Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Brock TV

Just checked out the website of the candidate with the social studies cred. I don't know if Olivo's site is a political one or a Mizzou Alumni fan site :)

(I especially like it when he points to the buttons above him on the video)

At least he doesn't mention clones.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Presidential Horse Race: True reflection of America or media manipulation?

Just read this CNN article about the race being a statistical dead heat. Last week some polls had Obama up in double digits. What is going on here, in my opinion, is a news media driven by the entertainment side of the 24/7 news business. This new poll made me shake my head and wonder who was really wagging the dog.

In the poll with just McCain and Obama compared together, Obama leads by five points. When you throw in Nader and Barr, it dwindles to 3 points. One reason why I am skeptical of this polled is that Nader polled at 6% and Barr at 3%. Now since the margin of error is close to these third party percentage vote totals, it is more than likely that these third party candidates don't have this much support In 2004 Nader got 465,650 votes while the Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik received 397,265 votes. I can't see that changing very much this election cycle. Nader is old news and Barr might spoil Georgia in a close race.

Here in Missouri, the Libertarian Party is the only established third party in the state and a lack of a more liberal third party candidate may have an impact, but most people when they get behind the curtain in the voting booth will usually vote for major party candidates.

BTW, I tried to set up this blog on Wordpress or b2evolution on a host server. But I found out it's a lot harder than it seems. I'll stay on Blogger for now.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Matt Blunt: Protects Firing Ranges, Denies 54,000 Missouri families Heath Coverage

Governor Blunt is still trying to become the worst governor in Missouri's history. Instead of making it a priority to enact phase 1 of Insure Missouri, Republicans decided to let that die and had Blunt sign a bill that protects firing ranges from litigation. Never mind that 54,000 low income working families were denied heath coverage.
This is Blunt's legacy. To all those working families who voted for Blunt because of his social agenda, can you see why voting against your own self interest was not such a good idea. This was not effective governance, but another campaign stunt for the Republicans to get the base all worked up about.

Good Missouri legislative wrap up in pdf form by the Missouri Budget Project

Friday, June 27, 2008

Grover Norquist : Obama is "Kerry with a tan"

Well it looks like the strategy of the right is going to be firmly rooted in fear mongering and race baiting. A LA times article has Norquist equating Obama to Kerry, Dukakis and Carter. Fair enough. That statement alone probably has no basis in fact, but it is based on ideology and can be debated. However bringing up the "tan" is injecting a racial component to their assertion . This is a not so veiled code to the conservative base that he is a black man. Fox News has been spewing this garbage as well. I really hope this will backfire. It's despicable.

Hillary speaks in and for Unity

In New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton addressed a rather large crowd on behalf of Barack Obama. She spoke of unity and the ultimate goal: Getting Barack Obama elected. She appeared relaxed and in her element. This brings up the question of where was this Hillary during the campaign.? I must say that her campaign staff did not do her justice. Terry McAuliffe seemed to be running a 2000 campaign in 2008. Any candidate, if they are not careful, can be handled to a detriment.

The media, in my opinion, was only interested in keeping this campaign a horse race. It made for good TV.

Glad to have Hillary aboard

A New (to Her) Ride: A Fundraiser for Kathleen Weinschenk: Columbia Activist and Historic Missouri Litigant

At the Unity Center tonight, according to the Columbia Missourian, over 35 people showed up for a fundraiser to help purchase a customized 2000 Ford Windstar. Kathleen needs the use of a motorized wheelchair and a customized van in order to get around. It is no secret she does get around. She serves as 3rd Ward Democratic committeewoman for the Boone County Central committee. She also serves on numerous boards, commissions, and steering committees.

However she might be best known as the lead plaintiff against the 2006 Voter ID law. The Missouri Supreme court that year ruled in favor of Kathleen's position. Her efforts prevented the Republicans from disenfranchising thousands.

