Post-election blues got you down? Go ahead and and stay curled up in a ball on the couch for Devil’s Advocate tomorrow night as I am joined by Denver Post editorial page editor Curtis Hubbard and Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen for a dissection of what happened on Tuesday and what it might mean for Colorado in 2013. That’s Friday night at 8:30 on Colorado Public Television 12.
Archive for the 'Politics' Category
Only reporting results which represent a change.
U.S. Senate. Gains: Indiana (Donnelly replaces Lugar). NM (Heinrich replaces Bingaman). ND (Heitkamp replaces Conrad).
Senate losses: Mass., Warren defeats Brown (-.5 with NRA C-rated Senator replaced by an F). Virginia, Kaine replaces Webb.
Senate net: +1.5. Ted Cruz’s win in Texas won’t change Senate voting patterns, but the former Texas Solicitor General will be an outstanding and very well-informed leader on Second Amendment issues.
House losses: AZ 9. CA 7 (C-rated Lungren ousted), 26, 36 (Mary Bono Mack), 41, 52. FL 18 (Alan West), 22 (Bloomberg-funded extremist wins), 26. Il 8, 18. MD 6. MN 8. NH 1 & 2. NY 18, 24.
House gains: AZ 2. IA 3 (incumbent vs. incumbent). NC 13 (F-rated incumbent retired). OH 16 (incumbent vs. incumbent).
House net: -12.5.
Governor Loss: Montana (although not officially called yet; winner Steve Bullock has a B- rating). Waiting for results in WA, a possible gain.
Ballot issues. Strengthen Louisiana state right to keep and bear arms, to require strict scrutiny. Win, very important reform, that will be a model in other states. Constitutional right to hunt and fish passes overwhelmingly in Kentucky, Nebraska, and Idaho.
In short, as Barack Hussein Obama, the Juan Domingo Peron of the 21st century, leads America to fiscal collapse, you can at least keep your guns.
As the results come in tonight, I will blog here about the results as they affect the Second Amendment. In an article last week for National Review Online, I previewed all the Senate and Governor races, and all the competitive House races. Election night starts with a net +3 for the Second Amendment in the Senate, regardless of which party wins the Senate races in New Mexico, North Dakota, and Indiana. In all these states, both major party candidates are strong on Second Amendment issues, so the winner will replace retiring anti-gun Senators (Bingaman in N.M., Conrad in N.D.) or an anti-gun Senator who lost in the primary (Lugar in Ind.). To summarize the rest:
The three gubernatorial races that are close and that feature major differences between the candidates on Second Amendment issues are Washington, Montana, and New Hampshire.
. . . In four states — Arizona, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Virginia — there are serious risks that Senate seats could be taken by new senators hostile to gun rights. Plausible opportunities to gain seats for the Second Amendment exist in Maine, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In these eight swing Senate states considered together, the possibility of a net loss probably exceeds the possibility of a net gain.
As for the U.S. House, a rough estimate would be that if the net gain for Democrats is x, then the net loss for gun owners will be about one-half or two-thirds of x. In swing districts, most candidates are unwilling to forgo the 5 percent of the vote that can be lost by opposing Second Amendment rights. So, in these districts, candidates of both parties tend to support the Second Amendment. Thus, the net change in House composition on the gun issue tends to be smaller than the net party change in any given year.
In addition, Louisiana has a ballot referendum to strengthen the state constitution’s right to arms. Idaho, Kentucky, and Nebraska will vote on adding the right to hunt and fish to the state constitution.
I don’t think I have ever uttered these words before, but here goes – be sure to grab a copy of the Denver Post today!
As you may recall our investigative reporter, Todd Shepherd, found that the National Co-chair for the Obama Campaign was himself an evil venture capitalist, very much like Mitt Romney. This man’s firm closed domestic factories and laid-off around 1,000 people in order to save failing businesses. That man was no other than Denver’s own former mayor, former Clinton cabinet member, Federico Pena. This was newsworthy enough for Rush Limbaugh to take it on during his radio show, but the Denver Post, and most all of the Denver media, wouldn’t touch it.
So in today’s Post on page 16a, please enjoy a full-page “Thank You” from us to Federico for his successful work as a venture capitalist. Not only do we want to celebrate free enterprise, but we also want the newspaper of record to cover a story worth telling.
Ready for the fun inside story?
Originally the Post quoted us a price of $6,800 for the ad. After they saw the ad that price magically changed to $23,800. Why? They decided that it should fall under their “political advocacy” rates, even though it didn’t urge a vote or have a call to action. As they told me, “It FEELS like advocacy.” After weeks of asking exactly what magic words in our ad made it “advocacy” the vice president of the paper said it was the identifier “co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign” that would cost the extra $17,000. So what you see on page 16a today doesn’t include those very expensive words.
