Category Archives: 2012 Election News

Jon Corzine’s ‘Global’ Disaster

There was a breaking development that occurred on The Hill today.  A member of the financial sector made a poor decision, bankrupted a company, and was formerly an elected official.  No, it wasn’t Mitt Romney – it was former Democratic Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine.  Corzine, who hedged against the European debt crisis, incurred losses in the billions, which lead to the collapse of MF Global.

One mystery that plagues this investigation is Mr. Corzine’s David Copperfield act that wiped $1.6 billion from Global’s client fund, which occurred days before the whole firm crumbled.  Dina ElBoghdady of The Washington Post reported about this episode in financial malfeasance that cost people their jobs, and their savings – but it wasn’t too important since they relegated the piece to page 18 in today’s edition.

Furthermore, it took Ms. ElBoghdady six paragraphs to even mention that Mr. Corzine was a Democrat because they party of progress doesn’t dabble in such unscrupulous activities like this.  The report about Mr. Corzine’s epic failure at MF Global was released today by the House Financial Services oversight subcommittee, but didn’t mention any felonious activity conducted on behalf of the former Democratic governor.   They’re going to leave that to other prosecutors, who have launched their own investigations.  In all, “farmers, ranchers, and ther customers may never get back over $1 billion of their money as a result of [Corzine’s] decisions, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.), the House panel’s chairman, said in a statement.”

So, if Democrats and liberals hate Mitt Romney for being a rich man who devours companies, then shouldn’t they be picketing outside Corzine’s residence castigating him for his negligence?  If any Republican acted as horribly as Corzine has done in managing a firm, like MF Global, this would be on the front page – and dominating the news cycle for weeks on end.

Jon Corzine is worse than a vulture capitalist.  He’s an incredibly incompetent manager of people’s resources, which explains his failure as a governor.

Government Stands In The Way of Energy Independence

In a striking blow for the environmental left, the International Energy Agency released a report last Monday detailing how the United States is on track to outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production.  This surely puts the Obama administration in a bind concerning their green energy monomania that has dominated their energy policy for the past four years.  Heritage compiled a nice butcher’s bill of the president’s green energy investments.  However, the most important part about this development is that it proves that the United States can be energy independent, and we have the resources to achieve that feat.  However, the boot of government is trying to centralize and control those resources to expand their dependency agenda.  It’s hard to oppose someone when they have their finger on the power switch.

Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote in the New York Times on Nov. 12 that “the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030…that increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.” However, it’s hard to meet that goal when the government decided to cordon off 1.6 million acres, worth about 1 trillion barrels worth of oil, for conservation

 Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), reiterated that exploration and development of federal lands is a necessity to meet our goal of energy independence. When I asked him about how this report will effect the narrative disseminated by government officials and left-wing enviroementalists, Pyle said, “unfortunately, it seems part of the divide.  Those who want restrictions have their best success in manipulating policies on public lands – the very places where they don’t live and work. High prices also get people’s attention, but then it becomes a blame game – politicians always point the finger at everybody but themselves and oil companies are probably the only group besides lawyers who are less popular than politicians.  But we are making headway!”

Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER, claimed that the political left will respond by trying “to federalize hydraulic fracturing regulation, which is being done by states in a very professional and knowledgeable way.  Take fracking away, the oil and gas production drops. They also always seek to drive up the costs of activities so as to make them uneconomic, and there is no shortage of levers they use for that.   Since the myth of energy scarcity is their justification for federal programs the like, this doesn’t fit the agenda.  They will fight it by trying to scare people.”

They’ve already begun with Jacob Weissmann’s asinine Nov. 13 piece in The Atlantic. Basically, he says that we can’t drill our way to independence, Saudi Arabia is just too good at this oil production stuff, and we need to conserve to “insulate ourselves from rising gas prices.”   Sadly, Weissmann never factored in oil + increased coal production, since we are the Saudi Arabia of coal.  Also, natural gas via The Marcellus Shale is another major area of energy development.

Weissman isn’t looking at it through a larger scope.  In 1.6 million acres alone, we have 1 trillion barrels worth of petroleum.  In 1944, we were estimated to have about 20 billion in proven oil reserves, but we’ve produced 176 billion barrels between 1945-2010.  Concerning coal, we have enough to power our country for 485 years.  We have the resources to become energy independent, but government feels otherwise. As Pyle and Kish told me before, the War on Energy isn’t about conservation. It’s about control.

Democrats Want To Go Off The Fiscal Cliff

During the president’s Nov. 14 news conference, he channeled the Sandy response as a “metaphor” for how the federal government should operate. “It’s been aggressive and strong and fast and robust and a lot of people have been helped because of it…that’s a pretty good metaphor for how I want federal government to operate generally, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it does,” said President Obama.  This is American liberalism.  The ignorance they have towards how government should operate still pervades their ranks today.  Government isn’t suppose to move fast, be aggressive, or be robust. It’s functions are few and defined, as stipulated by Madison – who championed the experiment of limited government that is the bedrock for our republic.

As such, we know the president wants to raise taxes on the job creating and investing class.  It’ll inhibit economic growth, and it’s effects on the overall economy will probably be de minimis at best.  All of his other policies have produced the same insipid results.  Why should this be any different, especially when the president feels that a 3% hike on people making $250,000 or more will have a serious impact on the federal debt and deficit.  George Will reiterated a good example on This Week highlighting the 250k illusion a while ago reiterating that a Chicago school superintendent of twenty years experience, who is married to a Chicago police captain of twenty years experience is almost rich in the eyes of the president.  Nevertheless, according to liberals, tax increases will save us from the fiscal cliff.

As we approach the fiscal cliff, the perverse characteristic that pervades this debate is that liberals want us to go off into the abyss.  If we do, they’ll get the tax increases, they’ll get the revenue, and they’ll get the defense cuts all liberals lust for with disconcerting enthusiasm.  David Brooks, who wasn’t acting like a squish for once, reiterated this view last week on the PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered.  Furthermore, and most importantly, liberals and their entitlement programs – the last bastions of progressive legislative achievement – will remain intact.

 

Republicans Advocate Surrender After Defeat

Evidently Romney campaign consultants were paying way too much attention to Michelle Obama’s War on Cafeteria Lunch Ladies. Consequently, when her husband offered a campaign built around Bread & Circuses; they countered with healthy eating and free–range elephants.

