Twitter Updates for 2010-11-29

  • @jaketapper Q for gibbs. Was any of the START material released today by wikileaks stuff that @barackobama won't share with senators? #
  • Howard Dean says we need 2 move START 2 show our negotiations mean something. What about trade agreements w/allies that dems block? #
  • @jkp1187 true. but dem stupidity does suggest that arguments against the other side's partisan stupidity are … well .. stupid. in reply to jkp1187 #
  • @daveweigel rand paul! Seriously. The left needs to take seriously their allies on this stuff in reply to daveweigel #

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The fight didn’t stop yesterday. Take it to the state capitals

Last night was an epic victory for conservatives and Republicans. We pushed back against the arrogant, over-spending Congressional Democrats and, by proxy, President Barack Obama. Much of the commentary has talked about the coming gridlock in Washington. For example, The Economist has described “two years of nothing.” But that’s not true. Even if there is little agreement on jobs and other policies, Congress and state governments will have to pass budgets and spending bills.  That provides us an opening to continue to channel our activism, especially at the state level to have profound impact in actually reducing the size of government.

But first, let’s talk about the scope of the victory last night in the state capitals. This afternoon I spoke with GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli about the scope of our victories. Republicans picked up 23 chambers of state legislatures and the most Republican state legislators since 1928. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now control both houses of the state legislature in 25 states. Many of these states are in fiscal crisis. Obama and Congressional Democrats bailed out the states — and their public employee unions — twice. And much of that money was turned around and spent attacking Republicans. Recall that the Wall Street Journal found that AFSCME — the largest public employee union — was the largest spender of the cycle.

But bailouts from Washington should not happen again. House Republicans can stop it from even coming to the floor. We have to continue pressure to make that happen, but we can and will win that fight. The next step is the states. With Republican control of so many state legislatures, we can now force states to reform and their services while cutting government employees. Mitch Daniels did it in Indiana, and with both chambers of the state legislature, they are likely to do more. If our new conservative leaders do this, we can get better service, smaller government, and less union money fighting for more spending in the future. That’s a virtuous circle.

So here’s what we have to do. We have to continue to be involved at the local level. We have to find out what is happening in our state legislatures. And we have to find out who is spending the money and who wants to raise taxes. And we have to fight back and stop them. The next nine months will be critical in wounding Leviathan. If we do, the unions will have less money to spend in 2012 when we defeat Barack Obama.

It has begun in Chicago

Chicago, where I grew up and lived for 26 years, has been the butt of jokes about corruption and election fraud. This behavior has seeped across the border at times into Indiana. For example 31 people were convicted for voter fraud in the 2003 East Chicago (Indiana) Democratic mayoral primary. At the very least, this year the Illinois Democratic Party and election apparatus has become the butt of jokes. Thirty-five counties sent absentee ballots late to military voters, including the county with the largest military vote. (incidentally, Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate for Senate is a Navy Reserves vet) The Illinois Democratic Campaign Committee, chaired by Senator Dick Durbin, sent out nearly 1,000,000 absentee ballot applications late, with return addresses to the state party. A similar operation in Bucks County, PA has resulted in all the absentee ballots to be impounded.

As Hans von Spakovsky noted in a 2008 Heritage Foundation research paper, this has sometimes been a good reason. In this paper, von Spakovsky reviewed media reports and court records from the 1982 election and recount. That year incumbent Republican Governor James Thompson was polling at a 15-point lead, but won by only 6,000 votes. Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic candidate alleged voter fraud downstate and filed suit. The FBI investigated those and charges that it occurred in Chicago.

What particularly struck FBI agent Ernest Locker was how routine vote fraud was for the pre cinct captains, election judges, poll watchers, and political party workers he interviewed. They had been taught how to steal votes (and elections) by their predecessors, who had in turn been taught by their predecessors. Based on his investigation, Locker came to believe the claims, hotly debated among historians, that Mayor Daley threw the 1960 presidential election for John Kennedy with massive ballot stuffing in Chicago. This type of voter fraud, stated Locker, “was an accepted way of life in Chicago.”

Von Spakovsky’s quote of the FBI agent is important. If ballot stuffing in Chicago is an “accepted way of life”, it may be happening today. So why do I raise this? Because it could happen again. Like 1982, the Dems started with legal challenges. This time, they have filed FOIA requests with all the county Boards of Elections

Precinct Registered Ballots Cast Gov_D Gov_R Gov_G Dem % TO %
14 280 348 329 5 5 97.05% 124%
33 230 275 251 9 7 94.01% 120%
36 236 282 268 1 4 98.17% 119%
16 316 336 329 2 1 99.10% 106%
21 234 245 229 6 4 95.82% 105%
26 295 308 288 5 5 96.64% 104%

Working with some friends back home in Chicago, I got results from the 2006 election. The table at the right contains some results from Ward 29. Six precincts recorded vote totals with more votes than registered voters. Now, Rod Blagojevich, the incumbent Democratic governor won re-election by 10 points, with another 10 points going to a Green Party candidate, Rich Whitney. (note that Mr. Whitney is a candidate this year also. His case has become somewhat famous for ballots being printed in predominantly African-American precincts with the name “Rich Whitey”)

With 24% more ballots cast than registered voters in the 14th precinct, it is hard to come up with an explanation other than stuffed ballots. At the time of this election, the Alderman was Isaac Carothers. He has since resigned and plead guilty to federal corruption charges. Von Spakovsky summarized the FBI agent as saying, “[t]hey had been taught how to steal votes (and elections) by their predecessors, who had in turn been taught by their predecessors.” In the case of Carothers, he was told to win by his father William Carothers who lost re-election in 1983 and was convicted of federal corruption charges like his son. The senior Mr. Carothers was Alderman of the 28th ward at the time of the 1982 election discussed above.

Hopefully, it will be a short night in Illinois with a clear result. If it doesn’t we may learn things about Chicago that a number of people in Chicago, Springfield, and the White House find uncomfortable.