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Crafty_Dog
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« on: April 09, 2013, 08:28:56 AM »

This thread is for articles of interest at the State level:


BATON ROUGE, La. — In a short address Monday on the first day of the legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal described why his next big plan — a plan that had been applauded by conservative pundits nationally, pitched at meetings around the state and promoted in slickly produced commercials — was crucial to Louisiana’s success.






Then he announced he was shelving it.

“Governor, you’re moving too fast, and we aren’t sure that your plan is the best way to do it,” Mr. Jindal said, describing what he had heard from legislators and citizens alike.

“Here is my response,” he said. “O.K., I hear you.”

The plan, to get rid of the state income and corporate taxes and replace the lost revenue with higher and broader sales taxes, was not dropped altogether. Mr. Jindal emphasized that he was still committed to losing the income tax, but that he would defer to the Legislature to suggest how exactly to make that work.

But it was a rare admission of defeat for Mr. Jindal, 41, a constant Republican in the mix for 2016 and rising conservative luminary since his early 20s. And it was only the latest in a season of setbacks.

In the fall, Mr. Jindal was tapped to lead the Republican Governors Association and after the 2012 election appeared often on national op-ed pages and at Washington forums, diagnosing the party’s ills and earning a reputation as a politician who could deliver straight talk.

Back home in Louisiana his troubles were piling up. Unfavorable polls, once discounted as the byproduct of an ambitious agenda, were only getting worse — recently much worse.

The governor’s statewide school voucher program, a pillar of his education reform package, was blocked by a trial court judge on constitutional grounds.

Judges have since also blocked his revamp of teacher tenure rules and a change of the state retirement system (the administration has appealed the rulings and is pushing for legislative action should they stand).

Then at the end of March, Mr. Jindal’s health secretary, Bruce Greenstein, announced his resignation amid reports of a federal grand jury investigation into the awarding of a $185 million state contract. Mr. Greenstein had also been the point man for one of the administration’s most complex, consequential and potentially risky projects: the accelerated transfer of the state’s safety-net hospital system to a system of public-private partnerships.

All along, opposition to the tax swap was growing broader and more bipartisan by the day. Clergy members urged the governor to drop the plan, saying it could hurt the poor, while the state’s most prominent chamber of commerce group came out against the plan for its potential impact on businesses.

With the math behind the tax swap remaining vague and variable, the plan’s few outspoken friends in the Legislature began to wobble.

Most legislators said on Monday that the governor had made the politically wise decision to stop championing something that had such unfavorable prospects, and some even expressed admiration.

“It’s a monumental thing for any politician to realize that what they’re trying to promote the public isn’t behind yet,” said John Alario, a Republican and the president of the State Senate.

But it sets up a legislative session no less contentious. Democrats immediately criticized Mr. Jindal for remaining committed to the elimination of the income tax while dropping the more politically difficult insistence that any tax plan be revenue neutral.

On the right, where Mr. Jindal has been facing some of his most vociferous opposition, a group of budget-minded Republican lawmakers who call themselves the fiscal hawks seemed far from satisfied as well.

“It doesn’t bode well for a governor’s leadership skills just to, in essence, kind of throw his hands up and say, ‘I don’t want to have anything to do with it but if it passes I’ll take credit for it,’ ” said Representative Cameron Henry, a member of the hawks, who has become so dissatisfied with the governor’s fiscal management that he and a colleague have sued to have Mr. Jindal’s most recent two budgets declared unconstitutional.

It is in fact the state budget, more than any reform plans, that accounts for the governor’s slide in the polls. In particular, surveys show a growing frustration with the annual deep cuts to higher education and health care, partly because of a reduction in federal Medicaid rates but also of Mr. Jindal’s fiscal policies.

Mr. Jindal says that these policies have made Louisiana more business friendly, and indeed the state has weathered the recession better than many others; there are regular announcements by major companies moving plants or offices into Louisiana, often taking advantage of generous tax incentives. The unemployment rate is a full two percentage points below the national average of 7.6 percent.

“There are only a handful of states that have more jobs now that than they did when the recession started and Louisiana’s one of them,” said Timmy Teepell, a political consultant and Mr. Jindal’s former chief of staff.

But in a state that is still poor, routine deep budget cuts — made even deeper after routine midyear revenue shortfalls — are hard to counter with a message of growth, said Bernie Pinsonat, whose polling firm, Southern Media & Opinion Research, released a survey last week showing Mr. Jindal’s approval rating below even that of President Obama’s within the state.

Mr. Pinsonat said that the governor’s upbeat message is further compromised when it is delivered, as it frequently has been, to audiences outside of Louisiana. “It is very difficult to play national politics and come back home and not suffer,” Mr. Pinsonat said, adding: “They see his reforms as not as helping Louisiana but putting another trophy on his mantel.”

Supporters of Mr. Jindal strongly take issue with this perception, saying that Mr. Jindal has long been an advocate of these reforms. Mr. Teepell suggested that the governor’s current political difficulties are in fact a testament to his seriousness about improvements.

“You go through temporary rough patches,” Mr. Teepell said. “But that’s not going to slow him down.”
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 12:35:20 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 10:13:25 PM »



I may oppose gay marriage, but this is a bit much:

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/07/cuccinelli-stands-by-his-beliefs-that-gays-are-soulless-and-self-destructive/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 12:35:36 PM »

With Detroit languishing in bankruptcy, one would think city officials would be scrambling for every penny. Instead, a $1 million check from a local school district sat forgotten in a desk drawer for a month. If it seems odd that a million-dollar check would be sent in the first place rather than the funds transferred electronically, it is. Except in Detroit. The city that's been ruled by Democrats for 50 years hasn't invested in improving its computer system for efficiency since the 1990s and has no wire transfer capabilities. But it doesn't end there. Detroit has no central computer system, period, and it still does everything from payroll to income tax receipts by hand. With inefficiencies like this, the only surprise is that bankruptcy didn't come sooner.
Good thing Detroiters can still vote out incompetent leaders. If voters can get to the polls on the right day, that is. A billboard paid for by the city recently urged citizens to vote on Sept. 2. The election is Nov. 5. The mistake was set to be fixed yesterday -- unless, of course, doing so involves any sort of computer, in which case all bets are off.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 05:02:52 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/11/05/va-libertarian-gubernatorial-candidate-funded-by-an-obama-campaign-bundler/?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2013-11-05_272656&utm_content=5054942&utm_term=_272656_272670
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 09:46:24 PM »

In reporting that is unusually dishonest even for Pravda on the Hudson, POTH fails to mention the presence of a Libertarian candidate who was polling distinctly more than the margin between the Rep and the Dem and that the Dems funded the launching of the Libertarian's campaign.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/us/politics/mcauliffe-is-elected-governor-in-virginia.html?emc=edit_na_20131105&_r=0
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G M
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 12:35:41 AM »

In reporting that is unusually dishonest even for Pravda on the Hudson, POTH fails to mention the presence of a Libertarian candidate who was polling distinctly more than the margin between the Rep and the Dem and that the Dems funded the launching of the Libertarian's campaign.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/us/politics/mcauliffe-is-elected-governor-in-virginia.html?emc=edit_na_20131105&_r=0

A now common tactic for the dems.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 06:48:43 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/5/two-playbooks-for-defending-against-the-war-on-wom/?page=all#pagebreak

Again, no mention of the Dem sponsored Libertarian candidate in VA , , ,

============================

Minimal mention of the Dem sponsored Libertarian candidate:

THE FOUNDATION
"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that ... he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Off Year Elections: Lessons Learned?
 

