Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Far Right Is Trying To Make A Case Against Electing Romney To The Senate


Although Bannon is apparently sidelined from electoral politics and Miss McConnell and the Senate Republicans are trying to persuade Señor Trumpanzee to kiss and make up with Romney [Update: it worked, at least for now], there are figures on the right who are opposed to Romney waltzing into the open Utah Senate seat. There are some other Republicans running-- Chris Forbush from Nevada, an environmental engineer named Timothy Jimenez and a very right-wing Trumpist attorney named Larry Meyers, who is running on a platform that points out that electing Romney would be restocking the swamp and that the FBI is corrupt. And three Democrats are trying to get their party's nomination-- Salt Lake County councilwoman Jenny Wilson (who's raised about half a million dollars) and what appears to be a couple of vanity candidates one named Mitchell Vice and one named James Singer.

Last week, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the chairman of the Utah Republican Party, Rob Anderson, blasted Romney for being a carpetbagger. Anderson is a moderate who's no fan of Trump. The GOP establishment landed on Anderson like a ton of bricks and he's since apologized, saying over the weekend that "I was thrilled when he moved his residence to Utah. I would be even more thrilled to see him run for Senate."
But Anderson, while surely the most prominent and the most vocal, isn’t the only dissenter. Romney’s expected candidacy is also annoying primarily right-wing GOP members who suggest that he’s ignoring the party and will win by name recognition and money alone-- not platform.

“He’s being coronated,” said Don Guymon, a member of the Republican State Central Committee. “I’m very concerned by that.”

“The general public perception is that Mitt Romney will be the automatic next senator,” said Phill Wright, former state GOP vice chair.

“Mitt Romney will be UT’s next US Senator,” wrote state Auditor John Dougall on Facebook. “Not necessarily because of his vision for the future or his hard work but because the press and the UT Republican Party will help ensure his coronation.”

On Tuesday evening, Dougall wrote an extensive Facebook post on his thoughts about Utah’s soon-to-be-available U.S. Senate seat.

In the post, he said everyone has been focusing on who they want Utah’s next senator to be-- not what they want that person to be.

Dougall said Utahns want a strong conservative who supports Trump and understands the state’s issues. As far as Dougall can tell, he wrote, Romney doesn’t like the president very much. Dougall also said he’s concerned about Romney’s knowledge of Utah.

“We need to understand where Mr. Romney stands before we decide where he’ll sit,” he wrote.

After posting, Dougall shared an article from U.S. News and World Report, which says the state auditor is “seriously considering” running against Romney for the open seat.

Romney, who supported the Count My Vote initiative, is expected to gather signatures to get on the primary ballot, a relatively new option. It’s unclear if he would also go the traditional convention route, getting approval from party delegates, but he said in 2014 that system will “rarely produce a result that reflects how rank-and-file Republicans feel.”

If he doesn’t go through the convention, it might further inflame those who already doubt his allegiance to the state party.

