Tag Archive: 2014 Elections

Nov 09 2014

Ripping the Pages Out of Text Books

In October, just before the election, the Gilbert Arizona school board voted to remove pages on contraception from the honors biology test book used used in its high school.

Gilbert Public Schools will “edit” a high-school honors biology textbook after school-board members agreed that it does not align with state regulations on how abortion is to be presented to public-school students.

Board members, backed by a conservative religious group, voted 3-2 to make the change, arguing that they are complying with a 2-year-old state law that requires public schools to “present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.”

Board President Staci Burk said she believes the district is likely the first in Arizona with plans to edit a book under the law.Gilbert Public Schools will “edit” a high-school honors biology textbook after school-board members agreed that it does not align with state regulations on how abortion is to be presented to public-school students.

Board members, backed by a conservative religious group, voted 3-2 to make the change, arguing that they are complying with a 2-year-old state law that requires public schools to “present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.”

Board President Staci Burk said she believes the district is likely the first in Arizona with plans to edit a book under the law.

That plan was aborted on election day when the people of this conservative Phoenix suburb decided to ax the page ripping majority.

So here’s one more bit of Election Nice Time: turns out that even in hyper-conservative Gilbert, Arizona, a bedroom community to the Phoenix metro horrorplex, it is in fact possible for a conservative school board to go to far. And it looks like the Gilbert School Board’s decision last week to razor out a page from an Honors Biology textbook in the high school – because it mentions the abortion pill – is what counts as too far: the good people of Gilbert elected two new members and reelected an anti-censorship member, replacing the Tea Party-leaning majority on the board with a new majority that is firmly against slicing out a page from a biology textbook out of fear that high schoolers will learn that abortion exists. There were other tensions between the board and the community, too, but the textbook censorship seems to have been the last straw.

Textbook tearing crosses line for even reddest voters

Rachel Maddow reports that the school board that voted to tear out pages from the honors biology textbook to remove mentions of abortion has lost its tea party majority, leaving the censorship plan in question. ArizonaHonorsBiology.com remains, just in case.

Nov 09 2014

The People v “Oil”garchy

We all know that the Supreme Court decision Citizens United allowed corporations to flood the elections with huge amounts of money. A small example of this was the attempt by Chevron to buy the small city of Richmond, CA where it has an aging, unsafe oil refinery.

Big-money Chevron muscles local government election

Rachel Maddow reports on how Chevron is flooding local elections in Richmond, California to install politicians who are friendlier to the company’s agenda and less resistant to new projects.

On election day the people of Richmond weren’t cowed and elected the progressive slate of candidates that will force Chevron to clean up its act.

Voters Reject Oil Titan Chevron, Elect Progressive Bloc in Richmond, California

Tom Butt elected mayor and slate of progressive candidates all win city council seats after grim battle with corporate power

A slew of progressive candidates were elected in Richmond, California on Tuesday night in a resounding defeat of corporate power, after a multi-million-dollar opposition campaign funded by Chevron brought national attention to the race but failed to take control of City Hall.

Local politician Tom Butt, a Democrat, was elected mayor with 51 percent of the vote, beating the Chevron-backed candidate, Nat Bates, by 16 points. Richmond Progressive Alliance representatives Eduardo Martinez, Jovanka Beckles, and outgoing  Mayor Gayle McLaughlin also won three of the four open seats on the City Council.

Collectively, those candidates became known as Team Richmond.

Small victories, silver linings seen in lopsided election

Rachel Maddow reviews some of the small victories, silver linings, and notable first in which liberals and Democrats may take heart amid the heavy losses suffered in the midterm election, the outcome of which, at least, promises interesting political news.

It’s the issues, not the money and sometimes the 99% wins.

Aug 29 2014

The Biannual Silly Season Is About To Begin In Earnest

I know you all just can’t wait for congressional vacations to end and the run up to the term elections in November. So here is a bit of a preview what’s in store:

First up is from the blue eyed crazy man from Iowa.

Steve King: ‘All Bets Are Off’ On Government Shutdown If Obama Acts On Immigration

By Igor Bobic, Huffington Post

One of the most vehement opponents of comprehensive immigration reform said Wednesday that he supports a tactic that could lead to another federal government shutdown.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said that “all bets are off” about the fate of a continuing resolution to fund the government if President Barack Obama decides to unilaterally take action to provide deportations relief for undocumented immigrants.

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear,” King said, according to the Des Moines Register. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.”

Of course, he’ll easily hold his House seat.

In Kentucky, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch, “the human hybrid turtle,” McConnell is facing a tighter race than was expected from his Democratic challenger, Secretary of State Allison Lundgen Grimes, who leans right of center. But Mitch has some problems that might cost him his comfy seat.

A Kentucky Objection to McConnell’s Pandering to Millionaires and Billionaires

By John Nichols, The Nation

When the political mercenaries of American oligarchy jet off to consort with their electoral paymasters, they never imagine that the interactions will have consequences with constituents. The meetings are conducted in secret, the commitments that are made are never supposed to be revealed.

But, as Mitt Romney learned during the 2012 campaign, this is a new political era – when the old backroom banter about abandoning “the 47 percent” can go public and become the rallying cry for an opponent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was learning that Wednesday, as revelations about the top Republican’s pledges to serve the agenda of the billionaire Koch Brothers came back to haunt him on the campaign trail in Kentucky. Within hours after the revelation of McConnell promising a room full of millionaires and billionaires that he would block minimum-wage increases, the extension of unemployment benefits and student-loan debt relief, his Democratic challenger was signaling that the senator would be held to account at home.

Mitch McConnell’s promise to the Koch brothers

Sen. McConnell delivered a promise during a meeting hosted by the Koch brothers. Lawrence O’Donnell explains why his comments are a turning point in his campaign.

And if Mitch’s woes with the Koch wasn’t enough, there is some hanky-panky. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explains how a political bribery case involving former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson could upset McConnell’s campaign

There are a couple of governors having a rough time getting reelected:

Pennsylvania’s incumbent Republican governor has a wee problem with his poll numbers tanking. He’s trailing his Democratic opponent Tom Wolf, 24 – 49. I suppose that may be behind the governor’s reason for expanding medicaid for low income residents under the Affordable Care Act.

Up in Maine, Governor Paul LePage, Republican incumbent, is behind by 8 points in a three way race and he really hates the press.

“The worst part of my life is newspapers are still alive — sorry, I had to say it.”

LePage hasn’t been shy about his dislike of newspapers. In February 2013, he said newspapers were his “greatest fear.” He has also stated he wants to “blow … up” the headquarters of the Portland Press Herald and has boycotted sharing comments with at least three papers in the state.

The governor’s race in Wisconsin is neck and neck 70 days out from election day with the Republican incumbent scandal ridden, Koch brothers beholden, Scott Walker three points behind his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke. Yet, the folks at 538 Blog are predicting a Walker win. Here’s hoping Nate is wrong on this one.

Back in New York, The New York Times refused to endorse incumbent Governor Andrew Coumo, citing ethics, in his primary challenge from Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, who is getting a lot more recognition because of that and Andy’s lame attempts to keep her off the ballot. The primary in September 9.

Let the games begin.