Archive for Democrats

Wisconsin and Minnesota provide a nice side-by-side comparison of Republican and Democratic economic policies in action. They’re next door to each other and share similar demographics.

Three years into [GOP Gov. Scott] Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half.

Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Mr. Dayton’s Republican predecessor, [GOP Gov. Tim] Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under [Democratic Gov. Mark] Dayton.

It is a little early to assess NC Gov. Pat McCrory. In spite of McCrory’s and the NCGOP’s refrain that the state is “broken” owing to one hundred years of Democratic dominance, North Caroilna consistently ranks as one of the top ten best states to do business. But it has lost ground since last year on one survery, falling from first place to second behind Georgia. This, of course, leaves McCrory with not much of anywhere to go except down.

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Not From Around Here, Are Ya?

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Downtown Raleigh from Western Boulevard Overpass
Photo credit: Mark Turner, Wikimedia Commons

When Heath Shuler was Asheville’s congressman, I used to joke that I’d been living within 100 miles of Asheville longer than our congressman had been alive. Yet he was a native son and I remain “not from around here.”

Rob Christensen observes how the rapid influx of newcomers to North Carolina is a reflection of what North Carolina is doing right, contrary to the “broken” narrative that Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-led legislature repeat ad nauseam to denigrate the last 100 years of Democratic dominance in Raleigh.

A net 2 million people have immigrated to the state since 1990. Where once North Carolina had one of the largest native-born populations in the country, now 42 percent of the state’s residents were born elsewhere, including many of the state’s current crop of GOP political leaders. Read More→

Over at dKos late last night, teacherken announced the final margin in the VA attorney general’s race after counting provisional votes: a 163-vote lead for state Sen. Mark Herring (D) over Republican state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain.

The Washington Post elaborates:

The Fairfax County Electoral Board finished reviewing provisional ballots – mostly cast by people who did not have ID or went to the wrong polling place – and added 160 votes to Herring’s (Loudoun) total and 103 votes to the Republican’s. Herring already led on the State Board of Elections Web site by 106 votes.

The additional 57-vote margin from Fairfax was expected to give Herring a statewide lead of 163 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast – barring any last-minute changes from other localities, which had until 11:59 pm Tuesday to submit their numbers to the state election board.

State Board of Elections will certify the election results on Nov. 25.

Brad Friedman observes:

If Herring can maintain his extraordinarily slim lead throughout the almost-certain “recount”, he will become Virginia’s first Democratic Attorney General in twenty years, and his party will have swept all three top-ticket races in the state this year — Governor, Lt. Governor and AG.

From the Miami Herald:

“Voters in Virginia have spoken, their voices have been heard and I am honored to have won their votes and their trust to become Virginia’s next attorney general,” Herring said in a statement. While the vote was close, he said, “Virginians have chosen me to serve as the next attorney general.”

But in such a close race, Obenshain is unlikely to concede.

According to tea party lore, if the Republican loses, somebody must have cheated. On to the recount.

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Can I Be Frank With You?

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Saw this yesterday, but Susie beat me to it. NJ Democrat, Rep. Bill Pascrell :

Susie says, “I have a favorite T-shirt that says, “I’m not angry, I’m from Philly.” I bought it because people always seem to think I’m being hostile when I’m just a little more, um, direct than most people. (If I ever do go ballistic, you’ll know.)”

Pascrell’s target in this “direct” exchange is former interim U.S. attorney and T-party candidate, Rep. Tim Griffin (R – Arkansas), who resigned his earlier job “a day after the BBC broadcast linking him to illegal ‘voter caging.’” Griffin has just announced he will not seek another term so he can spend more time with the family, as they say in Washington.

But perhaps Griffin will be remembered as he didn’t want to be—for the 2004 “voter caging” story. In 2004 the Bush-Cheney campaign and RNC sent mail to voters’ addresses to check whether those addresses were current. If the mail bounced back, the names were “caged,” and the party had reason to challenge the ballots of these voters if they showed up. In 2004, while at the RNC, Griffin received spreadsheets of “caged voters”—a fact that came up during his confirmation process when he was seeking to become a U.S. attorney. Greg Palast, the muckraking journalist who had originally reported the story, also argued that the voters being targeted were disproportinately nonwhite. That sort of discrimination would have been illegal.

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Wednesday Fun Time Opportunity!

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This Wednesday, Oct 30, from 4-8pm, at The French Broad Brewery The good folks of the 9th precinct invite you out to a meet and greet super happy fun time, with beer!

