Friday, April 05, 2013

Democrats Re-endorse Justice Center

Johnson County Democrats last night gave a second endorsement to the justice center proposal on the May 7 ballot.

The endorsement vote was unanimous though some non-voting members present argued that the issue should remain non-partisan.

Democrats endorsed the similar proposal last fall when it drew 56% of the vote, short of the required 60% supermajority.

The party also donated $250 to the Yes For Justice campaign. Early voting starts Wednesday, April 10.

Other than that, a bunch of stuff I've tweeted but not elaborated on last couple days.

Taking bets on the next/last Democratic Senator to support marriage equality. Only four holdouts left. South Dakota's Tim Johnson is retiring but is still doing electoral math since he hopes to hand off his seat to his son. (Has anyone asked my old crush Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, the younger Johnson's main rival for the Democratic nomination for that seat, if she's "evolved" lately?)

Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu are both up for re-election in 2014 in very red states. But Pryor needs to watch his left flank as well as his right; former seatmate Blanche Lincoln almost got knocked off in the 2010 Democratic primary by a more progressive challenger, before getting crushed in the fall.

So that leaves the just re-elected Joe Manchin of West Virginia. My bet is he is actually genuinely opposed to marriage equality and that we'll see another Republican - Lisa Murkowski or maybe Susan Collins - flip before he does.

Next question: when do senators start getting behind the equally popular legalization of weed? Lost the cite but noted from the crosstabs: there's a gender gap with women more supportive of marriage equality and men more supportive of drug legalization.

Just speculating here: machismo-related homophobia, though fading fast, still has some power among young men. Women, meanwhile, are more likely to be harmed by alcohol/other drug related violence.

Primary process expert Josh Putnam: "Clinton wouldn't clear the field, but 2016 looks NOW more like Wellstone/Bradley to Gore in 2000 than 2008." One more chance for me to brag that Johnson County Iowa was the number one Bill Bradley county in the nation.

So the Vaudtitor is out. David Vaudt was once in a while mentioned as a possible candidate for other office. His move to head the Government Accounting Standards Board (an obscure sounding thing but, as someone who works in a government accounting office, they do actual work and Vaudt seems like a good fit) looks like a permanent exit from the electoral arena.

No special election, just an appointment and the term is up in `14 anyway. If this had happened in April 2011 instead, there would have been a special election on the 2012 presidential ballot. That happened in 1980, when incumbent Lloyd Smith died just after getting re-elected in 1978.

Appointee Richard Johnson won that race and stayed till 2002. Vaudt beat Democrat Pat Deluhery, a state senator screwed in redistricting, basically by arguing "I'm a CPA and you're not." He went completely unopposed in 2006, a lost opportunity in that heavily Democratic year, then beat late starting Dem Jon Murphy in 2010.

How much this ripples through state politics depends on who Branstad appoints. As you recall from the 2011 Battle Of Marion Senate race, he's willing to try a trick shot and shake up the table a bit. Any CPA Democrats in elected office? Stay tuned.

From the Committee on Evil Vote Suppression Legislation:
A bill filed in the North Carolina state Senate Tuesday would carry a tax penalty for parents whose children register to vote at their college address.

Senate Bill 667, known as "Equalize Voter Rights," would remove the tax exemption for dependents who register to vote at any address other than their parents' home.

The same provisions on student voting have also been rolled into a larger omnibus bill, Senate Bill 666, which would also shorten early voting days, ban early voting on evenings and weekends and prohibit same-day registration.
No. I did NOT make up that number 666.

How many parents of 19somethings are actually able to control what their young adult offspring do when they're not under the same roof? Let's put it this way: I'm a grandpa.

We're Number 70! We're Number 70! Question for Hawks hoops fans: Would you trade the NIT runner-up, with its five extra games including two at home and two at Madison Square Garden, for a 13 seed and first round loss in the NCAA?

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