Voter Fraud: It is Real

Yes, It’s Real… And Illegals ARE Voting!

We’ve heard the claims again and again: “Voter Fraud!” Yet, while we hear those claims, we hear responses each and every time, “There’s NO Voter Fraud!”

Claims of fraud may come from concerned private citizens, members of non-profit voter advocacy groups, and even from a few politicians. But almost without fail, the defensive  cries of no voter fraud claims come from elected officials and/or others who work within the election system.

These claims are not exclusive to federal, state, or local elections. Fraud claims plague every type of voting system in the nation. 

Who can forget the Rose Garden press conference of President Obama when he scoffed at the claims of then Candidate Donald Trump that there would probably be voter fraud tactics used against him in the 2016 election by his opponent, Hillary Clinton. President Obama said this:

“I have never seen in my lifetime or seen any candidate try to discredit the American election system before votes have even been taken. It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts. Every election official, regardless of political party, regardless of ideology, conservative or liberal, who has ever examined these issues, will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud or not to be found. Keep in mind that elections are run by state and local officials.” 

President Obama in those remarks derided Trump for his unfounded claims the candidate had regarding  voter fraud, stating that it was unbelievable that the candidate’s claims were coming long before the election. Yet voter fraud claims from the 2016 election poured in from all over the nation.

Different Types of Election Fraud

There are many ways for criminals to steal votes and change the outcome of an election. These include:

  • Impersonation fraud at the polls: Voting in the name of other legitimate voters and voters who have died, moved away, or lost their right to vote because they are felons, but remain registered.
  • False registrations: Voting under fraudulent voter registrations that either use a phony name and a real or fake address or claim residence in a particular jurisdiction where the registered voter does not actually live and is not entitled to vote.
  • Duplicate voting: Registering in multiple locations and voting in the same election in more than one jurisdiction or state.
  • Fraudulent use of absentee ballots: Requesting absentee ballots and voting without the knowledge of the actual voter; or obtaining the absentee ballot from a voter and either filling it in directly and forging the voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter who to vote for.
  • Buying votes: Paying voters to cast either an in-person or absentee ballot for a particular candidate.
  • Illegal “assistance” at the polls: Forcing or intimidating voters—particularly the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those for whom English is a second language—to vote for particular candidates while supposedly providing them with “assistance.”
  • Ineligible voting: Illegal registration and voting by individuals who are not U.S. citizens, are convicted felons, or are otherwise not eligible to vote.
  • Altering the vote count: Changing the actual vote count either in a precinct or at the central location where votes are counted.
  • Ballot petition fraud: Forging the signatures of registered voters on the ballot petitions that must be filed with election officials in some states for a candidate or issue to be listed on the official ballot.

1982

An estimated 100,000 fraudulent ballots were cast in a 1982 Chicago election. After a Justice Department investigation, 63 individuals were convicted of voter fraud, including vote buying, impersonation fraud, fictitious voter registrations, phony absentee ballots, and voting by non-citizens.

1994

After an extensive investigation of absentee ballot fraud in a 1994 Greene County, Alabama, election, nine defendants pleaded guilty to voter fraud, and two others were found guilty by a jury. The defendants included Greene County commissioners, officials, and employees; a racing commissioner; a member of the board of education; a Eutaw city councilman; and other community leaders. Among other things, the conspirators used an assembly line to mass produce forged absentee ballots meant to swing elections in favor of preferred candidates.

2003

Allan “Twig” Simmons, an operative for the East Chicago, Indiana, mayor’s campaign, persuaded voters to let him fill out their absentee ballots in exchange for jobs. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service. Fraud in the 2003 East Chicago mayoral primary was so widespread that the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special mayoral election that resulted in a different winner.

2004

Chad Staton, a worker associated with the NAACP National Voter Fund in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts for filing false voter registrations during the 2004 presidential election in exchange for crack cocaine. Staton filled out more than 100 forms in names such as Mary Poppins, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Dick Tracy, and George Lopez.

2004

Six Democrats from Lincoln County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to charges of participating in a conspiracy to buy votes dating back to 1990. The indictment charged that the cabal conspired to buy votes in every election held between 1990 and 2004, handing out slates listing preferred candidates and using liquor and cash—typically $20 per vote—to seal the deal. They also laid gravel on roads for supporters and fixed traffic tickets.

2004

East St. Louis, Illinois, precinct committeemen Charles Powell, Sheila Thomas, Jesse Lewis, and Kelvin Ellis, as well as precinct worker Yvette Johnson, were convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud after participating in vote buying activities in the 2004 election, including submitting budgets that would allow city funds to be used to pay voters to vote for Democrat candidates.

2008

ACORN workers in Seattle, Washington, committed what the secretary of state called, “the worst case of voter registration fraud in the history of the state of Washington.” The group submitted 1,762 fraudulent voter registration forms. The group’s leader, Clifton Mitchell, was convicted of false registrations and served nearly three months in jail. Four other ACORN workers on his team also received jail time, and ACORN was fined $25,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.

2010

Paul Schurick, former campaign manager to Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, a Republican, was convicted of election fraud after approving a robocall to black voters telling them not to vote because the Democrats had already won the 2010 gubernatorial election. A circuit court judge spared Schurick jail time, opting to sentence him to 30 days’ home detention, four years of probation, and 500 hours of community service.

2012

Robert Monroe, identified by prosecutors as the worst multiple voter in Wisconsin history, pleaded no contest to charges that he voted more than once in 2011 and 2012. Monroe’s record was extensive: he voted twice in the April 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election, twice in the 2011 recall election of state Sen. Alberta Darling, and five times in Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election. He also cast an illegal ballot in the August 2012 primary, and voted twice in the 2012 general election.

2012

While running for re-election, Martin, Kentucky, Mayor Ruth Robinson and a cabal of co-conspirators targeted residents living in public housing and in properties Robinson owned, threatening to evict them if they did not sign absentee ballots that Robinson and her family had already filled out. Robinson also targeted disabled residents, and offered to buy the votes of others. She was convicted and sentenced to serve 90 months’ imprisonment.

2014

Rosa Maria Ortega, a non-citizen, was found guilty on two counts of voter fraud for voting in the November 2012 general election and the 2014 Republican primary runoff. Ortega claimed she thought she was a citizen, and blamed her lack of education for the mix-up, but prosecutors pointed out that Ortega had previously indicated on a driver’s license application that she was a non-citizen. A judge sentenced her to eight years’ imprisonment, after which she faces the possibility of deportation.

Conclusion

These are just a handful of election fraud examples. We will tomorrow present Part 2 of this story and discuss the process in which this is allowed in many cases. We’ll discuss the responsibility for allowing it to happen AND making it happen. But, more importantly, we will fill you in on what you may not know: WHO’S DOING IT?

If you think today’s story is strong, tomorrow’s will knock your socks off! Folks, it is horrible; it has been happening for years; it is NOT getting better.

2020 Democrat Presidential Candidates: Elizabeth Warren

It’s official! Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has thrown her hat into the ring for the 2020 Democrat Party nomination for President. It comes as no surprise to almost everyone that the far-left Warren is in the hunt for the nomination AND that she has already shown in just a few days she has actually moved farther to the left politically. Why would she do that? To keep up with the crowd!

Warren in her 2016 campaign for president made herself a lightning rod for Republicans — especially Candidate Donald Trump. The Warren scandal of sorts came from her application to teach at Harvard University in which she claimed to be of Native American descent. Even though she grew up in Oklahoma and claimed that her mother had Cherokee roots, many felt like she used what little Native American she had for personal benefit to claim minority status favoritism in her Harvard job application. And Trump during the campaign gave her the title of “Pocohantes,” a very obvious jab at her minority status claim.

Even with all of her exposure while campaigning, many do not know much about her. Let’s take a look.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren was born and raised in a middle-class family in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the University of Houston and Rutgers Law School. Her career as an academic focused on bankruptcy law, where she focused primarily on empiric decision-making of the public following legal changes. Warren taught at several law schools, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University.

Warren’s initial foray into public policy began with opposing what eventually became a 2005 act restricting bankruptcy access for individuals. Warren saw her profile rise in the late 2000s for her forceful stances in favor of more stringent regulations following the 2007–2008 financial crisis. She served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for which she served as the first Special Advisor.

Unable to overcome Republican opposition to become the Director the CFPB, Warren instead challenged and defeated Republican incumbent Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts in 2012. She was the keynote speaker of the 2016 Democratic National Convention and became Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus the following year. A noted liberal leader, Warren has focused on consumer protection, economic opportunity, and the social safety net while in the Senate. Following her reelection to the Senate in 2018, Warren announced the formation of an exploratory committee for her campaign in the 2020 presidential election.

You may be interested to discover that Warren was registered as a Republican from 1991 to 1996. Warren voted as a Republican for many years, saying, “I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets.” According to Warren, she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that to be true, but she states that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate. According to her, the Republican Party was no longer “principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets” and was instead tilting the playing in favor of big financial institutions and against “middle-class American families.”

On September 14, 2011, Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. The seat had been won by Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election after the death of Ted Kennedy. A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover became a viral video on the Internet. In it, Warren replies to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is “class warfare”, pointing out that no one grew rich in the U.S. without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society, stating:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. … You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

President Barack Obama later echoed her sentiments in a 2012 election campaign speech.

