Saturday, November 12, 2005

New Poll: Majority of Americans Support Impeachment

All I can say is wow. I believe that the support for Clinton's impeachment was somewhere around the 20-35% range, but Congress went ahead and pushed it through. Now, with a majority of people wanting Bush impeached, I bet if you actually mentioned the idea to any of the Republicans in Congress, their heads would explode.

New Poll: Majority of Americans Support Impeachment
Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2005-11-04 04:24. Activism

For Immediate Release: November 4, 2005

New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeachment;
ImpeachPAC is Launched to Support Pro-Impeachment Candidates

By a margin of 53% to 42%, Americans want Congress to impeach President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,200 U.S. adults from October 29 through November 2.

The poll found that 53% agreed with the statement:

"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

42% disagreed, and 5% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.

"These results are stunning," said co-founder Bob Fertik. "A clear majority of Americans now supports President Bush's impeachment if he lied about the war. This should send shock waves through the White House - and a wake-up call to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who have sole power under the Constitution to impeach President Bush."

Posted by crimnos @ 9:14 AM :: (2) comments

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dan Savage: Bush's War on Cervical Cancer Vaccines

Received this earlier in the day from Kacey. If you're not familiar with Dan Savage, he has a weekly column called "Savage Love" in which he offers sex advice, but also seems to mix in politics from time to time. He also happens to be gay, and looks at the Republican war on homosexuality by also calling to attention how it will affect "straight" people, too.

STRAIGHT RIGHTS UPDATE: As I mentioned a few months ago, a vaccine for two of strains of HPV, the virus that causes genital warts, is currently moving through the federal approval process. HPV can also cause cervical cancer in women, killing 4,000 American women every year. Who could possibly be against the introduction of a vaccine—one that has proven 100 percent effective in clinical tests!—that will save thousands of women's lives? Those "culture of life" assfucks, that's who.

"A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates [and] social conservatives who say immunizing teenagers could encourage sexual activity," the Washington Post reported last week. Doctors want teenage girls to receive the vaccine as a matter of routine, something the religious right opposes. "Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage... 'I've talked to some who have said, "This is going to sabotage our abstinence message,"' said Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations." (To his credit, Rudd said he would want his daughters vaccinated.)

The right's abstinence message has bigger problems than this vaccine. Studies have shown that young people are still having premarital sex—no shit—despite the billions of dollars the Bush administration has poured into abstinence education. A study conducted at Texas A&M University found that kids subjected to abstinence-only sex education have more sex than kids who aren't. So what the right is saying is this: We're willing to kill American women in order to avoid "sabotaging" our ineffectual abstinence-only message. Nice.

Who ultimately gets to determine the government's position on the HPV vaccine? Thanks to George W. Bush, the Christian fundies do. From the Washington Post: "The jockeying [around the HPV vaccine] reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used." W stands for women—that's what he told us when he ran for president. But, hey, it wasn't a lie. George W. Bush never said anything about standing for live women.

I've said it before, straight folks, and I'll say it again: The right-wingers and the fundies and the sex-phobes don't just have it in for the queers. They're coming for your asses too.

Posted by crimnos @ 2:45 PM :: (1) comments

A Fellowship of Suffering: C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater

Thanks to Kirsten for sending this. A great, great story that shows what's possible when we try to find common ground.

A Fellowship of Suffering
by John Fischer

C.P. Ellis died last week. That wouldn’t have meant anything to me had I not read a story about his life in the Obituary page of the Los Angeles Times. What caught my eye was a picture of an older, gruff white man in a wheelchair opposite a black woman who was smiling and tenderly comforting him. The man was C.P. Ellis, former Exalted Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, and the woman was Ann Atwater, civil rights advocate and spokesperson for the desegregation of Durham schools in North Carolina.

These two used to be bitterest of enemies. According to the Times article, Atwater once pulled a knife on Ellis at a Durham City Council meeting, and Ellis brought a machine gun to their first discussion session in 1971. Now not only have they become friends, they have joined together to fight segregation in the schools and the workplaces of their county.

