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The Friday Line: Md. Jumps 4 Spots on Govs. Rankings

Since The Fix last ranked the governors races most likely to switch parties in the fall, two of our top 10 experienced significant changes.

2006 Election -- Interactive Map
Interactive Campaign Map: More Election Data and Analysis.

In both Maryland and Colorado, major candidates dropped from the race effectively clearing the primary fields. In Maryland that means that Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) now can focus full-time on defeating Gov. Robert Ehrlich in November. In Colorado, Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) is now free to concentrate on beating former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D).

What does that mean for each race's placement on this month's Friday Line? Well, we don't want to spoil the surprise. As always, the no. 1 race is the most likely to switch party control in the fall. Sound off in the comments section.

To the Line!

10. Alaska: It's not often that a sitting governor takes out full-page ads in his state's largest papers admitting he should consider a "personality transplant." The fact that Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) did just that recently shows the depth of his political problems. Murkowski's first challenge is to win the state's Aug. 22 primary -- not a sure thing given the candidacies of former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and businessman John Binkley. Former Gov. Tony Knowles is the strongest candidate Democrats can hope for, but he won both his gubernatorial terms as a result of a split within the Republican Party (1998) or a strong third-party candidate (1994.) Can Knowles win a one-on-one contest against a Republican incumbent? (Previous ranking: 10)

9. Colorado: Republicans won't be happy that this race remains on the Line despite former University of Denver president Marc Holtzman's departure from the GOP primary field. Our explanation? We have undersold this race in previous Friday Lines, ranking it far lower than it belonged. Our initial skepticism about Democrats' chances of a pick-up here centered around the lack of excitement about Bill Ritter -- exemplified by the lengthy public search for an alternative. But for the past few months Ritter has had the field to himself and appears to have united the party behind him. He's also outraised Rep. Bob Beauprez consistently -- cresting the $2 million mark earlier this month. Having seen Beauprez operate up close during his days in Congress, we know he is a savvy politician and will make this race very competitive. But given Democrats' electoral gains in the state in 2004 and Ritter's impressive campaign to date, he carries a slight edge. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. Michigan: It's a testament to how much turnover we could see this fall in governor's races that this race can't break into the top seven. Unchallenged on television for several months, wealthy businessman Dick DeVos has zoomed into a polling deadlock with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D). But Granholm appears to be on the rebound, buoyed by television ads financed by the state party touting her work to create jobs and a recent decision by Google to bring 1,000 jobs to Ann Arbor. Granholm will need more good news like this to convince voters that the economic struggles in the state are to be blamed on federal, not state, economic policies. DeVos's willingness to sink tens of millions into his campaign ensures he will be on a level playing field with the well-financed Granholm. (Previous ranking: 6)

7. Wisconsin: Yes, we know about this poll, which showed Gov. Jim Doyle (D) ahead of Rep. Mark Green (R) by 13 points. But the numbers were greeted with skepticism, even by many Democrats. (The poll should be taken with a grain of salt for several methodological reason -- it was in the field for an unusually long time and tested adults rather than registered or likely voters.) Ethics questions continue to hover around Doyle's administration, and typically reliable Democratic base groups -- the labor community and black voters to name two -- are not terribly excited about helping the incumbent win a second term. Make sure to read Post politics dean David Broder's take on this race. (Previous ranking: 5)

6. Massachusetts:: No race is more difficult to rank than this one. On the on hand, Massachusetts is one of the most strongly Democratic states in the country. On the other, Democrats are hosting a very competitive three-way primary and have not won a governor's race here since Michael Dukakis left office in 1990. A new poll shows former assistant U.S. Attorney General Deval Patrick leading state Attorney General Tom Reilly 31 percent to 25 percent in the Democratic primary race; wealthy businessman Chris Gabrieli, the party's lieutenant governor nominee in 2002, was third with 22 percent. Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey is unopposed for the Republican nomination but must contend with free-spending former Republican Christy Mihos, who is running as an independent. To be honest, it seems this race should be ranked higher, but it was too difficult to decide which race to drop to make room for this one. (Previous ranking: 7)

5. Iowa: Is geography destiny when it comes to politics? This race should give us an answer. Rep. Jim Nussle (R) has represented the state's 1st congressional district since 1990, demonstrating a knack for winning over Democratic votes in a district that went for John kerry by seven points in 2004. Republicans acknowledge that Nussle won't enjoy that same high level of support in this year's gubernatorial race against Secretary of State Chet Culver, but they believe he will perform better in the district than almost any other GOPer in the state. Culver proved he is a better candidate than originally advertised with his solid primary victory over a candidate with the tacit backing of outgoing Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), but doubters (even among Democrats) remain. (Previous ranking: 4)

4. Maryland: Meet Bob Ehrlich (R) -- the most vulnerable governor up for reelection in November. Ehrlich's chances suffered a double dose of bad news over the last few weeks. First, Doug Duncan dropped from the race -- allowing Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley to avoid the bumps and bruises of what looked to be a competitive primary. Then The Washington Post published the results of a poll showing the incumbent trailing O'Malley 51 percent to 40 percent among registered voters and 55 percent to 39 percent among those most likely to vote. Even more troubling for Ehrlich: He trails by double digits even though majorities of the sample approve of the job he is doing (56 percent approve/41 percent disapprove) and view him favorably (55 percent favorable/38 percent unfavorable). Conclusion? Marylanders know and like Ehrlich but won't vote for him. That spells trouble. (Previous ranking: 8)

3. Arkansas: Even Republicans acknowledge that the former Rep. Asa Hutchinson's (R) gubernatorial campaign is not where they would like it to be. State Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) continues to outraise Hutchinson, although recent fundraising events featuring former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney should boost the Republican's coffers. Both candidates are portraying themselves as men of substance (Beebe just released a twelve-point health care plan; Hutchinson has a four-point immigration proposal) and attacking each other as lightweights. Beebe has run the better campaign to date and looks well-placed to capitalize on voters' desire for change after ten years of Republican rule under Gov. Mike Huckabee. (Previous ranking: 3)

2. Ohio: National Republicans continue to insist that Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has a real chance of winning this race despite the hurdles created by the ethics problems of outgoing Gov. Bob Taft (R). We're still not sold. Democratic nominee Ted Strickland is running a VERY savvy campaign; this week he began running ads on religious radio stations around the state touting his background as a minister and a man of faith. He has also met several times with Republican Sen. George Voinovich. Blackwell looks likely to make a real race out of this, but count The Fix as skeptical that he can win. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. New York: Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi appears likely to petition his way onto the Sept. 12 Democratic primary ballot, forcing state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to campaign for his party's nomination. Suozzi has also started to criticize Spitzer for an alleged conflict of interest stemming from the attorney general's seat on a family charitable foundation. Given Spitzer's poll numbers, Suozzi's efforts could well be sound and fury, signifying nothing. Former state Assemblyman John Faso will be the Republican sacrificial lamb, er, nominee. (Previous ranking: 1)

See The Fix's last ranking of top governors races.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 14, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Governors , The Line  
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Comments

Blackwell shouldn't have to step aside
The Dayton Daily News, Editorial, July 17, 2006

The idea that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell should give up his election-related responsibilities because he is running for governor won't go away.

Sen. Hillary Clinton gave it fuel when she was in Ohio the other day.

"I find it amazing that one of the people running for high office is actually running the elections," she said. "That should not be permitted."

Sen. Clinton was ambiguous as to whether Mr. Blackwell should step aside or the law should be changed. Others have not been ambiguous.

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, Democratic candidate for governor, says his opponent should give up his role, having demonstrated that he can't be trusted.

The position is absurd.

