OBAMA SAYS WRIGHT IS WRONG; KY CONGRESSMAN ENDORSES OBAMA; NEW
NC, IN, KY POLLS; INDIANA GOV & US REP RACES.
- DEMS. Barack Obama fired
back at self-aggrandizing retired pastor Jeremiah Wright, calling
him "divisive and destructive." Obama went on to say
he was "outraged" by Wright's latest comments this week,
was "saddened by the spectacle" and that Wright was
"giving comfort to those who prey on hate." Wright this
week seemed intent upon creating further controversy -- even at
Obama's expense -- if it helps promote himself for his upcoming
book. In other news, Congressman Ben Chandler (D-KY) endorsed
Obama on Tuesday. Chandler joins Congressman John Yarmuth -- the
only other Kentucky Democrat in the US House -- in backing Obama.
Obama also picked up another superdelegate Tuesday: a DNC member
from Iowa. Meanwhile, here are the latest primary polls:
INDIANA (Howey Politics/Gauge
Mkt Research): Obama - 47%, Clinton - 45%.
INDIANA (PPP): Clinton
- 50%, Obama - 42%.
NORTH CAROLINA (WTVD-TV/SurveyUSA):
Obama - 49%, Clinton - 44%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Rasmussen):
Obama - 51%, Clinton - 37%.
Clinton - 63%, Obama - 27%.
Former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson appears likely to win
the Democratic primary for Governor next week. All polls for the
past two weeks have shown Thompson leading. The latest poll --
Howey Politics/Gauge Mkt Research -- shows her widening her lead
over wealthy businessman Jim Schellinger. The number: Thompson
- 45%, Schellinger - 27%. The same poll also gave some insights
into two of next week's congressional primaries. In CD-5, Congressman
Dan Burton (R) leads former Marion County Coroner John McGoff
by a 57% to 22% vote. In CD-7, freshman Congressman Andre Carson
holds a comfortable lead in the eight-candidate Democratic primary.
The numbers: Carson - 45%, former State Health Commissioner Woody
Myers - 27%, State Representative David Orentlicher - 7%, State
Representative Carolene Mays - 4%. Myers has already spent over
$550,000 out of his own pocket on the contest.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.30.08 | Permalink
NC GOV EASLEY ENDORSES CLINTON, OBAMA GETS ANOTHER US SEN; NEW
INDIANA & N.C. POLLS; PAUL LIKELY WON'T BACK McCAIN.
- DEMS. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both landed significant
super-delegate endorsements on Monday -- but Clinton's was definitely
more significant, in light of the upcoming NC primary next week.
North Carolina Governor Mike Easley threw his support behind Clinton,
and US Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) endorsed Obama. New Mexico
already voted. Dr. Jeremiah Wright -- Obama's former pastor --
also is aggressively pushing himself back into the headlines via
a series of speeches and press conferences. Wright, who sounded
rather jealous of the positive attention lavished on Obama's recent
race speech, seems intent on making incendiary comments intended
to generate headlines. Obama, in response, seems to be further
distancing himself from his controversial retired pastor. Here
are the latest primary polls:
Clinton - 52%, Obama - 43%.
NORTH CAROLINA (PPP):
Obama - 51%, Clinton - 39%.
NORTH CAROLINA (ARG):
Obama - 52%, Clinton - 42%.
- GOP. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) told CNN he has no plans
to campaign this fall in support of John McCain. "There’s
not much difference between the three [McCain, Clinton and Obama],"
said Paul. When asked if he would campaign for McCain, Paul answered:
"Probably not, not unless he changes his tune -- like bring
the troops home." Despite these comments, Paul insists he
is being a very loyal Republican: "Maybe you are a good Republican
if you stand up for Republican principles. I would argue that
leadership in the last few years has drifted from the Republican
principles. More bureaucracy, more regulations, more entitlements,
policing the world, but that is not what we stand for. I would
say that our position is very much in tune with being a good Republican."