Tuesday's main events were the off-year elections in New Jersey and Virginia, and political prognosticators always look for trends that may be useful for the coming national elections. Let's just say the lessons Tuesday are mixed.
Beginning in New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie won a resounding re-election bid with more than 60% of the vote in a blue state. Christie is no "Tea Party" conservative, but he has governed on the conservative side, winning pension reform for public employees, tenure reform for teachers that makes it easier to fire bad ones, and vetoing an ill-advised tax increase on the wealthy. On the other hand, he banned gender-disorientation therapy, has generally been ornery toward conservative national Republicans and runs a state still mired at the bottom economically. Still, Christie worked well across the isle and made significant outreach to minorities who supplied his margin of victory -- that's what hugging Barack Obama can do. He is well positioned to make a run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and it's worth remembering that Ronald Reagan was the last true conservative to win that nomination.
Perhaps the more interesting lessons, however, come from Virginia's governor's race, where Clintonista carpetbagger Terry McAuliffe edged conservative Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. It was the latter who spearheaded the major lawsuit against ObamaCare, so Democrats will crow about their Virginia victory, but Cuccinelli was defeated by factors well beyond McAuliffe's campaign, and if the GOP doesn't learn from its mistakes, there will be more disappointments to follow in 2014.
Cuccinelli entered the race with an uphill battle created by a largely fabricated scandal involving former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. But more than any other factor, his narrow defeat was due to the completely avoidable liability created by the ill-conceived box-canyon strategy to defund ObamaCare, which enabled Democrats to hang the partial government shutdown around GOP necks. This was particularly true in northern Virginia, where some 30% of the state's voters reside, including a heavy portion of government employees or contractors.
Indeed, Democrats certainly understand the principle of "divided THEY fall." Too many Republicans, particularly in our conservative ranks, have yet to figure out that "divided WE fall."
Of course there were other factors.
The Republican National Committee virtually gave up on Cuccinelli early on, giving him just $3 million. McAuliffe raised almost $15 million more than Cuccinelli, thanks to help from his old boss, Bill Clinton.
In the end, however, McAuliffe victory margin was less than 3%, when he had led in the polls by double digits for months. Thanks to the calamitous rollout of ObamaCare, Cuccinelli nearly pulled off the upset -- and undoubtedly would have but for the government shutdown baggage. Of course, it could also be argued that the third party Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, who received almost 7% of the vote, handed the victory to McAuliffe.
And a final note on the subject of Democrats dividing and conquering their adversaries, it turns out that Sarvis had the benefit of an Obama bankrolling bundler.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 11:07:32 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 11:57:58 AM »

1) Ken Cuccinelli is too conservative for a swing state.  Rule one for conservatives, run the most conservative candidate - who can win.

2) Outspent by $15 million!  I understand the McAuliffe is a crook with big money and big connections.  It is still time to stop being out-spent.  RNC for example put in 1/3 of their 2009 amount.  What did you (anyone reading) put in?

3) The Libertarian drew more than the margin of victory and ran I assume largely against the Republican for his votes.  Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him, imagine if Republicans got caught doing the equivalent!  Still, when will we learn.  This is a two party system.  Libertarians run against conservatives and the moderates in the semi-finals (caucuses, primaries etc.) not in the finals (general election).  If you want to defeat leftism, you must all come together with like minded to do that.  Whatever agenda the Libertarian(s) wanted, how is that going for you now?

4) What an  amazing upset this almost was, given the visits by the President, Joe Biden, Hillary, the money advantage, the media advantage, the double digit polling leads, the shortcomings of the candidate, and the third party problem.

5) Hopefully the close loss causes Republicans to re-think, re-focus, re-energize coming into 2014-2016.  That can be the only silver lining.

6) Don't we have a (libertarian) correspondent on the scene?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 12:04:30 PM »

Minneapolis tried ranked choice voting; the voter must list first three choices.  Leading candidate out of 35 candidates got 36% of the first choice vote.  No winner declared yet.  What a Liberal-Utopian mess.  How about just hold an election, count votes and declare a winner?

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/230760571.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 04:46:27 PM »

"Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him...". I don't follow you here Doug. It is simply free speech. How is that crooked?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 07:09:19 AM »

"Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him [the faux-Libertarian]...". I don't follow you here Doug. It is simply free speech. How is that crooked?

My thinking is that a straight line in politics would be to advance and support issues, positions and candidates that you honestly favor, and a crooked path would be to use lies, deceit and subterfuge.  This strategy clearly falling  within the latter.

Your thinking is now that money equals speech?
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bigdog
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 07:48:48 AM »

"Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him [the faux-Libertarian]...". I don't follow you here Doug. It is simply free speech. How is that crooked?

My thinking is that a straight line in politics would be to advance and support issues, positions and candidates that you honestly favor, and a crooked path would be to use lies, deceit and subterfuge.  This strategy clearly falling  within the latter.

Your thinking is now that money equals speech?

Goodness, no. But yours is, and I still don't see why spending money in the manner above is seen as crooked. Perhaps I am unclear what a "straight line in politics" means. It seems to me that Dems clearly favored the libertarian.
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ccp
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 08:54:28 AM »



http://thefederalist.com/2013/10/25/virginia-gubernatorial-candidate-robert-sarvis-libertarian-name/

"I still don't see why spending money in the manner above is seen as crooked"

Sarvis is not a libertarian.  Libertarians would never support his positions.  That is why both Pauls were travelling through Virginia pointing this out.   

Why would do you think someone would run say as a Libertarian when he clearly is not, rather than say an "independent"?   Why does someone clearly and purposefully use the wrong label to describe himself?

Why would someone who was a major supporter of Obama fund this guy to the tune of 70% of his campaign funds through bundled donations?

He knew this guy wasn't going to win.  It had to be for some other reason.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2013, 09:09:02 AM »

Thank you, CCP!
-------------------

Dems funded the Libertarian.
BD: "It is simply free speech"
Doug: Your thinking is now that money equals speech?
BD: "Goodness, no. But yours is"

Are you using my small mind as your playground - again?   wink


BD: "It seems to me that Dems clearly favored the libertarian."

Ah, Yes, the little known, Libertarian wing of the Cradle to Grave, Big Government party!  I can never tell for sure when you are pulling my leg.

The point is that, no, the Democrat operatives didn't favor the Libertarian.  They favored McAuliffe but were happy to take advantage of liberties afforded to them by libertarians in order to engage in this subterfuge.

BD: "I still don't see why spending money in the manner above is seen as crooked."

Maybe I chose my words poorly, but online dictionaries seem to back me up:
crook·ed
ˈkro͝okəd/
       bent, twisted, out of shape, out of place, contorted, warped, distorted

sub·ter·fuge
ˈsəbtərˌfyo͞oj/
    deceit used in order to achieve one's goal.

Proponents like me of unlimited money in politics generally like to balance that with a requirement of full and instant disclosure of the sources of the money.  One reason one might not want to engage in these shenanigans is that it might reflect poorly on oneself and backfire when exposed by our (laughable, AWOL) watchdog media.  Like the lies of Benghazi, this came to light only after it was too late to make a difference.