For one thing, secretary of state is an elective office. If Democrats didn't want Mr. Blackwell to have it, they needed to beat him. They can't lose an election and then demand that their vanquisher curtail his own responsibilities. At least they can't without looking absurd.

Second, the secretary of state doesn't really run elections. That's the job of county elections boards which have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. They decide how many voting machines will go where. They count the ballots.

The secretary of state does get involved in some issues. He resolves conflicts that come to the state as a result of deadlocks at elections boards. He has to enforce state law and interpret federal law.

But all of that is out in the open. What the secretary does has to pass scrutiny. And the scrutiny is intense because he's on the ballot. Mr. Blackwell is simply in no position to steal a race for governor.

Third, there's nothing new about secretaries of state being on the ballot. Sherrod Brown, the Democrats' candidate for the U.S. Senate this year, ran twice for re-election as secretary of state.

The pitch against Secretary Blackwell plays to the suspicion among Democrats that he's particularly pernicious in the use of his office. Democratic activists have been fed this line by other activists, who pretend the Republicans stole the 2004 election in Ohio. The most knowledgeable Democrats know it's not true. The John Kerry campaign has never raised a doubt about the legitimacy of President George W. Bush's victory.

The call for an elected official to step aside from his assigned duties is unusual enough that the burden of proof ought to be on the side making the call.

The Strickland campaign made its proposal last month during a fight about the implementation of a new law regulating private citizens who register new voters. Democrats accused Secretary Blackwell of interpreting the law in a way designed to hassle the private registrars. But legislators who pushed for the law said he was following its basic intent. The issue was partly resolved with a reasonable enough compromise.

People can reasonably question whether any secretary of state should be Ohio's chief elections officer (however constrained). But secretaries of state do have election responsibilities in most states. Problems arise, but no system is problem-free.

At any rate, what's going on now is not a real debate about the rules, just a political game.

AMEN
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: VIVABUSH04OH | July 18, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

o well, had my hopes up for another interesting race.

Posted by: Rob Millette | July 18, 2006 1:59 AM | Report abuse

ROb Millette

Knotts is out. He had until 12 noon today and announced he is not running. WOuld have been a more interesting race if he had been in.

Posted by: RMill | July 17, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If this is the list of the ten mostly likely governships to change parties in November I can't believe Illinois didn't make it. The incumbent, Blagojevich, is a Democrat and the last poll I saw showed him behind his Republican challenger, Topinka. Blago has big problems with corruption investigations by the feds and Topinka is a popular moderate Republican (she marches in Chicago's Gay Pride parade). But the reason I really know Blago is in trouble is that this reliably liberal Dem voter is still undecided about voting for him. If he does not have voters like me firmly in his pocket by now, I think he has real problems come November.

Posted by: Dave | July 17, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Kristen Cox is from Utah and she's only lived in MD for 5 years - she has no real roots in this state. Ehrlich appointed her Secretary of Disablities because she was a constant door knocker at his office about issues concerning the disabled. While honorable, I don't know if that qualifies her for second in command for MD. I don't think there is enough "meat" there.

Posted by: Mom in MD | July 17, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Kristen Cox is from Utah and she's only lived in MD for 5 years - she has no real roots in this state. Ehrlich appointed her Secretary of Disablities because she was a constant door knocker at his office about issues concerning the disabled. While honorable, I don't know if that qualifies her to second in command for MD. I don't think there is enough "meat" there.

Posted by: Mom in MD | July 17, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and what about Ehrlich's chosen running mate, Kristen Cox, the legally blind cabinet member who has probably less political experience than my 89 year old grandmother. I thought a big part of the job of the Lieu. Gov. was to step in God forbid something were to happen to the Governor. Do we feel confident that she could run the state if she had to? With all the recent hurricanes hitting the coastal United States, what if we (Maryland) were to experience a heavy damaging storm? Being legally blind, how could assess damage from a helicopter without depending advisors to paint the picture for her?

Posted by: Maryland Man | July 17, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bob Ehrlich's biggest accomplishment was minimizing the state deficit - what you don't hear alot about is his veto on the minimum wage increase bill OR the 15% increase from BGE (our state's electric co.) He HAS NOT shined as Maryland's governor which, in this state, a Republican's record would have to be glaring to be reelected. The only reason he beat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on '02 was because she was a weak candidate with an even weaker running mate. Maryland didn't neccessarily WANT Ehrlich, we just REALLY didn't feel good enough about KKT. Glendening was a great governor - O'Malley/Brown is the ticket.

Posted by: Maryland Man | July 17, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"This is the guy who is rate 313th out of 335 in the HR." - Vivian

Viva - There are 435 people in the House, not 335. I can only hope and pray that all republican party county chairs are as dumb as you are. And what does that mean that he ranks 313th anyways? In Seniority? What does that have to do with anything? Damn you sure don't make very much sense and you sound pretty stupid to have the chutzpah to call OTHER people mindless.....

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 16, 2006 1:34 AM | Report abuse

"You know the same mindless ones who let him agree to debate Ken Blackwell. I know larry, OG, Subway, Drindl and Kevin are pretty mindless but tell me, with a so-called double-didgit lead, would you have agreed to debate Blackwell(have any of you seen Blackwell or Strickland debate?)." - Vivian

Wow - I LET Ted Strickland agree to debate Ken Blackwell? apparently I am Ted Strickalnd's campaign manager and I didn't even know it!!! Plus I have never even met the man. Amazing that he is leading Ken Blackwell by double digits in the polls when he dosen't even know his own campaign manager.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 16, 2006 1:28 AM | Report abuse

that had to be close to the most boring unbearably long post by viva yet. He's losing his mind!! Must be really frightened that Strickland and Brown could win.

Posted by: Rob Millette | July 15, 2006 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The truth frightens viva so much. I live in OH too and we informed people know what happened. Exit polls have never ever been wrong in last 50 years not even once. The leaders of the Republican party knew after the landslide Clinton win in 96 that they no longer had the votes to win a national election Gore won by 600000 pop votes in 2000 even when the Reps cheated. You can live in the bowels of neocon fantasy land but true Americans know. The truth will come out soon and not from some neocon fake newspaper like the Plain Dealer.

Posted by: Larry | July 15, 2006 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Watching all the comments on my Refridgeator, I decided to fry an egg on my TV, and get some ice cream out of my oven. See I can once again make sense.

Posted by: lylepink | July 15, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeh we got a real slimeball running for senator named Sherrod Brown. I've known him for a long time and am ashamed to call him my congressman. He carpetbagged his way into the district just like Betty Sutton is trying to do to succeed him but, I digress. This blog is about governor.

Two things, your belief that any American election has actually been stolen when there is no substantive proof of such (keep smoking that pinko wacky tabacky).
And two, that Strickland has it made.

Re: Strickland. This is the guy who is rate 313th out of 335 in the HR. He has never run anything in his life comparable to a large organization and now he expects to run Ohio. This empty suit is not going to run Ohio if he wins, left-wing Dems will.
You know the same mindless ones who let him agree to debate Ken Blackwell. I know larry, OG, Subway, Drindl and Kevin are pretty mindless but tell me, with a so-called double-didgit lead, would you have agreed to debate Blackwell(have any of you seen Blackwell or Strickland debate?). I would be worried. Fact is, if God forbid Strick does win, don't count on him running Ohio.

So you think RFK is a credible source with an article in Rolling Stone to prove election falsification? How come no one like a prosecutor(I think Franlin County has a Dem pros.)isn't running this down?

Read this Plain Dealer article that basicly says you're full of caca to believe the 2004 election was rigged:

THE PLAIN DEALER

Rest assured, we checked out Election 2004 thoroughly
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Ted Diadiun
Plain Dealer Columnist
Atop the June 15 issue of Rolling Stone magazine you will find the following, in white capital letters on a black background: "DID BUSH STEAL THE 2004 ELECTION? How 350,000 Votes Disappeared in Ohio."

