Voting Fraud Claims? Nonsense says former Florida GOP Chairman

Why Florida changed its voting rules…

In an in­ter­view with the Palm Beach Post pub­lished on Sun­day, the for­mer chair­man of the Flori­da Re­pub­li­can par­ty said voter sup­pres­sion was the sole rea­son for the change to the elec­tion rules. Jim Greer, the par­ty chair­man in from 2006 to 2010, said he went to sev­eral meet­ings dur­ing which Re­pub­li­can of­fi­cials dis­cussed the dam­age that ear­ly vot­ing – which brought an un­prec­e­dented num­ber of black vot­ers to the polls in 2008 – had done to the par­ty.

“The Re­pub­li­can Par­ty, the strate­gists, the con­sul­tants, they firm­ly be­lieve that ear­ly vot­ing is bad for Re­pub­li­can Par­ty can­di­dates,” Mr. Greer said. “It’s done for one rea­son and one rea­son on­ly.”

He made it clear the stat­ed rea­son for the change, to re­duce voter fraud, was non­sense.

“They nev­er came in to see me and tell me we had a fraud is­sue,” he told the Post. “It’s all a mar­ket­ing ploy.”

Red State Blue State by Traffic Deaths

Working for Obama in North Carolina and Ohio

A dear friend packed up her belongings, left her home and husband in Portland, OR to go help the Obama campaign in North Carolina a few weeks back.  I thought offering her letter, sent to friends, to others might brighten the light of possibility, next time the call is sounded.  And see two more following Carol’s.

Thank you for your notes and encouragement throughout my weeks in North Carolina… I was too exhausted to answer coherently. Three weeks was not long, but I did jump in with both feet for 15-16 hours per day 7 days a week.

The Obama campaign continued to have great groundwork, and a terrific team, almost entirely volunteers. I have been impressed working with each Obama campaign, at the knowledge, passion, and people skills of the young men and women in leadership roles.  This is clearly what made the difference in Ohio and Florida among other states.  My experience with MoveOn in 2004 was similar too.  Bright, smart, skilled young people working to change things.

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Newt Toots

From HuffPo:  Newt Dumbfounded by Obama Victory

 “The president won an extraordinary victory. And the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it.” He added, “But if you had said to me three weeks ago, Mitt Romney would get fewer votes than John McCain and it looks like he’ll be 2 million fewer, I would have been dumbfounded.”


Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, an adviser to former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Latino outreach, said Sunday the candidate’s failure with those voters was due to hardliners in the Republican party who were “scaring the heck out of them.”

The Hispanics I know were scared of the Republican party,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in a blunt assessment of Romney’s loss. “I think it has to do with our incredibly ridiculous primary process where we force people to say outrageous things, they get nominated, and they have to come back.”

 AND Karen Hughes

“And if another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue,” she wrote. “The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.'”

The Importance of Elizabeth Warren

The good people of Massachussetts have gone a long way to make-up for their egregious electing of Mitt Romney to be their governor some years ago by sending Elizabeth Warren to the United States Senate.  Simon Johnson of MIT Sloan School of Management, gives her a rousing send off:

We need a new approach to regulation more generally – and not just for banking. We should aim to simplify and to make matters more transparent, exactly along Senator Warren’s general lines.

We should confront excessive market power, irrespective of the form that it takes.

We need a new trust-busting moment. And this requires elected officials willing and able to stand up to concentrated and powerful corporate interests. Empower the consumer – and figure out how this can get you elected.

Agree with the people of Massachusetts, and give Elizabeth Warren every opportunity.

Read all.  Very interesting

Fat Cats Whupped (for Now)

Eduardo Porter, on election day, wrote an interesting column in the NY Times, gathering recent data suggesting that Fat Cat donors, and the corporations, don’t get very much for their dollars:

 Corporate watchdogs suggest another cause for concern: campaign contributions driven by corporate executives might harm the long-term interests of their shareholders.

A study published last summer by scholars at Rice University and Long Island University looked at nearly 1,000 firms in the Standard & Poor’s 1,500-stock composite index between 1998 and 2008 and found that most companies that spent on politics — including lobbying and campaign donations — had lower stock market returns.

Another study published this year by economists at the University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas found that companies that contributed to political action committees and other outside political groups between 1991 and 2004 grew more slowly than other firms. These companies invested less and spent less on research and development.

