Saturday, November 22, 2008

CA-4: McClintock +1,793

Charlie Brown (Dem) 181,696
Tom McClintock (Rep) 183,489

as of Nov. 22, 2008, at 10:52 a.m., Pacific Standard Time

Seems I was indeed right to call it (unfortunately)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CA-4: McClintock +592

Charlie Brown (Dem) 169,533
Tom McClintock (Rep) 170,125

as of Nov. 19, 2008, at 7:52 a.m.

The 12 Anti-Lieberman Chairmanship Democrats

As everyone knows, there were only 12 who didn't vote to let him keep his chair.

They are

Monday, November 17, 2008

CA-4: McClintock +622

Charlie Brown (Dem) 169,335
Tom McClintock (Rep) 169,957

as of Nov. 17, 2008, at 11:41 a.m.

This may have been the last of the outstanding votes from Nevada County.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

CA-4: McClintock +691

Some of El Dorado County came in last evening.

Charlie Brown (Dem) 168,808
Tom McClintock (Rep) 169,499

as of Nov. 15, 2008, at 1:20 p.m.

Friday, November 14, 2008

CA-4: McClintock +569

Charlie Brown (Dem) 168,378
Tom McClintock (Rep) 168,947

as of Nov. 14, 2008, at 4:22 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

This was as a result of an updated reported from Sacramento County, a sliver of which is in California's 4th district (a more conservative part)

Again, it still doesn't look so good for Charlie Brown, unfortunately.

Ca-4: McClintock +533

Most of the outstanding votes in Nevada County have come in

Charlie Brown (Dem) 168,335
Tom McClintock (Rep) 168,868

the other counties with outstanding votes went narrowly for Tom McClintock, and so sadly, he's likely to win this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ca-4: McClintock +1248

Charlie Brown (Dem) 166,536
Tom McClintock (Rep) 167,784

as of Nov. 13, 2008, at 7:09 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

I remain in the position of having called it for McClintock

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

AK-Sen: Begich +3

I think we're gonna take this seat, because apparently today counted outstanding ballots from less Democratic areas (at least that's what Markos Moulitsas said, and he had data to back it hup).

Berkowitz has not decreased the margin appreciably, though. I guess there won't be a Frozen Chosen in Congress from Alaska :(

as of 3:36 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on November 12, 2008:

Begich + 3

Begich, Mark DEM 125019
Bird, Bob AI 10913
Gianoutsos, Ted NA 1076
Haase, Fred LIB 1961
Stevens, Ted REP 125016

Young +15,710

Berkowitz, Ethan A. DEM 118088
Wright, Don R. AI 11583
Young, Don E. REP 133798

CA-4: McClintock +928

Charlie Brown (Dem) 159,703
Tom McClintock (Rep) 160,631

Is Nevada County (which was the most recent report and where Charlie Brown did quite well) going to be enough for Brown to win?

That was about 1/5 of their outstanding ballots that just came in (I assume some ballots weren't counted and some didn't have a vote for Congress), and Brown only won those 54.2%-45.8%.

The other two counties in the district where Brown currently leads (Plumas and Sierra) had fully completed processing their ballots.

On the other hand, most of the other counties in the district (except for Modoc and Lassen, which McClintock won handily and which have finished processing) also have outstanding ballots and Brown is losing in them (although not by that large of a margin)

I tend to doubt it, but it's not impossible.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CA-4: Calling it for McClintock (+1094)

Charlie Brown (Dem) 158,646
Tom McClintock (Rep) 159,738

as of Nov. 10, 2008, at 10:11 p.m.

McClintock seems to be pulling away; I'm going to risk my personal credibility a tinge and call it for him.

CA-4: McClintock +970

It doesn't look good, Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown (Dem) 156,409
Tom McClintock (Rep) 157,379

as of Nov. 10, 2008, at 1:09 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

A net of 81 votes for McClintock.

MN-Sen: Norm Coleman +206

AL FRANKEN 1211359

as of

11/10/2008 2:31:18 PM Central Standard Time.

Senate Musical Committee Chairs caused by Byrd, Biden, possible Lieberman exits

Joe Biden, though he won re-election (like the other guy named Joe who ran as the Vice President and concurrently ran for re-election), will become Vice President next year, opening up the Foreign Relations Committee chair.

Robert Byrd has now entered the "Strom Thurmond" mode of his Senate career, though to be crude, Democrats don't care nearly as much about his health as Republicans cared about Strom Thurmond's, because

a) Democrats have a more significant majority than the Republicans (in 2000 it was 50-50 until Jeffords left the party)

b) West Virginia re-elected Democratic Governor Joe Manchin, so if Byrd dies, he'll be replaced by another Democrat; had Thurmond kicked it between 1999 and 2003, Jim Hodges would've appointed a Democrat to replace him.

Anyway, befitting that mode's status, Byrd will no longer be chairing the Senate Appropriations Committee.

That goes to Dan Inouye of Hawaii, octogenarian war hero and more recently, defender of Republican convicted felon Ted Stevens.

As Inouye chaired the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during the 110th Congress, that seat becomes open; it's unclear whether Inouye, Rockefeller, or a future chair was/will be the first chairman of the committee in charge of regulating the Internet who knows how to use it (since John McCain and Ted Stevens clearly could not, and I doubt Fritz Hollings could in 01-02; unless Pressler could in 1995-1996 (unlikely) that means there was never one at least until this Congress).

Rockefeller is currently Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, which would then apparently go to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who currently chairs the Rules Committee.

That committee is likely to be chaired by Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Committee neither in Strom Thurmond mode or chairing a different Committee.

The chairman replacing Joe Biden on Foreign Relations is not as clear.

Should Barack Obama appoint Senator Kerry to be Secretary of State (there are rumors that he's angling for it but it is by no means a sure thing), it would go to quite liberal Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin.

Otherwise, it would go to Kerry, who currently chairs the Small Business Committee; most senior member not currently chairing a Committee (and nobody's going to want to switch to Small Business chair) is Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

If Lieberman is kicked out of his committee chairmanship, it's also unclear. If Daniel Akaka of Hawaii wants to switch from being chair of Veteran's Affairs, it would go to him, and he'd be replaced on Veterans Affairs by Patty Murray of Washington.

Otherwise, it would go to Tom Carper of Delaware.

Mn-Sen: Norm Coleman +207

AL FRANKEN 1211357

As of 11/10/2008 2:00:27 PM Central Standard Time

Darn it ...

CA-4: McClintock now up 889 votes

Charlie Brown (Dem) 156,360
Tom McClintock (Rep) 157,249

as of 11/10/08, 10:09 AM PST

Darn it. Wasn't it closer ...

MN-Sen: Coleman back up to +206

AL FRANKEN 1211356

as of 11/10/2008 12:44:15 PM Central Standard Time

MN-Sen: Norm Coleman's Lead Down to 204

AL FRANKEN 1211356


Friday, November 7, 2008

MN-Sen: Norm Coleman's Lead down to 221

AL FRANKEN 1211335

as of 6:22:16 PM Central Standard Time on 11/7/2008.

MN-Sen: Al Franken nets a vote; Coleman +238.

As of 3:35 p.m. CST, 11/7/08:

AL FRANKEN 1211304

Minnesota Senate Update: Coleman +239

Darn it, that's a net of 3 for Coleman since last night.

The current totals as of the 11:48:15 Central Standard Time release on 11/7/2008:

AL FRANKEN 1211301

I really, really want this seat for the Democratic wing of the Democratic party for the sake of the late, great Paul Wellstone.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unbelievable Democratic Registration Gain in Nevada

Between 2000 and 2006, the Republicans maintained a slight registration advantage over the Democrats.

A 0.15% margin advantage in 2000, a 0.92% margin advantage in 2002, a 0.41% advantage in 2004, and a 0.71% advantage in 2006.

Note: For those "concerned" about "voter fraud" (by which I mean concerned about poor/non-white/young transitory people voting), you have nothing to fear.

It's true that Nevada's Secretary of State, Ross Miller, is a Democrat.

However, he's also been the guy who ordered raiding of ACORN's Las Vegas office, so he's hardly tolerant of fraud.

So, anyway, the Democratic party finally gained a plurality of registered voters in Nevada by October 2007 (0.83%), with many of the new voters registering as Democrats to caucus in January.

As of the closing of the registration books for the 2008 general election, Democrats have an 8.35% margin in registration.

Not bad.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah Palin Calls Abortion-Performing Doctors "Terrorists"

In the recent NBC news interview where she refused to call abortion-clinic bombers like Eric Rudolph terrorists, at the very end, she pretty blatantly calls abortion-performing doctors terrorists.

"[Bill Ayers yadda yadda] ... and anyone who would seek to destroy innocent Americans"

which I believe means that women who choose to abort are terrorists too, or at least terrorist-enablers.

3rd Time on Huffington Post Front Page

For my fine work exposing McCain's past support for meeting with terrorists without pre-conditions (RENAMO in Mozambique).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Republican National Committee taking money from Terrorists, White Supremacists

Thanks to the Republican National Committee's new donation database search, we know the terrible truth; the Republicans are being funded in a big way by some very scary people.