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.29.08 | Permalink
OBAMA SAYS "NO" TO MORE DEBATES; BOSWELL STRONG IN IOWA;
NADER GETS N.M. BALLOT SPOT; KEYES LOSES FOR CONSTITUTION NOMINATION,
RUNNING AS INDY NOW.
Despite Hillary Clinton's call for more debates with opponent
Barack Obama, Obama made it clear he will not agree to any more
debates before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries on May
6. Obama said they had already engaged in 21 debates, which was
more than enough for now. Meanwhile, Obama and Clinton each picked
up one superdelegate apiece over the weekend. Neither new super
was an elected official, with Obama's coming from Arizona and
Clinton's from New Hampshire.
Congressman Leonard Boswell (D) appears well positioned to survive
an aggressive primary challenge from the left by former State
Representative Ed Fallon. According to the new KCCI-TV poll, Boswell
leads by a 52% to 28% vote. The primary is June 3.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader secured a spot on the November ballot
in New Mexico on Friday, making it his first for the 2008 campaign.
New Mexico is expected to be a key swing state. Nader and VP runningmate
Matt Gonzalez will appear on the NM ballot under the Independent
Party name -- an "alter-ego party" created solely to
help with ballot access in some states.
PARTY. The Constitution Party overwhelmingly rejected former
Ambassador and frequent GOP candidate Alan Keyes' bid for their
Presidential nomination on Saturday. Baptist pastor and local
radio talk show host Chuck Baldwin of Florida -- the party's 2004
VP nominee -- easily defeated Keyes by a delegate vote of 383.8
(74%) to 125.7 (24%). Tennessee attorney Darrell Castle won the
VP spot. In a conference call Saturday evening with supporters,
Keyes vowed to remain in the Presidential race as an Independent
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.28.08 | Permalink
INDIANA POLLS; ANOTHER SUPER-D FOR OBAMA; CONSTITUTION PARTY FOUNDER
Congressman Bob Brady (D-PA) -- who is also the Philadelphia Democratic
Party Chair -- told reporters that he will cast his superdelegate
vote in support of the candidate who overwhelmingly carried his
district this past week (i.e., Barack Obama), as he doesn't believe
it would be proper to go against the will of his district's voters.
But, oddly, Brady said he'll make an official announcement "later."
There were also a few new Indiana primary polls released Friday:
INDIANA (South Bend
Tribune/Research 2000): Obama - 48%, Clinton - 47%.
Star/Selzer): Obama - 41%, Clinton - 38%.
INDIANA (ARG): Clinton
- 50%, Obama - 45%.
PARTY: Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips -- the party's
1992, 1996 and 2000 Presidential nominee -- used his Friday speech
at the conservative party's Presidential nominating convention
to savagely blast former UNESCO Ambassador Alan Keyes. Keyes,
who bolted to the CP recently after having made six failed runs
for office as a Republican, is one of the two leading candidates
for the CP nomination. Phillips attacked Keyes as an "ego-driven"
candidate, an opportunist, and a "neo-con" who doesn't
share the party's views on the Iraq War, the United Nations, foreign
aid, and other international policies. He also said that Keyes'
frequent attacks on libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) proved
Keyes was out of step with the CP's views. Phillips then urged
the delegates to nominate pastor and Religious Right radio talk
show host Chuck Baldwin for President in Saturday's vote. Phillips'
remarks so unnerved the Keyes supporters that CP National Chairman
Jim Clymer -- who is not a Keyes supporter -- took to the stage
immediately after the speech to announce he disagreed with the
personal nature of Phillips' attacks and urged party members to
not attack each other.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.26.08 | Permalink
GETS ANOTHER SUPER-D; CONSTITUTION PARTY PREZ CONVO; LEADING LIBERTARIAN
PREZ CANDIDATE DEFENDS CHILD PORN.
Barack Obama scored another superdelegate on Thursday: Congressman
David Wu (D-OR). None for Hillary Clinton today.