“When I joined the Klan,” Ellis said, “I thought every black person in the country was evil and dirty. I just assumed it. We are taught these things as children, and when we get older, we sometimes carry these thoughts with us and never get rid of them.”

This relationship is a testimony to the fact that you can, in fact, get rid of these prejudices. What changed things was a growing respect for the other even as they battled, and finally a realization of how much alike they were.

“Ann and I were really thrown together and forced to work together. During those days it became clear to me that she had some of the identical problems that I had.” The article did not elaborate on what those problems were, but they served to teach Ellis that he and Atwater were fighting a common enemy, and could actually gain strength from one another. For Ann, that strength came from her faith. “God had a plan for both of us, for us to get together,” she said, speaking at his funeral.

“What had I spent all my life fighting people like Ann for?” Ellis once said. The answer might be that until he met Ann, he didn’t even know what “people like Ann” were like.

Do you have any enemies? Maybe you should find out what you have in common. I’m thinking of someone right now. It seems impossible, I know, but then, after hearing this story, you have to have hope.

Quotes are taken from:
"C.P. Ellis, 78; Once a Ku Klux Klan Leader, He Became a Civil Rights Activist," by Myrna Oliver, Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2005, page B8.

Posted by crimnos @ 11:44 AM :: (1) comments

Alito Failed to Recuse Himself in Cases with Conflict of Interest; Calls it "Oversight"

Yeah, I believe him. After all, why would someone who is supposed to be intelligent enough to hold the highest judicial position in the land have a second thought that he just MIGHT have a financial interest in this case?

Now I just need to get the damn homework out of my dog's stomach.

Oh, and thanks to Dave for passing this one on.

Alito: No conflict of interest in Vanguard case
Court nominee says failure to recuse himself was 'an oversight'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito said Thursday that there was no conflict of interest over his role in a 2003 ruling involving a financial giant where he had large amounts of money invested.

In April 2003, Alito and two other judges upheld a lower court's dismissal of a New Jersey woman's lawsuit against the Vanguard Group Inc. Alito later recused himself when the plaintiff, in her appeal, questioned his involvement. The 3rd Circuit later reaffirmed the initial ruling.

In his response to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, Alito wrote he had been "unduly restrictive" when he pledged in his 1990 appellate court nomination hearing to skip cases involving the mutual fund company Vanguard and that he had no conflict of interest in hearing the 2003 matter.

"To the best of my knowledge, I have not ruled on a case for which I had a legal or ethical obligation to recuse myself during my 15 years on the federal bench," he wrote.

Specter said his committee consulted with two experts who found nothing improper about Alito's decision to hear the case as a federal appellate judge in New Jersey.

In a letter to Alito, Specter had urged the nominee "to make a full public response" on the issue.

"I know this issue will be responded to when you complete your questionnaire," Specter wrote in his letter to the nominee. "But I think it is not advisable to wait until that time, which would allow columnists, radio/TV talk shows and your adversaries to speculate on this issue to the detriment of your nomination."

Possible problem?
Sen. Edward Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, urged Alito on Tuesday to explain his decision to hear the case against the firm while he had investments ranging between $455,000 and $1 million with the company at the time.

Posted by crimnos @ 9:58 AM :: (1) comments

House Moderates Force Death of Food Stamp and Medicare Cuts

I really like what I see out of Republicans now that they have Tom DeLay out of the way. Obviously, I would rather have more progressive leadership taking the reigns and cutting funds in places where we really need to cut, like the tax cut, defense spending, and agricultural subsidies, but I will definitely applaud the kind of revolts we’ve been seeing out of the rank-and-file Congressional Republicans these days.

House Republican leaders scuttled a vote Thursday on a $51 billion budget-cut package in the face of a revolt by moderate lawmakers over cuts to Medicaid, food stamp and student loan programs.

The episode marked a setback for Republicans on Capitol Hill. They had hoped to use the budget debate to burnish their deficit-cutting credentials with the public and their core political supporters, many of whom are disappointed with their party's performance on spending.

See, Republicans, cutting spending is all well and good, but why do social programs have to be the ones to get the axe? How about that ridiculous tax cut? Are the far right members of the GOP so blind to the needs of the American people that they really think they can gut programs for the needy and win votes?