Warren’s Political Actions

  • In December 2016, Warren announced plans to introduce a bill to address President-elect Donald Trump’s perceived conflicts of interest related to his business empire. Under her proposed bill, Donald Trump could face impeachment if he fails to declare conflicts of interest between his presidential role and his business interests. Warren states, “The only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests and place them in a blind trust.”
  • In November 2018, Warren said she will not vote for Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) saying, “It won’t stop outsourcing, it won’t raise wages, and it won’t create jobs. It’s NAFTA 2.0.”
  • In 2018, Warren had called for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • In January 2019, Warren criticized President Donald Trump’s announcement of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
  • In January 2019, she announced the details of her proposed “Wealth Tax” to be levied on the wealthiest of Americans. Rather than bullet-point details, let’s look and listen-in to an expert’s analysis of Senator Warren’s proposal as given on “Fox and Friends:”

“The Warren” plan would tax the net worth of people with assets over $50 million at 2 percent a year, plus another 3 percent on fortunes over a billion dollars. And it would apply to all assets — even the wealth hidden outside the US to avoid income tax. There would be some wrinkles to work out, like how the IRS would get an accurate measure of those assets.

The mega-wealthy seldom hold their riches in cash. Most are tied up in corporate stocks and bonds, real estate investments, and other holdings. That would make it pretty difficult to get those accurate measures every year of the real values of their holdings. And in many cases, this would force annual liquidation of enough of these hard assets to pay those taxes.

Just one example of this dilemma would be Jeff Bezos. Bezos, the world’s richest person, would have to pay $4.1 billion in the first year under U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, based on his current net worth of $137.1 billion. Most all of his wealth is tied up in Amazon stock, and a portion of that stock would probably be sold to pay that $4.1 billion in year one of the tax plan. Other billionaires like Warren Buffet would face the same dilemma.

Most of the wealthiest of Americans keep most of their wealth in corporate investments just like Bezos and Buffet. When interviewed recently on MSNBC, Warren scoffed when asked how difficult it would be to annually ascertain the accurate values of all these assets of the richest Americans on which to base these taxes. The Senator forgets that most of those in Congress — including her — are worth millions meaning that millionaires make most of the federal laws that control these things.

To some, Warren’s tax idea may seem like a good idea. But making good ideas actually BE good is often harder implementing than creating them in the first place.

Warren’s Electability

This is a sketchy one to establish. Many feel her failure to make it through the Democrat primaries had more to do with Hillary Clinton’s name and lengthy 30-year tenure in national politics because of her husband. Democrats definitely wanted a woman in the White House in 2016, but just not Warren.

Warren’s reputation as a smart and wise political manager is a bit sketchy. Though she has spent much time in various political roles — most in appointed positions — she seems really pushy to many voters. Her likability in the very early stages of the 2020 White House run lags behind those of the two other already-announced female candidates Senators Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. But remember: it’s a LONG way to November of 2020!

The greatest problem for Warren in this campaign other than her ability to garner the necessary political support considering her Democrat primary opponents is the requirement for massive fundraising. By most accounts, it will take $1 Billion + to fund the necessary campaign to beat the incumbent President in the race. Warren would probably find that a bit tough, especially with her very obvious and very public recent lurch further left in her political positions. Big campaign spenders are on the most part sitting on their hands to find out who among the plentiful stable of Dem candidates can weather the early-going in this very young campaign cycle. Getting large financial support quickly will be mandatory to develop campaign staying power. Warren is unlikely to be able to get that done.

Summary

Some candidates from both sides of the aisle just have the knack of rubbing a lot of voters the wrong way. It may be because of their voices, messaging, appearance in public, even in the way they speak to political opponents and even supporters. Senator Warren has the ability to slip into that category.

In facing the likes of Harris and Gillibrand in the early going, Warren may dig herselfa hole in which she finds she is too deep to survive comparisons with those two in many ways. She’s not as polished as Harris and Gillibrand even though she is a more experienced politician.

Most often we see the ability to raise a lot of money decides presidential races. It may seem sexist to say this, but when multiple female candidates appear together on-stage in debates, mannerisms, and Q & A impact voters’ opinions more than party politics. And Sometimes appearance IS everything.

I think that impacted Warren’s staying power when she ran against Hillary in 2016. I think she will struggle to beat that stigma in 2020. And I don’t think she’ll successfully make the trip.

Play

No Border Wall Mean The End of Trump?

It’s Dead! No money for the border wall and the government is shut down. Trump promised Americans if he was elected, he’d build the wall. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. And to make matters worse, funding for the federal Government — at least part of it — ended at midnight Friday night.

Trump has been a “promise machine.” He’s made numerous commitments to Americans before and since the 2016 election. The Left shudder everytime one of those promises leaves his lips. Why? Because most of his promises have been fulfilled — something Leftist politicians and media are not familiar with. They honestly do not quite know how to process it.

But they have ammunition, thanks to the Democrats in the Senate who refused once again to do the job of debate, negotiations, and finding common ground through compromise to get the job done.

Very little media will put the responsibility for this shutdown on Democrats. Trump will bear the blame. But with only 50 Senate votes and that rule that requires 60 votes in the Senate for passage, passing any legislation from the conservative side is virtually impossible. Chuck Schumer and his Senate minions know that. They refuse to negotiate and show zero willingness for compromise. Never mind that 80% of Americans want border security — whatever types of security it takes for that. Schumer and Pelosi live to do one thing and one thing only: thwart anything in the Trump agenda, regardless if it is good for the country.

I’ve said it here often, “The difference between Conservatives and Democrats is this: Conservatives hate liberal policies of Democrats. Democrats hate Conservatives.” We saw that play out in this legislative war the last two weeks.

Here’s the “Trump stuff” that frosts Democrat leadership in Congress:

First, it was Obamacare: “If elected President, we will repeal and replace Obamacare.” (Candidate Donald Trump)

Then it was government spending: “If elected President, we will cut wasteful spending that under Obama has doubled the federal debt in 8 years.” (Candidate Donald Trump)

Then it was taxes: “If elected President, we will pass a massive income tax cut for the middle class in America.” (Candidate Donald Trump)

Then, a border wall: “If elected President, we will build a really BIG wall at our southern border and Mexico will pay for it.” (Candidate Donald Trump)

Is One out of Four Good Enough? Can Trump survive without providing that southern wall?
  • We all know the history of the Trump Congress pushing to get Obamacare to the floor of the Senate for debate before a Senate vote to repeal Obama’s premier legislative achievement. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) famously cast the deciding vote to kill the motion to even debate the pros and cons of Obamacare. On that one, President Trump has the luxury of being able to blame Establishment Republicans like McCain who voted with Democrats. That was “Strike One” against the President regarding his campaign promises. But it also was “Strike One” against Republican members of Congress who actually campaigned for re-election promising voters the repeal/replacement of the healthcare finance plan called Obamacare.
  • The U.S. government is a spending monster. Everyone knows that. The government waste is in the tens of billions of dollars each fiscal year. All of that money comes directly from U.S. taxpayers. And taxpayers are growing tired of carrying the water for Congressional runaway spending with runaway successful income tax revenues. Trump promised to cut government waste, therefore, cutting needless spending. The 2017 Omnibus Bill being signed into law by the President was “Strike Two.” It was the biggest budget spending bill in U.S. history that Trump said over and over again during his 2016 campaign and the early months of his presidency he would NOT sign into law WITHOUT the inclusion of funding for the border wall. In announcing his acceptance of the bloated spending bill that was passed in both Houses without border security funding, his reason for signing was because, in exchange for massive social spending increases demanded by Democrats, the Omnibus included an agreement for large military budget increases which had been stripped from Obama budgets during his 8 years in office. And Trump had promised to rebuild the American military for which he had to have previous military budget amounts restored.
  • No doubt the American taxpayer — especially the Middle Class — have been carrying a large, disproportionate share of income tax responsibility. Trump promised tax relief to those Americans. He was able to give that relief with significant tax cuts for almost every level of taxpayer. With the passing of these tax cuts, a surprising response was received from the private business community in the U.S. Hundreds of companies passed out significant cash bonuses to their workers. Additionally, many pay increases were given. And as the President promised, with those tax cuts that included cuts for corporations, billions of corporate dollars being held offshore flooded the U.S. as these corporations saw a switch in the view held by this Administration from that of Obama. Companies not only felt like changes were coming that would help them, they saw the President make such changes that immediately impacted corporate bottom lines. Individual and corporate tax cuts together gave the U.S. economy a shot in the arm not seen since Ronald Reagan.
  • Building a border wall with numerous other border security systems was key in Trump’s 2016 campaign. But since his inauguration, he has struggled to get funding from Congress — even with Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate. The anticipated cost? $15 billion, initially. But with constant push-back from Democrats and even moderate Republicans, it became apparent that $15 billion was a non-starter. The President began negotiations to include a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, the cleanup of the dysfunctional legal immigration system, and other goodies in exchange for $5 billion to begin his border security projects, which include the wall. Congress stone-walled the President again. Experts will agree that the border wall was certainly the biggest reason Americans voted for him in 2016. Most Americans (as reported in numerous polls) want the government to enforce existing immigration laws, stop illegal migration, and to build a wall to slow or stop the flow of illegals across the southern border. So far, President Trump has failed to get the wall funded.

Will Trump’s Wall Failure Doom his Presidency?

That’s the big one.

