Nevada caucuses make room for shift workers (w/poll)

Good nuts and bolts information--Chris

Iowa blogger John Deeth had an interesting post flagging this AP report on Nevada Democrats adopting rules for their January 2008 caucuses.

Apparently the rules closely follow those of the Iowa caucuses, which I have discussed previously at Daily Kos and at MyDD. According to the AP, Nevada Democrats didn't want to create controversy over New Hampshire's law, which says its primary must be held a week or more before any "similar election." (New Hampshire has not objected to Iowa going first, since the Iowa caucuses are quite different from a primary.)

However, Nevada Democrats made one important change that will allow greater participation by shift workers. Join me after the jump...

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How the Iowa caucuses work (part 2), w/poll


Welcome to the second installment in my series about the Iowa caucuses. If you missed part one, you can find it here or here.

Political junkies and hacks, follow me after the jump as I clarify a few points from my first diary on how state delegates are assigned. After that I'll discuss who will be underrepresented and who will be overrepresented when they calculate the delegate totals on the big night next January.

Please read, take the poll and comment, but don't blame me for this screwed-up system. I prefer primaries.

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How the Iowa caucuses work (part 1), w/poll

Great information--Chris

This diary is not a defense of the Iowa caucuses. Frankly, I would much rather have a presidential primary, in which each person can cast one vote using a secret ballot. The caucuses are unfair to shift workers who can't get a Monday night off, elderly people who don't like to go out at night or head south for the winter, handicapped people who prefer to vote by absentee ballot, parents who can't leave young children for an hour or more at bedtime, people who do not want to declare a political preference in public, etc. Moreover, the caucus system does not count everyone's vote equally.

But here in Iowa, we're stuck with this system. All of you may as well learn how the caucuses work and why we say things like, "Iowa is notoriously hard to poll" and "Organization is really important in Iowa" and "Second choices matter in Iowa" and "Broad support across Iowa is crucial."

Political junkies, follow me after the jump for part one of this series, which explains how delegates are assigned on the Democratic side in the Iowa caucuses.

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Laughable e-mail from Lieberman camp (w/poll)

A while back I started getting e-mails from Joe Lieberman's campaign. Don't know how I got on this list--possibly it's leftover from his presidential campaign (I am an active volunteer for the Iowa Democratic Party, and he could have purchased their list).

Today a message shows up in my in-box with the subject heading "Lieberman Wins!!!" Yes, there were three exclamation points.

The full text of the e-mail is below for those of you who need a good laugh.

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A Diary for fans of John Edwards and fighting Dems

I saw John Edwards speak today for the second time in the past month. He's working out his new stump speech, and by the time he's through I bet it'll be as good as his legendary "two Americas" speech during the 2004 primaries.

Edwards didn't serve in the military, but his speech is very much in the "fighting Dem" mode. More details on the speech below.

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Edwards speech now embraces labor unions (w/poll)

I saw John Edwards speak tonight at a fundraiser for Ankeny-area Democrats (near Des Moines). For the most part, it was the same stump speech many of you have probably heard or read, focusing on poverty as the great moral issue of our time.

However, Edwards had some things to say that were new to me. Apologies if this has been diaried before, but I've seen him in person several times in the past two years and never heard these comments.

I was a precinct captain for Kerry before the Iowa caucuses and am undecided for the 2008 race. However, Edwards is one of the handful of candidates who have my serious consideration. I liked what I heard.

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new poll: good news for us on Social Security

Over at Emerging Democratic Majority, Ruy Teixeira just posted some good poll results for us: Voters on Bush's Social Security Plan: Thanks, but No Thanks

Polling 2004 election voters for the AFL-CIO, Hart Research found, among other things,

the public now evenly-split on whether they support (49 percent) or oppose (46 percent) the general idea of "a plan by which people who chose to could invest some of their Social Security contributions in the stock market". That's down from 64-31 in favor in a May, 2000 Washington Post poll.

More below the fold.

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Iowa GOP tax proposal--uh oh

I smell trouble.

Republicans in the evenly divided Iowa Senate have proposed exempting everyone under 30 from the state income tax (relatively high compared to many states).

The Des Moines Register put the story above the fold on the front page, and the headlines say it all regarding the potentially powerful frame the Republican Party now has on this issue:

Don't Tax Anyone Under 30: Republicans offer bold proposal to help end Iowa's brain drain by getting rid of income tax for young people

More below the fold.

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Iowa Gov 2006--Dem rumblings

This is a nice run down of the Iowa Governors race as it stands today. While the Democratic primary should be a spirited fight, the Republican primary has the potential of being a real dirty war. Rumors are abound that some Republicans are doing research on Nussle's messy divorce, and subsquent re-marriage to a hill staffer. Tom Miller would be a formidable force both in the primary and in the general election, as he is the highest Democratic vote getter in the state, and has a long reputation of consumer protection and good government initiatives. Michael Blouin is regarded as a talented executive in the state and would also be a formidable challenge to Nussle, if Nussle were to make it out of the Republican primary. Promoted by Laddy

On the Republican side, Congressman Jim Nussle, chairman of the House Budget Subcommittee, is the heavy favorite to win the gubernatorial nomination in 2006. This poses big problems for the Democrats. Nussle's base is in eastern Iowa (specifically heavily Catholic Dubuque). Dems need to rack up big leads in eastern Iowa to overcome heavily Republican western Iowa and the fast-growing Des Moines suburbs.

Once Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson took herself out of the running last month, the Dem field looked likely to be Secretary of State Chet Culver, a mediocre son of a great former senator, and State Rep. Ed Fallon, the most progressive member of the state legislature. But Fallon, a peace activist who backed Nader in 2000 and Kucinich in 2004 (then Kerry during the general campaign), is viewed as too far to the left for much of the Iowa Democratic Party. The mayor of Shenandoah is an obscure third declared Democratic candidate.

David Yepsen, chief political correspondent for the Des Moines Register, writes in his latest column that some heavy hitters on the Dem side are testing the waters.

More below the fold.

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working the refs: what we can do (part 1)

If you're like me, you increasingly tune out the mainstream media as a source of news, because you're disgusted with the way the right wing controls the news agenda. But getting our news from more progressive sources won't solve the problem of the uninformed and misinformed mass public. After reading Chris Bowers' recent diary detailing concrete ways progressives can take back the Democratic Party rather than bitching about its direction, I started thinking more about shaping media coverage.

This diary is not about Lakoff-inspired framing strategy, important as that is. This diary is about tactics.

The GOP has an edge now because it's easier to work the refs when you have the power. But there are many ways individuals can help get more news exposure for progressive views, and our issues generally. The Des Moines Register's religion editor shows us one way in her latest column. We need to cultivate relationships with journalists.

More below the fold.

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