Friday, December 11, 2009

Will Massachusetts Go The Way of Kentucky? Kentucky State Senate Special Election, Republican Wins by 12 Points, Despite 2 to 1 Democrat Advantage

Kentucky’s state special electionslast Tuesday resulted in two wins for Republican’s, on in the 96th district and one for State Senate in the 14th District. The State Senate Race generated greater interest in that the District was thought to be firmly in Democrat control, (Kentucky Sec. of State)with a 2 to 1 voter margin favoring the DNC. In addition, the Democrat, Jodi Hayden outspent the Republican candidate, Jimmy Higdon, focusing on job creation, while Higdon used the threat of nationalized health care and invoked the name of Nancy Pelosi – which appeared to be enough to push the district in his favor. Meanwhile, in the 96th State Congressional District, Jill York, Republican Candidate, won the seat over Democrat, Barry Webb. This is also of import due to the fact that Ms. York, is the first Republican to hold that seat in over a decade, where Registered Democrats also outnumber Republicans(Kentucky Secretary of State).

According to the blog ”The Hill”: Kentucky Democrats blamed the losses on the fact that National Issues were made the focus – so what of the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election? After all, Massachusetts is not Kentucky – Massachusetts is seen as a northern “liberal” state (if not the most liberal), and Kentucky, a southern state, whereby most southern states are thought to be Republican strongholds. Historically, the opposite was true, the southern states being firmly in Democrat hands until the later part of the 20th century, with Republican’s (abolitionist) dominating northern states. As hearts and minds changed and the focus shifted from civil rights to labor, the Democrats picked up advantages in the north and established a stronghold in Massachusetts.

With that in mind, by all accounts, Democrat Martha Coakley should handily defeat the Republican candidate Scott Brown, simply because Democrats hold a majority status in the state. (In Massachusetts registered Democrats making up 30 plus percent of the voters, while Republicans are at approximately 11%). In addition, Coakley is expected to far outspend Brown in the short time leading up to the January 19th special election.

All politics are local

That said Coakley had been running ads up to the Democrat Primary last Tuesday, ads that promised she would go to Washington and do the President’s bidding; specifically voting for Health Care Reform. This message resonated well with the Massachusetts base – but both parties are far outnumbered by a larger force in Massachustts Politics: the unenrolleds voter which makes up the majority (50 plus percent) of registered voters in the Bay State. There are several polls on the subject, with the latest coming from CBS: noting that American’s support the Government option and, on top of that, they are willing to pay higher taxes to make this happen. Other polls, however, appear to contradict the CBS poll, With the latest polls showing that support for the administration’s health care plan has fallen to to 36 percent. Who to believe? Ask newly elected Kentucky Senate Senator, Jimmy Higdon.

In order for Coakley to win this particular election, she will have to hope that the majority of the State Electorate is of like mind – that the unenrolled voter is firmly behind the President. If not, then Brown, regardless of a disparity in Republican and Democrat registration, and a smaller “war chest”, will make history as the first Republican to hold a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts since the early 1970’s. Contrast and Compare the ads below to give a hint of what’s to come. All politics being local, Kentucky and Massachusetts may have more in common than one would think.

Martha Coakley on the Need for Strong Public Option

Scott Brown on Fiscal Responsibility

Scott Brown on Kennedy’s Tax Cuts

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Boston Globe Paints MA. Special Senate Election Candidate Coakley in Poor Light, Bolsters Republican Scott Brown – Massachusetts and Women - Analysis

In what some might consider a departure for the Globe, an article entitled
“Divergent strategies for Brown, Coakley”, “Senator takes aim; AG looks past him”, appears to have been written with an eye towards straight reporting – giving quotes from both contenders for the seat, as well as those who are supporting Coakley.

The article begins by noting that there are stark differences between the two candidates, which is an understatement. The interesting quips that follow:

“Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, signaled he would go after the attorney general with everything he had. She indicated she would do all she could to ignore him.”

Coakley, after a press event with her vanquished primary rivals, retired to her campaign headquarters in Charlestown, seeing no need to hit the trail on her first day as the Democratic nominee.