A role reversal that proved fatal.

More than once I’ve heard discouraged conservatives complain that ignorant voters were responsible for re–electing Obama, but that’s simply not true. Misguided and short–sighted voters, yes, but certainly not ignorant.

Obama supporters voted for the candidate who gave them the most freebies. Union members voted for the Government Motors bailout and the prospect of “card check.”

Government employees voted for bigger government and its number one disciple. Hispanics voted for a freeze on deportation and amnesty for illegals. College students voted for low interest student loans and possible loan forgiveness.

Unmarried mothers voted for food stamps, welfare, free contraceptives and — for the sexually disorganized — federally–funded abortion. Homosexuals voted for homosexual marriage. And blacks voted for the black guy.

Now, proving there is no one more gullible than a panicked Republican, some of our “leaders” are considering amnesty for illegal aliens.

Amnesty for illegals will be called “immigration reform,” just as adulterers call fornication “marriage reform.” Passage will be equivalent to allowing a family who squatted on land inside a national park to keep the land as part of “ownership reform.” It wouldn’t be fair to evict them, don’t you know, because they built a house and their kids would have to change school districts.

Unfortunately for Republican leaders who put power before principle, amnesty is wrong for four reasons.

First it’s morally wrong. Rewarding lawbreakers, only encourages more lawbreaking, erodes respect for the rule of law and discriminates against potential legal immigrants who are waiting their turn. Amnesty also serves to take jobs from low income US citizens and depresses the wages of those that have jobs.

Secondly, it solves nothing. Democrats — who make short–term memory loss part of their governing philosophy — conveniently forget the US granted Hispanics a massive amnesty during the Reagan administration. That “never to be repeated” amnesty legalized over 4 million illegals. This final solution possessed such deterrent power that over 12 million illegals are demanding amnesty this time, a four–fold increase.

Third, amnesty will damage Republicans at the ballot box. Let’s assume 4 million of the approximately 12 million illegals are of voting age. These are not Republican votes in waiting, they are, as fellow columnist Mike Adams says, “undocumented Democrats.” All 4 million will be voting Democrat from now on.

It’s a fact the GOP never gets credit for anything involving civil rights. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed a larger percentage of Republicans supported the bill than Democrats, yet Democrats get all the credit. If I recall correctly Ronald Reagan was a Republican, yet even after the passage of amnesty during his administration, the GOP still has a problem with Hispanics.

Four, “socially conservative” Hispanics are like Iranian “moderate mullahs.” GOP “experts” claim Hispanic “family values” mean their natural home is the GOP. Yet on Sunday, November 4th, these “socially conservative” Hispanics sat in Catholic churches and heard homilies about the Obama administration forcing the church to violate basic Catholic beliefs. Then they rushed to the polls to vote for the most radical abortion–supporting president in history.

The only way for Republicans to profit from amnesty is to invest in companies producing the velvet Obama paintings that will soon be joining the velvet JFKs gracing the walls of many minority homes.

No wonder Democrats are so eager to cooperate with the GOP on this “bi–partisan reform” legislation.

Republicans simply cannot win a bidding war with Democrats and remain Republicans. It will take time for a values and civic virtues campaign to be successful, because changing public attitudes is a long-term project. So I suggest Republicans conduct asymmetrical electoral warfare.

Presidential election years have larger turnout that favors Democrats. Off–year elections have smaller turnout and give our base a larger impact. Nationally, during the education process, the GOP can concentrate on winning off–year elections and build up conservative margins in the US House, gain a Senate seat or two and defend the rest during Presidential years.

All the while concentrating our message on the benefits of individual liberty, personal responsibility and marketplace competition. Democrats and “progressives” are now using the ballot box to exploit the cultural pathologies their incompetent policies have created over the past 40 years. Over the short term it may prove to be an indestructible ideological loop.

But if conservatives aren’t in this fight over the long term, why are we in it at all?

Demographics Poses A Challenge to Republicans, But It’s Not Unwinnable

Demographic shifts, Hispanic outreach, and how to make inroads with the youth have dominated conservative circles after a resounding Obama win last week.  It’s a discussion conservatives must have if they are to survive as a national political force.  Mitt Romney lost Hispanics, with almost 75% of them voting for the president, and young, single women.  Again, single women voted overwhelmingly for the president 67% to Romney’s 31%.  Some Republicans say that it was Romney’s disastrous ground game, while others say it was the party’s spring to the far right.  Regardless, the shifting demographics show that Texas, a reliably Republican state, could go blue if conservatives don’t expand their grassroots and outreach operations, especially in the Hispanic community.

Chris Wilson at Yahoo! News wrote on Nov. 13 that “the Census Bureau provides detailed estimates of population growth by race and ethnicity through 2050. The Hispanic population is expected to triple between 2008 and 2050, while the total number of white, non-Hispanic Americans will remain stagnant.”  As such, the largest bloc of guaranteed electoral votes for Republicans could go to the Democrats, which would be the death knell for the party.  They would be down, based on 2012 Electoral College, 142 electoral votes just coming out of the gate.  That is if Republicans surrender Pennsylvania to the Democrats, which may be in the works.  The state hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, and has become more of a money pit in national contests.

Yet, with all the talk about how Republicans should alter their strategies to win, which is oddly enough coming from liberal media outlets, it seems conservatives knew about these obstacles eons before Barack Obama came onto the political scene.  In fact, the AEI discussion of shifting political demographics, which was hosted back in August of 2011, seems to have been prophetic in their analysis of the changing American melting pot.

Ruy Teixeira [,senior fellow at the Center for American Progress,]  argued that trends would favor Democrats. To back his claim, he cited the growing Hispanic population and the decreasing influence of religion. Michael Barone [, of The Washington Exmainer,] agreed with Mr. Teixeira, but concluded instead that demographics of the preceding decade would not necessarily continue in the same direction. In one example he referenced lower inflow of Mexican immigrants to U.S. due to economic problems.

However, it’s undeniable that the Millennial generation is the most liberal generation, who will soon give Democrats a +20 party identification advantage by 2020.  Furthermore, Americans who identify themselves as secular are the fastest growing ‘religious’ group in the U.S.  By the mid-2020s, they’ll constitute almost 25% of all adults in the country, which may make some aspects of Republican social policy unpalatable.

