Tag Archives: 2010 Elections

The Big Lie

10 Nov

Andrew Sullivan, blogger for The Atlantic and traditional conservative, has emerged as one of the most sensible, centrist voices in America in recent years.  He absolutely nails the American political culture of recent years as the “triumph of untruth”

It seems to me that the last year or so in America’s political culture has represented the triumph of untruth. And the untruth was propagated by a deliberate, simple and systemic campaign to kill Obama’s presidency in its crib.

We have an opposition party who is not serious about governing; only winning elections and centralizing political power.  Ideas are not debated, policies not negotiated; positions only demonized.  All of this aided by a news media so afraid of establishing a point of view or making a judgement, that they simply focus on how policy decisions will affect the next election or the daily news cycle and ensuing polls.

Emergency measures in a near-unprecedented economic collapse…were described by the right as ideological moves of choice, when they were, in fact, pragmatic moves of necessity.  The health insurance reform – almost identical to Romney’s, to the right of the Clintons in 1993, costed to reduce the deficit, without a public option, and with millions more customers for the insurance and drug companies – was turned into a socialist government take-over.

Sullivan instead proposes an interesting thought experiment for his readers…

If a black Republican president had come in, helped turn around the banking and auto industries (at a small profit!), insured millions through the private sector while cutting Medicare, overseen a sharp decline in illegal immigration, ramped up the war in Afghanistan, reinstituted pay-as-you go in the Congress, set up a debt commission to offer hard choices for future debt reduction, and seen private sector job growth outstrip the public sector’s in a slow but dogged recovery, somehow I don’t think that Republican would be regarded as a socialist.

Instead, we have an opposition whose primary stated goal is to remove the President from power in 2012.  Sullivan then proceeds to filet right wing talking points on Obama and comes to the following conclusion…

A deliberate campaign of misinformation. A Big Lie.

I’ve spent the past week consuming exit poll data, analysis and thoughtful examination of the results of last week’s election.  I’ve come to several conclusions and I’ll discuss them on the radio later today with Brad Riter at 4PM on WECK1230 and I’ll follow up with a more lengthy post tomorrow.

What is most interesting to me is that the American voter has never been more susceptible to disinformation and is consequently willing to make voting decisions that don’t necessarily jibe with their stated opinion on policy.

A bizarre place to find our republic at a time of great distress…

Take Back America Tour

8 Nov

Taking Back America With Uncommon Vim and Vigor

In 1999, Nicole Sullivan of MadTV made this brilliant sketch which presaged the Tea Party Movement by ten years.

[HTML1]

I believe Sarah Palin saw this on a late night re-run and due to her exquisite lack of irony, thought this was serious. And SarahPAC and the Mama Grizzlies were born.

Election 2010: Revenge Of The Grannies

3 Nov

The Tea Party Base

Josh Holland at Alternet has some interesting exit poll data and demographics from the historic 2010 election:

Last night, older, whiter Americans told the rest of us to get the Hell off of their lawn, and today we have the biggest GOP margin in the House in a generation.

According to the exit polls, voters aged 18-29 made up 18 percent of the electorate in 2008, sweeping Obama and the Dems into power. They made up a larger share of the electorate than those over 65 — older folks cast 16 percent of the votes. Last night turned those numbers on their head, with the kids making up just 11 percent of the vote and a whopping 23 percent being 65 years or older.

Young voters, staying home to nurse their ironic PBRs, simply returned to form — they made up 12 percent of the vote in the last mid-term election in 2006.

The electorate was also, unsurprisingly, whiter this year than it was during the last go-around. In 2008, the electorate was 74 percent white, 13 percent black and 9 percent Latino. Last night, the numbers were 78 percent, 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

The economy was the most important issue facing the country, according to 62 percent of those polled. More people blamed Wall Street (35 percent) and George W Bush (30 percent) than Obama (23 percent). The Dems actually earned a narrow victory (50-48) among those who had a member of their household who lost a job in the past two years. But, tellingly, the GOP won by 14 points (56-42) among those who saw Wall Street as the culprit.

