By Doug Porter
In past years, California’s presidential primary has come so late in the cycle as to be irrelevant. This year might be different.
Despite pollsters unanimously saying Senator Bernie Sanders would lose to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by as much as 20 points, he won in Michigan. Sanders trails in total delegate count at this point, but my prediction is that last night’s upset will quell talk of an early conclusion to Democratic contests.
The Donald carried Michigan, Ted Cruz carried Idaho and Marco Rubio got nada. John Kasich thinks he stayed alive by coming in third in Michigan. In Miami, Trump gave a totally bizarre victory speech that at times sounded like an infomercial for his retail lines. ….And there are a few interesting tidbits in local politics to share today.
Good News & Bad News for Hillary
The evening started off with a convincing win for Clinton in Mississippi. Going into yesterday she had wins in 11 states ( Iowa, Nev., So. Carolina, Ala., Ark., Ga., Mass., Tenn., Tex., Va., La., amassing 59%of the delegates won so far.
Unfortunately for the former Secretary of State, the southern primaries are over. Now we’re looking at a series of contests in the rust belt, ending with Pennsylvania in late April.
Sanders had won 7 states prior to last night (N.H., Colo., Minn., Okla., Ver., Kan., Neb.), adding up to 41% of the delegates won so far.
From Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post:
Putting aside the more technical aspects of what Sanders’s victory means, there’s also this: Winning Michigan makes it that much harder for the Clinton people to dismiss him as either a regional candidate or someone who can win only small, not very Democratic states that hold caucuses.
Sanders’s marquee victory before Tuesday night was in the New Hampshire primary Feb. 9. It was dismissed, effectively so, by the Clinton folks as simply a state choosing a hometown (or close enough) hero. Wins in Kansas and Nebraska were written off as largely meaningless amid Clinton’s continued delegate dominance. Sanders’s victories in Colorado and Minnesota — two larger states — were played down because they were caucuses, perceived as more favorable to the liberal Sanders than primaries.
But Michigan is a state where no one — not even Clintonworld — can take away what Sanders accomplished. This is a big, Midwestern state that is far more diverse than Iowa or New Hampshire. Clinton tried very hard to win. She didn’t. Case closed.
I’m not done with the Washington Post, yet.
Adam John at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) cried foul yesterday, noting that the establishment-centric DC news source had run (either in print or online) 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders over a 16 hour period.
While the headlines don’t necessarily reflect all the nuances of the text, as I’ve noted before, only 40 percent of the public reads past the headlines, so how a story is labeled is just as important, if not more so, than the substance of the story itself.
The Washington Post was sold in 2013 to libertarian Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is worth approximately $49.8 billion.
Politics writer Callum Borchers fired back for the Post, claiming the paper was simply pointing out basic math problems in assertions made by the Vermont Senator, the interpretation of stories as negative was overly broad, and that columnist posting were supposed to be opinionated. (Read the comments!)
All this points out two real problems facing the Sanders campaign. The corporatist wing of the Democratic party isn’t going away anytime soon. And the #BernBros acolytes of Sanders complaining about the media is no substitute for an actual ground game.
Something important happened in Michigan: the “free trade” issue is being associated with the decline of good jobs in the minds of voters. Despite Clinton’s recent opposition to the pending Trans Pacific Partnership, there’s a legacy of support from her wing of the party (and from mainstream Republicans) that’s sticking in the craw of voters.
Romney is Still a Loser
La Jolla’s genteel Republican stepped up to the mic last week and denounced The Donald. Apparently Mitt Romney doesn’t realize that he’s the face angry Republicans are most likely to visualize when it comes to their view of the party’s impotence.
The effect of Romney’s speech was predictable; kinda like having a habit-wearing nun shilling for Viagra. eewww.
The great conspiracy to stop Trump is building up a head of steam on a train headed to nowhere.
Nearly $10 million in spending by anti-Trump forces and the pro-Marco Rubio super PAC has poured into the race since Super Tuesday, with much of the focus on Florida and its crucial haul of 99 delegates.
The goal, according to people familiar with the effort, has been to assemble as much as $25 million to spend against the New York businessman before March 15. Some, however, doubt the figure will ultimately reach that high. And even Trump opponents are questioning if the donor world has moved from hand-wringing to check-writing in time.
“It’s too little, too late,” said Fred Malek, the finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Trump did acknowledge the effort to unify the GOP establishment against him last night, mostly by thanking them for the help they were giving his campaign.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Yet as usual with Trump, it rolled off his back. The two biggest states at stake Tuesday went for Trump, with voters saying in exit polls that they agreed with his call to ban Muslims from entering the country, a divisive position that set him apart from the party’s establishment. Those seeking an outsider who “tells it like it is” also gave the nod to Trump.
Here’s a key stat for Trump: About 60% of Republican voters in Michigan exit polls said they felt betrayed by Republican politicians.