Reading these two line, one can surmise that Coakley, confident of victory, sees no need to work for the votes of Massachusetts – she comes off as more arrogant, smug, than self-assured. The article follows-up with a quote from Rep. Capuano, who was Coakley’s chief competitor in the primary:

“There is no way in hell we’re going to elect a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s seat,’’ US Representative Michael E. Capuano, Coakley’s chief primary rival, said at the unity event in the Kennedy Room of the Omni Parker House. “Period.’’

Perhaps Mr. Capuano has forgotten, but it is the people who elect public officials, and the U.S. Senate seat belongs to no one, and no party, rather, the people. Although Capuano made the statement, the general tone of arrogance and dismissal continues, and the majority of the article is focused on what Brown plans to do, and what he has done in the short time since the votes were tallied on Tuesday night. The focus on Coakley less in volume and continues to show her as dismissive.
Towards the end of the article, the Globe reports that two organizations have invited both candidates to debate, one of which will be televised nationally on CNN (given the high profile of the race). The Globe reports that Brown immediately agreed to both debates, while Coakley did not. The writer follows with this quote from Coakley:

“We know we’ll be debating,’’ Coakley said. “We look forward to debates with him.’’

In this instance it appears that Brown is eager to debate Coakley, immediately accepting both invitations to debate, while Coakley is again, dismissive.
What this article does, is to draw Coakley as an “indiffernt, arrogant woman”, while Brown is shown as more of a programmatic man. Although not in agreement with Coakley’s platform, as it is standard Democrat Party line, while Brown is preferred due to an Independent (verifiable) record, what is of concern is the possibility of subsequent articles appearing using adjectives such as “shrill”! This followed by a critique of Ms. Coakley’s attire, while addressing issues that affect her platform as an afterthought. Coakley has already experienced this type of press: during a debate with her Democrat Rivals in the primary, noted that she had foreign policy experience because she has a sister living in Europe (paraphrasing), which led to more than one “Palin comparison”. Massachusetts history should keep Coakley on defense – the Commonwealth has yet to send a woman to an office higher than a U.S. Congressional seat.

The Globe piece may have painted an accurate portrait of Coakley – she is after all the perceived frontrunner, given her cash on hand, and the fact that in most instances Massachusetts voters choose a Democrat over a Republican, therefore, she would feel not need to be out campaigning, nor a need to rush into any debates; as it is being reported by most press (based on Massachusetts history and cash on hand) that she is a “shoe-in” so to speak. That said, since the 2008 general election, women, beginning with Hillary Clinton, followed by Sarah Palin, have experienced the press as anti-woman; basically telling both women; yes, you have talents, but no you’re not ready to compete with the “boys”. It would be fair to give the public an accurate portrait, based solely on issues, one hopes that is what will occur in the weeks leading up to the election on January 19th.

Read the full Globe article here

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It’s Official - Martha Coakley (D) and Scott Brown (R) Win in Mass. Special U.S. Senate Election Primary. Brown has backing of the GOP. Analysis

Massachusetts voters will go to the polls on the 19th of January to choose the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. The seat is currently being held by Paul Kirk, an aide to Ted Kennedy, who held the seat for decades until his death in August. Kirk was chosen by Deval Patrick as an interim replacement in order to insure that the Democrat Party held onto their 60 seat margin in the Senate. Martha Coakley the Democrat frontrunner in a 4 way primary, is intent on going to Washington to further President Obama’s “agenda”. Scott Brown, according to the Boston Globe, has placed the Mass. GOP back in the spotlight, and interesting perspective to say the least.

Brown, who has a strong grassroots organization has the full support of the Mass. GOP, which, on occasion, will front a candidate with strong credentials and a better than average chance of winning an office. Jennifer Nassour, Massachusetts Republican Party Chair, appeared on New England Cable News Network NECN) in the role of a political analyst, Nassour suggested that that GOP will be supporting Brown in this election. A statement released after the results by GOP Chair, Michael Steel confirmed this: (CNN)

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, in a statement released Tuesday night, praised Brown, calling him an “accomplished Republican state senator with a long record of public service and solid leadership," and took a swipe at Coakley, saying she "spent more time planning a run for Senate than serving the people of Massachusetts."

Brown, with the support of both the State and National GOP, is a formidable candidate to take on Martha Coakley, former MA. Attorney General, regardless of the fact that Massachusetts politically, has few Republicans in office. (This disparity in elected officials political affiliation is the reason being given by some news outlets as to why Coakley will win the race). The race will not be decided by either Republican’s, who make up approximately 11% of the electorate or Democrats, who make up approximately 30% of the Massachusetts electorate, but by the majority – unenrolleds, who make up over 50% of the voters in Massachusetts.