Yes, he did, writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a long, exhaustively footnoted piece that flows over 16 pages in the magazine.

The early exit polls that showed John Kerry winning the election; the stories of lost, delayed and denied voter registration cards; the long lines and other problems at many polling places; and the presence of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell as an overarching malevolent Republican presence all led Kennedy to conclude that a vast and wide-ranging series of conspiracies resulted in Kerry losing an election that the majority of Ohio voters wanted him to win.

So why, some readers have asked, hasn't The Plain Dealer written anything about this story? More importantly, why has Ohio's largest newspaper forced readers to depend on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Rolling Stone for the real story about what happened in the 2004 election?

Taking the second question first, the truth is that this newspaper has reported in detail on most of the issues raised in the Kennedy piece. Before, during and after the election, Plain Dealer reporters covered the campaign and the election and the vast array of accusations surrounding both in exhausting detail. Here is what they found, and reported in the newspaper:

There was no shortage of mistakes made in vote counting. There were voters who should have been registered but weren't, polling places with lines that were too long and without enough voting machines, and decisions from Blackwell that appeared to be partisan.

All these mistakes and misjudgments took votes from both candidates, but probably more from Kerry. But they didn't add up to nearly enough votes to swing Ohio from Bush to Kerry.

The mistakes were often a result of lack of foresight and bad judgment, but they were bipartisan in nature and not a result of Republican chicanery.

Several reporters spent the bulk of their time running down accusations and rumors in the weeks following the election. The most complete report was in the form of a chart on Dec. 5, 2004, that put together allegations and explanations for 18 conspiracy theories. I asked the good folks at Cleveland.com to restore that link for today's column. You can see it at: www.cleveland.com/pdgraphics/voting.

So how is it that our reporters reached such different conclusions from Kennedy's?

It's the difference between journalism and advocacy.

A good journalist gathers the facts, interviews the principals, explains the seeming anomalies and then presents it all to the readers in an understandable way.

In his piece, Kennedy presented the facts that supported his point of view, ignored the ones that did not, read people's minds and packed it all up into a conspiracy that doesn't wash. Here are just three examples:

Kennedy offers the exit polls as proof that the election was flawed by saying, (A) Election Day exit polls are always right, and (B) the 2004 exit polls had Kerry winning the election; therefore (C) the election must have been stolen.

But Brad Coker, president of the Mason-Dixon polling firm that called Bush's 2.5-percentage-point win in Ohio practically right on the nose for The Plain Dealer, says that's nonsense - exit polls are often wrong.

He cited an example from the 2004 Florida exit poll that was partially based on the pollsters' expectation that 18- to 29-year-old voters, a group that leaned heavily toward Kerry, would account for 17 percent of the vote there.

The exit poll was weighted accordingly for that age group, but it turned out that the age group actually accounted for only 13 percent of the vote, which skewed the poll inaccurately toward Kerry.

In his online footnotes, Kennedy refers no less than a half-dozen times to a five-month-long post-election investigation commissioned by the Democratic National Committee called, "Democracy at Risk." Somehow, he never gets around to quoting the DNC investigative team's conclusion that "The statistical study of precinct-level data does not suggest the occurrence of widespread fraud that systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush."

Kennedy saw conspiracy in a Franklin County foul-up that resulted in far too few voting machines at a polling place in a heavily black area that would presumably vote mainly for Kerry.

But he didn't tell his readers that the chairman of the Franklin County elections board, who oversaw the county's voting machine allocation, was a black man who also chairs the county Democratic Party. Not a likely candidate to steal votes for Bush.

Space precludes a thorough airing of all Kennedy's accusations, but you can find a fascinating point-by-point review on Salon.com, which is not normally a place where Republicans go to seek succor. Here's the link: www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/03/kennedy/index_np.html.

So why hasn't The Plain Dealer written a similar story about the Kennedy accusation to put all this to rest?

Metro editor Jean Dubail, who oversees the newspaper's political coverage, puts it this way:

"My first reaction after reading the thing was how little actual news there was in it," he said. "A lot of it was completely familiar, things we had written about and/or put in the chart. After you consider it all, what have you got? Somebody who just doesn't like the outcome. I mean, how many times do we have to cover the same territory?"

Kennedy wound up the piece by charging that Ohio's press has turned a blind eye to the stolen election, refused to investigate all these charges, and simply accepted the result as valid.

Does that make sense to anyone reading this?

For one thing, Ohio's newsrooms are not exactly crawling with Rush Limbaugh Dittoheads whose goal it is to protect the GOP. And any reporter who managed to nail down a story proving that a vast conspiracy cost John Kerry the presidency would become instantly famous and would probably win a Pulitzer. Personal politics be damned, show me the reporter whose nostrils wouldn't flare at THAT possibility.

I've got no argument with Dubail's decision to leave any comment on the Kennedy "investigation" to the Reader Rep, and my guess is that you don't either.

The less somebody knows about the 2004 Ohio election and the farther away from Ohio he is, the more likely he is to find merit in that Rolling Stone piece. And since our audience is right here in Northeast Ohio, I'm sure that most of you have already figured out that it's nonsense.

Vivabush04OH

"By any means necessary."


Posted by: VivaBush04OH | July 15, 2006 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Katharine Harris is losing it in the most remarkable and public way. It's amazing how many of the republican candidates for office this year are outright lunatics and moral reprobates. Not only Harris, but Katherine McFarland [running against Hillary] whose family calls her 'evil' and jeaninne Pirro, whose own husband and best friend sabotaged her campaign although she was flailing incoherently anyway.

Then there's John Spencer, also running against Hillary, former mayor of yonkers who is known locally as loving families so much that he had two of them concurrently. And of course, Rudy, who New Yorkers remember as a serial adulterer who gave his girlfriends high-paying patronage jobs, and Newtie Geinrich, who told his first wife he was leaving her while she was dying of cancer, and then dumped the second wife for a younger model a couple years later. And then there's Ralph Reed, who's been fleecing the christian flock for years along with jack abramoff.

What a crew. Slimeballs every one. Feel free to add -- I'm sure there's plenty more.

Posted by: Drindl | July 15, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

From the rural parts of MD, I can tell you that Bob Ehrlich is in trouble. Not only is there substantial Democratic support for O'Malley, which KKT didn't get, there are a lot of Republicans and Independents supporting him. Since Ehrlich started advertising, his poll numbers seem to be falling. I expect the race may tighten some, but unless he can excite the rural voters, I don't think he has a chance, no matter how much money he has.

Posted by: vmi98mom | July 15, 2006 12:50 AM | Report abuse

You need to update your "governors in trouble" list by adding California. The Rasmussen Reports poll today shows Dem. Phil Angelides ahead of Gov. Arnold by two points. Bush is a big drag as well as the Repub. Congress in this very Democratic state.

Posted by: Peter L. | July 14, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

( This is just to funny, I had to post. )

Working for Katherine Harris is like working for Mommie Dearest.

Published Friday, July 14, 2006

Harris Campaign Staffers Leaving
Candidate is called a micromanager with a prima donna attitude.

By BRENDAN FARRINGTON
The Associated Press


TALLAHASSEE -- Katherine Harris' Senate campaign staff is leaving again, and the description of working for the Republican congresswoman plays like a scene out of "Mommie Dearest."

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060714/NEWS/607140357/1004

Posted by: Wells | July 14, 2006 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Larry

Thanks for the reminder. We will welcome the return of Ohio to it's rightful place as one of the biggest of the Blue. Go Buckeyes. Go Ted Strickland.Bring it home.

Posted by: weseto | July 14, 2006 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh. My. God. If you want to hear something so stupid that it's hysterically funny, click onto Frank Murkowski's campaign web page (www.frankmurkowski.com) and listen to his hokey campaign jingle. I can't believe this is a serious attempt to win votes; sounds more like satire to me.

Posted by: alaskan | July 14, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

FH
Yes you get to keep Nascar but, with the failed energy policies of the current administration, very soon you won't be able to afford the gas and the tracks will close. As for grits, you should know that I was born in the great state of Arkansas, which will soon join the list of Blue states. I will get my grits thank you.

Posted by: weseto | July 14, 2006 7:08 PM | Report abuse

RMill, SC may soon be on that bench as well. Tommy Moore is a good candidate and if Knotts gets in the race as a indie, it'll be an interesting race indeed.

Posted by: Rob Millette | July 14, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Being a true American who does not lie cheat and steal to win elections is an agenda now? A big lawsuit has been filed against the companies making the electronic voting machines by the same lawyers that sucessfully sued the tobacco companies for billions. You will soon have your unbiased facts if the right wing main stream media covers it. The truth is coming out soon.

Posted by: Larry | July 14, 2006 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Give me the facts, but give me all the facts. I love facts. I'm a facts guy. If your facts are better than my facts, I will be happy to admit I was wrong. But don't give me some guy with an agenda as your source.

Posted by: FH | July 14, 2006 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad you cannot handle the truth. There are about 23% - 25% of this country that is willfully ignorant and these people cannot be changed even when facts are presented. It is no way to be an american.

Posted by: Larry | July 14, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

This probably satifies no one, but I think that Blackwell's actions in Ohio were highly partisan but ultimately legal. I don't think anyone can deny that the guy made a concerted effort to wipe likely Democratic voters off the roles based upon any technicality he could find, but there's not anything illegal about that. I like Robert Kennedy Jr., but I've read quite a number of articles that question many of the premises of the article cited above. Besides - would it really have been such a good thing to have Kerry win the electoral college while losing the popular vote? I don't like that idea any better when it favors a Dem than when it favors a Republican.

To tie this all back in to the Governors discussion, I personally am looking forward to Blackwell losing by double digits. That guy is SCARY conservative and his plans, if enacted, would be horrible for the state. Thank goodness Strickland will destroy him.

Posted by: Colin | July 14, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes...point me to a partisan link so I can get the truth. The truth seems to be that the only ones convicted of a crime during the election was a group of dems...hmmm.

Posted by: FH | July 14, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

the facist neocons have cheating down to a science ask any informed Ohioan. Read RFK's article about the stolen 2004 election at rollingstone.com. Inform yourself

Posted by: Larry | July 14, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Weseto: We get to keep Nascar, though, right? And grits...I can't live without my grits.

Larry: I guess slashing tires doesn't count, huh. Or maybe Republicans are just better at cheating than dems???

Posted by: FH | July 14, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

It is funny how you libs always cry the race is fixed when your guy is the loser. In PA here the race was just as close and because a dem won no one said boo about the ballot stuffing in Philly. I do not hear you boys bringing that up or the media.

Posted by: RICH | July 14, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

oops, sorry about name there, it filled it in automatically

Posted by: travis | July 14, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Someone is now running a cartoonish ad in Wisconsin with real audio clips from Gov Doyle trying to paint the whole administration as corrupt. He's still going to face a lot of attacks trying to link him to a scandal with a state travel contract.

Neither candidate really inspires or excites anyone so it is probably going to come down to party loyalty. I'm not as confident as I used to be, but I think Doyle gets reelected with WI still being blue enough. I hear a lot more complaint from Republicans directed at our two senators and in the end they probably will decide Doyle hasn't been that awful.

Posted by: Travis Serebin | July 14, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

hey bhoomes!

Kerry was elected to the Senate in 1984. Boom, end of career as Lt. Governor.

The Big Dig did not even START until a few years after that. And the concrete wasn't poured in that tunnel for a good DECADE after Kerry left.

I can't believe anyone is taking this seriously. It's like blaming Walter Mondale for the Columbia explosion.

Posted by: Brittain33 | July 14, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

westo do not forget to add Ohio to your list of BLUE states(except that Bush cheated here to win which gives us a false RED reading) Ohio the nations 7th biggest state will be a great asset to the new country. Plus since 70% of welfare cases are rural whites in RED states how will they fund it without the wealthy BLUE states? They will also have to build more abortion clinics since 65% of abortions are from rural white families in RED states also.

Posted by: Larry | July 14, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse



I know it's a little old (June 2005) and some of you may have seen it before. However, I think it is an appropreate responce to the inane prattlings of some people(HI Bhoomes).

Subject: Fw: Letter from California: Think BLUE

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will now be its own country. And we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast.

We spoke to God, and she agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, she's going to shift the whole country at 4:30 PM EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

Here's how it will work out:

You get Texas and all the former slave states.
We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer....You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty....You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft....You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard and the University of California....You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.

You get all the technological innovation in Alabama and Mississippi.

We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue.

You get to make the Red States pay their fair share.

And, since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.

You get a bunch of single moms to support and we know how much you like that.

Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck, the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that hurts!)

Just so we're clear, the Country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States' citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show picture of their kids' caskets coming home.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction.

Seriously, soon with the Blue States in hand, the Democrats have firm control of 80% of the

country's fresh water, over 90% of our pineapple and lettuce, 92% of all fresh fruit production, 93% of the artichoke production, 95% of America's export quality wines, 90% of all cheese production, 90% of the high tech industry, most of the US low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech and MIT. We can live simply but well.

The Red States, on the other hand, now have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health-care cost spike), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of all tornadoes, 90% of all hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, 100% of all Televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. A high price to pay for controlling the presidency.

And, the people in those states are, in the whole, just as stupid as you are. 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually eaten by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% believe that evolution is just a theory, 53% that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 and, most hard to grasp, 61% believe that you are a person of moral conviction.

Sincerely,

The Newly Emancipated Citizens of the Great Country of California


Posted by: weseto | July 14, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse



I know it's a little old (June 2005) and some of you may have seen it before. However, I think it is an appropreate responce to the inane prattlings of some people(HI Bhoomes).

Subject: Fw: Letter from California: Think BLUE

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will now be its own country. And we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast.

We spoke to God, and she agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, she's going to shift the whole country at 4:30 PM EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

Here's how it will work out:

You get Texas and all the former slave states.
We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer....You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty....You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft....You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard and the University of California....You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.

You get all the technological innovation in Alabama and Mississippi.

We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue.

You get to make the Red States pay their fair share.

And, since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.

You get a bunch of single moms to support and we know how much you like that.

Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck, the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that hurts!)

Just so we're clear, the Country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States' citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show picture of their kids' caskets coming home.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction.

Seriously, soon with the Blue States in hand, the Democrats have firm control of 80% of the

country's fresh water, over 90% of our pineapple and lettuce, 92% of all fresh fruit production, 93% of the artichoke production, 95% of America's export quality wines, 90% of all cheese production, 90% of the high tech industry, most of the US low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech and MIT. We can live simply but well.

The Red States, on the other hand, now have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health-care cost spike), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of all tornadoes, 90% of all hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, 100% of all Televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. A high price to pay for controlling the presidency.

And, the people in those states are, in the whole, just as stupid as you are. 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually eaten by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% believe that evolution is just a theory, 53% that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 and, most hard to grasp, 61% believe that you are a person of moral conviction.

Sincerely,

The Newly Emancipated Citizens of the Great Country of California


Posted by: weseto | July 14, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

John Binkley (riverboat captain, former state senator, Alaska Railroad chairman) is the GOP candidate. Brinkley the dog is, I assume, an independent. Brinkley (named for David Brinkley) is getting lots of support so far, so I'm not making any predictions about him! I don't know if the dog helps or hurts Binkley the man.
Thanks for trying to get the discussion back to the governors. I think the Alaska race is really, really interesting (OK, I'm a little biased here) because of the gas pipeline stuff and the seething anger at Murkowski and the oil companies that non-Alaskans seem to miss. There is almost no other issue being discussed. It's just incredibly amusing to watch The Fix and others assume that Murkowski has some kind of advantage because he's the incumbent. By the way, Alaskans have in the past been perfectly willing to dump incumbent governors (though unfortunately not incumbent members of Congress).

Posted by: alaskan | July 14, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What about the impact of the immigration reform bills passed in CO? Some Republicans in the statehouse are mad that Gov Owens compromised with the Democratic leadership and are saying lots of unflattering things about him.

The gov called the special session on immigration because the Republicans wanted a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November to turn out their base. But that backfired: they're not getting the constitutional ammendment on the ballot, and the statehouse Dems are on the record as passing immigration reform that's tough, humane and enforcable, and working across party lines. With Dems defending both chambers of the CO statehouse that they have now by narrow margins, this is huge.

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4035126

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/government/article/0,2777,DRMN_23906_4835754,00.html

Posted by: ADS | July 14, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Potato, Potahto...

couldn't resist.

Posted by: Jake | July 14, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Is Binkley the dog or the Republican in the Alaska race?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 14, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Let's at least try to have an intelligent dialogue." - Let's do that one better and let's get back to G O V E R N O R S .

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 14, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Last post should start "Hmmm, so the Middle East would be more unstable if we hadn't gone into Iraq eh?"

Posted by: Colin | July 14, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, so the Middle East would be more stable if we hadn't gone into Iraq eh? That's an interesting hypothesis, and by "interesting" I mean completely unsubstantiated and nonsensical.

Taking military action in Iraq (1) has allowed (admittedly evil and crazy) terrorists to paint the US as an imperial power bent on destroying Islam, thereby energizing their recruiting and fundraising efforts; (2) has reduced if not eliminated our ability to threaten/use force against countries such as N. Korea that present far more serious threats to US interests than Iraq ever did; and (3) has thoroughly distracted the US from engaging in any kind of dialogue regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Posted by: Colin | July 14, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

oooooookay. Let's get this straight: Bill Clinton did not set Yasser Arafat up with a bevy of limber prostitutes while he was at the White House. He was invited (along with the Israeli leaders) because Clinton was trying to broker some kind of deal between them, and almost succeeded. Came closer, in fact, than any other president to creating a two-state solution, though Arafat ended up turning it down. While we can agree that Arafat was a reprehensible terrorist, Clinton's motives were good, and he certainly wasn't pimping out interns to foreign heads of state. Let's at least try to have an intelligent dialogue.

Posted by: Jake | July 14, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

NOOOOOOO!!! Bhoomes knows more about Massachusetts history than I do! Dag! I wish I had a gay cousin to use as a cheat sheet.

So far we've heard such priceless nuggets of historical goodness as John Kerry was bribed by the mafia and Sam Adams didn't like George Washington. What incredibly irrelevant Massachusetts historical tidbit WILL Bhoomes unveil NEXT?!? (Elbridge Gerry wore ladies' underwear?)

Thanks for the response, Boulder Billy - in my opinion the mass migration from the Northeast to the Southwest should prove the most interesting demographic/political shift of this century...

I am heartened that Deval Patrick seems to be doing well. I met him recently, heard him speak, he's a smart guy, seems very solid, and has interesting things to say. Tom Reilly is one of those old school Mass. politicians that talks Fluffernutter at the state house. Gabrieli doesn't have much to say except "Stem cells....stem cells....stem cells...."

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RMILL, its nice to debate someone without a thin skin, (frankly, I get a kick out of my dings from others as long as they are sacastic or funny)If Bush had not invaded, that means today as we talk, Saddam is still in power, still shooting at our aircrafts, still funneling money to Hamas and terrorists around the world, and sill plotting ways to get even with America. The region while I admit is a mess, I believe it would probably be worse if we had not invaded. At least, unlike Clinton, he didn't invite that terrorist Arafat to the White House and provided him with young interns to keep him entertained.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Not taking offense bhoomes but...

What is Bush's excuse (he just turned 60).

I understand that the middle east conflict has outlived every world leader ever elected, ascended to a throne or took power by force.

My point was that American intervention has never stabilized and often de-stabilized the situation.

Bush and his cowboy philosophy on foreign and military affairs has only allowed other nations to conduct themselves more recklessly without fear of US reprisal or condemnation.

If you do not understand that then I am not the one being naive here.

Bush has so little understanding and grasp of the power his smirking quips have around the world, how would he possibly grasp the inherantly negative impacts of military action.

Posted by: RMill | July 14, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The Fix makes a mistake common among analysts outside of Alaska -- assuming that the governor's race is a Knowles-Murkowski contest. Knowles will have no trouble winning his primary, but Murkowski is already a goner. He is widely destested, and that's just among Republicans. Truth be told, the Democrats would absolutely love it if this boiled down to a Knowles-Murkowski race, because then Knowles, or maybe even that dog whose owner is running a gubernatorial "campaign," would win in his sleep. Instead, it will be a close Knowles-Palin-Halcro race or a close Knowles-Binkley-Halcro race.

Posted by: alaskan | July 14, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

uh.... bhoomes? Maybe you shouldnt talk anymore. You're embarassing yourself.

And Ted Kennedy? They keep reelecting him because he's been great for labor (blue-collar workers are his biggest supporters) as well as education and healthcare. Also, as a very experienced senior Senator, he is well-positioned to bring funds back to his state.
Next time try to make a substantive argument, and perhaps stay away from the "I know soooo much more than you do!" approach. The rest of us got tired of that after preschool.

Posted by: Jake | July 14, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Isn't E.J. Dionne from Massachusetts, so I can only differ from him at my own peril because he is from the state that has the smartest people according to Jake and Venicemenace. Look I don't know how the situation is going to play out in Iraq and neither do you. History and History alone will determine whether Bush was right and it far to soon to write that chapter. From what I read, the Arab world does respect military power and the willingness to use it and little respect for people who want to talk them to death (ie: Joe Biden, Chris Dodd) But in fairness to Joe and Chris, I don't believe there is anything they can do until the idiot palestians decide they want to live in peace.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Why are we totally ignoring the race in Oregon? Kulungoski is extremely unliked, he's facing a Republican in Saxton who is moving towards the center, and Independent Ben Westlund is drawing a lot of support from people that voted for Kulungoski last time around. This is a major race.

Posted by: Wigwam | July 14, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: peter | July 14, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes:

Consider Vice President Cheney's address before the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 26, 2002, one of the earliest major public arguments the administration made for war. The lead of the news stories was Cheney's claim that there was "no doubt" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was prepared to use them. "The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action," Cheney declared.

But then there was the delightful promise of what American success in Iraq could achieve. "Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad," Cheney said. "Moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced."

Today, with Israeli troops battling on their northern and southern borders, with Iran ignoring calls for negotiations on nuclear weapons, with Baghdad in flames and with many of Iraq's moderates living in fear, those Cheney sentences stand as the most telling indictment of the administration's failures.

If Israelis and Palestinians were closer to peace, if Iraqi democracy showed signs of stability -- these might justify a war fought in part on the basis of false premises.

But when the Big Bang happened, the wreckage left behind took the form of reduced American influence, American armed forces stretched to their limit and a Middle East more dangerously unstable than it was at the beginning of 2003. Whether one ascribes these troubles to the flawed implementation of the Big Bang Theory or to the theory itself, what matters now is how to limit and, if possible, undo some of the damage.

- excerpted from an E.J. Dionne editorial in today's Post

I agree that neither the administation nor the American government as a whole does not currently bear any direct responsibility for Olmert's actions and the increasingly complicated situation in Israel. However, the administration clearly made a point of connecting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with its own invasion of Iraq, and on those grounds we can call its foreign policy a failure.

Posted by: peter | July 14, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes -- Somehow me thinks that "conservative" had a bit different meaning when Churchill used the term. For example, I don't think that Churchill advocated tax breaks for the wealthy in the middle of a war or thought it was a good idea to fail to provide adequate body armor to the troops while campaigning against important things like gay marriage. Similarly, WWII is just a TAD different than the current conflict we find ourselves in since it was a WORLD WAR that directly impacted US interests and involved mass genocide. That's why the DEMOCRATIC party and FDR led us into that war over the objection of isolationist REPUBLICANS. Other than that, great point - especially with your appealing condescension!

Seriously, what are you talking about today? Mass is the most corrupt state b/c.....well.....of the Big Dig? OK, that's interesting. And what ever happened to your assertions (along with KOZ's) that Iraq was going to let us stabilize the Middle East? Do you prefer to only talk about that when you can claim things are going well? Seems to me you either have to decide to support our decisions there or not - you can't pick and choose. Unless, perhaps, you're a dreaded...."flip flopper?"

Posted by: Colin | July 14, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Minntelect and Curious - I agree. The Minnesota race, with the addition of Judi Dutcher, may be a race to start paying attention to. I know I have started following it pretty closely.

Posted by: ajley | July 14, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

RMILL, It's a bad day for anybody who wants to live in a peacefull world. But you don't get there by being naive about evil regimes and believing somehow America is the root of all the problems in the world. No democrat or republican has been able to bring peace and stablity to this region. Reading some of the blogs here I am reminded about what Churchhill said " If you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart, if you are not a conservative when you are old, you have no brain". I will give you the benefit of doubt RMILL that you are still young.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

RMill,
I agree that Iowa is way to high on Chris's list. I just don't understand why he keeps sticking it up there. Iowa is purple state but they have a democratic governor that seems to be very well liked. Culver is a part of that as the secretary of state. He has run state wide campaigns where Nussle has not. Given the current wind at the democrats back I don't see the GOP picking it up.

Mass is shaping up to be very interesting. Healey is going to lose no matter what. Reilly is going to use the recent disaster to try and get into the state house corner office. I thought he was dead in the water, but in the past he has been very successful on managing things like this (his role in the gay marriage debate was great). I still think Deval Patrick wins but it is alot more interesting now.

Posted by: Andy R | July 14, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

This continued destabilization in the Middle East is a direct result of American policies there. The over-reaction IMO by the IDF was paved by US actions in Afganastan and Iraq. Of course Bush can't criticize Ohlmert without opening himself to criticism and cries of hypocrisy.

I wonder where KoZ is? Always touting the success in the Middle East of Bush foreign/military policies.

New record highs for oil; nearly all out war in Lebanon and Isreal. Now affecting the Stock Market (down 400 pts in three days). This is bad for Repubs.

Posted by: RMill | July 14, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Go Ken Go!!!


COLUMBUS - Once again Ken Blackwell failed to put his wallet where his mouth is by arguing about privatizing the Ohio Turnpike to increase revenue but failing to pay his own tolls when his campaign went through the Turnpike July 6.

The Associated Press is reporting [Click to see the Article] that Blackwell on a trip last week to promote privatization of the Turnpike failed to pay tolls by requesting non-revenue status in his campaign car.

AP reported that, "The State Highway Patrol, which drove Blackwell on the two-city tour July 6, asked for and received permission to travel the road for free, Turnpike records show."

The  Toll waiver brought an unusually strong reaction from fellow GOP Turnpike Executive Director Gary Suhadolnik who according to AP wrote Blackwell an angry letter on the day of his event warning against future use of the roadway for campaign events.

"The Toll Plazas are utilized by authorized Commission personnel for administrative purposes exclusively, not for the purpose of engaging in public debate," wrote Suhadolnik, a Strongsville Republican who spent 18 years in the state Senate.

Congressman Ted Strickland, a candidate for Governor told the AP that: U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, Blackwell's Democratic rival in the governor's race, called the act small but revealing.

"All the other citizens that drove the Turnpike that day - I assume, except for under these very circumspect conditions - paid their toll," he said. "I think little things reflect whether we consider ourselves to be in a special class or maybe have some kind of elite status."

This is not the first time Blackwell's campaign positions have appeared to be at odds with his personal behavior.

During the Primary campaign Blackwell was found to have:

Opposed contraception known as the "Morning After Pill",but invested in stock in the company that makes the medication.
Opposed legalized gambling, but invested in one of the largest gambling equipment makers in the world.
Pushed for use of Diebold election equipment while being a stockholder of the company.

"Ken Blackwell continues to show hypocritical behavior. Where is his integrity when he takes positions that do not match his own personal behavior? How can you trust Ken Blackwell, when he contradicts himself with his own personal behavior on a regular basis."

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 14, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Given the relatively recent performance of Republicans when they have so many positions of power, there is no reason to vote for any Republican, anytime, anyplace. They simply cannot govern. Starting with Nixon, then Reagan, and Bush II, all had (or have) no moral or ethical grounding. If you know what a scythe is, one should figuratively be used on the Republican Party. The only anaylsis needed is psycho-analysis of someone who falls for the same tired old nonsense from the Republicans. This is a party that should simply be destroyed, and replaced with a party that is, at least occasionally, intellectually honest. There are many options to the Republican and Democratic Parties, but the best bet is to "hold our nose" and vote for Democrats.

Posted by: Analysis | July 14, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The real issue seems to be that people are just getting tired of Republican rule. It is typical of people in the U.S. to rotate parties every so often in order to get a fresh prospective. I think it is something that makes this country so great.

I can't help but wonder if events in the Mid-East right now might not turn the tide a little on dem. victories on a national level. Republicans tend to poll much better, until recently, when it comes to foreign policy issues. And what we have right now with Israel et al is most definitely a world crisis....question is, how big a crises is it going to become?

Posted by: FH | July 14, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

drindl

It has happened in the US before.

The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, forwarded by the Adams administration imprisoned many newspaper publishers.

Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1861 and led to various actions along the same lines as the Sedition act.

The Sedition Act of 1918, passed by Congress at the behest of the Wilson Administration during World War I. Apparently, newspapers had learned their lesson by then and many endorsed its passage. It was eventually repealed in 1921.

Posted by: RMill | July 14, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Things are definitely looking up for Governor Granholm in MI. As you said, the announcement that Google will set up shop in Ann Arbor with up to 1,000 high paying jobs is a great development. Plus, with political consultant Adolph Mongo, who has been linked to the State Republican party, running ads that compare Granholm and the Democrats to Hitler, the Republican strategy is revealed.

Dick DeVos has an economic plan that is lacking in ideas and details and his record as head of Amway/Alticor isn't exactly something that he wants to flaunt.

Now that the MDP and the Granholm campaign are advertising and addressing the false claims of DeVos, her numbers will likely improve significantly.

Posted by: Brad | July 14, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter: The Fluffernutter thing was of course a huge waste of time, but that's what state legislature do -- waste time.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 14, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It is fortunate for Venicemenence or should his moniker be Dennisthemenace didn't take my bait on Massachusetts history or I would had embarassed him on how much more I know about his state's history than he does. Oh! I forgot according to Jake, the people of Ma. have the highest IQ's, just don't ask them anything about their history or their sycophant worship of the Kennedys.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for Bhoomes to finally get to blaming Bill Clinton for the Big Dig, after all he was President while the mob was bribing everybody.

However, you have to admit that a state legislature that can get worked-up and waste time on Fluffer Nutters has to be a "little screwed-up"

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 14, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich has a campaign GOAL of $20 M. He doesn't have $20 M on-hand. HIs Jan 2006 report listed $8.4 M on hand. Media reports showed he had surpassed $10 M this spring.

His approval rating is 44% and has been in steady decline all year.

Iowa is still placed too high IMO.

1.NY
2.OH
3.AR
4.MD
5.MA
6.AK
7.ME
8.IA
9.MI
10.MN/CO

Bullpen
WI
RI
CA
FL
GA
IL
NV

Posted by: RMill | July 14, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Absolutly! CO natives aren't necisarly going Blue, but the front range is rapidly growing mostly from coastal liberals moving here to enjoy the affordable housing and amazing mountains views. They are certainly changing the face of politics here. More evidence of this is the Denver is now one of three cities cometing for the DNC conference in 08. This never would have happened 10 years ago.

Posted by: Boulder Billy | July 14, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

You overlooked California on your list. No way we are going to reelect that juiced up Arnold.

Posted by: L R | July 14, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I cannot see how an informed voter could go for Nussle. He cannot truly go for the typical Republican "family values and fiscal conservative" route if one knows anything about his past. It seems a lot of people in the state are finally gettring introduced to the real Nussle.

Posted by: iowaluck | July 14, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It's a fact, venicemenace. The press is scared of republicans. But again, look what happens to them when they dare cross them. Accusations of treason, calls for reporters and editors to be imprisoned, executed, assasinated.

People get freaked out when you make the comparison, but I'm sorry, those are the tactics of authoritarian states--exactly what Hitler and Stalin did. It can happen here, and it is happening here.

I urge everyone to read John Dean's new book, 'Conversatives Without Conscience'. He knows the party as well as anyone alive.

Posted by: Drindl | July 14, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Boulder Billy, have you noticed a significant blueward shift in CO in recent years, as Chris suggests? I for sure saw one underway during my years living in Phoenix - the old school AZers were still very conservative, but the state (like all of the southwest) was slowly being flooded with liberals...

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, you're onto something with the double standard. I saw a very interesting panel discussion about this taken from the Yearly Kos conference on CSPAN2 the other day. Dems want to be loved by the press, but they get no love in return. Reps attack the press, and get muted coverage as a result.

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see you have CO on the list, but I think it should be ranked more competitivly. Bill Ritter is spending his money well and has already locked up signifigant ad buys. With two very competitive congressional races also on the front range Beauprez is going to have a hard time securing the ad he's going to need. Beauprez is also has very high negatives that he hasn't even started to address yet.

Posted by: Boulder Billy | July 14, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

So now Sam Adams' actions and beliefs represent all of Massachusetts, just like Ted Kennedy's do today? When did I ever say MA was the greatest contributor to independence? This isn't a thirteen colonies pissing contest, man.

Your gifts for distortion and misrepresentation are positively Roveian. Naah, I shouldn't insult Karl like that, his obfuscations are significantly more opaque.

And Loudoun makes a good point. Massachusetts has been run by GOP governors dating back to William Weld. If it's still as rife with corruption as you say, shouldn't the GOP executives bear the blame for that, not the federal reprentatives who have nothing to do with day-to-day management of the state???

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Mass is most corupt? Ever hear of Ohio with its voter fraud covicted gov and embezelling of state workers comp fund? Ohio has been run by Republicans for 16 years even though Dems out number Reps by a wide margin. Mass is one of the most civilized states in america. Lowest divorce and abortion rates too.

Posted by: Larry | July 14, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Venicemenace--aaaaaaarggghhh. i'eve just been mistaken for a republican. i must go wash with lye soap until my skin peels off.

And yes, you are right, I shouldn't call Chris a coward. It is rude. But I wasn't referring to him directly...although I guess it sounded like tarring him with the same broad brush I applied to the press corps in general. But considering how much controversy there was over the last election, especially how badly it reeked in Ohio, you'd think they could've paid a little more attention.

You know, if a Democrat had been announced as winner and there was even a whiff of fraud, the papers would have been all over it. There is a double standard in coverage, because republicans h ave over the years cowed and pavloved the press so much that they're afraid to challenge them. But then of course, look what happens when they do -- they get death threats, like Bill Keller.

Posted by: Drindl | July 14, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Not backing off anything, jusy trying to be polite. Your state is the most corrupt in the union and since you want to throw history in it, if Sam Adams have had is way, George Washington would have been fired in place of that coward Horatio Gates. Virginia was the biggest contributor to this nations independence, not Ma.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The past four Mass governors, that is.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 14, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes: Of course Massachusetts is a little screwed up. The past four have been Republicans.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 14, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes, I find it interesting that you've backed off from "beyond embarrasment" and "most corrupt" to "a little screwed up". I'm not saying the state is perfect, Mitt Romney is our governor after all (haha, joking). I just object to your wide-ranging slams on Massachusetts, which emerged completely out of nowhere yesterday. I'm not going to stand by and let you take cheap shots at the state that began the American Revolution, paving the way for all our freedoms!

Sure, MA has had some corruption. Hasn't every state?! Any huge government enterprise like the Big Dig is going to run into problems like these (bad concrete sold by shysters, for instance). That does NOT prove causation between Kerry's relatively powerless Lt. Governorship and the recent disaster in the No. 9 tunnel. And I think you concede that in your last post...

Stereotyping you based on my view of conservatives? I have many close conservative friends, I've voted for conservatives. I have no problem with conservatives, just unabashed ad hominem liberal-bashers.

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

See what I'm talking about, Drindl? I'm pretty sure Lenny just confused you for a neocon. We're all fallible...

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Venicemenace: I don't hate anybody or any groups, your just stereotyping me based on your view of conservatives. Raise your game. I have a gay cousin who lives in Ma. and who is also liberal, and he would be the 1st to admit the state is a little screwed up. That the Mob recieve contracts on the Big Dig is beyond dispute(do a lexus-nexus if you don;t believe it)and that John Kerry was Lt. Governor is beyond dispute. Did he take bribes, probably not, but he sure shares in some of the blame now doesn't he.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Drindl -
Chris isn't perfect, none of us are, but let's not call him a coward on his own blog. Would you insult someone like that if you were a guest in their home?

I think the best solution to these closely contested and sometimes sketchy elections is for Dems to obtain 60%+ of the true vote. As we saw even in the budding democracy in Ukraine, fixed election results will not withstand public pressure if a strong majority knows it has been screwed. But when the battle is over a few percentage points, it is difficult to overturn the announced result. Instead of bemoaning the situation, we should be working to build a larger consensus.

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Both Drindle and Viva can talk about how Blackwell "will win" and "should win." Let's wait until Nov. when he loses by over 10%. Moderate Republican and Indpendents are running from this clown. If I were Strickland I wouldn't even debate Blackwell. Blackwell's campaign is underestimating Strickland. Every legitimate poll has Strickland leading by double digits and Blackwell has been grabbing the headlines. Just wait until after Labor Day when the negative adds come out about Blackwell. Strickland coasts in Nov!

Posted by: Lenny | July 14, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

We all know Blackwell is a scumbag here in OH. He stands no chance. Many Republicans will not vot for him few african americans will. The racist fake phoney christians in the rural areas of OH will not vote for him. Blackwell is known throughout Ohio as having the biggest part of the cheating and voter suppression that denied Kerry a win in 2004. Blackwell only fools the fools.

