Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Some Local Primary Results

Which may or may not say anything useful about the big one in November…

Vox reports “Debbie Wasserman Schultz fends off primary challenge from insurgent backed by Bernie Sanders”:

Wasserman Schultz faced a primary race from Tim Canova, a law professor who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. But Wasserman Schultz looks to have won easily, with the Associated Press projecting at around 10pm that she’d defeat Canova in her bid for a seventh term…

… [I]t was never really clear how Canova’s bid threatened the long-time Democratic Congresswoman. Sanders’s endorsement of Canova helped him raise money, but probably didn’t make him that much popular — after all, Clinton easily defeated Sanders in Wasserman Schultz’s district.

Good night for Repub incumbents, too. The Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain beat back a primary challenge Tuesday from a Republican tea party activist to win the right to seek a sixth term in November in a race that has been inundated with questions about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee easily defeated former state Sen. Kelli Ward and two other Republicans.

He faces a tough Democratic challenge in the November general election from U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. She advanced Tuesday after facing only a write-in opponent in the primary…

AZ ‘Juicers: Should ‘we’ set up an ActBlue widget for Kirkpatrick?

Speaking of thirsty, the WaPo also mentions 2020 presidential hopeful looking to keep his interim seat:

Rubio easily won the Republican nomination to retain his seat and will be challenged by Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who defeated Congressman Alan Grayson in Tuesday’s Senate primary. It’s a race Democrats are targeting in an effort to regain a majority in the Senate, and their hope is that Rubio’s presidential ambitions have dulled the shine he had with Florida voters..

And a genuinely positive win, via commentor Hovercraft, from the Florida Times-Union:

Melissa Nelson, an unknown corporate lawyer and former prosecutor three months ago, cleared her path to become one of the most powerful and influential figures in Northeast Florida on Tuesday night when she easily defeated incumbent 4th Judicial State Attorney Angela Corey.

The election caps a dizzying rise for Nelson and an equally shocking fall for Corey, one of the most polarizing political figures in Jacksonville history who generated national attention and enormous criticism for her prosecutions of George Zimmerman, Marissa Alexander, 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez and many others. Corey will depart office in the first week of January as the first incumbent state attorney in modern history to lose a contested election…

Controversy had followed Corey even before she was elected as Duval, Clay and Nassau’s top prosecutor. She had engaged in a long-running feud with Shorstein, her predecessor and former boss that rose up again this year when Corey unsuccessfully tried to tie Nelson to Shorstein, blaming both for dropping the death penalty against convicted murderer William Wells, who would later kill again in prison.

Once in office Corey engaged in multiple feuds, refusing to speak to this newspaper for a year, and often lashed out at criticism of her.

And that criticism became more vocal when she chose to prosecute Zimmerman for the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, sought a 60-year prison sentence for Alexander after she fired a shot in the direction of her abusive husband and decided to try Fernandez as an adult…

What else is on the agenda for the day?

It takes a local party

Building on Betty’s post this morning on how we need to build a leftward pendulum swing at all levels of government and society, I want to endorse and fundraise for promising candidate for Oakland County Commissioner in Michigan:

Charles Gaba is the guy behind which is the go-to source for all enrollment information about the Exchanges and a very good clearinghouse for lots of other health wonkery.

He is running for County Commissioner in a suburban county in the Detroit metro area where the Presidential top-lines have the county as a lean Democratic area but the local government has a significant Republican presence.  He is doing something about that and I want to help a colleague and a fellow wonk.  So if you can spare a few bucks, help elect a wonky progressive to a county government board:


Here is Charles’ Act Blue link:

Saturday Morning Open Thread: One Makes Room for More

The Democratic delegate count for New York has been finalized — Clinton 139, Sanders 108 (full pledged delegate count: Clinton 1444, Sanders 1207). Reporters are feeling secure enough to start pestering Clinton surrogates about her VP choices. John Podesta promised the Boston Globe that Hillary’s short list would include a woman (because of course they asked, and what else was he gonna say?) The Washington Post‘s premier horse-race tout Chris Cillizza likes Amy Klobuchar, Tom Perez, Tim Kaine, Sherrod Brown, and Julian Castro, and his explanations are reasonable enough to consider them the Conventional Wisdom picks.

But apart from nitpicking the backup Prom Queen/King, Ann Friedman at NYMag has pointed out that there’s more women running for office than ever:

There are currently 27 women in the running for the U.S. Senate, and 216 are vying for U.S. House seats. Plus six women running for governor. Not all of them will win their primaries to make it to the ballot in November. But there are hundreds of women campaigning right now — you’re just not hearing much about them.

The silence is a real shame, because in 2016 we could see a record-breaking number of women elected to the Senate. There are nine pro-choice Democratic women running for Senate this year, most of whom have a good shot at election. Compare that to the supposedly watershed “Year of the Woman” in 1992, which only saw four women senators elected. And, this year, four of the nine contenders are women of color, which is huge because only two women of color have ever, in history, been elected to the Senate…

Not all of these women candidates, it’s worth noting, have endorsed Clinton. And for those of us who are just voters — whether we’re Clinton superfans, merely lukewarm on her, or Sanders supporters who care about electing women — it’s time to look down the ticket. A lot of signs point to 2016 being a big year for women voters — especially if Donald Trump, who seems to actively hate women, is the Republican nominee. If we’re smart, we’ll use the wide gender gap among voters to lift women candidates at all levels of politics.

