At a Democratic town hall in Las Vegas, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders declared himself not only a “strong feminist,” but also an “honorary woman,” a distinction given to him by feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
“I consider myself a strong feminist,” Sanders told a young woman from the audience who asked the question. “And in fact, Gloria Steinem – everybody knows Gloria is one of the leading feminists in America – made me an honorary woman many, many years ago.”
“I don’t know exactly what that meant, but I accepted it when she came to campaign for me,” Sanders added.
The answer elicited laughter from the audience. But it comes at a time when Sanders’s campaign has taken heat for the comments made by a surrogate, rapper “Killer Mike.”
At an event in Georgia this week, the rapper repeated the words of a female activist who he said told him that a “uterus” doesn’t qualify a person to be president. Sanders has dismissed the controversy as “gotcha politics.”
And on Thursday night, he did not address it but noted his efforts to pass legislation mandating equal pay for equal work for women.
“Women are making 70 cents on the dollar compared to men,” Sanders said. “Minority women, women of color… are making substantially less.”
“That has nothing to do with economics. That has everything to do with sexism,” he added.
The comments prompted nearly instant condemnation from Clinton’s allies.
Abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America slammed Sanders, saying that he failed to demonstrate that he had earned his “honorary woman” title.
“Bernie is a good man, and being a woman means understanding that we need equal pay but that equal pay doesn’t buy us much if we can’t plan our families,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement. “Being a woman means knowing that undoing Citizens United doesn’t secure our fundamental freedoms and restore abortion access under assault daily by anti-choice forces in this country.
“Being a woman means understanding that no man ever had to say ‘Hey guys, let’s stand together, and vote for a man’ because the status quo in this country has supported that for over two hundred years,” she added. “Even as an ‘honorary woman,’ Bernie Sanders doesn’t quite get it.”
Dan Muroff is an anti-gun liberal nutcase who is running for Congress. He is hoping to unseat fellow anti-gun kook US Rep. Chaka Fattah for Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District by being an even bigger anti-gun kook. In a positively illuminating interview, Muroff explains how he wants to ban semi-automatic firearms because it is not “sporting” for people to use them in self-defense.
While speaking with aldianews.com about his campaign, Muroff laid out his street cred on gun control with liberal gems like these:
“Guns in the street are easier to find than healthy produce. They unravel the fabric of not just an individual’s future, but with it their family’s future,” said Muroff.
Sounds like “the streets” have more of fresh produce problem than a gun problem. Also, there’s that whole thing about how the Constitution doesn’t guarantee our right to keep and bear carrots, which I’m sure Muroff is aware of.
“The number of deaths, the number of families that are devastated. When I say remediable, I don’t been fixable. But you can remedy in part, and mitigate in part, the gun violence in cities and elsewhere by passing reasonable legislation,” he continued.
I don’t been fixable? I’m not sure if that is a typo or if Muroff just has some mild brain damage but either way, this is a great new liberal take on the ineffectiveness of gun control. He’s saying, “Sure, gun control won’t actually fix the problem of crime and violence, but it will make lefties feel better about it.”
And speaking of liberal creativity with words:
“We can’t allow those who see this as a single issue stand in the way of what reasonable people know what needs to be done,” said Muroff.
According to him the people that want to take away a Constitutional right are the reasonable ones and by implication, those who would fight to preserve that right are the unreasonable ones.
After laying out his plan to ban weapons, hold gun owners accountable if their firearms are stolen and used in a crime, and closing non-existent loopholes, Muroff assures us: “I’m not talking about taking away second amendment rights, but responsible ownership and responsible sales.”
I don’t think he meant that the way it came out, but he did just say that he is talking about taking away “reasonable ownership and responsible sales.” Then again, maybe that’s exactly what he meant to say.
Finally, we get to the single dumbest thing he said in an insanely unintelligent interview:
“It’s not sporting to use a semi-automatic weapon to go hunting, or frankly, self-defense,” said Muroff.
WTF!?! It’s not sporting to defend yourself using a semi-automatic weapon against a dangerous criminal? Does he honestly feel like we need to give the scumbags a sporting chance when they are trying to rape and murder? I guess so. Maybe he thinks we should all have muzzle-loading black powder muskets just to give the bad guys a reasonable chance of succeeding in their evil deeds.
In hunting there is a train of thought that says using a semi-automatic rifle makes the sport less challenging. No such thing exists in self-defense. You meet force with equal or greater force. Period. There is no sportsmanship in matters of life and death.
And again, Muroff’s misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment shines through. There is nothing in the Constitution that ties gun ownership to hunting or even self-defense. We simply have the right to own guns and liberal douchebags like him don’t have a right to mess with that.
Bernie Sanders and his wife have on numerous occasions steered money from organizations under their control to friends and family members, public records show.
The payments benefitted the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate, his stepdaughter, and the son of a former colleague in city government whom Sanders has described as a close friend.
Sanders, a self-described socialist, is now running for the presidency on an anti-corruption platform, decrying public officials’ attempts to use their positions for personal financial gain.
Following 16 years as a member of the House, Sanders was elected to the Senate in 2006. His political campaigns were an early vehicle for payments to his family members.
According to Jane O’Meara Sanders, the senator’s wife, Sanders’ House campaigns paid her more than $90,000 for consulting and ad placement services from 2002 to 2004. She pocketed about $30,000 of that money.
Her daughter Carina Driscoll, Sanders’ stepdaughter, also drew a salary from the campaign. She was paid more than $65,000 between 2000 and 2004, according to her mother.