Kellyanne Conway — senior advisor to the President — Wednesday morning appeared on “Fox and Friends” to respond to the suggestions that President Trump has caved on his demands for border control security funding to include the wall and was leaning towards walking away from his famous promise on live television from the Oval Office a week. The President warned Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer that he would NOT sign any bill to fund the government past December 22nd unless it included border security funding.

The big question from Americans until Thursday was: Will the President Cave?

That was the million dollar question. Leadership from both parties in the House and the Senate thought he would and presented a Continuing Resolution to the Senate which was unanimously approved. Before the House took it up, Trump notified Leadership he would NOT sign that bill into law WITHOUT $5 billion for the border wall! Everyone was shocked — especially the Media and Congressional leadership.

But consider this:

We have seen the President negotiate in many ways for many agenda items since taking office. But one thing is certain: he’s a negotiator. I found it difficult to believe that he would so abruptly make a 180 degree turn away from the thing that he has been so adamant about since he was pressured into signing that Omnibus bill in 2017: funding for the border wall. Who can forget that contentious televised Oval Office meeting with Schumer and Pelosi and how demonstrative Trump was in making it clear: no border wall funding, no spending bill signed. What caused the change of heart?

Honestly, I was certain he HAD NOT had a change of heart! I asked those questions:

  • Why would he after that very public meeting where he made very public demands suddenly walk away from those demands?
  • Why would he turn against American voters who many of which voted for him for President primarily because he was so adamant about border security and building the southern wall?
  • Why would he in the follow-up of his non-stop tweets with his demands for funding for the wall to prevent a government shutdown walk away and cave?

Answer: He must have not changed his mind!

Unfortunately, the Senate failed to take action on Friday evening to pass that measure passed from the House that included border wall funding. The government shutdown began Friday night at midnight.

We won’t go into the false premise that has been shouted from the Leftist media rooftops that “The Sky is Falling,” because it’s nothing but empty rhetoric. But you can rest assured President Trump has something in mind to “get er’ done!”

So what could be going on?

The U.S. Pledges $10.6 Billion For Central America and Southern Mexico…

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico. The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans and Mexicans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate. The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.  “In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate. “I have a dream that I want to see become a reality … that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore,” Lopez Obrador said at a morning news conference before the announcement. The combination of public and private investment for the stay-at-home effort doesn’t require congressional approval, unlike Trump’s signature project to stem illegal immigration — a border wall.

Summary

What I see here is President Trump deploying a root-cause workaround for the current border argument, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo carrying it out.

I strongly suspect there was an agreement of this sort long before the USMCA was finalized and made public.  As part of an agreement with President Lopez-Obrador, these funds will be used to secure Mexico’s border effectively cutting-off the Central American migration flow before it can reach the Southern U.S. This approach is entirely in line with nationalist AMLO’s objectives for a larger and more stable economy within Mexico specifically by partnering with nationalist U.S. President Trump toward that common goal.

If Trump can’t get Congress to agree to defend the U.S. border, he can sure leverage and entice Lopez-Obrador to do it a few miles south.  This approach is President Trump working on optimal solutions while encountering domestic political roadblocks. This is exactly what President Trump does…. find solutions.

President Trump can sit around righteously fighting with the swamp over the security issues — the “historical and politically correct thing to do” — or he can fight the swamp while simultaneously deploying a solution that mitigates the issue at its root cause, thinking outside the box.

What else would a businessman president do?

Trump or a Democrat in 2020: Who Will It Be? Part Three

When I was much younger and “who should be the next President?” discussions began among my parents’ friends, their consensus pick was always the candidate who — in their collective opinion — was the most qualified for the job. The “qualification” qualifier seems is still important, but, in many cases, that qualifier no longer simply political prowess, knowledge, and life history that proves the capability of a candidate to be President. Now it seems presidential choices must be weighted — weighted toward women over men, toward people of color over white candidates, those who are pro-abortion as contrasted to those opposed to abortion, etc. And it seems the list of litmus tests for determination of who is qualified to serve seems to be getting longer and longer.

It seems to many that 2020 may be the year for someone who fits one of the “preferred” classes from that list to go to the White House. And to that end, the Senator from New York might just be the most qualified from that list to head to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

If one watches the very public actions of Leftists — like various cause demonstrations, midterm election campaign appearances, rallies for liberal causes — seeing Kirsten Gillibrand is going to happen often. She is forceful, consistent, and dogmatic about the liberal political agenda: Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion, all of the “-ists” and “-phobias,” Open Borders, Women’s Rights, and hiking taxes on the wealthy. And she is demonstrative with her malice for President Trump. In today’s divisive political America, Kirsten Gillibrand may just be the perfect “Poster Girl” for Democrats. (Oops! I said Poster “Girl.” That’s sexist of me!)

Who Is She?

Kirsten Gillibrand (born December 9, 1966) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from New York since January 2009. She previously held the position of U.S. Representative for New York’s 20th congressional district from 2007 until her Senate appointment. In December 2008, President-elect Barack Obama nominated second-term incumbent U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton as United States Secretary of State, leaving an empty seat in the Senate. New York Governor David Paterson appointed Gillibrand to fill the vacancy, and she was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on January 26, 2009. Gillibrand was required to run in a special election in 2010 to keep her seat, and she won the election with 63% of the vote. She was reelected to a full six-year term in 2012 with 72% of the vote, receiving a higher percentage of the vote than any other statewide candidate in New York. In 2018, she received 67% of the vote.

During her Senate tenure, Gillibrand has been outspoken on issues like sexual assault in the military and sexual harassment.

Early Life

Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik was born in Albany, New York, on December 9, 1966. Both her parents are attorneys, and her father has also worked as a lobbyist. Her parents divorced in the late 1980s. She has an older brother and a younger sister. Her maternal grandmother is Dorothea “Polly” Noonan, a founder of the Albany Democratic Women’s Club.

During her childhood and college years, Gillibrand used the nickname “Tina.” She began using her birth name of Kirsten a few years after law school. In 1984, she graduated from Emma Willard School, an all women’s private school located in Troy, New York, and then enrolled at Dartmouth College. Gillibrand majored in Asian Studies, studying in both Beijing and Taiwan. Gillibrand graduated magna cum laude in 1988. During college, Gillibrand interned at Republican U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s Albany office. Gillibrand received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and passed the bar exam in 1991.

Legal Career

In 1991, Gillibrand joined the Manhattan-based law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell as an associate. In 1992, she took a leave from Davis Polk to serve as a law clerk to Judge Roger Miner on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Albany.

Gillibrand’s tenure at Davis Polk is best known for her work as a defense attorney for Philip Morris during major litigation, including both civil lawsuits and U.S. Justice Department criminal and civil racketeering probes. She became a senior associate while working on Philip Morris litigation. 

Following her time at Davis Polk, Gillibrand served as Special Counsel to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo during the last year of the Clinton administration.

In 1999, Gillibrand began working on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign, focusing on campaigning to young women and encouraging them to join the effort. Many of those women later worked on Gillibrand’s campaigns. Gillibrand and Clinton became close during the election, with Clinton becoming something of a mentor to the young attorney. Gillibrand donated more than $12,000 to Clinton’s Senate campaigns.

Early Politics

Gillibrand considered running for office in 2004, in New York’s 20th congressional district, against the three-term Republican incumbent John E. Sweeney. However, Hillary Clinton believed circumstances would be more favorable in 2006 and advised her to wait until then.

The 2006 election campaign against Sweeney was very contentious. Scandals on the part of the Republican doomed his re-election bid and Gillibrand won the congressional seat with 53% of the vote. She won her 2008 re-election with 60% of the vote defeating the former NY Secretary of State.

Gillibrand in D.C. quickly joined the Blue Dog Coalition — a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. She served on numerous House committees until after 1 year of her second term in the House she moved across the hall to the Senate after Hillary’s departure to become Obama’s Secretary of State.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Current Politics

She’s a firebrand. Gillibrand has taken the approach to attack almost every Trump Administration agenda item put forward. Unfortunately for many of her supporters, her consternation with the President and his ideas has turned personal. The presumption for her doing so goes back several years when the two had some very public interaction. It was reported that before his run for President, Gillibrand made frequent attempts to meet with Trump for the purpose of securing his support for her political campaigns. Neither has spoken about the specifics of any of those meetings.

The New York Senator has become an aggressive supporter on the campaign trail for women’s’ rights and to fight sexual misconduct. Gillibrand also recently said she thought Bill Clinton should have resigned in the face of his own sexual misconduct allegations, and she was the first senator to call for fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken (Minn.) to step down.

Early on in the Trump Administration, Gillibrand joined other Democrats that had decided to go after the President on many fronts to find ways to discredit his presidency and push him out of office. She publicly on numerous occasions suggested he resign. After one such instance, he tweeted that as a New York senator she “would do anything for” campaign contributions — which many took to be sexually suggestive. It’s difficult to imagine a bigger gift when it comes to raising Gillibrand’s profile in advance of a 2020 run for the Democratic nomination.

Many Democrats in Washington have begun to accept her as something of a spokesperson for women’s’ causes. In the opinions of many political pundits, she in her support of these causes is building a base for a 2020 run for the White House. She has begun to even discuss Democrat Party messaging to potential voters, even talking about Trump messaging methods that were successful for him in 2016:

Her principle target in almost all of her appearances seems to be “Dump Trump.”

