Tuesday, June 27, 2006

CD 8 Democratic Primary, What’s It About?

An interesting notion has emerged down at the end of the comment thread to the last Data Port post. Ol’ Anonymous implies that what the Democratic primary is really about is reforming the Democratic Party. God knows that the Party needs reform, but that’s not what the election in CD 8 is about.

Pay attention, now: The election is about sending a Democrat to Congress, regaining control of the House, and putting the brakes on the Republican rot. Only then can we hope for some change of direction, some glacial movement toward tax reform, single payer health care, or a return of our rights to privacy.

These, and other issues dear to Democrats, are particular goals and projects that are specific and can attacked one at a time. “Reform” is a notion so formless and cloud-like that it’s hard to get a handle on. I fear that the Party, like Chicago, “ain’t ready for reform.” But we’ll see.

Anonymous suggests that Giffords supporters are all Independents and Republicans, which will certainly come as a surprise to the legions of hard core, lifelong, Democrats who throng the campaign office, and work for her election.

Finally, if “reform” really is a goal and if “being part of the caucus” is a necessary condition of that project, then Giffords is so overwhelmingly part of the caucus that the reformers should rush to her support.

20 comments:

AZYouLikeIt said...

Ah, but if the election is about sending a Democrat to Congress, shouldn't we all support the Democrat who the Republicans are terrified to run against?

(Hint: It's not Gabby.)

Kralmajales said...
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Kralmajales said...
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anonymous said...

So where are all the mainstream Democrats blogging for Gabby? Where are these liberal Democrats? Where is the groundswell, beside the reactionary independents giving ersatz analysis of the district.

Kraljamales has lived in the district for less than five years, and he pretends to know lay of the land, with his inside analysis. He is an insider to the Gabby camp, but that is the extent of his roots within the Democratic Party. His analysis is as helpful to the Democrats as David Brookes.

How do you quantify being terrified about someone as anonymous as Gabby Giffords?

Why are the reformers not rushing to support Gabby?

Glad the Republicans and Independents want to help Gabby, because she needs it. It may help in the general election.

TucsonMark said...

I am a liberal and as a longtime resident of CD-8 (previously CD-5 before this past census) for 23 years, registered voter, Democrat and Precinct Committee candidate, I've made my first choice for the Sept. 12 primary election, as will those who will vote in the respective election. Whomever wins the primary election that day, I am prepared to support and work for on Sept. 13, so are all supporters of the respective candidates running so willing?

A trivia question for the blogosphere? What do Joel Ireland, Judith Belcher, Chuck Phillips, Jim Toevs, Gary Auerbach, Mort Nelson, Tom Volgy, George Cunningham, Mary Judge Ryan and Eva Bacal have in common? They were the previous Democratic nominees for this congressional seat, dating back to 1986, who lost to Kolbe. With the exception of Kolbe and Cunningham, no credible campaigns were run and the Democrats "just didn't bother."

This is the first opportunity since 1984, when Kolbe defeated the then Democratic incumbent, Jim McNulty, in the Reagan landslide?

So again I ask, I'm prepared to support the Democratic nominee on Sept. 13, are the other supporters and bloggers as well?

sirocco said...

I've lived in the district more than 20 years, and am a Democrat anon ... and I find I agree with Kral more than I agree with you.

Of course, since we don't know who you are, we don't know if you even live in the district. The same of course can be said about me, if you wish to simply brush me off as a liar.

sirocco said...

Oh, to answer TucsonMarks question, yes, on Sep. 13 I will be providing money to and what support I can for whichever Democrat is nominated.

AZYouLikeIt said...

I will absolutely support the primary victor, whomever she or he is -- I certainly hope Gabby's supporters will say the same.

As for Roger's nonsense about Patty's polls being the only ones so far -- please stop denying the fact that there have been multiple polls taken and leaked. Everyone knows it. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

Gabby's own poll shows she'll have trouble beating Randy Graf in the primary. She's admitted that to insiders. I'm sorry if you're not enough on the inside to hear that or just choose to ignore it. Eva Bacal's poll showed the same -- that's why she bowed out.

Of course, things can change between now and then. The polls that have been taken (and leaked) so far are, as you note, a starting point. They all show a consistent starting point -- Patty will have a much easier time winning the November than Gabby will.

Kralmajales said...
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Kralmajales said...

Azyoulikeit,

Sure, there must be other polls and they are all taken differently and under different methodologies. I have not seen the results you speak of or leak. Haven't seen the numbers.

I think the polls are probably right now. I think they do measure, right now, that Weiss has the higher name recognition and is running strong in opinion against the other candidates. Yes, it is a starting point to go off of indeed.

What I am warning the Weiss camp about is that the starting point they choose will be one by which we compare her to as the campaign goes along. She may very well stay the same or move up. But most people doubt it greatly based on her organization and fundraising. It is just too early now...and if the polls tighten...and I think they will. Watch what happens.

Last, whomever wins the primary will be virtually annointed. If Giffords wins, the story will be a strong strong campaign beating upsetting a very popular and beloved newsanchor. If Weiss wins it will be well loved political outsider upsets the strong campaign of a well-liked lawmaker. If Latas wins...well the just imagine the press about an upset.

So saying who would be stronger now is just bunk. I know that all of them will be wicked strong in the fall as long as we don't tear each other apart doing it.

anonymous said...