This is not to say that we should liberalize.  We just need to be smarter, and target certain demographics who are more malleable to the conservative cause that will produce the results we need to win.  Hispanics is where Republicans and conservative should focus their energy.  However, we must tread carefully in our messaging because they’re the Democrats’ demographic to lose at this point.

Originally posted at The Young Cons.

Repeat After Me: We Didn’t Lose Because of Social Issues

I admit that I really haven’t become much of a social conservative until about the last eighteen months.  I mostly took libertarian position on issues like gay marriage and abortion – some of which I still maintain.  However, being an adoptee and seeing the utter rot inherent on the political left, especially when it comes to abortion – I found my libertarian ‘pro-choice’ position untenable.  Yes, I still think government regulation of the market inhibits its full potential, thereby making it a perverse action on behalf of the state.  It’s immoral for government to curb systems that lead to greater economic freedom and liberty for its citizenry.  Yet, I was also disturbed with government being in the home – and regulating social behavior amongst consenting adults.

Then, the 2012 election happened. The Democrats decided to manufacture a false narrative called the ‘War on Women,’ a consensus concerning taxpayer-funded abortion was in the works, and a thirty-yeard old liberal activist named Sandra Fluke burst onto the scene demanding free birth control.  Unsurprisingly, all of this coalesced into an orgy of depravity called the Democratic National Convention, which should have been more appropriately called Abortion Fest.  Even ABC News’ Cokie Roberts was unnerved by the abortion-centric rhetoric exhibited by liberals during the DNC.

Every decent American should, since the Democratic Party platform endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion.  However, that wasn’t an extreme position.  Republicans protecting life, even in the cases of rape and incest, was apparently the extreme position, despite the fact that such circumstances are responsible for less than 1% of all abortions.  If anything, albeit in a grotesque way, that encapsulates the “safe, legal, and rare” characterization Democrats have used to describe abortion.  A phrase that wasn’t included in their party platform in2012, although it’s been used in prior elections.

Nevertheless, after hearing Rebecca Kiessling‘s story – she was conceived during a rape – and the litany of botched abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, I’ve shifted more towards the pro-life camp.  As an adoptee from South Korea, I have no backstory concerning my conception.  I could be a product of rape.  I just don’t know.  Regardless, every life deserves a chance.  My birth mother surely exuded this virtue.  She gave me up for a better life here in the United States.

However, this brings us to the heart of the matter. Should we boot social conservatives from the movement and the Republican Party?  The answer is NO!  Yes, what Mourdock and Akin said imploded their senate campaigns, but Denny Rehberg failed to unseat Democratic incumbent  Sen. Jon Tester in Montana.  Rick Berg failed to secure his senate bid in North Dakota.  George Allen lost in Virginia.  Tom Smith got smoked in Pennsylvania.  Connie Mack won’t be going into the upper chamber representing Florida.  Are social issues responsible for all of these failed senate bids?  No. By the way, Mourdock lost to a pro-life Democrat.

Now, while Mourdock and Akin win the creepy award for 2012 ( no one likes 60+ year old men talking about rape), everyone seems to blame the people who vote reliably Republican and listen to liberals on how to reform the party.  An interesting op-ed piece was published in The Wall Street Journal on Nov.11 by Sarah Westwood, who is a rising sophomore at George Washington University.

The article articulately details the grievances that the more liberal wing of young Republicans have with the ‘Old Guard.’  Westwood states that Republicans need to do a better job reaching out to younger voters, which is true, but we also need to reach out to Hispanics and single women as well.

As a member of this all-important demographic [young voters], I know that neither I nor (almost) anybody else coming of age today supports the Republican social agenda. That’s the way the country is moving—so just deal with it. Modernize and prioritize.

Though it may be painful, though it may be costly at the polls in the short run, Republicans don’t have a future unless they break up with the religious right and the gay-bashing, Bible-thumping fringe that gives the party such a bad rap with every young voter. By fighting to legally ban abortion, the party undercuts the potential to paint itself as a rebel against the governmental-control machine.

Embracing a more liberal social agenda doesn’t require anyone to abandon her own personal values; it’s possible to keep faith and the party too. But the evangelical set essentially hijacked the Republican Party in the 1970s; now we need to take it back. Thawing the icy attitude of our most vocal, radical voices—including the raucous right (a la Limbaugh)—could let a fatally fractured party put the pieces together again.

The GOP won’t survive if it doesn’t start courting young voters. Simple math dictates that the Republican Party can wrest power away from the left only if it builds an army of fresh young members into its base. Democrats are the ones doing that now.

It seems Westwood wants to liberalize the party, return it to the Rockefeller/Thomas Dewey days, and ensure electoral disaster.  Conservatives gladly put an end to their reign after the Goldwater insurgency in 1964.  No, Goldwater didn’t lose – it just took sixteen years to count all the votes.  Nevertheless, who said we were fractured?  Our party was firmly behind Romney.  The problem was Romney’s ground game ( Project ORCA) failed miserably to maximize turnout in key states.  Yes, our coalition needs to expand to remain competitive, but it rests with smart messaging, not moderation.

And concerning purging Limbaugh – you must be insane if you think marginalizing any conservative in the media is a smart move.  If anything, we need more conservatives fighting the liberal media on a daily basis.  Westwood is right that Republicans need to change tactics and maximize outreach to expand out base of support, but moderation and becoming more liberal isn’t what’s going to bring us success at the polls.  Concerning the ‘old guard,’ Westwood is right that some folks need to go.  Karl Rove is on my list.  However, we must also factor into account that youth turnout probably won’t be as high in 2016 when Obama isn’t on the ballot.

Conservatives, like myself, take pride in staying ‘stop!’ in the face of changing times.  We say ‘not so fast’ to liberals – asking them about the efficiency within these government programs, especially if they come with a high price tag.  Coupled with inquiries about a bill’s constitutional basis and long term effects – it’s this form of inquisition that has usually been effective in demolishing liberal programs for decades.  We take pride, and idolize the Madisonian principles of limited government that was the original bedrock for our fledgeling republic.  And they’re the principles we need to resurrect after this egregious expansion of the state under the Obama administration.  This, coupled with aggressive prioritization of winning Latinos, is where we need to start.