I don’t like to write knee-jerk reactionary posts after historic events, I’m synthesizing exit poll data from districts around the country and looking at turnout numbers and demographics before I write any semblance of an analysis of election night 2010.  Feel free to post or link to any data you find interesting in this article.  I’d like to crowdsource some analysis…

Goodbye Carl Paladino

3 Nov

This may be the last time I get to use this sign gag...

Resident WNYMedia satirist and aspiring lounge singer, Tom Dolina, debuted his single “Thanks For The Memories” last night on our election coverage on WECK 1230.  Today, we debut the video.

Carl Paladino gave us seven months of epic campaign failure and for that, we are very thankful.  This song is our way of saying thank you for the endless stream of news events and hilarity…for us, it’s now back to the task of writing about New York and Erie County Politics, City of Buffalo government, longstanding local public projects and interviews with local leaders.

[HTML1]

Fourteen Thoughts

3 Nov

1. We had a lot of fun last night talking about the returns and what they mean on WECK.  Despite a very late start due to a Canisius hockey game that went into overtime, I think that our discussion was not just insightful, but above all, fun.  Thanks to Brad Riter, Chris Smith, Brian Castner, Tom Dolina, and Nick Mendola for participating and making it a great show.  Thanks also to our guests, Erie County Legislator Ray Walter, Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, and Congressman Brian Higgins.  We had other guests ready to go, but their window of opportunity occurred during the time that the hockey game was still going on.

2. Despite his loss – which I won’t analyze in detail today – Carl Paladino is the most influential Erie County Republican who didn’t get elected.  Nick Langworthy may be the most influential GOP county chair in the state.  Paladino’s speech last night was such that I can’t imagine what he said was what was written down on the TelePrompTer in front of him.  It was the tough-guy upstate New York version of Sarah Palin’s farewell speech – he has not yet begun to fight.

3. Brian Higgins is the top Democratic dog in town right now.  He has working relationships with every warring faction.  In an historic “throw the (mostly Democratic) bums out” year for Congress, the tea partiers threw a true believer up against Higgins, and the incumbent demolished him 61-39.  Lenny Roberto and his ilk said that Higgins wasn’t listening to his constituents by passing health care reform and other pieces of the Obama agenda.  Evidently, Higgins did exactly what a vast majority of his constituents wanted, thanks. Not just that, but Tim Kennedy drafted Higgins to defeat a feckless campaign waged by Jack Quinn III, who won’t be returning to Albany.

4. In SD-60, I predicted a race that would be tight enough to require a recount.  That’s exactly what we’ve got right now, since Thompson now leads by less than 300 votes with two Republican districts waiting to be counted.  Last night, Chris discovered that Thompson wasn’t just being hit by Grisanti and the First Amendment Club in Niagara Falls, Grand Island, parts of the Tonawandas, and the west side of Buffalo, but there is a breakaway Grassroots faction that was actively campaigning against Thompson in his east side strongholds.  Thompson may have overplayed his hand and done a Kavanaugh flip with his “Grisanti is evil for being an attorney” lit, and frankly he’s not well-regarded by most anyone, anywhere.  This one is days from being decided.

5. The voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of an 11-member county legislature. The next legislative election is next year, and the redistricting will have to be completed before then.  That means the leg will have to get to work right away to appoint a redistricting commission to examine how this will be accomplished and where the lines will be re-drawn.

6. In SD-61, Mike Ranzenhofer proved that Republicans will re-elect him time and time again despite his non-existent record.  He needs to either wake up and become effective, or else he needs to lose re-election in 2012.  In order to do that, someone needs to start thinking seriously about challenging him right now.

7. In SD-59, Dale Volker will be riding off into the sunset, replaced by his choice, Pat Gallivan. Cynthia Appleton ran an honorable, issues-based campaign, but I think she didn’t spend enough time in voter-rich Erie County.  David DiPietro’s pathetic showing of a mere 8-ish thousand votes is a serious rebuke to his bitter and relentlessly combative campaign. He should be embarrassed and ashamed.