  • Don Black(donations of $100, $50)-Black is the founder and editor of, the most heavily visited U.S. white supremacist site

  • David Duke($80, $75, $50, $25)-Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon and one of the most well-known white supremacists in America today

  • Thomas Metzger($10)-founder of White Aryan Resistance

  • Andy Martin($100, $150)-man behind the Obama Muslim smears; previously ran for Congress on a platform of "exterminating Jew power"

  • Mark Weber($100, $70, $60, $10, $6)-director of Holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review

  • Gerald O'Brien($100)-leader of a faction of Aryan Nations

  • James Burford($3)-member of American Nazi Party

  • John Bishop(various)-American Nazi Party member

Other disturbing donors:

  • John Hagee($25)-crazy anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic pastor

  • Pat Robertson($10)-generally crazy assassination-loving pastor

  • Michael Bray($45)-member of anti-abortion terrorist group Army of God

  • Paul Hill(various)-anti-abortion terrorist

Of course, it is not a possibility that there are different, ordinary people with those same names.

If there were, the Republicans would've provided the city, state, zip code, and the occupation of the donor to clarify the identity of donors.

After all, that is the reason they're angry and put the database up in the first place, right?

Because they're "concerned" that Obama is taking "questionable" donations?

So it's clear. The Republicans are, clearly, taking money from white supremacists

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jake Tapper, ABC News: Palin's a Liar;

I guess eventually even the overkill-to-no-bias-or-point-of-view traditional media would be confronted with a Palin lie so utterly false that they couldn't just say "Palin misleads" or "Palin exaggerates" or "Palin stretches the truth" as they have with the Bridge to Nowhere, Sudan divestment, "pallin' around with terrorists", etc. etc.

Palin Makes Troopergate Assertions that are Flatly False is the headline of the Tapper post.

"Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing," Palin said, "any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that."

That's just not the case.

One can make the argument, as Palin and her allies have tried to do, that this investigation -- launched by a bipartisan Republican-controlled legislative body -- was somehow a partisan Democratic witch hunt, but one cannot honestly make the argument that the report concluded that Palin was "cleared of any legal wrongdoing" or "any hint of unethical activity."

Then again, for Palin, lies are always better than the truth, because answering questions honestly can only get her in trouble.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Large Gains in African-American Registration in the South

Thanks in large part to enthusiasm about Senator Obama's candidacy and efforts by the Obama campaign (particularly in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia), African-Americans make up a significantly larger percentage of the registered voters in southern states than they did last year, in 2004 or 2000.

Of the 11 former Confederate states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina make available voter registration statistics by race (Florida's most recent numbers are not yet available):

However, in the other 5 states, percentages and numbers have soared.
2000 2004 2006 2007 2008
Alabama: 23.48% 23.97% 24.30% 24.36% 25.17%
Georgia: 25.42% 27.35% 27.12% 27.12% 29.23%
Louisiana: 28.94% 29.70% 29.82% 29.85% 30.42%
North Carolina: 19.12% 20.16% 20.07% 20.13% 21.14%
South Carolina: 27.46% 28.48% 28.63% 29.41%

Of course, traditionally, black turnout has lagged behind black percentages of registered voters, and this year, it may equal or even exceed that of white voters

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Raphael Shore and the Clarion Fund are Nazis

The most sickening of my fellow Jews since Meir Kahane over at the Clarion Fund are now guilty of inciting people to do to Muslim-Americans just what the Nazis did to European Jews in the 1940's-gas them.

From the Dayton Daily News right after their filth went out in swing state newspapers:

Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.

"I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids," Njie said. "My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk."

Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Yes, the Nazis were on any entirely other scale, and Adolf Hitler specifically directed the "Final Solution." But that was over a process of several years. In the beginning, there was a major propaganda campaign, non-violent/minimally violent overthrow of government and isolated attacks on Jews.

So Raphael Shore is moving in that direction. I hope I never run across him.

Obama Newspaper Endorsements for the General Election

My post on Obama newspaper endorsements for the primary comes up #3 on a Google search for "Obama newspaper endorsements" right now, so I'm now compiling data for the General Election, with daily circulation numbers, and 2004 and 2000 candidate endorsement.
Stockton Record: 70,209; Bush in 2004, Bush in 2000, Dole in 1996, nobody in 1992, Bush in 1988, Reagan in 1984, Reagan in 1980, Ford in 1976, Nixon in 1972, Nixon in 1968, Goldwater in 1964, Nixon in 1960, Eisenhower in 1956, Eisenhower in 1952, Dewey in 1948, Dewey in 1944, Willkie in 1940, Roosevelt in 1936.
San Jose Mercury-News: 204,308; Kerry in 2004
Gunnison County Times: 4,000; No 2004 endorsement
Honolulu Star-Bulletin: 64,305
Storm Lake Times: 3,200; Kerry in 2004
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 281,198/454,998; Kerry in 2004
New Mexico
Santa Fe New Mexican: 25,249; Kerry in 2004
Canton Repository: 66,812/86,357; Bush 2004
Falls Church News Press: 30,500; Kerry in 2004
Seattle Times: 215,311/420,587; Kerry in 2004, Bush in 2000
Seattle Post-Intelligence: 128,012/423,635; Kerry in 2004
West Virginia
The Charleston Gazette: 48,061; Kerry in 2004

McCain: Palin Believes What I Tell Her to Believe

Such a role model for women she is.

From George Stephanopoulos via CNN:

Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin's stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama's support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists

"She would not…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're not going to do anything except in America's national security interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position… This is a free country, but I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin."

What led to this? Last night, Sarah Palin got to experience another part of this country, heading down to South Philly for a cheesesteak, a political ritual that I believe only Joe Lieberman (due to cheesesteak being unkosher) among presidential and vice-presidential nominees has avoided in recent history. Unfortunately, she was questioned by a Temple University grad student about Pakistan:

The governor got a more serious interrogation moments later when Temple graduate student Michael Rovito approached her to inquire about Pakistan.

"How about the Pakistan situation?," asked Rovito, who said he was not a Palin supporter. "What's your thoughts about that?"

"In Pakistan?," she asked, looking surprised.

"What's going on over there, like Waziristan?"

"It's working with [Pakistani president] Zardari to make sure that we're all working together to stop the guys from coming in over the border," she told him. "And we'll go from there."

Rovito wasn't finished. "Waziristan is blowing up!," he said.

"Yeah it is," Palin said, "and the economy there is blowing up too."

"So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan you think?," Rovito asked.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin responded, before moving on to greet other voters.

On the plus side, she did get the man's name right, perhaps because she had a nice encounter with him at the UN; he called her gorgeous and I doubt she realized he was a Muslim, so it went great.

So here's the lesson McCain is teaching us: Palin's views are not what she says they are. They are what he says they are. Of course, this means that should he become unable to serve as president, she will have no views at all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Props to "Rape Kit" Letter-Writers

Writing letters to the editor of local papers mentioning Sarah Palin's rape kit billing policy is going to be one of the best ways to get the story out as long as the media ignores it.

Maria Nelson of New Richmond, Wisconsin wrote such a letter today: Props to her!

McCain and Palin have records of requiring rape victims to pay for the “rape kits” used by police to gather rape evidence. While Palin was mayor, Wasilla was the only Alaska municipality charging the costs of rape kits to the victims. This practice stopped in Wasilla in 2000 when Alaska’s Democratic governor, Tony Knowles, signed legislation banning police from billing rape victims for such investigations.

In 1994, Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden pushed through the Violence Against Women Act, which required state, local and Indian governments to provide the rape exams to victims free of charge. McCain voted against the legislation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dow Now Below Where it Was at Start of Bush Presidency

In the week of January 22, 2001, when George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd president of the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 10,659.

The current Google Finance quote at 1:07 p.m. EST, September 18, 2008 has the Dow at 10,516

As the man himself would say, "Georgie, you've done a heckuva job!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don Young Declared Primary Victor

By a veritable Gravelanche, Don Young has won his primary in Alaska

Mr. Young defeated Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who had been endorsed by Gov. Sarah Palin, by 48,195 to 47,891.

Yeah, sure, rapist-enabling Sarah Palin is nice, but that margin of victory could've been due to a more high-profile endorsement: Ron Paul, who mailed his supporters (and there are a heavily disproportionate number of batshit insane libertarians in Alaska) to endorse Don Young.

This is good news for Ethan Berkowitz. It means that even with Palin at the top of the ballot, he's got a really good shot at becoming the first Democrat elected to Congress from Alaska since Mark Begich's dad Nick beat Don Young posthumously in 1972 after disappearing on a plane during a campaign trip (Democratic leader Hale Boggs was also on that plane).

Moreover, he's got a good chance at becoming the first Jew elected to Congress from Alaska since the great Ernest Gruening, father of Alaska statehood and one of the 2 Senators to vote against the Vietnam War (the great but crazy Mike Gravel [though now we see why he was elected in Alaska] beat him in a primary in 1968).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saxby Chambliss Enables the Terrorists

At least that's what he and his campaign would say if his opponent had tried to block the defense bill.

And that is exactly what Saxby Chambliss has done.

Nearly every other Republican facing a semi-competitive race voted to move the bill forward, because they at least recognize that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and needs to be stopped.

But not Saxby Chambliss, Mitch McConnell or James Inhofe. They're giving bin Laden aid and comfort by blocking funds for our troops.

Shame on them.