Again, this is definitely part of a trend we’re seeing here:

The decision by GOP leaders came despite a big concession to moderates Wednesday, when the leaders dropped provisions to open the Arctic National Refuge to oil and gas exploration, as well as a plan letting states lift a moratorium on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

But moderates countered that the spending cuts in the House budget plan were a separate issue from Arctic drilling. The cuts were too severe, moderates argued, especially when compared with a significantly milder Senate budget plan that passed last week.

I agree here; this is a completely separate issue. As giddy as I am that the ANWR drilling bill died again,

So there are either Republicans with morals, or they know that blood has been drawn and are trying to stop the bleeding. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I really don’t care which it is, as long as America is not hurt by their policies.

Oh, and kudos to the Democrats:

Democrats mounted a furious attack on the GOP budget plan for its cuts to social programs and pounded home the message that the overall GOP plan would increase the deficit when coupled with a subsequent tax cut bill.

"The Republican Congress is about to slash more than $50 billion from investments in our children's future in health care and education," said Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the campaign arm for House Democrats. "And yet, because of Republican priorities, they are going to actually add $20 billion to our budget deficit. ... Only in a Republican Congress."

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:14 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Costs of Marijuana Prohibition

I've always tried to remain drug-agnostic on this site, because it seems to be one of those hot-button items that opponents will use to dismiss their opponent out of hand, especially given some of the ridiculous falsehoods peddled by both sides, but I couldn't resist sharing this article. It lays out the arguments for ending marijuana prohibition and instead creating a system of regulation similar to that of alcohol. Now, you can say what you like about some of the other drugs; I think some of them are banned for good reason, and I'm not about to join on the "legalize everything" bandwagon, but marijuana is very, very harmless in the grand scheme of things (certainly less so than alcohol), and could prove to be a boon for our economy, "produc(ing) combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year". We sure could use some of that money right now.

Of course, as long as the religious right is the primary political constituency of the ruling party, there will be no push on reform no matter how much evidence comes out on the extent of the drug war's failure. But let's think about this: the same people who will spend billions of dollars, despite the inconsistency in law ('drugs are bad' but 'alcohol is good'), for the sake of what many see as a moral stance; however, the same general segment of society (the far right) is currently defending torture as a 'necessity' in the war on terror(ism). Hm.

Conventionalism -- the tendency to accept and obey social conventions and the rules of authority figures; adherence to the traditional and accepted
Authoritarian Submission - submission to authorities and authority figures
Authoritarian Aggression -- an aggressive attitude towards individuals or groups disliked by authorities; particularly those who threaten traditional values

Anyway, here's a summary of the report. The entire piece is at

Milton Friedman, 500+ Economists Call for Marijuana Regulation Debate; New Report Projects $10-14 Billion Annual Savings and Revenues

Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcoholic beverages would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year, finds a June 2005 report by Dr. Jeffrey Miron, visiting professor of economics at Harvard University.

The report has been endorsed by more than 530 distinguished economists, who have signed an open letter to President Bush and other public officials calling for "an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition," adding, "We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods."

Chief among the endorsing economists are three Nobel Laureates in economics: Dr. Milton Friedman of the Hoover Institute, Dr. George Akerlof of the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. Vernon Smith of George Mason University.

Dr. Miron's paper, "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition," concludes:
**Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7.7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement -- $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels.

**Revenue from taxation of marijuana sales would range from $2.4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like ordinary consumer goods to $6.2 billion if it were taxed like alcohol or tobacco.

These impacts are considerable, according to the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. For example, $14 billion in annual combined annual savings and revenues would cover the securing of all "loose nukes" in the former Soviet Union (estimated by former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb at $30 billion) in less than three years. Just one year's savings would cover the full cost of anti-terrorism port security measures required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. The Coast Guard has estimated these costs, covering 3,150 port facilities and 9,200 vessels, at $7.3 billion total.