At least two other Republican candidates plan to participate in the caucus and convention. Tim Jimenez, an environmental engineer who launched his campaign in January, said there’s “contention and anger” that Romney might bypass delegates.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has been positive that someone else is running besides Mitt Romney. They’re just glad to have someone else in the race,” Jimenez said. “I don’t believe he represents those of us who live in Utah.”
I wonder if he's talked with far right lunatic, huckster and anti-Mormon bigot Tricia Erickson, who bills herself as the conservative pundit. She adamantly refuses to get psychiatric treatment, although virtually everyone who knows her personally says she has been severely mentally ill for years. Yesterday, she sent her latest column out to residents of Utah (and me) with a little intro: "Hello Utah! Because Utah is mostly a conservative state, I believe that it is important for your voters to know the truth on Romney's liberal record. I, unfortunately, am not available for interviews. However, please read this info. It is all vetted and I am horrified that Utah would even consider the founder of Obamacare (RomneyCare) for any position at all in your state. Please shout these FACTS to the mountain tops... and elect a true conservative!"
Mitt Romney is still licking his wounds from losing to Obama in 2012. So what is there left to do in his endless quest for power and a possible re-run for POTUS? Well…become a senator, of course. But, does anyone care about his deplorable performance record? Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts:
In 2002, Romney refused to sign a no new taxes pledge while running for governor.
Under Romney, Massachusetts was in the BOTTOM THREE OF THE NATION FOR JOB CREATION, only above post-Katrina Louisiana and Michigan
Massachusetts ranked third highest for population loss in a state
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), under Romney, spending in the Bay State rose 20.7 percent (Government bytes)
Romney raised corporate taxes
As Governor, Romney raised taxes and fees seven times by multi-millions of dollars to the tax payer and increased 57 fees while creating 33 new ones, earning him the nick name of “Fee Fee”
Romney also, during a fiscal crisis in his state, imposed a 2 cent per-gallon gasoline fee, imposed an internet sales tax and legislated to facilitate the local governments within his state to raise business property taxes, while claiming that he would not “raise taxes”, He also raised local property taxes, created an Internet sales tax and raised business property taxes.
Under Massachusetts RomneyCare:
By March, 2009, employer backed premiums were the highest in the nation
By 2009, the average expense for family coverage was over $15,000.00
Peter Robinson on Forbes.com reported “In the last two years alone, spending on free and subsidized plans for low-income citizens of the bay state has doubled from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated 1.3 billion this year”
The wait to see primary care physicians for new patients rose to 44 days with some doctors refusing to accept new patients and the wait time to see specialists rose to roughly 50 days. Emergency rooms visits increased due to lack of availability to expediently see doctors
55,000 illegal immigrants received more than $93 million in Massachusetts Health benefits for emergency medical services in just one year
Caused Massachusetts to employ between 15,551 and 21,422 fewer people and slowed growth of disposable income (Thomas R. Eddlem study)
The Washington Times, August 2007: “As governor, Mr. Romney wielded control over a significant budget and oversaw three cities that were proud of their designation as ‘sanctuary cities:’ Yet as governor, he recommended millions of dollars in state funding of them and made no attempt to force these cities to change their policies.”
Romney’s record on abortion:
Romney was “PRO CHOICE” in 1994, 2002, 2005 and 2006. He was “PRO LIFE” in 2001, 2004, 2006 and now, of course, prolife for the purposes of being elected as our next Republican President
On his 1994 campaign flyer, Romney lists “Retain a woman’s right to choose” as one of his foremost matters.
In 1994 the Boston Globe also reported Romney’s stance on the RU-486 abortion pill, quoting Romney as saying “I would favor having it available”
During a debate in 1994, Romney stated “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country”. He further stated “I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it”
Mitt singed in to law $50 tax funded co-pay abortions as a “healthcare benefit” under his RomneyCare
Gave Planned Parenthood an instrumental role on the policy board in his Massachusetts healthcare plan, after his “pro-life conversion”
Appointed a pro-choice judge, Matthew Nestor, to a lifetime appointment on a Massachusetts court, after his “pro-life conversion”
Judicial appointments:
Mitt appointed a pro-choice judge to a lifetime appointment on a MA court AFTER his “pro-life conversion”
Romney gave Planned Parenthood an instrumental role on the policy board in his Massachusetts healthcare plan after his “pro-life conversion”
Mitt awarded a MA district court judgeship to Stephen Albany part of the MA Lesbian & Gay Bar Association & activist to repeal sodomy laws
According to the Boston Globe: Romney passed over GOP lawyers for three quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he faced as governor, instead, tapping registered Democrats or independents, including two gay lawyers who supported same sex rights
Gay Marriage:
Mitt Romney was the “Father of Gay Marriage to America”
Romney in 1994: Romney’s letter to Log Cabin Republicans: “As we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent”
1994: Romney informed the Log Cabin Club that he favors ENDA
Bay Windows: “Do you support the Protection of Marriage Amendment?”, Romney: “No, because it would outlaw domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples”
Mitt simply “paid back” the Log Cabin Republicans for their instrumental role in getting him elected to the governorship, by purposely looking the other way so that gay marriage could be forced on to Massachusetts, and ultimately the United States of America. There is no law on the books in MA to this day that legalizes gay marriage.
Romney increased funding for the homosexual indoctrination of children in Massachusetts schools
Romney’s policies caused Catholic adoptions centers to close down, rather than to turn innocent children over to gay couples.
Romney’s liberal record:
Romney did not support the Bush Tax Cuts
“Almost five years after he refused to sign a ‘no new taxes’ pledge during his campaign for governor, Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he had done just that, as his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination began in earnest.” (Boston Globe, January 2007)
Romney in 1994: on his support of the Brady Bill and an assault weapons ban: “That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA.” Also at a campaign stop “I don’t line up with the NRA”
Serving his country?
Mitt received 3 draft deferments from the Viet Nam War to serve as a Mormon Missionary to draw people to the Mormon cult, nothing more, nothing patriotic. He did NOT serve his country!
Romney siphoned an estimated $1.5 billion out of the U.S. Treasury, all in the name of the Olympics. This was more than all US Olympic games together
Romney reaped more than $1.5 million in campaign funds during his governorship from individuals and families with ties to the Olympics
Mitt Romney has not recovered from his 2008 and 2012 campaign losses. True to form, I believe that Liberal Romney is regrouping to possibly run an effort against Donald Trump from within the senate.
In the letter, though not the column, she ended with "Romney's ego precedes every venue and room that he walk in to...there's a word for that that starts with an 'N.' And now, to make himself relevant again, he is re-branding as the the 'anti-Trump.' Doesn't American know yet that Mitt Romney's ego is more important than the The United States Of America?" No, not every Republican is certifiably insane, but those among us who are certifiably insane certainly know where their crazy theories will be appreciated.

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Ellen Lipton Beat Betsy DeVos In Lansing-- And Will Continue Beating Her In DC


Last month Digby introduced me to another extraordinary woman running for Congress, this one in Michigan, Ellen Lipton. Ellen's district is the 9th, from which Sandy Levin is retiring. This is a safe Democratic district in the suburbs north of Detroit (PVI is D+4 and Hillary beat Trump there 51.5% to 43.7%. Obama had beaten Romney by a much better margin: 57.2-41.9%.) The district is southern Macomb and eastern Oakland counties and includes Royal Oak, Fernadle, Warren, Eastpointe, Mount Clemens, Franklin and Bingham Farms.

Ellen raised two kids, worked as a patent attorney, helping universities and small businesses often in competition with large, powerful corporations. As a survivor of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), she became involved in public life when she joined the fight to allow life-saving stem cell research in Michigan. She ran for State Representative in 2008 and served three full terms, the maximum allowed in the state. As a legislator, she led the fight against Betsy DeVos’ efforts to destroy Michigan’s public-school system. After leaving Lansing, Ellen founded and was named President of the Michigan Promise Zone Association, which supports free community college tuition, technical training and certification to Michigan students in selected communities across Michigan, a blueprint for free college tuition across America.

Goal ThermometerShe's the only woman in a four-way Democratic Primary, a progressive through and through and her work with the Promise Zones and in holding DeVos at bay prompted me to ask her to share those specific experiences with DWT readers. Read this below and if you like what you hear, please consider contributing to the campaign of Blue America's newest endorsed candidate. Just click on the ActBlue congressional thermometer on the right. Let's make Michigan great again!

Guest Post
-by Ellen Lipton

Before Betsy DeVos became nationally reviled for her corporate education reform agenda as Trump’s Education Secretary, she spent years attacking public schools in Michigan, her home state. We were her political petri dish.

One of her most damaging proposals was the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), a program that would implement a statewide school district tasked with turning around “low performance schools.” Her metric for measuring performance was to look at standardized test scores, a highly flawed metric of school performance that by design discriminates against low income and minority students.

I served three terms in the Michigan State House, and for two of those terms I fought tooth and nail against DeVos and others like her who were intent on destroying public schools in Michigan. While I was in Lansing, a bill that would have codified the EAA into state law was being rushed through committee, backed by Republicans and even a few Democrats. None other than John Covington, a nationally infamous proponent of privatizing public education, came to our committee to testify about how successful an EAA pilot program had been in Detroit, and announced that we ought to just trust him to work his magic across the rest of the state. Needless to say, his record in Detroit was abysmal-- our schools in the city have been demonstrably worse off because of his work.

