Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Dems Capture GOP Seat, but Voter Fraud Cases Reported

Posted in Democrats, Republicans by allisonkilkenny on May 4, 2008

Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo

In a further indication that the Democrats are well-positioned to expand their House majority this November, Democrat Don Cazayoux has won a special election tonight for a Louisiana seat that has been in Republican hands for over 30 years.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cazayoux leads with 49,371 votes, or 49% of the vote, followed by Republican Woody Jenkins at 46,554 votes, or 46%. In a district that voted 59% for President Bush in 2004, that is simply a stunning result.

This is on top of another big Democratic pick-up two months ago, when Bill Foster (D-IL) won the suburban Illinois seat of former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert.

In short, this year isn’t going very well so far for the NRCC.

But some bad news…2theadvocate.com reports on more strange phone calls to black households coming out of Baton Rouge.

Story behind the cut.

On election day, a number of homes in Baton Rouge’s predominantly black neighborhoods were phoned with a tape-recorded message asking black voters to teach white Democrats a lesson by staying home and not casting ballots.

The ad signed off as “Friends of Michael Jackson.”

Jackson, a Democratic state representative defeated by Cazayoux in the primary runoff, said he was not involved or connected in any way with the calls. Jackson said he will run for the seat in November.

First thoughts: The great ’08 paradox – First Read – msnbc.com

Posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, politics, Republicans by allisonkilkenny on March 13, 2008

New Poll from MSNBC.com

We all know how accurate polls can be, so take it with a grain of salt…

Interesting polls from NBC and The Wall Street Journal:


The great ‘08 paradox:

The party’s fav/unfav has increased: 34%-49%
Bush’s approval rating remains in the 30s
People who want a president, who takes a different approach than Bush: 76%
Believe they’re worse off than they were four years ago: 43%
Obama beats McCain in a national election: 47%-44%
Clinton beats McCain in a national election: 47%-45%
Republicans say they would have preferred a different GOP nominee: 52%
Democrats that have a negative view of McCain: 44%

Style vs. substance:

Obama would have a better chance of beating McCain: 48%
Clinton would have a better chance of beating McCain: 38%
A candidate’s leadership style and trustworthiness are more important than ideas and policies: 48%
Ideas and policies are more important that style and trustworthiness: 32%
Obama has improved on eight of 10 attributes, including the commander-in-chief question (he trails Clinton here by just five points among Democrats).
Clinton, on the other hand, has stagnated on nine out of 10 attributes and has dropped in the other: being likeable. Overall,
Clinton leads Obama in the Dem horserace, 47%-43%



Legacy watch

Bill Clinton’s legacy viewed favorably (in March ’07): 49%-35%.
Now it’s a net negative: 42%-45%.
His numbers have gradually gotten worse as the campaign has gone on. In November, it was 47%-40%; in January, it was 44%-41%, and now it’s 42%-45%. The reason? His support among African Americans and Obama voters has greatly eroded. Similarly, the poll shows that Obama voters have a more negative impression of Clinton than Clinton voters do of Obama.

Uniting the Dems:

Nearly four in 10 Democrats believe the protracted primary is bad for the party, and just one in four think the long process is good.
Obama voters have a lower opinion of Clinton than Clinton voters have of Obama.
Clinton’s fav/unfav among Obama voters was 69%-17%.
Now it has decreased to 45%-33%.
Meanwhile, Obama’s fav/unfav among Clinton voters was 55%-20%.
Now it’s pretty much the same at 53%-24%.

Other interesting numbers in the poll:

The percentage of respondents who correctly identified Obama as a Christian increased from 18% to 37%.
But those identifying him as a Muslim also increased five points: 8% to 13%
Globalization has been bad for the country: 58%
Congress’ approval rating: 19%.
View Nader in a positive light: 14%

The poll was conducted March 7-10 among 1,012 registered voters, and it has a 3.1% margin of error.

Stephen Colbert: Run, Boy, Run!

Posted in Democrats by allisonkilkenny on October 31, 2007

By Allison Kilkenny at Huffington Post

Stephen Colbert: Run, Boy, Run!

In recent years, everyone from pundits and politicians, to United States citizens, have developed “Democracy Amnesia.” We have no concept of our history, or important laws that activists fought to push through the courts.

Case in point: Ralph Nader. You may remember him as the man who “stole the election” from Al Gore in 2000. An interesting trend has emerged in American politics. I’ll call it the “Agree-With-Me-And-Stay-Mainstream” Candidate (at least until I come up with a catchier title).