We need to admit that in 2012 we were outplayed, outsmarted, and outmaneuvered.  But kicking out social conservatives would make the Republican Party even smaller, according to Erick Erickson. Furthermore:

Mitt Romney won about a quarter of the hispanic vote and a tenth of the black vote.

Those numbers may not sound like much, but in close elections they matter.

A sizable portion of those black and hispanic voters voted GOP despite disagreeing with the GOP on fiscal issues. But they are strongly social conservative and could not vote for the party of killing kids and gay marriage. So they voted GOP.

You throw out the social conservatives and you throw out those hispanic and black voters. Further, you make it harder to attract new hispanic voters who happen to be the most socially conservative voters in the country.

Next, you’ll also see a reduction of probably half the existing GOP base. You won’t make that up with Democrats who suddenly think that because their uterus is safe they can now vote Republican. Most of those people don’t like fiscal conservatism either — often though claiming that they do.

If you really need to think through this, consider Mitt Romney. He is perhaps the shiftiest person to ever run for President of the United States. He shifted his position on virtually every position except Romneycare. Of all the politicians to ever run for office, he’d be the one most likely to come out and, after the Republican convention, decide he’d changed his mind. He’d be okay with abortion and okay with gay marriage.

Had he done that, he’d have even less votes.

Erickson noted, “the problem is social conservatives have gotten so used to thinking of themselves as the majority they’ve forgotten how to speak to those who are not and defend against those who accuse them of being fringe, most particularly the press. Couple that with Mitt Romney’s campaign making a conscious decision to not fight back on the cultural front and you have a bunch of Republicans convinced, despite the facts, that if only the social conservatives would go away all would be fine.”  That’s simply not true.
In one last point against liberalizing the party, this is the second time in a row that Republicans have nominated a moderate candidate, who was handily beaten in the general election. Full stop.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

 

Changing Demographics Threaten Republican Texas

 

Yes, demographics talk will dominate the political discourse – and it should worry us.  Immigration, as an issue, and Republican ineptitude to convey  a sensible policy to ameliorate our perceived anti-immigrant leanings, ruined the Californian Republican Party forever.  Furthermore, New York and Pennsylvania are, to coin a term from Senator-elect Ted Cruz, “unalterably” Democratic.  Based on the last presidential election, we’re already down 104 electoral votes coming out of the gate – and with Texas’ demographic realignment, we could see the Lone Star state revert back to it’s Democratic leanings.  Thus, the largest bloc of guaranteed electoral votes for Republicans would either swing to the liberals, or be up for grabs.  That would be 142 electoral votes Democrats would lock up just because their people showed up to vote.  Not only is that unacceptable, but it’ll spell the end of the Republican Party winning presidential contests.

Ted Cruz, who was featured in Ryan Lizza’s  Nov. 19 piece in The New Yorker, has a grim warning.

If Republicans do not do better in the Hispanic community,” he said, “in a few short years Republicans will no longer be the majority party in our state.” He ticked off some statistics: in 2004, George W. Bush won forty-four per cent of the Hispanic vote nationally; in 2008, John McCain won just thirty-one per cent. On Tuesday, Romney fared even worse.

“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House…if Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

As Republicans plan to have a long discussion on how to court Latinos more effectively:

…Ted Cruz argues that Hispanics can be won over by appeals to traditional values of hard work. “I’ve never in my life seen a Hispanic panhandler,” he said, as we rode out of San Antonio. “In the Hispanic community, it would be considered shameful to be out on the street begging.” He added, “They have conservative values. Hispanics don’t want to be on the dole. They’re not here to be dependent on government.” He rejected the idea that Republicans needed to go back to the Bush-era policies on immigration. “I think those that say that, for Republicans to connect with the Hispanic community, they need to adopt amnesty and not secure the borders, I think that’s foolishness.”

Many Republicans in Texas suggested that the fact that Cruz is Hispanic is enough for him to win votes in that community. To prove the point, some mentioned Quico Canseco, a Republican who won a Texas House seat in 2010 in a Democratic district by running as a Tea Party conservative, and whose reëlection bid this year was closely contested. His district is sixty-six per cent Hispanic and spreads some six hundred miles, from San Antonio to the western edge of Texas. It includes most of the state’s border with Mexico. Like Cruz, Canseco, both in 2010 and in 2012, ran as an opponent of the kind of immigration reforms championed by George W. Bush. A few days before the election, when I interviewed Canseco, who is the son of Mexican immigrants and was born in Laredo, a border town that is ninety-six per cent Hispanic, he gave no hint of moderation on any of the immigration issues that have become so important to conservative Republicans in the past few years.

However, that’s just one congressional district.  Like women, Hispanics aren’t a monolithic voting bloc.  Cubans tend to vote Republican, although Mitt Romney lost this demographic by two points this year in Florida.  That should alarm all of us.  What inroads we have left with this demographic are crumbling rapidly.  Puerto Ricans lean Democratic – and Tejanos lean Republican due to their history in the state’s roots, according to Lizza.  It may be a multi-tiered outreach project.  If so, that’s great.   So, let’s dial down the secession petitions – and work on our comeback.

Romney’s Presidential Hopes Dashed By Less Than 500,000 Votes

Ouch! From Richard Nixon to Al Gore, candidates who have suffered defeats in close presidential elections, either in the Electoral College or popular vote, probably have felt the feelings of disappointment, shock, and frustration that Mitt Romney is experiencing right now. While President Obama secured re-election with a majority of the popular vote and an Electoral College landslide, analysis done by Jim Geraghty at National Review and Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart detialed some numbers in key states to show just how close Mitt Romney was from becoming the 45th President of the United States.

Geraghty wrote yesterday that:

…according to the results this morning on the New York Times’ results map:

Florida: 73,858

Ohio: 103,481

Virginia: 115,910

Colorado: 113,099

Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.

Obama’s margin in some other key states:

Nevada: 66,379

Iowa: 88,501

New Hampshire: 40,659

Similarly, Leahy over at Breitbart crunched these numbers.

Despite losing the popular vote 51% to 48%–not a landslide for Obama by any means, but on the other hand not the “neck and neck” outcome many predicted–Mitt Romney would be President today if he had secured 333,908 more votes in four key swing states.

The final electoral college count gave President Obama a wide 332 to 206 margin over Romney. 270 electoral college votes are needed to win the Presidency.