In addition to the normal roadblocks that come with running for President, Gillibrand because of her demonstrative voice in the Democrat Party, is watched very closely in HER messaging. And she sometimes tends to be a bit of a loose cannon in some things she says. In a recent speech, she cited a string of inaccurate economic statistics in an attempt to cast doubt on the health of the economy during a speech at the National Action Network Conference. Gillibrand told the gathered audience several statistics about the unemployment rates for African-American men and women, but a Washington Post fact check found all three statistics she cited were incorrect.

“When they declare victory at 4 percent unemployment, it is not good enough,” Gillibrand said. “Because 4 percent unemployment means an 8 or 9 percent unemployment in some cities for black women. It means a 16 percent unemployment rate for black men. It means young veterans coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, a 20 percent unemployment rate. So our work really isn’t done.”

As of October, the unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent, the lowest it has been since December of 1969. This is lower than the rounded-up figure of 4 percent cited by Gillibrand, but the main issue arises from her citation of statistics on black unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found, in October, that the unemployment rate for black men was 6.2 percent, not 16 percent like Gillibrand claimed. That same study of unemployment rates found that the unemployment rate for black women was 4.9 percent, not 8 or 9 percent.

When asked about these statistics, Gillibrand’s spokesperson, Alex Phillips, said that Gillibrand accidentally dropped “young” from her speech and meant to refer to the unemployment rates of young black men and women.

On the issue of veterans, Gillibrand’s statistic also missed the mark. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that “young veterans” between the ages of 18 and 24 had an unemployment rate of 12.6 percent, lower than Gillibrand’s claim of 20 percent. Veterans between the age of 25 and 34 reported an unemployment rate of 1.9 percent. Phillips claimed Gillibrand “misspoke the stat off the cuff.”

When fact-checking her use of these statistics, the Washington Post concluded, “Somehow, Gillibrand managed to mangle three statistics in three consecutive sentences before a large audience. If you are trying to make the case that you can provide better economic stewardship, you need to get the numbers right first.”

Will Gillibrand Run?

In the context of a large number of those who are rumored to be “considering” a 2020 run for the White House, it is at least six months premature to make a call on a possible Gillibrand run. As uncanny as it may sound, she seems totally immersed in serious consideration to doing so, primarily because of her not too subtle feud with Donald Trump. If that is really what is driving her plans regarding a run, she may find herself running up against a brick wall: Donald Trump is very proficient at creating and perpetuating pretty nasty conflict with anyone. His “Queens messaging” can be pretty crude. It would be tough for Gillibrand to take over the process that the President has seemed to have perfected: using social media to bypass traditional news methods of reaching Americans. Gillibrand has already attempted a number of times to subtly play the victim card in her conflicts with Mr. Trump, and that has not worked very effectively for her. But she has proven to be astute in navigating through the Potomac political environment so far. Only time and an actual run in the primaries will show if she can maintain such a quest.

When asked by Stephen Colbert about the rumors she would run for president in 2020, Gillibrand said, “I believe it is a moral question for me … And as I’ve traveled across my state, across this country for all these candidates, I’ve seen the hatred and division that President Trump has put out into our country and it has called me to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore the moral compass of this country … so I will promise you I will give it a long, hard thought of consideration.”

My gut suggests that Gillibrand may (at least at this point) be a little too passionate AGAINST political issues while not yet offering political positions to CHANGE current policies. She also seems to freely offer facts (as in the statistics she in error quoted show above) that are not really facts. One would expect the Media to take a potential presidential candidate to task for committing such a faux pas, BUT she is a Democrat and she is a “she.” For those, a candidate is often given a pass by the Media.

Presidential campaign seasons seem to get longer and longer every four years. Could Gillibrand survive such grueling several years? Only time will tell if Gillibrand has the heart and fortitude for doing so. The last New York Senator to tackle that task was beat up pretty bad. Hillary Clinton as the most widely known female politician was an odds-on favorite to win the presidency in 2016. Hillary failed to live in the White House as President because of 3 losses in her bids for the presidency. Certainly, those losses are weighing heavily into any decision by Gillibrand to take that step.

Only time will tell.

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Trump or a Democrat in 2020: Who Will It Be? Part Two

First, it was Michael Bloomberg — a possible candidate for the Democrat Party nomination for President. We continue today listing who is likely to run and then looking at their past. Today, we take a look at former U.S. Senator and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

“Uncle Joe” has run for President before. Biden ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, formally declaring his candidacy on June 9, 1987. He was attempting to become the youngest president since John F. Kennedy. When the campaign began, he was considered a potentially strong candidate because of his moderate image, his speaking ability on the stump, his appeal to Baby Boomers, his high-profile position as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the upcoming Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination hearings, and his fundraising appeal. He raised $1.7 million in the first quarter of 1987, more than any other candidate. By August 1987, Biden’s campaign, whose messaging was confused due to staff rivalries, had begun to lag behind those of Michael Dukakis and Dick Gephardt, although he had still raised more funds than all candidates but Dukakis, and was seeing an upturn in Iowa polls. In September 1987, the campaign ran into trouble when he was accused of plagiarizing a speech that had been made earlier that year by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labour Party. Plagiarizing allegations came up again regarding an incident that allegedly occurred when Biden was in law school. He withdrew from the nomination race on September 23, 1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by “the exaggerated shadow” of his past mistakes.

He served as the 47th Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009.

Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1942, and lived there for ten years before moving with his family to Delaware. He became an attorney in 1969 and was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 when he became the sixth-youngest senator in American history. Biden was re-elected to the upper house of Congress six times and was the fourth most senior senator when he resigned to assume the Vice Presidency in 2009. Biden was a long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Joe Biden Politically

Biden was a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He chaired it from 1987 until 1995 and he served as the ranking minority member on it from 1981 until 1987 and again from 1995 until 1997.

While chairman, Biden presided over the two most contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings in history (at least until that of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh), those for Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991. In the Bork hearings, he stated his opposition to Bork soon after the nomination, reversing an approval in an interview of a hypothetical Bork nomination he had made the previous year and angering conservatives who thought he could not conduct the hearings dispassionately. At the close, he won praise for conducting the proceedings fairly and with good humor and courage, as his 1988 presidential campaign collapsed in the middle of the hearings. Rejecting some of the less intellectually honest arguments that other Bork opponents were making, Biden framed his discussion around the belief that the U.S. Constitution provides rights to liberty and privacy that extend beyond those explicitly enumerated in the text, and that Bork’s strong originalism was ideologically incompatible with that view. (This is important to note in that recent Supreme Court nomination hearings have centered around nominees opinion on that same matter) Bork’s nomination was rejected in the committee by a 9–5 vote and then rejected in the full Senate by a 58–42 margin.

In the Thomas hearings, Biden’s questions on constitutional issues were often long and convoluted, sometimes such that Thomas forgot the question being asked. Viewers of the high-profile hearings were often annoyed by Biden’s style. Thomas later wrote that despite earlier private assurances from the senator, Biden’s questions had been akin to a beanball. The nomination came out of the committee without a recommendation, with Biden opposed. In part due to his own bad experiences in 1987 with his presidential campaign, Biden was reluctant to let personal matters enter into the hearings. Biden initially shared with the committee, but not the public, Anita Hill’s sexual harassment charges, on the grounds she was not yet willing to testify. After she did, Biden did not permit other witnesses to testify further on her behalf, such as Angela Wright (who made a similar charge) and experts on harassment. Biden said he was striving to preserve Thomas’s right to privacy and the decency of the hearings. The nomination was approved by a 52–48 vote in the full Senate, with Biden again opposed. During and afterward, Biden was strongly criticized by liberal legal groups and women’s groups for having mishandled the hearings and having not done enough to support Hill. Biden subsequently sought out women to serve on the Judiciary Committee and emphasized women’s issues in the committee’s legislative agenda.

Biden was involved in crafting many federal crime laws. He spearheaded the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law, which included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004 after its ten-year sunset period and was not renewed. It also included the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence.

Biden was critical of the actions of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr during the 1990s Whitewater controversy and Lewinsky scandal investigations and said “it’s going to be a cold day in hell” before another Independent Counsel is granted the same powers. Biden voted to acquit on both charges during the impeachment of President Clinton.

As chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, Biden wrote the laws that created the U.S. “Drug Czar”, who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy. In April 2003, he introduced the controversial Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, also known as the RAVE Act. He continued to work to stop the spread of “date rape drugs,” and drugs such as Ecstasy and Ketamine. In 2004, he worked to pass a bill outlawing steroids used by many baseball players and other athletes.

Biden’s “Kids 2000” legislation established a public/private partnership to provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access, and technical training to young people, particularly to low-income and at-risk youth.

Biden on Foreign Policy

Biden was also a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee in January 2001 and from June 2001 through 2003. When Democrats re-took control of the Senate following the 2006 elections, Biden again assumed the top spot on the committee in 2007. Biden was generally a liberal internationalist in foreign policy. He collaborated effectively with important Republican Senate figures such as Richard Lugar and Jesse Helms and sometimes went against elements of his own party. Biden was also co-chairman of the NATO Observer Group in the Senate. A partial list covering this time showed Biden meeting with some 150 leaders from nearly 60 countries and international organizations.