The problem with John Covington and Betsy DeVos and their one-size-fits-all, pro-privatization “solutions” to problems in education is that there are no magic bullets in turning around schools. Solving problems in education requires a lot of work, a lot of patience, and crucially, a lot of additional funding. During the committee hearing, I grilled Covington about his wild claims of success because the math just didn’t add up. When he couldn’t answer my questions, I sent an extensive FOIA request to the EAA, which they promptly ignored. It wasn’t until I threatened a lawsuit that they finally released the documents, which made it clear as day that the failed experiment of the EAA was riddled with abuses of power and misallocations of funds. Betsy DeVos’ dream of destroying Michigan’s public school system finally came to an end.

I’m proud of the work I did taking on Betsy DeVos in Lansing-- but being a legislator, whether in the State House or in Washington, isn’t just about stopping bad things from happening. It’s about reshaping the narrative around issues we care about, proposing bold solutions to those problems, and mobilizing the community around supporting a progressive agenda.

One narrative I hate the most is this idea that our schools are failing, and so our students are failing. Our kids aren’t failing at all-- they’re doing incredible work in the face of enormous challenges. And one of the greatest challenges they face is our nationwide crisis of college affordability. So many bright, hardworking students that want to attend college can not afford to go; those that do graduate often find themselves saddled with a lifetime of crushing student loan debt.

In Michigan, we’ve taken a stab at addressing this critical issue. Nearly ten years ago, the legislature created ten “promise zones” in economically distressed communities throughout the state. These promise zones guarantee two years of free college for every single student that graduates from public school in that district. As a legislator, I worked with community leaders in Hazel Park, a community that had been battered during the Great Recession, to establish the Hazel Park Promise Zone, and I am the current treasurer of the organization.

The results in Hazel Park have been incredible. Students who never thought they could go to college see a path to the future. The school district has been strengthened, the community has been brought together, graduation rates have improved, and property values have increased as young families are moving to Hazel Park because of the opportunities they and their children now have.

In addition to providing students with free tuition, the promise zones assist students with completing FAFSA applications and provide help with applying for other public and private scholarships, so that every student can attend college free from the burden of student loans.

After I left the legislature, I founded and became the President of the Michigan Promise Zone Association. I remain committed to my mission to strengthen what we have achieved in Hazel Park and communities all across the state. I am proud to say that just three years after I left Lansing, the number of promise zones in Michigan has grown from 10 to 15.

But my work is far from over. If Betsy DeVos had had her way in Michigan, the promise zones would never have come to fruition, and public schools would have continued to be degraded for the benefit of the wealthy few. If I am elected to Congress, I will do everything in my power to stop Betsy DeVos dead in her tracks once again, and prevent her harmful privatization agenda from destroying our public education system. I’ll also be a leader in solving the crisis of college affordability. What we’ve done in Michigan with the promise zones can happen on a national level. We need a tuition-free, debt-free path to college for every young person in this country, and I will work hard in Washington every day to make that dream a reality.

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It's MOTHER Nature, Not Father Nature


I was fascinated a few days ago to hear Marianne Williamson address a crowd of Laura Oatman supporters in Huntington Beach. Laura is the progressive woman running against Putin's favorite congressman, Republican Dana Rohrabacher. Marianne and Laura spoke to the crowd about the special strength and power of mothers that has evolved over millennia to ensure the longevity of the species. And if we, as a society, ever needed that power, it is now, with Trump and his self-serving enablers in power.

Yesterday, outgoing Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told Face the Nation that her party is in trouble. "When you look at the future of the Republican Party," she said, "I think that we would be foolish to not see that we’re heading into trouble. Part of that problem is that the GOP is a predominantly male party, with few women running and with a generally hostile attitude towards women. "Far greater numbers of women are identifying themselves as being in the Democratic party," she said. "When you look ahead, what's our future going to be? Are we going to end up a marginalized party? I think that we need to look toward the future, and we need to have the policies that attract millennials, women and minorities. I don't see that... I don't see those Asian women and-- and those minority women, serving in the House GOP or in the Senate GOP... we used to be more accepting of having moderate positions, and now-- now it's getting harder."

Greed-driven, selfish, entitled patriarchs-- the Trump crowd-- aren't going to protect anyone or anything but their own wealth and status. Trump doesn't recognize the concept of a future, very much the opposite of the role that has evolved for women. From the website, Motherhood: "While there are many characteristics that make up a good mother, protecting their young is a common quality that both the human and animal mother share. The mother bear has always been the quintessential example of a mother’s love, and this is mainly because of their fierce, protective nature. It is a widely accepted belief that the most dangerous place to be is between a mother bear and her cub... seventy percent of human deaths caused by grizzly bears are related to a mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs."

Some of this year's best candidates are fierce women who talk about preserving the environment about protecting children from the NRA-coddling Republicans, from the oligarchic tendencies the GOP has adopted that will turn the majority of people into victims. Women like Lisa Brown (WA), Jenny Marshall (NC), Katie Hill (CA), Jess King (PA), Lillian Salerno (TX), Katie Porter (CA), Marie Newman (IL), Nina Ahmad (PA), Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (NM), Mary Matiela (AZ), Wendy Reed (CA), Laura Oatman (CA), Kara Eastman (NE), Marge Doyle (CA) and Alexandria Ocasio (NY) are the future of the Democratic Party... and the future of America. There are 22 women in the Senate, so 22%-- 5 Republicans and 17 Democrats. There are 84 women (19.3%) in the House-- 62 Democrats and 22 Republicans. By the way, 51% of Americans are women and 49% are men. Do we need more women in Congress? Desperately. But keep in mind, some of the very best members of Congress are women-- take Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)-- while some of the most horrible members-- even among Democrats-- are also women-- Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-DL) and Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL). And the Democrats have some amazing women running this cycle, like the aforementioned Nina Ahmad, Jenny Marshall and Lillian Salerno, right alongside some of the worst candidates you'll find on the 2018 campaign trial, from Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ), Susie Lee (New Dem-NV) and Mike Sherrill (New Dem-NJ) to Gretchen Driskell (Blue Dog-MI) and Angie Craig (New Dem-MN)... and that even before we look at neo-fascist Republican monstrosities like Diane Black (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Vicky Hartzler (MO) and Marsha Blackburn (TN).