Sound Transit Expansion Plan Polling Well

The Sound Transit District, serving the Seattle metropolitan area, has a proposition on the ballot to increase taxes to fund expansions of mass transit.

SurveyUSA has polled the measure, and things look promising:

65% lean toward yes while only 20% lean toward no.

It receives nearly unanimous support from young people who will be around to experience the benefits: 77 lean yes, 9 lean no, and Democrats, who believe in investing in our country for the future (81 lean yes, 9 lean no): however, even among Republicans, 45% lean yes, 42% lean no, and conservatives just barely oppose it, with 42% leaning yes and 44% leaning no.

Us young people realize that we may never get a full solution for liquid fuels, and we believe in livability.

Should it pass, it will help Seattle (which has always had a very good bus system back from when my dad lived there as a grad student at the University of Washington in the 1970's) catch up with fellow Western cities like Salt Lake City, Denver and the gold standard of light rail, Portland.

Los Angeles County has a ballot measure to expand its own transit system, still waitin on Schwarzenegger's signature (because for some reason the whole state has to approve the county measure (the state, of course, also has its high-speed rail bonding measure on the ballot).

And of course, Honolulu has a smart measure to put grade-separated commuter rail along the unbelievably congested Highway 1; perfect place for a rail line if there ever was one.

Carly Fiorina: Palin Isn't Even Qualified to Run Hewlett-Packard

She, of course, was also unqualified to run Hewlett-Packard, as she almost ran it into the ground.

However, she is supposed to be a McCain campaign spokeswoman.

Wasilla City Records are Incomplete (gone from pre-FY 2000)

I got this from Wasilla's City Clerk in response to my request for info on the subject:

The Finance Department searched all financial records on our system for fiscal year 2000, 2001 and 2002. There are no records of billings to or collections from rape victims or their insurance companies in our system. The financial computer system goes back to the beginning of fiscal year 2000, and accounts receivable backup documentation goes back six (6) years per our records retention schedule.

A review of files and case reports within the Wasilla Police Department has found no record of sexual assault victims being billed for forensic exams. State law AS 18.68.040, which was effective August 12, 2000, would have prohibited any such billings after that date.

Statistics for sexual assaults reported can be found in the police section of the City of Wasilla website.

If you need anything further please submit a public records request which you may access at

Two reasons for this:

A) It didn't happen after July 1st 1999 (which seems to be the latest data they have)

B) The billing was done by the hospital at the urging of the police department; this was hinted at in either some articles or in the legislative hearings on Eric Croft's bill.

If so, that was a smart way to cover their tracks; it's going to be nearly impossible, if not impossible, to get hospital billing information, even if, as part of a police department investigation, it SHOULD be a matter of public record.

Thank heavens the McCain campaign gave us this new line of inquiry.

New York Times: Wasilla Rape Kit Story "On the Radar"

I'd written to the New York Times yesterday wondering if they were ever planning to cover the Palin rape kit story.

I just received a response:

It's on the radar, yeah. Thanks for writing.

Hopefully this means that the Times has people on the ground in Alaska investigating, or will soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin's Lawyers: Monegan Fired for Seeking Money for Sexual Assault Victims

It seems I spoke too soon about having hit a dead end. Sarah Palin's lawyers are actually claiming that Walt Monegan was fired for being too pro-assault victim for her taste.

To that end, the campaign released a series of e-mails detailing the frustration several Palin administration officials experienced in dealing with Monegan. The "last straw," the campaign said, was a trip Monegan planned to Washington in July to seek federal money for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases.
In a July 7 e-mail, John Katz, the governor's special counsel, noted two problems with the trip: the governor hadn't agreed the money should be sought, and the request "is out of sequence with our other appropriations requests and could put a strain on the evolving relationship between the Governor and Sen. Stevens."

I'm not sure how this can be seen as anything other than a confirmation that Governor Palin was fine with billing rape victims for their rape kits.

Perhaps that's the real reason that she fired Irl Stambaugh. His budget priorities were too supportive of assault victims for her taste.

I'm mulling over whether to call Walt Monegan now and ask him about this trip. While he's probably being inundated, I doubt most people are looking at it from my angle.

My Investigation Into Wasilla's Rape Kit Controversy Not Making Progress

Yeah, I'm stuck for now. Mainly because so few of the dozens of people I've asked for information have responded.

I haven't gotten anything good since I learned Charles Fannon now lives a hermit's existence in remote Alaska.

From his son via e-mail

My father lives remotely with no access to phone, electric, or Internet. I'm sure if you were a clever man you could find all the answers you are looking for in the public record system. Wasilla has been very good about displaying an open honest government. The public record should speak for its self.

I wish someone would get back to me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

AP Poll Voter Sample Also Skewed to Bush voters

Either a lot of Kerry voters have died off or aren't planning to vote, or the Associated Press/GTK poll is skewing towards Bush voters and undercutting Obama's likely results.

800 of the 812 likely voters in this survey claimed to have voted in the 2004 presidential election ( the percentage of voters this fall who did not vote in the 2004 election is likely to be at least three times the 1.5% used by the AP; the CNN exit poll found that 17% of those voting in 2004 had not voted in 2000, and while the very high turnout in 2004 means it will be tough to improve THAT much, it will almost definitely be at least 5%)

But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that among these 800 voters, 50% claim to have voted for George Bush, while only 40% claim to have voted for John Kerry. Bush got 50.73% to Kerry's 48.27% of the vote in 2004, and according to exit polls won senior citizens 52-47 (senior citizens being the most likely to have passed away in the intervening time period). Moreover, if anything, one might except people to be reticent to admit to having voted for Bush (the fact that 7% claimed they voted "other" when only 1% in total may mask some Bush voters). Even if that's not the case, their poll still has a 10 point gap when the election had only a 2.5 point gap.

So, if Obama's down by 4 or 5 among such voters (assuming those who haven't voted favor Obama) in this poll, he's doing 5 or 6 points better than Kerry, which ought to be enough to win.

Unless I'm missing something.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why is Democracy Corps oversampling Republicans?

I suppose I can vaguely expect that from non-partisan or Republican pollsters, but shouldn't a Democratic polling organization be taking more care to obtain a quality sample?

Their sample

Among the 92% of people in their poll (90% in the battleground states: given by Democracy Corps as Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin) who claimed to have voted in 2004, they have 52% having gone for Bush, 44% having gone for Kerry (53% for Bush, 42% for Kerry in the battleground states) despite the fact that Bush won 50.73%-48.27% (+2.5) nationwide and 51.44%-47.73% (+3.7%) in 2004.

Given that exit polls showed those over 65 (who are the most likely to have died and thus no longer be likely voters) voting no differently than the nation did, it's pretty unlikely that those voters in 2004 who are likely to show up again this year were 5 points (8 in the battleground states) more likely to go for Bush than those voting as a whole.

Again, let's measure based on facts.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Major issues with SurveyUSA's North Carolina Polling Sample

SurveyUSA released a rather shocking poll today showing John McCain leading Barack Obama 58-38 in North Carolina, up from 4 points in the August poll.

They also recorded an 11 point gain for Republican Pat McCrory in the Governor's race, and a 3-point gain for Elizabeth Dole in the Senate race.

A lot of people might have thought, "Hey, maybe we messed something up here." Not SurveyUSA, though.

Republican John McCain suddenly and breathtakingly surges to a 20-point win over Democrat Barack Obama, 58% to 38%, according to this latest exclusive SurveyUSA election poll conducted for WTVD-TV. In 3 previous SurveyUSA NC tracking polls, McCain had led by 8, 5, and 4 points. Today: 20. McCain has gained ground in every demographic group.

Now, first of all, their claim is false. Obama led 71-25 among Democrats in August's poll; today, he leads 74-23.

That fact led me to look at the crosstabs for party affiliation; 41% Republican, 40% Democratic. I wondered if they were going by stated party affiliation or registered party affiliation; those numbers may be accurate for stated affiliation but they are way off for registered party affiliation.

So I took a look at the other 3 months polls that they've done, and it's clear: they've been polling by registered party affiliation.

In August: 46% Democratic, 33% Republican

In July: 45% Democratic, 37% Republican

In May: 49 % Democratic, 33% Republican

The Democratic registration edge in all 3 of the previous polls is within 4 points of the Democratic registration edge among registered voters in North Carolina.

Currently, 45.3% of North Carolina's registered voters are Democrats, 32.7% are Republicans (12.6% edge). This is a gain of 2 points for Democrats since January, when 44.8% were Democrats and 34.2% were Republicans (10.6 point edge)

My point is that this a really, really awful sample of voters. If you take the crosstab numbers by party registration for this poll and adjust them to reflect last month's poll, you get the following:

McCain 51, Obama 42 (still a 5 point gain; not insubstantial but not crazy either)

Hagan 44, Dole 42 (a 7 point gain for Hagan, in line with other polls we've seen from the state)

Perdue 45, McCrory 44 (a 2 point gain for McCrory, within the margin of error)

The point being: McCain may well be safe in North Carolina (and the Obama campaign may realize it as they've cut back resources there), but Dole isn't and Perdue's got a fighting choice.

Or rather, that's what this poll says.

Lipstick on a Pig-as Used by Republicans

Apparently the common expression that "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" is now considered sexist.