Biden had voted against authorization for the Gulf War in 1991,  siding with 45 of the 55 Democratic senators; he said the U.S. was bearing almost all the burden in the anti-Iraq coalition. Biden was a strong supporter of the 2001 war in Afghanistan, saying “Whatever it takes, we should do it.” Regarding Iraq, Biden stated in 2002 that Saddam Hussein was a threat to national security and that there was no option but to eliminate that threat. In October 2002, Biden voted in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, justifying the Iraq War. While he soon became a critic of the war and viewed his vote as a “mistake”, he did not push to require a U.S. withdrawal. He supported the appropriations to pay for the occupation but argued repeatedly that the war should be internationalized, that more soldiers were needed, and that the Bush administration should “level with the American people” about the cost and length of the conflict.

Joe Biden Economically

Of course, as Vice President Biden participated in the crafting and pushing through Congress the economic policies of President Obama. He supported deficit spending on fiscal stimulus in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; the increased infrastructure spending proposed by the Obama administration; mass transit, including Amtrak, bus, and subway subsidies; the reduced military spending proposed in the Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget. He supported tax increases and fought any suggestions of decreasing taxes while in the U.S. Senate and as Vice President.

Social Issues

On April 14, 2017, Biden released a statement both denouncing Chechnya authorities for their rounding up, torturing, and murdering of “individuals who are believed to be gay” and stating his hope that the Trump administration honor a prior pledge to advance human rights by confronting Russian leaders over “these egregious violations of human rights.” On June 21, during a speech at a Democratic National Committee LGBT gala in New York City, Biden said, “Hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend.”On July 26, after Trump announced a ban of transgender people serving in the military, Biden tweeted, “Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.” He also supports same-sex marriage.

During an appearance at the Brainstorm Health Conference in San Diego, California on May 2, 2017, Biden said the public “has moved ahead of the administration [on science].” On May 31, Biden tweeted that climate change was an “existential threat to our future” and remaining in the Paris Agreement was “the best way to protect our children and global leadership.” The following day, after President Trump announced his withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, Biden tweeted that the choice “imperils US security and our ability to own the clean energy future.” While appearing at the Concordia Europe Summit in Athens, Greece on June 7, Biden said, referring to the Paris Agreement, “The vast majority of the American people do not agree with the decision the president made.

Immigration Matters

Joe Biden as VP fully supported President Obama’s actions on illegal immigration. The Obama Administration downsized Homeland Security by cutting funding, minimized southern border enforcement, and actually separated illegal adults from their children in compliance with a federal court ruling. The pictures of illegal immigrant children in cages widely circulated in 2018 in the press as children separated from their parents at the border under President Trump were actually children separated in 2014 under President Obama.

On September 5, 2017, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Biden tweeted, “Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America.”

Summary

Is it politically IN-correct to mention that if elected, Joe Biden would be 79 years old when inaugurated? My first question is: Why would any 79-year-old want to start such a stressful job as U.S. President? Secondly, could any 79-year-old endure the 24/7 rigors of the requirements to fulfill the role of CEO of the largest company on Earth? “If” Joe runs, his doing so will signal his belief he can do the job and that he wants it. I know that he did when he was quite a bit younger. At 79, life circumstances and abilities diminish for us all.

Mr. Biden is a very likable guy — thus his moniker “Uncle Joe.” Yes, there are many documented circumstances and dozens and dozens of associated pictures of the former vice president getting a little too cozy with young women, often to their obvious dismay. But I have not heard of any claim of sexual harassment or of any sexual misconduct on his part.

Regarding the politics of the job: as U.S. Senator Biden, he was known for reaching out objectively to those Republican lawmakers, working together to write and pass meaningful legislation. That ability is sadly missing in Congress today. He might be able to facilitate building bridges between the two Parties to break the constant legislative logjam in Congress.

Will he run? And if he runs, can he win the Democrat Party nomination? More importantly, could a Candidate Joe Biden beat an incumbent President Donald Trump or some other Republican contender? Only time will give us those answers. Biden would bring much experience to such a race along with some credible legislative achievements. But he also would be held accountable for many of the Obama actions that many in America summarily reject.

A Biden run for President would be dicey.

 

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Trump or a Democrat in 2020: Who Will It Be? Part One

One thing is certain: NOTHING is certain about 2020 as far as electing the next President. Certainly, incumbents always seem to have an edge. But that applies to past U.S. elections. The United States presidential elections are no longer “like” past elections. Example: Donald Trump.

One thing IS certain: the landscape and operations of national elections is anything but similar to the past. Civility is gone; issue-only debates are gone; political party unity is gone. All of these past elements that controlled national elections have been forgotten, and have been replaced by Divisiveness. There can be NO question that America is completely divided. Whether one wishes to term the divisions as Republican and Democrat, Liberal and Conservative, Partisan and Non-Partisan, the rift is there. Even not yet having an exact name, we know that political rift is wide, deep, and VERY strong. That rift will determine the winners in 2020 and every national election in the foreseeable future.

Seldom does an incumbent President not run for a successive term. President Trump announced early into his presidency his plans to run for re-election. Many feel there will be at least one challenger from the Republican Party. Several have made some noise about that as a possibility, but to this point in the ramp-up process, no one has confirmed a run. But what IS certain is that Democrats galore are considering — and some have already indicated a “go” — to throw their hat into the ring. And a “ring” it will be: probably a circus ring!

As a guide for this series of stories about Democrat candidates and the ultimate prediction by TruthNewsNet of who will face a Republican challenger in 2020, we will in each chapter of this series introduce you to one or two potential Democrat candidates. Our final chapter will introduce you to the person we are fairly certain at this point will be the Democrat Party’s choice. As we name each, we will give you inside information about them, bullet-point for you their positives and negatives, and rate their chances to be the Dems’ pick to run. In each, we will disclose their views on United States politics, social issues, Immigration, Foreign Policy, and Economics.

As you certainly know, there are quite a few who have been singled out as possible contenders. We’ll narrow the field for you, but not until we give you the scoop on each. So, let’s get started.

Here today is a look and analysis of our first “possible” 2020 candidate for the Democrat Party nomination for President:

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Rubens Bloomberg is an American businessman, politician, author, and philanthropist. As of June 2018, his net worth was estimated at $51.8 billion, making him the 8th-richest person in the United States and the 11th richest person in the world. He has joined The Giving Pledge, whereby billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their wealth. Bloomberg is the founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services, mass media, and software company that bears his name, and is notable for its Bloomberg Terminal, a computer software system providing financial data widely used in the global financial services industry. He began his career at the securities brokerage Salomon Brothers, before forming his own company in 1981 and spending the next twenty years as its chairman and CEO. Bloomberg also served as chairman of the board of trustees at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, from 1996 to 2002.

 

Bloomberg Politics

Michael Bloomberg as a politician served as the 108th Mayor of New York City, holding office for three consecutive terms, beginning with his first election in 2001. A Democrat before seeking elective office, Bloomberg switched his party registration in 2001 to run for mayor as a Republican. He won a second term in 2005 and left the Republican Party two years later. Bloomberg campaigned to change the city’s term limits law and was elected to his third term in 2009 as an Independent candidate on the Republican ballot line. In 2018, Bloomberg re-registered as a Democrat.

Bloomberg is a Democrat for most of his life. He is socially liberal or progressive, supporting abortion rights, same-sex marriage, strict gun control measures, environmentalism and citizenship for illegal immigrants, for example. On economics, foreign, and domestic issues, Bloomberg tends to be conservative or moderate. He opposed a timeline for withdrawal from the Iraq War and criticized those who favored one. Economically, he supports government involvement in issues such as public welfare, while being strongly in favor of free trade, pro-business, and describing himself as a fiscal conservative because he balanced the city’s budget. He is concerned about climate change and has touted his mayoral efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses. Bloomberg has been cited for not allowing many emergency officials who responded to the September 11, 2001, attacks to attend the tenth-anniversary observation of that day. He was also at odds with many around the U.S. for not inviting any clergy to the ceremony marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Bloomberg on Social issues

Bloomberg supports abortion rights, stating, “Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right and we can never take it for granted. On this issue, you’re either with us or against us.” He has criticized “pro-choice” politicians who support “pro-life” candidates.

Bloomberg supports governmental funding for embryonic stem cell research, calling the Republican position on the issue “insanity”. He supports same-sex marriage with the rationale that “government shouldn’t tell you whom to marry.”

Bloomberg supports the strict drug laws of New York City. He has stated that he smoked marijuana in the past, and was quoted in a 2001 interview as saying “You bet I did. I enjoyed it.” This led to a reported $500,000 advertising campaign by NORML, featuring his image and the quote. Bloomberg stated in a 2002 interview that he regrets the remark and does not believe that marijuana should be decriminalized.

Bloomberg on Immigration

On issues of domestic and homeland security, Bloomberg has attacked social conservatives on immigration, calling their stance unrealistic: “We’re not going to deport 12 million people, so let’s stop this fiction. Let’s give them permanent status.”[109] He supports a federal ID database that uses DNA and fingerprint technology to keep track of all citizens and to verify their legal status. Bloomberg has held that illegal immigrants should be offered legalization and supported the congressional efforts of the late John McCain and the late Ted Kennedy in their attempt at immigration reform in 2007. Regarding border security, he compared it to the tide, stating, “It’s as if we expect border control agents to do what a century of communism could not: defeat the natural market forces of supply and demand… and defeat the natural human desire for freedom and opportunity. You might as well as sit in your beach chair and tell the tide not to come in. As long as America remains a nation dedicated to the proposition that ‘all Men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’, people from near and far will continue to seek entry into our country.” In 2006, Bloomberg stated on his weekly WABC radio show that illegal immigration does not strain the financial resources of New York City since many immigrants are hard working and “do not avail themselves of services until their situation is dire.”

