Flap’s Links and Comments for March 7th from 10:02 to 10:59

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 7th from 10:02 to 10:59:

  • NV-Sen: Sen. John Ensign to Announce Retirement – Sen. John Ensign is expected to announce at an afternoon news conference in Las Vegas that he will retire rather than face a brutal 2012 re-election campaign, according to knowledgeable sources.
    The Nevada Republican, who has been embattled since revealing he had an affair with the wife of a former aide, was facing a possible primary challenge from Rep. Dean Heller (R). Heller is now expected to run for the open Senate seat.
    Roll Call Politics rates this race as a Tossup.

    +++++++

    What a disgrace.

    Don't let the door hit you in the ass as you go out.

  • ObamaCare’s March Madness – Sports fans relish this time of year for the NCAA Championship Basketball Tournament, aka "March Madness." But this year the tournament has a serious contender for that title. March is also ObamaCare's anniversary month.

    Last year, President Obama gave Congress an arbitrary deadline to pass his health-care takeover legislation before the Easter recess at the end of March. This forced lawmakers to hurry their votes on a deeply flawed bill that very few of them had read. Worse, many made false promises to secure final passage.

    We're already seeing ObamaCare's madness in its first year of implementation, which is why the American people continue to call for defunding, repealing and replacing it with more sensible reforms. Here are a few examples of the mayhem.

    • More than half the states—28 and counting—are challenging the law in court, saying that it violates the constitutional rights of their citizens and the sovereignty of the states. A new study from the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committees found that as a result of ObamaCare, budget-strapped states face at least $118 billion in unfunded mandates during the first 10 years after the law takes effect.

    • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has handed out nearly 1,000 waivers to allow select companies, unions and states to escape, at least temporarily, some of the burdensome new insurance rules she has created. This is a continuation of the trend of the "Cornhusker Kickback" and the "Louisiana Purchase" that Senate Democrats used to get the law passed in the first place, and that so disgusted the American people.

    • Independent experts have shown that the cost of health insurance will rise faster than it would have without the law. The Congressional Budget Office expects the price of a family policy in the individual market to be $2,100 higher by 2016 than it would have been had the law not passed. In at least 20 states, it's now impossible to buy child-only health insurance because of Ms. Sebelius's onerous new rules.

    • Seniors are at risk of losing access to physicians and medical care. Medicare actuaries say that the cuts built into the law will force as many as 40% of providers to eventually stop seeing Medicare patients or go bankrupt.

    • Many thousands of people are already losing the health insurance they have now as companies are exiting markets for individual, small group and Medicare Advantage coverage.

    • The former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, says that the costs of ObamaCare are set to explode when employers opt to drop coverage and send their workers to the new, federally subsidized health exchanges for coverage. He estimates that this will drive up the cost of the law by $1 trillion or more in the first 10 years.

    The list goes on and on. It's time to stop the ObamaCare madness before it becomes another entrenched entitlement program.

    ++++++++

    Defund it first and then repeal this bad law.

  • Environment, House budget bill: House GOP spending bill aims to slash environmental regulation – Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, called the budget resolution a "slash-and-burn proposal" and "a backdoor attack on our national landmark environmental laws."

    The delta and San Joaquin River sections were written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), who represents parts of the San Joaquin Valley and has previously introduced legislation to waive protections for salmon and the delta smelt and ramp up pumping from the delta, one of California's major sources of water.

    Nunes said his budget language was a "simple attempt to try to get some of our water back so we can put people back to work." He added that if his proposal died in the Senate, he would keep pursuing it.

    "Every chance that we have to amend a bill or pass a bill, we will be doing it," said Nunes, who on his House blog last year complained that "environmental radicals operating in the name of Gaia, Mother Earth, the Wiccan religion and a host of other cult-like organizations have litigated, legislated and extorted away the water needed for San Joaquin Valley communities."

    Terry Anderson, executive director of the Property and Environment Research Center, which promotes a free-market approach to environmental problems, said the cuts were driven more by political than budgetary concerns. And he argued that even if they went into effect, they would have a limited impact.