If so, there's a whole lot of sexist Republicans out there. Including John McCain.

Tom Tancredo:
"There is a little more lipstick on this pig than there was before, but it's most certainly the same old pig," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Colorado Republican who has led the anti-immigrant movement in the House. (Copley News Service, May 16, 2005)

John McCain:
McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's plan, he said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the 1990s.

"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal. (McClatchy-Tribune News Service, October 16, 2007)

John McCain's spokeswoman:

Public relations expert Torie Clarke has some advice for leaders who are tempted to tailor the truth, a process known in the media world as "spin." She says in a recent book called Lipstick on a Pig that openness is the best way to get your message across.

Torie Clarke honed her public relation skills as a spokeswoman for Senator John McCain, then worked for former President Bush's re-election campaign and was chief spokesperson for the Pentagon in the early years of the current administration. Clarke continues her public relations work in private industry and is a commentator on the CNN cable network. (Voice of America News, March 21, 2006)

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour:

"The public doesn't want to pay for politicians' campaigns," added Mr. Barbour, who contributed more than $21,000 to 40 Republican candidates last year. "This is going to be paid for with taxpayer dollars and no matter how much lipstick you put on it, this pig ain't going to fly." (New York Times: March 28, 2000)

Vice President Dick Cheney:

Now, in the closing days of this campaign, John Kerry is running around talking tough. He's trying every which way to cover up his record of weakness on national defense. But he can't do it. It won't work. As we like to say in Wyoming, you can put all the lipstick you want on that pig, but at the end of the day it's still a pig. (Applause.) That's my favorite line. (Laughter.) You want to hear it again?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: As we like to say in Wyoming -- (laughter) -- you can put all the lipstick you want on a pig, but at the end of the day it's still a pig. (Applause.) (Regulatory Intelligence Data: November 1, 2004)

Former Rep. Bob Livingston

"You can put lipstick on
a pig and call it Madonna, but it's still a pig"(The Hotline: November 11, 1993

House Minority Leader John Boehner:

Boehner was pointed about what he described as Gingrich's managerial failings. "There was really no clear agenda for the year. And when there's no agenda and there's no real direction, what happens is you can't, you really can't have a message. You can put lipstick on a pig all day long, but it's still a pig," he said.

Schwarzenegger campaign spokesman Rob Stutzman

"Obviously, the Democrats have to rally their base, so it makes sense that they would bring in all the star power they can find to inspire their base," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman. "You can put lipstick on the pig, but voters will still see the pig." (New York Daily News: September 15, 2003)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"Mr. President, it's not that easy. This town is full of people very experienced when it comes to putting lipstick on a pig. (States News Service: April 2, 2004)

California State Republican Chair Duf Sundheim:

"The independent voter is going to be at the crux of how this election turns out because it's going to be very close," Torres told the NBC "Today" show Monday in a joint appearance with state Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim.

Sundheim quickly fired back: "He's in the unfortunate position of trying to put lipstick on a pig. The internal polling numbers are away from Gray."

Former Rep. Richard Pombo's Resources Committee Spokesman Brian Kennedy
"They can use all the lipstick in the world to dress that thing up, but a pig is a pig," said House Resources spokesman Brian Kennedy. "That bill has already been dealt with in congresses past, so it will be dead on arrival here in this Congress."

Rep. Dennis Rehberg Spokesman

Rehberg spokesman Shriber said that Baucus' office had not contacted them about the issue.

"If they had, we may have been able to help them avert these mistakes," he said. "Fixing his mistake is a near impossibility. It's a little late to be putting lipstick on a pig and not expect it to squeal."

PUMAs at the DNC Rules Committee meeting:

From the crowd came:

"Lipstick on a pig!"

"McCain in '08!"

"You just took away votes! (St. Petersburg Times: June 1, 2008)

So, in sum, the Republican party is led by sexists in both Houses of Congresses, nominated a sexist for president in 2008, and nominated a sexist for vice president in 2000 and 2004.

Of course, female Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi is apparently also a sexist (let's be fair, after all):

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrat in the House, said: "I think what the president is demonstrating is the weakness of the argument he is out perpetuating. It's the classic case of you can put lipstick on a pig ... but it's still a sow." (Associated Press: April 1, 2005)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Are Poor Age Samplings Skewing the Polls?

Now, obviously, things aren't looking as good for Barack Obama as they were a month or so ago. The United States is, in fact, seriously at risk of four more years of decline in economic and political strength, unconstitutional power grabs, and environmental degradation under a McCain/Palin presidency. The polls range from a tie between McCain and Obama to a poll (probably an outlier, but still worrisome) showing McCain ten points out.

However, in looking at the sample used by The Diageo/Hotline poll (the only recent poll to have released data from its sample), I can't help feeling hopeful that the sample is skewed to make McCain look more favorable.

The reason I think this is that their polling sample skews far older than the likely electorate. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the following breakdown of those voting in 2004 by age (See Table 1):

18-29: 16.00%
30-44: 27.33%
45-54: 21.32%
55-64: 16.32%
65+: 19.03%

For the Diageo/Hotline poll, the samples are as follows:

18-29: 6%
30-44: 20%
45-54: 20%
55-64: 22%
65+: 28%
Unknown/Refused: 4%

That's a pretty significant skewing. Their sample has 50% of registered voters (like some other firms, they haven't bothered trying to construct a likely voter sample; USA Today/Gallup did, and they had a 6 point gap between their results registered voters (McCain +4) and likely voters (McCain +10)); I have not been able to locate crosstabs) over the age of 55, though this age group made up only 35% of those voting in 2004, and has voters under 45 making up only 26% of voters, though they made up 43% of those voting in 2004.

While the electorate has continued to age, given the massive registration drives by the Obama campaign and the significant enthusiasm among younger voters this election, it's highly, highly unlikely that those over 55 will increase their share of the electorate by even more than 5 points. More than 10 points is pretty much out of the question, much less 15. It's far likelier that their share will remain constant or even stagnate than increase by more than 5 points.

For instance, between the 2000 and 2004 elections:

The percentage of citizens over 18 who were over 55 grew from 29.27% to 31.40% due nearly entirely to the oldest baby boomers (defined here as those born between 1946 and 1964) starting to reach old agehood during that time period; those between 55 and 64 went from 12.2% to 14.3% of those over 18, while citizens over 65 just barely increased from 17.07% to 17.1% (well within the margin of error, though a small increase is likely).

Meanwhile, the percentage of citizens over 18 who were under the age of 45 shrunk from 51.83% to 48.80%, largely due to all but the very youngest boomers having left the 30-44 age group (down from 30.72% to 27.94%); the share of 18-29 year olds remained fairly constant to within the MOE, 21.1%-20.86% as more Generation Yers reached voting age;

Given that even more baby boomers will have moved into this category by November 2008 (including my parents), I'd expect another spike, placing voting-age citizens over 55 at between 32% and 35% of the population, and a decrease in voting-age citizens under 45, placing those citizens at between 45 and 48% of the population.

However, that will likely be lessened by voting trends. For instance, the percentage of those casting ballots who were under 45 decreased only a little, from 44.55% to 43.33%, due to a major increase in registration (and turnout) among those under 30; from 54.87% of citiens in 2000 to 60.03% of citizens in 2004, and a smaller increase (but still larger than for those 45 and over) among those between 30-44.

Similarly, those voting increased from only 55.45% to 56.67%.

Given registration trends in those few states with numbers by age and enthusiasm factors, I expect the percentages of those voting in these age groups to change by less than 1%.

I'm not sure whether polling firms had similarly poor sampling in 2004. However, if it had shown up, it wouldn't have made that much of a difference. Looking at CNN's 2004 Exit Poll (which, while not without its own problems, is far, far more likely to have its margin at within < 5 points of the actual numbers than a telephone opinion poll)

While Kerry did do significantly (15 points) better among those under 30 (won 54-45) than he did among those 30 and up (lost 47-53), among those over 30, there was very little if any differences based on age, where every group listed (30-44, 45-59, 60+, and 65+) was between 51-48 and 54-46, a 5 point margin difference.

This is not going to be the case. Barack Obama has excited the youth of this country, who are more progressive (in particular on social and environmental issues [which we have to live with longer] as well as foreign policy) than older Americans; Obama is expected to do particularly well among those under 30, who came of political age during the era of disgustingly hyper-partisanship in either the good years of Bill Clinton or the awful, awful years of George W. Bush, tired of the way things are in DC but wanting to change them.

On the flip side, several factors are combining to hurt Senator Obama among those over 65. First of all, his being African-American. Those whites who were 65 or older formed their political views either during the civil rights era [those who will be 65 by this November were old enough to vote for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 unless they were born a day or so too late in November] or before, may well have participated in white flight, and for various reasons are more likely to have negative view of African-Americans.

Second of all, older people tend to want "experience," at least aside from the ones who remember and resented the same charge being thrown at JFK (though he and Nixon actually both had 14 years in federal office [though Nixon moved up to the Senate 2 years earlier and then spent 8 years as VP]); at any rate, those generally considered to be our 3 greatest presidents didn't have all that much government experience.

  • George Washington had been appointed a surveyor at one point; other than that, he'd just been a soldier (albeit reaching the office of General).

  • Abraham Lincoln had a grand total of 2 years in office, in the House of Representatives over 10 years before running.

