Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 6, 2006

ELECTION/PRIMARY DAY IN EIGHT STATES....For early-June, today is a surprisingly important day for elections nationwide. Voters in eight states will go to the polls, including what will probably be the most important race between now and November. Among the highlights:

California's 50th congressional district: The race to pick Duke Cunningham's replacement was supposed to be easy for the GOP. It's a conservative San Diego district, which backed Bush over Kerry by double digits two years ago. Today, however, Francine Busby (D) will face former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R), and it's too close to call. The Republican establishment, in a near panic over what a defeat here might mean nationwide, has spent about $5 million on the race, and sent as many as 150 operatives to the district to eke out what they hope will be a narrow victory. The winner will fill the seat immediately, but stand for re-election in the fall.

California's Democratic gubernatorial primary: State Treasurer Phil Angelides and State Controller Steve Westly have fought a very nasty primary for the right to take on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). The San Diego Union-Tribune reported today that the results may be unclear for up to a week due to absentee ballots and a "laborious" manual counting system.

Montana's Democratic Senate primary: State Senate President Jon Tester will face state Auditor John Morrison today, the winner of which will take on Abramoff-plagued Sen. Conrad Burns (R). Tester seems to have the momentum, though polls show the two about even. The winner has a real shot at picking up the seat; a recent Mason-Dixon poll showed Burns trailing both of his Democratic rivals.

Alabama's gubernatorial primaries: On the Republican side, incumbent Gov. Bob Riley is poised to crush theocrat Roy Moore in the GOP primary, while among Democrats, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley is expected to beat former Gov. Don Siegelman, who has been running despite facing racketeering and bribery charges.

Iowa's Democratic gubernatorial primary: In the race to succeed Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), Democrats will choose between Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver, former state economic development director Mike Blouin, and state Rep. Ed Fallon. The most recent Des Moines Register poll showed Culver with an eight-point lead over Blouin, his closest rival. The winner will take on Rep. Jim Nussle (R) in November.

New Jersey's Senate primaries: Sen. Robert Menendez (D) and state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R) are supposed to cruise to easy victories, but keep an eye on the GOP primary. Conservative activist John Ginty (R) has picked up considerable far-right support, and if Kean doesn't win by a lot, it could reflect trouble for him in November.

So, any predictions?

Steve Benen 1:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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i'm not holding my breath for the 50th to come through for Busby. we've been in this situation one too many times before in the recent past, and it's hard to get one's hope up. it is a very conservative district, and who knows what will happen when those folks (whose sound electoral judgment gave rise to the Duke-stir) enter the polls.

montana's primary is win-win, as far as i'm concerned, though it would be rewarding for Tester, who ran/is running a great campaign.

Posted by: beefcake blogger on June 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

So, any predictions?

If Busby does manage to win, she'll have the illegal immigrant swing vote to thank.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 6, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

well, it didn't take long for those thoroughly dishonest talking points to make an appearance on this thread. nice work, AH.

Posted by: beefcake blogger on June 6, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and speaking of Florida - just found this over at Rueters:

Florida crime-scene students find dead man
Tue Jun 6, 2006 1:30 PM ET
MIAMI (Reuters) - A group of Florida criminology students working a fake crime scene stumbled across a real corpse on a field trip to study forensics.

Posted by: CFShep on June 6, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK


I'm stepping away from the keyboard.

Posted by: CFShep on June 6, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm more hopeful about Tester than about Busby, although if Busby wins, the media will go nuts.

I'd bet on Angelides over Westly; he's got better depth.

Don't know about Iowa, and I don't think it matters about Alabama.

Posted by: bleh on June 6, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

The Iowa race will be interesting--Blouin's a "I'm personally opposed to abortion but I won't work to stop them" Democrat, versus mainstream Culver and a Feingold liberal Fallon. It's unfortunate that Fallon's not realistically in the running--in one AP story I saw yesterday, he wasn't even mentioned as a candidate.

Posted by: Paul on June 6, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

If Busby does manage to win, she'll have the illegal immigrant swing vote to thank.
Posted by: American Hawk on June 6, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Or, perhaps the "why should we vote for another bribery scandal" swing vote.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 6, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, am going to be so &%$#@ing glad when this election day has passed. My phone is ringing off the hook (it's now on silent, and I can watch the number of pre-recorded messages creep up by the hour) and my mail is overflowing with political ads. I have at least a dozen from one guy alone.

Between the governor (CA) and mayor (Oakland) races, I've just about had it. And this comes from someone who's done GOTV and who is politically active! I can't imagine how alienated and disgusted I'd be if I was a typical "both sides suck" kind of voter.

Posted by: snarktini on June 6, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I can't imagine how alienated and disgusted I'd be if I was a typical "both sides suck" kind of voter.

I'd like to see some research on how effective the prerecorded stuff is versus how many annoyed voters actually withhold support from candidates who use this method. In fact, I'll go look for that research now.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

So what the hell is going on in CA-50? I read about this BS "papers" quote at the end of last week, and since then there's been a virtual blackout- is she done because of that fake issue peddled by the right wing noise machine? Is there any indication of what's going on since the last poll showing it within MOE? Is Busby going to lost by 10 because of this or is it still close? Everything I've read says it's close but the attitude I've been picking up suggests people have given up.