PARTY: The Constitution Party Presidential Nominating Convention
is taking place in Kansas City this weekend. The CP is a vocal
Religious Right entity. The nominating speeches are set for Friday,
and the delegates will vote on Saturday. The two leading candidates
for the Presidential nomination appear to be former Ambassador
Alan Keyes and pastor/radio talk show host Chuck Baldwin. Keyes
is a former three-time GOP Presidential candidate and three-time
GOP nominee for US Senate. Baldwin was the party's 2004 VP nominee.
The party's ticket in 2004 achieved ballot status in 36 states.
PARTY: Research scientist, medical professor and Libertarian
activist Mary Ruwart -- a frontrunner for the LP Presidential
nomination -- is in hot water over statements she previously wrote
in her book Short Answers to the Tough Questions on the
issue of child pornography. Ruwart has been a frequent LP candidate
for US Senate and other offices in the past, and has been a popular
speaker at LP gatherings nationwide for many years. This is what
Ruwart wrote In response to the question "How can a libertarian
argue against child pornography?":
who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make
that decision as well, even if it's distasteful to us personally.
Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do
in smoking and drinking to excess. When we outlaw child pornography,
the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives
for parents to use children against their will."
of Ruwart's rival LP candidates -- wealthy sports handicapper
Wayne Root -- is calling on her to quit the race. Don't expect
Ruwart to exit, however. The bottom line: Ruwart's stumble probably
locks-up the LP nomination for former GOP Congressman Bob Barr
at next month's nominating convention.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.25.08 | Permalink
HIT McCAIN ON EQUAL PAY LAW; OBAMA, CLINTON LAND NEW SUPERDELEGATES;
GA CONGRESSMAN GETS PRIMARIED.
Dems are hitting John
McCain (R) for his opposition to the federal legislation to guarantee
equal pay for women as men holding the same jobs. Hillary Clinton
and Barack Obama are now battling for Indiana, which will be a
competitive contest. In related news, Clinton's campaign expected
to raise nearly $10 million online in the 24-hours since winning
the Pennsylvania primary. Both sides also announced superdelegate
endorsements on Wednesday. Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and a
Nebraska DNC member endorsed Obama. Congressman John Tanner (D-TN)
endorsed Clinton. Also, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Congresswoman
Betty Sutton (D-OH) endorsed Clinton a few days ago.
State Senator Regina Thomas announced she will challenge Congressman
John Barrow in this year's Democratic primary. Thomas, known for
her independent streak, told the Savannah Morning News
her candidacy does not arise from any sharp disagreement with
the incumbent: "This is not about John Barrow, but about
what I can do for the people of the 12th Congressional District.
I like John, but I think I can do a better job." Barrow has
raised over $1.3 million to date, and Thomas starts with no funds
in her account. However, Thomas is African-American and two demographic
facts appear to help her: the district is 40% black and a majority
of all primary participants will be black voters. Barrow said
he wasn't particularly concerned with the challenge, feeling confident
Dems approve of his performance.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.24.08 | Permalink
WINS PENNSYLVANIA; DEM LEADS AS MS CD-1 SPECIAL HEADS TO RUN-OFF;
NC GOV & US SENATE PRIMARY POLLS.
- DEMS. Hillary Clinton rolled to victory in Pennsylvania
on Tuesday. Clinton defeated Barack Obama by a vote of 55% to
45% (note: identical to our prediction of two days ago). While
Obama ran strong in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and surrounding areas,
Clinton swept nearly everywhere else in the state. While both
sides are spinning this is a victory, the race played out almost
exactly as most pundits had long expected. The race now moves
on to Guam on May 3 and Indiana and North Carolina on May 6. Obama
leads in Indiana and North Carolina according to recent polls,
and holds a massive advantage in money according to FEC filings.
Here are the congressional primary results from Tuesday. CD-3:
Businesswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (D) won the four-way primary to
face potentially vulnerable Congressman Phil English (R). He was
re-elected with a surprisingly unimpressive vote two years ago.
Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-5: Congressman John Peterson
(R) is retiring and Dems see a longshot pickup opportunity here.
Nine Republicans and three Democrats competed for the open seat.