She needs about $20,000 dollars to purchase this van and still has quite a ways to go. Please help this progressive Missouri activist keep her crusade rolling (pun intended): Below is the address to send donations:

The Kathleen Weinschenk Fund at P.O. Box 893, Columbia, MO, 65205.

It will be money well spent

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nader: Street Warrior?

I just come across this article. Nader is accusing Obama of "talking" white and should focus more on the poor in the inner cities. I believe that Nader is missing the point and perpetuating a stereotype. Obama is trying to appeal to all Americans, not just African Americans. Poverty strikes not only in the inner city here in Missouri, but also in poor rural areas. Poverty does not discriminate. I know I just gave Nader more attention than he deserves. His 1/2 of one percent vote intake in 2004 is evidence of his irrelevance.

Maybe if Obama started to talk "street" Nader would then, only in his mind, lend crediablity to Obama's candidancy? Probably not.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fred Parry accuses Karl Skala of "Lobbying": Another attempt from conservatives to change the language?

On June 15th, i received an email from Karl Skala via the ColumbiaCitizens listserv about the upcoming June 16th public hearing of the Lemone/Maguire Extension and Bridges project. A 9+ million dollar project that would extend Maquire Rd north to Stadium Ave. This would require the building of 2 bridges over the environmentally sensitive Grindstone creek. Below is the email that was sent:


Two bills regarding the Lemone/Maguire Extension and Bridges project are coming before the City Council tomorrow night, 6/16/08 @ ~7:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers (B162-08 regarding a call for bids & B163-08 regarding the final easement acquisition prior to commencing construction)

This will be your last opportunity to express your opinion before the Council renders its decision as to whether to proceed. I would cordially invite you to offer your comments to the Council regarding this proposed expenditure of >$9M of your taxpayer dollars.

And thank you for your continued civic interest.

Best Regards,

Karl Skala

Fred Parry, on his Morning Meeting radio show, accused Skala of "lobbying" against the project. It was no secret that Skala was against this extension. He had argued that other projects should had priority over this one. Especially the improvement of Clark and Ballenger lane in his ward.

As you can see, the email states no position and just informs its citizens of the hearing and the economic impact of the project. Conservatives are really out of touch with the citizens of Columbia. A call to civic action is not "lobbying" Mr. Parry, I thought you were a little more educated than that. Petitioning your government of your grievances is the cornerstone of the First Amendment, the same amendment that protects your right to tout your ignorance to the masses. It is refreshing to have an elected officeholder reminding his constituents of that right.

Notice to all those people that believe real estate development is equal to economic development: We are overbuilt and overdeveloped. The infrastructure subsidy that you have received has not been a good investment to Columbia Missouri. Your empty stores do not generate tax revenue and ends up costing the citizens of Columbia even more. We need to incubate small and medium businesses that are homegrown. This will stabilize our local economy and the wealth created stays in Columbia.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sean Spence awarded National DFA endorsement

Sean Spence, a candidates running for the 25th District House seat in Missouri who in May received the endorsement of Democracy for Missouri was endorsed by the National DFA in headquartered in Burlington Vermont.

In the Columbia Tribune 'Politics Blog' Jason Rosenbaum quoted Jim Dean from a statement:

“Sean Spence is a true progressive fighter and Democracy for America is proud to endorse his campaign,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA, in a statement. “Missouri needs Sean Spence in Jefferson City to tackle problems like our broken health care system and a lack of quality jobs.”

Congratulations to Sean on this endorsement.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Judy Baker applies for DFA endorsement

Over the last ten years, the Missouri 9th Congressional district has been represented by one of the strongest supporters of the Bush administration policies of economics and war. This election year, Kenny Hulshof will not be running for Congress and instead decided to enter Missouri 's gubernatorial race. This leaves the 9th open for anyone who has at least attended a social studies class in junior high. Now over the years, the Democrats put up candidates against Hulshof, but it usually ended up that our candidate getting close to the Democrat base vote in each of those elections. This was due, for the most part, to the lack of fund raising and support these candidates received.

