Tag: Iowa Caucuses

Time to seriously look at reforming the Iowa Democratic Caucuses

With the fiasco that was the Iowa Democratic Caucuses behind us, it’s now time to take a serious look at ideas to reform the caucus process in Iowa. Here’s some of my own ideas:

  • Require the state party to report county delegates, state delegate equivalents, and popular vote on election night.
  • Require the state party to apportion county delegates to precincts based on a “30-30-20-20” formula, in which there are a set number of county delegates apportioned to each county based on a county’s Democratic ticket vote total in the previous presidential election (30%), a county’s Democratic ticket vote total in the previous gubernatorial election (30%), the number of registered Democrats in the county at the time that candidate filing for the caucuses closed (20%), and the population of the county at the time of the Census in which Iowa’s state legislative districts in use at the time of the caucuses were drawn in accordance to (20%). The figure calculated by using the “30-30-20-20” method is called the “population equivalent”.
  • Require that state delegates be apportioned to counties based on the “30-30-20-20” method.
  • Require that there be one county delegate per 40 population equivalents, and that there be one state delegate per 500 population equivalents.
  • Require votes to be reported as soon as possible after caucusing is finished in the precinct in question, preferably by an internet-connected electronic device, although, if that is not possible, reporting can be done via phone or, as a last resort, delivering a tally sheet to the state party headquarters as soon as possible. In all cases, paper documentation of the vote count should be conducted and delivered to the state party headquarters as soon as possible.
  • Require that a presidential candidate automatically be declared non-viable in a particular precinct if said presidential candidate lacks a precinct captain, and require that the precinct chair request that a caucusgoer step forward and become a precinct captain for said presidential candidate if said presidential candidate does not have a precinct captain in a particular precinct after the start of the caucus, but before voting begins.
  • Require that public ballots be used for each round of voting in the caucuses, unless DNC rules are amended to allow for secret ballots in the caucuses.
  • In the event that there are fewer caucusgoers than the number of county delegates apportioned to a precinct, require that all caucusgoers be sent to the county convention as uncommitted county delegates.
  • In the event that a significant tie for a delegate occurs in a precinct, require that one final round of voting be conducted, and, if there is still a tie, require that two county delegates with half-votes are elected (or three county delegates with one-third votes for a three-way significant tie, and so on).
  • In the event that, counting “uncommitted” as a candidate, there are more presidential candidates than either seven or the number of county delegates apportioned to the precinct in question (whichever is fewer), require that, if necessary, multiple rounds of voting, with only the last place candidate being declared non-viable after each ballot, be held until there are either seven or a number of candidates equal to the number of county delegates apportioned to the precinct remaining, and/or the top seven candidates or a number of candidates equal to the number of county delegates apportioned to the precinct have either 85% (for precincts with seven or more county delegates) or [[(n-1)/n]+1]% (n is the number of presidential candidates) of the precinct vote combined. At that point, all candidates below the viability threshold shall be declared non-viable, and, barring a significant tie, one additional round of voting shall take place.

I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the 2016 presidential election

Since it’s clear to me that Bernie Sanders is likely not winning the Iowa caucuses barring higher turnout than what the final Ann Seltzer poll has predicted, I’ll predict a few things, all of which are shocking to most people on here:

  1. Bernie probably will drop out of the presidential race late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, and he’ll stay completely out of the presidential race from that point forward.
  2. Bernie will not endorse a presidential candidate once he’s no longer running, and he won’t seek anyone’s vice-presidential nomination.
  3. Bernie will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018, although he’ll continue to serve the people of Vermont until his current term in the Senate is over.
  4. Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee, and she will lose the general election to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Will I vote for Hillary in the general election if she’s the Democratic presidential nominee? Barring an indictment of Hillary before the general election (extremely unlikely, and it’s not been confirmed as to whether or not Hillary is actually under criminal investigation), yes. However, indictment or no indictment, Donald Trump is going to be the 45th President of the United States. That’s because Bernie doesn’t appear to have a realistic path to the Democratic nomination if he loses the Iowa caucuses, and, since Hillary lacks any kind of appeal to working-class voters, Trump, who does have appeal to working-class voters willing to vote for a ultra-wealthy racist, can take advantage of that by running a downright nasty campaign that would make Richard Nixon’s political campaigns of the 1960’s and the 1970’s look tame by comparison. Although I would not join them, I would predict that about 15% of Bernie supporters would go to Trump if it’s a Hillary vs. Trump race.

While I still think that there’s a slight chance that Bernie wins the Iowa caucuses (he’d need significant support among late Democratic registrants, however), If this is how the decades-long political career of Bernie Sandes comes to an end, it would be just an awful way for it to end.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Hillary’s “47%” moment

Remember when Republican Mitt Romney sunk his 2012 presidential campaign by attacking “47%” of Americans by trying to smear them as freeloaders?

Well, Hillary Clinton just pulled a Romney, ladies and gentlemen. That’s because Hillary, while at a political fundraiser in White Plains, New York, bragged about how she was taking “a little breather” from campaigning in Iowa:

Please note that I did NOT record the video.

It’s pretty clear to me that Hillary doesn’t like Iowa or the people who call Iowa home, and she’s willing to bash Iowa while in a friendly environment to her, such as a political fundraiser in the New York City suburbs.