    "The regulations that won't be enforced haven't been the biggest drivers in improvements in environmental quality in recent years," Anderson said. "We have a clean environment, and we'll continue to clean it up because of technology. And that is largely a function of economic growth."

    +++++++

    If you don't have the money and regulations are stifling economic growth, what is prudent for the House to do?

    Spend American into Bankruptcy?

    And, Sen. Barbara Boxer is so far out there in LEFT field nobody listens to her anyway.

Video: Sen. Barbara Boxer Beclowns Herself Over PBS Funding – “A Vendetta Against Elmo”

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina

Come on California. You cannot tell me that Carly Fiorina would not have made a better Senator than this idiot.

Sen. Barbara Boxer posited a new theory about what lies behind GOP cuts to the budget. The Republican Party hates Elmo, she suggested in a floor speech Tuesday.

“I believe they use deficit reduction as an excuse to carry out political vendettas,” she said, speaking about GOP cuts to health care, the EPA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which she noted is funded by the government at a much lower percentage than the BBC in Britain.

“Now they want to zero it out,” she said. “A vendetta, against Elmo.”

Poll Watch: Senator Barbara Boxer Continues Unpopular

Posted Posted in Barbara Boxer, California Republican Party

California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer answering a question during election 2010

The latest PPP Poll is quite revealing.

There’s no such post election bounce for Barbara Boxer. She continues to have more voters (47%) disapproving of her than approve (45%). That was the case throughout her entire 2010 campaign and she got reelected by double digits anyway. You can take that as a sign that the entire GOP is hopeless in California or simply that the party needs to start nominating much stronger candidates but at any rate what they’re doing now is not good enough to even hold an unpopular Senator to a single digit win.

Obviously, the California GOP needs to rebrand itself and recruit new and younger candidates for the future. It may take quite a while though – if ever.

CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer Outspends Carly Fiorina in Senate Race

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina
fiorinaboxerb CA Sen Poll Watch: Is Carly Fiorina Beginning to SURGE in the Polls?

Republican Nominee Carly Fiorina and California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer

No surprise here as Barbara Boxer had no Democrat Primary opponent, was a long-time incumbent U.S. Senator and had almost $ 8 million in the bank before her campaign began. Unfortunately, there is a lag in the FEC online reporting internet posting and I do not have a link to each of the candidates’ reports as of yet.

But, the Los Angeles Times has a fairly good precise.

In final campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission a month after Boxer’s victory, the senator reported raising just over $28 million and spending almost all of it over the course of the campaign. Fiorina raised $22.6 million and spent more than $22 million, including a $1-million personal loan to the campaign that was repaid.

Fiorina’s tally also included more than $5.5 million that the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive gave to her campaign during the contested GOP primary. Without a primary opponent, Boxer was able to spend most of her money during the general election campaign.

What is the most interesting fact in the reporting is that Carly Fiorina limited her personal wealth damages to around $5 Million, unlike unsuccessful California GOP Gubernatorial canddidate Meg Whitman who blew over $100 plus Million.

Boxer’s campaign had believed that one of their biggest threats was Fiorina’s personal wealth, estimated at between $27.7 million and $121 million in reports filed with the secretary of the Senate. Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said one of the biggest surprises of the campaign was that Fiorina “never wrote the really big check.” The $1-million loan was made during the general election, but was paid back before the end of the campaign.

Without major personal spending by Fiorina, Boxer ended up with an advantage over her foe on television despite the more than $8.8 million in outside ads targeting Boxer that her campaign tracked.

But, Fiorina’s failure to write the “really big check” and to pay herself back $1 Million in loans to the campaign, instead of spending the money on television ad buys will create some angst in Republican circles.

The LA Times reports that Fiorina, who has substantial personal wealth, padded a $5.5 million loan to herself made during her contested primary with a $1 million loan made during the general election. But the second loan was “paid back before the end of the campaign.” Keep in mind: the National Republican Senatorial Committee poured money into that race in the final weeks, including a $2 million buy in the last days.

Apparently, Fiorina had a stop limit on what she was personally going to spend on this race, regardless of the polls, etc. I mean, $ 5 plus Million personal expenditure, is enough money for most couples to comfortably live happily ever after in retirement. If anything, Carly was prudent and political blind ambition did not overcome her common sense – unlike Meg Whitman.