Bloomberg on Foreign Policy

As mayor, Bloomberg made trips to Mexico, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Israel in the first four months of 2007. In late 2007 he conducted an Asia trip that brought him to China, where he called for greater freedom of information to promote innovation. He attended the United Nations Climate Conference in Bali. Initially, Bloomberg strongly supported the war in Iraq and the rationale for going in. He stated, “Don’t forget that the war started not very many blocks from here,” alluding to Ground Zero. In regard to the Global War on Terrorism including Iraq, he said, “It’s not only to protect Americans. It’s America’s responsibility to protect people around the world who want to be free.” During the 2004 presidential election campaign, New York City hosted the Republican National Convention at which Bloomberg endorsed President George W. Bush for President of the United States.

Bloomberg Economics

Bloomberg characterizes himself as a fiscal conservative for turning the city’s $6-billion deficit into a $3-billion surplus; however, conservative PAC Club for Growth has criticized him because he increased property taxes and spending while doing so.

Being a fiscal conservative is not about slashing programs that help the poor, or improve health care, or ensure a social safety net. It’s about insisting services are provided efficiently, get to only the people that need them, and achieve the desired results. Fiscal conservatives have hearts too – but we also insist on using our brains, and that means demanding results and holding government accountable for producing them. To me, fiscal conservatism means balancing budgets – not running deficits that the next generation can’t afford. It means improving the efficiency of delivering services by finding innovative ways to do more with less. It means cutting taxes when possible and prudent to do so, raising them overall only when necessary to balance the budget, and only in combination with spending cuts. It means when you run a surplus, you save it; you don’t squander it. And most importantly, being a fiscal conservative means preparing for the inevitable economic downturns – and by all indications, we’ve got one coming.
— Michael Bloomberg, speech to UK Conservative Party, September 30, 2007

Bloomberg has expressed a distaste of taxes, stating, “Taxes are not good things, but if you want services, somebody’s got to pay for them, so they’re a necessary evil.”

Summary

The question most should ask is whether or not Bloomberg will actually run. He has indicated several times an interest to run for president in the past, but those runs never materialized. Maybe, just maybe his ongoing dislike for President Trump and many Trump policies may spur him to enter the race. The two have much history. And remember this: what does every billionaire on Earth have? Answer: pretty much everything they want. However, this billionaire — Michael Bloomberg — can make only one political accomplishment claim: that of being New York City mayor — three times. You may find it hard to believe that a guy worth $50+ Billion would want the daily horrors of U.S. politics in his lap 24/7. When pondering that, however, just remember that Michael Bloomberg looks at the world from a bit different perspective than do all but 100 or so people on Earth. Bloomberg is a multi-billionaire who is accustomed to having and doing anything he wants. United States President is probably on Michael Bloomberg’s bucket list. And why not? He like Trump has been very successful in private business and Bloomberg at his personal sojourn into politics as New York City Mayor.

Not unlike almost every other politician, after their time in office, they can point to wins and losses, accomplishments and failures, and can (and often do) point to other people and circumstances that played roles in those wins and losses that are often more substantial than their own. Bloomberg as not just a politician, but a billionaire politician, must deal with the negative trappings that come with having lots of dollars. But on a positive note about dollars, Bloomberg was able to spend approximately a quarter of a billion of his personal dollars on were costs included in his three successful campaigns for New York City Mayor. Advertising in New York is pretty costly!

Whatever he does next, Bloomberg said, when he looks back on his three terms as mayor he is content to know that he defied special interests. “Yes, it’s nice to have everybody love you,” he said. “And, yes, I don’t like the question ‘Why is your polling down?’ But the truth of the matter is that if fifty to sixty percent of the people still think you’re doing a good job after twelve years in office—that’s pretty good. It’s like skiing. If you tell me you don’t fall, you’re not skiing the double black diamonds.”

Daniel Doctoroff, a deputy mayor in Bloomberg’s administration from 2002 to 2008 and now the president and C.E.O. of Bloomberg L.P., said, “Mike is not afraid to be criticized or to be wrong. He cares much less about how people think of him than anyone I’ve ever known. He’s comfortable with himself. He’s highly self-confident. Yet he doesn’t have a big ego.”

What will determine if a Michael Bloomberg run for the Democrat Party nomination for President will happen? It certainly will NOT be based on money. If Bloomberg was willing to personally shell-out $250 Million for the New York City Mayor’s job, what would it be worth personally to run for President? Add his money to what the DNC would throw in, and a Bloomberg campaign would certainly enter the 2020 race way ahead of any Republican candidate in dollars and cents.

But will rank and file Democrats support a billionaire from the East Coast? Hillary saw Middle America reject a coastal elite in 2016, choosing another billionaire. The question is: could Bloomberg copy Trump’s ability to fully engage the Middle Class sufficient to win?

As American voters, we will not know if Bloomberg will give it a go for a couple of years. And we certainly will not know if he can grab that win until that November evening that is just two short years ahead. Until then, we will push ahead, looking at other Democrats who may be ready for a run.

 

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Prediction

Months before Donald Trump even hinted at throwing his hat in the 2016 run for the White House, I online wrote a story predicting he would not only run, but would win. My friends and associates laughed hysterically at my thought that such an arrogant, self-absorbed, reality show star could possibly win a presidential election — especially against the odds-on favorite Hillary Clinton. And so they were wrong and I was right.

Fast forward to today and the short trip to the 2020 election. Surely President Trump is the preemptive favorite to again carry the GOP banner. But who will run as the choice of Democrats? There is a virtual logjam of possible Dem candidates. But there are a handful who are “likelies” to run.

Is it too early to start a conversation about 2020? Is that a conversation you want to have? Why not!

Over the next few days, TruthNewsNet.org will analyze the top 5 Democrat “likely” candidates for the Democrat Party nomination to run against President Trump in 2020. AND…at the end of the analysis, I will tell you who the Democrat nominee will be.

Some will read from a perspective of honest curiosity to learn about possible candidates and who they really are. We have many members that lean left who will be looking in to see what those on the right are thinking. Whichever way you lean, check in starting tomorrow — if for no other reason to follow the crowd who wants to see a TruthNewsNet.org prediction fail!

It will be interesting just for hearing about this researcher’s ideas of possible candidates. It will be educational because you’ll see who they really are based on factual past performances as leaders and what they stand for. It will be fun because you can all watch with us as the “Race for the White House 2020” begins! And you’ll remember my predictions and your thoughts about those from the very beginning. In fact: you can leave YOUR prediction comments for others to see.

See you starting tomorrow!

Dan

Election Chaos: Just Me…

I have maintained basic silence and watched along with you as the Midterm Election chaos morphed from being a simple national election to a bitter, strife-filled, name-calling, Identity Political, all-out travesty reminiscent of 2000, 2004, and 2016. The epicenter of this “holocaust” was, once again, Florida.

As I watched the drama unfold, I could not help but “SMH” (I know now that means “shake my head”) in anger and disgust as the one thing that must always be the focus of every election in the United States was either lost, forgotten, or both: the will of the American People. The Peoples’ will is the ONLY thing that matters in elections. It was totally invisible in the vitriolic rhetoric we watched play out in press conferences, news reports on television, newspaper stories, and even the never-ending interviews that every network seemed driven to get with that one person who shared the anchor’s political perspective to weigh-in with THEIR opinion of “Who Won.” 

It is sadly apparent that most in the political system of the United States have lost their way in leading the nation in this most sacred of events that separate the heretofore greatest country in World history from every other country: free and democratic elections that provide every American citizen to cast their vote without any government restriction for whomever they choose to support. It’s gone! And that fact has been driven home over and over for the last week+ while the squabbles happen regarding election chaos all across the nation.

Today I am not going down the road of which Republican got kicked to the curb, whether there was a red or blue wave or how tall the wave was, whether any candidate is racist or misogynistic or homophobic or islamophobic. Today I want to open an honest discussion with you about one thing: our election process. I want you to think through this with me. I want us together to think of ways we can make it better, make it work — whether that means to blow-up the existing process and starting over or just calling in the remodeler to move a few walls, fix the plumbing, and spread some new paint. Let’s go!

The Process Today

States run these elections. Yes, state-run elections include processing local voters who cast their votes on the same day at the same voting precinct at the same time as they elect candidates running for state AND federal offices. Most states use some type of electronic voting equipment or a hybrid system that combines manual AND electronic voting. But there is NO uniformity, NO standard, NO measure of any of these particular voting processes, voting systems, and NO unified accountability requisite standards set to assure each voter their vote is properly processed and that their choices for their supported candidates count. And there’s no method structured to uniformly ferret out election pandering. Is that not insane!

Look at what’s at stake: every two years we elect 435 representatives from across the country to represent citizens from every state, county or parish, and every city and town to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Included in each of those elections is the selection of members to serve in the U.S. Senate. Every four years, in addition to the House of Representatives, Senators whose terms are expiring, we also elect a U.S. President and Vice President. Completing this process every other year timely, accurately, and with the certainty that each election is accurate and without any vote-tampering MUST be the #1 objective for every member of the United States Government and all state and local governments. That does NOT seem to be the case now. The voting system MUST be repaired or replaced.

