October Surprises


With the increasing popularity of mail-in and early voting, the prospects of “October surprises”, or at least the effectiveness of them, decreases. George Will wrote about this recently http://www.newsweek.com/id/161202 and his apparent problem with early voting. I disagree.

Everyone should vote, of course the problem of every vote being legitimate is a problem with organizations like ACORN around, and the people who support them, like Barack Obama and the congressmen who put in the recent bailout language a provision to divvy up profits towards groups like, and possibly including, ACORN. Gladly, that language has been removed, but who inserted it? And who demanded it be stripped out? Possible Surprise #1.

But back to the point, no one wants to be standing in a long line for hours on Election Day, watching the magic hour of 7pm creeping closer and closer and voters left wondering if they’ll be able to vote at all. With way too many amendments here in Colorado, the wait could be long unless people do some serious studying ahead of time. Or, people will just not even bother to vote on these amendments. What a waste of time and effort for the people who brought these issues to the ballot.

So with incentives galore, many people will probably opt for early voting (info at our Vote! Longmont site), so those October “surprisers” need to get to work early. What could be looming on the very short horizon? A few possibilities, and surprises usually work against the guy people know the least about, in this case Obama. John McCain’s been around a while, a fact his detractors chortle with glee about as they point out his age. But with that comes familiarity, not a whole lot of surprises are possible or probable when it comes to this candidate.

But with Obama, the questions just don’t go away, regardless of his “Fight The Smears” campaign. First, there’s the ACORN and bailout connection above, then the story about his convicted felon buddy Tony Rezko apparently tiring of prison and may want to sing like jailbirds often do to cut a deal. Next up, Obama’s “truth squad” in Missouri being called out for what they are by Governor Matt Blunt. If you missed it, here it is:

“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”

Pretty harsh, and not from a commentator, pundit, or partisan blogger. Next up is a story circulating about the Jopek family asking Obama to no longer wear the bracelet he mentioned at the recent debate. They made this request last March! First he made a smarmy glance towards McCain after saying “I got one, too”, and then couldn’t remember the Sergeants name.

Lastly, I cant believe we’ve heard the last of his ties to unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, and Obama’s connection to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle, you know, the underlying reason we find ourselves in the mess we’re in requiring this bailout?

These are all very serious issues and not likely to go away after the election, regardless of its outcome. By all rights, Obama should be 20+ points ahead of McCain in an election year that should heavily favor the Democrats, especially facing a party that’s been in office for 8 years. It’s fairly normal over our course of elections to have this pendulum swing in such situations. The only recent example when it didn’t happen was 1988, when Bush Sr. took over for Reagan – but it was just delayed 4 years. Then again, look who the Democrats put up against Bush, Dukakis for crying out loud. Even Dan Quayle couldn’t lose that election for Bush.

So why isn’t Obama way ahead when he should be? All of those questions above, and the general questions “Who is this guy? Why should I just take it on faith he’ll do alright while he’s receiving on-the-job training?” Wasn’t that Hillary Clinton who asked that second question?

For Obama to win, he needs to hit it out of the park repeatedly over the next couple of weeks, make no mistakes, and pray not a single one of the above issues get any legs in the press for any amount of time. In other words, hide, lie, and cover up your true self, or else people wont elect you, no matter how many hundreds of millions you raise and spend. What a great campaign strategy!

Give It A Rest


When I first heard Councilmember Sarah Levison repeatedly bring up the Brennan Center for Justice as a “non-partisan” organization to help frame the new Campaign finance reform, I, and I assume others, let it go trusting Ms. Levison was just trying to do what was best for Longmont.

In a recent Longmont City Council meeting, Ms. Levison mentioned how some members on the task force were getting tired of hearing about this organization. Now the truly “non-partisan” nature of this group is coming in to question.

In the September 13, 2008 New York Times, the newspaper of “record” (or lining birdcages, and fewer birdcages every day) spun very nicely a story of getting the word out to former convicted felons, often as they are just barely out of prison. Who’s getting this word out and actively pursuing these people? First there’s the Voter Registration Drive (VRD) organization that gives the rest of us VRD‘s a bad name, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Just Google them, (add ” Obama” to the search and it gets really interesting) the results will be “voter fraud” across several states.

Next up is the ACLU, NAACP, the Sentencing Project, and…the Brennan Center for Justice. Neither presidential candidate chose to be involved with this operation, but the NY Times noted ” Last month, Obama campaign workers took down a sign at their headquarters in Pottstown, Pa., that said ” Felons can vote,because it might have sent the wrong message.” That can be taken a few ways, you decide for yourself. But the point is ” the company you keep”, etc.

Then there’s the NY Times article entitled ” A Book Club Courts Liberals” about the Progressive Book Club. This is all well and good, as there are all kinds of book clubs, including a Conservative Book Club. But if the Brennan Center was non-partisan, it would advertise for both, or neither. I can’t find any mention of the Conservative Book Club on Brennan’s site, but the NY Times article had this: ” Participating organizations, which will also advertise the Progressive Book Club on their Web sites and help recruit members, include the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law; the Foundation for National Progress, which publishes Mother Jones magazine; and the Wellstone Action Fundand ” alliance partnerDaily Kos. Again, the company you keep, and the above are far from middle of the road groups like Ms. Levison claims Brennan is.

Just a quick glance at Wikipedia says they’re a ” progressive” institute named after Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan who (according to Wikipedia again) was ” Known for his outspoken liberal views, including opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights.” Some of you might recall his claim of the death penalty as being ” cruel and unusual” punishment describing in gruesome detail this process, apparently having more sympathy for hardened criminals than the innocent unborn.

But the center’s naming after him, and the connections above are all just a coincidence, is that what we are lead to believe?

If Ms. Levison wants to use them as a resource that works out for the best interests of Longmont, fine. Even if they are partisan, that’s fine, too (unless they are a non-profit organization). But can we dispense with the charade of this organization (Brennan) being above politics?

( emphasis added in NY Times quotes)