What's left of the State Democratic Party will fire Chairman Don Bivens at the first opportunity after the election.
They won't fire him for the thumping his candidates received this cycle...he can't be held solely accountable for a national wave. Although Arizona Democrat's showing this cycle is looking to be especially poor
They won't fire him for the huge drop in Democratic voter registration. Although after all the talk of waking the sleeping Hispanic giant through massive registration drives, the 20,000 DECREASE in Democratic registration numbers is pretty humiliating.
No. The party faithful will fire Bivens and his crew for this unbelievable breach of faith and pure abandonment of party ideals.
The piece will have no effect on the race. Do you really think that there's even one Republican who sees the piece and says "Golly, the Democratic Party is right. David Schweikert is just not Conservative enough. I'm going to cast my vote for Nick Coons." Seriously. Is there even ONE Republican who responds to this piece?
Yet Bivens was willing to throw Obama under the bus. The Arizona Democratic Party is using the money donated by the party faithful to tell voters that the most effective way to "Repeal Obama's Health Care Plan" is to elect the Libertarian.
The piece is a concession that the party can't win on its ideals. Bivens has re-defined the upcoming loss. It's not lack of communication. It's not inability to get the message out. It's not that the voters are scared about the economy.
It's about the issues and the Democrats are conceding that they are wrong on the issues. The piece is cynical, disrespectful of the President and abandons the ideals of the Party. Contributors should demand their money back and then they should demand Bivens' head.
Update: Bivens wrote an op ed piecein Sunday's Republic in which he chastizes Republicans for focusing on the President.
...they've tried to capitalize on voter anger by blaming the president and Congress for all of Arizona's problems.
Think about the timing. Bivens submitted that opinion column accusing the Republicans of trhing to "capitalize on voter anger by blaming the president..." while at the same time, he was sending out mail in which he was overtly trying to capitalize on voter anger by blaming the president. Unbelievable.
Post Script: Some are comparing this piece to the recruiting of "Sham" Green candidates. There's no comparison. The Republican Party didn't recruit Green candidates...they were recruited by someone who happened to be a Republican. These piece are an official product of the Arizona Democratic Party.
I'll be on Square Off this Sunday morning on Channel 12 from 8:00 to 9:00 following Meet the Press. Donna Gratehouse, Chris Herstam, Brahm Resnik and I discuss the upcoming elections, Democratic meltdown and NPR story on Russell Pearce...plus predictions for Tuesday.
We will be back on Channel 12 for election night coverage starting at 8:00 on the KPNX Weather Channel and then live at 10:00 ont the Channel 12 main station.
Wow, talk about a desperate move by those whose ideas have been rejected by the populace. The Arizona Democratic Party is sending out mail advocating for the Libertarian Candidate in CD 8 because he is the "Real Conservative."
That's an official concession in the battle of ideas. When the Democrats have a candidate as attractive as Gabby Giffords and instead of arguing that her world view is better than Jesse Kelly's world view--they argue that Steve Stolts is actually more Conservative than Kelly, the Dems have shown that ideas don't matter, and they simply want to win elections. Click the picture to enlarge and see the disclosure on the left.
At least the Stoltz piece has a disclosure. In District 5, someone sent out this piece on behalf of Libertarian Rick Coons but without the required disclosure.
While the Coons piece is actually illegal, I think that both pieces are huge strategic mistakes. It's unlikely that Republicans are going to fall for a piece sent by the Democratic Party telling them to cut the deficit by voting Libertarian. What the pieces do accomplish however is humiliate the Arizona Democratic Party. Instead of fighting for its own ideas and its own candidates, they have resorted to obvious trickery and conceded that their world view is out of step with the voter. The have proven that the only thing that really matters is winning elections.
It was bad enough when Eddie Basha quoted the Goldwater Institute and told voters to vote No on 302 and send a message to the legislature that the need to cut the budget. That piece was a cynical lie, but it was just Eddie, the unions and the Tribes. We expect them to do whatever it takes to win.
But this piece is from the Arizona Democratic Party itself. There's no plausible deniability. Having given up on defending its world view, the Arizona Democratic Party is urging you to vote Libertarian. Think about this final point: The State Democratic Party is using money contributed by Party loyalists to urge voters to "Repeal Obama's Health Care Bill."
Juan Williams and I will be on 91.5 KJZZ's Here and Now with Steve Goldstein on Friday at 11:50 to make my election predictions. I will give my predictions in three categories: Who has run the best campaign. What's going to be the biggest upset and which result will have the biggest impact.
Listen on your way to lunch and let me know if you agree.
Newspaper circulation numbers came out earlier this week and the Republic is down a few percent....It's a death spiral...yada yada yada. Back when I was the only one pointing out that the newspaper business model was collapsing and that web-based content wouldn't sustain it, I wrote elaborate stories explaining my analysis while folks in the comment section--who had IP addresses from the Republic--said how wrong I was. Then came the furloughs, layoffs, collapsing share price gnashing of teeth and it was clear that I was right, so I've moved on.
So let's talk about my second favorite newspaper-in-collapse-theme: Dallas. You will recall that so far in our story, we have the hapless Keven Ann Willey being promoted from Republc political columnist to editor of the Republic Editorial pages and then making the big jump to Editor of the Dallas Morning News Editorial pages.
I cover the story because the disaster that struck the Dallas Morning News could have struck here.
When Keven went to Dallas in 2002, The Morning news had actually experienced an uptick in circulation and had 784,000 Sunday subscribers. Five years after Willey lent her decidedly left of center bent to the editorial pages, the subscription number had fallen to 520,000.