Centre County GOP Chair Glenn Thompson -- Peterson's endorsed candidate -- won the Republican primary with 19.5%. Wealthy developer Matt Shaner, the Club for Growth's candidate, finished third with 17%. On the Democratic side, Clearfield
County Commissioner Mark McCracken won the three-way primary by edging favored Iraq War veteran Bill Cahir by a 5-point margin.
Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-10: Republicans want to recapture
this traditionally GOP seat, currently held by freshman Congressman
Chris Carney (D). Two wealthy businessmen -- Chris Hackett and
Dan Meuser -- engaged in a very nasty, expensive and close primary
battle. Hackett won by a 52% to 48% vote. Race
rating: Leans DEM. CD-18: Businessman Steve O'Donnell (D)
defeated two others to win the right to face Congressman Tim Murphy
(R) in November in this swing district. Race rating: Leans GOP.
The CD-1 special election contest appears heading towards a run-off
on May 13, in what is a major embarrassment for the Republicans
in this overwhelmingly GOP district. In an upset, Prentiss County
Clerk Travis Childers (D) finished ahead of initial frontrunner
Southaven Mayor Greg Davis (R). The numbers: Childers - 49%, Davis
- 47%, Others - 4%. The folksy Childers fell just 700 votes shy
of an outright win in his surprise first place finish. Both men
are social and fiscal conservatives, but they differ sharply on
the Iraq War. Davis strongly supports the war, while Childers
advocates a swift withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. While the
NRCC and DCCC both spent money here in the primary, look for both
to dump even more money into this suprisingly close race.
CAROLINA: WTVD-TV/SurveyUSA are out with polling numbers on
the upcoming primaries for US Senate and Governor. The Democratic
primary US Senate: State Senator Kay Hagan - 38%, investment banker
Jim Neal - 16%, attorney Marcus Williams - 6%, physician Howard
Staley - 4%, truck driver Duskin Lassiter - 3%. The winner will
face US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) in November. In the gubernatorial
contest, both parties have hotly contested races because Governor
Mike Easley (D) is term-limited. The Democrats: Lieutenant Governor
Bev Perdue - 43%, State Treasurer Richard Moore - 39%, retired
USAF officer Dennis Nielsen - 2%. The Republicans: Charlotte Mayor
Pat McCrory - 35%, State Senator Fred Smith - 24%, former State
Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr - 9%, attorney Bill Graham - 8%.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.23.08 | Permalink
VOTES; OBAMA'S BUCKS VERSUS CLINTON'S DEBTS; MS CD-1 SPECIAL.
- DEMS. On the eve of Pennsylvania's Presidential primary,
polling numbers are all over the map. In nearly all polls, Hillary
Clinton leads -- but the agreement ends there. Depending upon
which pollster you trust, Clinton is leading by anywhere from
5-10 points. Here are the latest polls:
Clinton - 48%, Obama - 42%.
Clinton - 49%, Obama - 44%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Public Policy
Polling): Obama - 49%, Clinton - 46%.
Advantage): Clinton - 49%, Obama - 39%.
University): Clinton - 51%, Obama - 44%.
University): Clinton - 52%, Obama - 42%.
In related news, the AP reports Obama started April with $42 million
cash-on-hand -- while Clinton's campaign is essentially broke.
Clinton eported $9.3 million cash-on-hand, but owed $10.3 million
in unpaid debts to her pollster, phone bank firm, and advertising
Much overlooked because of the high-profile Clinton-Obama fight
are other important races on Pennsylvania's primary ballot. The
primaries worth noting are the Democratic contest for State Treasurer
and several congressional races. CD-3: Four Dems believe
Congressman Phil English (R) is vulnerable. Erie County Councilman
Kyle Foust and attorney Tom Myers appear to be the Democratic
frontrunners. Race rating:
GOP Favored. CD-5: Congressman John Peterson (R) is retiring
and Dems see a longshot pickup opportunity here. Nine Republicans
and three Democrats are seeking the open seat. Peterson has endorsed
Centre County GOP Chair Glenn Thompson, but Thompson's fundraising
has lagged far behind several other GOP hopefuls. Former Congressman
Bill Clinger and several top GOP leaders are backing wealthy financial
consultant Derek Walker -- although Walker was unexpectedly charged
with two felonies and two misdemeanors last Thursday for an alleged
incident which took place at his girlfriend's home last summer.
