Union Members Backed Scott Brown While Union Officials Backed Coakley
The gap between union leaders and union members has once again come to light as it was revealed this week that the majority of union households in Massachusetts voted for Republican Scott Brown, while the leadership of the state's AFL-CIO labor union backed Democrat Martha Coakley.
On December 18, Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes declared
"The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is proud to stand with Martha Coakley because of her proven record of fighting for working families and because of her career of public service. Our Attorney General has always stood for fairness, justice, and opportunity for working families. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO will work hard during this short campaign to add Martha’s voice, values, and talents to the U.S. Senate."
Yet, while union officials predictably threw their weight (and members' money) behind Democrat Coakley, union members chose to make up their own mind. In polling data released
January 21st, the AFL-CIO itself reported that union households supported Republican Scott Brown over Democrat Coakley 49%-46%.
Once again, union workers were forced to sit back and watch as the resources they pay into their union are used to support candidates they oppose.
Governor Connects the Dots Between Jobs and the State Budget
In his final push toward an improved fiscal legacy, Governor Schwarzenegger has boldly drawn the connection between creating a job-friendly state and solving California's long-term financial crisis in his 2010-2011 budget proposal.
The Governor and Republicans understand that the quickest and most efficient way to close the estimated $20 billion shortfall is to eliminate the job-killing policies that have plagued our state, while at the same time reforming the bloated pension system and redefining the relationship between Washington and Sacramento.
The Governor's budget plan is a positive step forward that all Republicans can embrace.Complete article on the Flashreport
Paul Hegyi: A Solid Republican Leader
Republican leader Paul Hegyi is someone I've come to respect over the years as someone who understands both policy and politics, and equally important, someone willing to do the hard day to day work necessary to move the ball down the field. This week Paul ended his campaign for the 10th Assembly District, a seat held (for the moment) by Democrat Alyson Huber.
I'm confident Paul will serve in elected office one day. Our party, and our state, need leaders like Paul who are right on the issues, and willing to do the hard work to turn solutions into reality.
San Diego’s Campaign Finance Law Challenged in Federal Court
Last week, a coalition of plaintiffs asked a federal court to grant a preliminary injunction to keep San Diego from enforcing campaign finance laws that violate the First Amendment. One of the plaintiffs, Phil Thalheimer, wants to be able to spend his own money to announce his run for City Council, yet he is prohibited by the law from so much as mailing a letter that even implies he might be a candidate. Another plaintiff, Lincoln Club, wants to be able to spend as much of its own money as it wants for independent expenditures—that is, spending that is made totally without any coordination with any candidate, while plaintiff Associated Builders and Contractors PAC wants to be able to spend money it raises from its supporting businesses for independent expenditures. Plaintiff John Nienstedt, meanwhile, wants to be able to give more than $500 to the candidates he supports. And, the Republican Party wants to be able to contribute money to its candidates’ campaigns, and make coordinated expenditures on their behalf. Yet, San Diego’s laws prohibit each of these plaintiffs from engaging in these activities.
James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel in the suit, stated, “Each of the challenged laws violates the rights guaranteed to all Americans under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has made clear that candidates should never be told that they cannot spend their own money to support their campaign. Nor should any political party be told that they cannot support their own candidates. The Supreme Court has said that groups that want to spend money independent of candidates have the right to spend as much as they want. And, the contribution limits of $500 are lower than any the Supreme Court has ever found constitutional. These laws infringe on the rights of all citizens of San Diego.”
Mr. Bopp further explained that while the plaintiff organizations tend to be pro-business, if the court declares the law unconstitutional, it will benefit labor as well. Similarly, if the court decides that the Republican Party should be able to contribute to its own candidates, other political parties will be able to, also. Mr. Bopp commented, “This is not a lawsuit that will only benefit conservatives. If the court agrees that these laws are unconstitutional, all San Diego’s citizens will be able to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
CRP Chairman Ron Nehring Responds to Radanovich Announcement
SACRAMENTO -- California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring issued the following statement in response to the announcement by Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) that he will not seek re-election in 2010 in order to tend to pressing family issues:
"Californians have been incredibly fortunate to have an outstanding representative in Congress fighting for them in Rep. George Radanovich. Throughout his 15 years in the House, George has been a thoughtful, passionate, and committed advocate on the issues facing California's Central Valley including water, agriculture, and jobs.
"All of our thoughts and prayers are with George, his wife Ethie and their son.
"While the California Republican Party must remain neutral in Republican primaries, the emergence of State Senator Jeff Denham as a candidate to succeed Congressman Radanovich is important and demonstrates Republican strength in holding this seat. I am confident we will not only send a new Republican representative to the House for the 19th district in 2010, but we will add to California's Republican delegation as well.
QUICK FACTS ON THE 19th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
2008: McCain 52%, Obama 46%
2004: Bush 61%, Kerry 38%
2000: Bush 57%, Gore: 38%
WALL STREET JOURNAL ON THE GOP HOLDING THIS SEAT
"The eight-term lawmaker's retirement should not pose a major threat to the GOP's chances of holding on to his district-Radanovich ran unopposed in 2008 and John McCain bested Barack Obama in his Fresno-based district by six points, 52%-46%."