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ccp
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 09:23:41 AM »

The FOR PROFIT Clinton Blue Chip were not going to let this strategic position pass by without throwing everything they have into it.  It is remarkable how coordinated the Democrats are in their money, their focus, their unified messages, and their playing as take no prisoners, kill them all war.  It is remarkable that coverage for BCP is one of so many people's minds as THE big issue for them.  What a screwed up country.

*****And Now, The Airing of Grievances

By Jonah Goldberg

November 6, 2013 8:50 AM
In the recent government shutdown fight I found myself in polite (on my part at least!) disagreement with the elements of the right inclined to denounce the “Republican establishment.” No need to rehash all that again. But, I will say that in the wake of the Cuccinelli defeat, I think the critics of the establishment have the better side of the argument.

If the folks running the party want the tea partiers to support their preferred candidates — when they’re the nominee, at least — it should work the other way around as well. It now appears that Cuccinelli, a flawed candidate running against an even more flawed human being, could have pulled this thing out if he’d had more help at the end. In fairness, the Republican Governor’s Association did help Cuccinelli, but it came too early. The RNC treated him like a write-off. I can understand that temptation when Cuccinelli looked like a sure loser. But I don’t understand why, when ObamaCare became a big issue, the RNC couldn’t have done more. I’m sure it’s hard to ramp up at the last second. But so what? Things are going to be hard in lots of ways for as far as the eye can see. Hard can’t be an excuse anymore. As for the more moderate Republican donors who stayed away from Cuccinelli, I certainly don’t think they’re obliged to give money to anyone or anything they disagree with. So maybe they’re pro-choice. Maybe they call themselves “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” (don’t get me started). Fine. But on the issues that make them Republican, McAuliffe will still be far more of a disaster than Cuccinelli ever would have been. McAuliffe says his first priority for the legislative session is accepting the expanded Medicare option under ObamaCare. That’s bad enough, but does anyone doubt that another, equally important, priority of his will be to prepare the ground for a Clinton candidacy should she run? Even if she doesn’t, McAuliffe in the statehouse is terrible news for every kind of Republican. McAuliffe is not a policy person. He’s not a “statesman.” He’s a purely political hack moneyman. And he’s going to use his skills as best he can to put Virginia in the Democrats’ column in 2016.

For all the talk about how the base needs to cooperate with the establishment more, it’s worth remembering that the base almost always does its part on Election Day. Its the establishment that is less reliable in returning the favor.*****
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bigdog
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2013, 09:37:52 AM »

"Why would do you think someone would run say as a Libertarian when he clearly is not, rather than say an "independent"?"

Because the Libertarian Party can get on a ballot much easier than an independent.

Did the Libertarian Party disavow Sarvis?

"Why would someone who was a major supporter of Obama fund this guy to the tune of 70% of his campaign funds through bundled donations?"

Because he was freely speaking his mind? Why do you want limited campaign funding now? Maybe if McCain-Feingold had not been overturned....
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bigdog
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2013, 09:49:43 AM »

"...the Democrat operatives didn't favor the Libertarian."

In a three horse race, the Dems most certainly did favor the Libertarian... over Cuccinelli. So they gave him money to speak their mind. I'll ask you the same question I pose to ccp: Why do you want limited campaign funding now?

Can't a Democrat give as much money to any candidate of his/her choice, in an effort to maximize freedom?

"Proponents like me of unlimited money in politics generally..."

Are you suggesting to me that the majority of those who want to give unlimited monies to candidates want all the information to be made public? Do you have evidence for this position? Do the Koch brothers? Warren Buffet? The people who are actually giving this money?

I didn't see "subterfuge" in your first post, but thanks for adding the definition.

And, for the record, Doug: I sincerely hope by now you know that I do not believe that you have a "small mind." I greatly enjoy and appreciate our exchanges.
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ccp
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2013, 10:36:45 AM »

"I'll ask you the same question I pose to ccp: Why do you want limited campaign funding now?"

The topic I am speaking to is fraud and deception.  Running under a banner that did not represent his positions.

I am speaking about lying on the campaign trail about who one is, who one represents.  You are turning this into a free speech issue.

I am speaking of honesty in politics.  

"Because he was freely speaking his mind? Why do you want limited campaign funding now? Maybe if McCain-Feingold had not been overturned...."

This was a divide and conquer strategy from the Democrat side.  It is a dirty trick that is all.

The Libertarians who allowed him to hold up their banner must have been fooled.  And the two most prominent libertarians absolutely were disavowing this guy later on when they realized his true colors.

BTW BigDog, I was never against campaign finance reform.  It does bother me how wealthy people, corporations, wealthy lobbyists can outright control or influence elections.

I believe I am on record somewhere way back when on the board about this.  

Probably one of the few times I diverge in opinion from Doug who is one of my favorite posters over the years.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 10:39:00 AM by ccp » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2013, 11:23:20 AM »

One of my favorite parts of this forum is finding common ground, even among much disagreement.

In this case, ccp, you and I have two:

"BTW BigDog, I was never against campaign finance reform.  It does bother me how wealthy people, corporations, wealthy lobbyists can outright control or influence elections." You and I are of like minds on this subject.

"...Doug who is one of my favorite posters over the years." And here too.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, ccp.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2013, 01:34:47 PM »

Why do you want limited campaign funding now?"

I'm not advocating limits, just exercising my own free speech to call them out on their chicanery.  ('the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose')   smiley

I should disclose that I contemplated doing the same for one of my good buddies when he was Green party endorsed candidate for Governor in MN, and then for congress in St. Paul.  Obviously my effort would have been to help a Republican defeat a Democrat, not to favor far left over left.

"Are you suggesting to me that the majority of those who want to give unlimited monies to candidates want all the information to be made public? Do you have evidence for this position? Do the Koch brothers? Warren Buffet? The people who are actually giving this money? "

No.  I was clarifying my view shared by others who oppose limits but favor full disclosure.  Big donors, I would guess, prefer privacy and anonymity.  Transparency might actually help those like Koch brothers who get blamed beyond their actual involvement.  Now we have the worst of both with limits on involvement and then information coming out when it is of no use.

(CCP) "It does bother me how wealthy people, corporations, wealthy lobbyists can outright control or influence elections."

My thought on this is that IF government was mostly removed from the business of picking economic winners and losers, wealth redistribution, crony governmentism, over-regulation, etc., the utility of special interest money would be much smaller.  The enterprises of the Koch brothers for example are under constant political attack, perhaps justly, but we deserve to hear both sides.  I recall that Microsoft did not have one lobbyist on staff in Washington the day the Clinton/Janet Reno Justice Department set out to break them up, justly or unjustly.  They do now.
-----
I appreciate the kind words!
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bigdog
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2013, 04:20:41 PM »

"I'm not advocating limits, just exercising my own free speech to call them out on their chicanery.  ('the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose')  smiley"

I just laughed out loud. Literally. Well played, Doug.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2013, 11:08:43 AM »

Red State Tax-Cutters
By Stephen Moore
connect
Nov. 22, 2013 12:58 p.m. ET

After five years of wrenching fiscal deficits, states are once again experiencing stable budgets and healthy revenue growth. A new report by the American Legislative Exchange Council—a national network of more than 2,000 state legislators—finds that about one-third of the nation's governors have cut taxes. "Some of these tax cuts," says Jonathan Williams, the fiscal policy expert at ALEC, "also move in the direction of tax reform. Income tax rates are falling."