The Candidates pros and cons

Coakley supports the Presidents “agenda” in a state that still give Obama high approval ratings, but, that’s where the honeymoon ends. Only 26% of Massachusetts residents approve of the Commonwealths Universal Health Care Program, and a poll earlier in the year by Gallop indidcated that in all 50 states over 50% of the respondents considered themselves conservative. That said, Coakley is a woman, running for the office of Senate, which should be a plus in this liberal state, however, that said, Massachusetts, as a whole has yet to put a pro-abortion, Democrat (or Republican for that matter) woman in an office higher than Lieutenant Govenor (See Jane Swift). Coakley does have governing experience, from her stint as the Commonwealth’s attorney General. The premise that women should vote for a woman simply because she is “a women” does not hold water in the bluest state, where women tend to vote for women who are qualified and will only chose a male should they perceive him as more qualified.

Pro-abortion – does it matter in Massachusetts? Historically, yes, the issue of abortion handed former Govenor Mitt Romney the governor’s office, when then Democrat, Shannon O’Brien, ran on a strong pro-abortion platform, including a last minute appeal to women in the state that included a promise to ban parental notification of abortion for women 14 years of age. Romney surged in the polls and took the office handily.

What of Brown? Brown is a moderate Republican, who is often referred to the conservatives in the Bay State as a RHINO (Republican in Name Only). Brown, who understands that abortion is a states issue, is in favor of reducing the number of abortions, and is against partial birth abortion and for parental notification. Brown has severed in the states legislature, specifically the Senate for for three terms which goes to experience. He is also not afraid to cross the aisle, or vote against normal conservative values, should he feel it would best serve the Commonwealth and/or his constituents. Additionally, during his stint in the Senate, Brown kept his constituents informed on all issues facing the Commonwealth through monthly newsletters, which were specific to each community in his district

Both candidates have an issues page on their respective websites:

Martha Coakley for U.S. Senate
Scott Brown for U.S. Senate

It is worth the read as both offer bullet points where they stand on the issue.

Can Republican Scott Brown make history as the first Republican to take a Senate Seat in Massachusetts since 1972? Absolutely, given the current state of the economy, his experience, his ability to reach out to all voters based on personal ideology, and most importantly, backing from both the state and national GOP, Brown stands to make this race one of the most competitive for a Republican candidate since memory serves. Coakley, who has the backing of the DNC, and endorsement from party luminary Bill Clinton, also has the backing of the DNC and the SEIU (see White House Union), which speaks volumes when it comes time to get Democrats out to vote.

One can expect the first polls to come out of Suffolk University within a week or two. When reading a Suffolk poll, keep in mind that 8% of the respondents in the poll are culled from the University itself, they run smaller samples (400 to 500 respondents), keeping the numbers of unenrolleds, republican and democrat respondents fairly in line with the Commonwealths Electoral makeup. One can expect the first poll to show Coakley with a commanding lead – perhaps. Should Brown start airing ads across the Commonwealth, now that his opponent is known, all bets are off.

As no-one has a proverbial crystal ball on hand, including the Globe, and company, it would be difficult at this point to predict which candidate will resonate with those unenrolleds who matter so much in the bluest of states.

Side note: the confusion of voting in the Bay State. Yesterday, while casting ones vote, a choice was given as to ballot, Blue for Republican, Red for Democrat! Freudian?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Iran Update – Government Attempts to Shut Down Communications, yet Nationwide Student Protests documented – Students Demand Government Overthrow

Student Protestors Dec. 7th Iran - image: LA Times

Although the Iranian Government apparently did its best to shut down communications from within Iran, videos from students have made it to media outlets worldwide. Previously, protests were confined to Tehran and a few outlying larger cities, the protestors keen on noting their disgust over election fraud which had elevated Ahmadinejad to office. Yesterday, students across the country protested, from universities to high schools (see YouTube video below), and the protests had changed from one against a fraudulent election to one of government overthrow. An excellent article from ABC Australia outlines the current round of protests and the reason why the government may be powerless in the face what is deemed “revolution by proxy”, referring to the use of electronic media to both communicate and strategize, despite the best efforts of the regime.