That's when disaster struck. In December of 2007, Willey and the Editorial Board gave the prestigeous "Texan of the Year" award to..."The Illegal Alien."
In the maelstrom that followed, Texans (the legal kind) cancelled their subscriptions by the score. When asked about the number of cancellations, Willey provided the most tone deaf response I've heard from the media.
"Against our customer base, it's just not a material number."
Subscriptions have declined every month since Willey made that statement. The results from the Audit Bureau for the last six months show the Dallas Morning news lost another 5% of Sunday subscribers bringing the total to just under 374,000. That's 400,000 fewer than when she took over.
Against any customer base...that's a material number.
University Tuition has skyrocketed during the Crow and Shelton years. The Arizona Constitution says that tuition should be "as nearly free as possible," but it's hard for the University Presidents to justify their half million dollar salaries if they simply provide a high quality education at a reasonable price. So instead, they follow all the education fads--every course seems to have "Sustainability" in its description--while also hiring as many researchers and building as many buildings as possible.
Now that the state is out of money, students bear the brunt of costs, and tuition has risen so much that middle class kids can't afford to attend college and many degrees have no economic value--the present value of the financial benefit they confer is less than the cost of the tuition it takes to earn them.
The Republic has an interesting article here. I thought this line did a great job showing the mentality that pervades the system.
"The budget cuts are really the story," said Sandy Baum, an independent policy analyst and co-author of the College Board report. "All over the country, states are cutting the budget for public colleges and universities. What are (colleges) going to do?"
Faced with less revenue, the schools chose to raise prices...you know, just like the private sector. I'm sure that Ms Baum's question was rhetorical, but let me give you an answer that may come as a surprise.
Cut costs. I know that must be shocking but education is the only industry in which modernization has lead to higher prices. So instead of creating another chair of sustainability or putting a shiny new building on top of a perfectly good parking lot, how about getting costs in line with revenue. Now that's what I call sustainable.
Here's a question for you political junkies. Why did prohibition require a Constitutional Amendment? The answer is that there was universal agreement that Congress didn't have the authority to ban alcohol. After all, the federal government only had the powers that were enumerated in the Constitution--and the Constitution certainly didn't confer on Congress the power to ban Alcohol.
How quaint. Now Congress decides what type of light bulb you can buy.
Sometimes we forget just how pervasive the federal government has become. I thought this screen shot from AzCentral was a nice reminder.
Folks are wondering why State Senator Russell Pearce has decided to intervene in the proposed Tohono O'odam casino in Glendale. Some argue that he is trying to show that he can deal with issues other than immigration in order to bolster his chances at achieving the Senate Presidency. Some argue that it's a state's rights play.
I think he's just pissed off.
Last week I pointed out this deceptive piece from the "No on 302" folks. The piece is funded by liberal groups who normally complain that the legislature is too conservative and doesn't "invest" enough in children's programs. However, instead of playing it straight, the group decided to chastise the legislature for not CUTTING enough funding. So we have been treated to the bizarre spectacle of Eddie Basha quoting the Goldwater Institute in order to guilt the legislature into cutting programs. This will, of course, backfire because the legislature is likely to take Basha's advice. Basha has now lost the high ground because his own mailer has defined the defeat of Prop 302 as a call for deep cuts.
But that's only one reason why Legislators like Pearce are ticked off. Look who else sponsored the mailer...that's right, the tribes. If you are new to the legislative process, you may ask yourself what the Tohono O'odam's opposition to Prop 302 has to do with the Tohono O'odam casino in Glendale? The answer is that it has everything to do with it. Everything in the Legisature is connected. That means that if the Legislature creates Prop 302 in order to avoid steep cuts in services and the Tohono O'odam use Indian Gaming money to kill that Proposition, then the Legislature is likely to go after the Tohono O'dam's casino.
Seriously, did you not even watch one episode of the Sopranos?
Prop 302 is likely to fail. So the legislature is going to have a $400 million hole in its budget. Naturally, they will use the cover that Eddie and Nadine Basha have provided and cut as much as they can out of the budget.
But they will still need revenue...and they sure as heck aren't going to raise taxes. So they are out of borrowing capacity, and they can't have the First Things First money because their first proposal was shot down by the Tribes. So what's left?
Well, Indian Gaming is left. Of course they can't take the money from the tribes...but they can COMPETE with the tribes. Who said the Tribes had to have a monopoly on Gaming? In fact, putting slot machines at the tracks--the "Racino" proposal--raises about $400 million.
That mailer? It just got A LOT more expensive. Thanks Eddie.
Guess which group is spending the most money this cycle--business? The NRA? Nope. Public employee unions are the biggest spenders.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.
And what are they spending money in order to protect or increase? Unsustainable pensions. Here's a California example.
This month, Stanford's Institute for Economic Policy Research released a study suggesting a more than $500 billion unfunded liability for California's three biggest pension funds—Calpers, Calstrs and the University of California Retirement System. The shortfall is about six times the size of this year's California state budget and seven times more than the outstanding voter-approved general obligations bonds.
Thank you Gray Davis.
Unlike the tension that occurs when private sector management negotiates with a union, the public sector unions work to elect people who will give them higher benefits. The only check on the system is what the taxpayer will bear. And since it has taken years to realize how expensive these generous benefit packages are, the public is only now beginning to realize that they've been fleeced.
I think the public used to look at Firefighters and think about the heroes of 9/11...this cycle, I think they are thinking of someone who retires to a six figure income in his mid 40s.
So while these signs may have been effective a few cycles back. I think that this year they are the kiss of death. Word is that Meyer and Shapira have slight leads. We'll see if they can overcome the union label.