This is especially true in states with Republican governors. Indiana Gov, Mike Pence signed a 10 percent income tax rate reduction. Tax rates also fell in North Carolina, a state that turned red after the 2012 elections. But even Arkansas passed a small income tax cut, which might have been larger had Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe allowed it. If Republicans win the governorship there in 2014, as expected, bigger income tax cuts are possible.

GOP Govs. Rick Scott of Florida, John Kasich of Ohio, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin all face tough re-election bids next year, and all three will tout their tax-cutting on the campaign trail. In Kansas, Sam Brownback continued to trim the state income tax with the eventual goal of eliminating it. "We want to be the most tax competitive state in the midwest," Mr. Brownback tells me. "We're not done bringing rates down."

Tax cuts were also enacted in Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota and Tennessee. Taxes rose in California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Virginia. States were most likely to cut income taxes and least likely to cut sales taxes. Not every Republican governor is a tax-cutter. Virginia's Bob McDonnell leaves office next year with a legacy of signing the biggest tax hike in the Dominion State's history.

"On balance," says Mr. Williams, "states are moving in a supply side direction. Republican governors are trying to make their states pro-growth showcases."
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G M
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2013, 11:12:11 AM »

Why does Obama only create jobs in the states that voted against him? Strange...
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DougMacG
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2013, 01:30:59 PM »

Why does Obama only create jobs in the states that voted against him? Strange...

Yes.  I can't figure out why he want those new jobs to be in Texas when Detroit needs them more?  (BTW, how is cash for clunkers working out in Detroit?)

He takes credit for the oil boom in North Dakota while opposing it and while stopping any improvements (Keystone Pipeline?) in transporting the new oil.  Strangest of all is during this period of having a laser-like focus on jobs, he is not even curious how North Dakota has had the lowest unemployment rate for his entire Presidency:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/11/22/october-state-unemployment-rates/3673397/

What else is N.D. doing right?  They aren't moving there for the climate, -14 degree windchill tonight!
http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/n-d-house-passes-m-tax-cut-bill/article_e47a77ea-b3b0-11e2-9057-001a4bcf887a.html
N.D. House passes $250M tax cut bill
May 03, 2013 12:18 am  •  By Nick Smith
BISMARCK, N.D. _ The North Dakota House passed a bill containing
$250 million in personal and corporate income tax cuts on Thursday.
Senate Bill 2156 passed by an 89-1 vote.

-- Senate Bill 2171 expands the Homestead Property Tax Credit. It changes the income eligibility requirements to open the program to more seniors who own homes. It also raises the limit on total assets a person can own and qualify for the program from $250,000 to $500,000. It passed the House by a 90-0 vote.
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2013, 11:11:54 AM »



Chuck Reed: A Liberal Mugged by Pension Reality
Mayor Chuck Reed knows the way to San Jose's solvency. Now he wants to take his approach statewide. Public unions aren't happy.
By Allysia Finley

Nov. 29, 2013 7:28 p.m. ET

San Jose, Calif., was the richest major city in the country last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's survey of median household incomes. More than 100 tech-related firms including Adobe Systems, ADBE +0.28% Cisco, CSCO -0.75% PayPal and eBay EBAY +2.44% are based in the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley.

Yet in Mayor Chuck Reed's view from the 18th floor of city hall, San Jose in recent years has been dead broke and slouching toward bankruptcy, propelled by ruinous public-pension obligations. Over the past decade, he says, the city has shed 25% of its workforce, including 20% of its police department, to cover soaring retirement costs.

Since his election in 2006, Mr. Reed has been that rare creature, a Democrat in a liberal bastion who is nonetheless focused on salvaging government finances while inviting the wrath of public unions and their political allies. The city's budget problems, he says, "have made it impossible to do many of the things that I would have liked to have done as mayor."

Mr. Reed points to a bar graph showing how the city's pension obligations soared to $245 million from $71 million in 2001. The average San Jose police officer last year earned $203,211 in total compensation—more than many software engineers in Silicon Valley. The city is spending $45,263 each year per worker on pensions. Mr. Reed notes that San Jose has boosted retirement benefits several times over the past decade. Police officers can retire at age 50 with up to 90% of their final pay.
Enlarge Image

Ken Fallin

Last year, Mr. Reed piloted an innovative approach to fixing pensions that involves curbing future benefits for current workers. He plans to take the approach statewide with a ballot referendum next year that may throw a lifeline to other struggling California cities, like Fresno, Oakland and Desert Hot Springs. But he faces a more immediate hurdle at home: The public unions are suing him. "Nothing important happens without litigation in California," he quips.

The referendum is a last hurrah for Mr. Reed, who is term-limited out of office next year and has spent most of his 65 years in public service. After growing up in public-housing in Kansas, he applied to the Air Force Academy, which he says was "the most difficult school that I could afford to go to."

While at the academy, he says, "I met my wife on a blind date at a football game. It was love at first sight." The two married a couple of days after Mr. Reed graduated (second in his class) and remain together 43 years later. His frugality goes way back: While in the Air Force, he sewed his wife's maternity dresses.

In 1975, upon completing his rotation in Thailand during the Vietnam War, Mr. Reed attended Stanford Law School while his wife, Paula, worked at a nearby hospital as an oncology nurse. They settled in San Jose with their son and daughter, and Mr. Reed says he "probably served on 20 different board commissions."

In 2000, Mr. Reed was elected to the San Jose City Council with "about 200 items on my to-do list. The highest priority were items like building parks in areas that didn't have parks," he says, noting that "pension costs never crossed my mind." He frequently knocked heads with then-Mayor Ron Gonzales. For instance, he opposed the mayor's idea to use eminent domain in 2003 to take over and redevelop the Tropicana Shopping Center. He also opposed a $343 million city hall building, which opened in 2005, as an unaffordable extravagance.

With Mr. Gonzales term-limited, Mr. Reed ran for and won the top job—along with a ticking bomb of pensions obligations. It took several years, and plenty of fruitless negotiations, before he finally confronted the city's unions. In June 2012, Mr. Reed quarterbacked a city ballot initiative to limit pensions for new hires and scale back future benefits for existing workers. He says merely reducing new workers' benefits, as many other cities and states have done, wouldn't have achieved meaningful enough savings.

Mr. Reed's initiative gave current workers a choice between paying up to 16% more of their salary for benefits—which would amount to about 27% of a police officer's pay—or accepting lower future benefits. Giving workers a choice, the mayor says, was intended to circumvent state court decisions that protect workers' "vested right" to their pensions under the state constitution's contracts clause—meaning that their benefits after being hired "can only go up and not down."

Mr. Reed's pension initiative enjoyed the support of a majority of the San Jose City Council, including six Democrats. It also got a big boost from the Bay Area Council, whose steering committee includes the chief executives of Virgin America, the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, Safeway, Webcor and the San Francisco Federal Reserve.

Businesses don't often publicly wade into such controversies because they don't want to alienate customers or risk retribution. But Bay Area companies saw how retirement costs were draining the San Jose budget, threatening public safety and forestalling important public works. Driving a Tesla over pot-holed roads is no fun. The initiative passed with nearly 70% support.