However this election cycle was different. With Hulshof still in the race, Judy Baker decided to challenge him. In a matter of a few weeks, she raised over $100,000 before the New Year. She was a serious challenger and was going to take the fight to him. We all knew what happened next. Kenny decided to run for governor and 3 primary challengers joined Baker in vying the Democratic party's nomination.

So why should DFA endorse Judy for Congress, there are 7 main reasons

  1. Judy has amassed at least 250,000 dollars in this race.
  2. She is a unabashed progressive and served in the state legislature
  3. She is running for an open seat.
  4. She has received the endorsement of Emily's list, a rather large and influential PAC.
  5. Being married to a pastor, she will have appeal to those independent rural swing voters.
  6. She is one of ActBlue's top ten fundraisers
  7. This one is the most important, she entered the race when the fight was on. Her challengers entered the race when it was easier.
To me, the 50 state strategy of leaving no republican unchallenged is the credo of Howard Dean and DFA as well. There is no other candidate that illustrates this more clearly than Judy Baker

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thank you for your support with DFA Netroots Nation

I like to thank those supporters who nominated me for a Netroots scholarship in Austin this year. Not only did I get support from friends, but people who liked what I had to say and wished me luck and support. However DFA apparently felt that either my Technorati rating wasn't high enough or not enough grassroots support. Unfortunately I really don;t have had the time to blog events as they have happened. I usually was part of those events. I had canvassed, phone banked, and supported candidates from city council to Congress. This is what I thought DFA was all about, getting progressive candidates elected to further those values. However DFA thought that instead of choosing bloggers that though DIRECT action furthered this mission, DFA rewarded the most vocal bloggers, the preachers to the choir, some of these scholarships. This is a shame and makes me feel that Vermont might not know what's going on here in the midwest. Here in DFA Columbia, we have elected members to county central committees, sent a member to the National Convention as an Obama Delegate, and we even had one of our steering committee members go to Iran as a citizen delegate. In addition, we held 2 primary debates for the 23rd and 25th state legislative districts and held endorsement votes. DFA Columbia is not a social club. We know that changing America will not be accomplished by having weenie roasts and walking around with our Buck Fush shirts on.
However DFA, with all its flaws is the leading progressive organization in this country. My post here is a friendly reminder to DFA is not to discount Missouri and really make an effort to see what's really going on in the grassroots that DFA holds dear.

Monday, June 16, 2008

That Liberal So and So

Here in the MO-9, there are many local pundits and political scientists making prediction based on past performances, a fair way to access a race at first blush. However what seems to be happening is that some democrats are running away from the liberal title, believing that rural voters will cringe at the sound of the word and run to the Republican party. But what are they running from and more importantly, what are they running towards? By virtue of the Republican echo chamber, the word liberal has been defined as gay-loving, baby killing, gun stealing, tax and spenders. We need to take back the word liberal and embrace it. Health care, jobs, and sustainable energy are values that all Missourians care about and Democrats need to embrace. Enough of the crony state. Encourage all democratic candidates in Missouri to take back the issues.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Inadequate Black Man: A Missouri blogger's memory of his New York roots.

Over the weekend, the DNC Rules committee met to discuss the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates. Emotions ran high and the press was there to report it. This video:

has been shown on a lot of blogs and people have commented on it. This is in no way accusing Hillary supporters are racist. I personally know many Clinton supporters that have fought for progressive causes for decades and really believe that Hillary is the best person for the job.

This post is really not about Clinton supporters, though I don't know how Manhattan got disenfranchised. It is about how a blue state like NY can be one of the most racist states in the nation.