Romney lost New Hampshire’s 4 electoral college votes by a margin of 40,659. Obama won with 368,529 to Romney’s  327,870.

Romney lost Florida’s 29 electoral college votes  by a margin of 73,858. Obama won with 4,236,032 to Romney’s 4,162,174.

Romney lost Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes by a margin of 103,481. Obama won with 2,697,260 to Romney’s 2,593,779

Romney lost Virginia’s 13 electoral college votes by a margin of 115,910. Obama won with 1,905,528 to Romney’s  1,789,618.

Add the 64 electoral college votes from this switch of 333,908 votes in these four key states to Romney’s 206, remove them from Obama’s 332, and Romney defeats Obama 270 to 268.

Overall, voter turnout was down, from 131 million in 2008 to 122 million in 2012. Obama won 7.6 million fewer votes than he did in 2008, and Romney won 1.3 million fewer than McCain in 2008.

Romney improved his vote total’s over McCain’s by the slightest amount in three of these four states, but in Ohio, he actually had 81,000 fewer votes than McCain in 2008.

Could things have been different if ORCA actually swam – you bet!  However, it didn’t.  All I will say is that it would have been a lot closer than the result produced last Tuesday night. Furthermore, it shows how the axiom “if it isn’t broken, why fix it” should be re-applied to Republican campaigns – and how we should never again centralize the local operation of getting out the vote, especially when HQ was located in the far reaches of Boston, Massachusetts.
For decades, presidential campaigns were successful setting up infrastructures in each respective state, and in each respective voter precinct conducting strike lists to increase turnout.  Volunteers would give their lists to the local HQ who would attempt to contact the voters who haven’t shown up.  It’s worked – and we shouldn’t mess with it, even though the preparation beforehand is cumbersome.  We tried it the digital way, and look what we got.
Originally posted on The Young Cons.

Woman Drives Over Husband. . .For Not Voting

Yes, it’s true. Not voting can be hazardous to your health.

A Gilbert, Arizona woman was arrested Saturday after she apparently drove over her husband. Holly Solomon believed that the family would suffer following the Obama reelection and became enraged when she discovered her husband had neglected to vote.

The victim hid behind a light pole as Solomon tried to hit him with her SUV. When he tried escaping she ran him over according to police records. The husband is hospitalized in critical condition at an area hospital.

According to police there were no drugs or alcohol involved.

This story is sure to bring left finger pointers to the forefront as they talk about the fringe right.

The Left’s Laughable Chart : “Educated” States Voted Obama, “Non-Educated” States Didn’t

via The Ed Show

 

Over the weekend, a casual glance at Twitter resulted in this writer finding a funny chart, as you can see above.  This chart was attached to a tweet from Keith Boykin, a CNBC and BET on-air personality. Boykin credited it to The Ed (Schultz) Show, and apparently, they seem to think this proves something. What that might be, other than the fact that traditionally blue, monied states voted for the Democrat incumbent for president, is beyond me. Regardless, I got to thinking about what kind of comparison might be found in looking at the state-level financial well-being of these “educated” states versus the “non-educated” states. Let’s start with the Top 5 most “well-educated” states and their fiscal positions as we close out 2012 and start heading into 2013.

“Educated” States: 

As you can see, bluer than blue Massachusetts tops the list as most “educated”. Actually there are just so many ways our chart above can be picked apart, including the fact that, gee, Massachusetts *might* be the most “educated” because of, oh, I don’t know, the number of Ivy League schools that reside in the state (not to mention M.I.T.). Regardless, for such a well-educated state, it appears that Massachusetts is in some mighty financial trouble at the state level.

This may be a bit dated, but this 2011 article from CNN Money highlights the fact that Massachusetts was looking to cut it’s state budget by the most in 20 years in 2011. Among the issues facing Massachusetts last year included:

  • Shedding as many as 900 jobs, to add to a total of 5,900 jobs lost since 2008
  • Slashing $23 million in state funding for emergency homeless shelters
  • Closing down two prisons
  • Raiding the state’s “rainy day” fund for $200 million

All that edumacation and money concentrated in Massachusetts sure has made a big difference, hasn’t it?

For Maryland, the second most “educated” state on the list, the budgetary issues are also present, with this local article highlighting the issues that Governor Martin O’Malley faces. Among those issues?

  • A $1.3 billion budget deficit that O’Malley hopes to close with $6 billion in cuts
  • Nearly half of those cuts will be made to state agencies, with 10 percent being cut out of education, and 14 percent from retirement and healthcare funds

Colorado, number three on the list, is the only one that actually had something positive going on, budget wise. This article notes that spending in some areas is actually increasing for the first time in a number of years, but does note “state officials caution there could be trouble on the  horizon. Potential economic crises in Europe, and the prospect of automatic, deep cuts…could throw the national economy, and Colorado, into another tailspin.”

I suppose there’s always one outlier.

Onto Connecticut! Deep blue, and again, “highly educated” Connecticut, is facing a “sudden” $300 million budgetary shortfall, as announced in this November 9 article. Beyond the $300 million budget shortfall that state is facing THIS year alone, the linked article also warns that upcoming budgets are in just as much trouble:

The report says state government can expect $231 million less next fiscal year than originally anticipated.

And that’s on top of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional potential holes facing the next state spending plan — a total gap many lawmakers say privately they fear exceeds $500 million.

All them bright people and that state budget just continues to spiral out of control eh? Weird!

Finally, onto Vermont! Strangely enough, Vermont ALSO falls into this pattern of “highly educated” but can’t balance a state budget for the life of them. In this article here, it’s noted that Vermont “could have an operating gap of $50 to $70 million in fiscal year 2014.”  Although, it must be noted that $50 to $70 million IS better than the $279 million shortfall the tiny state was facing just three years ago.

It should also be noted that the above article linked to describe Vermont’s problems in 2009 also included New York and Connecticut, two of our “most educated” states. Funny, that.

Non-Educated States:

For the sake of brevity and word count, links for the Top 5 “least educated” states budgets can be found here, here, here, here and here. Funnily enough, in those states lacking that almighty edumcaction, budgets are actually improving, for the most part. The first two links, regarding West Virginia and Mississippi, are especially delicious considering the absolute disdain the left has for those places. BOTH are putting money back into the budget because of unexpected increases in tax revenues and apparently getting closer to fiscal responsibility much faster than their more educated counterparts.