San Jose's public unions sued the city almost immediately for violating their pension rights, and a state court is expected to rule in the next few weeks. Mr. Reed says he's confident the reforms will be upheld since San Jose, as a charter city, has plenary authority under the state constitution to modify compensation. The city also has "an ordinance that says we can make them pay more" to their pensions and "we've negotiated past contracts with the unions in which they have paid more."

Yet it could take a few years before the state Supreme Court issues a final ruling, and other cities now going broke from retirement costs can't afford to wait. As Mr. Reed notes, asking employees to pay more for pensions "is only an interim solution that gives you a little bit of relief for a little while because the real problem is these benefits are too expensive."

Mr. Reed has organized a small bipartisan group of current and former mayors, including Pat Morris (D., San Bernardino) and Tom Tait (R., Anaheim), to place an initiative on next November's state ballot that would give cities and the state flexibility to negotiate changes to future benefits for current workers.

The purpose is to "empower cities," most of which "are seeing crowding out and services being cut," Mr. Reed says. The initiative would also bar state agencies and retirement boards, including the California Public Employees' Retirement Systems (Calpers), from interfering in city efforts to fix pension problems.

In the Bay Area suburb of Vallejo, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2008, Calpers threatened to "litigate forever if they took on pension reform," Mr. Reed notes. Calpers has done the same in Stockton and San Bernardino. Vallejo chose not to modify existing workers' pensions, Mr. Reed says, and as a result "they're in trouble again because of rising pension costs."

Calpers has also harassed San Jose, which has a small retirement plan for elected officials with an unfunded liability of $900,000. The city wanted to end the plan, Mr. Reed says. "Calpers said if you do that, you have to give us $5 million" as a "termination fee."

Now Calpers and public unions are gearing up for a war on Mr. Reed's statewide initiative. In October, Calpers published a warning that "if this initiative were to pass, then all contractual rights in California could be in jeopardy."

How does the straight-shooting mayor plan to counter the spin? Simply by educating voters, he says, pointing to a chart showing that taxpayer contributions to state and local retirement systems increased to $17.4 billion in 2010 from $3.4 billion in 2000. Meantime, the average annuity for a newly retired California highway-patrol officer is $89,000, up from $44,000 in 1999, thanks to retroactive boosts to pension benefits.

"You have to buy a lot of paid media" to educate people, Mr. Reed says. And "you have to have big contributors who are willing to step up and fund [the initiative], and they're not all going to be from inside California. They're likely to be from all around the country because this is a national issue."

That will give unions an opening. Stanford physicist Charles Munger Jr. , who financed a losing initiative last year to limit union spending on politics, was pilloried as a "billionaire bully." The writer David Sirota at Salon has provided a taste of what's to come, denouncing a $200,000 contribution from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a Houston-based philanthropy, as an "Enron billionaire's diabolical plot to loot worker pensions." John Arnold used to work at Enron.

Yet the mayor remains optimistic and says the public is receptive to his message, as he found in San Jose. But that move also had the backing of Democratic city council members. Mr. Reed now has only two Democratic mayors in his corner, and he says that "lots of other mayors" have expressed support but "they don't want to do so publicly." So far Democratic politicians in Sacramento have also been mum. Given that this is spendthrift California, that's encouraging.

Ms. Finley is an editorial writer for the Journal.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2013, 01:06:49 PM »

“Every day we get calls from people about changing residency,”  And they tend to be employers!

This could go under Tax policy.  Also under Calif as the problems, post-Pawlenty here, are nearly the same with Dems controlling the state house, senate and Governor office.

http://www.startribune.com/business/234843991.html

Alarming excerpt buried in a positive, economic piece:

"This is the largest upward move in tax progressivity … since we started our tax-incidence reports in 1990.”

Many liberals and moderates like this trend. But some high-earners predict an exodus of affluent Minnesotans to Florida and other low-tax states. Especially troubling, they say, is the state’s failure to increase the amount excluded from inheritance taxes closer to the higher federal estate tax exclusion. Federal law exempts the first $5.25 million, Minnesota only the first $1 million.

Hunt Greene, a veteran Minneapolis investment banker, said: “I’m a Democrat. I can afford and tolerate paying higher income taxes. This is different. The Minnesota gift-and-estate taxes kick in at $1 million. The federal level is $5.25 million. And Minnesota is one of only a few states that have a gift tax.

“The result is that, as I talk to the big law firms about their business … their estate practices are swamped with people figuring out how to change their residences,’’ Greene said.

He’s not alone. Others predict that more wealthy Minnesotans will leave rather than subject their estates of over $1 million, or gifts made to heirs, to what can be up to a 40 percent tax that doesn’t exist in states such as Florida or Arizona.

“Every day we get calls from people about changing residency,” said Bob Abdo, a political moderate and 40-year Minneapolis business lawyer. “This pains me. I grew up and was educated here. Essentially, what we have got now is a disincentive for longtime Minnesota residents to stay in Minnesota.

“This means mom and dad … who are loyal to Minnesota because they earned a lot of money here, may now be worth more than $1 million. So, dad dies. No estate tax consequence to mom. But mom is worth $1 million, and it doesn’t take much if you add a house, your retirement accounts and a life insurance policy. Mom dies. It’s supposed to go to the kids. Any amount that goes to the kids in excess of $1 million, whether one kid or 12, will be taxed at about 40 percent for the first $250,000. The tax goes down from there.
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2014, 10:38:26 AM »

Long article by Pravda on the Hudson about the rise of political monopolies in sundry States

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/us/politics/a-national-strategy-funds-state-political-monopolies.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140112&_r=0
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2014, 12:55:56 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/17/state-in-the-worst-fiscal-condition-is/
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« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2014, 11:00:34 AM »

Wisconsin had a $4 billion deficit in 2011 and has a $1 billion surplus now.  Hmmm.  I wonder if it is the policies?  How is California doing?  Detroit?

This could go under Presidential 2016, or Media Issues - where else have you read this, lol.

How Scott Walker and the conservatives saved Wisconsin. America, take note
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100256645/how-scott-walker-and-the-conservatives-saved-wisconsin-america-take-note/

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/give-the-surplus-back-to-wisconsin-taxpayers-b99189017z1-241915501.html
Give the surplus back to Wisconsin taxpayers,  by Gov. Scott Walker
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« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2014, 05:42:34 AM »



National Review's Michael Auslin: "Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is increasingly
a textbook example of how far the Democratic party has moved to the left since
Bill Clinton's day. Emanuel, who cut his teeth in Clinton's administration,
just presided over a $1.9 billion increase in Chicago's debt, only months
after Moody's downgraded the city's bond ratings three notches based on its
growing and unsustainable spending and debt obligations. ... All told ... the
Windy City has $29 billion in long-term debt. ... Old-line Democratic cities,
it seems, have learned nothing from Detroit's collapse."
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2014, 02:05:06 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/370910/obama-turnout-machine-crashes-san-diego-loses-mayors-race-nine-points-john-fund
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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2014, 05:31:22 AM »

http://capoliticalnews.com/2014/02/16/unions-fail-to-retain-san-diego-mayors-office-despite-advantages/
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« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2014, 10:30:12 AM »

Also relevant to Presidential 2016, but first he faces reelection contest in Wisconsin. Walker was not charged after years of investigators pouring over all these communications.  Surviving this may actually strengthen him for what lies ahead, where many of the other contestants have not had political executive experience.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/20/us/20walker-emails.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/us/wisconin-political-investigation.html?ref=us&_r=0

The accusations involve mixing government and campaign business.  I wonder if equivalent investigations are gong on in Dem strongholds like: the White House, Rahm's Chicago mayoral office, and Barack and Hillary's Senate offices 2008.