Posted by: SP on June 6, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop -- The messages from Jerry Brown have been my favorites so far. He's annoyed me for sure but at least he's had the decency and humor to begin each message by saying "Hi, this is Jerry Brown. I know you're annoyed by all these messages, but I think it's really important...blah blah blah."

Right now, I'm definitely withholding my vote from the guy (John Russo) who's sent me all the mail in addition to a bunch of messages. His aggressiveness and tone have really put me off. Not to mention he left at message on my machine at 7:55 AM, which is not even legal.

Posted by: snarktini on June 6, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I have to skedaddle, but wanted to say one more thing: Jerry Brown is a hoot. Not sure what I think of his job as mayor of Oakland and don't know if I'll vote for him for Attorney General, but you've got to give the guy credit for his unique trajectory. Governor, then prez candidate, then mayor, and now he wants to be AG? Truth is stranger than fiction.

Posted by: snarktini on June 6, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I had a short conversation with Brown when he was running for president and found him as hootful as snarktini says. A strange and intriguing personality.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

According to redstate, Busby backtracked on it this morning, but the redstaters glee seems a bit premature, as no one will hear about this latest comment in time to do any damage, and no outside of the conservative media or blogosphere heard about the first comment in the first place.
I agree with beefcake above; I'd love for her to win, but we've been here before and the district is heavily GOP. Long shot victory again, and if we lose we'll hear about the 0-for-whatever record of Kos candidates, etc...

Posted by: torrentprime on June 6, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

My family and I voted for Fallon this morning in Iowa, with my spouse actually switching from Independent to vote for Ed in the primary. (Quite a few folks did that, to judge from letters to the editor in the Des Moines Register.)

I doubt he'll win but hope he'll do "better than expected" - campaigning against special interests and "bought" legistatures/tors has gotten him a lot of favorable attention here. Some of the party faithful are still angry that he supported Nader, which cost him some support.

Posted by: I never post on June 6, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I saw Jerry Brown give a speech a year before he ran for CA Governator, at a 1973 leftie convention where a man named Waldie was the favored candidate of the Birkenstock Horde. I was only 15, but I left the convention convinced that Brown was an independent thinker, perhaps the only one speaking that night.

You know, being governor and pres candidate isnt the last act of your career unless you plan to sell out as "consultant" for the rest of your days. When you are as young as JBrown was, why not take on other public-service challenges?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 6, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

The AL race to watch is the Democratic AG race. I had figured that John Tyson Jr. would win easily, but apparently polls had him running neck-and-neck with Larry Darby. Darby's the guy who:

1. Founded of the Atheist Law Center;
2. Is a Holocaust denier;
3. Wants to round up all the Mexicans;
4. Etc.

Apparently, Tyson was up six points, but with about 2/3 undecided. Nobody's paying attention to this race, and a lot of the time the guy who's first in the alphabet wins. D comes before T.

Posted by: Mac Thomason on June 6, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

If Busby does manage to win, she'll have the illegal immigrant swing vote to thank.
Posted by: American ChickenHawk

So illegals can vote now? Your mendaciousness is exceeded only by your stupidity.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 6, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

So illegals can vote now? Your mendaciousness is exceeded only by your stupidity.

As Busby pointed out, you don't need papers for voting. CA will give you a drivers license without verifying citizienship. You can register to vote with a drivers license. You can then vote without even presenting the license.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 6, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just got back from voting (CA)... Pretty quiet at the polls.

One feature I really don't remember from previous elections: We've been bombarded for the last two weeks with automated election telephone calls-- as many as 4 a day. Sooooo annoying. Is there a democrat do-not-call list???

Posted by: Drinker Nisti on June 6, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Illegals certainly can and will vote this November in Washington state. All they have to do to register with no picture I.D. of any kind, only an address on a utility bill. Are the illegal Latinos fired up enough to do it? Of course they are, and the Democrat Party is already preparing to smear anybody who tries to stop this election fraud as a bully and a racist. Suppose I identify 99 illegals who have registered to vote, and one guy who actually did become a citizen last week I slurred by calling him a vote cheat too. The Seattle Times will headline my one mistake and I will get sued.
As a Republican candidate myself, I have two
responses to this. The first is the Bush plan--I turned out for Cinco de Mayo with signs in Spanish and worked the crowd hard on education, moral values, and truancy issues. Most Hispanic people are still not all that far removed from a Catholic heritage and I find people who agree with me a lot.
The second response is the one that is going to outrage Seattle liberals big time. They think they can outright steal another election with illegal voting by non-citizens because in Washington voters are on the "honor system" and as a practical matter it is impossible to identify and prove non-citizenship for any particular name registered to vote, especially when that address listed on the registration form turns out not to be a residence address after all or is certainly not a current residence.
But I talk to an awful lot of "legal" immigrants in our very diverse district who are Ukrainians, Koreans, Philipino, Sub-Sarahan Africans, even Iraqi or Iranian. These good folks are patiently
plugging away on the citizenship process and most wouldn't think of voting before their time. Many of them are also cultural conservatives, having come from nations where their religion was blatantly persecuted.
I am on the point of suggesting to these thousands of people that they are being saps if they don't register and vote this election cycle. They will be leapfrogged by a group that is out for immediate political power without even have to wait for valid citizenship. The sad truth is that we are going to have an election in November that has no prayer of not being another big fraud.
Liberals in this state have long championed fuzzy voter registration, fuzzier vote counting, and even fuzzy census numbers to justify their frauds. They are about to pull off an enormous crime against democracy. I suppose, in their backslapping little conclaves, they chuckle over this and observe that democracy can't work in Iraq because the culture is too primitive and it no longer works in America because conservatives are so despicable, so any means justifies the ends.
The ironic thing is that to vote in the Chiapas region of Mexico a picture I.D. is required to register, must be shown again at the polls, and a fingerprint is also taken. Of course, most I.D.'s aren't worth anything there so it is still all kind of problematic.

