Archive for October 2008

Multi-Party Vice-Presidential Debate

October 28, 2008

According to <a href=”http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/28/gonzalez-root-castle-debate-announced/”>Ballot Access News,</a> there will be a vice-presidential debate in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 2.  Wayne Allyn Root, Darrell Castle, and Matt Gonzalez have thus far agreed to participate.  Rosa Clemente, the Green Party nominee, has also been invited.

Root, the Libertarian nominee, is a Las Vegas businessman who home schools his children.  He ran for the LP’s presidential nomination before dropping out and throwing his support to Bob Barr, the eventual winner.

Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee, is an attorney in Memphis.  He is Chuck Baldwin’s running mate.

I don’t know anything about Matt Gonzalez except that he is the running mate of the independent Ralph Nader.

Clemente is from Brooklyn, New York, and is No. 2 on the ticket headed by Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman who now resides in Oakland, California.

Further details on the debate will be announced on Thursday, October 30.

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“Open Primaries” For Municipal Elections

October 26, 2008

The October 25 Clarion-Ledger ran a shortened version of my letter (“Municipal ‘open’ primaries needed”). By deleting the next to last paragraph, the paper has left its readers in the dark as to the meaning of the last paragraph. Furthermore, the situation described in the deleted paragraph is what fires people up on this issue. Here is the complete letter:

Jere Nash’s October 13 piece notes that the November 4 ballots will include candidates for county election commissioner. These are nonpartisan elections, popularly called “open primaries.” There are no party primaries, and all candidates run in the same election. This is also the way that we conduct elections for state and county judges as well as special elections to fill vacancies in offices.

We could give Mississippi voters greater choice by changing to “open primaries” in municipal elections, just as the big majority of U. S. municipalities already have. There doesn’t seem to be a Republican method of fixing potholes or a Democratic method of cleaning out ditches.

What sometimes happens in the present setup is that all or most of the candidates for mayor will run in one party’s primary, while all of the candidates for council member run in the other party’s primary. Thus, residents of such a ward or district may vote for mayor or council member, but not both. Hattiesburg and Tupelo were two cities in which this occurred in 2005.

Perhaps we should start a betting pool as to which municipalities it will happen in next spring.

Video of Baldwin-Nader Debate

October 25, 2008

Here is the video of last night’s presidential debate between Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party nominee, and the independent Ralph Nader. C-SPAN2 carried the debate live, and C-SPAN rebroadcast it today.

You might want to fast forward past the speechifying of the moderator, Chris Hedges, who was even more insufferable than Tom Brokejaw. Hedges evidently didn’t realize that people tuned in to hear the candidates and not him. I found myself shouting at the TV for him to shut up.

The Libertarian Bob Barr, in my view, hurt his candidacy by skipping this debate. He reportedly only wants to debate Nader one-on-one.

Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party nominee, issued a paranoid statement that she was bypassing the debate because it was arranged by Nader’s supporters (Hedges is a Nader backer). McKinney, who is only on the ballot in 32 states– including Mississippi– was on C-SPAN today. She is already talking about running again for Congress or some other office.

I believe that Baldwin, who is not nearly as well known as Nader, helped his candidacy considerably by participating in this debate.

Howard Phillips, the Constitution Party’s founder and presidential nominee in 1992, 1996, and 2000, was in the audience.

Thanks to the Independent Political Report for the link to the video.

The Musgrove-Wicker Race and the Presidential Contest

October 25, 2008

Sidney Salter’s October 15 piece was about the Roger Wicker-Ronnie Musgrove special U. S. Senate race and its relation to the presidential election.

Mississippi voters gave [George W.] Bush his highest popular vote percentages in those elections.

This is at least the third column in which Sidney has presented this misinformation regarding the 2000 and 2004 elections. In 2000, the Magnolia State voted 57 percent for Bush, as Alabama and South Carolina also did. At least six other states gave the Texan even higher percentages: Texas and Alaska, 59 percent each; Oklahoma, 60 percent; Utah, 67 percent; and Idaho and Wyoming, 69 percent each.

In 2004, Mississippi gave Bush 60 percent of its vote. Texas and Alaska each gave him 61 percent; Alabama, 63 percent; Oklahoma, 66 percent; Idaho and Wyoming, 69 percent each; and Utah, 72 percent.

… Republicans have carried all presidential elections since the 87.1 percent Mississippi landslide for GOP nominee Barry Goldwater in 1964 – all save the 1976 campaign carried by Democratic presidential nominee and then-Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter.

In 1968, former Alabama governor George Wallace, running as an independent, carried Mississippi with 63.5 percent. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, finished second with 23 percent. The Republican nominee, former Vice President Richard Nixon, actually ran third with 13.5 percent, his lowest vote in any state.

Jimmy Carter served as governor of Georgia from January 1971 to January 1975. Hence, when he was elected president in November 1976, he had been out of office for nearly two years.

Carter’s narrow win in Mississippi put him over the top in electoral votes.

I agree that Senator John McCain will likely win the Magnolia State on November 4. While the Musgrove-Wicker race is surprisingly close, I still believe that the Republican Wicker will be victorious.