This opinion is unfiltered and, as such, the viewpoints and opinions expressed by the writer are not necessarily in line with my own. What bothers the author, a Democrat, is the mindset that has spread in Washington, D.C. and into our local races - the mindset that says: "follow the money, not the voters."
BLOOD BOILIN' IN NEW YORK By ANONYMOUS
As many of you know, we Democrats are getting ready for the '06 campaigns, but we have a few '05 campaigns to think about right now. One of these campaigns is the New York City mayoral race between millionaire and FORMER DEMOCRAT (until he ran) Michael Bloomberg and Freddy Ferrer, a nice and decent man around whom the party has unified in New York.
But there's always a catch. Enter Steven Rattner and the people like him.
Rattner, like Bloomberg, is also a millionaire. He's donated a lot of money to Democrats over the years, but suddenly he's decided to support Bloomberg in the race. An article in the New York Observer seems to say this is big news. Surely, it means Freddy Ferrer is faltering, the article alludes to.
So why is my blood boiling? If I've said it once, I'll say it a million times. Elections should never be coronations. Last time I checked, it's the voters that decide these things -- not how much money you have.
Now look, I don't have a problem with millionaires or their donations so long as the cause is right. What bothers me so much is this mindset that has spread in Washington and into our local races. It's the mindset that says: follow the money, not the voters.
Here's what we desperately need in this country: candidates who are good and smart enough to remember we're the real power brokers, and when our blood boils they had better listen up!
Well, Freddy Ferrer is listening. Now he needs our help.
It's a bad thing if Bloomberg wins -- bad for New York and bad for our party. He's cut funding for critical programs in New York while spending gobs of his personal fortune to gain support from folks. Ferrer has come so close to him in the polls because he's reached out and spoken up. Party labels aside, I know who I'd support judging just by how they run their campaigns.
And when Bloomberg was challenged to come to Harlem for a debate, Bloomberg declined ---through his spokesperson, of course! This guy is out of touch, friends.
So here's what we know. Bloomberg is a bad thing for New York. Freddy Ferrer is trying hard to win -- and win the right way. And things stink to high heaven if Rattner, the millionaire back-and-forth donor, represents the front lines of our party. He's doesn't.
A spokesperson for the Ferrer campaign said this:
"The Democratic Party is more united around Freddy Ferrer than the party has been around a candidate for more than a decade ..we can't speak for the people who Steve Rattner talks to at cocktail parties, but Democrats from Hillary Clinton to Eliot Spitzer to John Kerry know that Freddy Ferrer¹s fight...is compelling to those of us who believe in equality and prosperity for all, not just for some millionaires."
But I'll leave you instead with a quote from Mr. Rattner:
"I think slavery has been abolished in this country and I'm free to make a decision [on whom to support] on a case-by-case basis."
If Rattner thinks slavery was the last and only issue good Democrats care about, then he needs to find whatever subway route that ships him back to reality.
In the New York Times, Patrick Healy reveals a partisan side to the NYC Mayor who does not like to appear as a partisan:
when it comes to donating money to politicians, Mr. Bloomberg's Republican bona fides are as good as they get, judging from his campaign finance records. As mayor, he gave $250,000 to the same Republican party-building effort that Representative Tom DeLay is now charged with using to launder political money. Mr. Bloomberg has also doled out thousands of dollars to politicians who are far more conservative than he is.
For Mr. Bloomberg, whose campaign slogan casts him as "a leader, not a politician," this pattern of giving may be the most partisan-driven aspect of his life in politics. In a city where Democratic registration far outweighs Republican, the mayor's financial ties to Republicans and President Bush are a source of concern to some allies, who worry that the donations will turn off liberal voters he needs.
The Daily Tar Heel talks up John Edwards and his upcoming college/university tour. (Sounds like I'm talking about a rock star - but that's how much respect the Tar Heelers have for their native son ;)
I have written about the upcoming Project Opportunity tour and I will link to it as soon as it appears on the One America site.
Don't miss Sen Edwards on Jon Stewart's Daily Show tonight. He'll be making a "special announcement." *Update - Sen Edwards did a great job on the Daily Show, but I must have misunderstood Jon Stewart on the Oct 4th show. I thought he'd said there'd be an announcement tonight. Sorry for the false teaser.
Iraq Vets Are Running For Office Some are critical about Bush's course in Iraq
At Veterans for Common Sense, Kimberly Hefling writes about those who did not question their government, but loyally did their duty for their country. Now, a handful of veterans who are no strangers to the horrors of war are pursuing seats in the House of Representatives. They talk critically about the Bush administration and the Iraq war, yet they don't fit the typical anti-war/peacenik image. Unlike the Viet Nam era, the veterans of today have an advantage because Americans have a positive feeling about their soldiers.
What the Bush administration and the current RNC leadership did not anticipate was the continued support of and respect for American troops by the political left, combined with a handful of tough, honest, and vocal vets who would challenge the current GOP on their foreign policy and the failing course in Iraq.
"I'm not anti-war, I'm anti-failure," [Bryan Lenz] said. "We need to define what victory is and we need to set a plan to get there. You cannot stay the course if you do not set a course...."
"...They really want to help the Iraqi people and see the mission through, and they think we're losing because of stupid mistakes made at the senior leadership level," [Charles Sheehan-Miles] said.
John Edwards appeared as a guest on Tavis Smiley's PBS show on October 3rd. He spoke about the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination and about his work at the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C.
I think it will be important to get some of the information and writings that she has done, whether in the White House or in other jobs that she has held in the past, so that we can get some sense about where she stands. Because right now, she is very much a blank slate. And I think it is also going to be really critical for the Senate, particularly the members of, my former colleagues on the Judiciary Committee..to be really vigorous in their questioning of her and make sure that she answers the questions.
Sen. Edwards Talks About the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
When I ran for President of the United States, myself, I made it a significant part of my campaign. You remember me talking about the two different Americas and one America for the privileged and one for everybody else. And a big part of that was the issue of poverty. And then when the election was over, you know, I had a choice like people always do, about what you want to spend your time doing.
And among all the choices, this was the thing I felt most strongly about. So I have helped start a poverty center, Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We have got some very good people, two terrific women right now who are working for me there. We are working together on this poverty center.
We have brought in scholars from the university campus. We are bringing in some of the best experts in the country to talk about their views on what the causes of poverty are, the root causes, what can be done to eliminate poverty, looking at it in a very practical, 21st century, forward-looking way. And – as I'm sure we are going to talk about, you know, we are doing lots of practical things. We're having summits to bring in some of the great experts in the country.
I'm going have a panel in November of some of the leading journalists whose have written about poverty, columnists and press reporters to talk about why the press has covered poverty the way it has in the past. Has that changed as a result of Katrina? How will it change in the future, what is the likelihood - the impact that will have on the psyche of the American people? But the real issue - I think, is this window of opportunity, post-hurricane Katrina, is open. The American people are paying attention. The question is, will that window stay open, or is it gonna close?