And you want to talk about destructive corruption? Three little words: Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

And that's not to say that women politicians can't become as jaded, vile and self-serving as men. In fact, the longer someone is in Congress, the more likely that becomes. Look at Kirsten Gillbrand for example, who is desperately trying to turn the #MeToo movement into a stepping stone for her own careerist ambitions. She's corrupt, racist and devoid of a moral core... but she knows an opportunity when she sees one. Doesn't this look like it was cribbed straight from DWT?
The Gillibrand we see today looks very different than the one we saw back in 2007, when she was on her way to becoming the unlikely winner of a House seat in a largely rural and heavily Republican district in upstate New York:
Upon winning, she became a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of conservative Democrats. She supported a balanced budget amendment and a ban on deficit spending. Her immigration platform was of a piece with the proto-Trumpism brewing during George W. Bush’s second term-- no amnesty or benefits for illegal aliens; a crackdown on sanctuary cities like New York; more agents, fencing, and tech for the border; and legislation making English America’s official language. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, gave her the lowest rating of any New York Democrat in Congress for her positions on gay rights issues. Her rating from the National Rifle Association, meanwhile, was a solid 100 percent.
All of that made her a controversial pick to fill the Senate seat that opened up when President Obama tapped Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state in 2009. Asked about why her views had changed, Gillibrand had an unusually straightforward answer.

“After I got appointed, I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities,” she said. “And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn’t have been more wrong-- you know I only had the lens of upstate New York.”

She offered up a similar answer on immigration: “I came from a district that was 98 percent white… And I just didn’t take the time to understand why these issues mattered because it wasn’t

right in front of me. And that was my fault. It was something that I’m embarrassed about and I’m ashamed of.” As Alfonsi pointed out, to say Gillibrand “only had the lens of upstate New York” is somewhat misleading, since she had lived in New York City for a decade before returning to upstate to a run for a congressional seat. From their exchange:
Alfonsi: But you had-- lived in New York City...

Gillibrand: I know.

Alfonsi: ...for a decade.

Gillibrand: And that’s why I was embarrassed.

Alfonsi: You traveled abroad.

Gillibrand: I was wrong. What it’s about is the power of the NRA and the greed of that industry. Let’s be clear. It is not about hunters’ rights, it’s about money.

Alfonsi: Your critics will say it’s political opportunism.

Gillibrand: As is their right. They can say what they like.
Gillibrand is doing her best to air out the issues now, hoping that liberals in Iowa and New Hampshire will focus on her unblemished record in the Senate and not a handful of highly damning House votes from a decade ago. As Gillibrand herself said in the 60 Minutes interview, “if you’re wrong, just admit it and move on.”
No mention of Al Franken? Did he get a chance to apologize and move on before Gillibrand scalped him and then mercilessly ripped him to shreds and forced him out of the Senate? Or is that dirty little episode already deep down the national memory hole?

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Next Month Don't Bet On Conor Lamb Doing As Well As Jon Ossoff Did


Which one's the Democrat and which one's the Republican?

As you've probably noticed, I think Conor Lamb's campaign is a train wreck. From the very first time we looked at that PA-18 special election race, we realized that the only path to victory would be to get union members and union retirees to turn out for him, the way African Americans turned out-- massively-- for Doug Jones in Alabama. But Lamb's taking union voters for granted and whatever enthusiasm anyone once expected is virtually non-existent. Over the weekend a top, top DCCC staffer, on condition of anonymity, referred to the race as "a lost cause." A gaggle of media hacks desperate for a lively story are the only ones pretending there's still a pulse left in the race. Like Josh Krasushaar, who doesn't seem to understand the nuances between a good Democrat who people like those struggling in PA-18 want to vote for, and an empty suit like Lamb. Lamb is about as bad a Democratic candidate as you'll find and the only thing he has going for him is the hope that enough people want to send Trump and Ryan a message. PA-18 is the wrong district for that strategy. GOP-related groups have spent $5 million there. The DCCC pulled the plug at around the $250,000 mark. And they're not on the air for an election 3 weeks from today! One longtime labor leader in the district wrote his perspective on the race and asked me not to use his name, primarily because he's still hoping for some kind of a miraculous transformation.
Most of us labor leaders in the district are extremely frustrated by the Lamb Campaign. It's unprofessional, top-down, and appears to be run by his family members, particularly his punk kid younger brother, Coleman Lamb, whose day job is as communication director for Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. I don't know a labor leader in the district who is happy with them. Nobody can get their phone calls returned and instead we get this huge asks without having a real seat at the table. It didn't need to be this way.

At first, many of us in labor were enthusiastic about the Lamb Campaign. We've always had a good relationship with his uncle Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb. There are more than 80,000 union members and retirees in the district and we were hoping that Rick Saccone's anti-union track record would be red meat to turn out our folks. Trump won these folks by campaigning as an anti-free trade, kinda pro-union kind of guy. You go to this kind of folks and say Rick Saccone is against unions, its like saying he roots for the Cleveland Browns. Lamb should be nailing Saccone on this issue night and day but so far not a single one of his ads mention unions or even Rick Saccone's role in promoting the Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Instead, the optics are the opposite, Rick Saccone comes off as a working-class guy from the post-industrial Mon Valley while Conor Lamb comes off as a rich kid from Mt. Lebanon, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the district. Saccone is from the bombed out Mon Valley town of Elizabeth and has a thick Pittsburgh accent, which folks around here can recognize easily. When he is on TV, its always in a sweater that looks like he bought from a department store. Sure, some of his views may be extreme, but he's a former diplomat and TV anchor and the guy is a smooth operator who knows how to bullshit infront of the camera.

In contrast, Lamb has no what we call a "yinzer accent." He is always wearing suits and talks about Public service as if he is doing these guys some sort of favor by running.  When he does talk about labor, it's very very stiff. Recently, he came out and addressed 500 members of the Carpenters Union. After he left, the members mocked him for being so uptight and elitist. These are the guys he should be firing up to knock on doors and go all out and instead he just seems like another politician to them.

Instead of hammering home on free trade, prevailing wage, and coal mine pension issues, which affect thousands of members in our district, Lamb barely talks to the press and when he does it’s all this vague crap about public service.

Still many of us in the district want to help him, but we can’t if his campaign is being run by a close knit group of his family members. They want labor to provide an army of ground troops for them, but we can’t do it unless he listens to us and appeals to our members in ways that appeal to them instead of talking down to them about public service.

They need to shake up that campaign and start by bringing in someone other than that punk little brother of his, Coleman Lamb, to run the show. Multiple reporters in the district have called me and said that he has gotten confrontational with them in ways that aren’t helpful while denying these folks interviews.

