The Widdershins

Continuing the silly season

Posted on: October 23, 2014

2014 election

(sigh) So when is it going to end?  This 2014 election cycle that is.  I am getting hammered (as I’m sure we all are) with the emails, regular mail, commercials on the local channels and even on my computer when I watch the local New Orleans channels on the computer!  And, I’ve had to block my cell phone to just my known contacts because of all the calls even coming in there! Oy vey!  If you don’t have any contested elections in your area then count your lucky stars.  I’m sure everyone is complaining except for the teevee stations who are just raking in the dollahs.

Of course the election that I have a personal interest in is the Senate election in Louisiana pitting incumbent Mary Landrieu against not one but two Republican candidates.  Louisiana has an open primary system.  Actually what we have is called a nonpartisan blanket primary.

Under this system, the candidates receiving the most and second-most votes become the contestants in the general election—as in a runoff election, in a two-round system. (In some cases, this second round of voting is only necessary if no candidate receives an overall majority on the initial ballot.) However, there is no separate party nomination process for candidates before the first round, and political parties are not allowed to whittle-down the field using their own internal processes (e.g., party primaries or conventions). Similarly, it is entirely possible that two candidates of the same political party could advance to the general/run-off.

In Louisiana there is a second round (runoff) between the top two candidates if no candidate wins a simple majority (more than half of the votes) in the first round of balloting. This happens more often with open seats, as incumbents more easily win majorities. The runoff constitutes the general election under Louisiana law even if the general election had two candidates of the same party, a phenomenon which frequently occurs. The only labels originally permitted under the Louisiana law were Democrat, Republican, and No Party; however, as of 2008 the labels of any “registered political party” may be used.[3] The primary has been used in statewide elections since 1975. The system was designed by then-GovernorEdwin Edwards after he had to run in two grueling rounds of the Democratic Primary in 1971 before facing a general election against a well-funded and well-rested Republican, Dave Treen (who himself was elected governor under the new system in 1979).

So on the absentee ballot I just marked, there were any number of candidates from various organizations and then after this primary there will be a second, general election in December.  So after Nov. 4th, we get another month of the mailings, emails, etc.

It’s almost certain that Landrieu will come in first in the primary and then have to face off against Congressman Bill Cassidy.  No one is projecting that she will get the needed fifty percent to avoid the runoff election.  Still, there was an interesting article on about the election.  It seems there has been a surge in new voters heading into the primary election.

In the badly headlined article on it stated:

There are 35,918 more registered voters in Louisiana than there were on Aug. 1. This includes 18,912 more black voters and 18,888 more independent or minor political party voters.

And this further:

The Democratic-lead voter drives could be why there is a surge in black voters, who have typically been supportive of Landrieu. There are more African Americans registered to vote in Louisiana in 2014 than there were in 2008 — a surprising statistic given that President Barack Obama was first on the ballot six years ago.

I also found this little tidbit interesting:  “there was also a bump in black voters who are independents or associated with a minor political party — about 7,800 more people in this category”.

While this may be encouraging news for Mary, the numbers aren’t what they used to be:

Overall, Democratic voter registration in Louisiana is significantly lower than the last time Landrieu was on the ballot. There are 171,736 fewer registered Democratic voters than there were in 2008, during the last U.S. Senate race. Meanwhile, Republicans have picked up 68,702 voters in that same time period.

I believe the two things leading to those reduced Democratic numbers are:  (1) The Katrina diaspora where so many A.A. folks in New Orleans ended up mainly in Houston Tx and Atlanta Ga and decided to stay in those cities, and (2) the continued reddening of the state getting it more in line with the other southern states.  It used to be that you could take a map of Louisiana and draw a horizontal line across the state boarders with that line centering on Alexandria La.  Anything above that line would be pretty much Republican with anything below the line, Acadiana and the metro Nola area being pretty much Democratic.  Now not so much.  Now it’s pretty much just Orleans parish which is predominantly Democratic.  Even with the reduced A.A. population it is still a majority A.A. city/parish.

And of course the phony, untruthful commercials continue to run.  Crossroads GPS (what a name!) and the Koch Bros. groups have hammered Landrieu on the fact that she has a $2 million dollar home on Capitol Hill but her official domicile in Louisiana is her parents’ house.  About the house in DC, her husband is a successful real estate guy in DC and if you can’t make money working in real estate there, there’s something wrong.  Secondly, that’s where she is most of the time:  in DC.  When she is in La, she stays at her mom and dad’s house which mom and dad don’t own, but rather a group of the kids own the property.  I believe there are two apartments in the house and I’m sure Mary stays in one of those.

The second thing they are hitting her on is (sigh) Obamacare, her vote for it and the medicare “cuts”.  This is one of Rove’s little adverts and thank goodness an analysis of its lies was done, although I wonder how many people paid any attention to the “fact check”. Crossroads blames Landrieu for the “cuts” in Medicare.  As the article points out:

The $700 billion does not represent cuts in benefits, but reduced payments to providers made possible, according to the Obama administration, by free preventative care for seniors as a result of the Affordable Care Act, such as free physical exams and a phase out of Medicare’s donut hole for drug purchase — the coverage gap after seniors reach a certain level of prescription drug purchases. Moreover, Democrats say Republicans included the same reductions in their budgets…And while the savings are intended to pay for the increased benefits of the Affordable Care Act, they don’t come directly from Medicare recipients and won’t reduce the Medicare Trust Fund.