  • FDR had 2 years as Governor of New York before beginning his run for the presidency (he'd also been Assistant Secretary of the Navy for 8 years and a state Senator for 2).

I guess in these scenarios, here's who each person would be.

McCain = Stephen Douglas ("little", long-time Senator, faux maverick who caused somewhat of a breakaway [with Ron Paul/Bob Barr = combination of Breckinridge and Bell; though with less support], died soon after the 1860-election)


George Bush and John McCain combine as Herbert Hoover.

Back to older people and Senator Obama. The third problem is that they're less used to having to be skeptical of the media, because for most of their life, it functioned very well and only recently descended into its current form. Moreover, they are more likely to believe (and be scared by) the "He's an anti-patriotic Muslim" e-mail due to this trust in media and general less understanding of technology.

The point of this long piece being that poor age sampling may be overestimating John McCain's percentage of the vote.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vetting Sarah Palin: Pat Buchanan Ties (Jerry Ward)

I got so many hits from my earlier reports that I'm going to continue the cold, hard, research.

One of the many, many controversial stories surrounding Sarah Palin is that she may have supported Patrick Buchanan, who among other things, is notorious for having campaigned heavily in the 1980's to let genocidal Nazi war criminals like Karl Linnas who had falsified documents and obtained citizenship, retain that citizenship instead of facing justice for helping murder thousands of innocent Jewish, Roma, disabled, homosexual, dissident, Polish, etc. men women and children (fortunately, he failed and Linnas was deported and died awaiting trial for war crimes).

While supporting Pat Buchanan (if in fact she did) does not necessarily make Sarah Palin an anti-Semite, it does make her an anti-Semite enabler, and thus an entirely unacceptable candidate for president.

So, did she support Pat Buchanan in his 1996 primary campaign? The evidence turned up by the traditional media so far is unclear; she attended a rally in 1999 and wore a button, but claimed in a subsequent letter to the editor that it was a courtesy she'd have shown any national candidate from any party. Pat Buchanan himself claims she was one of his brigaders in 1996, but so far, the McCain/Palin campaign denies it.

There was another Republican politician at the 1999 Buchanan rally: "Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage" So, perhaps if we can find out more about State. Sen Jerry Ward, we may be able to find more evidence tying Sarah Palin to Pat Buchanan.

From the Associated Press State & Local Wire, March 5th, 1999:

Former Vice President Dan Quayle, conservative activist Gary Bauer and millionaire Steve Forbes have recruited several members of Buchanan's 1996 campaign team.

State Sen. Jerry Ward is heading Buchanan's campaign in Alaska. Buchanan traveled to Kenai to meet with supporters Friday evening and was heading for Fairbanks Saturday.Ul

This tells us two things. First of all, Jerry Ward was a full-fledged Buchanan supporter in, at the very least, the Republican primaries in the 2000 presidential election. Second of all, several members of Buchanan's 1996 team went to milquetoast candidates Quyale, Bauer, and Steve Forbes. As I've already revealed, Sarah Palin co-chaired the Forbes campaign in Alaska in 2000. Was she one of the recruits from the 1996 Buchanan campaign?

From an October 30th, 1998 Anchorage Daily News article we find out that Ward was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor that November (the Knowles/Ulmer ticket won that year), and that the last book he'd read was "''Great Betrayal'' by Pat Buchanan" (though his favorite book, was, of course, the Bible)

He'd been elected to the state Senate in November of 1996, having served in the Alaska state House from 1983-1984.

From the Anchorage Daily News, November 6, 1996:

With more than half of the precincts counted in the highly contentious District E race, which includes South Anchorage and part of the Kenai Peninsula, Salo conceded to Ward. The scrappy former representative overcame the shadow of a decade-old criminal case with repeated attacks on Salo's voting record, which he characterized as too liberal for the district.

And guess what? Pat Buchanan flew in to highlight a campaign rally for Jerry Ward that same year.

Lisa Demer, reporting for the Anchorage Daily News, October 9, 1996.

The rally was for state Senate candidate Jerry Ward, but the star was Republican agitator Pat Buchanan.

Dozens of conservatives crowded into The Castle on O'Malley late Tuesday afternoon to hear Buchanan stump for Ward and talk about his own presidential campaign, which got a big boost from an Alaska victory last spring but eventually fizzled.
''It's got to be the first time ever when a presidential candidate comes up for a state Senate candidate,'' proclaimed former Anchorage Mayor Tom Fink, who introduced Buchanan.

Jerry Ward, Buchanan told the group, ''represents conservative values.''

''He's in favor of tax cuts, not tax increases,'' Buchanan said. ''He's against the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, unlike his opponent.''

Of course, Buchanan was just returning the loyal support he'd received from Jerry Ward, who had coordinated his 1996 campaign as well.

From an October 5, 1996 announcement of this rally in the Anchorage Daily News:
Ward, who coordinated Buchanan's campaign in Alaska, said the rally is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Castle on O'Malley Road.

But all of that may be Palin' (ha!) in comparison to this last gem from the Anchorage Daily News, January 1st, 1995:


After making the Hickel-Coghill election possible by resigning as the AIP lieutenant governor candidate, Ward collected a state paycheck longer than the governor. Starting as a special assistant in Corrections, Ward went to the ill-fated Alaska Energy Authority in 1991, then back to Corrections.

His job? "He was a political appointee who lacked definition," said former DOC Commissioner Frank Prewitt, carefully. Although paid by Corrections, Ward "was managed out of the governor's office," Prewitt said.

That's right: Jerry Ward was the Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate for the Alaskan Independence Party before resigning from the ticket in 1990, clearing the way for former Republican Governor and Nixon Interior Secretary (and current Obama supporter Wally Hickel) to get elected Governor on the Alaska Independence ticket against the ticket of moderate pro-choice, somewhat pro-environment Republican Arliss Sturgulewski (and a weak Democratic ticket).

As you may have heard, despite the McCain campaign's denial, Sarah Palin was, in fact, a member of the Alaska Independence Party in the 1990's, leaving the party only when she first ran for mayor of Wasilla.

Again, this is all circumstantial evidence. But there may be some more "there" there.

After all, Jerry Ward is not the only 1996 Buchananite with ties to the Alaskan Independence Party. A list of 29 Alaska Buchanan coordinators (not featuring Sarah Palin, but not proof she wasn't a Buchananite) includes one Bob Bird, the Alaska Independence Party candidate for president this election.

From the Daily Paul, a press release of a fundraiser for Bob Bird is being held at the law office of 1996 Pat Buchanan coordinator Les Syren.

So who knows? But this needs more investigating.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vetting Sarah Palin: Other Palin Campaign Contributions

In 1998, she gave money to State Sen. Lyda Green (who today thinks she's unprepared to be governor, much less vice president or president) and one Robin Taylor, who lost to Tony Knowles

Vetting Sarah Palin: Victor Kohring, a project of the National Institute on Money in State Politics, reveals that presumptive Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave $100 to the campaign of Republican State Representative Victor Kohring.

Kohring, of course, is currently in prison for corruption-related activities.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Former Rep. Victor Kohring, who had been elected to represent Wasilla and the Mat-Su for 12 years, today became a convicted felon.

A jury handed down the verdict just after 1:30 p.m.. The panel found him guilty on three of four charges.

Kohring was convicted of conspiracy, bribery and attempted extortion, but found not guilty of extortion.

Of course, this doesn't necessary imply anything about Gov. Palin. However, given her surprising win that year over Mayor John Stein, it's likely she had some help.

Just how well did Sarah Palin know Victor Kohring? Was she involved? The McCain/Palin campaign will have to answer these questions.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Mother of the Wasilla Sales Tax

So not only did she want to raise the tax, but she played a central role in creating a new tax in Wasilla

Voters in Wasilla bucked tradition Tuesday and, by a slim margin, approved plans to start a police department financed by the city's first-ever sales tax. "I'd feel safer saying this if the margin was wider, but I think Wasilla finally sees the light. People see the need for change," said Sarah Palin, 28. Palin, a political newcomer, was one of two supporters of the police-sales tax plan elected to the city council Tuesday.

Granted, a police department would be common sense anywhere except Alaska. But still, she's a tax-hiker.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Pat Buchanan Supporter

Wow, she just gets scarier and scarier.

Sarah Palin seems to have been one of those people who intentionally voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000.

July 17, 1999, from the Associated Press State & Local Wire:

Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska.
"I'm hoping the people of Alaska will disagree that we need a candidate anointed by Washington, D.C.," he said to a group of three dozen supporters.

Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage.

What does this tell us? Among other things, she's almost certainly anti-Israel, given the centrality of "America First" (which for Buchanan is code for "get the country out of the hands of the Jewish elite") policy to the Buchanan campaign.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Supporter of Higher Taxes

Some conservative she is. She advocated and succeeded in raising the sales tax to pay for a sports arena.

Shouldn't that be in the purview of the private sector, Governor Palin?

From AP State & Local Wire, October 6, 2001:

The Wasilla City Council is considering a measure to raise the city sales tax to pay for a new multiuse sports arena that would include a hockey rink and basketball courts.
Supporters of the center, including Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and many sports buffs, say they need more places to play indoor sports. The area's sole indoor rink at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena is so booked there are no openings until March, said clerk Stephanie Duboc.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Co-Chaired Steve Forbes Campaign

Steve Forbes? Seriously? Not to mention that a certain John McCain was, in fact, running in the primary and was derailed only by the Karl Rove's fictional black baby story.