I don’t know about you, but at this point, I’d much rather be in one of those uneducated states, where the people and *some* of the politicians realize small government is the answer. Because, you know, having a love and respect for the ideas of personal liberty and freedom is SUCH the mark of an uneducated mind.

Why the Tea Party is the Target of Post-Election Blame Game

Peggy Noonan Attacks Tea Party – calls them angry

Do you ever feel as if standing up for your U.S. Constitutional rights has allowed the liberals and the blame game mainstream media to paint a red target on your back as a Tea Party supporter? Well, it appears that since the election the reengineering of the election results are giving GOP moderates as well as alphabet soup network pundits’ greater incentive to bury the Tea Party movement in another shallow grave.

One of those pundits is former President Reagan Speechwriter, Peggy Noonan who stated on CBS Face the Nation, Sunday November 11th that , “The tea party style of rage is not one that wins over converts and makes people lean towards them and say, ‘I want to listen to you.’ I think a friendly persuasion has to begin now from the Republican Party to people of the United States.”

Exactly what type of converts is Noonan referring to? Is she asking that Tea Party supporters moderate their positions so that U.S. Constitutional principles become warmed over mush? Does Noonan and other moderates want Tea Party supporters to sacrifice deeply held foundational values on the Obama alter of socialist expediency? This is absolutely and categorically not going to happen.

The Sunday network talk shows are beside themselves with more than usual self serving glee to bury this genuine grass roots movement of millions of Americans as quickly as they can. The problem is clear, The Tea Party has not retreated since the 2009 continuous assault from mainstream media vicious mistruths. The goal was to label the patriot citizens as extreme, rabid racists who were only interested in destroying the failed tax and spend deficit policies that cooperative republican moderates and liberal democrats have forged for several decades.

Well, guess what, one of the most important color blind leaders to come out of the 20th century probably described the Tea Party movement best. Rev. Martin Luther King taught the nation to stand up against unjust systems. Rev. King stressed: “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. “

The Tea Party movement did not bend its back or kneel to the constant and sometimes withering assaults from self serving civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, but it stunned the nation 2010, with the results of a survey from one of its own: the New York Times.

The New York Times it surveyed Tea Party supporters between April 10th – 12th of 2010, and miracles of miracles occurred. It was not made up of pitch fork carrying, knuckle dragging, and semi-literate Neanderthals as they had been viciously portrayed. Instead, according to the study Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public. The survey also concluded that the Tea Party supporters were not in opposition to Obama because of race. Instead, the surveyed supporters opposed his political ideology and cared deeply about their own “economic well-being.”

When the mainstream media could not demonize Tea Party supporters and candidates as the Neanderthal stereotypes they had tried for more than a year to portray them as, they attempted to delegitimize its national supporters like former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. The attacker in chief was Chris Matthews of MSNBC and his cohort at ABC News George Stephanopoulos. This continued until the democrats and Obama’s liberal socialist policies were manhandled in the 2010 midterm elections.

The massive Tea Party shift resulted in Republicans gaining 63 congressional seats, and booting out then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Were the Tea Party candidates and their supporters too extreme? Or was it the democrats and Obama who were out of step with America?

Consider this for a moment. Were the Tea Party supporters and the movement extreme when their grass roots determination its determination caused the largest shift of any midterm congressional election since 1938? The result left GOP moderates and liberals as well as Obama with a determination to steer the selection of a Tea Party presidential candidate who they could not beat to a moderate to center establishment candidate who they could demonize. Of course the rest is recent history.

Yet, with the defeat of Mitt Romney, the election of 2012 has still resulted in the Tea Party and its conservatives holding onto the people’s house: The House of Representatives. True Obama, has been reelected through despicable campaign tactics and White House cover ups that border on scandalous tactics, but the Tea Party did not fold.

So is the behavior of a president who lowers his already suspect principles to an even lower level to remain in office the fault of the Tea Party, which helped to hold the House of Representatives? Of course not. If anything, the conservative values of smaller government, less debt, erasing the deficit and protecting life needed to be emphasized more!

Going forward, into 2013 and the 2014 mid-term elections the one benefit, if one could call it that is removed from the Obama arsenal. Obama and liberals cannot blame Bush any longer. Now Obama has to man up and every dime more of deficit spending, every dollar more of trillion dollar debt he owns. He is must answer to every cover up and possibly face impeachment hearings in the House.

The blame game now clearly stops squarely at Obama’s desk in the Oval Office, or at least until he is impeached or convicted.

The Tea Party is not a fictional aberration that will wither on the vine of history because of an election loss by a presidential candidate. Listen again to the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. “

America, this nation matters and must forever remain strong because its patriots refuse to remain silent.

( Click – Let me know what you think)

How Immigration Ruined The Californian Republican Party

As we on the Right continue to ponder how we got handily beaten by a president with a dismal record, one of the areas that are salient in our rebuilding efforts rests with Hispanic voters.  About fifty thousand latinos turn eighteen every month, making this a key demographic Republicans must become competitive if we to survive as a political force.  Losing Latinos to Democratic candidates 73%-24% spells certain doom for the party.  This doesn’t mean we sell out on our principles.  Supporting full amnesty is a fool’s errand.  However, we may have to accept certain provisions on future immigration proposals. Provisions that create pathways to citizenship by creating benchmarks for immigrants who have served in the military, achieved a certain level of education, and don’t have criminal records seems like a good starting point concerning our outreach with Latinos.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s alternative Dream Act is another area where Republicans can debate whether it is sufficiently conservative, or in dire need of revision.  Regardless, if we continue with our perceived anti-immigrant ways, we are destined to become a nationalized version of the Republican Party of California, which was destroyed when Prop. 187 was passed in 1994.