Walker says the timing of the indictment was politically motivated.
Hotel developer Matt Shaner loaned himself $1.2 million, and is
also one of the top contenders. Shaner, a one-time aide to former
US Senator Rick Santorum, is backed by the Club for Growth. Former
Woodward Township Supervisor and wealthy businessman Jeff Stroehman
rounds out the first-tier of GOP frontrunners. On the Dem side,
Iraq War veteran Bill Cahir appears to be the likely primary winner
over two local elected officials. Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-10:
Republicans want to recapture this seat, which freshman Congressman
Chris Carney (D) handily won in a 2006 upset. Two wealthy businessmen
-- Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser -- have engaged in a very nasty,
expensive and divisive primary battle. No matter which man wins,
we'll rate this race: Leans DEM. CD-18: Three Dems are
competing for the right to take on Congressman Tim Murphy (R)
in November in this swing district. Race rating: Leans GOP.
Republicans find themselves in an unexpectedly competitive open
seat race to defend the CD-1 seat left vacant by the elevation
of US Senator Roger Wicker (R). The contest is hot enough that
both the NRCC and DCCC are spending money here. Southaven Mayor
Greg Davis (R) and Prentiss County Clerk Travis Childers (D) are
facing off, although the names of two Republicans and one Democrats
who lost in the regular election primary last month also remain
on the ballot. The reason the race is so competitive is because
of the unhealed wounds from the divisive GOP primary run-off.
The Democrats, by comparison, are totally united behind Childers.
Restaurant owner Wally Pang (Ind.) and college professor John
Wages (Green) are also running. Davis enjoys a 4-to-1 spending
advantage and is still likely to win this race. But, if Childers
scores an upset win in this usually safe GOP district, it could
be an ominous harbinger of a cataclysmically devastating year
for the GOP on a par with 1932 or 1974.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.22.08 | Permalink
FINANCE CHAIR PLAYED MAJOR ROLE IN SPITZER'S DOWNFALL; CLINTON
HOLDS PA LEAD.
YORK.A Politics1 Exclusive. John McCain's National
Finance Co-Chairman played a key role in the recent downfall of
former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D). Reliable sources informed
Politics1 that DC super-lobbyist Wayne
Berman -- a longtime confidant of insurance executive Maurice
Hank Greenberg -- authorized a private Investigation that discovered
the links between Spitzer and a Florida escort service ring. Operating
under the alias code-name "Wallace C. Bernheim," Berman
directed an 18-month effort that cost en estimated $2.2 million.
The investigation was allegedly paid for by a highly-secretive
shadow committee Berman directed, informally nicknamed "The
Group." Sources tell Politics1 that The Group included Greenberg,
Home Depot founder Ken Langone and former New York Stock Exchange
Chairman Richard Grasso -- all high-profile targets of Spitzer
when he was Attorney General. Key players in funding the anti-Spitzer
effort also included wealthy New Jersey businessman Joseph Jingoli
and Florida sugar mogul Pepe Fanjul Jr. Berman also retained veteran
Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone to transmit the information
to the FBI five months ago. The Group also funded an on-going
effort by Stone to challenge Spitzer on the "Troopergate"
and illegal immigrants drivers license issues. Berman and Stone
were previously partners in the Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly
consulting firm, whose former clients included Philippine President
Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerilla Jonas Savimbi , US Sugar, Phillip
Morris Tobacco, and developer Donald Trump. Stone also had a very
public sexual scandal in that past, as he was fired by Bob Dole's
1996 Presidential campaign when it was reported that Stone and
his wife were advertising for other couples in sex magazines and
participated in swingers sex parties. Stone also organized the
so-called "Brooks Brothers Riot" in November 2000 that
shut down the Miami-Dade Presidential recount. The funders decided
against giving the money to the coffers of New York Senate Majority
Leader Joe Bruno (R) -- a sharp Spitzer foe -- because of lack
of confidence in Bruno strategist John McArdle.