From the Associate Press State & Local Wire, August 7th, 1999.

State Sen. Mike Miller of Fairbanks will head the Alaska campaign chairman for Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, campaign officials said.

Joining the Fairbanks Republican on the leadership committee will be Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and former state GOP chairman Pete Hallgren, who will serve as co-chairs.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Irl Stambaugh, Walt Monegan and Cronyism

It seems that John McCain's vice presidential pick Sarah Palin is not squeaky clean. In fact, she may be as corrupt as pretty much every other still living Alaskan Republican to have held statewide office (the Murkowskis, Ted Stevens, Don Young pretty much covers it).

It seems that in 1997, she almost got recalled as mayor of Wasilla?

What led to this? Seems she fired the city police chief and library director.

Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin fired the city's police chief and the library director without warning Thursday, accusing them of not fully supporting her efforts to govern. Irl Stambaugh and Mary Ellen Emmons said letters signed by Palin were dropped on their desks Thursday afternoon telling them their jobs were over as of Feb. 13 and that they no longer needed to report to work.

"Not fully supporting her efforts to govern" seems to have meant, "supporting her opponent, John Stein, in the 1996 election"

This led Police Chief Stambaugh to sue for breach of contract.

Three years later (via March 2nd, 2000's AP State and Local Wire), a federal judge ruled in favor of Palin. Not that she fired him for an ethical reason, though.

No, his ruling was that Alaska state law allows mayors to fire the chief of police for whatever reason he or she wanted.

But Singleton said that under state law, police chiefs serve at the behest of the mayor unless otherwise specified by city ordinance. Stein, the former mayor, had worked out an agreement with Stambaugh forbidding termination without cause, but the city council never voted on it, Singleton ruled.

So, essentially, Sarah Palin put personal loyalty over the safety of the people of Wasilla, Alaska and got away with it.

Of course, we've heard about how she did the same thing recently with Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.

So for Sarah Palin, security does not come first. Like George Bush, it takes a backseat to personal loyalty and cronyism.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

John McCain Wants to Bring Back to the Draft

This is assuming that he does want to catch bin Laden.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, today, August 20th:

QUESTIONER: If we don’t reenact the draft, I don’t think we’ll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.


MCCAIN: Ma’am, let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back on Track in Los Angeles

Good news. The Los Angeles County Supervisors have had a change of heart. And it's conservative Republican Don Knabe, not short-sighted & petty Democratic Supervisor of Eastern LA County Gloria Molina, who blocked the measure the first time.

Don Knabe's office:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has announced that at the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors, he will enter a motion to reconsider the Board’s previous vote on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) sales tax measure. Supervisor Knabe has also decided that at the time of the reconsideration he will change his vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes.’

Why, you might ask, did Supervisor Knabe have this change of heart. Was it because he realized that a far more solid rail transit system is critical for the Los Angeles area's future? Of course not. Here's the real reason:

This morning, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk informed the Board of Supervisors that the costs of a concurrent election, with the MTA sales tax appearing as a totally separate ballot in the November election, would cost taxpayers an additional $10.3 million.

The MTA had already justifiably planned to sue to get the measure on the ballot. And being a 'fiscal conservative,' Don Knabe just couldn't bear that.

Although I am against the sales tax plan, I cannot in good conscience burden County residents with over $10 million in higher election costs. The taxpayers will have to pay for these costs, and that is something I will not allow to happen. Additionally, the separate ballots, voter guides, and other resources needed to conduct a separate election on the same day as the Presidential Election could cause unnecessary confusion and challenges for voters. This upcoming election is the most important in many years, and voters deserve better than a potential disaster at their polling place.

Still, Supervisor Knabe deserves plaudits for allowing LA County to avoid the nonsensical additional expenses.

Of course, the supervisors approving putting it on the ballot is not enough, not by California's silly, silly standards. See, even though the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority covers LA County, and only LA County, and the proposed sales tax would affect only LA County, the entire state legislature in addition to the Board of Supervisors must approve the sales tax increase before it can even go on the ballot. And Assemblyman Mike Feuer(D-LA)'s not only still has to pass the Senate, it faces Governor Schwarzenegger's threat of blanket vetoes till the budget passes.

And after all that, the voters still have to approve it. Still, it's at least back on track.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Note to Skip Cramer, Rail Spurs Density

From Jacksonville, FL; a terribly, terribly sprawled city that probably makes Atlanta look good in comparison.

Executive Director Skip Cramer says one thing is clear; more roads will not be a major part of the solution.

"The key is we have got to provide people with easy access to choices other than their automobiles," Cramer said.

He says land management, meaning getting people to live more closely together, will makes trains, busses, trolleys and street cars more feasible.

"That we look for higher density development in Jacksonville so that we can support things like light rail, and support these extended rapid bus transit lanes," Cramer added.

Once there's a rail line in place (or better yet, several), density will start happening because it's livable and attractive.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Panos Prevedouros is an Idiot

I knew the anti-rail candidate for mayor of the City and County of Honolulu (basically the entire island of Oahu) was wrong-headed. There are quite possibly problems with the specifics of Mufi Hannemann's rail plan, but the general plan makes a great deal of sense. Hawaii has the density and the congestion necessary for better transportation options (everybody agrees on this).

Given that 75% of the Honolulu urbanized area's residents (based on the official over 60% of Oahu's residents number (> 525,000 people in the corridor in 2000) divided by the 718,182 residents of the urbanized area live no more than 2 miles (eyeballing, but seems pretty accurate) of the corridor, a fixed guideway makes sense since most people could walk to a station and pretty much everybody in the area could bike to one. Everyone can get the bus to it.

Since Hawaii

a) has to have liquid fuel shipped in from the mainland at huge cost
b) has unbelievable renewable energy sources
1. geothermal from the volcanoes
2. solar from the beautiful tropical sun
3. fairly steady wind from a ton of places
4. a whole bunch of great ocean-based energy sources (tide, waves, thermal energy), being an island
5. already has several hydroelectric plants

it makes sense for the guideway to be electrified. Rail is compact so that makes sense, and grade separation makes sense given the heavy traffic (to avoid delaying the traffic) and the heavy expected ridership given the affinity of Hawaiians toward public transportation (based on ridership of TheBus).

But Dr. Prevedouros being wrong on rail isn't what makes him an idiot.

This article he wrote for the alternative Hawaii Reporter is what makes him an idiot.

It's particularly bad since he's supposed to have a degree in transportation engineering.

The article is entitled "City Transportation Priorities: Phoenix Versus Honolulu," and basically says that Honolulu should follow Phoenix in its priorities.

First of all, nobody should be following Phoenix in its priorities. That area may be utterly screwed by its irresponsible sprawl (but it may overcome the rising heat and ebbing water supply; let's not count it out).

But that very sprawl makes Phoenix a particularly terrible role model for Honolulu.

As noted above, 75% of Honolulu residents live (and I would guess 60%+ work) no more than 2 miles from the corridor.

Oahu has a grand total of 8 major highways (only one [H1] fully in the urbanized area), and the other two freeways are branches off of H1, which is the main corridor where the rail would run (H2 is 8 miles long north to the inland military bases, H3 is 14 miles east across the island to the northeast side).

The Phoenix metroplex is spread out over about 800 sq. miles. Nowhere is there even close to the population density over a 3-4 mile wide corridor as there is along the Honolulu corridor.

Phoenix denizens also tend to have legs solely to reach the accelerator. Honolulu people take more trips on transit than Phoenix denizens.

That's not just more per person, that's more, period.

The about 3.6 million people in the Phoenix-Mesa urbanized area took 64,330,702 unlinked trips on transit in 2006.

The 720,000 or so in the Honolulu urbanized area took 71,695,536 unlinked transit trips that year (see the urbanized area totals, courtesy of the American Public Transportation Association

And point about the "oppressed and overtaxed" Honolulu leading to lack of growth? New York City, which clearly is overtaxed if anywhere is (Honolulu is a decent amount below the median of state's largest cities); New York is significantly more heavily taxed, and even moreso more heavily taxed than Phoenix.

But New York's gained 30,000 more residents (265,000 vs. 230,000 gain) than Phoenix in the period from 2000-2007.

Why has New York been growing so much?

Several reasons, but one of the biggest: its great great-separated rail transit system.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The State of Israel Endorses Barack Obama

Well, not officially. But the yeshiva student who took out his note at the Kotel (Western Wall) said the following as an apology:

The yeshiva student who pried Barack Obama's prayer note from the Western Wall has apologized.
"I'm sorry. It was a kind of prank," Aleph said, his hands shaking as he fingered the tightly wadded-up sheet of King David Hotel letterhead. "I hope he wasn't hurt. We all believe he will take the presidency."

After all, his name's not so funny in Hebrew. Israel has had its own Prime Minister (Ehud) Barak [he is now Defense Minister, and I was frankly upset at the lack of jokes made when he was accompanying Senator Barack Obama around Israel last week].

Ted Stevens Indicted; Mixed News for Mark Begich

Via the tubes, it's just come out that Ted Stevens (R-AK), has been indicted by a grand jury.