In the article:

...there were also signs among the documents that Mr. Walker had called for a stop to some of the activities. At one point in May 2010, Ms. Wink resigned after allegations that she had posted pro-Walker comments on The Journal Sentinel website while at her county job. Mr. Walker sent an email to another aide, writing of Ms. Wink: “I talked to her at home last night. Feel bad. She feels worse. We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, et cetera.”

Also, the passing of an internet joke by the Chief of Staff was discovered:

In 2010, Mr. Nardelli forwarded what appears to be a long chain email to undisclosed recipients that concluded, “I can handle being a black, disabled, one-armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is H.I.V.-positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat!”
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2014, 09:10:08 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/plan-split-california-six-states-gains-ground-222139687.html

From the article:

A plan to divide California into six separate US states is closer to making it on to a November ballot, with organizers gaining approval to collect signatures.


Any comments/thoughts, my California friends?
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2014, 09:32:04 AM »

Well, that would increase the Senate by 10 senators.  Should it get so far as to be on the ballot and approved, one suspects fierce political fighting in Congress about this.  What articles of the Constitution would control this?
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« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2014, 09:45:37 AM »

Well, that would increase the Senate by 10 senators.  Should it get so far as to be on the ballot and approved, one suspects fierce political fighting in Congress about this.  What articles of the Constitution would control this?


Article IV, section 3.
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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2014, 02:37:39 PM »

"A plan to divide California into six separate US states is closer to making it on to a November ballot, with organizers gaining approval to collect signatures."
"that would increase the Senate by 10 senators"

And decrease the clout of every other state and Senator.

Article IV, section 3:

New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.
----------------

Surprisingly, I don't see anything about super-majorities.  I would have expected the procedure to be more like the process of ratifying a constitutional amendment.

Northeastern Colorado wants to split too.  As do I.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/06/07/secession-colorado-north-northern-weld-county/




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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2014, 10:48:39 AM »



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304101504579546263639995456?mod=Opinion_newsreel_3
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« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2014, 02:49:33 PM »



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIgjOX1jJXw
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« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2014, 11:47:51 PM »

I wonder what our Calif forum members think of the Calif R. Gov candidate.  I take from this column that George Will sees something good in Kashkari's brand of conservatism.  We are long overdue for new, real leaders who can begin to reach people and change minds.  Being on the top of the ticket on the nation's largest state presents an opportunity to do that.  Does anyone ever hold these Dems accountable for their record, reach out to all groups, offer an alternative?  Maybe he does.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383510/californias-goldwater-20-george-will

In his own words, my first look at him:

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« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2014, 12:51:18 AM »

Well, I'm not down with the amnesty, but that is a federal issue , , , and the federal courts have taken gay marriage away from the vote so I suppose he doesn't hurt on those two issues.

Good message that the Reps are the party of work, etc.

Let's see.

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« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2014, 02:15:03 PM »

Well, I'm not down with the amnesty, but that is a federal issue , , , and the federal courts have taken gay marriage away from the vote so I suppose he doesn't hurt on those two issues.
Good message that the Reps are the party of work, etc.
Let's see.

Yes, I wonder if a person can be wishy-washy on something like sovereignty and yet genuine and passionate on things like freedom and responsibility.  As you said, let's see.

He is saying to a lot of immigrants and other groups, you can differ with conservatives on one issue (or two or three) and still vote conservative to move the country (state) in a better direction.  Certainly Reagan did that in his day with a wide range of voters.
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« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2014, 06:55:50 AM »

My friend Doug writes,

"He is saying to a lot of immigrants and other groups, you can differ with conservatives on one issue (or two or three) and still vote conservative to move the country (state) in a better direction.  Certainly Reagan did that in his day with a wide range of voters"

Yes Reagan granted amnesty to millions.  That backfired and the vast majority vote for the other party.  Indeed I doubt anyone thinks Reagan could possibly win California now.  

Obama is not a weak President.  He is a very strong President.  He is done everything he said he would.  Socialized medicine.  Towards the eventual universal single payer.  A powerful EPA with expanding regulations.  Putting coal out of business.  Almost the carbon tax.   Higher taxes.  Blame the rich while taking all their money in taxes and payoffs.

He is changing the electorate as fast as he can.   Turning us into a one party country like Reagan's state is now.

He is downsizing the military, retreating from foreign involvement.  Withdrawn support from Israel as much he can while most Jews will support him anyway.

Need I go on.

The only weak ones are the Republicans.  They can't even get their message straight.  Most of their leaders are fumbling around.  

Obama has indeed in affect checked out.  Why?  He is not disengaged.  His work is done.  He has put America on his and his liberal backers trajectory.   Now just sit back and tell the Republicans 'f' 'y', play golf, hobnob with the beautiful and interesting people, travel all over seeing the sites, eat all the world's best food and enjoy.

He 'f' us over pretty good if you asked me.

  
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DougMacG
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« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2014, 08:22:08 AM »

Good points.  Just to clarify on Reagan, I didn't mean immigration but just that he brought a lot of people over to his way of thinking on policy and philosophy that were previously headed a different direction.  Blue collar Democrats in particular.

On immigration I think Reagan would agree with you that what they did back then failed.  There is no reason to think he would be soft on border security today or let gangs control our southern border in this age of terrorism.  I'm guessing the 1987 law would have worked had it been followed.

In the context of Calif, the issues where Kashkari is wrong to our thinking  tend to be things out of the Calif governor's control and might actually help him with credibility in some demographics on the other fronts such as personal responsibility and reining in the role of government.

We don't need conservative purity in the deep yellow (blue) states.  We need a little traction and momentum wherever we can find it.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 08:24:47 AM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: September 15, 2014, 07:03:20 AM »

Conservative Experiment Faces Revolt in Reliably Red Kansas
By JOHN ELIGONSEPT. 14, 2014
The New York Times


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — In his 40 years living in Kansas, Konrad Hastings cannot remember voting for a Democrat. He is the type who agonizes over big purchases, trying to save as much money as possible. He is against stricter gun laws, opposes abortion in most cases and prefers less government involvement in his life.

But when he casts his ballot for governor in November, he plans to shun the leader of this state’s conservative movement, the Republican incumbent, Sam Brownback, and vote for the Democratic challenger.

“He’s leading Kansas down,” said Mr. Hastings, 68, who said he voted for Mr. Brownback four years ago, when he easily won his first term. “We’re going to be bankrupt in two or three years if we keep going his way.”

Voters like Mr. Hastings are at the heart of Mr. Brownback’s surprising fight for political survival.

Although every statewide elected official in Kansas is a Republican and President Obama lost the state by more than 20 points in the last election, Mr. Brownback’s proudly conservative policies have turned out to be so divisive and his tax cuts have generated such a drop in state revenue that they have caused even many Republicans to revolt. Projections put state budget shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, raising questions of whether the state can adequately fund education in particular.
Photo
Gov. Sam Brownback greeted supporters at the Kansas State Fair after his first debate against State Representative Paul Davis. Credit Lindsey Bauman/The Hutchinson News, via Associated Press

This has boosted the hopes of the Democratic candidate, Paul Davis, the State House minority leader, who has shot up in the polls even though he has offered few specifics about how he would run the state. Many disaffected Republicans might give Mr. Davis their vote because, if nothing else, he is not Mr. Brownback.