After working for the campaign, the senator’s wife would come under scrutiny for expenditures at Burlington College, where she was hired as president in 2004. While she led the school, it paid six-figure sums to her daughter and the son of a family friend.
Burlington College offered its students a study abroad program in the Caribbean, according to tax filings. It reported spending about $47,000 on that program in the tax year beginning in mid-2008.
Around that time, the son of Jonathan Leopold, a Burlington College board member, purchased a small resort in the Bahamas called Andro’s Beach Club and an accompanying hotel, Nathan’s Lodge.
Leopold served with Sanders in the Burlington city government – as mayor, Sanders appointed Leopold city treasurer – before becoming embroiled in scandal involving millions of dollars in payments to a Burlington telecommunications company.
Sen. Sanders has described Leopold as so close a friend as to be considered “family.” He reportedly discouraged Sanders’ socialist impulses early in their careers. Efforts to reach Leopold were unsuccessful.
Shortly after Leopold’s son, also named Jonathan, purchased the resort, Burlington College began writing it large checks for all-inclusive stays for its study abroad students.
The younger Leopold later said during a deposition related to a lawsuit filed by a student who was injured at the rest that he conducted boat tours and snorkeling trips “on behalf of Burlington College.”
From 2009 through 2011, when O’Meara Sanders stepped down as president of the school, it paid the resort about $68,000, according to annual tax filings. The payments stopped the year after she left the position.
Her departure was a source of controversy. She reportedly overstated pledged contributions to the school in order to secure a loan from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. The diocese lost between $1.5 million and $2 million on the deal, according to local reports.
By that time, the school had paid huge sums to the Vermont Woodworking School, which is run by Driscoll. The college eventually paid the school more than $500,000 for classes at its Fairfax, Vt., campus, about 30 miles from Burlington.
Burlington College even established a Master of Fine Arts program in woodworking with leased space at the school as its major facility.
Tax filings show that the college continued paying the woodworking school in the year after O’Meara Sanders left, but stopped doing so the year after that.
The Sanders campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Stunning New Dot Connections – Methinks the White House doth protest too much. I would love to see Josh Earnest try to square the circle of this recent revelation.
The facts of this story have existed in discussion since last year, yet failed to capture traction until the recent protestations of VP Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry.
From a radio interview in October of 2014 Mark Levin discusses with Michael Leeden the details of a secret message sent by candidate Senator Barack Obama to Iran in 2008 via a former Ambassador, William G Miller.
In essence the content of the communique was Senator Obama telling the Iranian government not to negotiate with the outgoing George Bush administration because Obama was more friendly toward the position of Iran and he would work to structure a more favorable outcome to the Iranian people.
Here’s audio of the 2014 conversation between Levin and Leeden:
It is a remarkable revelation given the level of apoplectic response recently from the White House and State Dept. to a rather innocuous “open letter” from 47 Senators.
President Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry shouting about how wrong it is for the Senate to publish their opinion, yet it is now clear that Senator Obama not only communicated with the Iranian government in secret, but he did so specifically to undermine President George W. Bush during prior Iranian negotiations.
As Breitbart explains: […] Biden, like his boss, fails to do his homework before making outlandish statements or else chooses conveniently to overlook the facts.
Livid over the GOP letter, Biden proclaimed: “In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country.”
Directing his venom at the Senate’s Republican majority, Biden claimed the GOP letter was “expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations…(an act) beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.”
Biden need not go back that far to find a senator who sent advice to a foreign power when similar “sensitive” negotiations were ongoing. Seven years back is far enough.
According to Pajamas Media columnist Michael Ledeen, in 2008, a Democratic senator sent a personal emissary to Tehran encouraging the mullahs not to sign an agreement with the outgoing Bush Administration as negotiations would take on a much friendlier tone following President Bush’s departure from office.
That senator was a presidential candidate at the time. His name was Barack Obama. (read more)
Here is one of the original articles written by Michael Leeden on the subject. – CLICK HERE –
Following an event during which some African American attendees walked out on a Barack Obama speech intended to galvanize them into voting for Mary Burke, the Wisconsin Reporter claims that a pivotal event from Burke’s career has been falsely described by her during the campaign to cover up an embarrassment.
The article also claims that Burke included falsified information related to her job performance on her resume, a resume which she submitted before she was appointed as Wisconsin’s commerce secretary.
Burke has claimed that, after two years heading Trek Bicycle’s European operations during which sales figures rose substantially, she was “burnt out” and left for a several month “snowboarding tour.” Now, several former Trek executives claim that the story is entirely false.
They claim that Burke was in fact fired, and by her own family, which controls Trek Bicycle. Sales were not rising substantially under her watch, but were in fact plummeting, and morale was terrible among the European sales staff. This, they allege, was the real reason for Burke’s extended snowboarding tour – her family wanted her away from the company.
Gary Ellerman, a 21-year employee and head of Trek’s Human Resources Department (the article discloses that Ellerman is the current head of the Jefferson County Republican Party), said of Burke:
She was underperforming. She was [in] so far over her head; she didn’t understand the bike business.
Ellerman also claims that Burke’s father Richard Burke, founder and then-CEO of Trek, sent Tom Albers, then-president and CFO, to Amsterdam to evaluate Mary Burke’s performance. Albers reportedly found the European operations in disarray. As a result of Elbers’ review, Burke’s brother John – then-VP of sales and marketing and current Trek president – was obliged to let his sister go.
Asked about a possible political motivation for the disclosure considering his current political role, Ellerman stated:
I was there. This is what went down.