"As Milton Friedman and over 500 economists have now said, it's time for a serious debate about whether marijuana prohibition makes any sense," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "We know that prohibition hasn't kept marijuana away from kids, since year after year 85% of high school seniors tell government survey-takers that marijuana is 'easy to get.' Conservatives, especially, are beginning to ask whether we're getting our money's worth or simply throwing away billions of tax dollars that might be used to protect America from real threats like those unsecured Soviet-era nukes."

Posted by crimnos @ 7:56 AM :: (4) comments

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kaine Rolls up His Sleeves: Creates Transportation Forums

This sounds excellent. I might try to attend the Manassas forum.

Governor-elect announces transportation forums
Associated Press Nov 9, 2005

RICHMOND, Va. - Gov.-elect Tim Kaine will begin a series of five town-hall style forums within a week to map out the transportation plan for his administration.

Kaine, looking tired but beaming after an unexpectedly easy six percentage-point victory over Republican Jerry Kilgore, said this morning that the forums will be in Manassas, Roanoke, Bristol, Newport News and eastern Henrico County. The order in which the meetings will be scheduled and their dates have not been set.

Kaine also announced the leaders of his transition and inaugural committees. Two former Democratic Delegates, Glen Croshaw and Viola Baskerville, along with Kaine's campaign chairman, Larry Roberts, will lead the transition office. Two of his largest donors, clothing retailer Stuart Siegel and B-E-T Network co-founder Sheila Johnson of Middleburg, are co-chairs of his inaugural committee.

Posted by crimnos @ 4:43 PM :: (0) comments

2005 Election Day: This looks GOOD

It ain't easy, but it sure is fun...

Democrats Win Elections in NJ, Va., Calif.

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 9, 2005; 2:36 AM

Democrats cleaned up big in off-year elections from New Jersey to California, sinking the candidate who embraced President Bush in the final days of the Virginia governor's campaign. They also turned back GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to limit the power of California's Democratic leaders.

Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine easily won the New Jersey governor's seat after an expensive, mudslinging campaign, trouncing Republican Doug Forrester by 10 percentage points. Polls in the last week had forecast a much closer race.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine won a solid victory in GOP-leaning Virginia, beating Republican Jerry Kilgore by more than 5 percentage points. Democrats crowed that Bush's election-eve rally for the former state attorney general only spurred more Kaine supporters to the polls.

In California, Schwarzenegger failed in his push to rein in the Democrat-controlled Assembly with ballot measures that would cap spending and remove legislators' redistricting powers. Another measure he supported was trailing and a fourth was too close to call.

And in other GREAT news...

'Intelligent design' school board booted
Eight of nine members lose reelection bid

Wednesday, November 9, 2005; Posted: 10:48 a.m. EST (15:48 GMT)

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage Alerts | What Is This? DOVER, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Voters came down hard Tuesday on school board members who backed a statement on intelligent design being read in biology class, ousting eight Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept stripped from the science curriculum.

The election unfolded amid a landmark federal trial involving the Dover public schools and the question of whether intelligent design promotes the Bible's view of creation. Eight Dover families sued, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Posted by crimnos @ 2:04 PM :: (0) comments

Senators Question Oil Industry Executives

For the nation's top oilmen, it is a new and uncomfortable reality. They were summoned by the Republican leadership of the Senate and appeared this morning before two congressional panels to explain why prices climbed as high as they did and what they intend to do with their companies' soaring profits. The executives hope to persuade legislators not to take tough punitive action.

The hearing is an indication that big oil companies, which have received billions of dollars in tax breaks from Congress, are facing an increasingly hostile audience in Washington. Even some Republican lawmakers, whose party has long been sympathetic to the requests of the industry, are considering a windfall-profit tax for oil companies. Concerns mounted after oil companies recently reported record quarterly profits, including Exxon Mobil's $9.92 billion, up 75 percent from the third quarter last year.

Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) told the executives this morning, "The oil companies owe the country an explanation."

"I would hope that it's simply theater to demonstrate their concern about things that a lot of Americans are concerned about and that after the cameras go away, they get back to business," Jerry Taylor, director of natural resource studies for the Cato Institute, said earlier. Cato opposes new taxes on the oil companies. "On the other hand, it may well be an attempt to set the stage for real legislation," Taylor added.