“There’s just a lot of negative momentum behind Brownback, and Davis has been hammering that home,” said Chapman Rackaway, a political-science professor at Fort Hays State University.

The governor’s campaign has appeared so worried about his weak poll numbers that it took the unusual step last month of releasing an internal poll that showed the race to be essentially tied, hardly something that would usually be showcased.

In some ways, it is unsurprising that many Kansas Republicans have turned on Mr. Brownback. This is a state that once had a tradition of centrist Republicans, like former Senator Bob Dole, and has had five Democratic governors over the past half-century.

But much of this moderation went by the wayside as Mr. Brownback and conservative majorities in the Legislature turned the state into a laboratory for the policies they had run on. In addition to passing the largest income tax cuts in state history, they have made it easier to carry guns in public buildings, turned over management of Medicaid to private insurance companies, made it more difficult to get an abortion, and made it harder to qualify for public assistance.

Even some of Kansas’ staunchest Republicans have found some of these measures to be too far to the right. More than 100 current and former Republican elected officials have endorsed Mr. Davis.
Continue reading the main story

Mr. Brownback, 58, a former United States senator who grew up on a Kansas farm, has defended his record and is trying to force Mr. Davis, who is from Lawrence, home of the University of Kansas in one of the state’s most liberal regions, to define himself.

“He’s been mostly just hiding as a candidate,” Mr. Brownback said in an interview. “All his statements have been basically against me, and none of it has been what he would do.”

The governor has painted Mr. Davis as a supporter of President Obama who wants to raise taxes and force the president’s health care law on Kansans.

Mr. Davis has hammered away at the “governor’s economic experiment,” as he put it in a debate held at the State Fair, saying it had left Kansas with a vast budget deficit. “It’s damaging our schools. It’s hurting our economy. It’s jeopardizing our future,” he said.

Mr. Brownback has also been set back by matters unrelated to lawmaking. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported in April that federal authorities were investigating the fund-raising and lobbying activities of some of his associates.

As Election Day draws closer, both sides can expect an even tighter, and perhaps rougher, clash, with outside groups stepping up their involvement.

The Republican Governors Association has run television ads attacking Mr. Davis and linking him to Mr. Obama. The Brownback campaign’s ads have sought to paint a rosy financial picture for the state. Political analysts expect Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group founded by the Koch brothers, the Wichita-based billionaires, to step in, too.

The Kansas Values Institute, a left-leaning advocacy organization, has run negative ads about Mr. Brownback. Mr. Davis has run an ad that said Mr. Brownback was taking the state in the wrong direction. But he also had to pull one of his television ads after it was revealed that one of the actors had been arrested on charges of soliciting a prostitute.

Most criticism of Mr. Brownback has centered on the tax cuts, which slashed individual income tax rates and eliminated taxes on nonwage earnings for nearly 200,000 small businesses. The most recent fiscal year ended with state revenues more than $300 million short of expectations.
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Kirk Tofte
9 minutes ago

Gosh, we have problems in this country. This article discusses the broad array of issues that Governor Brownback has caused--wisely or...
Bill
10 minutes ago

Maybe Brownback is a secret follower of Keynes. After all, tax cuts in a depressed environment is a form of stimulus.
r.j. paquin
10 minutes ago

"And because he has reduced the size of government and made it more efficient, he said, state revenues do not need to grow that much to...

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Based on decreased revenue from the tax cuts, the state’s nonpartisan legislative research department estimates that the budget will have to be adjusted by $1.3 billion, either through spending cuts or additional revenue, over the next five years in order to remain balanced.

Opponents of the governor have used this to stoke fears that he would cut vital services. Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have downgraded Kansas’ credit rating.

Mr. Brownback said that the steps he had taken on Medicaid, on bolstering the teachers’ pension system and on cutting taxes had been needed to stabilize state finances, and that revenue growth would resume. The tax cuts will attract new businesses and residents — and, in turn, cash — to the state, he said. And because he has reduced the size of government and made it more efficient, he said, state revenues do not need to grow that much to fulfill budget obligations.
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

As promising signs, the governor and his allies point to an increase in the number of private-sector jobs since the tax cuts went into effect in January 2013. They also promote a record number of new business filings — more than 15,000 — in the state last year as a sign that businesses were attracted to Kansas.

Spending is also an issue. Mr. Brownback said he would not cut funding for education or other essential services, and since taking office he has increased the total state dollars that go toward primary and secondary schools by more than $200 million. He has put tens of millions of dollars toward new programs for technical education and reading initiatives.

But most of the increase has gone toward things like teacher pensions and building maintenance. When adjusted for inflation, state spending on classroom-related expenses has remained flat, if not decreased slightly, each year, according to an analysis by Mark Tallman of the Kansas Association of School Boards.

So far, Mr. Davis, 42, the son of two teachers, has spoken mostly in broad terms about his priorities — improving public schools and investing in work force training and higher education. “We know that if we have a highly skilled work force, industry will come,” he said.

The only specific plan he has put forward is to freeze Mr. Brownback’s tax cuts next year and to appoint a commission to address tax issues.

“I’m not giving people the illusion that this is the magic bullet that’s going to fix the very, very deep financial problems that Governor Brownback has caused,” said Mr. Davis, a lawyer who joined the House in 2003 and has been minority leader since 2008. “But I think it is a good first step.”

Ray Merrick, the Republican speaker of the House, called freezing the tax cuts a nonstarter. “Right now, the Legislature on both sides, House and Senate, are on the side of the governor,” he said.

The question is whether most voters will stand with the governor. “I’m not sure that some of the tax policies have been as effective as we’d like them to be,” said Dianne Blick, a 58-year-old development officer from Hutchinson, who has usually voted for Republicans but is undecided in this race. “Either candidate has to really convince me that they can create positive change and can work across the aisle.”
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DougMacG
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« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2014, 10:58:55 AM »

Kansas is reliably red if you consider Bob Dole and Kathleen Sebelius to be conservatives...

We also discussed Kansas here: http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1736.msg83825#msg83825

(I see that young Eliana Johnson, daughter of Powerline's Scott Johnson, is now Washington Editor of National Review.)
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http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388247/can-brownback-survive-eliana-johnson

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 4:00 AM
Can Brownback Survive?
A conservative reformer is under siege.
By Eliana Johnson

Even before his election as governor in 2010, liberal observers were warning about Sam Brownback. In October of that year, the New York Times warned that the mere prospect of Brownback’s ascent was “redefining” the Republican party. That’s certainly been his goal. Operating on the assumption that change in the states drives change in Washington, Brownback has, over the past four years, slashed income taxes, privatized Medicaid, expanded gun rights, and taken on the state’s teachers’ unions.

Those reforms may have made him a hero to conservatives, but they have also made him a major target this election cycle. For Democrats, the former senator and 2008 presidential candidate is a high-profile scalp whose defeat would galvanize liberals across the country. Implementing his agenda also meant alienating the state’s many moderate Republicans, whom Brownback actively and successfully tried to defeat in the 2012 state legislative elections; for them, picking him off is a matter of simple revenge. Several of them have joined a group of over 100 Republicans to support Brownback’s Democratic challenger, the state’s house minority leader, Paul Davis.
 
