Elizabeth Edwards on Labor, Unionization, Big Business and the future Edwards Administration

With the endorsement of labor groups soon to come for John Edwards, I thought it would be a good time to post up another interview - this time with Elizabeth Edwards as she came through Denver back in July. I have to tell you that this interview was not scheduled, I just happened to be where she was going to speak, at the AFL-CIO union hall, and as luck would have it, she was nice enough to agree to talk on camera.  (it also important to note that thethe AFL-CIO has the highest rate in new membership in 2 generations. (thanks Miss Laura)

I have long been an Edwards supporter, but I was still quite pleased to find out just how personable and genuine Ms. Edwards was. Also, this was my second on-camera interview, and Ms. Edwards demeanor and professionalism made me feel at ease which helped me conduct the interview without being too nervous.

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Richardson and the Map

I would like to open up a discussion about what  electoral map would look like in the fall of 2008. Given that America has chosen only two sitting senators in its entire history, to become president - I decided it might make sense to look at a Richardson candidacy and see how it plays across the crucial, high electoral vote states relative to the shifting senate map.

As we know, the house and senate are up to gain more seats for the Dems. The crucial advantage, being a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  Right now, the Webb amendments that would have helped the situation in Iraq were torpedoed by the republican slight minority (predictably enough).  And although
the house plays by different rules, even there we see trouble with bush republicans. Pelosi is draining the swamp.

There are three regions I think would play well. The southwest, where Richardson is popular (having been elected by the widest margin of victory in his state's history).  And, speaking as one from the dirty south - I do think he will play well in many states in the sunbelt.  And he plays well enough in the midwest. New Mexico has a kind of rugged character that way. IMHO the seats in play - Domenici (who is up to his eyeballs in the Attorney General Scandal) (NM), Maine, Minnesota, and Oregon are all favored by a Richardson coattail.

Now the defended seats, in Louisiana, and South Dakota, are not harmed, in my view, by having someone on the ticket who is not Hillary. Don't get me wrong. I like Hillary, and as a small businessman I would be ecstatic to see the whole health care thing worked out (honestly, I do think that is a good signature issue for her). But in the Red states, she will have a massive campaign launched against her and the GOP is praying she will get the nomination so they can sharpen up the old propaganda machine and use it all against her. Richardson would blindside them. Trust me. The GOP is all set to battle Hillary down there in the south. She has very little pull there. The GOP will count the south as their base, and The Louisiana seat will be harder to battle for. As will be South Dakota (same rural effect).  There is a character I find appealing in Richardson, that I believe will play well in the rural areas.  And I guess we all know the lesson about how to surprise your enemy.

Truly, victory in Iraq or any strong push forward there would upend alot of plans, except in my view Richardsons. After all, he is telling everyone we are selling the Iraqi government short and we should let them take over.  McCain is trying to make the GOP side look like victory depends on troop levels. Richardson and others are turning the Dem side of this equation into a logical and healthy discussion about whether or not a tripartite entity is a win there, and as usual, contrasts the GOP use of force in favor of diplomacy.Its a strong argument in the south, still. And in many red states. Who for better or worse, will likely decide, again, the election. Just as those voters in Ohio did last time.

IMHO  a diplomat in the white house will go a long way in fixing the damage done by a previous governor of Texas that chose force over diplomacy.

I think Richardson would help the map for everyone. I see alot of purple on the map this year. There are safe democratic seats all over the map, and the new territory seems to be solidly along the lines of New Mexico and the Govenor's potential strength. Of course I am vaguely aware there are other candidates in the race, and they might have their own effect on the map. (see poll) What do you think?

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Swiftboating CA Voters

REPUBLICAN SWIFTBOAT DONORS FILE BALLOT INITIATIVE TO STRIP CALIFORNIA OF IT'S 55 ELECTORAL VOTES!!

Charles H. Bell and Thomas Hiltachk's law firm, with funding by Bob Perry (Swiftboat ad creator) filed a ballot initiative to strip California's winner-takes-all electoral votes and redistribute them to the counties. Charles Bell is the General Counsel for the California Republican Party. This group is also the same one that funded the recall of Governor Gray Davis.

California has the largest electoral votes in the nation with 55, and because the Republicans are fairly certain they cannot win California in 2008, they have sponsored this ballot to change how California's votes are counted. They believe that if they are redistributed to the counties, then they can, at least, win a few of these votes.

The problem is, this goes against the entire reason the electoral college was created and it is essentially a way to steal or cheat voters.