California Rep George Radanovich to Retire, WSJ, 12/29/09
CONGRESSMAN DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA) DELIVERS WEEKLY REPUBLICAN ADDRESS
WASHINGTON – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) released the following weekly Republican address. The address is available in both audio and video format and is embargoed until 6:00 p.m. ET, Thursday, December 24, 2009.
NOTE: The address is embargoed until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 24, 2009.
Audio of the address is available here.
Video of the address is available here.
“I’m Congressman Duncan Hunter, and I represent the 52nd Congressional District of California, the area around San Diego.
“In this holiday season, I hope we all take time to offer thanks and prayers to the men and women of our Armed Forces. Many of these service members will spend the holidays away from home, on the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan, at bases and on ships around the world.
“I understand the sacrifices they are making. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, I quit my job and joined the Marine Corps. Prior to coming to Congress, I was deployed to warzones on three separate occasions, twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan. Just last month, actually, I had an opportunity to visit with our troops in Afghanistan.
“I know we all wish everyone could be home for the holidays, but this is not a time for sadness or regret. Thoughts of home remind us of why we serve: because we’re proud to be Americans, because we want to pass on to our children the blessings of liberty that we inherited from our forefathers, and because nothing matters more to us than protecting our homes and our families. Our hope is that as a result of this determination and sacrifice, we will never again see our cities and citizens under attack.
“I hope we also take a moment this year to reflect on those suffering here at home. For too many families, this will be a difficult Christmas. One in ten Americans are unemployed. Nearly six million of our citizens have been looking for work for more than six months – the most on record.
“All year long, Republicans have offered common-sense solutions to put more money back into the pockets of hard-working families and to help small businesses create more jobs. We’ve also outlined a plan to lower health care premiums by up to 10 percent. And we have proposed an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy to create more American jobs, ease the strain on family budgets, and clean up our environment. Just as important, these solutions do not raise taxes, grow government, or add to the already skyrocketing debt burden being placed on our kids and grandkids.
“After all the promises and all the spending we’ve seen out of Washington this year, out-of-work families are right to be asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ Republicans believe our top priority when it comes to the economy should be simple: First, do no harm. So let’s resolve in the New Year to end misguided efforts to create new laws that will cost even more jobs, whether it’s the ‘cap and trade’ national energy tax, the government takeover of health care, ‘card check,’ or even more tax increases.
“Working together, we can make the next holiday season even brighter for all Americans. Thank you, happy holidays, and God Bless America.”
Impact of Presidential Approval on Mid-Term Elections
Barack Obama’s public approval rating has dropped to as low as 47% in the last week, according to Gallup
. Although the President will not appear on the ballot again until 2012, how the public views his presidency will have a direct impact on each party’s performance in next year’s mid-term elections.
The party holding the White House has lost seats in 10 of the last 12 mid-terms, going back to President Kennedy’s 1962 losses. Even in that year, with a 74% approval rating following the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy’s Democrats lost seats in the House. Historically, the public uses mid-term elections to correct for the perceived excesses of the party in power, while the absence of coattail effects may result in some seats reverting back to the party with the natural advantage in the district.
IMPACT ON CONGRESSIONAL RACES. The magnitude of the net losses suffered by the President’s party in Congress has been in direct, inverse proportion to the President’s public approval rating on Election Day. The party in control of the White House suffered the most in 1966, 1974 and 1994 when the incumbent’s approval ratings were all under 50%. High approval ratings of President Clinton in 1998 (66%) and President Bush in 2002 (63%) helped the governing party gain seats in those two years — a historical aberration.
IMPACT ON STATE RACES. The spillover effect of Presidential approval directly impacts state legislative contests as well. The magnitude of losses suffered by the President’s party in legislative races has been similar to those in Congressional contests. The public has demonstrated it will hold state legislative candidates of the President’s party accountable for the President’s actions. The same three cycles when incumbent Presidents were at their lowest mid-term approvals also saw the greatest net loss of state legislative seats for the President’s party. Lyndon Johnson’s Democrats lost 762 legislative seats in 1966 when Johnson’s approval stood at 49%. Republicans lost 628 seats with Richard Nixon at 47% in 1974. While Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 due in part to Bill Clinton’s 46% approval, Democrats also lost 514 state legislative seats that year.
AVERAGE LOSSES. When the President’s approval rating has been above 60% on Election Day, the average net loss has been zero House seats and 15 state legislative seats. At between 50% and 59%, the President’s party has on average lost 12 House seats and 217 legislative seats. And an approval rating under 50% has typically resulted in a wipeout of 41 House and 477 state legislative seats lost by the President’s party. Barack Obama’s approval rating within the last week has hovered between 47% and 50% in Gallup’s surveys.
Presidential approval ratings alone are unlikely to result in any lopsided district changing parties. However, the impact in marginal districts (such as those held by Democrats but won by John McCain in 2008) can potentially be sufficient to impact the final outcome.
Link to Big Government.