Do We have Election Fraud?

I really do not know. Remember that a month before the 2016 elections, President Obama laughed at statements by then Candidate Trump that he was concerned about election tampering. Obama said there was “no serious” person who would suggest it was possible to rig American elections, adding, “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

Obama made that statement thinking it would never be made public that just two months before he attacked Trump, Obama’s FBI had informed the President that there were indeed serious and credible attempts that had been made in previous elections by Russians and other foreign governments to impact the results of U.S. elections. The FBI assured Obama that they had credible evidence that such tampering would be initiated in the November 2016 election — the very election for which Obama arrogantly dismissed Donald Trump’s election-tampering concerns.

If Obama knew about election tampering attempts and hid those from the American people (which he did), what other attempted election tampering and/or fraud have there been? And has any of it been successful?

What is scariest to me in all this is that it is implausible to believe that with the sophistication of electronic technology and the expertise of individuals within foreign governments like Russia, China, and Japan, such election tampering has not in anyway been successful. One thing IS certain though: when American politicians try to cover-up anything, there’s a reason. And it almost always is that what they are hiding is real — and that they know it.

Correcting U.S. Election Voting Issues

  • Remove the election of federal officials from state voting control: that’s a must. There are far too many opportunities for mistakes — whether accidental or intentional — when these voting systems are operated in large part by volunteers, even with state or local oversight;
  • Totally do-away with electronic elections. We see almost daily the horrors of internet interference in virtually every operation of every type that takes place electronically. Let’s face it: people invent machines, electronic processes, the ability for computers to connect, transfer data and information instantly worldwide. That means those same people certainly possess the ability to monitor, alter, delete and even steal anything that is contained in electronic storage that can be accessed via the internet. Finland is a very advanced technological country. Years ago Finland ditched their fully computerized election system. Why? Because they discovered there was no way to ensure the security, fairness, accuracy, and therefore the results of elections to actually be that of the votes as cast by their voters.
  • Return U.S. voting to manual ballots. I’ll certainly get some pushback on this, primarily because doing so seems to be a step back technological capabilities. But, as Finland learned, it is far easier to distribute, manually vote and manually count votes that assures the citizens of their country every legal vote cast was counted and that within that process there was certainly NO ONE hindered the inclusion of any legal vote and NO ONE tampered in any way with each election.

Summary

There surely are many details of such a system that must be addressed before blowing-up our current system. But smart people who can share creative ideas with organized people who can direct U.S. resources necessary to a revised election system that is cost-effective and practical. I could offer a plan here, but I prefer to throw this concept out in the open to see if anyone agrees with me and might be willing to share some specific ideas.

Certainly, the U.S. Department of Justice could easily create a division of “Federal Election Operations and Accountability” (FEOA) that would construct, implement, and manage such an operation. Congress would be required to craft and pass a law that could be really simple, concise, and easily drafted and fund such a system.

Such a system controlled totally by the Feds could operate side-by-side with state and local election processes. But if so, the federal process would certainly be required to be segregated in structure to certify election results’ accuracy.

Can this be done? Will it be done?

You know, of late I have become a bit jaded at the fairness and honesty of the operations of government at federal, state, and local levels — especially with leaders in our federal government. I simply do not trust their following through with mandates given them by voters. I have NO doubt such a system could be put in place and put in place in short order. But I don’t have confidence such a process will really ever be implemented.

I’ll scare you a bit: I think that many on Capitol Hill would love to see elections be stopped totally at the federal level! This demands a separate conversation because of its blockbuster nature, and we may do that. But think this through: Have you not watched and wondered why law enforcement officials at every government level allow the continuation and the dramatic escalation of attacks — verbal, written, oral, and physical — on individuals and groups of other political persuasions? ANTIFA, White Supremacists, and other militant groups in large are being allowed to run rampant. Why do you think that is?

“IF” government officials could continue to gain more and more examples of unrest among the populace that lead to violence, does that not fuel their ability to push for the cessation of the voting process?

“Americans are too divided, too divisive, too angry and without the ability to reason anymore. The American public no longer has any real capability to discern who are the best candidates to put in various political offices. We should abolish the antiquated election system in the U.S. and allow the government to choose who should be in office.”

I don’t think we are very far from hearing that cry from those who are screaming louder and louder every day for more and more government intrusion in every area of our lives. Such a move seems to be just another stepping stone for a utopian life they want us all to experience.

Ridiculous?

I hope so!

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Do You Believe in Election Polls?

Election Day 2018: a day that holds magic keys to a large part of the immediate future of the United States of America. Today, millions of Americans — and apparently many more than in normal midterm elections — are headed to the polls to decide (among numerous state and local offices) who will represent the American populace in 435 chairs in the House of Representatives along with an assortment of U.S. Senate seats. This will probably go down in history as the most contentious midterm election in the U.S. And many are already saying it is the most important election in our lifetime.

This election just like most is driven by media polls. Media polls are as different from each other as the North is from the South. Each polling entity claims to have the most accurate results, the fairest and most comprehensive samples as the basis for their numbers, and they all poo-pah their competition. But are they accurate?

The Polls

Take a look at the Real Clear Politics list of polls from the day before the 2016 election and on election day:

(right-click to download poll)

I know it’s tough to read because there are so many lines that include the polls from multiple polling companies and their data summaries. The point to make with this is illustrated best by looking at the far right column in which Real Clear Politics shows the final numbers for each poll on each day based on the party color of the candidate that is ahead. Note that in that far right column, almost every poll is blue — Democrat. And that means Hillary Clinton. The few lines that show red final numbers are Trump’s. According to every national polling service but one, Donald Trump was to lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton.

Leftists explain this away by stating that the polls showed only the popular vote. (Hillary reportedly won the popular vote by over a million votes.) What those same leftists do not want to mention is that we do NOT elect presidents by popular vote. The electoral college determines the ultimate winner in presidential elections.

Polls showed that Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide in the electoral college as well. The Real Clear Politics summary poll of the electoral college projections showed Hillary would win that vote 331-207. Trump won the electoral college AND the White House 306-232. How and why do these guys miss so badly?

Let’s just be completely honest:

  • There are 335 million people in the U.S. How can any polling company put create a fair template that actually models accurately a sample of American voters? It is a virtually impossible task, as their results prove. What’s a sample size that should be considered a “fair” sample? What mix of cell phone and landlines to use in contact is truly representative? What percentage of party split is accurate in the chosen geographic region of the sample used?
  • How do they create their samples? The term we have all become familiar with as a result of the Facebook scandals is “algorithm.” Every polling entity prepares a secret algorithm (or “formula”) that supposedly factors in each variable that is integral in accurately estimating who to poll in the polling process which includes specifics of those polled and the compilation of their polling results. That algorithm must include accurate estimates of likely voters within each of these classifications: male or female, age, ethnicity, income level, employment status, homeownership status, education level, voting history, marital status, and, of course, political party affiliation.
  • What days of the month and/or days of the week should polling calls be made? Who should make those calls: male or female, African-American or Caucasian; English speaking or Spanish or “other;” which area codes and which exchanges to include; the actual questions that are asked; how many questions; how long should each call be; the time of day to place calls. Often those called refuse to answer certain questions asked. How many answered questions must occur in each call to include those  results in polling data?

There are many more questions to be considered.

Polling Companies

Here’s an alphabetical list of the 22 best known national election polling companies. Included are the hyperlinks for you to use. If you want to look at any of these companies’ websites, just click on the highlighted company name to be linked to their site. It is noteworthy that there are dozens of more such companies in existence. Most of those are specialty or “niche” polling services that specialize in certain types of polls. Those have not been included.

The purpose of listing these is to illustrate just how many “reputable” companies there are who extrapolate data from likely voters in each election — local, state, or national — to fulfill specific polling requirements. Why do these companies go to such trouble when everyone knows that poll results are at best sketchy, at worst totally unreliable?

Virtually every campaign organization budgets some amount of money to do their own “internal” polling. Most candidates foam at the mouth for the status of probable votes during each campaign. To get those results, someone must obtain the numbers and compile the data. National campaigns spend millions of dollars in each campaign cycle for polling data.

It is strange to me that while knowing just how unreliable is most polling information given by the polling entities, campaigns continue to beat the drum called “Numbers.” Why is that?

Good polling numbers mean good campaign contributions: “Follow the Money!”

Poll Results Morph into Campaign Bucks

It has always puzzled me why Americans allow this election campaign financial boondoggle to continue. Yet every two years, we all signup to be willing participants in it. How much do these campaigns cost?

The final price tag for the 2016 election is $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined, according to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.org. The presidential contest — primaries and all — accounts for $2.4 billion of that total. That means that in the 2016 Congressional election process, candidates spent $4.1 billion. The 535 members of Congress each spent an average of $7.663,551.40 in their campaigns. But wait: not every Senate seat was in that election. That means that the actual dollars spent for each seat for which there WAS an election was higher than $7.663,551.40!

Let’s look at Congressional dollars and cents another way: how much in salary and benefits do members of Congress make?