Other Trek employees – who reportedly requested anonymity – claim that European managers described Burke as a “pit bull on crack,” and “Attila the Hun.” Says Ellerman:
There is a dark side to Mary that the people at Trek have seen… She can explode on people. She can be the cruelest person you ever met.
In the course of her campaign, Burke has repeatedly claimed that European sales climbed to some $50M on her watch. Her 2004 résumé, submitted to the Doyle administration when she was being considered for commerce secretary, claims that the figure was closer to $60M. Despite repeated requests by reporters, Trek has refused to issue any confirmation of the claims, citing the company’s status as a closely held family business.
Ellerman says those sales figures are fabricated.
The actual figures, he maintains, were at least $10M lower than Burke says. Most of the company’s overseas sales increases occured in the United Kingdom, a market well-established before Burke’s arrival in Europe, and in Japan, where Burke had no involvement.
He says those increases were sharply offset by steep losses on the European continent, particularly in Germany, the areas for which Burke was actually responsible.
These disclosures come after the revelation that John Nettles, Burke’s predecessor as secretary of commerce, wrote in a 2006 e-mail regarding Burke that “she’s a disaster.”
The accusation of a falsified past and resume adds to prior campaign controversy of a similar nature: Burke was earlier confronted with claims that substantial parts of several of her policy papers, including her jobs plan which is central to her campaign, were plagiarized from documents issued by Democratic gubernatorial candidates in several other states.
The Burke family paints a very different picture of Mary Burke, but Ellerman and the others insist that this is historical revisionism for the sake of family and company image.
It appears that last week’s clumsy “October surprise” from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele – he released 16,000 pages of emails from Scott Walker’s stint as county executive – has just been countered by the Jefferson County Republican Party.
Six weeks after the primary runoff election, Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel is launching his formal legal challenge of the election results, saying the evidence is so conclusive that he will be calling for courts to recognize him as the true victor of the race rather than calling for a new election.
“Chris McDaniel clearly, clearly won the Republican vote in the runoff,” McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said at a Monday press conference. “I say that very assuredly because that’s what the mathematics show. It’s not what I’m arguing. After the election, we did some post-election polling. We determined that of the Democrats that did cross over, 71 percent of them admitted they will not support the Republican in the general election. When you take those polling numbers and you go in and do the mathematical regressions, you can see that Chris McDaniel clearly won the runoff by 25,000 votes.”
“The short answer is we’re not asking for a new election,” Tyner continued. “We’re simply asking that the Republican Party recognize the person who won the runoff election.”
The campaign of incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), who was certified by the Mississippi Republican Party as having won the runoff by 7,667 votes on July 7, fired back, saying McDaniel had “made repeated and baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct” since the election.
“We look forward to holding the McDaniel campaign to the burden of proof that the law requires – and, we are dedicated to the defense of the votes of those Mississippians who voted on June 24 for Thad Cochran as their United States Senator, an election which has been as thoroughly reviewed and examined as any in modern Mississippi history,” said Mark Garriga, an attorney for Cochran.
The evidence, presented to the public in the form of affidavits that will be used in McDaniel’s forthcoming official challenge of election results, is hundreds of pages long and encompasses nearly every one of Mississippi’s 82 counties.
At the press conference, McDaniel announced he will be using such evidence to file a formal challenge of the runoff results with the state GOP executive committee. Ten days after he files the challenge with that body – which, given its extensive ties to the GOP establishment in the state, is expected to rule against the Tea Party-backed McDaniel or just simply ignore the challenge – McDaniel can take the challenge into state court.
“It’s been an interesting six weeks since the 24th. We’ve been very, very busy. We’ve covered the state as well as we could with hundreds of volunteers, but justice has no time table, and yet here we stand. They asked us to put up or shut up – well, here we are. Here we are with the evidence,” McDaniel said.
“We know that the conservative movement is passionate about this issue,” McDaniel said. “We know right now that the conservative movement is very angry about what’s occurred. We all witnessed what a segment of our party did leading up to the 24th. We saw despicable acts of race-baiting. We saw despicable allegations from those who are supposed to be leaders in our party. There is no place in the Republican Party for those that would race bait. There is no place in the Republican Party for racism of any kind, and that’s exactly what we saw on those evenings and mornings leading up to the 24th. That has to end. We watched it. We witnessed it. We saw the dirty money coming in from D.C., whether it was from Bloomberg or other Republican United States senators. We saw what they did here in Mississippi.”
McDaniel noted that the actions the GOP establishment took “moved more than 40,000 Democrats into the Republican primary, and in so doing mistakes were made.”
“Some of those weren’t even mistakes – some of it was very intentional,” McDaniel said. “What we’re going to show is a pattern of conduct on the part of a number of people that demonstrates a problem with this election. The evidence is clear.”
McDaniel said activists need to review the evidence dispassionately, looking at just the facts. “We feel that anger, and we feel that frustration, but that’s not what this challenge is about,” McDaniel said. “The reason I hire good lawyers is so I can walk away from it and ask their opinion objectively: What does the evidence show? We have to be dispassionate about the facts. But the facts – they’re on our side. The law is on our side. And these lawyers after several weeks of research will tell you just that.”
McDaniel’s team is specifically pressuring the Republican executive committee in the state to give the evidence a fair shake. “We look forward to our venue in front of the Republican executive committee – they’re colleagues of mine, some of which I’ve known for years,” McDaniel said. “This is an opportunity for our party to take the lead on honest, good and transparent government.”