I was born in Queens. I lived there until I was nine. Even at a young age, I noticed that certain people had their own neighborhoods and it wasn't a good idea to wander into them. The Jewish people had their neighborhood in Kew Gardens, the Puerto Ricans lived in a section of Richmond hill and the Irish and Italian families pretty much lined the homes and apartments of 118th st. Seeing a black person was a rarity. In my neighborhood, I could count on one hand the times I saw an African American. When one was seen, they were met with suspicion and contempt. My own mother told me to stay away from "them" because one of "them" murdered a white kid on a bike by the Mc Donald's on Jamaica Ave.

When I moved to Valley Stream in Nassau county, things were not very much different. I spend 8 years in Valley stream and during my time in the public school, I saw only one (1) black student and he was an exchange student from South Africa. What really got me thinking is when he started to talk about apartheid, most of us were pretty appalled. however it opened my eyes to what was sort of an apartheid in how we lived. Black and Latinos families were red lined away from white neighborhoods and shown only homes in "their" neighborhoods. Racism in New York takes on a territorial nature when this practice was encouraged. It is also a covert form of racism, since clashes tend to be rare and the facade of peace is put forth.

In 1983, I moved to Columbia, Mo. It was a culture shock indeed. Stores closed to early and couldn't find a decent pizza (still can't). however I noticed that among those in the same socioeconomic class, black and whites lived in close proximity and mingled together with relative ease. This was unheard of where I had lived before. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of racist crud about. But it was an overt form of racism. You knew who hated who and there was no facade. In NY, it was hard to see how people would react with an intra-racial situation when they never would have the opportunity to be in one.

The video brought back memories and history to me. Too bad, history is repeating itself

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy Summer for Democrats

Here in the city of Columbia, there is no shortage of action for the political junkie and/or activist. We have the 23rd, 24th, and the 25th Legislative district races, as well as candidates for state senate and US Congress. Throw in the coordinated campaign of Jay Nixon and you have a great opportunity to further progressive causes in Missouri. Sean Spence (DFMo. endorsed), Mary Still, and Bob Pund are vying for the 25th leg. seat. The winner will meet a Republican in the fall. Candi Iverson and Stephen Webber and running for the 23rd leg seat. Since there is no Republican running in that seat, the winner of the primary will be the presumptive winner. Chris Kelly and Kelly Schultz are running for the 24th and 21st respectively and will meet Ed Robb and Steve Hobbs in November. Many of these campaigns are embracing a grassroots style of action and are moving away from the top down style of running campaigns. Some of these candidates are on Facebook and they use it quite regularly to disperse information to their supporters. I predict big gains for Democrats this fall. The Republicans on all levels have left this nation broke and yearning for change. So get out there, canvass for your favorite candidate and let's win!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Voter ID law doesn't make it to floor. We won this round!

The Missouri Senate just adjourned and the Voter ID law never came to the floor. This round has been won and those who wrote their state senators, they heard you! It is imperative that we keep vigilant. Blunt may call a special session later this year and bring this issue back up. It is also important to remember that we must put Jay Nixon to the governor's office. Also if we can get a legislative house, that would be great as well :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Supreme Court decision of Voter ID law. Will Republicans in Missouri try again?

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana Voter ID law recently. It is considered one of the strictest voter suppression law in the country. In 2006, a similar law was passed in the State of Missouri, but the Missouri Supreme in decision of Weinschenk et al. v. State of Missouri stated that the law violated the equal protection clause of the Missouri Constitution.

Essentially requiring some people, mostly elderly and the poor, to pay for birth certificates in order to get those IDs would have put a burden to their right of free suffrage. Now over the last few days, I've seen some Missouri Republican politician laud the U.S. Supreme Court and has embolden some to bring up the possibility of resurrecting the 2006 law in the model of Indiana. It is probably a little late to bring it up during this legislative session and I don't know if this is an issue that would be required to hold a special session later on.

It is time for Democrats and progressives to be prepared for the Republican distortion machine. To start off, in 2004 Matt Blunt, then Sec. of State declared the election fraud free. It is ironic in just 2 years all of a sudden a voter ID law becomes a legislative priority.

