7.09.2005

Lane Evans: A disgrace to the 17th District

I've never like Lane Evans, but aside from a very liberal voting record, I can't say I've really had anything to complain abut. Until now. The good old Daily Gazette carries this AP story about an illegal second campaign fund set up by Evans. Evans claims that the fund was entirely legal. The Federal Election Commission has found otherwise. So how does Evans explain this? He claims that the FEC is a "Republican leaning organization", without bothering to cite how that would even be possible. Then he goes on about completely unrelated topics, trying to equate the ruling with racism with these awkardly put sentences:
"I think it's part of a problem happening with minorities, for example, being intimidated from going out to work for candidates, Mexican-Americans who are citizens being harassed and turned away from the voting booth," said Evans. "There's something wrong with America when you have institutions that are so clearly out of touch with the people."

He also tried to compare the efforts of the fund to those of people risking their lives to register blacks to vote during the civil rights movement. Wait, back up Lane. How again did your campaign workers risk their lives?
Can anyone tell me what all that is supposed to mean? The FEC is racist because it punished you for spending half a million dollars in illegally raised funds, including $200,000 from unions? Arguments by non sequitar don't work for us, Lane, and yes, the rules apply to you too, not just Republicans. Best of luck to Lane Evans' next opponent in 2006.


EDIT: I've posted the story along with my comments over at FR, and a Freeper noted that according the the FEC website, members of the six person panel are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But it is illegal for more than 3 members to be of the same political party, and there must be four votes to make decisions. Therefore, it is impossible for the FEC to be Republican leaning.

Also, in response to the accusations about Mexican-Americans being harassed and turned away from the voting booth, is there ANY evidence of this whatsoever. The only way I could possibly imagine this happening is if the person couldn't provide proper ID to show that they are a citizen, in which case turning them away is the correct and legal thing to do.

7.07.2005

In seemingly dark times, a look at the big picture.

Simply the most uplifting article for Republicans that I have read in a long time. It's called "Cheer Up, Conservatives!".

A prelude to '06

Well besides the IL governor's race and a brief tangent on the Florida Senate race, I haven't gotten into the 2006 races much. The link is to RCP's overview of all of the 2006 elections.
But first off, there are two gubernatorial races going on in 2005. Republican Doug Forrestor faces a slighty uphill battle against US Senator Jon Corzine. In Virginia, Republican Jerry Kilgore, a former attorney general, leads Democratic Lt. Gov. Timothy Kaine. The GOP should win at least one, and both seats were previously held by Democrats, so a tie is the worst case scenario.
The 2006 gubernatorial races are not so rosy. The math is heavily against a Republican, simply because 22 seats currently held by Republicans are up for re-election, while only 14 seats are currently held by Dems. Also, in seven of the 22 Republican held states, the incumbent is term limited, meaning an open race. Currently I see 4-6 Dem held races that may be competitive, with 7-10 possibly competitive races in the Republican held states. Overall, the conventional wisdom doesn't look good for Republicans, but a lot of the news out about the governor's races bodes well for Republicans, so it may not turn out as bad as expected.
The Senate races, much more important to me as they change national politics that effect everyone in the country, are a tough nut to crack right now. There are 15 Republican controlled seats up for 2006, and 17 Democratic seats. This looks like tossup scenario, until you look down the list and discover that while there are perhaps 8-9 potentially competitve races in currently Dem held seats, including an open race in Maryland, and possibly an open race in New Jersey if Corzine wins the governor's mansion, there are only 1-3 Republican controlled seats that could possibly change hands. Now lets look at some individual Senate matchups:

MI: Incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) facing the winner of a somwhat crowded GOP primary. She polls better than I expected against most opponents, but with significant money and the right candidate, she could be brought down.

WA: Incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)is probably the weakest Dem incumbent running for reelection. She polls slighty above the likely challengers. But against Dino Rossi, the failed gubernatorial candidate, she loses by more that the margin of error. Unfortunately, despite heavy pressure from the national GOP, he has indicated that he wants to run for governor again, and wouldn't move his family to Washington.

FL: Incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson (D) likely faces Rep. Katherine Harris, infamous for her role in the 2000 election as Florida secretary of state. Harris polls in the 30s against Nelson, a former astronaut, and her negatives are so high that the national GOP is looking elsewhere, despite her superior fundraising ability. Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman have reportedly been encouraging state House speaker Allan Bense to run, even though he has little name recognition and actually polls 2 points below Harris. It is their belief that Harris cannot win, given her past.
But Harris leads Bense 54 to 6 according to a Qiunnipiac poll.

MD: An open race where Lt. Gov. Michael Steele will likely be the Republican candidate. GOPers are hoping for a bloody Dem primary to soften up the winner. Steele, an African American, is very capable of winning, and this is so far a great chance for the GOP to gain a seat.

MN: One term incumbent Mark Dayton (D) will not seat reelection. Al Franken thought about entering the race, but decided against it. The Dem will face a hard fought race against the winner of the GOP primary. I'm not all that familiar with this race, but it could be a very good chance to win, given that it is one of only two open Senate races in 2006.

WV: In 2006, incumbent Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D), a former leader of the KKK, will be 89 years old. If he doens't retire, then health and age could play a major issue in his reelection. He is way more liberal than West Virginians, but manages to get reelected thanks to massive amount pork barrel projects totalling millions of dollars. The winner of the GOP primary will be strong, and this race, while sort of a backburner at the moment, could heat up soon.

