Election Inquiry Open Thread: Andrew Yang’s New Hire

*THIS* Tad Devine?

From the Daily Beast:

On Wednesday, Politico reported that the Yang campaign was hiring the firm Devine, Mulvey, and Longabaugh to help with media consulting. The firm has, for years, worked with a slate of Democratic candidates on federal and state races. But it’s best known for its work on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, on which Tad Devine—one of the firm’s namesakes—served as a senior adviser.

Both Devine and the firm were set to reprise their roles in 2020. But they ended up not joining the Sanders election effort after what was described as strategic difference. In reality, the decision was largely driven by the belief within Sanders’ orbit that they could save money—and do a better job coordinating messages—if they simply produced their ads in house.

“I’ve seen reporting that suggests they quit,” Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, told The Daily Beast. “They did not quit; Senator Sanders never brought them on.”…

“He didn’t break up with us, we broke up with him!”

Maybe Yang (or more likely, his staffers) *didn’t* bother to google Devine. Maybe they honestly believed, hey — guy smart enough not to get busted when his partner is in the federal pen must be a good strategist! Maybe they’re dumb/naive enough to believe the fantasy Tad can lure wavering Sandernistas into their camp.

(TBH, I had more respect for Devine when it seemed like his firm was smart enough to stay away from BernieBust Mk.II, or at least smart enough to lie low until it was certain Manafort wasn’t going to tell the feds anything they didn’t already know.)

But mostly I’m reminded of a quote from baseball great Casey Stengel:

“Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose ’em I never knew existed before.”








The Doral Debacle Open Thread: “He’s in the Hospitality Business!”

So Mick Mulvaney told us. And Trump certainly set out a rich buffet for his detractors…

… “He had no choice,” Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and longtime friend of the president’s, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It shouldn’t have been done in the first place. And it’s a good move to get out of it and get that out of the papers and off the news.”

[And you know it just broke Christie’s heart to be called on to explain this for his old frenemy…]

The president first heard the criticism of his choice of the Doral watching TV, where even some Fox News personalities were disapproving. By Saturday afternoon, his concerns had deepened when he put in a call to Camp David, where Mr. Mulvaney was hosting moderate congressional Republicans for a discussion of issues facing them, including impeachment, and was told the consensus was he should reverse himself. Those moderates are among the votes Mr. Trump would need to stick with him during an impeachment.

“I didn’t see it being a big negative, but it certainly wasn’t a positive,” said Representative Peter T. King of New York, one of those at Camp David. He said the group told Mr. Trump’s aides that sticking with the decision “would be a distraction.”…

“I think there was a lot of concern,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of the Republicans’ leadership team. “I’m not sure people questioned the legality of it, but it clearly was an unforced political error.”

Mr. Cole said he did not speak to the president directly about it, but expressed relief that Mr. Trump had changed his mind, and was certain that other Republicans felt the same way. “We just didn’t need this,” he said.

By late Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump had made his decision, but he waited to announce the reversal until that night in two tweets that were separated by a break he took to watch the opening of Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News program…

[Because a guy needs a little ego balm when he’s facing such a hurtful choice.]

“At the end of the day,” Mr. Mulvaney said Sunday, “he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business, and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world, and he wanted to put the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could.”

[A show, he most certainly put on, regardless.]
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Election 2020 Open Thread: The FTFNYTimes Defends Its #1 Priority

Namely, advertising:

SeND Us MoR Money OR YR CaMpaIGN Dies!!!…


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Hold on loosely

I’ve always thought that McConnell cares most about Republicans retaining the Senate. An impeachment trial in the Senate complicates that:

Mr. McConnell sees the proceedings as necessary to protect a half a dozen moderates in states like Maine, Colorado and North Carolina who face re-election next year and must show voters they are giving the House impeachment charges a serious review.

But none of this will come to fruition unless we get the House to vote for impeachment. Let’s raise some more money for the seventeen most vulnerable Democratic House incumbents (you can divide the money among them however you like):

Goal Thermometer








Getting what you pay: state legislature edition

For the 2018-2019 school year in North Carolina, a 23 year old with a bachelor’s degree in education has a minimum starting salary of $35,000.  I hope that our legislatures have more experience and knowledge than a first year teacher as the scope of their work is more complex.

Cheap legislature pay means the legislature is easy to capture.

Term limits means expertise and knowledge devolves to lobbyists and interest groups as they know where the bathroom is as well as where the high value comma should be placed next to an “and.”

“No budget, no pay” rules means that the party whose members can go without pay for years has a significant leverage advantage over the party whose members need to pay a mortgage on the 27th of each month.

We get what we pay for.  Institutional rules partially determine leverage and power which then influences outcomes.  A legislature where the only people who can afford to serve are either independently wealthy or easily bought out by concentrated interests will have a very different agenda merely due to the life experience of relevant leaders applying a filter of their own experiences to policy problems than a legislature where a wide swath of society can afford to run and serve.

We need to think through the first and second order effects of simple solutions to complex problems as the incentives tend to get messy.