If California abandons its winner-take-all rule while red states like Texas do not, it will be hard for a Democratic nominee to assemble an Electoral College majority, even if he or she wins a sizable majority of the popular vote. That appears to be just what the backers of the California idea have in mind.

Additionally, if this makes it onto the ballot, it will cost millions of dollars on both sides to compete and attempt to defeat.

The New York Times reported, "If voters understand that the initiative is essentially an elaborate dirty trick posing as reform, they are likely to vote against it. But judging by the misleading name of their organization, the initiative's backers want to fool the public into thinking the change would make elections more fair. They are planning on putting it to a vote in June 2008, an election when there will be few other things on the ballot, and turnout is expected to be extremely low. This bad-faith initiative is yet another example of the ways in which referenda can be used for mischief and a reminder of why they are a bad way to resolve complex public-policy issues.
Opponents of the initiative announced yesterday that they are sponsoring their own, rival initiative, which would commit California to a national plan that aims to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president. That idea makes much more sense.

It is about whether to twist the nation's system of electing presidents to give one party an unfair advantage. No principled elected official, or voter, of either party should support that."

It is important to note that Bob Perry is the largest contributor to the Texas Republican Party, and a board member to the Council for National Policy, an extreme right-wing "christian" organization. If Perry's group were to succeed in striping Ca of it's 55 electoral votes, Texas would then become the most powerful electoral state. So why hasn't Perry put forth the same ballot initiative in Texas? Because it is a republican state, with 34 electoral votes (2nd largest in the country), if this same initiative passed in Texas it would not be in HIS best interest, because many counties in Texas, like Travis county (which houses Austin, TX) would vote democrat and essentially do to Texas what Perry wants to do to California.

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, Democrat, Republican, Independant, Liberatarian, or whatever - California voters need to join together to defeat this measure. In the end, it strips California of being recognized as the most important state in the union in terms of voting power. CA VOTERS -  DO NOT GIVE UP OUR RIGHTS.

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Chris Bowers on Bill Richardson

This interesting quote came from former myDD regular, Chris Bowers.. the 'question' I believe he is referring to is a simple one, that is now being reviewed for inclusion in the upcoming debate, that will be sponsored by Univision. Its a question that I believe goes something like this "How many troops will you leave behind, in Iraq?" . I posted earlier that I believe this question should be included and asked, of the candidates, at the debate - and I agree with Chris:


I applaud Richardson's efforts on this front, just as I applauded MSNBC when they attempted to get straight answers from candidates on how many troops they intend to leave in Iraq if they become President. However, if my experience on this front is any indication, even if this question is asked at the Univision debate, in all likelihood no one except Richardson and Biden will answer the question (Kucinich and Gravel might, since it is hard to predict what they do). The question will be labeled hypothetical, and the response will be that they will listen to the commanders on the ground. And then, the debate will move on to the next question.

The more I think about this dodge from Clinton, Obama, and Edwards on how many troops they intend to leave in Iraq, the angrier I become. Why is an inquiry into how many troops they intend to leave in Iraq a hypothetical question not worthy of an answer, but inquiries into how much their health care plans will reduce the cost of insurance premiums a hypothetical question worthy of prominently displaying an answer to on your website?

He was my second favorite here at myDD. (Jon is my first!). :) What do you think? (poll included !) Is  an inquiry into how many troops they intend to leave in Iraq a hypothetical question not worthy of an answer? Like Lilo said  to Stitch .. "It's all you!"

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Impressions of the DNC Summit

let's win in november 2008!  that's the rallying cry from the dnc summit.  people from all over the country, including the illinois democratic party co-chair, state rep. constance howard, and state senator iris martinez (both of chicago) attended.  howard moderated the session on election protection.

three presidential candidates showed up.  bill richardson, who had a heavy contingent among nevada participants (i'd guess that they were evenly divided between bill richardson and hillary clinton), made an appearance on thursday, speaking to the full session and then hosting two events, including one aimed at hispanics.  mike gravel spoke to the opening session on friday.  and dennis kucinich made an unscheduled stop in on friday, as well.  he gave his standard stump speech to the friday morning session and then dropped in on the breakout groups as well.

the other candidates had a heavy presence and several hosted special events.  hillary had a table up for the first two days and "nevadans for hillary" hosted a reception friday night.  former mayor wellington webb from denver (host to the dnc convention) was the featured speaker on her behalf (as well as state senator and minority leader dina titus).  obama and edwards were well-represented.  both biden and dodd had tables, with dodd having someone there.  i thought it was interesting that you could only buy hillary swag (this was true at yearlykos as well) but obama stickers and posters were free here (unlike yearlykos).

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Diaries

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