- DEMS. For both
camps, Tuesday cannot come soon enough. After the millions of
dollars spent on Pennsylvania TV spots, and weeks dedicated to
campaigning in the state, the primary finally comes tomorrow.
Here are the latest polls:
Clinton - 46%, Obama - 43%.
Post-Gazette): Clinton - 48%, Obama - 43%.
Clinton told ABC News on Sunday that "I have to win"
the state. Editor's Prediction: Despite polls showing the race
narrowing over the past two weeks, I don't buy it. I expect Clinton
to win Pennsylvania by a margin of at least 10-points, maybe 55%
to 45% (or better). But it won't much matter as, in terms of convention
delegates, Clinton will win only a few more than Obama.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.21.08 | Permalink
NUNN, BOREN ENDORSE OBAMA.
- DEMS. Former US Senators Sam
Nunn (D-GA) and David Boren (D-OK) -- both prominent Southern
Democratic conservatives and national security "hawks"
-- endorsed Barack Obama on Friday. "Based on my conversations
with Senator Obama, reading his book and his speeches and seeing
the kind of campaign he has run, I believe that he is our best
choice to lead our nation," said Nunn. The two men issued
a joint statement and will both serve as foreign policy advisors
to the Obama campaign. Nunn and Boren were part of the now defunct
Unity '08 movement, which wanted to organize a viable Independent
Presidential ticket. The endorsement also puts to rest any of
the rumors that Nunn was still planning to make an Independent
run for President this year. In related news, Clinton family friend
for 40+ years and former Clinton Cabinet member Robert Reich (D-MA)
endorsed Obama. "Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid
and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more
so ... He offers the best hope of transcending the boundaries
of class, race, and nationality that have divided us. His life
history exemplifies this, as do his writings and his record of
public service. For these same reasons, he offers the best possibility
of restoring America's moral authority in the world," explained
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.19.08 | Permalink
FROM ABROAD: DR. HANS-CHRISTIAN STRÖBELE, MdB, PARLIAMENTARY
VICE CHAIR OF THE GREEN PARTY (GERMANY).
STRÖBELE, MdB, Parliamentary Vice Chair of the BÜNDNIS
90/DIE GRÜNEN (Green Party). Born in 1939, Ströbele
became active in the leftist German student movement of the 1960s.
He began practicing law in 1969, after studying at Heidelberg
and Freie Universität Berlin. A member of the Socialist Lawyers'
Collective, Ströbele was an aggressive defender of those
facing politically-related crimes. His past clients included notorious
members of the Baader-Meinhof Group/Red Army Faction urban guerrillas.
Originally active in the mainstream SPD -- the ruling Socialists
in West German -- Ströbele co-founded the "Alternative
List for Democracy and Environmental Protection." The ALDEP
later became the Berlin chapter of the Greens. Ströbele was
elected to the Bundestag (West German Parliament) in a 1985 by-election,
and served until 1987. In 2002, Ströbele was returned to
the Bundestag from Berlin's Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district.
He was reelected in 2005. Ströbele currently serves as a
Vice Chair of the
Green caucus in the Bundestag and is among the most prominent
politicians belonging to the "Fundi" wing of the party.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL RACE TO DATE?
From across the Atlantic, the US Presidential race looks very
democratic. Voter participation in the primaries so far has
been very high. My great hopes are with the Democratic candidates,
Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, each for different
reasons. Hopefully McCain will not be the beneficiary of their
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT?
I hope that the next U.S. President will be more peaceful than
Mr. Bush and end the war in Iraq immediately, along with the
other armed U.S. military operations. The Iraq War not only
increases the suffering of the population of that country, but
is increasing the threat to Europe and the United States. The
war has become a recruiting machine for international terrorism.
used some really cool, artistic posters in his last two
campaigns (click to enlarge):
you have a connection to a foreign political leader, elected official
or prominent candidate you'd like to have answer these two questions?