Notably, the study determined that corporate donations to the winners in presidential or Congressional races did not lead to better stock performance over the long term. Indeed, the shares of companies that engaged in political spending underperformed those of companies that did not contribute.

And the relationship between politics and poor performance seems to go both ways: underperforming companies spend more on politics, but spending on politics may also lead companies to underperform.

Which reminds me of the Big Business mantra, conducted by the conservative media, that union members should not have their dues used for political purposes without their express consent.  And shareholders!? I immediately think. The money corporations spend on political causes, not to mention corporate jets, lavish lifestyles and shady business might otherwise go into shareholder returns.


Today’s Times takes a look at the bad bet made by Wall Street:

Few industries have made such a one-sided bet as Wall Street did in opposing President Obama and supporting his Republican rival. The top five sources of contributions to Mr. Romney, a former top private equity executive, were big banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wealthy financiers — led by hedge fund investors — were the biggest group of givers to the main “super PAC” backing Mr. Romney, providing almost $33 million, and gave generously to outside groups in races around the country.

…Wall Street, however, now has to come to terms with an administration it has vilified. What Washington does next will be critically important for the industry, as regulatory agencies work to put their final stamp on financial regulations and as tax increases and spending cuts are set to take effect in the new year unless a deal to avert them is reached. To not have a friend in the White House at this time is one thing, but to have an enemy is quite another.

“Wall Street is now going to have to figure out how to make this relationship work,” said Glenn Schorr, an analyst who follows the big banks for the investment bank Nomura. “It’s not impossible, but it’s not the starting point they had hoped for.”
And of course, they have to start scrambling to implement plan B:

Wall Street is now pivoting from a broad attack on Dodd-Frank to a more targeted approach to its most contentious rules. A central goal, lobbyists say, is to tame unfinished rules that rein in derivatives trading.

“We urge the president to carefully consider the closeness of the election results as he evaluates his regulatory policy priorities for a second term,” Dale Brown, chief executive of the Financial Services Institute, said in a statement on Tuesday night as election returns piled in.

Lobbyists are appealing to more sympathetic members of Congress, urging them to apply pressure on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which has proved to be an aggressive foe of the banks. Financial trade groups are also expected to line up behind a new bill in Congress that would undercut the authority of agencies like the trading commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The bill, which a Senate committee is expected to vote on this month, would subject independent regulators to heightened rule-writing standards.

Obama Victory Speech

Latino Vote Devastated GOP Even Worse Than Exits Showed

From Talking Points Memo:

Mitt Romney lost Latinos by unprecedented margins — even worse than the initial exit polls showed — according to a study by Latino Decisions.

An election eve poll of 5,600 voters across all 50 states by the group, which has researched the Latino vote throughout the campaign, concluded Obama won by an eye-popping 75-23 margin. Their research concluded that CNN’s exit poll estimate of 71 percent of Latinos breaking to Obama likely undercounted their support, although they agreed with the assessment that turnout equaled 10 percent of the electorate.

[In Colorado] Latinos went for the president by an astounding 87-10 margin, an edge not far from the near-monolithic support he received from African American voters. In Ohio, with a smaller but still significant Latino population, Obama won by an 82-17 margin.

“This poll makes clear what we’ve known for a long time: the Latino giant is wide awake, cranky, and its taking names,” Eliseo Medina, Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU, told reporters Wednesday on a conference call discussing the results.

Vaginal Americans delivered

Vaginal Americans delivered

by digby

In all the sturm und drang in the media this morning about the Republicans’ inability to attract anyone but white people, I’m not hearing a whole lot about this:

In total, the gender gap on Tuesday added up to 18 percent — a significantly wider margin than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that waging a campaign against contraception was probably a bad idea. Calling women who use contraception a bunch of “sluts” was even worse. Insisting that women bear their rapists children was just the last straw.


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Skewed Vision, Not Skewed Polls

Skewed Vision, not skewed polls

by digby

Why the conservatives were convinced that the polls were skewed and why they were wrong:

PARTY ID: During the campaign, conservatives embraced a theory that polls were skewed, based on the thought that the electorate could not possibly lean as heavily Democratic as it did in 2008. In the end, though, the party ID makeup in 2012 was 38% Democratic, 32% Republican and 29% Independent, almost identical to 2008’s 39-32-29 split.

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