Outside money from both sides has poured into the race, including $2.8 million on advertisements alone even before the end of September. The governor’s tax-cutting agenda has also attracted the attention of liberal journalists, who have denounced him en masse in an attempt to make Kansas an illustration of the catastrophe of conservative governance. “Brownbackistan” is now a Facebook group and the name of a Tumblr account; it is emblazoned on T-shirts and has its own entry in Urban Dictionary. Philadelphia magazine called it “the Koch Bros. experiment with making Kansas stupider, meaner, and more difficult.”

Much of this blowback was prompted by the tax cuts Brownback signed into law in 2012, which brought the personal income-tax rate down to 3.9 percent from 6.45 percent and exempted pass-through income — income earned by individual proprietors — entirely. No state had ever tried exempting pass-through entities.

“It was a totally new, untested thing,” says Lyman Stone, an economist with the Tax Foundation, a conservative tax-policy research organization. “Experts on the left and the right raised the alarm about this policy because we thought it might cause tax distortions, it was hard to predict in terms of the revenue changes.”

Revenues have fallen more than expected, and liberals have rejoiced. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman derided the “charlatans and cranks dictating policy in Kansas.” Vox.com reported that, while “Kansas was supposed to be the GOP’s tax-cut paradise, now it can barely pay its bills.” Another piece on the site explained “How Sam Brownback’s tax cuts backfired.”

At the same time, defenders of the cuts say they’​ve created economic growth. The state’s unemployment rate has steadily decreased since Brownback took office in 2010, and the unemployment rate today stands at 4.9 percent, more than a percentage point lower than the national average. The number of private-sector jobs has increased.

“The fact that revenues were down was kind of like, ‘Duh,’” says Dave Trabert, president of the free-market Kansas Policy Institute. “That was the plan. It was anticipated that revenues would fall off dramatically because we cut taxes dramatically.” That’s true, but Stone points out that the amount of income claimed by sole proprietors has risen dramatically, which suggests that the pass-through exemption is playing a large role in the state’s revenue decline.

“The tax plan has a lot of positive features, including the shift to a positive tax base and a reduction of taxes overall,” says Stone, “but in the short term there are some features of the tax plan, like the exemption for pass-through income, that have not met expectations and that do raise concerns.”

At times, the governor has not helped himself in the face of these challenges. His critics seized on his remark that he was undertaking a “real live experiment” in red-state conservatism. But his supporters argue that Democrats are threatened by the prospect that Kansas will, if Brownback wins reelection this year, come to serve as an example of red-state success. “There’s been a fundamental shift in state policies,” a top Brownback adviser tells me. “If it works, [the Left] is really in trouble.”

The Sunflower State was always going to be a tough place to lead a conservative revolution. It has long been home to a relatively liberal Republican party — “the most liberal Republican party in America outside of the Acela corridor,” says the Brownback strategist. Brownback himself has said Kansas has a “three-party system,” and there’s some truth to that claim. One former GOP chairman, Mark Parkinson, switched parties and went on become to become Kathleen Sebelius’s gubernatorial running mate, and to serve out her term as a Democrat when she joined the Obama administration.

Brownback has never shied away from intra-party battles, and his reforms have exacerbated tensions in the GOP. When he ran for the Senate in 1996, he defeated a more moderate Republican in the primary and, two years ago, when moderates in the state senate voiced their opposition to his tax plan, he went after them in that year’s elections and succeeded in ousting nine of them from office. It is in this context that Republican senator Pat Roberts is locked in a close race with his ill-defined independent challenger, the businessman Greg Orman.

Brownback’s reforms have not made him popular. His approval rating has for months languished in the mid 30s. All of the recent polls show Davis, his opponent, leading by single digits, and the race is considered a toss-up. The Tax Foundation’s Stone notes that it will take time to feel the impact of Brownback’s reforms. “Tax cuts are not a shot of adrenaline to the economy,” he says, “but a structural feature that has an effect in the long run, where you get an overall higher level of growth the next decade.” It will be a boon for Democrats if they can boot Brownback from office before that happens, assuming it’s in the offing.

Brownback, for his part, appears uncowed by the onslaught, and his strategy for victory is becoming clear. Up to this point, all of the focus on Brownback’s record has allowed Davis to avoid staking out his own positions. In their first debate earlier this month, Brownback called Davis “the Nancy Pelosi of Kansas.” Davis represents a house district in eastern Lawrence, home to Kansas University and widely considered more liberal than the rest of the state. While Kansas voters may not be fiery conservatives, they are not Lawrence liberals.

And they are certainly not Obama liberals. As Brownback’s strategist puts it, “If people look at the difference between Brownback, four times elected statewide, two times by double digits, versus Davis, a two-time Obama delegate, I think we know how this movie ends.”

How the movie ends will have broad implications for Brownback’s red-state experiment, whether it’s ultimately held up as an example by liberals, who will draw energy from upending it, or by conservatives, who, as Brownback hopes, will cite it as a model of good governance that ultimately reaches Washington, D.C.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 04:39:30 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2014, 10:21:53 AM »

A couple of Governors need to win reelection first in order to enter the 2016 Presidential hunt.  Hick now trails badly in his bid for reelection.  Michelle Malkin explains why.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/09/24/hicken-weasel_why_colorados_gutless_gov_is_in_trouble_124081.html

I hope the Dem Gov's weakness carries over into the close Senate race.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2014, 10:51:09 AM »

ccp's George Will piece on the SWAT raids on political opponents in Wisconsin
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2177.msg84341#msg84341
is a good reminder of how important some of these Governor races are.

If Scott Walker wins Wisconsin (for a third time), he will be one to watch for 2016, with significant executive experience and a strong record of governing conservatively in a liberal state, and winning.  If he wins, It won't be a win over a weak opponent and it won't be without local and national opponents throwing everything they had at him.

Colorado is a very different story, but if Dem Gov. Hick comes back to win (I hope he doesn't), his name will rise into the mix if Democrats start thinking, anyone but Hillary, or from anywhere but Washington. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2014, 11:32:25 PM »

We are getting down to the last chance to prognosticate on tomorrow's election...  I have a conservative bias and these surprises are only possible if this does turn out to be a big Republican year. 

For my own state of MN, the entire state House of Representatives could flip to Republican.  They are currently down by 12 seats, and under one party rule of all branches and chambers.

The US Senate race, Mike McFadden vs. Al Franken, and MN Governor's race:  Jeff Johnson (R) vs Mark Dayton (D - incumbent) will both end up closer than predicted, I predict.  Both of these were VERY recently picked to be double digit Dem wins.  Both could close essentially to a tie.  Unfortunately in MN, the tie goes to the Democrat.
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All the Governor's races around the country are crucial and many are tossups.  Especially important (IMO) are the reelection contests of Wisconsin with Gov. Scott Walker (R) and in Colorado with Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).  If Walker wins, he becomes a 2016 factor with quite a few pluses on his side, executive experience, electoral success in a yellow state, and a record of taking on tough fights and succeeding.  If either loses, maybe they end up as an ambassador somewhere, someday.  I think the Fla. Gov race is important too.  Another loss for the slimy Charlie Crist would be good for Florida and mankind.
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G M
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« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2014, 01:36:27 AM »

When dem's took over Colorado's state legislature, they changed the voting to make it very fraud friendly. I fear Udall with be rescued by this.
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