And further as the writer stated:

As for the cuts in Medicare Advantage, the CBO pegs the reductions at $156 billion over 10 years, but this year the Obama administration instead of cutting benefits by 2 percent, as originally projected, actually raised benefits by 0.4 percent.

And then there’s Mary’s laugh at Wolf Blitzer (I’d laugh too) when he asks her if she wants to “apologize to the people of Louisiana and what was left out of the commercial:

“They know that I am willing to fix this bill. I’ve always said that. So, I have absolutely nothing to be defensive about. A lot to be proud, to fight for them, for the things that they want. And willing to say, let’s fix what’s broken, but let’s not undermine the great promise of the Affordable Care Act.”

Below is the Crossroads ad:

I’m sure if you are in a state with a federal election of some sort you’ve probably also seen some of “Turn blossom”‘s work.

This is an open thread so discuss however and whatever you wish.

Edited to add the cartoon below.  Comments have been made about Bill Cassidy’s resemblance to the “Frankenstein Monster” and that’s captured in this cartoon from last year by the fearless cartoonist who has bugged Bobby Jindal the last few years.


26 Responses to "Continuing the silly season"

Hey Widdershins: this will be the post that stays up today and Fri. and then I’ll have one for the weekend.

I sure do miss Chat when I have a post like this that appears to be a dud.

My deepest apologies for my absence Hugs I promise to return soon Love Fuzzybear…

{{{FUZZY}}} Where have you been? I gave chat a call earlier to see how her voice was and told her I was going to have to email you because you’ve been absent so long.


No big mid-term races happening here! I don’t think people are even aware that there’s an election coming up.

We’re just waiting for basketball to start ’cause we have our priorities straight. Damn straight.

Hi, Fuzzy! Don’t be a stranger, okay?

Beata@5: I would be willing to take that and I’m not even fond of b-ball.

Hugs to Fuzzybear!

Fredster, thanks for the great post. I was very confused about LA. I feel sorry for Landrieu. God, politics is such a dirty, cutthroat occupation. I haven’t noticed much in the way of extra ads here, but I don’t think there will be too many surprises here in California.

annie@8: It’s certainly a lot of dirty politics going on. There was one Cross Roads commercial that stated: Mary Landrieu has voted with Barack Obama 97% of the time! (Oh my!) Of course what they didn’t saw that out of (x) number of votes, over half of them were confirmation votes for his nominees to different positions that had to be confirmed. Well of course a Senator of the same party as the Prez is more than like to vote to confirm is nominees. But people dont’ look any further than what they see slapped across their teevee screens. SMH

Isn’t she one of the bulldog dems? Wait, its not bulldog, I forget! Have to hit the sack!

annie@10: Those were Blue-Dog Dems. They were mainly in the House of Reps. But Mary is considered a centrist Dem., definitely not on the left side of the party. That’s why I crack up whenever the Republicans or their commercials call her “liberal Mary Landrieu”. She’s hardly that.

Ah, Blue-Dog. Thats what I meant. Thanks Fredster.

Can you believe the latest school shooting? The shooter doesn’t sound at all like the type of kid you would expect to murder his classmates. His friends are shocked. Apparently he was an athlete, and was some kind of prom “prince”, and was considered popular. wth? He shot five kids in the head, then killed himself. Scary as hell.

annie@13: I’m just completely at a loss to figure these things out. I hate to use one of those phrases, but “in my day”, no one would have ever even thought of the idea of bringing a gun to school.

I’m watching Oregon and Cal right now.

I gave up on the Ducks and Cal. Oregon was whopping their butts.

Thats adorable! I wish it was a video. I had a mediocre day, not really bad. Is your team playing tomorrow?

Here we go:

The dudes went to see an interesting blues show tonite. The main guy was an old harmonica player named Charlie Musselwhite. They said he was awesome.

Here’s the guy the dudes saw:

@18: Oh that was hilarious, especially the one who kept trying to go up the slide. 😆

Yep, we play Ole Miss in Baton Rouge at home. The point spread is 3 and a 1/2 for Ole Miss which is pretty good considering Ole Miss is ranked #3 and we’re like 23. It’s possible LSU could pull off the win but they would have to have everything going their way and that’s asking a lot.

Well, anything can happen. We’ll be rooting for le Tigres!

I’ll be glad when this election is over. I heard that the Dem senate candidate in GA is ahead of the repub in the polls.

@23: Well Tiger Stadium can be a very difficult stadium for an opponent to play in; very daunting when the fans are there and wound up. The game is going to be on ESPN 6:15 central time so you all should be able to see it. Also USC and the Utes (?) comes on FS1 at 9 my time. Also, the Bama/Tenn game and Auburn/So. Carolina also start between 6 and 6;30 pm so I’m going to be wearing out a clicker and a hand and arm switching between all of these. Then there are the *other* games being played. (sigh) Sometimes I wish I had a man cave with a wall of about 6-8 teevees so i could catch all of the games. Of course I’d only need it during football season so I guess afterwards I could hook them up to make one big GIANT teevee! 😆

Okay, I’ve got to start gathering my youtube clips and funny news things to write the Sat/Sun. post. The thing is, I’ve been on this #%^#@! computer since this afternoon and I’ve got to give my arms and hands a rest for a bit. o_O

@24: Heard that too and Grimes has pulled closer to McConnell in Ky so the DSCC or whatever is back there putting in more $$s.

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