The bill, detailed by Nancy H. Martis of the California Journal back in 1994, goes as follows:

Proposition 187 bans illegal immigrants from public social
services, non emergency health care and public education. Various state and
local agencies would be required to report anyone suspected of being an
illegal immigrant to the state attorney general and U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS). The attorney general would be required to
maintain records and transmit reports to INS. Manufacturing, distributing or
selling false citizenship or residence documents illegal under existing
state law would become a felony. The proposal’s fiscal impact would be
felt three ways, the legislative analyst estimates. State and local
governments would realize savings from denying certain benefits and services
to persons who cannot document their citizenship or legal immigration status,
and this could amount to $200 million annually, based on INS estimates.
However, the state, local governments and schools would incur significant
costs to verify citizenship or immigration status of students, parents,
persons seeking health care services or social services, and persons who are
arrested. This could total tens of millions of dollars annually, with
first year costs considerably higher, potentially in excess of $100 million.
Finally, there would be a potential loss of federal funds up to $15
billion annually in federal money for education health and welfare programs
due to conflicts with federal requirements.

It was introduced by Republican assemblyman Dick Mountjoy and endorsed by Republican Governor Pete Wilson – which made it a key issue during his ’94 re-election bid.  While the bill passed, it had an overwhelming negative effect on the electorate.  First, it was the death knell for Republicans concerning statewide elections.  We never became competitive again, until Governor Schwarzenegger won his gubernatorial/recall bid in 2003.  The bill was declared unconstitutional, and killed with legal action.  The election of 1988 is still the last contest where California went Republican.  An ignominious footnote since the GOP was able to carry the state in 1960, ’68, ’72, ’76, ’80, and ’84.

The effects of Prop. 187 are still felt today – with the complete collapse of the two-party system in the state.

As Michael R. Blood of AP reported on Nov. 10:

Democrats hold the governorship and every other statewide office. They gained even more ground in Tuesday’s elections, picking up at least three congressional seats while votes continue to be counted in two other tight races — in one upset, Democrat Raul Ruiz, a Harvard-educated physician who mobilized a district’s growing swath of Hispanic voters, pushed out longtime Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

The party also secured a supermajority in one, and possibly both, chambers in the Legislature.

 […]
Republican voter registration has dipped so low — less than 30 percent — that the party’s future state candidates will be hobbled from the start.

Republicans searching for a new direction after Mitt Romney’s defeat will inevitably examine whyPresident Barack Obama rolled up more than 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote, and 9 of 10 votes among blacks, essential ingredients in his victory. Women also supported Obama over Romney nationally and in California, where they broke for the president by 27 percentage points.

There is no better place to witness how demographic shifts have shaped elections than in California, the home turf of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that just a generation ago was a reliably Republican state in presidential contests.

A surge in immigrants transformed the state, and its voting patterns. The number of Hispanics, blacks and Asians combined has outnumbered whites since 1998 in California, and by 2020 the Hispanic population alone is expected to top that of whites. With Latinos, for example, voter surveys show they’ve overwhelmingly favored Democratic presidential candidates for decades. Similar shifts are taking place across the nation.

Another sign of the times:

 Today, whites make up a little more than 40 percent of the population, while 2 in 10 residents are Asian and about 1 in 3 is Hispanic, according to the census.

[…]

Romney “implemented a winning election strategy for 1980,” University of Southern California professor Patrick James said in a statement issued by the school. “If you look at the demographics and voting proportions, the Reagan coalition would not win a majority today.”

Independents now outnumber Republicans in 13 congressional districts in California, a trend analysts predict will continue.

California counted more registered Republicans in 1988 than it does today, although the population has grown by about 10 million over that time. You’d have to go back to that year to find a Republican presidential candidate who carried the state, George H.W. Bush.

Surprisingly, Democrats continued to make gains in the state even at a time of double-digit unemployment, with polls showing that voters are unhappy with Sacramento and Washington. And it could get worse for the GOP. Republicans are trailing in two other House races in which the vote counting continues.

[…]

Still, Democrats believe they have the state’s demographics on their side with a message that appeals to a younger, more diverse population.

More than half the young voters in the state, ages 18 to 39, are Hispanic, according to the independent Field Poll. Thirty-five percent are Asian. If you look into a classroom in the Los Angeles area — tomorrow’s voters — 3 of 4 kids are Hispanic.

We shall see how California Democrats exert their new power.  If you’re a mentally competent person, I wouldn’t suggest taking a bet that the economic situation will improve.

While Heather MacDonald wrote in National Review that  while “a March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration,” Califronia proves that such perceived anti-immingrant measures can lead to disastrous results.

Then again, she did touch upon our image problem with Latinos:

Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.

Yes, we have work to do.  The fact that entitlement reform will be part of our outreach strategy makes me more optimistic we can win them over, or at least enough to win an election.  Republican immigration policy needs to be smart and comprehensive.  We can start by not passing anymore legislation that takes states off the table in national elections.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

Divided We Stand: Echoing Calls To Secede From The Union

Yes, you read that correctly. Your eyes are not deceiving you. Divided We Stand.

In less than a week since this nation re-elected Barack Obama, there are calls from numerous States to secede from The United States of America. We are no longer a United Nation. We are very much a Divided Nation. Many are standing together, calling for a peaceful divide.

The famous declaration for unity that you are familiar with has been attributed to Aesop’s fables, as well as John Dickinson’s Revolutionary War song, “The Liberty Song”, which was was published first in the Boston Gazette in 1768.

However, it was Patrick Henry that made the historic exclamation in what was to be his last public speech:

“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”

Patrick Henry’s declaration came at a very pivotal point in America’s history. It was March 1799, and Mr. Henry was “denouncing The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions”, which argued that the two states “had the right and the duty to declare unconstitutional any acts of Congress not authorized by The Constitution”.

This speech took such a toll on Patrick Henry that after the speech his “near lifeless body” was carried offstage and into the nearest tavern. He died just two months later.

We have now reached another pivotal point in this nation’s history.

In the November 6 election, the divide between the candidates was a little more than 3 million votes. Barack Obama received 61,910,594 votes, and Mitt Romney received 58,654,765 votes. When you look at the total number of votes cast, it is almost a clear cut down the middle. We are most definitely a divided nation. We can no longer stand together, when we are so obviously divided over so many issues. We have reached a breaking point that threatens to be anything but peaceful if things are not handled in a way in which every voice is heard and considered.

Citizens in Louisiana are now petitioning the White House to “Peacefully grant the State of Louisiana to withdraw from the United States of America”. The petition was created the day after the election, and has nearly 8,000 signatures in just 5 days.