At today's joint hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, being held at the request of Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Republicans intend to show that they can be tough with oil companies.

Democrats tried to show they could be tougher. They demanded that the executives from Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. be sworn in. That occurred when Congress held a hearing with oil executives in 1974 to explore energy shortages and high prices, resulting in front-page images of the officials with their right hands in the air. But Republicans refused to support that effort and the testimony went forward without taking any oaths.

Posted by crimnos @ 11:49 AM :: (2) comments

Creationism Wins in Kansas

Sorry, I'm not calling this sham anything other than Creationism. It's the same damn thing, and it has no business being taught in science classes. Please notice they changed the definition of science to fit better with this crap.

I can only guess that Creationism has such popular support because it attacks numerous false dillemas that it claims are part of evolutionary theory. I mean, if Darwinian evolution were ever posited as the absolute reason for the adoption of DNA as genetic material, these folks might have a point, but it never is. Ditto for every single other example they ever cite. Ugh. This is just disgusting.

(AP) Revisiting a topic that exposed Kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago, the state Board of Education approved science standards for public schools Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The board's 6-4 vote, expected for months, was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics of the proposed language charged that it was an attempt to inject creationism into public schools in violation of the separation between church and state.

The board's vote is likely to heap fresh national criticism on Kansas and cause many scientists to see the state as backward. Current state standards treat evolution as well-established — a view also held by national science groups.

The new standards will be used to develop student tests measuring how well schools teach science. Decisions about what's taught in classrooms will remain with 300 local school boards, but some educators fear pressure will increase in some communities to teach less about evolution or more about creationism or intelligent design.

Advocates of intelligent design said they are trying to expose students to legitimate scientific questions about evolution.

"Under these standards students will learn more about evolution, not less," said Casey Luskin, a spokesman for the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which supports intelligent design.

Many scientists argued that the language was an effort to get around U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have held that the teaching of creationism violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

In 1999, the Kansas board adopted science standards that eliminated most references to evolution.

Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould said that was akin to teaching "American history without Lincoln." Bill Nye, the "Science Guy" of children's television, called it "harebrained" and "nutty." And a Washington Post columnist imagined God saying to the Kansas board members: "Man, I gave you a brain. Use it, OK?"

Two years later, after voters replaced three members, the board reverted to evolution-friendly standards. Elections in 2002 and 2004 changed the board's composition again, making it more conservative.

Other states have also dealt with conflicts over the teaching of evolution and intelligent design. In Pennsylvania, a federal judge is expected to rule soon in a lawsuit against a school district policy that requires students to be told about intelligent design.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:24 AM :: (4) comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

White House Gambles That Boosting Kilgore Will Pay Off for Bush

The price was wrong, bitch!

In jumping into the Virginia governor's race just 10 hours before polling booths open, President Bush put his credibility on the line last night and ensured that the results will be interpreted as a referendum on his troubled presidency. But the White House is gambling that after weeks of political tribulations, Bush has little more to lose.

Bush's election-eve foray to Richmond to rally behind Republican Jerry W. Kilgore inserted him into the hottest election of the off-year cycle and will test his ability to energize his party's base voters, according to strategists from both parties. Even in a traditionally Republican-leaning state such as Virginia, polls register disenchantment with Bush's leadership, and Kilgore has had trouble running against national headwinds.

Yet White House strategists evidently calculated that a Kilgore defeat would be seen as a defeat for Bush even if the president did not set foot on the southern side of the Potomac. While Bush was in Latin America for a trip that itself was marked by street protests and failed trade talks, the president's advisers last week opted to rearrange yesterday's return to include a stop in the Virginia capital in the hope of helping Kilgore pull out a victory. If the plan works and Kilgore wins, it would offer a well-timed vindication of Bush's clout.

"They're going to own the results either way, so why not land the plane?" asked Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who ran Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign in 1996. "If Kilgore wins, the president's political heart keeps beating." At the same time, given Bush's broader problems, Reed said, "it doesn't change the dynamics."