Obviously, should Ted Stevens manage to stay in the race until November, Mark Begich will, without a doubt, become the first Democrat elected to Congress from Alaska since 2008 Democratic AND Libertarian presidential candidate Mike Gravel.

But there's the issue of the primary, which there is a small possibility (now that he's been indicted) that he loses to libertarian Republican Dave Cuddy-especially if the Paul brigades turn out disproportionately.

More likely (and more worrisome) is that Stevens steps down and is replaced on the ballot by a more credible Republican (assuming one exists). Of course, there is the question of whether such a move is allowed. I know for a fact it's allowed in New Jersey (most recently when Andy Unanue dropped out, allowing the NJ Republican party to appoint, in his place on the primary ballot, my former Congressman Dick Zimmer; notably, it was also done in 2002, when Torricelli dropped out amid new revelations of severe corruption and Frank Lautenberg once again saved the New Jersey Democratic Party from itself). Illinois also allows such a move; Bill Lipinski used this move to get his DINO son Dan Lipinski the Democratic nomination and thus his seat. Lane Evans (though in fairness, he was very ill/dying) used it to allow the party committees to pick Phil Hare as a replacement (no complaints there; Phil's got a great voting record), and I believe the Republicans used it in Illinois' 11th district to get themselves Martin Ozinga.

However, we know some states don't allow it. When Tom DeLay dropped out of the TX-22 race in 2006, the courts ruled that he could not be replaced on the ballot, even when he "moved" to Northern Virginia. This forced Shelley Sekula-Gibbs to mount a write-in campaign and thus handed the seat to Nick Lampson.

I don't know whether Alaska has provisions like Texas or whether it has provisions like New Jersey and Illinois, and I'm uncertain where I would go to find out. I suppose we'll see what happens.

Update: Per Adam B at Daily Kos: he can be replaced.

I wonder whether former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, who notably endorsed Lisa Murkowski's primary opponent in 2002, will be brought in. There doesn't seem to be any other statewide official they can run.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tie the Gas Tax to Prices-Voters think It's Like That Already

Currently, every state's gas tax as well as the federal gas tax (a flat rate of 18.4 cents per gallon), is a flat rate, ranging from the low end of 7.5 cents per gallon in Georgia, 8 cents per gallon in Alaska and 10.5 cents per gallon in New Jersey to the high end of 32.2 cents per gallon in West Virginia, 32.90 cents per gallon in Wisconsin and 36 cents per gallon in Washington state (see the Energy Information Administration's data)

14 states allow additional flat-rate taxes at the local level (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington), with such taxes being notably implemented in Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada.

But only 8 states, California (full 7.25% sales tax), Connecticut (6.3% gross receipts tax), Georgia (4% combined motor fuel and sales and use tax), Illinois (full 6.25% sales tax), Indiana (full 6% sales tax), Michigan (full 6% sales tax), New York (local sales taxes), Virginia (2 percent sales tax in areas providing mass transit), actually subject gasoline to some sort of sales tax and thereby allow revenues to increase as gas prices rise. Iowa (1 cent per gallon), NJ (4 cents per gallon), New York (8 cents per gallon) have additional flat tax rates.

This has been killing transportation agencies at every level this year (although I assume less so in the above states, I know that New York's Metro Transit Association is proposing a 13% fare hike over the next 2 years (to $2.25 per ride)) because revenues per gallon of gas sold have not changed, and due to rising gas prices, total gallons sold has decreased. While ridership has increased enormously on transit, fares rarely pay more than 30% of operating costs (with the exception of a few larger, very heavily used agencies like the MTA), and thus the extra fares haven't been enough to offset higher diesel prices.

My point, though, is that I saw this in a letter to the editor, which it now seems I've misread; oh well.

In the Denver post, responding to an editorial that the Denver RTD might raise fares and parking fees.

You have to be kidding me - $4 gas and RTD still has falling revenues? As an avid RTD rider who quit riding the rails over the expense, inconvenience of parking, and longer commute times for riders, I will tell RTD how to increase revenue: Do you see all those people on the interstate? They are driving because it is still cheaper to drive your car than to ride the bus. For the average commuter, it costs about $5, takes an hour and a half, with three transfers, to get anywhere around town. Forget it if your hours are not 9-5.
How about lowering prices on RTD to increase ridership and thus increase revenue? Hey, it might get so popular that lines are added instead of decreased!

Theresa A. Anderson, Aurora

So this wasn't actually about gas taxes, but just about how high gas prices should be driving people to transit.

I think it would make far more sense to raise parking fees everywhere in the RTD except rail stations, but then the businesses will whine and whine.

However, on a closer look, their specific plans make sense; they only plan to charge those who don't reside in the Regional Transportation District (and thus aren't paying the sales tax locally to support it), or those who do reside there but leave their cars for long periods of time rather than just for the day.

On Tuesday, directors will consider a plan that would have pay-for-parking in place at six park-n-Rides beginning Feb. 1: Stapleton, Airport Boulevard/40th Avenue, Montbello, Wagon Road, Thornton, and 104th Avenue/Washington Street. It would be expanded to 32 more lots by May 1.

The paid parking program calls for residents of the eight-county RTD district to get the first 24 hours of parking free at these lots and then pay $2 a day for extended stays. This is aimed at capturing revenue from those who take RTD buses to Denver International Airport for multiple-day trips.

RTD's analysis shows that of its 17,000 parking spaces that are filled daily, about 1,500 are occupied by travelers who are gone an average of four days per trip.

Those who are not RTD district residents would pay $4 a day for parking beginning the first day they use a park-n-Ride. Agency officials estimate that 1,600 spaces are filled at RTD lots each weekday by nonresidents.

That seems like a fair (or fare, since it's transit and all) idea; take a taxi or get dropped off if you're staying long term. When I flew to Austin (via Atlanta, of course) last week, I was planning to walk the 0.8 miles to the NJ Transit bus stop at Nassau St. and Princeton Ave, take the 606 bus to the newly renovated Trenton Rail station, take the R7 SEPTA train to 30th Street, then take the R1 SEPTA train to the airport (yes, three transfers); but my mother was way overwhatever about me missing my flight, so she drove me to Trenton.

But more specifically, I want to answer Theresa's question.

Ridership has been increasing heavily on the RTD, especially on the light rail.

Full-year data shows a 52% increase in total RTD ridership from 2004-2007, with an 87% increase in light rail ridership (thanks largely to the approximately 66% gain in light rail ridership from completion and beginning operations of the E, F, G & H lines (mostly running together but on slightly different routes); note that bus ridership still managed to rise a bit that year, so it was clearly taking a bunch of riders off the road).

The most recent data, from the Jan-Feb-Mar '08 ridership, shows a 55% increase in ridership between the 1st quarter of 2005 and the 1st quarter of 2008, with light rail ridership having nearly doubled (increase of 97%), and one expects the increase to have continued through the 2nd quarter of this year.

The problem is that most revenue has come from subsidies and with the fares the way they are, the massive ridership increase hasn't been enough to cope with stagnant/declining sales tax revenues and massive diesel price increases.

Still, she's right that it should be higher given the infrastructure current existing (and it will, especially with Fastracks completed).

In 2007, the Denver RTD at 62,900 trips/day ranked 9th in average U.S. weekday light rail ridership, after, in order, Boston (257,500), San Francisco (132,500), Los Angeles (127,300), San Diego (118,400), Philadelphia (106,900), Portland (104,300), St. Louis (73,200) and just barely behind Dallas (63,400/day). While, with the exception of Portland (with its much revered and possibly St. Louis (which is disgraceful to be behind since they've got one line with a branch if I remember correctly), those metro areas are bigger, and it's moved ahead of Salt Lake City and Sacramento (in 2004 it was barely ahead of Houston), it could be higher. But then again, I expect it will be.


So, finally, I'll just note my solution to New Jersey's transportation funding crisis:

A) Eliminate the 10.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax in New Jersey
B) Remove the exemption from the 7% state sales tax from gasoline in New Jersey and earmark (I mean really lockbox earmark) all revenues from this tax to transportation funding.

While even today, the gas tax in most states is higher than what the equivalent would be of subjecting it to the sales tax (I'm finding about 14 other states which would have an increase in revenue per gallon by eliminating their gasoline tax per gallon and replacing it with the state-level sales tax rate), this is not the case in New Jersey. In fact, New Jersey would, at current gas prices, get an additional 15.8 cents in revenue per gallon of gasoline sold (Mississippi, with the next highest gain, would be only 7.5 cents more per gallon).

And it's technically not "raising taxes" (it's just limiting exemptions from the currently existing tax) and in addition, politicians being politicians, they can claim they eliminated the New Jersey gasoline tax; though NJ residents won't likely fall for that, they rightly don't trust politicians.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama is Jewish after all!

Would any non-Jew have a rally at the Kotel?

Surely no non-Jew (he'd have peyos but he doesn't have enough hair!!!) would be having such a deep experience at the Wall.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Steve Hildebrand at Netroots Nation (Others too)

Iowa wasn't enough, New Hampshire wasn't enough. We were running against the Clintons.

Never had there been 22 state, many very large, also 6 caucus states on February 5th.

They had to be smart enough to look forward.

