Monday, May 12


Al Meyerhoff, Huffington Post - Over the Fourth of July weekend of 1999, I had the good fortune to accompany my then fiancée (and now happily my wife) to the McCain vacation home in Sedona where she was interviewing them for a Home & Garden Television show. The interview itself was entirely apolitical, focusing on fabrics and furnishing in their lovely Oak Creek abode, topics about which I do recall the senator was less than comfortable discussing. . . As McCain flipped burgers, I could not help but ask his views about then candidate George W. Bush. "He's as dumb as a stump," McCain offered. We then went on to discuss other matters (including Vietnam) but that quote remains seared in my memory.

After 20 years of loving Barack like he was a member of his own family, for Jeremiah [Wright] to see Barack saying over and over that he didn’t know about Jeremiah’s views during those years, that he wasn’t familiar with what Jeremiah had said, that he may have missed church on this day or that and didn’t hear what Jeremiah said, this is seen by Jeremiah as nonsense and betrayal," a source with ties to Wright told the Post’s Fredric Dicker. "Jeremiah is trying to defend his congregation and the work of his ministry by saying what he is saying" and "doesn’t care if he derails Obama’s candidacy or not." - NY Post

The Los Angeles Times notes that the worst thing that could happen to Sen. Barack Obama "now is what so many party members are clamoring for: Hillary Rodham Clinton to drop out." "Why? Because with her name still on the ballots, she'd be very likely to win in West Virginia anyway. And maybe Kentucky too, given the demographics in both places. And possibly Puerto Rico as well. How would that look if at the end of the Democratic race the winning candidate with clearly the most delegates and popular votes went down to defeat against a candidate who isn't in the contest anymore?" - Political Wire

We have been urging Greens to spend more time on local races and less on the big ones as a more effective way to build the movement. The opportunities are impressive. Take Arkansas, for example. The Arkansas News Bureau reports: So, before a single state primary vote was cast - early voting began Monday - Democrats were assured a House majority with 51 unopposed candidates, with House Republicans garnering 12 seats the easy way, about half way to at least maintaining the 25 House seats they currently hold. Thirteen of the 18 Senate seats up for election this year were uncontested, giving eight Democrats and five Republicans a clear path to office. Overall, 76 of the 118 seats up for election are uncontested, about 65 percent.

In 2006, a voting rights suit against the winner-take-all, at-large voting system for the Amarillo College board of regents had been settled with cumulative voting. Cumulative voting is non-winner-take-all voting method where candidates run in multi-seat districts and voters have as many votes as seats and can allocate their votes however they wish rather than cast only one vote person candidate. It has been used since 2000 for the Amarillo Independent School District, each time resulting in at least one person of color winning after two decades of no racial minority winning with the old winner-take-all system - currently the seven-member board has one African American and one Latina. On May 10, three at-large seats were elected to the college board, using cumulative voting for the first time. One person of color ran - African American incumbent Prenis Williams, who had been appointed in 2006. He comfortably finished first. (Also, Latina incumbent Lilia Escajeda was unopposed in a separate election for board chair). - Rob Richie, Fair Vote

With more than 23,000 Greens in Maine, the state will play a critical role in determining who will represent the party on the ballot in November. Maine is behind only California in the number of delegates it can send to the national convention in July, said Jane Meisenbach, chairwoman of the Maine Green Independent Party board.. . . Jon Olsen of Jefferson, a founding member of the Hawaii Green Party in 1989, said Greens are particularly angry about the war in Iraq and the government's failed response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "We see that the present government that we've got, with Democrats and Republicans, has been a total disaster and getting worse, led by this present administration," he said. Olsen said that Greens' frustration with Democrats and Republicans is aimed at Washington politicians, and that Greens work well with the major parties in Maine. Portland Press Herald

For the Democrats, proportional representation, rather than producing chaos, underscored the party’s commitment to inclusion. Democrats are more likely to speak about equality, social justice and fairness in election campaigns than Republicans, and proportional representation is more compatible with those themes than a winner-take-all method. Alan Wolfe, Washington Post