In addition to  an opportunity to hob your knob with  your favorite/least favorite City Council candidates, there will be raffling off a bunch of goodies (including a BBQ gift card, Brews Cruise tickets, and much much more!), polite conversation, burgers and dogs (the hot variety) will be available to satiate your appetite , and tasty tasty beer. Come meet your 9th precinct officers (That’s you Oakley). Beer, free stuff and political activism, what could go wrong? Nothing! Did I mention beer? Beer!

Proceeds from this event will go toward the establishment of 9er Notes, a local newsletter billed as an insurgency against powerlessness, and cynicism, and the infiltration of our bodily fluids.


More info: here

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Cooper Comes Out Swinging

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NC Attorney General Roy Cooper goes national against the destructiveness of Republican rule in the state. This morning in the Huffington Post, Cooper writes,

For the first time since Reconstruction, North Carolina has a General Assembly and governorship controlled by the extreme factions of the Republican Party, and their legislative super majority means their power is unchecked. In ten short months, they have set out to deliberately and systematically undo fifty years of progress. It’s as if the Tea Party created its own playground of extremist fantasies.

Among the nonsensical economic policies in a state still struggling to recover, Gov. Pat McCrory’s rejecting Obamacare-related Medicaid funding “which North Carolina is paying for regardless,” and the jobs and billions it would add to the state.

It’s been a rough ten months and the wrecking crew is not done yet.

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Big-Picture Politics

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

A couple days ago, one of our regular readers, Hazelite, observed (indirectly) the lack of people here grousing about Rep. Mark Meadows’ voting record. More on that in a minute.

Many years back, I was involved with a group in forming a church. These were friends I’d known since college. We had church together, went camping, played basketball, went out to eat, and had for some years. Eventually, those with kids and jobs wanted to get a tax break on their contributions. We decided to formally apply to the IRS.

When the IRS paperwork came, we got hung up on writing a formal statement of faith. We’d never had one or needed one before. We were just us, friends, and never gave it much thought. Now all the differences we’d never noticed came out. This guy over here was raised Catholic, became a Quaker, and wanted a statement about Mary and the virgin birth. Those raised Protestants were uncomfortable with that and wanted different beliefs emphasized. It got dicey, but eventually we got through it. As long as we’d stayed out of the weeds, we got along fine. When we started arguing about the footnotes, not so much.

One thing the NAACP-led Forward Together/Moral Monday movement in North Carolina has done well is to keep its members working at the executive summary level of their politics and beliefs. Including diverse groups, but not focusing on the particulars. Rev. Barber and Moral Monday stick to the broad issues member sub-groups agree on, lest the group lose focus and disintegrate into factions angling for their own group’s particular interests. This is Big Picture politics. When we work together, we all win and we all have a better shot at getting what we want.

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KY Governor Slams GOP’s NoCare, No Alternative

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“It’s amazing to me how people who are pouring time and money and energy into trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act sure haven’t put that kind of energy into trying to improve the health of Kentuckians. And think of the decades that they have had to make some kind of difference.” — Kentucky Democrat, Gov. Steve Beshear

The place was the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast, and the speech caught Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul off guard, according to the National Journal. [Emphasis mine.]

Beshear’s advocacy … was striking in its intensity and in how personally he approached the issue, picking up on the idea that many people who don’t have health insurance are embarrassed by that and don’t talk about it.

The governor compared health insurance to “the safety net of crop insurance” and said farmers need both. He said 640,000 Kentuckians—15 percent of the state—don’t have health insurance and “trust me, you know many of those 640,000 people. You’re friends with them. You’re probably related to them. Some may be your sons and daughters. You go to church with them. Shop with them. Help them harvest their fields. Sit in the stands with them as you watch your kids play football or basketball or ride a horse in competition. Heck, you may even be one of them.”

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Therein Lies The Difference

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Thomas Mills at Politics North Carolina has a must-read post entitled, “Fifty Years of Democrats”. Go read the whole thing. Excerpt:

“And therein lies the fundamental difference between North Carolina Democrats and the current breed of Republicans running our state. Democrats believe that if we invest in people, infrastructure and institutions of learning, that businesses will come. We believe that wise management of our natural resources creates as much opportunity as exploiting them. We believe that government can work in partnership with business to create a high quality of life and sustainable jobs. We believe that because that’s what we’ve done.”


War? What War? Oh! That One.

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The day after, Rachel Maddow reports: