Under the Radar
June 09, 2011
The drab Amtrak depot in Detroit, Michigan, was recently the venue for a truly surreal scene: A Republican governor accepted—gratefully—a check from the Obama administration. This was not just any federal funding, either, but $200 million for that most Europhiliac of abominations: passenger rail. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich, and Florida’s Rick Scott had all rejected the money. But here was Rick Snyder, the state’s new Republican governor, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Carl Levin, John Conyers, and John Dingell, beaming genially and brandishing a giant check.
Labor Is Winning The Battle Of Wisconsin
February 22, 2011
We don't know how the battle of Wisconsin will turn out, but there are a lot of straws in the wind, and they all suggest labor is winning. Consider: 1. The polls show the public is siding with labor. One poll, by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner but using straightforward questions, shows the majority of Wisconsin voters oppose Scott Walker's anti-union moves. Another national poll from Gallup shows a national majority of voters would oppose a change like the one Walker is proposing. (A Rasmussen poll found different results, but seems to be transparently cooked.) 2.
February 10, 2011
The mantra goes, “You either love or hate Michelle Rhee.” In the education world, there is no figure as polarizing as the former chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools, who famously warred with the city’s teachers’ union and left abruptly when her boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty, lost reelection last year. Since then, she has started an organization called StudentsFirst to push for education reform nationwide. She announced the group in a Newsweek cover story, and it raised more than $700,000 in its first week.
Michelle Rhee's New Group, New Sacramento Office, and New Union Strategy
December 06, 2010
After months of speculation, former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee today is unveiling her next move. On this afternoon’s episode of “Oprah” and in this week’s Newsweek, Rhee is announcing the launch of an education advocacy organization called StudentsFirst. (The group’s website also went live this morning). Rhee is dubbing it a “national movement,” with headquarters online, but a source tells me she will be working out of Sacramento, where her new husband Kevin Johnson is mayor. Her office for the time being, I’m told, will be at conservative-leaning Mercury, a p.r.
November 17, 2010
If you want more evidence for the proposition that a total fraud can continue to prosper if his brand of fraudulence tends to flatter the prejudices of the rich and powerful, take note that Mark Penn is now conducting polls for Politico, and Art Laffer has been hired to advise Rick Scott.
How Bad Is the Democratic Brand?
November 03, 2010
From a Miami Herald dispatch on Rick Scott's narrow win over Alex Sink, to become Florida's next governor: "I wouldn't have voted for him if I had another Republican to choose from,'' said Frank Paruas, a 38-year-old Kendall Republican. "I think Alex Sink isn't a bad person. But I just couldn't vote for anyone in the Democratic party right now.'' It's just one quote. But it seems typical of how a lot of voters felt yesterday.
Less Good News for Democrats in the House
November 02, 2010
Early indications that Democrats seem to be holding their own in a lot of close races should not be misunderstood as in indication that the Donkey Party is having a good night; far from it. It just doesn't look like the vast tsunami a lot of Republicans—and for that matter, the final Gallup Poll—have been pointing towards. And there is definitely bad news for Democrats.
Could Florida Actually Elect Rick Scott?
November 02, 2010
Maybe President Obama has some regrets about decisions he's made this campaign season and maybe he doesn't. Me, I have at least one very big one. I never got around to writing about the gubernatorial race in Florida. Not only is it the state where I grew up and where most of my family still lives.* It's also the state where the Republican candidate is former health care executive Rick Scott. Fortunately for me and for any Florida voters who may be reading this blog before they head to the polls, Andy Kroll of Mother Jones has published a nice primer on Scott's career.
Your Guide to the New Hampshire Political Slugfest
September 09, 2010
In most of the major competitive Republican primaries this year, three interrelated factors—money, ideology, and influential backers—have been on display in eyecatching ways. The political furies of 2010 have lured an unprecedented number of self-funding neophytes onto the ballot; Meg Whitman, Rick Scott, and Linda McMahon being just the most profligate examples. It’s the rare Republican primary where most, if not all candidates decline to call themselves “true conservatives” and impugn the ideological purity of their opponents.
Vermont's Shockingly Nice Primary Election
August 26, 2010
There’s not much doubt that this primary season has set some new lows for intra-party civility, from the hundred-million-dollar hate fest put on by Californian Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner to the mutual-assured-destruction of Hawaii Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa that handed the GOP a U.S. House seat.