houston area near the chip channel). She Lost to Gilbert Pena, 6,009 votes (50.7%) to 5,854 votes (49.3%). Maybe because it wasn’t a “new” endorsement, they didn’t do as much for Perez, but at just over 150 vote difference between the two candidates, this is one of the few races where additional support could have made a difference.
  • Incumbent Toni Rose’s successful attempt to win the Democratic Primary for House District 110, a 90% black southeast Dallas district that drew no Republican candidate in the 2014 general election.
  • One wonders how long Annie’s pale, middle-aged, female leadership can keep raising money with such poor results.

    For the sake of completeness, and providing a “one stop shop” for information about Annie’s List, here’s their official filing information via the Texas State Ethics Commission:

    POLITICAL COMMITTEE INFORMATION
    Annie’s List
    Account: 00053715
    Committee Type: General Purpose
    Files Reports: Semi-Annually
    8146-A Ceberry Drive
    Austin, TX 78759

    TREASURER INFORMATION
    Pinnelli, Janis W.
    P.O. Box 50038
    Austin, TX 78763
    (512) 478-4487

    And here are their electronic filings covering the 2013 to 2014 fundraising period:

  • October 27th, 2014
  • October 6th, 2014
  • July 15th, 2014 (semiannual)
  • May 19th, 2014 (runoff report; see how many times “The Mostyn Law Firm” appears in that list…)
  • February 25th, 2014 (very brief)
  • February 3rd, 2014
  • January 15th, 2014 (corrected semiannual report; uncorrected version omitted)
  • July 15th, 2013 (semiannual; another report where “The Mostyn Law Firm” makes many an appearance)
  • January 15th, 2013
  • Beyond Mostyn and Lisa Blue Baron, some of the names who gave significant amounts to Annie’s List include Obama bundler Naomi Aberly, Lee and Amy Fikes, and Serena Connelly, the daughter of late billionaire businessman Harold Simmons. So your usual batch of rich left-wing pro-abortion feminists. Fortunately for Texas, the state’s voters seem actively hostile to precisely the message they seek to push…