But, pundits will harp that Fiorina should have spent her last dime on the race to beat Boxer – and it would not have made a damn bit of difference. Fiorina lost the race by 10 points ( a million votes) and Whitman who spent many times more on television ads lost by even more. I have discussed the reasons why previously and more television ads may have made some diffference but……probably not.

With her well-financed treasury, Boxer’s campaign was able to spend about $14 million on television advertising during the general election phase — more than half of it in the Los Angeles media market — compared with the $4.8 million spent on ads by Fiorina’s campaign, the final reports indicated.

Carly lost Los Angeles County by almost 700,000 votes (62.2% to 32.2%) and whether a concentrated and DIFFERENT television ad campaign would have made a difference is really speculative.

I do think the national GOP has learned from this California November election disaster though.

Ultimately, all those groups helped Boxer cement her 10-point margin of victory — raising questions about whether Republican groups will be as willing to pour money into another California Senate race, given that they were unable this year to take advantage of the odds in their favor .

“I think we are starting to feel like California is an island nation,” said UC San Diego Professor Thad Kousser. “The national groups have gone back and forth on whether to spend money in California because it costs so much more…. This is yet another example of why national Republican money can simply be wasted in California — and you have wasted a lot of it.”

It is arguable whether a few more $ Millions spent in California would have been BETTER redirected to states like Washington and Nevada where the money would have had a broader reach in smaller media markets with less population. The Washington and Nevada Senate races were certainly closer in outcome than Fiorina Vs. Boxer.

As I have said before, I don’t think too many Republican donors are going to waste their time and money with any California statewide races anytime soon.

CA-Sen: How Barbara Boxer Defeated Carly Fiorina

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina

California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Governor-Elect Jerry Brown, November 2, 2010

One answer: Los Angeles County

Look at the California election map:

And, then the results from Los Angeles County.

Republican Carly Fiorina performed well in many California counties but the almost 600,000 vote deficit in Los Angeles County spelled her doom.

Why?

Demographics for one, since Los Angeles city and its outlying cities have large ethnic Hispanic, Jewish, African American and Asian populations who overwhelmingly register and vote Democratic. President Obama is very popular with these communities and he was very visible in campaigning for the long term incumbent.

Both sides said that in the end, Boxer also got a significant boost from President Obama, who came out to campaign for her and was featured in television and radio ads in the closing weeks of the campaign.

While Obama’s approval ratings have dipped well below 50% in other parts of the country, 54% of voters in California approved of how the president is doing his job.

“In the rest of the country it was 1994 all over again, in California it was 2008 all over again,” said UC San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser. “This is a state where the president still has some support, where it seems like the Democrats turned out in large numbers, and it wasn’t quite the same threatening electoral conditions that we’ve seen elsewhere.”

Also, the number of union member households is especially large – and the LA unions turn out their voters to the polls.

With the sprawling LA landscape, the campaign tool of choice is, of course, television and Barbara Boxer won on that front as well.

They had roared into the fall campaign with a significant financial advantage — allowing them to air television ads for more than a week unchallenged by Fiorina. In mid-September, they launched the first of a series of scorching ads detailing the layoffs and outsourcing during her tenure at HP, as well as the millions of dollars in compensation she received.

Boxer’s campaign manager, Rose Kapolczynski, said at that juncture, many voters still did not know much about Fiorina: “That was an opportunity to define her,” she said.

Within a few weeks, polling showed that Fiorina had slumped by eight points.

Boxer’s pollster Mark Mellman said Fiorina’s business experience initially impressed voters but “when people understood what she really did at HP, it was devastating to her.”

“If there is a mortal sin in this economy, it is exporting jobs,” he said.

And, Carly Fiorina never did try to defend her record at HP “on air.” This was a critical mistake and although Fiorina had written a book “Tough Choices” which defended her career and record at HP the ads featuring former laid off and outsourced employees with NO defense were devastating. These ads took the “wind” out of her campaign, especially in TV susceptible Los Angeles. Boxer’s TV and radio ads droned on and on.