Ed Rogers, a Republican lobbyist close to the White House, said a Kilgore win would essentially avoid another setback for a president who has seen nothing but reverses lately. "Nobody's going to suggest that 'Gee, something happened in Virginia that's an overall tonic for the president's problems,' " he said. "But it would be the absence of bad, and when you're in trouble the absence of bad is the first step toward recovery."

On the other hand, analysts said, if Democrat Timothy M. Kaine beats Kilgore in a state that solidly backed Bush twice, it will feed into a widespread perception of weakness afflicting the president and those associated with him. With the troubled response to Hurricane Katrina, the failed Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, the indictment of a top White House official in the CIA leak case and continuing violence in Iraq, Bush's approval ratings have sunk to some of the lowest ever for a second-term president in modern times. And with Democrats likely to win the New Jersey governorship, the only other major race on the ballot, Bush can find little good news to seize on.

"They need a win," said Charlie Cook of the independent Cook Political Report. "With the exception of [the confirmation of Chief Justice John G.] Roberts, they haven't had a break all year. Just pulling off one of these would slow down the snowball a little."

Posted by crimnos @ 9:33 PM :: (2) comments

Horse Race 2005: The Finish Line: Kaine Defeats Kilgore

Pop open the bubbly!

Kaine Defeats Kilgore
Richmond (AP) - Democrat Tim Kaine has defeated Republican Jerry Kilgore in the race for governor of Virginia in a bitter election that was the most expensive in state history.

With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Kaine won 51 percent of the vote, while Kilgore had 47 percent and Independent Russ Potts got two percent.Democrat Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine pulled ahead of Republican Jerry Kilgore on Tuesday with a quarter of precincts counted in the race for Virginia governor, a contest that was closely watched by political analysts for signs of the public's mood ahead of next year's midterm elections.

The races for governor this fall in Virginia and New Jersey saw record-breaking, mean-spirited campaigns. Elsewhere, New York and a few other major cities selected mayors.

In the days leading up to the election, polls had the race too close to call.

On the other hand, Bob Marshall easily defeated Bruce Roemmelt, and Republicans have won the other two offices. Sigh.

Posted by crimnos @ 9:24 PM :: (2) comments

Horse Race 2005: 9:00 Numbers

I'm tentatively calling it for Kaine at the moment...he's ahead, and it looks like the Metropolitan areas still haven't all reported in. They tend to be blue, but I could be wrong. I think we're seeing where the trend is going.

Posted by crimnos @ 9:00 PM :: (1) comments

Horse Race 2005: 8:30 Numbers

Posted by crimnos @ 8:30 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: 8:00 Numbers

Posted by crimnos @ 8:00 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: 7:30 Numbers

I'm going to try to update on the half-hour, more or less, so here's a snapshot of the numbers as they stand now, for all candidates:

Posted by crimnos @ 7:27 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: First Precincts

I crapped myself until I realized this was mostly rural precincts, who vote Republican.

Posted by crimnos @ 7:07 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: Daily Kos: Dueling Turnout Numbers

From the Hotline's blog:

Take this with a grain of chad:

Two sources who have access to the 4:00 pm data update provided by the Democratic coordinated campaign in Viginia say that turnout in African American precincts around Richmond, Roanoke and Charlotesville are higher than projections. That's good news, if true, for Dems, who worried about the coordinated campaign's African American GOTV program.

Dems are also seeing higher than projected turnout in white NoVA precincts.

GOP data provided to us by Republicans suggests the opposite -- that white voters are not turning out in sufficient enough numbers in NoVA to pad Kaine's totals. GOP data also suggests that their targets in the Richmond suburbs are turning out in higher than expected numbers.

We'll know the results soon enough. (Hopefully.)

Posted by crimnos @ 7:02 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: Current Numbers

...are not in, but I will be waiting by the keyboard as they roll in. For the record, I did vote, and got to meet Delegate Bob Marshall, right before I went and voted against him. Democracy in action, folks!

Posted by crimnos @ 6:53 PM :: (0) comments

Voters report problems with voting machines in Roanoke Co.

Election day voting is going on across the Old Dominion, but everything has not gone smoothly in Roanoke County.

News 7 has received calls from several voters in at least four different precincts who say their votes for Tim Kaine were not recorded or took several attempts to go through.