While Saccone is out in the media calling Lamb a sheep that refuses to talk on issues, Lamb is ducking reporters. Multiple reporters even good sympathetic folks to labor have complained that they can’t get Lamb to talk to them at all. It’s just a very entitled privileged clique that is running the campaign and running it into the ground.

A loss like this will be brutal for labor in Western Pa. It’s not too late to turn the ship around, but it starts with the campaign opening up the table and listening to folks in labor instead of behaving like a bunch of rich kids from Mt Lebanon. 
Want to hear how clueless the Lamb campaign is? Randy Bryce (@IronStache) offered to come to the district and talk with union workers with him-- something every Democratic candidate in the country is hoping Bryce will do for them-- but Lamb, who applied for and got an endorsement from the Blue Dogs, turned him down and instead decided to have Steny Hoyer come to the district! Just contemplate that for a moment or two! God forbid Lamb should do anything that makes him appear vaguely authentic instead of like some preppie frat boy.

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

I have a thought. I have lots of thoughts. That's why I do these memes for you every day. But, here's my thought for today:

Since our NRA graft-taking politicians so strongly feel that "Thoughts and Prayers" are enough for our children, not to mention the rest of us, I propose that we immediately disband the Secret Service and the United States Capitol Police, the two main agencies who are responsible for protecting politicians in Washington and elsewhere. My reasoning is simple. If our Congress full of NRA graft-taking scumbags in Washington thinks that "Thoughts and Prayers" are all the action "we the people" need in a country full of AR-15 toting maniacs, then that should be good enough for them as well. After all, it's a concept that's worked so well to date!

I know the politicians will disagree, though, just like they think they're entitled to taxpayer funded healthcare but we and our children are not. They also think they are entitled to all sorts of things they think we are not. For example: Secretary of State Rexxon Tillerson thinks there should be no fracking anywhere near any property he owns, but it's fine for our neighborhoods and our favorite beaches, fishing streams, parks, and schoolyards.

In light of other recent Washington actions, shouldn't my idea be acceptable to Congress? Our current politicians do seem to be undermining and cutting out a lot of departments in Washington, things like the E.P.A., Education, The Interior Department, and others that make our lives better, so why not the Secret Service and the Capitol Police as well? Do we really need both of them and prayer, too? Seems awfully wasteful and redundant to me! The politicians we send to Washington constantly go out of their way to extoll the power and value of prayer. Hey, they must know something, or else why would we have elected them? Since they claim to genuinely believe this, they could even legislate or decree a monthly National Day of Prayer for themselves. That costs nothing! Zero taxpayer dollars! It's, in fact, cheap in very way imaginable. Talk about common sense solutions! Any American who wants to participate can, although, no doubt Señor Trumpanzee will take note of those caught not praying and label them godless, unpatriotic, and un-American.

Let's try it. What's the worst that could happen?

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Pennsylvania Just Got Ungerrymandered. Here's How That Looks For November


Nate Cohn's analysis of the new Pennsylvania congressional boundaries for the NY Times is very well-done. The key take-away is that the Democrats are likely to do a lot better under this map than they could have ever done under the grotesquely gerrymandered map the Republican legislature concotted. The old district lines had Trump winning 12 districts to 6 for Hillary. The new lines show Hillary with 8 and Trump with 10. In 2012 Romney won 12 to Obama's 5, even though Obama won the state 2,990,274 (51.97%) to 2,680,434 (46.59%). The new lines would have had Obama and Romney winning in 9 districts each. It's a much fairer map, although the Republicans-- as is their wont-- are already screaming bloody murder.

Cohn speculated that "Perhaps no event will do more to reshape the fight for control of the House than the new congressional map just released by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. At stake was the fate of a Republican gerrymander that intended to cement a 13-5 Republican advantage in an evenly divided state. Now the Republicans will have little to no advantage at all. Democrats couldn’t have asked for much more from the new map. It’s arguably even better for them than the maps they proposed themselves. Over all, a half-dozen competitive Republican-held congressional districts move to the left, endangering several incumbent Republicans, one of whom may now be all but doomed to defeat, and improving Democratic standing in two open races." But the court did something that goes beyond party politics: "Based on recent election results, the new congressional map comes very close to achieving partisan balance."

The most gerrymandered list in the state, the old 7th district is the new 5th. Clinton's 2 point win turns into a 28 point win as the district goes from a meandering, insane mess-- probably the most outrageously gerrymandered district in the whole country-- to a sane-looking district in the suburbs south of Philly, primarily all of Delaware County with a little bit of south Philly and some of Montgomery County. Cohn is right to call it "an exemplar for nonpartisan redistricting."

Meanwhile, the new 7th was essentially Charlie Dent's old 15th. Trump won the 15th by 8 points. Hillary would have won under the new boundaries by 1 point. Dent isn't running for reelection, making this one even more ripe for a Democratic takeover.
The old 15th wasn't as easily caricatured as the old Seventh. But the old crayfish-like 15th was just about as likely to receive a makeover to the advantage of the Democrats.

The previous map split the Lehigh Valley, a Democratic-tilting urban area that naturally anchors a congressional district, and added a long, deeply Republican tail to the west. Together, it was enough to make a safe district for Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican who never faced a serious contest.

Now Republicans are probably underdogs to hold the new Seventh. Mr. Dent retired last September, and the new district is considerably more Democratic without its crawfish tail. The Lehigh Valley is united, the crawdad tail amputated and replaced by diverse Democratic-leaning parts of southern Monroe County.
The 6th, Ryan Costello's seat, retains its number but not it's partisan makeup. In 2016 it went very narrowly for Clinton (one point). Under these new boundaries it would have gone to her by 9 points. Cohn speculated that Costello is in so much trouble that "one wonders whether he will even be inclined to seek re-election."

The current 16th, where Republican incumbent Lloyd Smucker is being challenged by progressive Democrat Jess King, is the new 11th and it's quite a bit redder because it no longer has Reading.
The district is naturally Republican; Lancaster County has voted Republican in all but one presidential election since 1860. But the current district is relatively competitive, since it stretches out to relieve other suburban Republicans of relatively Democratic parts of Chester and Berks Counties. The incumbent Republican, the first-term representative Lloyd Smucker, was potentially somewhat vulnerable on the current map.