When Boxer, right after Labor Day, started to define Fiorina as a greedy, corporate executive who was insensitive to her employees, Fiorina should have fielded her own ads with “real” HP employees and with Californians whose lives were negatively affected by Barbara Boxer policies.

But, Marty Wilson and his staff elected to go in a different direction.

But Fiorina campaign manager Marty Wilson said the campaign decided early on to focus on defining Boxer as an ineffective and partisan incumbent who had been in office too long, to the detriment of Californians. Fiorina’s ads glossed over her corporate record to focus on her pledge to find common ground in Washington.

“We could not win the election if we played on Barbara Boxer’s turf, which would have been to get into a big, long, lengthy discussion about why corporate CEOs have to make the decisions that they make. It was not a winning argument for us,” Wilson said. Neither, however, was the strategy they pursued.

“At the end of the day, the simple answer is we didn’t get enough votes,” Wilson said.

I think Marty ignored a cardinal rule of politics in this case (and I do know Marty and he and I may argue this point – by the way, they know how I feel). When someone hits you with negative ads (especially on California television), you must respond immediately or the voters just might to start to believe them. Obviously, LA County voters did.

The inability of the campaign to respond quickly and respond in kind “on air” in Los Angeles, cost them whatever chance they had to win this race. Independent TV ad expenditures later in the campaign after Fiorina had already been defined as “out for herself” were not heard by the voters.

It was already too late.

CA-Sen: Senator Barbara Boxer Wins Re-Election Over Carly Fiorina

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina

California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina talks to volunteers and supporters at California GOP election night headquarters in Irvine, California last night

It wasn’t a pretty loss for Carly Fiorina where polls had the race much closer than the 9-10 point Boxer victory.
After monitoring results overnight, Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina conceded defeat Wednesday morning after her hard-fought race with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, stating that she was proud of every moment of her campaign.

Speaking to reporters and a small group of supporters with her husband at her headquarters in Irvine, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive said the experience had been a privilege and that she had been touched by every person she met across California. She said she ran because she was concerned that attaining the American dream had become too hard for too many people and that she was still worried about out-of-control spending in Washington.

“We had an exceptional campaign,” Fiorina said. “In the end we could not overcome the registration that Democrats have, and in particular in L.A. County.”

Demographics played a role (look at the California map) but so did the relentless negative advertising by Barbara Boxer who portrayed Carly Fiorina as a greedy corporate executive who laid employees off by shipping their jobs offshore and enriched herself at the same time. The late in the campaign ads which featured outsourced Hewlett-Packard employees was devastating to Fiorina – particularly in populous Los Angeles County where the ads played ubiquitously in the last two weeks of the campaign.

I was at the Irvine, California Fiorina headquarters yesterday afternoon through the early morning hours. Here are some photos which I snapped:

Radio talk show host of Salem Communications Dennis Prager

California Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel being interviewed



Liz Mair
, Flap and Dan Blatt

So, one has to consider whether it was worth the Carly Fiorina effort to challenge Barbara Boxer in “deep blue” California, raise, plus spend, the millions of dollars in campaign cash and come out with a loss that is about what Matt Fong experienced in 1998.

Somehow I think it was, since Boxer herself acknowledged that this race was “the toughest and roughest campaign of my life.” Plus, Boxer had to utilize the full resurces of her incumbency to fight back Fiorina, including multiple President Obama fundraising events. Boxer spent $ millions which could have been redistributed to other states for other Democrat campaigns. And, she spent like a drunken sailor on television ads the last month of the campaign.

But, with this said, California Democrats who have a massive registration advantage, pretty much swept the California election board and shellacked the GOP – from Jerry Brown’s election as Governor to Loretta Sanchez’s re-election to the House. Even GOP favorite California Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley is in a close race which will be decided by absentee ballots (counted over the next few weeks).

I doubt whether the national GOP will place as many resources into California to win a statewide race (such as Senator Diane Feinstein’s re-election in two years) anytime soon – or my lifetime.

California is the new “Solid Blue” Massachusetts, New York or Maryland.