Another Republican tactic is they will tell you that there is dead people voting here in Missouri or voting twice. According to the Dept. of Justice, there was no proof of "impostor" fraud in the state of Missouri, meaning someone voting under a name other then their own. The Republicans have brought up 2 incidents in Missouri to justify their voter suppression law. One is the ACORN voter registration fraud in St Louis. What had happened is that someone(s) falsified voter registration forms in order receive more money since they were paid for each registration. However, no one voted using those false registrations (impostor voting), which was again the justification for the 2006 law.

The other incident that Republicans are bringing up a KC Star report about a Blue Springs man that voted in both Missouri and in Kansas. My response is that like the ACORN controversy, the Voter ID law in 2006 was to prevent "impostor voting" and it would of not prevented someone from crossing state lines to vote again.

Be ready folks, the voter suppressors will make this Supreme Court decision their rallying cry

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Preachers Behaving Badly?

With all the hand-wringing and calls for condemnation of Rev Wrights "race baiting" comments why hasn't the Republican party distanced themselves from their own "hate" preachers? Here are a few stupid made by Pat Robertson:

"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate -- this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor." –Pat Robertson, on "gay days" at Disneyworld

"(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." –Pat Robertson

Can't Forget about Rev. Farwell:

"Well, I totally concur." –Pat Robertson to Jerry Falwell following the Sept. 11 attacks, after Falwell said, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say: "You helped this happen."

When Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Guliani, there was no looping of Robertson comments on Faux News, nor did the pundits care. This is nothing more than a distraction to make people not notice the mess that the Republicans made here in Missouri and across this nation.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Why the heck is State Senator John Griesheimer endorsing Brock Olivo

Sure, I read the news release stating that he has known Olivo for 15 years and he is a person he can trust. However what is bugging me is that the other Republican primary candidates have more legislative experience than Olivo, but the senator chooses a candidate that is a "recovering apathetic" who has never voted. This is not an election for Homecoming King. The MIZ-ZOU chants can go only so far. Maybe the powers to be feel they can control Olivo and set the agenda for him.

After the embarrassment of Olivo fumbling on answers to tough questions like "Why are you running". I can't believe that some Republicans are standing by him and they are trying to convince others that this is the person to represent the 9th Congressional district. Mr. Olivo needs to "carry the water" for his local constituents first and maybe vote one in a while. Maybe then he might have the experience to serve other than being a frequent attendee of a social studies class

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Needing to Chill

It seems like the powers to be in the Democratic party are either needing to chill or have been told to chill. Senator Harkin is the latest in "chill" politics. A few days ago, James Carville called Governor Richardson a Judas, saying that he betrayed the Clintons. Unlike Judas, I don't think Richardson was a disciple of Hillary. It also looks like Hillary's funds are drying up, while Obama's continue to rise. To be sure, large sums of money in politics have been seen as negative, but the way it has been raised has been unprecedented. Not big money donors, but millions of small individual donations.

Bill Clinton's frustration is talking its toll on him. His red-faced presentation to CA superdelegates did not help Hillary. Chill out Bill, you risking your health and your wife's delicate political situation.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Democracy For Missouri's own Wayne Brekhus receives the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

Democracy For Missouri president Wayne Brekhus received the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence on April 1st. This award is given out to 5 outstanding teachers each year at the University of Missouri. This honor also comes with a monetary reward of $10,000 and a visit from the university's top brass. Many of us from Democracy For Missouri knew that Dr. Brekhus was someone special, what took the university do long :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Emily's List spurned by McCaskill?

In an AP article that was in the Columbia Tribune it stated that Senator Claire McCaskill as well as Senator Klobuchar from Minnesota had spurned Emily's List, an organization that supports pro-choice woman candidates. I have a problem with this type of reporting. There was no official statement from Emily's list that I could find criticizing these 2 woman for their support of Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton has been Emily List candidate for quite a while now and no one could foresee the way the primary has been shaking out. It looks like the AP wants this to be an issue where no issue had exist. This is nothing more than trying to create news so one can report it. It looks like every single action from a candidate lately is being reported on and editorialized.