It appears that this petition from Louisiana was the first of many to have been submitted to the “We The People” site on the official White House website. The site claims to be “Your Voice In OUR Government”. The question remains whether or not the Government will hear the many voices being raised. It is highly doubtful, as they have turned their noses up in arrogance towards We The People numerous times before.

It’s not just the state of Louisiana, the list of State Petitions calling to peacefully “withdraw from the United States of America” is growing by the day.

Country singer Charlie Daniel’s is suggesting that “the South” secede from The Union; however, there are Northern States that are not so happy with the government, and are also calling to leave the Union. At the time of this article’s posting, the states with open petitions are the following:

Alabama
Colorado

Florida
Georgia

Indiana

Kentucky
Mississippi

Montana
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Oregon
Texas 

While Louisiana appears to be the first state to start a post-election petition to actually withdraw from The United States, in 2010, Missouri’s Legislative House gave “preliminary approval to state sovereignty measure”, which asserted the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. It was not a call to secede from the Union, but rather a stand for States’ Rights.

In Texas, Peter Morrison, “a high ranking” Republican County Treasurer, made the declaration for The Lone Star State to secede, stating:

“Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?”

The winds of change are coming. The echoing calls to seperate are growing louder and stronger.

Barack Obama claimed in both victory speeches that we are not “a collection of Red States and Blue States, but we are The United States”. These words are empty and mean nothing coming from a man who has done so much to divide this nation. The people are not happy. We are no longer united. We The People are standing, asking to peacefully divide from the albatross that is Barack Obama. If the request is not considered, it very well may come as a demand, which will not be so peaceful.

 

Image via mikechurch.com

Well, Romney’s ORCA Got Harpooned

While many expected high Republican vote turnout, that just wasn’t the case on Nov. 6.  Mitt Romney received less votes in Ohio than John McCain in 2008, and received three million less votes in the popular vote than John McCain.  As Amanda Carpenter tweeted the day after the election, while many were expecting our people to show up at the polls – “no one made sure of it.”  In all, it was an epic disaster.

It all points to Romney’s ORCA program.  A digital app that was suppose to make the process of strike listing much more efficient.  In olden times, a poll worker would strike the names of people who have voted, call into the local campaign HQ reiterating the names of voters who haven’t showed up, and prompt HQ to mobilize their volunteers working at the phone banks to call the voters in question or drive  to their residences, personally, and take them to the polls.  It’s worked for decades.

However, in the digital age, things like a complete system crash can happen, and that’s what harpooned ORCA on Election Day.  According to John Ekdahl, who posted the epic failure of this strategy on Ace of Spades on Nov. 8:

From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.

Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.

On one of the last conference calls (I believe it was on Saturday night), they told us that our packets would be arriving shortly. Now, there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion about what they meant by “packet”. Some people on Twitter were wondering if that meant a packet in the mail or a pdf or what. Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy another one of your products ever again). So, at this point I became panicked. I was expected to be at the polls at 6:45AM and nothing was open. I was thankfully able to find a Kinko’s open until 11PM that was able to print it out and bind it for me, but this is not something I should have had to do. They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.

At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement. In fact, check out my “checklist” from my ORCA packet:

Notice anything missing? My guess is the second “Chair (if allowed)” was supposed to be “poll watcher certificate” but they put chair twice. This was an instruction packet that went out to 30,000+ people. Did no one proof-read it?

Furthermore, when the system did crash,

 …the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap? I sure hope not for my sanity’s sake.

The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.

Bethany Mandel at Commentary wrote about a similar story about  “Shoshanna McCrimmon [who] signed up to volunteer on Romney’s website several months ago.  She was contacted by Dan Centinello of the Romney campaign and underwent online and phone training that lasted for several hours in order to volunteer locally on Election Day. Because of secrecy concerns, the application itself was inaccessible until the morning of the election. From the outset there were failures of organization.”

First:

Shoshanna wasn’t given the credentials necessary to gain access to the polling place and was told to arrive when the polls opened at 7. A few days before the election, she was emailed a PDF packet, which she was meant to print out, containing the names of all of the registered voters at her polling place and instructions. Her location’s packet was only dozen or so pages; Ekdahl’s packet was over sixty. The packet was supposed to contain credentials, but they did not. Shoshana’s email to the Romney campaign the night before the election about the lack of credentials went unanswered. When Shoshanna arrived on time at 7 a.m., she learned that polls had actually opened an hour prior.

Unable to test her pin number and password until that morning, she discovered, only after after she arrived at the polling location ready to work, that her pin was invalid. She spent until 2:30 that afternoon on calls to Boston every 45 minutes trying to get a new one. She attempted to input the voter information via phone dial-pad–the first backup plan–but her invalid pin number was useless. Plan C, calling in to Boston and verbally transmitting the information, was also a wash. The same phone number for dial pad and voice reporting was given–there was no option to ask to speak to Boston directly after calling in.

After finally getting her pin number in the late afternoon, Shoshanna attempted to log into the site. She had been sent an email from the Romney campaign that morning (after polls opened) telling her that cell phones were often not allowed in polling places, after she was previously warned not to forget to bring her cell phone in other emails. Thankfully, her polling place allowed her to use her cell phone. The website, on a secure server, was inaccessible from her cell phone (Ekdahl explains why in detail). By this point hundreds of voters had passed through Shoshanna’s polling station, unreported. Nevertheless, she went home, retrieved her laptop, and thanks to the pastor at the polling place (a church) she gained access to a locked wireless network. It was only at that point that Shoshanna was able to access ORCA, with only a few hours left before polls closed.

Additionally, besides the program crashing, it was never stress tested, therefore, and was “unable to withstand thousands of simultaneous log-ins. The system had never been stress tested and couldn’t handle the crush of traffic all at once. Thousands of man-hours went into designing and implementing a program that was useful on one day and one day only, and on that day, it crashed.”

While we all have a lot of work to do, especially expanding our base of support amongst Hispanics, younger voters, and women – we need to make sure that GOTV operations won’t be a fiasco.  Democrats are king in this area for now.  They’ve successfully merged new coalitions with old, and have built a massive database of voters who will help them ensure victory.  As Allahpundit posted on Hot Air two days after the election that “in ObamaWorld, they were using behavioral scientists  to build a gigantic database of current and potential voters and to fine tune their message at a granular level not only to win people’s votes but to get them to turn out.”

As such, we cannot afford more ORCAs.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

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