Without the burden of helping out his Republican colleagues, Mr. Smucker’s new 11th District moves to the right on the new map.

More surprising than the territory it gave up, though, is the territory it added: the heavily conservative countryside in York County. The formation of this deeply conservative district is a defensible choice but, again, one that works to the advantage of the Democrats by creating a Republican vote-sink. It winds up making it a lot harder for the Republican Scott Perry
And, speaking of Perry, his district, PA-04 will now be PA-10, still very Republican, but not nearly as Republican. Under the old boundaries, Trump won it with 21%. The new boundaries would have given Trump a 9 point advantage. Still safer than Perry deserves.

The current 8th (Bucks County plus some of Montgomery County) is the new 1st and it went from an evenly split district to one that would have favored Hillary by 2 points. That's Brian Fitzpatrick's seat and he's now going to be in a tighter race for survival.

The current 18th-- the one where the Lamb vs Saccone battled in being waged in the southwest corner of the state-- is the new 14th and it's even redder than it was before. It was a Trump district by 20 points and is now a Trump district by 29. If Lamb pulls off a miracle and wins next month, he'd likely lose in November, unless he flips parties, as Blue Dogs so often do-- or-- more likely-- unless he moves to the new 17th.

The new 17th, suburbs west of Pittsburgh, is the old 12th (Keith Rothfus' district). Trump won the 12th with a 21 point margin. He would have won under the new boundaries, but just by 3 points. Big trouble for Keith Rothfus. who is currently being challenged by progressive Tom Prigg, who certainly isn't likely to roll over and play dead for a Blue Dog shithead like Conor Lamb.

The current 17th went for Trump with a 10 point margin. The new 8th would do the same. This is Democrat Matt Cartwright's district. When I asked him how he feels about the new lines, he told me "It's bittersweet. On the one hand, I lose three counties I have come to love, and where I have formed lasting and I hope lifelong friendships: Schuylkill, Carbon and Northampton counties.  On the other hand, I pick up some wonderful places, namely Pike and Wayne counties, beautiful, scenic areas, with pristine lakes and waterways, including a much longer stretch of the Delaware River than I already have, and also some terrific educational institutions: Misericordia University, and the Luzerne County Community College. Also on balance it will be more work for me to get around and meet new people and figure out their concerns, but hard work never scared me." Actually, the district is fractionally bluer and less likely to attract one of the multimillionaire Wall Street whores who were looking to give Cartwright a tough fight.

As Cohn put it, "The new district trades out the conservative body of the octopus for similarly conservative territory closer to the district’s urban core in Scranton, resulting in no real shift in the overall partisan makeup of the district. On the prior map, the Democratic representative Matt Cartwright was favored to win re-election. There’s some chance that swapping out familiar for unfamiliar conservative territory will dim his re-election prospects, but in this political environment he remains a favorite."

Over in Philly the old first district becomes the new second. It was a Hillary district by 61 points. Now it would be just a 48 point Hillary. Cohn thinks Brendan Doyle is likely to run there, rather than the new 4th, which has most of his old district (the 13th). The old 13th-- the 4th now-- was a very blue district that Hillary won by 34 points. Under the new boundaries it's still very blue but Clinton would have "only" won it by 19 points. It's a more Montgomery-based district.

The other Philly district-- now the second and turning into the third-- gave Hillary a jaw-dropping 83 point lead over Trump and under the new boundaries would be slightly bluer! She would have won by 84 points.

The 3rd district over in the northwest corner of the state, will be renumbered the 16th. It went for Trump by 26 points. It's still prohibitively red, but will be a Trump district by "just" 20 points.

The old 5th is the new 15th. It will be a lot redder. Trump won it by 29 but under the new lines, he would have won it by 43. The conservative Republican incumbent, Glenn Thompson, has nothing to worry about.

The current hopelessly red 9th district (Trump +43) will be the 13th, which will be slightly redder-- R+46. Bill Shuster is retiring.

Tom Marino's old 10th (Trump +36) becomes the 12th and stays as a Trump +36 district.

Lou Barletta's current 11th will be the 9th. It was Trump +24 and will be another even redder hellhole-- Trump +34.

Mike Doyle's old 14th-- Pittsburgh-- (Clinton +35) will be the new 18th and is slightly less blue-- but still very blue-- Clinton +27.

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American Students vs The NRA (And Trumpanzee... Birdbrain)


Listen to the kids in the CBS video above.

Sunday night, the NY Times published a piece explaining that Trump's sleazy lawyer, Michael Cohen, protected his self-entitled, loathsome client by "relying on intimidation tactics, hush money and the nation’s leading tabloid news business, American Media Inc., whose top executives include close Trump allies… He maneuvered in the pay-to-play gossip world-- populated by porn stars and centerfold models, tabloid editors and lawyers with B- and C-list entertainment clients." That probably won't work against Trump's newest adversaries, America's enraged, activated students, starting with the survivors of the NRA/GOP massacre of the students at Parkland, Florida;s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "The students," reported CNN Monday morning, "promised action. They're headed to Tallahassee, Florida, to speak to legislators about school safety and gun control this week, and they have school walkouts and a march scheduled in the coming months.

I have no idea what Cohen is up to or if he'll go after the Parkland students but another sleazy Trump apologist already has-- Rush Limbaugh.
While speaking to Fox News Sunday, Limbaugh was asked by host Chris Wallace if a planned march by students could get lawmakers to act to prevent school shootings.

“Chris, I have to ask if anybody is really serious about solving this because none of this-- by the way, I couldn’t care less about the gun angle of this,” Limbaugh replied, referring to a group of students from Parkland that Wallace had just spoken to. “None of this is going to solve-- prayers and condolences don’t solve it and marches aren’t going to solve it. Chris, the next shooter is out there.”

“It’s not the fault of the NRA. It’s not the fault of any-- it’s the fault of the people doing this and our inability to deal with that and stop them,” he insisted. “Until we’re willing to get serious about where we are and how do we they stop this from happening and marches aren’t going to do it, saying no more guns isn’t going to do it, bashing the NRA isn’t going to do it.”
You know about March for Our Lives, right? March 24 is the day. It's not partisan, but it's very political. This is the mission statement:
Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.

March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.

On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority. The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard.

School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.

Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard.

