Duty Calls - this one is for my husband
This is pretty much every night at my house.
Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell stunned everyone at the Republican state convention Friday by announcing he will challenge 18-term incumbent Don Young for Alaska's lone seat in the U.S. House.
"For too long, we have expected too little from our elected officials," Parnell said. "It is time for change."
Young, the subject of a federal investigation that includes his campaign finance practices, last month refused to answer questions about why his campaign has spent $845,035 on legal fees. Young said only the media, not his constituents, had asked about the fees.
Young refused to answer again when a reporter identified himself as a constituent, but one who had not voted for Young. Parnell seized on that detail in his announcement.
"The notion that an elected official gets to pick who his constituents are based on whether they voted for him -- that is wrong," Parnell said.
Young had briefly left the room and returned to find he had just picked up a formidable primary opponent. He followed Parnell to the dais and delivered a typically feisty reply.
"Sean, congratulations," Young said. "I beat your dad, and I'm going to beat you."
Pat Parnell ran as a Democrat against Young in the 1980 general election. Young received 114,089 votes to the elder Parnell's 39,922, according to the Division of Elections.
Gesturing with his finger toward Parnell, Young said that if Parnell had wanted the U.S. House seat, he should have run two years ago.
"If you wanted to run for this job, you should have done it two years ago instead of running for lieutenant governor," Young said. "You wanted that job. Stay where you are, and that's where you're going to be."
When I heard the comments made by Mrs. Ferraro I knew them right away for what they were. No political analysts, nor Media pundits, nor anyone, in fact, who has not lived and experienced racism first hand can say what constitutes racism. If you have not lived it and don’t know what we all know and have to live through in our neighborhoods, at work, and at school – you are no expert and are uniquely unqualified to pontificate on what statements are racist and which aren’t.
Clinton to NPR: Seat the Michigan and Florida Delegates
In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Sen. Hillary Clinton said that the results of Michigan's Democratic presidential primary should count, even if Barack Obama's name did not appear on the ballot.
"That was his choice," she says. "There was no rule or requirement that he take his name off the ballot. His supporters ran a very aggressive campaign to try to get people to vote uncommitted."
Sen. Clinton: "Unless there's a seat change in American Politics, we're not going to carry Alaska, we're not going to carry North Dakota, we're not going to carry Utah." We need to..."Well, someone had better tell MSNBC that they have it wrong. From back in October:
Steve Inskeep: "States that Barack Obama won..."
Sen. Clinton: "That's right. We need to look at the electoral maps more...look at who can anchor the states we need to win in running against John McCain. He will be formidable..."
Six months ago, anyone predicting that GOP Sen. Ted Stevens would become vulnerable in his bid for a seventh full term probably would have blamed his age. He turns 84 next month. Instead, Stevens is in trouble because of an FBI investigation. The bureau and the senator aren't talking, but most observers think that the probe stems from allegations that Stevens took money for legislative favors
"People are watching the race that haven't watched a Ted Stevens race since 1970," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
Sabato publishes the nationally watched Crystal Ball forecasts of congressional races. The latest version of it declares Stevens "mired in a major corporate scandal."
The ongoing federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics has opened up at least the potential of a political earthquake rocking the state in the fall elections.
"He's more vulnerable than he has been before," conceded Anchorage pollster and political consultant Dave Dittman, who is working for the Stevens campaign.
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader from Nevada, on Thursday strongly urged Begich to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who has held the seat since 1968.
Begich was in Washington, D.C., for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. He spent 30 minutes meeting with Reid on Capitol Hill.
Most of the meeting was spent discussing Alaska issues, Begich said, until the Nevada senator launched a sales pitch.
"They made their hard sell, I appreciated it, and I acknowledged it," Begich said.
Alaska Congressman Don Young said Wednesday he's cooperating with the Justice Department but refused to give details or answer questions about his huge legal bills.
"I have a right to spend my money as I wish to spend it and we are going to continue to do what I think we have to do to get this issue behind us," he said.
Young's re-election campaign spent $854,035 on legal fees over the course of 2007.
Young, 74, has been under investigation for his ties to Veco Corp., for fundraising activities and for his role in specific congressional earmarks, according to various media reports. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Mondale's campaign was already far behind the Republican ticket when Ferraro joined the ticket, and one issue that hurt her credibility was her disclosure of her husband's tax returns. In July 1984, she said she would release both her and her husband's tax returns. Yet a month later she backtracked and said she would release only her returns. Then she backtracked again, saying her husband would release "a financial — a tax statement" on August 20. But she must not have consulted her husband, because Zaccaro initially refused.The results:
After the election the House Ethics Committee officially criticized her mishandling of campaign finances.
Still under public scrutiny her husband pleaded guilty to overstating his net worth in getting a loan and was sentenced to community service. Also, police affidavits surfaced detailing a 1985 meeting between Zacarro and Robert DiBernardo, a captain and porno kingpin for mob boss John Gambino.This was a person you wanted dealing with your campaign finances? Was she the one advising Hillary to refuse release of her tax returns?