Tyner, McDaniel’s attorney, said that McDaniel is not seeking a new election, that the evidence is so overwhelming that anyone reviewing it will come to the same conclusion: McDaniel won on June 24.
“Once the state executive committee has had an opportunity to go through the evidence that we have included in this challenge, then they will see that they have no choice but to recognize Chris McDaniel as the nominee of the Republican Party of the state of Mississippi for the United States Senate,” Tyner said, to a loud round of applause from the audience.
The Republican who lost a primary runoff election to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran said Friday he plans to challenge the results.
Chris McDaniel said his campaign found at least 5,000 irregularities in voting and that he will mount a legal challenge “any day now.”
In an interview with CNN, McDaniel said what matters is that fraud be uncovered where it exists and that many Mississippi residents “are very angry” because they think their votes in the June 24 primary were nullified by fraud.
Most of what McDaniel is describing as irregularities involved people who apparently voted in both the June 3 Democratic primary and the Republican runoff.
Mississippi does not register voters by party, but state law bans a person from voting in one party’s primary and another party’s runoff in the same cycle.
McDaniel said he’s pressing the challenge because, “it’s our responsibility … if the corruption is out there, to end it once and for all.” He did say that if the courts side against him, he would accept the outcome. But he would not say whether he would ultimately endorse Cochran for Senate in the general election.
Asked if he had any regrets about the divisive primary campaign and aftermath, McDaniel said he regretted the last two and a half weeks of the campaign when “they called me a racist, they race-baited.” He said Cochran’s campaign engaged in “scare” tactics by saying that if McDaniel were to become the next senator, “welfare would be cut off.”
An election challenge will be filed with the state Republican Party executive committee, as required by law. If the committee rejects a request for a new election, McDaniel could file an appeal with a state circuit court in a county where the campaign believes it has found voting irregularities, said state Sen. Michael Watson, an attorney who is working with the McDaniel campaign.
If only she was a Democrat then MSNBC would have a week’s worth of programming.
A Florida Republican congressional candidate’s campaign sign was vandalized with whiteface paint last week in a district with overwhelmingly Democratic voter registration. The attack follows a string of bias incidents against black Republicans.
Glo Smith, who reports that she has also had a number of signs stolen, tells National Review Online she became aware of the racist defacement of an eight-foot-by-four-foot sign Tuesday. The sign was situated on private property in view of Interstate 10 in Jacksonville. The vandal sprayed white paint over the face of Smith, who is African-American. The paint job appears to be carefully done and leaves the eyes untouched, creating a very creepy effect.
A candidate for Mayor of a small New Jersey town was caught on tape allegedly spewing a racist rant in which she said she didn’t want her village to become a “fucking nigger town.”
Marie Strumolo Burke, who is running for mayor in Belleville, N.J. as a Democrat, was reportedly heard making the vitriolic comments on a voicemail from 2013, according to NJ.com.
In the voicemail, left by the former chairman of Belleville’s planning board, Sam Papa, on the phone of Councilman Kevin Kennedy, a voice thought to be Burke’s can be heard in the background screaming the angry racist comment.
“This is terrible. This is terrible. This is gonna be a fucking nigger town,” Burke is allegedly heard yelling in the background, as Papa is heard discussing tax changes.
A forensics lab based in Michigan confirmed the voice on the tape was Burke’s, according to NJ.com.
Burke, who is currently a councilwoman for the Newark suburb of about 36,000, didn’t immediately respond to a request by the Daily News to comment on the situation, but she has reportedly denied the voice on the tape is hers.
Burke is running against incumbent Mayor Raymond Kimble in the June election. Kimble told NJ.com he was “disturbed” by the alleged comments.
Earlier this week, Belleville council members voted to request a censure from the Democratic National Committee of Strumolo Burke due to the purported comments.
Republican Scott Wagner pulled off a stunning victory in Tuesday’s special election and made history in the process by becoming the first person ever to win a state Senate seat as a write-in candidate.
Taking advantage of a low voter turnout and a well-financed campaign that got his name in front of voters along highways, at major intersections, on TV and in mailboxes, Wagner waltzed past his party-endorsed opponents – Republican Ron Miller and Democrat Linda Small – to clinch a victory.
He will serve as the state senator representing the 28th District through Nov. 30, allowing Republicans to maintain their 27 to 23 majority in the chamber. The seat is up for election for a four-year term later this year.
York County’s unofficial vote totals show Wagner capturing 48 percent of the vote. Democrat Linda Small received 26 percent and GOP-endorsed candidate Ron Miller got 27 percent.
Turnout for this special election was dismal. Only 14 percent of the 163,617 registered voters in the senatorial district showed up at the polls to cast a ballot in the special election to identify a successor for longtime senator Mike Waugh, who resigned in January to become executive director of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.
York County Director of Elections Nikki Suchanic ventured a guess that part of the reason for the low turnout was the change in the senatorial district boundaries that occurred since the last time that seat was up for election.
That left some people unaware they were eligible to vote, and others who turned out to vote but couldn’t because they no longer lived in the 28th District.
Regardless, the votes that were cast gave Wagner, 58, of Spring Garden Twp., a resounding victory in a race that got exceedingly nasty toward the end.
Ads that were run cast Wagner as a bully and his trash hauling company, York-based Penn Waste, an environmental violator. Wagner responded with his own negative attack ad against on Miller and in recent days, Small too.
The attacks against him angered Wagner. He was astonished that his business-friendly Republican Party would go after a job creator like himself.