You can see the original ad here.
A big thanks to our donors who chipped in to celebrate another great American capitalist and helped get it into the Post. Who knows? Maybe this is a new funding model for newspapers. If you want a story covered, you have to buy the ink yourself. If only that applied to both political sides…
I want to give a big thanks to Amy Oliver Cooke for guest hosting my show while I was away. In the first episode, she sat down with former petroleum engineer Donovan Schafer to discuss fracking. Should we fear it like everyone seems to be telling us?
In the second segment, Krista Kafer joins Amy to discuss messaging to women in the 2012 election cycle. How are candidates trying to reach out to women specificially? What’s working?
Each year, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT) rates members of the legislature as friends or foes of Colorado taxpayers. I am quite disappointed to see that for 2012 my own state representative from House District 4 in northwest Denver, Dan Pabon, was second-to-last with a CUT rating of 3.57 percent. Seriously Dan, only second-to-last? Kinda dropped the ball there didn’t you? I’d have thought you would at least match Rep. John Soper’s 0.00 percent rating for a last place tie. But I’ll go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you accidentally voted the wrong way on a bill.
Anyway, as one of your constituents, I’d like to ask that you re-double your efforts for next year’s legislative session and see if you can’t get that CUT rating down to last place. I know the competition is stiff, but make House District 4 proud.
McCulloch v. Maryland had a very good day at the Supreme Court yesterday, with NFIB relying on and applying McCulloch‘s rules for when an enactment violates the Necessary and Proper Clause. What happened after the McCulloch decision also shows the next steps in battle over the individual mandate, as I suggest in an essay this morning for National Review Online.
In refusing to hold the Second Bank of the United States unconstitutional, the McCulloch Court gave Congress broad latitude in Congress’s own evaluation of whether the Bank was “necessary” in a constitutional sense. Relying on and quoting McCulloch, President Andrew Jackson made his own judgment of constitutional necessity when he vetoed the recharter of the Bank in 1832. After a titanic political struggle, the Bank was gone, and a new term created by Jackson, “equal protection,” had become part of what the American People were coming to believe the Constitution was supposed to mean.
President Jackson dealt the Bank a fatal blow by withdrawing federal deposits from the Bank, and moving them to state banks. President Romney can follow Jackson’s lead on his first day in office, instructing the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services to use the waiver powers in the ACA statute to issue waivers to everyone for the individual mandate. Because the individual mandate is (supposedly) a tax, it can then be repealed through the budget reconciliation process, which cannot be filibustered.
I predict that the individual mandate will never mandate anyone. Yet the mandate will be long remembered as one of the most consequential laws enacted by a Congress. The result of the “bank battle” was that even though a central bank was judicially permissible, central banking was politically toxic for the rest of the century. The “mandate battle” may have the same effect in deterring any future thoughts of congressionally-imposed mandates. (Putting aside the obvious exception for mandates that have a solid basis in the constitutional text, such as jury service.)
The enactment of the mandate has also significantly increased the probability that the next Supreme Court appointments will be made by a President and confirmed by a Senate which denounces the mandate as unconstitutional, and that the new Justices will be the kind who are inclined to vigorously enforce the many strong constitutional limits on congressional over-reaching which are articulated in NFIB v. Sebelius.
I would have preferred that the mandate had met its end yesterday morning, but the fact that the mandate will have to be finished off by the People in November and their elected officials in January may lead to even better long-term results for advocates of a constitutionally limited federal government.
My article yesterday for Scotusblog discussed the tremendous importance of the Court’s 7-2 use of the non-coercion rule to limit Spending Clause violations of State sovereignty and independence. The rule has been around ever since Steward Machine Company v. Davis (1937), but NFIB v. Sebelius is the first decision by any federal court to find that a conditional congressional grant violates the rule.
The folks who think that the “evolving Constitution” completed its evolution in 1937-42, and that everything the Court did during those years must be applied today with the broadest possible reading, should be especially pleased with the NFIB Court’s vigorous enforcement of a very important New Deal precedent.
My essay argues that the application of the non-coercion rule, as well as the application of the doctrine of incidental powers for the Necessary and Proper Clause, are among the many elements of the Roberts opinion whose significance approaches that of some of the most important opinions by Chief Justice Marshall.
Although we do not know Chief Justice Roberts’ motives, I suggestion a comparison of NFIB to Marbury v. Madison: adroitly escaping from a partisan assault on the Court itself, the opinion moves constitutional law very far in the opposite of the direction favored by partisan assaulters–and does so in a way that leaves the partisan assaulters unable to use the case in their attacks on the Court.
Former Governor Bill Owens on Devil’s Advocate