More classiness, from one of Clinton's top surrogates, Geraldine Ferraro.If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.Ferraro isn't some unknown lower-level or obscure advisor, but one of her top fundraisers, member of Clinton's finance committee, and a former Democratic vice presidential nominee.
And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."
Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, "Millions of Americans have a point of view different from" Ferraro's.
Discussing the same point in Washington, Jackson said, "We campaigned across the South . . . without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro . . . . Some people are making hysteria while I'm making history."
The state has a larger proportion African-Americans (36 percent, according to the 2000 census) than any other state in the country. And black voters make up nearly 70 percent of registered Democrats.
But Mississippi white voters overwhelmingly backed the New York senator, supporting her over Obama 72 percent to 21 percent.
According to the Associated Press, only two other primary states were as racially polarized -- neighboring Alabama, and Clinton's former home state of Arkansas.
The exit polls also indicated roughly 40 percent of Mississippi Democratic voters said race was an important factor in their vote, and 90 percent of those voters supported Obama.
In Ohio, roughly one in five voters said race factored into their decision. About 60 percent of those voters picked Clinton over Obama.
Demographically, Beam writes, Pennsylvania is “nearly identical” to Ohio, which Clinton won: “86 percent white, compared to Ohio’s 85 percent. Same with its African-American population: 10 percent compared to Ohio’s 12 percent.” But within that picture, it really is three states: The west, dominated by Pittsburgh; the east, dominated by Philadelphia, and the “wide-open, rural” areas of the center dominated by Republicans. Clinton has the support of 13 of the state’s super delegates, Obama four, with nine still undecided. Clinton has been endorsed by the mayor of Philadelphia and Gov. Ed Rendell, who, “while perhaps not the state’s most important endorser, is certainly the loudest.”
“You’ve got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate,” he said bluntly. Our eyes only met briefly, perhaps because the governor wanted to spare the only black guy in the room from feeling self-conscious for backing an obvious loser. “I believe, looking at the returns in my election, that had Lynn Swann [2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate] been the identical candidate that he was –well-spoken [note: Mr. Rendell did not call the brother “articulate”], charismatic, good-looking — but white instead of black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so.”
Not so very long ago, there was a great deal of talk around various progressive parts of wwwLand about how the "half-white, half-black" Barack Obama had "transcended" race and racism. Well, actually, not so much talk about that, but rather talk about why talking about racism is by its very nature divisive.
Racism is divisive. However, not talking about it doesn’t make it go away.
Many people find straight-up discussions of the subject uncomfortable. Or irrelevant. One expression I have heard for the past 20 or so years from whites – both friends and others – goes along the lines of: why do black people (Indians, etc.) keep bringing up racial issues? Things are different now. True. In my lifetime, progress has been made. But race and racism still factor greatly in the social, cultural and political life of this nation. Look at voter suppression. Look at our prisons. Look at our reservations. Look at the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
But because of its history, race now has a significance that it is anti-progressive to ignore. Once introduced into human society, race has implications and human experiences are shaped by it. To ignore the implications of those experiences is a wrong-headed approach, I believe. We are all humans, but our histories and experiences have not all been the same. The question isn't to pretend that this isn't the case, but what we do with that knowledge and recognition.
In a perfect world, perhaps, we'd all be colorblind. But in my experience it's mostly been white people who have claimed to be colorblind and black people who have said they want their blackness to be acknowledged. Black and proud. I've heard black people lament how many times they've been told, "I don't think of you as black," as if that's supposed to be a compliment or as if they're being separated out from other blacks and praised as "one of the good ones." If you're a light-skinned Indian, you get the other side of this: "You don't look Indian."
Since the launching of the Democratic primary campaign, a number of accusations of racism have been made, some of them this week. I’m not going to reprise them and all their nuances now. But if, as seems likely, the presidential contest this fall is between a brown-skinned black man and a cream-colored white man, we can expect more of the same and worse. Perhaps we won’t get force-fed slurs along the lines that Obama fathered a white child, but the idea that race won’t matter in the contest for the Presidency, that it’s been transcended, has pretty much been debunked by events.
"If I was arrested for armed robbery and my mug shot was on the television screen, people wouldn't be debating if I was African-American or not. I'd be a black man going to jail. Now if that's true when bad things are happening, there's no reason why I shouldn't be proud of being a black man when good things are happening, too. "In America, there are two classes of people, white and not-white. If you are white, then you are white, but if you are not white, you are NOT WHITE. Have you ever heard of anyone described as half-white, unless they were visibly another race? No matter how pretty or how smart, if you are not white in America, you are not white.
But Obama didn't have to use the example of armed robbery, all he had to say is if he got into an elevator, some white woman would clutch her purse. The double Ivy League grad (Columbia, Harvard Law) is not white in America, to what degree doesn't matter, he could be half-Mexican like Bill Richardson or Jeb Bush's kids, and they are not white. It's not the degree of blackness you have, but the lack of whiteness.