For those of you who are Iowa Democrats, if there’s one thing that you’ll ever do that’s worthwhile in your entire life, caucus for Bernie Sanders!

While Democrats call for more debates, Republicans use veterans as political pawns

With her political firewall eroding, Hillary Clinton is now calling for another Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire on February 4, between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary. Not to be outdone by Hillary, Bernie Sanders called for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to sanction three debates in the later stages of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination:

Sanders’s campaign released a statement late Wednesday calling for additional debates in the Democratic primary, but with specific provisions.

The campaign is requesting one each in March, April and May. All three must not be scheduled on a Friday, Saturday or holiday, and all three must include Martin O’Malley along with Sanders and Clinton.

“If the Clinton campaign will commit to this schedule, we would ask the DNC [Democratic National Committee] to arrange a debate in New Hampshire on Feb. 4,” the statement said.

While Democrats are pushing the out-of-touch DNC into sanctioning more debates without using anybody as a political pawn, Republicans are offering more debates on their side of the ledger as a way of using those who served our country in uniform as political pawns. That all started over Donald Trump’s hissy fit about the fact that Megyn Kelly, a woman, will be the lead moderator of tonight’s FOX News Republican presidential debate in Iowa.

Two SuperPACs supporting Ted Cruz, Keep the Promise I and Keep the Promise II, offered to donate $1.5 million to charities supporting veterans if Trump and Cruz agree to a one-on-one debate before the Iowa Caucuses.

Not to be outdone by a Cruz SuperPAC, Carly Fiorina made a couple of offers to Trump, both of which would involve money being donated to veterans. The first offer involved a promise of a $1.5 million donation to veterans’ charities if Trump and Cruz agree to debate Fiorina in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, and the second officer involved a promise of a $2 million donation to veterans charities if Trump agreed to debate Fiorina at a Trump campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa scheduled for the same time as tonight’s debate.

While I normally appreciate donations to groups that seek to provide help to those who served our country in uniform (provided that they’re a reputable charity), using our nation’s veterans as political pawns is absolutely disgusting, and one of the lowest things I’ve ever seen in a presidential campaign. In fact, at least one veterans’ charity has already pre-emptively refused any money from a Trump event.

Bernie Sanders running brilliant first television ad in Iowa and New Hampshire

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the first Bernie Sanders television advertisement of the 2016 presidential election:

According to the Associated Press (AP), the ad is scheduled to air in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote on major-party presidential nominees, for ten days, and the Sanders campaign is spending a total of $2 million on the ad buy.

I think that the ad is an excellent introductory ad for Bernie. In fact, Bernie could use the same exact ad for a first general election ad buy, if he were to win the Democratic nomination. While the AP claimed that the ad included “a not-subtle dig at the (Hillary) Clinton political brand” for including a clip of Bernie saying that “people are sick and tired of establishment politics”, Bernie has been fighting the political establishment in America for his entire adult life.

Scott Walker: Intimidated by Barbecue Sauce

Here is a picture of Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker eating ribs covered in barbecue sauce with latex gloves on his hands at a Republican motorcycle rally held in Iowa by far-right U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA):

Scott Walker: Intimidated by Barbecue Sauce

The picture has been posted to the Wisconsin progressive blog Democurmudgeon, although I’m not sure who took the picture. If anyone can provide me the name of the photographer who took the picture above, I’ll add a caption giving credit to him or her.

I don’t eat barbecue ribs, but I do eat chicken strips from time to time, and I prefer to dip chicken strips in barbecue sauce. I never wear gloves or a bib while eating chicken strips, and I don’t have a problem at all if some of the barbecue sauce gets on my hands or clothing. After all, I can always wash my hands, and every article of clothing I have can be machine-washed.

Remember, this is the same Scott Walker who bizarrely claimed that his experience taking on teachers’ unions (in reality, he hid from teachers, public employees, and other hard-working Wisconsinites while he took away rights from Wisconsin’s public employees nearly four and a half years ago) means that he can take on ISIS and other terrorist groups, which was an absolutely absurd and offensive comparison. If Walker thinks that barbecue sauce is a mortal enemy to his hands, then how the hell is he supposed to take on ISIS and Vladimir Putin?

Make no mistake about it, the Dropkick Murphys “literally hate” Scott Walker

Make no mistake about it, the Dropkick Murphys, a Celtic rock band from Quincy, Massachusetts, is no fan of Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker using their music.

At the Iowa Freedom Summit, a recent gathering of possible and likely Republican presidential candidates in Iowa that was attended by far-right Tea Partiers, Walker used the Dropkick Murphys’ song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” in his entrance at the event, which the band quickly disapproved of via Twitter:

This isn’t the first time a Wisconsin Republican used the Dropkick Murphys’ music without their permission. At the 2012 Republican Party of Wisconsin state convention, then-Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker “Little” Jeff Fitzgerald, a staunch Walker crony who was running in a multi-way GOP primary for U.S. Senate, used “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” in his convention entrance, which prompted the band to compare Little Fitz’s use of one of their songs to a white supremacist using a gangster rap track as entrance music.

The Dropkick Murphys’ have made their support for workers’ rights, something Walker has taken away from thousands of Wisconsin workers, known for many years. In fact, here’s their rendition of “Which Side Are You On?”, a pro-union anthem:

It’s not surprising that the Dropkick Murphys would “literally hate” someone like Scott Walker.