During his unusual victory news conference Tuesday night, Trump went on an extended riff, trying to rebut Romney’s claims that many of his businesses have failed by holding up a copy of Trump magazine and talking about Trump steaks.
The folks at Mashable.com kept a scorecard on the claims Trump made about his retail endeavors last night. Suffice it to say, he was playing with a different set of facts than the rest of the world. For the record, Trump steaks are packed by the Bush Bros. meat company. (It’s a legit company, though not connected the political dynasty.)
New Lows in Crafting the GOP Message
The National Republican Senatorial Committee tweet about Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D), a leading U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois, running against Republican incumbent Mark Kirk lasted about 10 minutes before somebody realized they’d made a really stupid mistake.
As a substantive matter, the line of attack is itself problematic. Duckworth is a decorated combat veteran who served as an Army helicopter pilot in the Iraq war. After returning home she was the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and later served in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, before running for Congress.
When it comes to representing the interests of veterans, the Illinois Democrat has a lengthy record of service.
But far more unfortunate was the NRSC’s choice of words: Republicans blasted Duckworth for “not standing up,” despite the fact that Duckworth is a double-amputee who lost both of her legs during her service in Iraq.
Them, I Mean, You
Then there’s Denise Gitsham, former reality show (The Bachelor) contestant running for the seat in the 52nd Congressional District. She can be anything you want her to be.
Last weekend at the Conservative Political Action Convention she told the crowd she’s was “one of you,” and the Democrats were listening. Here’s a quote from a DCCC mailing:
In her speech, Gitsham confessed that she’s half-Asian, but she “passes” for Hispanic. So much so that she was able to land a job doing Hispanic outreach for Republicans years ago.
“I’m just ambiguously ethnic enough to pass for almost anything!” she crowed. “And as a result, I ended up as an Hispanic coalitions coordinator!” she beamed!
She told the conservative crowd “I’m one of you!” Makes you wonder what she really means by that.
Ken Stone has an article at City Beat on San Diego’s newly energized mayoral contest including the tidbit that debates might well be part of the picture this spring:
No matter the strategy, the duo hopes to debate Faulconer—as would seven other potential candidates.
Faulconer’s campaign manager and Marco Rubio senior adviser Jason Roe didn’t respond to numerous requests for comment. But the mayor has accepted at least one debate invitation—from the Spanish-language station Univision.
Univision senior news reporter Carlos Gonzales, who confirmed the mayor’s acceptance, says a half-hour studio debate will be aired live on April 12 at 6 p.m. with “regular and business people involved.”
At least two other debates could be in the works. Last week, San Diego State University political science professor Carole Kennedy said two clubs were working on an SDSU-hosted debate, but the school’s College Republicans hadn’t yet signed up. Local League of Women Voters President Jeanne Brown said her group was still deciding on a date and place—as well as looking for a co-host.
(h/t Lori Saldaña)
The Blue Smoke and Mirrors Infrastructure Plan
City Council member Mark Kersey’s Rebuild San Diego plan was passed along for voter approval in the June primary by 7-2 vote yesterday.
From the Times of San Diego:
Kersey’s measure was opposed by Councilmen Alvarez and Todd Gloria and organized labor representatives.
They contend the plan won’t raise enough money to solve the infrastructure problem, especially in the first five years; would tie the budgetary hands of future mayors and City Council members; and requires that the city follow through with the “meet and confer” process with municipal employee unions.
City officials said they didn’t believe that bargaining with labor was required for the ballot measure, though a brief meeting was held with one union on Monday.
Murtaza H. Baxamusa explained the “rebuild” plan’s shortcomings in an op-ed at Voice of San Diego earlier this week.
The math is simple. If over half of incremental general fund revenues through 2022 are set aside for infrastructure, then public safety is going to see its share of general fund spending shrink over time. If all sales tax increases through 2043 is set aside for infrastructure, no sales tax increases will go to public safety – even as service calls increase. Consequently, as population and economic growth increases demand for police, fire and rescue services, spending on public safety services will not be able to catch up on a per-person basis.
By considering only the inflation rate, and ignoring the growth rate, Rebuild San Diego has a built-in assumption of zero growth for other services funded by the sales tax. This is obviously erroneous. The city of San Diego’s population is projected to grow by almost 40 percent, to 1.8 million by 2040, with an accompanying growth in jobs and housing, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. The region’s gross domestic product grew by 3 percent this year, when adjusted for inflation, according to the National University Institute System for Policy Research.
Rebuild San Diego effectively creates a limit on future spending increases for all non-infrastructure services, such as public safety.
The bottom line here is that Rebuild San Diego is a sweet deal only for those who want to drown government in a bathtub.
On This Day: 1933 – Spurred on by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Congress began 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation. Just one of many programs established to help Americans survive the Great Depression: The Civilian Conservation Corps, which put 2.5 million young men on the government payroll to help in national conservation and infrastructure projects. 1965 – The first U.S. combat troops arrived in South Vietnam. 1975 – Elvis Presley began his final recording session at RCA’s Hollywood studios.
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