Stand with us on March 24. Refuse to allow one more needless death.
And they're serious. Over the weekend On Saturday, senior Emma Gonzalez, from the video above, spoke at a Fort Lauderdale rally, calling out the fake, illegitimate president for accepting $30 million in NRA bribes, leading a "shame on you," directed not just towards Señor Trumpanzee but towards all his enablers and all the NRA whores of both parties. "We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” she said. "Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because... we are going to be the last mass shooting." I have a feeling this is going to be very big, very fast.

"My message for the people in office is: you're either with us or against us," said Cameron Kasky, a junior at Stoneman Douglas. "We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around."

Emma Gonzalez, who has become the stunned face of her fellow Stoneman Douglas students, declared, "Because of these gun laws, people that I know-- people that I love-- have died."

At a gathering this weekend, she led a chant of "We call Bullshit" aimed at politicians silent on potential action.

Classmate David Hogg chimed in, "Thank you for your prayers and condolences, but that is not enough."

...[A]s with the #MeToo movement, and perhaps because of it, the Stoneman Douglas students may have the country's mounting social awareness on their side.

This time, it isn't grownups speaking to other grownups. It's teenagers, speaking without filters, to lawmakers who someday will need their votes, not to mention their expertise in every field.

These students don't have the money that the NRA can throw at Washington, but they wield something more important: the country's future.

Is it enough to erode decades of power by the gun lobby?

Well, student activism has been a force to be reckoned with through the past 60 some years of American history.

They encountered mob violence in Alabama and were themselves accused of provoking unrest.

But their protests are credited for inspiring other, broader protests that culminated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, led by Martin Luther King in 1963, where he delivered his famed I Have a Dream speech.

In what became known as a decade of student protests, nearly 100,000 people gathered again in Washington in 1967 to protest the Vietnam War, while students led other protests the following year in Paris and across Germany.

It is impossible to think of Vietnam protests now, without thinking of the students.

And, soon, it may be impossible to think of America's reaction to gun violence without thinking of the students who stood up against it.

These high school students are among a new generation, born from 1996 onward, that is alternatively called Generation Z, or the Centennials.

They've seen their older counterparts across the US experience school shootings. They can see the impact those incidents have had on their younger siblings and friends, who are terrified that something will happen to them.

They feel that the responsibility falls to them to act. Make no mistake, they know they are up against a formidable political force.

During the 2016 election cycle, the NRA spent $1 million on direct contributions to candidates, paid out another $3.1 million on lobbying and another $54 million on outside activities, such as television ads and communication to voters and members, according to OpenSecrets.org, which tracks campaign spending.

But, students have shown before that they can affect history. "She was going to change the world," said the family of Carmen Schentrup, one of the 17 people who died.

Perhaps now, her classmates will.
Oh... and happy fucking Presidents Day:

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Will The Blue Wave Be Enough To Win Congress On Its Own?


Don't underestimate the power of women to protect the species from Trump and his enablers

Zac Anderson is the political editor of Sarasota County's top newspaper, the Herald-Tribune. After the surprise Democratic win in a special election for an open legislative seat there last week, Anderson took a deep drive into what happened on the ground to swing a red district 12 points away from Trump in just 15 months since the district gave him a credible win against Hillary. What everyone wants to know, of course, is how to make sure this happens in congressional districts-- not just FL-16 and not just Florida-- but across the country. A 12 point swing in November would certainly hand the House back to the Democrats-- and average district swings since Putin put Trump into the White House have been around 20, not 12.

The loser last Tuesday was James Vernon Buchanan, the son of Vern Buchanan, the congressman from the area. Last November Trump beat Hillary in the older Buchanan's congressional district, 53.7% to 43.0%. All things being equal-- an absurd concept-- a 12 point swing would hand the congressional district over to Buchanan's opponent, either Jan Schneider, David Shapiro or Calen Cristiani. Does it matter which one is nominated? How could it not? Florida media always refers to Shapiro as a "serious" candidate; he's raised over a quarter million dollars and appears to be a "moderate." Neither Cristiani nor Schneider (each a progressive from the Bernie wing of the party) had reported any contributions as of December 31, although Schneider has big name ID, having run in the area multiple times. Quality of candidates and their campaigns matter. Anderson felt that had a lot to do-- besides the building wave-- with Good's win over Buchanan's son last week.
Some Democrats were nervous when polls closed Tuesday in the District 72 state House special election and it became clear that Republican Election Day turnout had far outpaced Democratic turnout.

Democrat Margaret Good appeared to have done well in absentee and early voting. Republican James Buchanan’s prospects for victory hinged on a big GOP Election Day push that brought in 8,168 Republican voters, or 2,652 more than Democrats.

Yet Buchanan only won Election Day voting by 110 votes, not nearly enough to offset Good’s big lead in absentee and early voting.

That led political analysts to conclude that a big chunk of Republican voters - and most independent voters-- went for Good.

That-- combined with strong Democratic turnout-- is how Good won a district that went for President Donald Trump in 2016 and has 12,060 more Republicans than Democrats, electrifying her party in the process and bringing national attention to Sarasota as a potential indicator for midterm elections in November.

Tom Eldon, Good’s pollster and a longtime Florida Democratic operative who once lived in Sarasota, said the fact that Good attracted support from Republican and no party affiliation voters in the northern Sarasota County state House district is not unusual. The area is known as a bastion for moderate Republicans.

But garnering enough GOP and NPA support to secure a 7.4 percentage-point victory in a district that went for Trump by 4.4 percentage points-- a 12 point swing-- is astounding, Eldon said.

“Seeing crossover support from Republicans is not uncommon in Sarasota,” Eldon said. “Seeing NPAs vote for the Democrat is not uncommon. Seeing it at this level is remarkable and at that point I think you’re seeing some Trump backlash with that.”

Good also appears to have benefited from unusually high Democratic turnout, especially among women, said Democratic consultant Steve Schale.

“Largely the story in special elections around the country, women were the story here in Sarasota,” Schale, who ran former President Barack Obama’s campaign in Florida in 2008, wrote in a blog post.

Schale said in an interview that there were two key elements to Good’s victory.

“You saw Democrats turn out, particularly women,” he said. “Then the fact that Republicans-- clearly large numbers of Republicans-- voted for her.”