8. Sam Hoyt lives to fight another day, as does Dennis Gabryszak.  A Republican pickup in A-146 where Kevin Smardz defeated Brad Rybczynski.  Jim Hayes defeated Greg Vinal in A-148, and Robin Schimminger defeated Kevin Stocker in A-140.  Jane Corwin, Mark Schroeder, and Crystal Peoples-Stokes were all running unopposed.

9. Both western New York tea party factions are huge losers this morning.  Aside from the gubernatorial race, where their favored candidate lost, Brian Higgins obliterated Lenny Roberto, Louise Slaughter demolished Jill Rowland, and both Pat Gallivan and Cynthia Appleton humiliated David DiPietro. Their angry, uninformed rhetoric and ultra-right-wing policy positions are shared by a tiny minority of Republican voters.  The general electorate has rejected them conclusively.

10.  Not WNY-based, but in a year where five New York State congressional districts flipped D to R, Bill Owens in NY-23 managed to win re-election against his Republican opponent, and Doug Hoffman running again on the Conservative Party line only. That was a big tea party loss in a special election last year, and Owens held on.

11. Did you listen to our coverage on WECK last night?  What did you think?  We didn’t have anyone babysitting the liveblog, so it didn’t really get used.  When we’re multitasking, checking results, hunting sources and guests, and talking on the radio, maintaining a liveblog takes a back seat – Marc usually does it, but he wasn’t with us last night.  Do you use it?  Did you miss it? Consider the comments section an open thread on the local and state races.

12. Schneiderman defeated Donovan – New Yorkers want an activist attorney general who won’t give Wall Street a free pass.  Gillibrand defeated DioGuardi – the state GOP blew it, running a washed-up old guy against an aggressive, energetic newbie.  Schumer defeated whoever his opponent was – that says it all. DiNapoli defeated Wilson – he has organized labor to thank.

13. Now that Chris Lee is in the majority, the time has come for him to do more than just vote no.  While he’s been good on issues concerning big WNY development projects, and trans-border issues, he has been nonexistent when it comes to making proposals, or voting for things that matter to people who aren’t living in Spaulding Lake.  He’s run out of excuses, and it’s time for him to step up.  We’ll be watching very closely.

14. Last thought – Andrew Cuomo has a very tough job ahead of him to effect even minimal structural change in Albany.  One of the problems that he identified early and had taken the initiative to try and change was the fact that New York has over 10,000 separate government entities and literally countless numbers of authorities with spending and borrowing power.  A government that’s out of control and far too bloated cannot stand.  Yet, when voters are given the opportunity to abolish duplicative, redundant layers of government, they never do – see, e.g., Sloan, Williamsville.  When it comes to eliminating expensive redundancy, we can’t have it both ways anymore.

Now, courtesy of Marc Odien and Tom Dolina…

[HTML1]

WNYMedia.net & WECK 1230 Election Night Coverage & Liveblog

2 Nov

Since we haven’t promoted it enough, be sure to tune in to Hometown WECK 1230-AM (or click here for the audio feed worldwide) where Brad Riter will host our election night coverage with Chris Smith, Brian Castner, and me.  Nick Mendola may also stop in for a bit, and we’ll be joined by loads of guests.  You can also follow along on #WNYVOTES on Twitter if you can stomach hashtags, and the liveblog will be here.  We may even take some calls at 716-783-WECK.

We’re scheduled to start at 9pm when polls close, but WECK will be broadcasting a Canisius hockey game which may go long.  We’ll be on the air as soon as it’s over.

The turnout in WNY may reveal an interesting night for a lot of tight local races.

[HTML1]

Vote.

2 Nov

This was, I think, the very best election season since I started the blog.  It’s not every day we have a statewide race being run by a local fella, and it’s even more rare that the local fella is an obnoxious sanctimonious oaf with an impulse control problem (Very Silly Party).