Here’s how to start: Rutgers’s Center for American Women in Politics has a list of women who are running in every state. Read it. Find a woman near you, or a woman on the other side of the country whose values you share. And decide to support her — financially, if possible. But in other ways, too. Volunteer. Talk her up. Do what you can. Many candidates are facing primary elections in May and June, so now is a great time to get onboard with their campaigns…

Apart from bickering about terminology working towards change, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Walking the Walk: DeRay McKesson Is Running for Mayor of Baltimore

Wesley Lowrey, in the Washington Post, “DeRay Mckesson, Black Lives Matter activist, launches last-minute bid to become mayor of Baltimore”:

… The activist waited until the final hour before the 9 p.m., Feb. 3, filing deadline to launch the surprise, long-shot bid, which begins just 83 days before voters head to the polls. Because Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the city, Baltimore’s April 26 primary is expected to determine who replaces Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the once-rising star in national Democratic politics who announced last year that she would not seek reelection.

“Baltimore is at a moment,” Mckesson, who becomes the first of the prominent post-Ferguson activists to seek public office, said in a phone interview on Wednesday night. “I’m running to usher Baltimore into a new era where our government is accountable to its people and aggressively innovative in how it identifies and solves problems.”

Mckesson, 30, joins a crowded field that includes former mayor Sheila Dixon, who is leading in the polls, state Sen. Catherine Pugh, and city councilmen Carl Stokes and Nick Mosby as well as 10 other Democratic candidates…
… [O]n a brisk Saturday afternoon in January, a paper sign was taped to the building’s thick glass front door: “DeRay’s meeting: third floor.”

The four-hour policy meeting — attended by a Washington Post reporter on the condition that details of the gathering would not be reported until after Mckesson made his final decision on whether he would enter the race — was a free-for-all, in which a dozen participants reviewed data on education, housing, and criminal justice.

In attendance were Johnetta Elzie and Samuel Sinyangwe, two activists who, with Mckesson, run Campaign Zero (the fourth partner, Brittany Packnett, joined the meeting via conference call); Donnie O’Callaghan, an education policy analyst and Mckesson’s best friend, and several city officials who knew Mckesson from his time working for the school district and his prior nonprofit and community organizing work.

While Mckesson is best known publicly for his advocacy around criminal justice and policing policy, the bulk of the meeting was spent discussing a host of other issues: education, housing and public health…

Much more detail, and useful links to other long profiles of Mckesson, at the link.

Democrat Wins in Louisiana (for What It’s Worth)

Mother Jones reports:

Republican Sen. David Vitter lost his bid to be the next governor of Louisiana on Saturday, and it wasn’t even close. The two-term senator lost the runoff election to Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards by double digits, setting the stage for the state to potentially become the first in the Deep South to accept a pivotal part of Obamacare…

Edwards, an anti-abortion, pro-gun, West Point grad, became the first Democratic candidate to win a statewide election in Louisiana since 2008, and benefited from support from Republicans who were dissatisfied with Vitter’s personal troubles and who were disappointed by the state’s financial woes under outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal. (By the time Jindal dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday, the one-time rising star’s approval ratings had dropped to 20-percent.)

Jindal also rejected federal funding to expand Medicaid. Edwards has pledged to sign an executive order authorizing the expansion of the program on his first day in office. That’s a really big deal. Such a move would provide coverage to about 225,000 residents in one of the poorest states in the nation.

John Bel Edwards is not exactly the perfect candidate of my progressive dreams, but then, I’m not an uninsured poor person in Louisiana. So props for the win, about-to-be-Governor Edwards, and may your every legislative decision be 180 degrees in opposition to that of the incumbent.

Goose Eggs

Yeah, Richard Mayhew is probably right about why Bevin won, because Kynect/Medicaid wasn’t a factor to voters.

You want to know why it wasn’t a factor to voters?

Big ol goddamn goose egg, that’s why.

You can feel all the sympathy you want for people who voted against their self-interest here in the Bluegrass State, but considering Conway was too busy telling people how awful Obama is, he gets a big chunk of the blame too.

Democrats.  Who Run Away.  From Obama.  Lose.

Why is this so goddamn hard for people to understand?

Lying Until The Very End

Tomorrow Kentuckians hit the polls to see whether or not Matt Bevin will kick 400,000 plus people off Medicaid.

Bevin has lied the entire campaign about wanting to get rid of Medicaid expansion. It’s right here in his “Bevin Blueprint” for Kentucky. right there at the top of page 10.

I mean, I don’t know what else you can say about it.  He flat out says it “should be repealed”.  There’s nothing in there about any transition, any help for the 450,000 added to Medicaid under the expansion and the thousands more getting insurance through Kynect, he just closes Kynect and puts Kentucky on the federal health insurance exchange.  That’s his plan.

Nearly half a million people would lose their health insurance, point blank.  It’s in Bevin’s own position paper, guys.  It’s his stated policy, right there, verbatim.

Oh, and the rest of the Bevin Blueprint is a disaster: ending unions in the state, cutting thousands of state employee jobs, ending state pensions, shifting education dollars to private, charter and home schools and ending state education standards, and massive tax cuts for the rich and for businesses and expecting Laffer Curve unicorns to make up the lost revenue, just like in Kansas.

Oh, and he ends with refusing to enforce federal laws and regulations he doesn’t agree with. Nullification uber alles!

Time to vote, Kentuckians.  You’ve got a choice to make: Conway, or this recipe for economic and austerity disaster that will burn the state to the ground.

But don’t take my word for it.  Let John Oliver explain with the help of a pangolin.