Suddenly, it’s not okay to engage in actual debates. Remember when Barack Obama decided to finally take the gloves off and swing a few fists of justice Hillary’s way? I thought the mainstream press was going to have a heart attack. They called Barack everything from a dirty fighter to a hypocrite, since he was the candidate who called for a clean campaigning season. But since when is actually debating issues considered unclean?

With the rare (and petite) exception of Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic debate has been something of an “Agree-With-Me” Fest. However, whenever the candidates do butt heads, the press explodes with titles like BRAWL, ATTACK, and FIGHT as if they’re covering a boxing match instead of a cog in the democratic mechanism.

Disagreement is essential in politics, as is diversity. This article is written in response to Eric Boehlert’s evil article, “Stephen Colbert’s joke is on the press” located here: http://mediamatters.org/columns/200710300001?f=h_column. In it, Boehlert calls fringe candidates (like the joker-runner Colbert) an unnecessary “distraction.” However, he expands this thesis from its hilarious core to include any candidate who isn’t a frontrunner. Boehlert quotes a cranky Colbert fan:

Now is the time for the fringe players to slip away. Bye-bye, Brownback, so long Kucinich (we predict) and Gravel (we hope). The race is tightening, stakes are getting higher, and the general feeling is that this is where things start to count. The distraction of a spoof candidate — even the ultimate spoof candidate — will just get in the way.

Get in the way? Are you fucking insane? By this reasoning, Hillary should just move into the White House in 2009. Why even hold elections, right? Democracy is such tough work, anyway. If only there was a way where we wouldn’t have to listen to debates, use our brains, and make grown-up decisions. If only there was a supreme leader to tell us how to live and what to think. Oh! Oh! And can we elect our leader for life so we don’t have to hold bothersome elections? Super…super.

Better yet, let’s have a dynasty – a structure of government we’ll call Democracy, so we can remain a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. The dynasty will be two royal families: the Bushes and the Clintons, and we’ll just cycle them in and out of power every four or eight years. No muss, no fuss.

The thing is: Stephen Colbert is joking. He’s a brilliant comedian, and he’s fucking with everyone. I love it. No one knows what to do with Stephen because he’s slippery and smarter than everyone he talks to. At first, I was content in watching him slowly unravel the democratic process and reveal its gaping flaws, but now I want him to gain momentum. Serious momentum. I want him to ruin, get in the way of, and derail everyone’s neatly prepackaged campaigns of commonplace answers and kissing babies. I want him to so utterly surprise candidates that they have to give real answers and act human.

I want him to make America a democracy again, one complete with discussion, diplomacy, and compromise. For that matter, I was my Kucinich, Paul, Gravel, and Brownback. I want all of them in every debate with equal time to speak. Then, in 2009, if Hillary loses the election, she’ll have no one to blame but herself.

Nader didn’t lose the election for Gore. Gore lost it for Gore. If Gore couldn’t beat a hapless retard like Bush, then he was a poor candidate, and didn’t deserve the presidency. Lost Floridian counts, and the sins of caged voting aside, that election was way, way too close in the first place. Same goes for Kerry/Bush, and whatever happens with Hillary Clinton. If she’s worth her salt as a politician, she’ll widen the gap to where she decisively buries her opponent.

Or here’s a novel thought: Hillary Clinton doesn’t win! Barack steps it up…or! Or…John Edwards? If you scoffed at the idea, ponder why we – the American people – have such a gosh darn hard time imagining a third party sitting in the White House. Why is it a fantasy to imagine a leftist candidate winning the whole thing? Because of evil statements like the ones Eric Boehlert makes:

Question: In the history of modern-day American presidential campaigns, has a new candidate ever entered the race polling at roughly 10 percent and then proceeded to pick up an additional 10 percent each week for four weeks running? Ever? Why would anybody suggest that a late-night comedian might be able to accomplish what no other candidate has ever done in American politics? What would prompt somebody to suggest that Colbert, by next month, might soon be garnering 40 percent and be the leading candidate for president?

Condense this statement to read: WHY TRY?

Bohelert answers his own question with “because it’s fun.” Fun? It’s absolutely essential. It’s the definition of a democracy.

This is the root of all that is wrong with American politics. It’s the “You can’t win, so sit down” attitude. Supporters of this philosophy forget that runners don’t necessarily have to win to shape public opinion. Victories are won with ideas, and true leaders possess the vision and wisdom to know that sometimes revolutions happen gradually.

Sometimes, revolutions begin with one person standing up and saying: “I know you don’t take me seriously. I know I’m the clown in the room, but damnit, I’m trying anyway.”

Run on, funny man. Show them how it’s done.