Those ads were funded by the Senate Republicans, the ranks of whom Wagner will now join.
On Tuesday evening, Wagner shrugged off those barbs at his victory party in a room inside in an empty Santander Stadium. He said he plans to try to work with his Senate colleagues.
“You sit down at the table. You drink a cup of coffee or you have lunch in somebody’s office and you have to learn a little bit of their story, and they have to learn a little bit of my story,” Wagner said.
“But what I’m all about is more representative of what’s reality on the street,” he added. “I didn’t get where I am today by not sitting down” with people.
State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason issued a statement Tuesday evening congratulating Wagner on his victory and commending Miller for running a great race.
“Scott Wagner won a hard-fought race, and I am sure he will serve as a strong advocate for the people of the 28th District in the Senate,” Gleason said. As for Miller, he said, “I look forward to watching him continue to stand up for the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility in the state House.”
Wagner, who also owns a KBS Trucking in Thomasville, comes to the Senate planning to be a maverick by not accepting a taxpayer-funded pension or health insurance, limiting himself to two terms, limiting his contacts with special interests, and working to downsize state government.
He supports eliminating school property taxes and replacing that lost revenue by imposing sales tax on food and clothing. He supports job training for welfare recipients. He also supports legalizing medical marijuana.
Throughout his campaign, Wagner was critical of the Senate Republican leadership and state Republican Party for orchestrating the special election in such a way to hand the seat, vacated by Mike Waugh in January, to Miller, which GOP leaders denied.
Miller, 62, of Jacobus, called Wagner shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday to congratulate him on becoming his next senator.
At a gathering at York County GOP headquarters, Miller said he respected the will of the voters and planned on returning to Harrisburg on Wednesday to carry out his duties as the 93rd state House district representative for the remainder of this year. He is not seeking re-election to his House seat that he has held for 16 years.
Meanwhile, Small, 53, of New Freedom, won kudos from state Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burns for running a spirited campaign that made her party proud. “The people of this commonwealth would have been well served with her leadership in Harrisburg,” Burns said.
Wagner said during a campaign stop last week that he plans to move right into campaign mode immediately after the special election to gear up for the May 20 primary when he will stand for election again against Miller and political newcomer Zachary Hearn, 37, of Windsor Twp., for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat. Small is unopposed in her bid for the Democratic nomination in the spring primary.
Obama endorsed the Democrat a mere few days ago and polls showed it’s a tight race but here is how it worked out:
San Diego voters opted for a return to Republican leadership on Tuesday as they elected a city councilman backed by the downtown establishment to succeed ex-Mayor Bob Filner, a Democrat who resigned amid a torrent of sexual misconduct allegations.
Republican Kevin Faulconer garnered nearly 55 percent of the vote to defeat his City Council colleague, Democrat David Alvarez, who was vying to become San Diego’s first Hispanic mayor but finished the night with just over 45 percent.
Faulconer, 47, declaring victory at a downtown hotel, is expected to take the oath of office in early March to serve out the nearly three years that remained in Filner’s term as mayor of California’s second-most populous city.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book: backing a third candidate in order to beat the main competition. This time, this tactic is being used in the Virginia gubernatorial race by Democrats who are heavily backing “Libertarian” candidate Robert Sarvis in an effort to pull votes away from Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Meredith Jessup at The Blaze has all of the dirty details.
A major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler helped pay for professional petition circulators responsible for getting Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert C. Sarvis on the ballot – a move that could split conservative votes in a tight race.
Campaign finance records show the Libertarian Booster PAC has made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign, helping to pay for professional petition circulators who collected signatures necessary to get Sarvis’ name on Tuesday’s statewide ballot.
Austin, Texas, software billionaire Joe Liemandt is the Libertarian Booster PAC’s major benefactor. He’s also a top bundler for President Barack Obama. This revelation comes as Virginia voters head to the polls Tuesday in an election where some observers say the third-party gubernatorial candidate could be a spoiler for Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Naturally, Sarvis’ campaign won’t explain the backing and refused to discuss whether he was recruited by Democrats to upset the race in Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s favor.
Last week, NRO’s Charles C.W. Cooke destroyed Sarvis’ “Liberatarian” credentials, pointing out his big government positions on climate change, taxes and supporting GPS tracking devices in Virginia cars.
In a recent Reason interview, Sarvis explained that he was “not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics,” preferring “more mainstream economics” instead. The candidate expanded on this during an oddly defensive interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, in which he seemed put off not so much by “strongly libertarian economics” as by libertarian economics per se. As governor, Sarvis told Todd, he would be hesitant to cut taxes, unsure as to how he might “reduce spending,” and open to indulging the largest piece of federal social policy since 1965 by expanding Virginia’s Medicaid program.
Worse yet was Sarvis’s rambling interview with the Virginia Prosperity Project, in which the candidate expressed his enthusiasm for increasing gas levies, and for establishing a “vehicle-miles-driven tax.” It strikes me that it is almost impossible to square such a measure with any remotely coherent “libertarian” position on that most sacred of rights: privacy. Virginia’s mooted VMT plan requires the installation of government GPS systems in private cars – an astonishingly invasive proposal.
So, is the split the vote tactic working? We’ll have to see what happens tonight as the polls close, but up to this point the answer is yes.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showed Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II trimming Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s lead in the Virginia governor’s race to 4 percentage points, suggesting the contest is much closer than some analysis has indicated.