The above mentioned senators are a triumph for Emily's list and they should be proud that these pro-choice woman sit in positions of great power. I hope they will not fall into the trap that the news starved media has set out for them

Monday, March 31, 2008

Judy Baker's An Evening with Judy

Just a small note on the Judy Baker's fund raising dinner. She is running for U.S. Congress in 9th Congressional District in Missouri. It was well attended and half of the Democracy For Missouri steering committee was there including Wayne Brekus, president, Bill Monroe, Obama National Delegate, and myself. She gave a short speech and mentioned the 50 state strategy and how she was the epitome of it. It calls for fighting Republicans in all 50 states and not let a Republican seat go uncontested. Judy got into the race when Hulshof was still in office and she was ready to take the fight to him.

Columbia School Board Races and Tax Levy

As April 8th approaches. an increasingly number of people have said to me that the school board has really lost touch with it's constituents. Over the last year with the new math curriculum and the whole high school site fiasco, many parents and non-parents alike have started asking questions on how the district's affairs are run. To add to this discontent, there is a 54 cent property tax levy to make up for some "shortfalls"

The general sense I get from the person "on the street" is that the tax levy is going to go down hard and Preis might not be re-elected. To his credit, he did invite Phylis Chase to one of our Democracy for Missouri meetings to hear a presentation from the Leave My Child Alone project. This project exposes a sneaky provision in the No Child Left Behind law that forces schools to give military recruiters personal information on students unless they opt-out. A few weeks later, we received a letter from Chase that these opt-out forms will be in student's orientation packets and the beginning of the next school year.

Though it looks like Ines Segert is the front runner, the other two slots can come from any one of those candidates, save Arch Brooks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family Leave Act - Clay Sr. says Hillary had nothing to do with it

William Clay Sr., former Mo congressman, was one of the chief sponsors of the bill back in the 90's. He claims that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with it. In a St Louis Dispatch article, Clay Sr. said there wasn't really much os a need for lobbying.

You know, she might of "help" Bill Clinton write a speech or provide some unofficial advice. Is this one of those resume exaggerations? Sure it is. But it is not the blatant lie about landing in sniper fire and being whisked away when it is clear you were not. We have to be careful not to equate an exaggeration with an outright lie. One is clearly different from the other. A lot of people, especially Clinton supporters, are pointing to Obama's "exaggerations" to some how excuse Hillary's Bosnia lie. This is very Karl Rovian in the sense that he would deflect any criticism from the administration by pointing to his critic's alleged bad behavior. Never mind that he was comparing apples to walruses, that didn't matter.

In Memoriam

Margot Patterson Lubensky, first Boone County woman to serve in the General assembly, died Friday March 28, 2008. The Missourian has a nice article about Ms. Lubensky.

Paul Sturtz for First Ward City Council

The First ward of Columbia has a great opportunity to elect one of the most creative people in the city to the Council. Paul Sturtz founded Ragtag theater and has he along with David Wilson have organized the True/False film festival, an increasingly popular and influential event. In a ward with diverse neighborhoods and people, the other candidates have only their niche constituents. But Paul is the only candidate that views the council seat as a vehicle for change not just for the first ward. but for the city as a whole. If you live in the first ward, please cast your vote for Paul Sturtz on April 8th

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Natural Health, Midwifery, and Chuck Graham

Since Tuesday, I have wondered to myself why the lay midwifery advocates have gone after Chuck Graham with such fury. then I started to talk to some people who are not necessary midwifery proponents, but supporters of natural health. Through this inquiry I started to understand , in my opinion, the misguided anger towards Senator Graham. I actually attended a Health Freedom Expo in Chicago in 2006. I have never been to Chicago and thought why not. At this Expo they were many vendors selling anything from small miniature sauna that looked like a pup tent to the latest in super juices. Many folks who support natural medicine believe that the medical profession is too pharmaceutical based and going back to "natural methods" will heal the body. There are many states that have considered or are considering legislation to ban or restrict these natural medicine practices, hence the health freedom movement.