They contend the electronic touch screens repeatedly indicated they were voting for Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore instead of registering their intended vote for his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine.

Roanoke Co. Registrar Judy Stokes says she doesn't want to say the problem is operator error on the part of the voters, but she points out the touch screens are sensitive. She says anyone who is having difficulty voting should ask one of the poll workers for assistance.

State election officials have been told of the problem. They believe if there is a problem, it could have been caused by the way the machines were stored.

The Kaine compaign is reportedly watching the situation in Roanoke County.

Posted by crimnos @ 6:43 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: Reports from around the Commonwealth

I'm voting later today, but I thought I'd share some of what's being said by voters on other forums and how things are looking at the moment...

From Quisp on Democratic Underground:

I just got back from helping set up the polling place where I vote. It's the usual thing; people from both parties show up, set up literature tables and put signs up around the school.

The good news is the (Republican) coordinator didn't have any volunteers and left shortly after setting up his signs. He said he would be back when it got busy, but he hadn't even set up his table and chairs.

The Democratic coordinator, on the other hand, said he had a dozen volunteers scheduled over the course of the day. He said he had never had so many people volunteer.

From mlk at Daily Kos:

Well the polls in VA opened at 6 AM. I voted at 7:30 and was the ~ 240th person to vote. That's pretty good for an off year election. I heard from a neighbor that there was a line out the door at 6:30. Since I live in a fairly Dem neighborhood, I'm heartened by that.

Bush gave Kilgore a ringing endorsement last night! Amazing stuff...

"The thing I like about this fellow is he grew up on a farm," Bush said in a brief stop on his return from a South American trade mission. "He doesn't have a lot of fancy airs."

Finally, some good last-minute news from the polls:

12 hours until polls open in Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine defeats Republican Jerry Kilgore, according to a SurveyUSA poll of 656 likely Virginia voters, conducted for WSLS-TV in Roanoke and WUSA-TV in Washington DC.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:42 AM :: (0) comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

Horse Race 2005: Monday Morning Round-up

Lots of dirty tricks going around this past weekend. Reports are coming in that the Republican Party has staffers calling around posing as Democrats. This report comes from Dsewell at Democratic Underground:

"Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC" is sponsoring a dirty-tricks recorded call that is targeting VA Dems today.

It seems to be from Tim Kaine (I wasn't paying enough attention at the start of the message, but it sure sounded like it was claiming to be from "I, Tim Kaine"). It goes on to describe Kaine's position on issues so as to put him in the most convervative light possible: "I oppose abortion, I oppose gay marriage," etc. No outright untruths, but the purpose is obviously the same as the Potts mailer, to confuse voters who don't know much about the race and try to undercut support for Kaine among Dems/progressives.

If you get a call like this, please try to record and/or transcribe it to determine whether it is in fact impersonating Kaine, which would probably be a clear campaign violation.

Raising Kaine reported similar incidents:

In yet the latest Republican dirty trick, people in Northern Virginia — myself included — are getting calls purporting to be from the Kaine campaign. However, at the end of the message it says “Paid for by Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.” Wait a minute, what on earth is THAT? Well, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP):

Honest Leadership for Virginia supports the election of conservative Republican candidates in the state of Virginia, including 2005 gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore.

All told, this (ironically named) group has given $2,852,603 (100%) of its money to Jerry Kilgore this year, and $0.00 (0%) of its money to Democrats. It’s also Jerry Kilgore’s #1 donor - by FAR! Hmmm…doesn’t sound like a bunch of Tim Kaine supporters to me. So how can this group be making robocalls that begin, “I’m Tim Kaine and I want you to know where I stand on the issues.” Isn’t that a bit strange, at the minimum? Illegal? That’s up to the State Board of Elections to determine, along with possible civil and/or criminal penalties.

In the meantime, I would strongly urge everyone to be EXTREMELY skeptical about robocalls and mailers during the next 24-36 hours. Probably, the best bet is simply to ignore them, given all the smarmy, slimy tactics being employed by Scott Howell and Company. (Also, make sure you let everyone you know about the Kilgore campaign’s gutter politics!)