The survey gave Mr. McAuliffe a lead of 45 percent to 41 percent, with 9 percent of likely voters opting for Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis. That advantage is down from 46 percent to 39 percent for Mr. McAuliffe in a Quinnipiac poll last week, when Mr. Sarvis had 10 percent.
Former presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul, notorious for his Libertarian views and dedication to principle, campaigned for Cuccinelli in Virginia last night. When Ron Paul is campaigning for the Republican in the race, you know the Libertarian is fake.
On Monday, former Congressman and staunch libertarian Ron Paul (R-TX) campaigned for Virginia Republican Governor candidate Ken Cuccinelli and said Virginias would be giving up on liberty if they voted for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Tuesday’s election and would be “insane” if they voted for so-called libertarian Robert Sarvis, the third-party candidate who may siphon enough votes from Cuccinelli to spoil the election.
Specifically referring to the mileage taxes that Sarvis indicated he may support and which may require GPS systems to be installed in everyone’s cars, Paul said “anybody who would conceivably vote for someone who would endorse a mileage tax” is “insane” because a mileage tax would be an “invasion of privacy” and would just give the government more money it could waste. In an interview on MSNBC, Sarvis indicated that he could support “vehicle-miles-driven taxes.”
Appearing with Cuccinelli, Paul also noted that Cuccinelli would cut taxes and would not support any new taxes. He said though Cuccinelli may not be in the Libertarian Party, he’s a “Constitutionalist, so he’s an ally.”
Paul also ripped Democrats for thinking that individuals are not smart to take care of themselves.
“Why should we grant this authority to a few thugs who want to take over the government to make all our decisions for us?” Paul said.
Paul said Cuccinelli is a “defender” of liberty and asked Virginians not to “give up on liberty.”
“If you elect the other guy, you are [giving up on liberty],” Paul said of McAuliffe.
Paul also said Cuccinelli has already proven that he is able to take on the federal government and called Obamacare a “monster” that Cuccinelli has fought from the beginning.
Earlier, Cuccinelli mentioned how much of an infringement Obamacare was on the liberty of Virginians and detailed his strong defense of property rights. Cuccinelli said that McAuliffe sleeps in Virginia but is of Washington and asked Virginians to say “‘No’ to Obamacare and ‘Yes’ to Liberty” by voting for Cuccinelli.
It would be like accusing Obama of opposing Obamacare.
Democrats are apparently telling voters in Virgina that gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli supports Obamacare, even though the Republican was the first attorney general in the country to file a lawsuit against the health-care law.
Why would Democrats make such an accusation?
To keep conservative voters from going to the polls Tuesday, according to state Republicans.
Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is already mired in scandals and his once double-digit lead in the Virginia gubernatorial race is virtually gone, down to just two points in a poll released over the weekend.
So now, he is resorting to dirty tricks, according to a Virginia lawmaker.
Scott Lingamfelter, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, said he received a robo-call on Sunday claiming that Cuccinelli supports Obamacare.
He also said the call claimed vehemently pro-life Cuccinelli supported taxpayer financing for abortions.
“They are shameless in their lies,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“I guess they are trying to suppress GOP voters,” Lingamfelter concluded.
Lingamfelter said the recording announced it was paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia.
He pleaded with Virginians to “understand that the party that wants Terry McAuliffe to be your governor will flat lie about anything!”
Lifenews reports, “[T]he calls may have been going on for a while, as Virginia resident Shirley Widlacki wrote on Twitter in early October that she received a similar robo-call with false claims about Cuccinelli.’
WND called the Democratic Party of Virginia for comment. Press Secretary Ashley Bauman said she’d been “on the road” for a while. She directed the inquiry to another staff member and gave WND an email address. WND has not received a response.
When WND contacted the Cuccinelli campaign for reaction, a representative provided a press release from the Republican Party of Virginia, which read, “It’s a despicable attempt at voter suppression. It’s shameless, it’s dishonest, and it’s utterly unsurprising.”
Referendum on Obamacare
Obamacare has become the top issue for Cuccinelli in the Virginia gubernatorial race as it heads for a neck-and-neck finish.
In an op-ed column published in Politico on Monday, Cuccinelli portrayed the election as a referendum on Obamacare.
“Virginia can send Washington a message that we oppose Obamacare with our votes on Tuesday.
“Virginians who oppose Obamacare can vote for me, and Virginians who want to see Obamacare grow further can vote for McAuliffe,” he wrote.
“This is the first chance for people to speak clearly at the ballot box about the impact this law is having on their lives and on our economy,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Monday while campaigning for Cuccinelli.
“That health care law will only get worse,” he added. “The website is just the tip of the iceberg.”
President Obama seems to be running away from his own health-care law, not even mentioning Obamacare once during his entire 21-minute speech while campaigning for McAuliffe on Sunday.
Democrats seem to be hoping Republicans will get more blame for the government shutdown than Democrats will get for the Obamcare disaster.
Referring to the shutdown, McAuliffe said, “He (Cuccinelli) stood with the tea party and not with Virginia families.”
“Can you even imagine if Ted Cruz, Ken Cuccinelli and the tea party ran the Virginia government?” he wondered.
The president literally tried to scare up votes for his candidate, telling supporters, “Nothing makes me more nervous than when my supporters start feeling too confident, so I want to put the fear of God in all of you,” Obama said.
And campaigning for McAuliffe Monday, Vice President Joe Biden tried to paint Cuccinelli’s traditional values as old fashioned, warning that tea-party views are “out of the ’30s and ’40s and ’50s.”
Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, has officially won Venezuela’s presidential election by a stunningly narrow margin that highlights rising discontent over problems ranging from crime to power blackouts. His rival demanded a recount, portending more headaches for a country shaken by the death of its dominating leader.
One key Chavista leader expressed dismay over the outcome of Sunday’s election, which was supposed to cement the self-styled “Bolivarian Revolution” of their beloved president as Venezuela’s destiny. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, who many consider Maduro’s main rival within their movement, tweeted: “The results oblige us to make a profound self-criticism.”
Maduro’s victory followed an often ugly, mudslinging campaign in which the winner promised to carry on Chavez’s legacy, while challenger Henrique Capriles’ main message was that Chavez put this country with the world’s largest oil reserves on the road to ruin.
Despite the ill feelings, both men sent their supporters home and urged them to refrain from violence. Capriles insisted on a recount and Maduro said he was open to one, though it was not immediately clear if election officials might permit it.
“We are not going to recognize a result until each vote of Venezuelans is counted,” Capriles said. “This struggle has not ended.”
Maduro, meanwhile, said, “Let 100 percent of the ballot boxes be opened. … We’re going to do it; we have no fear.”
Maduro, acting president since Chavez’s March 5 death, held a double-digit advantage in opinion polls just two weeks ago, but electoral officials said he got just 50.7 percent of the votes compared to 49.1 percent for Capriles, with nearly all ballots counted.
The margin was about 234,935 votes out of 14.8 million cast. Turnout was 78 percent, down from just over 80 percent in the October election that Chavez won by a nearly 11-point margin over Capriles.
Chavistas set off fireworks and raced through downtown Caracas blasting horns in jubilation. In a victory speech, Maduro told a crowd outside the presidential palace that his victory was further proof that Chavez “continues to be invincible.”
But analysts called the slim margin a disaster for Maduro, a former union leader and bus driver in the radical wing of Chavismo who is believed to have close ties to Cuba.
At Capriles’ campaign headquarters, people hung their heads quietly as the results were announced by an electoral council stacked with government loyalists. Many started crying; others just stared at TV screens in disbelief.
Later, Capriles emerged to angrily reject the official totals: “It is the government that has been defeated.”
He said his campaign reported “a result that is different from the results announced today.”
“The biggest loser today is you,” Capriles said, directly addressing Maduro through the camera. “The people don’t love you.”
Venezuela’s electronic voting system is completely digital, but also generates a paper receipt for each vote, making a vote-by-vote recount possible.
Capriles, an athletic 40-year-old state governor, had mocked and belittled Maduro as a poor, bland imitation of Chavez.
Maduro said during his victory speech that Capriles had called him before the results were announced to suggest a “pact” and that Maduro refused. Capriles’ camp did not comment on Maduro’s claim, though Capriles began his speech by declaring he doesn’t “make pacts with lies or corruption.”
Maduro, a longtime foreign minister to Chavez, rode a wave of sympathy for the charismatic leader to victory, pinning his hopes on the immense loyalty for his boss among millions of poor beneficiaries of government largesse and the powerful state apparatus that Chavez skillfully consolidated.
Capriles’ main campaign weapon was to simply emphasize “the incompetence of the state.” At rallies, Capriles would read out a list of unfinished road, bridge and rail projects. Then he asked people what goods were scarce on store shelves.
Millions of Venezuelans were lifted out of poverty under Chavez, but many also believe his government not only squandered, but plundered, much of the $1 trillion in oil revenues during his 14-year rule.
Venezuelans are afflicted by chronic power outages, crumbling infrastructure, unfinished public works projects, double-digit inflation, food and medicine shortages, and rampant crime – one of the world’s highest homicide and kidnapping rates – that the opposition said worsened after Chavez disappeared to Cuba in December for what would be his final surgery.
Analyst David Smilde at the Washington Office on Latin America think tank predicted the victory would prove pyrrhic and make Maduro extremely vulnerable.
“It will make people in his coalition think that perhaps he is not the one to lead the revolution forward,” Smilde said.
“This is a result in which the `official winner’ appears as the biggest loser,” said Amherst College political scientist Javier Corrales. “The `official loser’ – the opposition – emerges even stronger than it did six months ago. These are very delicate situations in any political system, especially when there is so much mistrust of institutions.”
Many across the nation put little stock in Maduro’s claims that sabotage by the far right was to blame for worsening power outages and food shortages in the weeks before the vote.
“We can’t continue to believe in messiahs,” said Jose Romero, a 48-year-old industrial engineer who voted for Capriles in the central city of Valencia. “This country has learned a lot and today we know that one person can’t fix everything.”
In a Chavista stronghold in Petare outside Caracas, Maria Velasquez, 48, who works in a government soup kitchen that feeds 200 people, said she voted for Chavez’s man “because that is what my comandante ordered.”
Reynaldo Ramos, a 60-year-old construction worker, said he “voted for Chavez” before correcting himself and saying he chose Maduro.
“We must always vote for Chavez because he always does what’s best for the people and we’re going to continue on this path,” Ramos said.
The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela deployed a well-worn, get-out-the-vote machine spearheaded by loyal state employees. It also enjoyed the backing of state media as part of its near-monopoly on institutional power.
Capriles’ camp also complained that Chavista loyalists in the judiciary put them at glaring disadvantage by slapping the campaign and broadcast media with fines and prosecutions that they called unwarranted. Only one opposition TV station remains and it was being sold to a new owner Monday.
Maduro will face no end of hard choices for which Corrales, of Amherst, said he has shown no skills for tackling.