Please email Ron
if you know someone you'd like featured here.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.19.08 | Permalink
OBAMA CLOSE IN PA; WASH GOV POLL; BARNEY FRANK & RON PAUL
PROPOSE MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION.
- DEMS. Just one new Pennsylvania poll released on Thursday.
Here are the numbers from the latest Newsmax/Zogby poll: Clinton
- 45%, Obama - 44%.
A new KING-TV/SurveyUSA poll shows Governor Christine Gregoire
(D) leading for re-election over former State Senator Dino Rossi
(R) by a vote of 50% to 46%.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced a bill on Thursday
to decriminalize the personal use of marijuana and legalize the
use of marijuana when prescribed for medical purposes. "“I
think it is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation
that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does
not seriously wish to prosecute," said Frank. The bill would
remove all federal criminal sanctions for possession of up to
100 grams of marijuana. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is an original
co-sponsor of the bill.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.18.08 | Permalink
DEM POLLS, PLUS "DEM UNITY" DEBATE; SPECTER CANCER RETURNS;
BAUCUS' BIG BUCKS LEAD; UTAH CONGRESSMAN DEFENDS POLYGAMY.
- DEMS. Another day, another
round of primary polls ...
Daily News/Franklin & Marshall Collge): Clinton - 46%, Obama
PENNSYLVANIA (Public Policy
Polling): Obama - 45%, Clinton - 42%.
NORTH CAROLINA (American
Research Group): Obama - 52%, Clinton - 41%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Insider
Advantage): Obama - 51%, Clinton - 36%.
SOUTH DAKOTA (Dakota Wesleyan
University): Obama - 46%, Clinton - 34%.
In Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Clinton held a rally featuring 100
mayors from around the Keystone State who all endorsed her candidacy.
While many had previously endorsed Clinton, it still was an impressive
photo op with each standing behind the candidate and holding a
signs bearing the names of the cities and towns they represent.
In other related news, Obama picked up three more superdelegates
this week: Congressmen Mel Watt (D-NC), David Price (D-NC) and
Andre Carson (D-IN). Clinton picked up a superdelegate last week:
new Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA). Speier did not represent
a numerical gain for Clinton, as she was elected to replace the
late Congressman and Clinton superdelegate Tom Lantos. Finally,
in Wednesday night's debate, Clinton and Obama both vowed they
will ensure party unity behind the eventual nominee. "I will
do everything to make sure that the people who supported me will
support the nominee," said Clinton, who promised to campaign
"anywhere" for the nominee. Likewise, Obama promised
the party will "come together" once the nominee is designated.
Neither, however, made any commitment to select the other as the
Despite being diagnosed this week with a recurrence of cancer,
Senator Arlen Specter (R) vowed that he will still seek re-election
in 2010. He said he was optimistic with the prognosis, and will
begin 12-weeks of new chemotherapy treatment on April 25. "You
deal with it as it comes. I have a good job, my faith, my family
and questions from the news media to keep me on my toes," said
Specter to The Politico. In related news, MSNBC talk show
host Chris Matthews (D) last week -- when asked on his show --
made a point of not denying the rumors he was making inquiries
of party leaders to gauge support for a possible run against Specter
in two years.
New FEC filings out this week show US Senator Max Baucus (D)
has raised over $10 million for his re-election bid -- and has
$6.4 milliona cash-on-hand remaining. By contrast, The Missoulian
reports Baucus' five GOP opponents have a combined cash-on-hand
of just over $10,000.