The bravery of the Persian protestors is impressive, a groups of students from Mahsad Universality have trapped government forces (see video below), as the second day of unrest continues. Forces are reported to have surrounded schools and universities, while emergency executions and arrests are taking place. Although it is the youth that have shown a fearless opposition to the theocratic and corrupt regimes in place in Iran, there are 70 million people living under the hard lined theocratic rule of the Mullahs gone mad with Nuclear power. The protests that began months ago, and brutally halted by the ruling elites hired Arab forces, has failed to squelch the fire within the Persian heart that years for freedom.

As reports and condemnations against this latest round of repression, imprisonment and murder by execution of students comes from media worldwide, one wonders how long it will be before those currently in power, once again, board planes for exile in Europe. The brutality of the regime, and its denial of loss of power, are furthering the flames of revolution – the protestors of Tir, not beaten, rather seething and seeking the second, third and forth chance to effect change in Iran. It is only a matter of time before the Persian nation rises.

Students trap government forces inside University

Students trap government forces inside University

High School Students Protest

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sarah Palin – Iowa Book Tour Stop Significance – Rock Stars and the Media

Palin Draws large crowds in economically stressed Michigan - blog Adoring Palin

From Politico Jonathan Martin offers an analysis of Sarah Palin’s latest stop on her book tour: Sioux City, Iowa. Martin is one of the hundreds of news articles questioning the former GOP Vice Presidential nominees visit to the state and the implied “significance” that her visit (or Pawlenty’s or Huckabee’s) must mean a run at the White House in 2012. What is missing from these articles is the fact that Iowa has bookstores, and Palin is on a book tour – nothing more and nothing less – on the face of it.

One thing is certain, on Palin, she is one of those individuals who inspires, either admiration or scorn, depending upon which end of the political spectrum one is based. That said, in recent months, Palin, as a conservative, has apparently added to her popularity as those pesky pollsters continue to print findings on that nations political ideology and Palin herself. CNN headlines: “Polls Show Sarah Palin Still Viable for 2012”, while, Rasmussen Polling shows that Republicans are currently holding a 7 point lead in the generic congressional ballot.

For the politically minded, there is a great deal of fun to be had in speculating on who might run in 2012, that said, Palin’s popularity, or, more to the point, the obsession over Palin, by the media and those who may not care for her (often one in the same), is becoming more palpable by the day. A stop in Iowa may be just that – a stop at a bookstore, to sign copies of a book, because the book store is simply – there. The fact that people are standing in line, in conservative districts, to purchase her book (and as noted in the Politico piece) and have never involved themselves before in Iowa politics, coming from Republican and Independent designations, speaks volumes, not about Palin’s intentions necessarily, but about the direction of political think in this country and the need to find someone who people “trust”.

Should the Palin book tour stopped in Massachusetts, (Not on the Schedule) and hundreds or more had lined up to get a signed copy of her book, that would have been significant. That said the book is getting harder to find in Massachusetts, a run into a local Borders found one copy left on the shelf – the books are on backorder.

This is reminiscent of the popularity of one much dismissed (by the media years in advance of his presidental run) Ronald Reagan, who in the end won the State of Massachusetts, not once, but twice in his presidential bids.

Palin may have been in Iowa (and most likely was) to support her book tour, nothing more, nothing less. However, the attention she is generating is, to say the least, intense. Palin, based on the Politico analysis, has the ability to appeal to men, women, independents, republicans, and a few former Democrats who view her as a role model. Even shock rapper, Eminem included Palin in the lyrics of his song “We Made You (RockStar)”. Inclusion in an Eminem “rap” hardly seems significant on the fact of it; however, he has taken pains to lampoon political figures of significance in the past: specifically the Clintons.

No one person knows the intentions of Sarah Palin at this point, when the clock winds down in November of 2010, and additional, non-book tour forays begin in the states of Iowa and New Hampshire then speculation can begin in earnest. In the meantime, the media is sure to keep her in the spotlight, with good or ill intent, which will only strengthen her “base” and introduce her to those independents filled with buyers remorse that have begun to take a second look at Palin as President.

Amazon Picks

Massachusetts Conservative Feminist - Degrees of Moderation and Sanity Headline Animator

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

Contact Me:

Your Name
Your Email Address