Maduro has “a penchant for blaming everything on his `adversaries’ – capitalism, imperialism, the bourgeoisie, the oligarchs – so it is hard to figure how exactly he would address any policy challenge other than taking a tough line against his adversaries.”
Venezuela’s $30 billion fiscal deficit is equal to about 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Many factories operate at half capacity because strict currency controls make it hard for them to pay for imported parts and materials. Business leaders say some companies verge on bankruptcy because they cannot extend lines of credit with foreign suppliers.
Chavez imposed currency controls a decade ago trying to stem capital flight as his government expropriated large land parcels and dozens of businesses.
Now, dollars sell on the black market at three times the official exchange rate and Maduro has had to devalue Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar, twice this year.
Matt notes what we all know, the media will NEVER let this election be about the economy and also offers some solid advice to Santorum.
The administration and MSM are on a quest to avoid the economy at all costs. To do that with Santorum, they have to hammer him on social issues, even if they have to do some cherry picking or making some stretches to do so. Forget that gas prices are through the roof, and expected to rise even higher. Forget that a couple million jobs are gone, and the people aren’t even bothering to look anymore. Instead, let’s talk about how Rick Santorum is going to ban condoms, or some other nonsense. Santorum needs to do more refocusing. Every time he is hit with a social issue question, he needs to comment quickly and go right back to economy
Go read the rest, Matt is right. Keep going back to the economy. But, I would add that this is good advice no matter who the nominee is. And, no matter who the nominee is, the DNC and the media have an attack strategy. If Romney wins, they will play the class warfare card like never before,and they will try to make Romney look like a candidate who is grossly out of touch with the common man. With Newt, well, take your pick on any number of issues, from, temperament to past “scandals”. So, get ready folks, this one will be very nasty. There is not one trick the Left will not use to win. No matter who our nominee is, we best get ready to work our collective behinds off.
The Reaganite Republican wonders if the book on Sarah Palin is open?
No thanks- if Noot can’t come back I’d prefer and open convention, Palin vs. Jeb Bush or some such thing.Mittens would lose in November due to insufficient contrast and a disgusted GOP base. I agree he’s an improvement over Obama, (not a maniacal racist/marxist) BUT I and many others deeply resent having Romney stuffed down my throat by the GOP old guard. At this point is merely slowing the growth rate of the state sector good enough? Methinks not.
Mark me down for ‘Cuda, then: We used to fear her polling negatives, and honestly I was glad she didn’t run. But now, after how all the negative campaigning has played out… Palin looks more than worth a chance since everybody else on the GOP side has suffered similar damage from flailing negative attacks.
Hmmm, I keep hearing about the brokered convention, it would make for fascinating TV and great blogging fodder, but, I would be surprised if it happens. Of course, we already know what the media attack on Palin would be. The message would be “she is stupid” repeated over and over and…… Of course, it would be fun watching Chris Matthews head explode if she actually beat Obama. Hell, MSNBS might pack up and move to Canada. Just think how that would raise the national IQ average.
Jill, like me, is a tad disappointed with the Tea Party
For the record, I’m finding very little to like in this weird nomination process, including:
I’m disappointed in the Tea Party movement’s failure to rally behind a genuine conservative candidate, but I’m hoping it will be more effective in influencing state and local elections. That will need to be the focus.
We really need to change the way we choose our nominee folks. We start with three primaries, OK Iowa is a caucus, but you get the point, that allow anyone to vote, That helps the more “moderate” candidates to shine. Then the media jumps all over themselves anointing these early winners as inevitable. And we, the people, keep falling for this game. So, if this process is ever to change, it is up to us.
Take Rick Perry this year. Yes, the “experts” will blame his campaign strategy, but why did he fail? The media built him up, then immediately began tearing him down. Yes he was not great in the first two debates, but, he got better and better. Yet the media yes, including Fox, rarely reported anything but his “gaffes” which were seriously overblown. And to be honest a candidates gaffes are not all that important. Everyone misspeaks, or has a memory lapse. We need to get over falling for the “experts” over-analization of these debates. Face it the debates are about ratings, period! The GOP needs to have REAL debates on issues. These dog and pony shows are “won” by candidates who play it safe, or have catchy lines. Enough of that we need to focus on substance.
Think of this. What if everyone in the GOP had focused strictly on two things. A candidates ideas, and their records? I heard person after person say Perry had the most substance, te best ideas, AND a tremendous record. Yet they focused on “electability” or his “poor debates” which were really on the first couple or three debates. Got that? We focused not on records, accomplishments, or ideals, but on style. Sorry my fellow Conservatives, but at a certain point, WE get the nominee we deserve. And if we continue to use stupid criteria to find our nominees, well, we deserve no better than Mitt or Newt.
There is one last thing we need to remember. The Democrats tell us, in every election who they fear, and who they do not fear. But we have to pay attention and think about how the Democrats do this. Look at this year, EVERY Democrat has said that they fear Romney. Why would they say that? To fool us into believing that. They have not attacked Mitt yet. Why not? Because they WANT MITT to be the GOP nominee.
The Democrats also let us know, if we pay attention who the fear. As I noted they have not attacked Mitt. Yet, they have attacked Newt, and Santorum, and they did a number on Cain. They FEAR those candidates. Now, think about Perry they SAVAGED him. From the start they went after him like a pack of wolves. They feared him the most. Yet, we ignored this. Now, I am not saying Perry ran the best campaign, but if we had focused on the important things like his record and his long held ideals, it might be very different right now.
Republicans Conservatives, we must stop beating ourselves.