The definition of marriage is becoming an issue in the Utah
CD-3 congressional primary -- and the dispute isn't even centered
around same-sex marriage. Congressman Chris
Cannon (R) -- facing an aggressive primary challenge from former
Juab County Prosecutor David Leavitt, former gubernatorial chief
of staff Jason Chaffetz and two others -- expressed some support
for radical Mormon polygamists. Cannon said the state should not
prosecute polygamists for bigamy solely because they engage in
consensual plural marriage. Further, Cannon said anti-polygamy
laws were largely analogous to the anti-sodomy laws already declared
unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Here is how Cannon explained
it to the Salt Lake Tribune: There are "lots of women
who choose to be in polygamous relationships and who are very
articulate about the benefits they get. I don't think it's the
place of society to prosecute people who choose to cohabitate
responsibly and are responsible for their children as opposed
to men who are licentious or women who are licentious who are
producing children that don't have place or context or male authority
in their lives." Cannon said his views also extended to same
sex couples -- that the relationships should not be criminal,
but the relationships do not get government recognition either.
Leavitt told KNRS radio that the state must aggressively prosecute
polygamists "or it will pave the road to same-sex marriage
... If we allow two consenting women and a consenting man to redefine
what our society says is marriage, then we have opened the door
for the redefinition of marriage for same-gender marriage. This
is a broader scope than just polygamy." Leavitt lost for
re-election by 22 votes in 2002, in what was largely viewed as
a backlash against his successful bigamy prosecution of a vocal
polygamist in 2000.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.17.08 | Permalink
LIKELY TO SPEAK AT GOP CONVENTION; SEVEN NEW DEM PREZ PRIMARY
POLLS; SECOND POLL SHOWS LANDRIEU LEAD IN LOUISIANA.
- GOP. Senator Joe Lieberman
(I-CT) -- the 2000 Dem nominee for VP -- says he is willing to
be a pro-McCain speaker at this summer's Republican National Convention.
"If Senator McCain, who I support so strongly, asked me to
do it, if he thinks it will help him, I will," said Lieberman
to The Hill. Lieberman said it is likely he will be asked
to speak at the convention, but does not expect to be asked give
the keynote address. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),
a close Lieberman friend, said the Dems would not strip Lieberman
of his committee chairmanship if he speaks at the GOP convo. When
directly asked by The Hill if Lieberman's chairmanship
was "at risk" in the next Congress, Reid responded "No."
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) seemed to echo Reid's
stance. "We have one difference of opinion, maybe two with
Senator Lieberman. As a Whip, I can tell you time and again, he’s
been there when we’ve needed him," said Durbin ...
Just a prediction, but don't be surprised if Congressman Ron Paul
(R-TX) also speaks at a rival party convention this summer. Expect
to see Paul speaking at the Libertarian National Convention next
month in support of former GOP Congressman Bob Barr's third party
candidacy ... In other GOP news, Secretary of State Condi Rice
gave a Shermanesque statement ruling out any interest in being
the VP runningmate. "I don't want to be, don't intend to
be, won't be on the ticket," Rice told the New York Times.
- DEMS. Another day, another round of primary polls ...
PENNSYLVANIA (Los Angeles
Times/Bloomberg): Clinton - 46%, Obama - 41%.
Vision): Clinton - 49%, Obama - 40%.
Clinton - 54%, Obama - 40%.
University): Clinton - 50%, Obama - 44%.
INDIANA (Los Angeles
Times/Bloomberg): Obama - 40%, Clinton - 35%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Los
Angeles Times/Bloomberg): Obama - 47%, Clinton - 34%.
Clinton - 62%, Obama - 26%. Congressional Quarterly performed an interesting analysis
of recent Pennsylvania polls in which they are able to break down
the vote by congressional district -- as convention delegates
are awarded at that level. Based upon this analysis, Clinton appears
likely to edge Obama by a narrow margin of 53 delegates to 50
delegates of those awarded at the district level. The state will
also send 84 additional delegates to the convention. Of those
remaining 84 slots, 55 pledged delegates will be distributed based
on the statewide popular vote, and the remaining 29 seats go to
A new Southern Media & Opinion Research poll essentially
confirms yesterday's Rasmussen poll numbers. Here are the SMOR
numbers: US Senator Mary Landrieu (D) - 50%, State Treasurer John
Kennedy (R) - 38%.
by Ron Gunzburger - 04.16.08 | Permalink