He was skeptical about Jeremy Bird in South Carolina, whether he could build by organizing.

Building capacity to have the infrastructure to win.

Some said SC wasn't a field state, but every state is if you do it right.

The initial question was whether BO was black enough, after SC he clearly was, and was shifted to being called too black.

It took Iowa for many AA voters to believe he was really able to win.

A lot of whites looking at the massive SC victory and saying "He's real"

Nobody knew when it was going to end. Nobody would've predicted 57 contests, and nobody wants to live through it again.

June of 2007, 50-state walk for change (I did it in Hoboken, NJ with some great people; saw them again at a fundraiser with Cory Booker & various other probama NJ politicians).

There were about 2,5000 walks (there was also one in Princeton, but I was in Hoboken that day)

Convergent of events, seriousness and urgency of Americans right now. People who've never been involved

Tom Delay did massive damage. To take away their power.

Texas needs 5 more House seats to take back the lower House.

It'll likely gain 4 more House seats.

Why are we running a 50-state strategy? Cause it's about a progressive majority for the future, not just about Obama. It's about the American people.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Paul Krugman at Netroots Nation

Notable things he's said:

"Seymour Hersh is the Seymour Hersh of the Iraq War"

"A lot of journalists tend to be thin-skinned"

"Full of Moral turpentine"

"I took money from Enron"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Key Points on McCain-Democratic National Committee

* 3rd Bush Term; 95% of the time with George Bush in 2007.

* Increasing the minimum wage
* overtime compensation and unemployment benefits
* expanding SCHIP to 10 million kids
* Extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest
* Raising Medicare age
* Raise the tax, but not on the wealthy
* privatize

* Wishy Washy Washington Insider
Torture-flip flopped, now pro-waterboarding.
Immigration-wrote bill with Ted Kennedy, now would vote against his own bill
Campaign Finance-Now just the Feingold bill
Bush Tax Cuts-Voted Against them in 2000, now supports them.

* Old-Fashioned, Out of Touch
Economy-Fundamentals of the economy are very strong
People know better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Senate Recommendations For Rail Transit Spending in FY 2009 Appropriations Bill

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and other Related Agencies released its marked-up fiscal year 2009 appropriations bill yesterday, and it is now available online.

While housing is definitely important in these times of foreclosures (granted, many of those being foreclosed on have to take some blame for buying houses beyond their means; at the same time, the real estate industry wasn't offering anything else other than the insane sprawling large subdivisions, and local governments have been completely failing to stop and even encouraging such housing), and urban development is very, very crucial, I'm going to focus mainly on the public transportation parts of the bill.

Keep in mind that the subcommittee has Senators from the following 21 states: Alabama (Shelby), Alaska (Stevens), California (Feinstein), Colorado (Allard), Illinois (Durbin), Iowa (Harkin), Kansas (Brownback), Maryland (Mikulski), Missouri (Bond), New Jersey (Lautenberg), New Mexico (Domenici), North Dakota (Dorgan), Pensylvania (Specter), South Dakota (Johnson), Tennessee (Alexander), Texas (Hutchison), Utah (Hatch), Vermont (Leahy), Washington (Murray), West Virginia (Byrd), and Wisconsin (Kohl).

While they are unfortunately still spending what I think is too much money on so-called "bus rapid transit", and far, far too little on metro-area rail transit (and, of course, even more so when it comes to intercity rail) there are still significant spending recommendations for rail. Of the nearly 1.75 billion dollars recommended, over 1.6 billion is for some sort of rail improvement

Here's a look by Metropolitan area:

Minneapolis-St. Paul

  • $20,000,000 for the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project, which will be running between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis past the University of Minnesota

  • $71,166,060 for the Northstar Corridor Rail Project, a commuter rail line from St. Cloud to Minneapolis


  • $1,031,210 for futher improvements to the Southeast Light Rail Corridor (I believe to Lone Tree, Colorado)

  • $70,000,000 for the West Corridor Light Rail to Jefferson County, Colorado in the Denver suburbs


  • $91,800,000 for the finishing touches for the starter line for the Valley Metro; Phoenix is, along with the auto-based (and somewhat responsible for our situation) Detroit and sprawled out the wazoo Orlando, the only metro areas of over 2,000,000 people in the U.S. without a currently active rail system of some kind [though the TECO line Streetcar in Tampa barely, barely counts]

Washington, DC

  • $34,700,000 for the Largo Metrorail Extension (I'm not exactly sure what this is for, but I'm guessing capacity extensions; they are desperately needed, as the system is hitting capacity in places; July 11, 2008 beat out the record set by Ronald Reagan's laying in the rotunda [so ironic given how anti-sustainability the man was])

  • $30,000,000 for the Dulles Corridor Rail Project, VA (Silver Line); one of a very few major airports in the Northeast lacking a high-speed transit extension [Logan in Boston has the Silver Line, which is Bus Rapid Transit, and LaGuardia oddly has no rail link; I believe every other airport servicing the Northeast corridor does, except maybe one in Providence or Southern Connecticut]

  • $5,000,000 for VRE Rolling Stock (New Trains)

  • $2,000,000 for improvements to the highly congested Rosslyn Metro Station (where the orange and blue lines branch out on the East side; it's the next stop Virginia-wards from GWU's Foggy Bottom stop

  • $15,000,000 for MARC Commuter Rail Improvements and Rolling Stock (New Trains and really desperately needed capacity increases; demand is now exceeding capacity for rush hour)

$18,000,000 for engineering the Northeast Extension to Charlotte's successful recently opened Blue Line in its significant planned rail system
$87,974,716 for Dallas Area Rapid Transit Northwest/Southeast Light Rail MOS, building the Orange and Green line extensions to the Dallas light rail system, doubling its length and eventually servicing both Love Field and DFW International
$10,000,000 for further planning on its hopefully-to-happen 5 line light rail system
$20,000,000 for work on its "High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project". There is a huge fight over this going on in Hawai'i. A Paultard scumbag from Texas (ha, I was right, she literally is a Paultard; gave him $1,000) by the name of Jamie Story is heading an astroturf operation with a few misguided locals like Eric Ryan, who founded "Stop Rail Now", to stop what is an unbelievably sensible plan.


A) Has the 4th highest trips/person/year taken on transit of any urbanized area in the country, coming in behind only the extremely heavily rail infrastucture, developed Washington, DC; San Francisco/Oakland, and of course the New York City metro area; it beats out places like Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston,
B) Part of the reason is that Honolulu Has to ship in diesel/gasoline/any liquid fuels at significant expense to power itself and its cars and as such, has generally had the highest gasoline prices in the nation.
C) Due to the islands being very sunny and tropical, and of course, being volcanic, and having a lot of windy areas off the islands, the Hawaiian islands can probably power themselves solely with geothermal and solar and wind. But that does no good without an electrified transportation system.

New York

  • $197,370,000 to build the East Side Access to allow the Long Island Railroad to come into Grand Central Station, making commutes far easier for many Long Islanders

  • $1,103,860 for the highly successful (both in ridership and especially in redevelopment; anyone who'd been to the West Side of Hoboken 10 years ago but came back today will agree

  • $249,927,000 for the Second Avenue subway-studies began when my late grandfather was living there as a 2-year old in 1919. Construction began 36 years ago and was halted; it will reduce congestion and I believe put all of Manhattan Island within half a mile of a subway stop

  • $5,000,000 for studying a Stamford Urban Transitway, a proposed light rail system for Stamford

  • $75,000,000 for moving towards construction of a Midtown tunnel under the Hudson to relieve capacity strains on the Northeast Corridor and the PATH and also increase access

Hampton Roads
$57,055,734 to continue building the first link in its light rail system

  • $50,000,000 for the second streetcar loop for Portland

  • $81,600,000 for building the South Corridor Light Rail line (heading down from the Portland Mall)


  • $27,000,000 to increase speed and capacity on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line

  • $1,345,500 for planning for the South County Commuter Rail, Wickford Junction Station, RI from Boston to Providence


  • $29,474,404 for rebuilding infrastructure and increasing capacity on the 100-year old Brown Line

  • $8,000,000 for continued studying to build a much-needed Circle Line to allow travel between lines without having to go through the Loop

  • $6,607,000 for continued studies to move forward on significant planned expansions of the METRA commuter rail service


  • $28,846,735 to finish the initial Central Link for Seattle's planned light rail system (it ran into some problems after voters rejected financing the new plans last November, but most of the system will likely still be built, if more slowly)

  • $100,000,000 to start building the light rail link to the University of Washington [my dad got around Seattle as a grad student generally without a car, either by bike or by bus, but this'll make a car even less necessary, and students always use rail].

$7,000,000 to continue studying a new corridor (hopefully for rail) south of Sacramento
$20,000,000 for expansions of the Orange Line of the Miami-Dade metrorail
San Diego
$21,650,000 for building the mid-city rapid extension to the San Diego Trolley
San Francisco
$8,000,000 for continuing to move forward on the Third Street Light Rail/Subway Project
Los Angeles

  • $50,000,000 for building the Perris Valley Extension to Metrolink

  • $74,600,000 for building the East Extension to the Gold Line

Salt Lake City

  • $10,000,000 for engineering/studying the Mid Jordan light rail extension

  • $81,600,000 for final finishes to the first part of the Commuter Rail System