Personally I do not agree with the senator, but I don't believe Chuck is against midwifery because he "in" with the AMA. Can he just be against it just because he believes it's unsafe?

For me, some of the natural health philosophy makes sense. I do believe people are over-medicated and natural methods seem less intrusive and have less side effects. Other practices like iridology I don't buy.

Maybe there can be room for compromise.

Mo 9th Congressional Convention in Audrain county

It was a rainy and stormy night....ok, it was raining, but I'm not writing a fictional piece with a cliche beginning. I attended the Mo 9th Congressional Convention in Mexico, Missouri. A couple of friends and I drove up there from Columbia as Obama Alternates. We tried to make up a song to sing as we were driving up in the rain, but couldn't find many words that rhymed with alternate. We arrived in one piece and spent some time talking and conversing with other delegates. I was stumping for William Monroe to be the make Obama Delegate. Bill is a public health nurse that works in Columbia, but lives in Fulton. Before the vote, there were delegates that didn't show up so alternates were chosen to fill in. My friend's wife and I were picked to be delegates and had voting privileges. It is funny that she became an alt a month earlier only because she didn't want to walk home and decided to join her husband at the county convention in February. Democracy is about showing up it seems (attributed to Wayne Brekhus).

Speeches were given, the holy trinity of Truman, FDR, and JFK was invoked, and in the end Bill won the delegate seat. Robin LaBrunerie of Columbia won the female delegate slot. Missourian story is here.

I must say I thought the process was fun and hope to have more fun at the State convention on May the 10th.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Superdelegates - Will they or won't they?

It is becoming clear that superdelegates will have a tremendous effect on the Democratic nomination for President. What is becoming distressing to a lot of people, including myself, that these party insiders will go against the will of voters and choose a nominee that won't be popularly elected. Barack Obama is currently in the delegate lead and has won more pledged delegates than Senator Clinton. However Sen Clinton knows more insiders and get the nomination.

Florida and Michigan broke the DNC rules and moved their primaries. The DNC stripped their delegates. Now because Sen. Clinton won in Michigan (Which she and Dennis K. were the only ones on the ballot) and Florida. She wants them back into play. I think they should be able to caucus. Senator Clinton thinks its unfair. I don't. The candidates were told not to campaign in these states. If delegates are going to be chosen, it should be chosen after the candidates can campaign and take their message to the voters. Clinton is worried that her support will be eroded away. Of course caucuses won't attract all those voters, but the state parties put themselves in that situation. It is ironic, by moving up their primaries, they still marginalized their state.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Barack Obama MOmentum

It is becoming clear that Obama has the head of steam he needs to take on Hillary in the Texas and Ohio primaries. Clinton has had to loan her own campaign 5 million dollars to keep up. I personally don't like when a candidate uses their own money to run their campaign. Now those who do this will tell you that they like to put their money where their mouth is, but the "contribution" always rings hollow.

Clinton is part of the old guard. Don't be fooled, she is not an agent for change. You can't be part of the establishment for over a third of a century and then turn around and say you are going to change it. Hillary believes that this is owed to her. The Democrats in the past had this mindset that nominations should go to party loyalist and if you were some young whipper snapper, you were to wait your turn.

To all you old school Democrats. With the rise of MoveOn and Democracy for America. The grassroots have taken over this party. No more closed off and unaccountable public officials that on;y are Democrats when it is was time for the party nominations. Bush democrats are getting are beginning to realize that their offices are in jeopardy.

Obama vs. Clinton - A battle for party identity