  • The current salary (2018) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.
  • Leaders of the House and Senate are paid a higher salary than rank-and-file members.
    Senate Leadership

    Majority Party Leader – $193,400
    Minority Party Leader – $193,400

    House Leadership

    Speaker of the House – $223,500
    Majority Leader – $193,400
    Minority Leader – $193,400

Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation. Since all provisions of the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” took effect in 2014, members of Congress have been required to purchase health insurance plans offered through one of the Affordable Care Act-approved exchanges in order to receive a government contribution toward their health coverage.

Average Annual Pensions

According to the Congressional Research Service, there were 611 retired members of Congress receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of October 1, 2016. Of this number, 335 had retired under CSRS (former retirement program) and were receiving an average annual pension of $74,028. A total of 276 Members had retired with service under FERS (current retirement program) and were receiving an average annual pension of $41,076 in 2016.

Allowances

Each member of Congress receives an amount of money each year — an “Allowance” — from which support staff personnel and all office and travel expenses are to be paid. In 2016, for example, the office personnel allowance for each member was $944,671 to be spent on up to 18 staffers.

Summary

No doubt, some will shake their heads when realizing just how much money those 535 members of Congress cost taxpayers — not to mention the additional expenses required to operate Congress and the U.S. Capitol. (See  “The “Bottomless Pit:” The U.S. Congress published here at TNN on October 18, 2018, to get exact costs of everything to taxpayers for Congressional operations) But even knowing that, how can anyone in their right mind obligate themselves every two years to raise an average of $7.66 million to pay for a campaign to obtain a job that at most pays them $200,000 – $250,000 per year? Why would they?

The only logical answer again is “Follow the Money.” The “off-ledger” financial benefits of serving in Congress are staggering. (again see details in that October 18th story) It’s for the “whole banana” they do it. That’s why it is so important to raise all that campaign money — not just to pay for their actual costs of simple campaigns. They must raise and spend those millions  to secure election victories, often with little or no consideration of policy matters. And far too often, the concerns and desires of the voters from the districts for which those candidates seek election are seldom concerns to the candidates, if they are ever that important!

Now you understand just why election polls are so important and therefore attract dozens of companies that charge millions of dollars to turn out results of voter preferences.

You see above just how accurate those polling entities were in the runup to the 2016 elections: they were horrible. What do they think about election results for these midterms? I’ve posted the Real Clear Politics numbers released today. (see below) Save those and Wednesday compare their accuracy to the inaccuracies across the board from 2016.

You’ll see how little accuracy in projections of election results really are. And you’ll understand why Americans should summarily disregard election polling results — PERIOD. They are all “About the Money!”

Real Clear Politics Monday, November 5, 2018

(right-click to download poll)

Wanna Know Who’ll Win the Midterms?

Introduction

I received a bunch of feedback about the “tease” yesterday about today’s story. I simply thought your weekend news digesting before college football would be piqued by a few minutes away from the political fray we’ve all been immersed in for so long. Even though this story today is about the midterm elections, it’s outside of the hype of polls and polling data.

In our non-stop research I uncovered an interesting entity called FairVote. What is SO intriguing to us about them is that they are NOT pollsters, NOT political hacks, really are “non-partisan,” and a scientific analysis entity with no “dog in the hunt.”

As you go through the data, explanations of how they operate and look at their projection record, remember this: the political landscape of America is changing dramatically. In the last decade, in fact, it has morphed from something that is honestly a mundane practice of democracy to something that closely resembles a Barnum-and-Bailey circus! (At least it is certainly a sideshow) In way of explanation, all one must do is look back a couple of years at the 2016 presidential election and all the hoopla leading up to it to understand this: election projections are apparently NOT a science — even if there is science to enable reasonable and realistic outcomes. Why is that?

Does anybody reading this today not yet realize the zoo we call elections is without question an economic boon for every media company in America, whether that company is an actual news broadcast or reporting entity, a political lobbying firm, political party or Political Action Committee (PAC), or any entity in a support capacity for any of these. “Follow the Money!” Realizing that makes it a bit easier to understand why political polls, analysis, and projections are always all over the place: dollars drive results.

FairVote is a not-for-profit entity that uses scientific analysis methods (detailed below) that have resulted in some mind-boggling accurate results in Congressional elections — only in the House of Representatives. I found it curious they focus primarily on just House races, and not the Senate or presidential elections. But in their computations, they do use all previous federal election results to set a pattern that factors heavily in their calculations.

Enough of my drivel! Meet FairVote.

I’ll see you back here for a wrap-up.

FairVote and How it Works

FairVote’s methodology projects with high confidence only the very safest seats. With 435 seats elected every cycle, you might think that means 50 or 60 incumbents. Think again. This year they are projecting 374 seats with high confidence – that’s nearly 86% of House seats. Almost every incumbent seeking re-election can feel very confident about victory in November 2018, no matter who their opponent is, how much is spent, or what kind of partisan wave there might be.

 

To underscore our level of confidence, they made similar projections going into 2012, 2014 and 2016 in a total of 1,062 House races. They missed only one seat – that means their high confidence projections have an accuracy rate of more than 99.9%. The 2018 report shows the most ossified electoral landscape yet, being the first year they have projected more than 370 seats at this degree of confidence. The following map shows each congressional seat as an equal area. Only the yellow seats are in play; the purple seats are all safe enough to be projected with high confidence.

Seats_in_Play.png

In addition to the 374 high-confidence projections, FairVote also projects favorites for the other 61 seats, though at a lower level of confidence. There are an additional 40 seats that clearly favor one party over the other, but not enough to warrant a projection. That leaves only 21 true “toss up” seats that only very slightly lean to one party. When they projected all 435 seats in 2016, they were remarkably accurate, even in the lower confidence projections. Of the 56 seats FairVote did not project, but which favored one of the parties, they were right in 50 (89.3% correct). Of the 18 seats that were true “toss-ups” with only a very slight lean toward one of the parties, they were right in 12 (66.7% correct). That means the full projections were correct in 423 out of 435 districts (97.2% correct). Those projections were made more than two years before the 2016 elections.

 

What makes this all the more disturbing is that FairVote’s remarkable accuracy ignores all polls, all demographic characteristics of the districts, and ignores the incumbent’s voting record and any scandals. They use only the presidential election results (both in the district and nationally) from 2016, and the incumbent’s performance in prior elections. The only updates they make after receiving have that data is to remove incumbents when they announce that they will not seek re-election and to recalculate projections if a state redraws its district lines. FairVote explains their methodology in the report in detail, but the overwhelmingly important factor is a district’s partisanship, measured only by the relative presidential vote in that district.

The two-party preference has varied over the years from 54.3% for Democrats in 2008 to 53.5% for Republicans in 2010; in 2016 it was 50.51% for Republicans. The “incumbency bump” that shows the extra percentage points earned by an incumbent in a given year has ranged from a high of 7.7% in 2000 to a low of 2.8% in 2014; In 2016 it was 3.3% percent.

Their state-by-state analysis drives home the entrenchment of incumbents under the current system, underscoring why it was no surprise that more than 98% won re-election in 2016. In more than half of the states, FairVote project every single House seat. Every incumbent seeking re-election is projected as safe in a total of 27 states. Many of these are large states with multiple seats, including Ohio (all 16 seats safe), Georgia (all 14 seats safe), and North Carolina (all 13 seats safe). They project a majority of the seats in every state except Delaware and New Hampshire, which only have one and two seats respectively.

The way we elect representatives in Congress does not create a fair reflection of the voters who elect them. There are 19 states where FairVote has already called more seats for one political party than that party should earn according to its statewide partisanship. In fact, there are three states where they can already safely project that one party will earn at least three seats more than the state’s partisanship suggests they should win (North Carolina and Ohio for Republicans, and Massachusetts for Democrats). If using projections for every seat, fully 32 of the 50 states would disproportionately favor one party over the other in a 50-50 year.

As a whole, the national landscape tilts in favor of Republicans, with Republicans sitting on 208 safe seats, only 10 away from a majority, and 22 additional unprojected seats favoring Republicans. Looking at the “tipping point” median district, FairVote projects that Democrats would need to earn more than 55% of national two-party preference among voters to earn even a one-seat majority. That imbalance creates a core problem of accountability. Power is exercised most responsibly when those in power believe they might lose if they cannot keep majority support.

Summary

Before anyone gets emotional distraught or hillariously happy, please understand that these projections are based on logical facts derived from various scientific and historical events. They do NOT have any basis other than the past. They have no basis drawn from polls, campaign ads, current political events like U.S. foreign policy, the economy, or even on the immigration issues and policies now front-and-center because of the Central American caravan headed to the U.S. southern border.

Will there be a blue wave as Democrats have declared? Will there be a red wave that shocks most of America? Will Nancy Pelosi as she has famously declared in the last 48 hours take back possession of the House leadership gavel? NO ONE knows for sure — not Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Paul Ryan, FOX News, The New York Times, or any candidate, not even President Trump.

So what can you do about election results? There’s only one thing that matters, and one thing only: VOTE. Americans — both those Americans who vote and those who do not — will determine the outcome of this election as they have in every election.

The constitution of the House of Representatives is not the only political institution or office that is stake in these midterms. The U.S. Senate, governorships, and many local and state elections are at stake. The best shot for every American to have a say-so in the outcomes of each of these races is to VOTE.

And if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the results of these House and Senate races or any other race in your state or municipality.

Will the House race results prove to be another successful analysis by FairVote? Tune in Tuesday evening, November 6. We’ll all know for sure!

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