Posted by: Larry | July 14, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Everyone should read Kennedy's article if they want to know just how precarious democracy is in this country and just how easily elections can be stolen.

It would be nice if the cowards in the media [ahem, chris] would address the issue, too. Blackwell is as bad as it gets and chris has never even mentioned how contemptible he is.

Posted by: Drindl | July 14, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

With a 56 percent approval rating, is it not possible that Ehrlich's $20 million campaign war chest could help persuade many Democrats (who elected him in 2002) to come back to him? If O'Malley thinks he is a shoo-in because Maryland usually elects Democrats, he should talk to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

In addition, read Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s article in Rolling Stone about how the Republicans stole the 2004 election, and join me in utter and complete contempt for Kenneth Blackwell, a total sleaze bag. Stickland should and probably will trounce him.

Posted by: Jersey Boy | July 14, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes, your response was a joke.

The mafia bribed John Kerry for the right to install dropped ceilings in the Ted Williams Tunnel? Wonderful conspiracy theory you've got there. Care to offer any proof, or are you just going to sling mud?

You don't like Ted Kennedy. I understand. He has been an effective liberal legislator for decades. And I know you could go on for hours about his moral flaws, just as I could about some GOP leaders. In truth, I'm not his biggest fan. But to suggest that re-electing a powerful Senator is tantamount to a state-wide disgrace is not productive discourse. Essentially, you responded to my thoughts on the gubernatorial election with what boils down to "I HATE LIBERALS". That's weak. Massachusetts has proven VERY willing to elect competent GOP candidates; we're not the mindless left-wingers you would like to believe us to be. I just don't think Kerry Healey fits the bill.

I know this blog can be home to some of the "Bush is a Terrorist" crowd, but it disturbs me that every conservative that comes on here immediately sinks to their level. I made some rational points in response to your postings and you replied with garbage. Raise your game, bhoomes, or get gone.

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Jake, you have to type slowly when you talk to bhooms about stuff like 'the highest overall IQ'. He doesn't understand abstract concepts like 'intelligence'. I mean, here's someone who talks about 'republicans cleaning up corruption' --apparently with a straight face.

I know we're talking governors, but in the senate race... another nutty republican and her 'family values':

--Brother of GOP Candidate Calls Her "Evil"
The brother of Republican K.T. McFarland, a Reagan-era Defense official who's challenging Hillary Clinton for her New York Senate seat, called Ms. McFarland "evil" yesterday. Why? As the New York Post puts it:
Tom Troia, of Janesville, Wis., accused his sister of conjuring up [abuse] allegations [against her father] in a spiteful letter she gave to her parents in 1992 in hopes of killing her father with a heart attack while also rubbing in another brother's face that he was dying of AIDS.

Why would she do such a thing? Tom says he doesn't know. "Evil needs no reason."

--Oh yeah, this woman is also the one who said Hillary was spying on her 'from a black helicopter'.

I'm not Hillary's biggest fan, but she's a hell of a lot better than her evil republican opponents -- a bigamist and a certified loony.

Posted by: Drindl | July 14, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Minnesota's gubernatorial race will be close. Gov. Tim Pawlenty is a lot like Maryland's Erlich - people like him (his approval ratings are generally higher than his disapproval) yet may not vote for him. His greatest strenghts are his likeability and the fact that he fixed a $4.5 billion state deficit without raising taxes (although Democrats will point out that fees in Minnesota have greatly increased). But the state has become bitterly partisan during his four years, complete with its first government shutdown last year. A recent study from the University of California - San Diego ranked Pawlenty as the nation's most polarizing governor.

Pawlenty will face 8-year attorney general Mike Hatch. A majority of the polls taken so far show Hatch with a slight lead. But Hatch, too, is equally polarizing, and he cannot match Pawlenty in terms of folksiness or likeability. Hatch selected former state auditor Judi Dutcher, someone several Democrats felt could have defeated Pawlenty in 2002 had Democrats endorsed her, as his running mate. She was extremely popular, proving to be the highest statewide vote getter in 1998 as a Republican. She became a Democrat in 2000. If the race is close enough, the moderate Dutcher could push Hatch to victory.

Right now, the edge goes narrowly to Pawlenty - he is, after all, a popular incumbent. But this race will be a brawl (Hatch proudly displays a pair of boxing gloves in his office, and he's a former merchant marine), and it won't be surprising if either candidate wins.

www.minntelect.blogspot.com

Posted by: minntelect | July 14, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh-- and almost all of that was achieved by democrats.

Posted by: Jake | July 14, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

funny you should say that, bhoomes. Last time I checked, the people of Massachusetts had near universal healthcare, the highest literacy rates in the country, the most higher education facilities per square mile in the country, one of the best economies and unemployment rates, and the highest overall IQ of any state in the nation. Sounds to me like we're doing pretty well.

Posted by: Jake | July 14, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me, Kerry was Lt. Governor when the mob was bribing everybody for the big dig contracts. Frankly who cares who wins the Ma. race, the state is such a mess it is beyond even the republicans to clean up that corruption. You know a state has real problems win they keep sending Kennedy back to the Senate. Your state is apparently beyond embarassment.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes calls someone 'biased' and not objective? That's pretty funny, pot and the kettle, etc. But then anyone simple enough to believe Blackwell's honest can't have much self-awareness.

Blackwell is possibly the MOST crooked republican running for governor, a rather breathtaking achievement considering how much 'talent' there is in the field.

Posted by: Drindl | July 14, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes, didn't you blame the Big Dig on John Kerry yesterday, calling Massachusetts the most corrupt state in the union? I'll thank you to keep your feelings about the Commonwealth to yourself since you are obviously clueless on the subject. I do agree with you that it's wrong to blame Gov. Romney, and I think he's shown strong leadership on the tunnel crisis. But the Big Dig is the largest public works project ever attempted, and in a city with an unbelievably screwed-up traffic system to boot; I'm not shocked that it continues to be troublesome, but I still feel that it is a great improvement over the horrific old Central Artery.

Massachusetts is guaranteed to switch to a Democratic governor this fall; Kerry Healey is a weak candidate and will easily be trounced by whoever wins the Dem nomination. Deval Patrick is an impressive candidate, while Reilly has the old-school political connections and Gabrieli a fat bankroll. Mike Dukakis is riding the whip hand on these candidates to keep them from going negative (maybe he's threatening to assault their campaign offices in his tank if they do?).

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 14, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Where would you rate Minnesota's race?

Posted by: Curious | July 14, 2006 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I also note that EVERY change in this set of rankings from the last one is to the Democrats' benefit.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 14, 2006 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I notice 7 Republican and 3 Democratic seats on this list. That alone would mean a net gain of 4 Governorships for the Democrats.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 14, 2006 8:32 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes: If you think Blackwell is going to win, why not put your money where your mouth is?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 14, 2006 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to thank Chris for being the first one in the MSM to completely throw the Badger Poll under the bus.

Someone needed to do that years ago.

How off is the poll? Well in 2004, it had Bush winning Wisconsin by 14%.

It's that off.

Posted by: KJB in WI | July 14, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Blackwell is Ohio's poster boy for voter disenfranchisement. He hijacked democracy in '04 in Ohio.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | July 14, 2006 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I still like Blackwell chances because he is no more a Taft man than Strickland is. Its going to be close, but Blackwell will win with a coalition of conservatives and a larger share of the african american vote. Question: How many african-americans has Strickland hired? Answer: Notta/Zero, he only cares about african americans when he wants their votes. RMILLET/ How can you blame the Big Dig on Mitt when it happened long before his watch. You bias and lack of objectivity is really starting to show.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 14, 2006 7:48 AM | Report abuse

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