Today is election day.  Please, go out and vote.  If you don’t know where you’re supposed to go vote, use this handy tool (language NSFW).  The WNYMedia.net list of endorsements is here.

And tonight, every single media outlet in Buffalo will pay some washed-up ex-politico to opine without drooling. The only exception will be WECK 1230-AM, where Chris Smith, Brian Castner, and I will join Brad Riter from about 9pm.  We’ll talk with some candidates and discuss where WNY is headed for the next couple of years.  Listen online here at WNYMedia.net, or on the actual radio.

Also, this.

[HTML1]

Andrew Cuomo’s Closing Argument

2 Nov

[HTML1]

This is the speech I wrote about here.  Cuomo set forth an aspirational, reformist vision for New York, pledging to fix Albany and lower taxes.  He also promises to do so without dividing people or regions – we are one New York.  Best of luck to the Attorney General.

WNYVotes 2010: on WECK 1230-AM

1 Nov

Join WNYMedia.net’s Chris Smith, Brian Castner, WECK 1230-AM’s Brad Riter, and me on Tuesday night at 9pm as we watch and discuss the results of the 2010 election.  This isn’t online streaming – this is actual, bonafide radio.  Although we will be offering the show via streaming audio here at WNYMedia.net.

We’ve got a great slate of guests lined up (Higgins, Gillibrand, Slaughter, Kennedy, and more) to call in to discuss and spin what’s happening, and our coverage will guarantee 100% less Giambra, will be 99% Crangle-free, and packed with dismissive snark.  You can also follow the #WNYVotes hashtag on Twitter.

The fun starts around 9pm on Tuesday November 2nd.

Cuomo in Buffalo: GOTV

1 Nov

The Cuomo/Duffy campaign rolled into the heart of what’s been billed as “Carl Country”, addressing about 300 of the faithful at a GOTV rally held in an East Side community center.

Attorney General candidate Eric Schneiderman praised the Democratic slate, encouraging the audience to vote because, “if you vote, we win; if you vote, you win.”  Congressman Brian Higgins said that Andrew Cuomo would “restore New York to its rightful place as the greatest state in the Union,” and that Cuomo has, “vision, energy, passion…[and] the confidence to get things done.”  Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy went after Paladino’s divisive rhetoric, adding that, “the poor and unemployed don’t need hygiene lessons or to be sent to prisons, they need jobs.”

Cuomo took the stage and exhorted people to vote to re-elect Brian Higgins, and to elect Eric Schneiderman, adding, “do not retire the office of the Attorney General”.

Cuomo, who is running about 25 points ahead of his Buffalo-based Republican challenger, said that this year’s election is vitally important, and that all the chips are on the table tomorrow, including the direction of the country, the President’s agenda, and the direction of the state.  He added that this election is also important in terms of the type of people we are, and that “we’re not going back to where we were” two years ago.”

“The state hasn’t been a partner for Buffalo for fifteen years,” Cuomo said, and he would go to Albany to remind the “dysfunctional” and “incompetent’ that they “represent the people, they have to deliver for the people.” He added that New York is the highest taxed state in the nation because “politicians don’t want to say no to the special interests.”

Turning to Paladino’s campaign, Cuomo acknowledged that people are afraid and angry, but what you do about it is important; it defines who you are as a person, or as a community.  “Some people stoke, and use anger to divide”.  He said that when Paladino talks about sending welfare recipients to hygiene lessons and prisons, he’s separating rich from poor; when Paladino wants to send inner city kids to boarding schools, he’s dividing suburban/rural and urban.  When Paladino sent out racist emails, he was separating black and white.  When Paladino said that New Yorkers in Manhattan seemed “catatonic”, he was dividing upstate and downstate.  “[Paladino’s] entire campaign has used fear … to divide and conquer”.

Cuomo said he was proud that his campaign was the exact opposite, saying, “don’t you dare divide the people of this state…[if you do,] you don’t know what this state is all about.”

After today’s appearance in Buffalo, Cuomo was scheduled to fly to Albany and then New York City today.