PA: Incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum (R), the number 3 Republican in the Senate, is facing the fight of his life against Pennsylvania state treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. Currently, Santorum polls 7 points behind Casey, a pro-lifer and self described moderate. However, with a lot of money, and I mean a lot, and a little good campaign strategy, Santorum could hold on. Never the less, this is definitely a good chance for a Dem pickup, and they would love to defeat one of the most conservative Senators there is.

MO: Jim Talent (R) is a one term Senator with fairly low approval ratings. This could be a tough race, except for the fact that the Dems haven't found a good candidate yet. Even if they do, a little campaigning and some national money should keep this seat in red state Missouri.

RI: Incumbent Lincoln Chafee (R) is considered vulnerable by some, but many Republicans would actually enjoy watching him go. Chafee is often considered a liberal, and it seems like he votes with Democrats more than Republicans. He has threatened to leave the party on numerous occasions, most recently over the Gay Marriage Amendment, I believe. But it is for these reasons I believe he will be reelected.

There are other races that may be close, but as of yet there is nothing important to say about them. My prediction is that at worst, Republicans will draw even. And if they come out with a monetary advantage (as seems to be happening) and a get-out-the-vote effort half as good as 2004, then the GOP could inch closer to that magic filibuster-proof line of 60 Senators.

Rauschenberger is in

Steve Rauschenberger, a top state legislature, will officially announce his campiagn for the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial race in 2 weeks, reports the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago paper. He claims to have already raised $800,000, which he also claims is greater than anyone currently in the race, except millionaire Ron Gidwitz, who currently polls at 1% and is not considered a real threat (by me at least). This bodes well for Raschenberger and his chances at the nomination and th election, especially if he can round up some endorsements from the likes of Dennis Hastert and Andy McKenna.

London Terrorist Attacks

Well all those both left and right who believed that the war on terrorism was basically over, this is what you get. Most of the news reports seem to say that people are getting on with their business, being a city used to terrorist attacks by th Irish Republican Army. I really hate to say this, it seems so bad, but here goes: 4 bombs in the heart of London during rush hour killing only about 40 and a couple hundred people injured definitely wasn't what Al-Qaeda planned for. The Spain bombings killed almost 200 and injured nearly 2,000, all with backpack bombs, although arguably the main goal in Spain was not casualties but political change. In any case, say a prayer for all the families, and hope that the political result of the Spanish attacks do not repeat themselves.

7.05.2005

IL Governor's Race News Update

The media is finally digging into the story of the race with a couple of articles. This one deals with the fundraising efforts that are the number one concern to all of the Republican candidates. Another talks about Blago's downstate problems.

After the last few articles in the paper and online, I have decided that so far, on the issues, I believe Steve Rauschenberger is the best candidate. But he hasn't polled well in the primary according to the only 2 or 3 polls done to date. He is confident he will raise enough money, but we will have to see his campaign finance report to ojudge that for ourselves. So for me, it is a decision between Rauschenberger (shouldn't he run his campaign as "Steve") and current frontrunner Judy Baar Topinka, who has the best name recognition and will make a lot of money, despite sometimes being to moderate for my tastes. First and foremost, we need to elect a person who can beat Blago. Everything else is secondary. In a few months, we should be able to tell who the main contenders are, and hopefully eliminate some candidates so as not to waste all our money infighting.

Liberal fallicies alive in Live 8

Read a couple of interesting articles on the recent Live 8 concerts via RCP that discussed the problems with Live 8 and it's associate "Make Poverty History" campiagn. Anti-poverty campaign gets it almost all wrong by John O'Sullivan and What rocks is capitalism... yeah, yeah, yeah by Mark Steyn both offer in-depth analysis of what is wrong with Live 8.

I watched a bit of the Live 8 concerts, and couldn't help but think critically of it the whole time. First and foremost, it seemed such a waste of time and energy to put on such an event, which raised a grand total of $0.00 and in the long run will effect nothing. 20 years ago, chief organizer Bob Geldorf held LiveAID, which raised a large sum of money for Africa. But for some reason, they refused to charge or even ask for donations this time, instead just pressuring the G8 leaders to spend absurd amounts of taxpayers' money. The whole event must cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on, all of which, in the name of stopping poverty, could have been given to Africa. The celebrities involoved in this have joined the cause, which calls for a certain percantage of each countries expenditures to be spent on Africa. It is shocking to see them, with their Hollywood mansions and European vacation homes, people who were given gift baskets worth 7,000 pounds just for coming to Live 8, and many with their own clothing lines, request that the lower and middle class tax revenue be spent on helping corrupt foreign governments, especially when they themselves, who after all, have more giving power than many countries in the world, refuse to give a penny.
But that wouldn't have helped, because, as both Steyn and O'Sullivan point out, a capitalist economy together with a freely elected democracy where the impoverished have the ability to lift themselves out of bankruptcy is not only the best, but the only way Africa is going to improve. The problem with Africa today is not so much one of a lack of aid, it is that the aid is not getting to the people, thanks to the terrible regimes in Africa. Bush knows this, and adjusts aid based on the level of economic freedom and the general state of the government in each country. As Mr. Preston (social studies teacher) would say, throwing money at the problem won't work.

To the G8 leaders: Teach a man to fish!