Democrats make up 32 percent of the registered voters in District 72. But 40 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the special election were Democrats. And while Democratic women make up 20 percent of registered voters in the district, they accounted for 24 percent of voters in the special election.

“The Good campaign did a fantastic job in turning out Democrats,” Eldon said. “When you look at the turnout for Democrats, it’s staggering.”

Eldon believes Good appealed to women across party lines as a “highly qualified female candidate” at a time when “you’re having a national conversation on the treatment of women.”

Turnout was up among women in general, not just Democratic women. Voter registration in the district is 54 percent female but 56 percent of the voters in the special election were women.

The voters who show up in lower-profile special elections “do so for for a reason,” Eldon added.

“That’s to send a message,” he said. “A lot of women were voting who typically don’t vote in an election like this. They were fed up and they were taking it out on James Buchanan.”

Republicans also cast a greater share of the ballots in the special election than their share of registered voters in District 72, but they only went up from 42 percent to 46 percent of the electorate.

That’s a sign that Good had a strong field operation that was aggressive in getting Democratic voters to the polls, and that Democrats are more motivated to vote than Republicans.

Good had a full-time staff of eight paid employees and hundreds of volunteers knocking on doors.

“Very early we made a conscious decision to invest in the field organization and that is something you will see in all of our House races this cycle,” said Reggie Cardoza, the director of political operations for Democrats in the Florida House. “The most effective and efficient way to reach a voter is face to face.”

Eldon said the field team put together by Good and the state Democratic Party was so strong it was more reminiscent of a congressional race than a state House race. Good was able to build up a 3,368-vote lead in absentee and in-person early voting. Voters talked about being repeatedly visited by door knockers and receiving a steady stream of flyers, telephone calls and text messages.

“The get-out-the-vote effort and the field in general was just a very strong fundamental campaign execution,” said Sarasota County Democratic Party Vice Chairman Kevin Griffith, who said he knocked on a few hundred doors.

Griffith said many voters he talked to while knocking on doors “were really motivated.”

“I think it’s just the anti-Trump fervor,” he said.

So was Good destined for victory in District 72 because of the national political climate?

Schale said it’s crucial that Democrats recruited a credible candidate. Good is a lawyer with strong community connections. He also credited Good and her team with running an aggressive, disciplined campaign. Good raised more money than Buchanan and was able to do considerable advertising to complement her get- out-the-vote effort. The strength of the campaign caused prominent Democrats to take notice. Good received an endorsement and campaign help from former Vice President Joe Biden.

But Schale believes Good benefited greatly from anti-Trump backlash among Democrats and independents.

“I don’t want to take away from the campaign those guys ran,” he said. “She’s a great candidate, did a great job. There’s a certain level to this that the Democrats ran a real candidate people wanted to vote for; you can’t take that away. But at the same time independents are so open to voting for somebody different.”

Buchanan also struggled to find his footing as a candidate. Members of his own party criticized him for refusing to debate Good until the final stretch of the campaign, and questioned whether he had a compelling message. A last-ditch effort to try and boost GOP turnout by appearing at a rally with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski raised eyebrows among some Republicans.

Eldon said Buchanan focused too much on hot-button national issues such as immigration that didn’t resonate as well in Sarasota.

“The voters down here care about the environment, they care about education, they’re very concerned about climate change and sea level rise and all they heard from James Buchanan was sanctuary cities, sanctuary cities and sanctuary cities,” Eldon said. “It just fell flat.”

The inability of Lewandowski and Trump-style messaging to pull Buchanan across the finish line indicates the backlash to Trump may be a more potent political force than pro-Trump sentiment right now.

It also means the results from Sarasota’s special election could have big ramifications throughout Florida and the nation. Schale ran state House campaigns for Florida Democrats in 2006 when there was a blue wave. He also experienced the GOP backlash in 2010 that saw Republicans do extremely well in such races. He knows what waves feel like, and he knows what districts are good indicators of where the political winds are blowing. For a Democrat to win by such a big margin in a Sarasota County legislative district that has a relatively older, whiter, more GOP-leaning electorate is a very good sign for the party.

“I don’t think you can overstate the significance of it,” he said. “It wasn’t like a squeaker.”
In Florida a 12 point swing in November would-- again all things being equal-- see the end of the congressional careers of Ted Yoho, Dennis Ross, Brian Mast, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo and probably Gus Bilirakis, Bill Posey and Francis Rooney.

Around the country, you'd be saying Randy Bryce replace Paul Ryan in southeast Wisconsin, Lisa Brown replacing Cathy McMorris Rodgers in eastern Washington, Lillian Salerno replacing Pete Sessions in Dallas, Derrick Crowe taking a red seat in the Austin/San Antonio corridor seat, Jason Westin replacing John Culberson in Houston, Jess King replacing Lloyd Smucker in Lancaster, PA, Tom Guild replacing Steve Russell in Oklahoma City, DuWayne Gregory replacing Peter King on Long Island, Jenny Marshall replacing Virginia Foxx in North Carolina, Paul Clements replacing Fred Upton in Kalamazoo, Jared Golden replacing Bruce Poliquin in Maine, Austin Frerick replacing David Young in Des Moines and southwest Iowa, Sam Jammal and Doug Applegate filling the abandoned red seats in southern California, Katie Hill beating Steve Knight in Santa Clarita and David Gill replacing Rodney Davis in central Illinois.

Goal ThermometerBut as Dr. Gill mentioned, "We view the November general election as a golden opportunity to move toward real change; given my past performance against the Republican incumbent, we have no doubt that I can defeat him this year. And when I get to Washington, I intend to be a game-changer, using my background as an emergency medicine physician to counter the myths advanced by those who oppose single-payer, and to help lead the charge to the type of health care system that FDR envisioned for us 75 years ago. But first, of course, I have to survive on March 20. And this primary is really a battle for the soul of the Democratic party. I'm taking on establishment-backed candidates who refuse to stand up for single-payer, the Fight for 15, or tuition freedom. I'll be out-spent, but not out-worked: my staff and I, and our passionate volunteers, have knocked on thousands of doors and talked with thousands of voters. And those Democratic voters are done with half-measures, they're done with Republican Lite. They are demanding a shift toward a government focused on ordinary people, and as a lifelong progressive populist, I look forward to being a part of such a seismic shift." Want to help David and the other Blue America candidates win those primaries against establishment candidates? That's what the thermometer just above is for.

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