Now The Nation is reporting just where the Virginia GOP’s money is coming from – and, of course, it exposes Virginia Republicans as the hypocrites they are and always have been:

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, promising an aggressive crackdown on day laborers and undocumented immigrants attending state universities. "Will we reward illegal behavior with hard-earned dollars from law-abiding citizens?" he asked a campaign rally crowd this August. "I say the answer to this question should be an easy one: no!" While Kilgore accepts the financial support of an anti-immigrant group with racist ties, he also has taken massive contributions from companies notorious for exploiting undocumented immigrant labor.

Virginia Republican Attorney General candidate Bob McDonnell has declared himself "a drug dealer's worst nightmare," while appearing in ads slamming imaginary crooks behind prison doors and pledging to protect Virginians from sexual predators. McDonnell has not only financed his campaign through a possibly illegal slush fund but has hired three former associates of indicted Republican über-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. One of them, who once served as McDonnell's campaign manager, is now in prison for soliciting sex with a young boy.

By introducing the anti-immigrant movement's extremist agenda into a high-profile statewide race in barely warmed-over form, Kilgore has not only added an expedient wedge issue to his arsenal; he has sought to neutralize the criticism other pro-business Republicans have earned from the right for embracing the immigration-friendly policies that insure their corporate donors a steady pool of cheap labor. Kilgore has attempted this political high-wire act by homing his attacks on state-funded forms of assistance to undocumented immigrants, such as a public day laborer center in northern Virginia. He has studiously shied away from criticizing the corporations that lure the bulk of illegal labor to Virginia, however, reflecting a central contradiction of his candidacy. snip

Kilgore's donation from US Immigration Reform PAC is dwarfed by those he has received from companies that habitually prey on the state's ever-increasing population of undocumented laborers. One of them, Smithfield Foods, has stuffed Kilgore's campaign coffers with $36,000. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers's Justice@Smithfield, "Smithfield Packing {a subsidiary} has created an environment of intimidation, racial tension, fear and sometimes, violence, for workers who desperately want a voice on the job." In 2000 Judge John H. West ruled that Smithfield committed thirty-six labor violations during a union-busting campaign in the 1990s, which included threatening to report Latino workers to the Immigration and Naturalization Services if they joined union ranks.

Finally, Tim and Mark are going to be holding a rally today in Alexandria, for you Northern Virginia folks:

11:30 AM - Alexandria
Market Square
301 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

More as the day progresses…

Posted by crimnos @ 8:07 AM :: (0) comments

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Horse Race 2005: Washington Post Endorses Kaine

Okay, this is probably not a surprise, given the Democratic nature of Nothern Virginia, but I'm glad to see the paper coming out with this endorsement. Here are the best parts (via Daily Kos):

Whatever their party affiliation, Virginians of the political center should bear in mind that Mr. Kaine offers a path forward, while Mr. Kilgore represents a return to the past.


Lest we forget, Virginia's past is not a very appealing prospect. Mr. Warner's immediate predecessor, Gov. James S. Gilmore III, wedded to his anti-tax slogans, made irresponsible promises, starved the state of revenue and left a fiscal disaster zone. Mr. Warner, a businessman elected on the strength of his credentials as a pragmatist, had to clean up the mess. That he did, helped along the way by Mr. Kaine and harassed by Mr. Kilgore. And now comes Mr. Kilgore, in a sunnier economic season, preaching the Gilmore gospel that Virginians can have it all. It's a pipe dream.


This race isn't a hard call. Mr. Kilgore is a pleasant fellow, down to earth and politically shrewd. But the bottom line is what he represents: old-style, doctrinaire, unimaginative, cramped governance that would leave the state stalled in neutral, at best. Mr. Kaine -- forthright, proactive, inclusive, brimming with energy -- is a far better candidate possessed of much clearer vision. He alone has the potential for excellence.

Posted by crimnos @ 7:02 PM :: (0) comments

Horse Race 2005: Republican dirty tricks in Governor's Race

Just saw this on Daily Kos. Shameless, really.

Posted by crimnos @ 2:18 PM :: (0) comments