Posted by: Mike Cook on June 6, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK
CA will give you a drivers license without verifying citizienship.

Which is good, since otherwise legal resident aliens wouldn't be allowed to drive. You do, however, need to provide papers demonstrating that you are citizen or legal resident (and which) to get a CA driver's license or ID. If you are not a citizen, your driver's license or ID expires with your immigration documents, so citizenship status is tracked.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

I believe it was the Bush man who was speeking in spanish just a few years ago,and was parading his spanish nephew for all the spanish speaking voters.

Posted by: now on June 6, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

it's too bad that busby can't change her name to sanchez; that would probably put her over the top. i know i shouldn't root for cheaters to win (like wisc2004), but repubs need a smacking this election season.

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Jerry Brown you all met back in the day seems to a thing of the past. Many consider him to have thrown progressive ideals under the bus to in favor of corporate interests during his mayorship.

The race to replace him is all about this issue -- vision (equality, education, opportunity) vs. nuts and bolts (safety, bringing in jobs). I've been following this race closely and am curious how it turns out.

Posted by: snarktini on June 6, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

snarktini: the secret to avoiding election calls as well as most telemarketers is call screening. Most such numbers tend to be 800 or 888 prefixes.

Posted by: voter on June 6, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

voter: not to worry -- i'm a pro at call screening! but i'm anti-phone in general so still bugs me when it rings at all, seeing as anyone who knows me calls my mobile. right now i have the ringers and volume off so i don't have to be annoyed by the sudden influx of calls.

Posted by: snarktini on June 6, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Weird that there's no commentary here on the Pombo/McCloskey primary.

Posted by: waterfowl on June 6, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Riley & Baxley
Menendez & Kean

Posted by: curious on June 6, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Pombo -- that's my parents' district, and they would do just about anything to get rid of Pombo. My mom threatened to switch parties so she could vote against him in the primary.

Posted by: snarktini on June 6, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

A couple people have commented on all the automated calling in CA:

My answer? Sure you got lots of calls, but did you get any at 2 in the morning???

Supporters for s local school bond issue in Torrance mis-programmed their call generating machine to start making calls last Saturday at 2:15 AM, instead of 2:15 PM.

So last Friday night/Saturday moring at 2:18 AM, I was awakened out of a sound sleep to hear a "Yes on T" phone message. But I voted for it anyway.

(At the moment, it is getting about 52.5%, but it needs 55% to pass. Who can say what their 2 AM phone calls might have cost them.)

Posted by: Robert Earle on June 7, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

I can't think of Jerry Brown without thinking of a young lady I once knew named Maryanne Bennett. Back in the 1970's she improbably graduated from Montana State University after a childhood in a very large, very low-income Catholic family. Down she went to San Francisco to her first job, where one morning in 1977 she went jogging in Golden Gate Park.
Who should she meet while jogging but a rapist that Jerry Brown and Rose Bird's policies had put back out on the street in record time. Maryanne died horribly that morning.
Rose Bird rots in hell now, I am absolutely sure. No doubt she stinks the place up, to the torment of the other sufferers. Jerry Brown still stinks this world up and there are Californians who neither notice nor remember why.

Posted by: Mike Cook on June 7, 2006 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see some research on how effective the prerecorded stuff is versus how many annoyed voters actually withhold support from candidates who use this method. In fact, I'll go look for that research now.
Posted by: shortstop

It was actually the deluge (10-12 calls per day! and each more vile than the last.) from Mary Landrieu's opponent, a Kathleen Harris clone, which actually infuriated me enough go to the polls and vote.

That I intensely dislike Lil Miss (Tax Cut Six) Mary, pseudo-Dem, is a given, but in this instance it was hold your nose and go for the lesser evil.

It was on a par with 'the Lizard v. the Wizard' race - 'Vote for the crook - It's the right thing to do.'

The Democratic Party has written off LA and it shows.

Posted by: CFShep on June 7, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK



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