Tom Volgy did better than the other candidates, including the (in)credible campaign of George Cunningham.

George ran as an establishment candidate with pretty much an identical platform to Gabby's. Not much traction or excitement in that.

Tom ran against PACs and for clean elections.

One liberal defending Gabby is better than none, so I salute you. And a registered Democrat...

Roger has been declaring this race over since February, either the money race, or the incredible lead that Gabby has, including her volunteers, endorsements, etc.

Its not, and Gabby's numbers show she is an unknown or she is controversial, more than popular and liked.

anonymous said...

Roger, as a former independent, I can assure you: you will not be welcomed and you will not have a place at the table. Only info scraps for you to share with the other dogs.

Gabby will appoint Democrats and Republicans to her hypothetical congressional staff, before any independents. They have more influence and status than independents.

You are not Bernie Saunders, and Bernie is an army of one.

Art can bellow but he is not a part of the Democrat's caucus, merely a campaign insider on Team Gabby. His influence waxes and wanes on the strength of the candidates he backs.

Independents are the wedge, but they are not a wedge issue. They have the luxury of saying, "I'm not one of YOU!" And they are not, and they will not be fully accepted by either party for that reason.

As an independent, I never voted for Republicans and they still won. Time to adjust your stategy, or time to learn to love self banishment.

Kralmajales said...
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anonymous said...

Roger. You've given it your best.

Step back, relax and unspin your thoughts into a Zen like space where subjectivity and emotions give way to tranquility and bliss.

Its not about you.

Kralmajales said...
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Liza said...

Giffords Fans and others,

Here is something I would like to share with you. I just spoke with one of the voters in my precinct. This particular voter is a registered Democrat, female, retired from TUSD, reads the daily paper, watches the daily news, votes in all primaries and generals, and has internet access.

Me: Have you been paying much attention to the CD 8 candidates?
Voter: CD8, that’s Kolbe’s seat, right?
Me: Yes, it is.
Voter: No, actually I haven’t. Randy Graf is running, isn’t he?
Me: I want to ask you about the Democratic candidates who are running. Have you heard of Gabrielle Giffords?
Voter: Yes, I’ve heard of her but I don’t think I’d vote for her.
Me: Have you heard of Jeff Latas?
Voter: No
Me: I know that you know Patty Weiss. She is also a candidate.
Voter: Oh, yes, I remember hearing about that. Well, I’ve got to say that right now I am just disgusted with politics in general and I don’t know who I’ll be voting for.

I can assure you that this lady will vote in the primary and the general, but what I don’t know is how she will eventually decide who gets her vote.

I canvassed my precinct last year for about three months for the city election. My precinct has about 500 registered Democrats, 700 Republicans, and 430 Independents. We attempted to contact all the Democrats and as many Independents as time permitted. I’m sure that fewer than 20% of the voters I talked to knew there was going to be an election. I could probably count on one hand the number of voters who knew anything about the candidates. In fact, I didn’t talk to even one voter who knew Karen Uhlich. Some of the voters knew Nina Trasoff from TV, but were not aware that she was a candidate. Our strategy for this election was to identify Democratic supporters and try to get them to sign up to vote by mail. By Democratic supporter I mean someone who will vote for a Democrat (whoever) and not a Republican. It’s that simple.

Even though 2006 is a national election, I seriously doubt if the electorate’s level of engagement is significantly improved. If you believe the “polls,” increasing numbers of Americans are getting fed up with Iraq, Bush, high gas prices, etc…but none of that seems to translate into political awareness and especially not at the lower levels of government. However, if you can get these people to vote, they just might vote against the perpetrators who can be identified by the “Republican” label.

So, for all this discussion about CD8 candidates, most of it goes absolutely nowhere. But for those of us who are engaged in the CD8 Democratic primary, I think we should support the candidate who best represents our values and convictions. And, I emphasize that this is an individual decision. Having the most money and the best campaign operatives are not compelling reasons to vote for a particular candidate. I don’t think that anyone here has underestimated the importance of this election because we all understand the dire consequences of not being able to restore the balance of power in Washington. If we fail in 2006, what does that say about 2008? Worse yet, what does it say about the next two years?

I believe that Latas, Giffords, or Weiss could defeat a Republican in CD8 given strong support from the Democratic Party. A lot of it depends on how much money the Republicans are willing to spend to keep the seat because this could be another CD50. They’ve got the money and we’ve got their lousy performance record. For us, that means boots on the ground and a zillion phone banks. But go back to what I said in the beginning. You find the people who will vote for Democrats, get a ballot in their hands, remind them to vote, hope they do, and hope it gets counted. It’s all about the numbers.

sirocco said...

I saw an interesting blog entry somewhere today (kos I think) regarding the recent CA-50 race. The author was discussing how early voting seemed to be tilting Democrat )more Dems requesting and submitting early ballots).

In response, four days prior to the election the Repubs went out in force and rounded up supporters to submit early ballots. What had been a deficit turned into a 10K Republican advantage in a race decided by something like 5K.

We need to keep this in mind ... regardless of who the Dem candidate is, the Nov. race figures to be very close - close enough I could see the Repubs doing something similar here. We can't lose the seat because we get outworked. It would be worth preparing something similar for the fall.

outlander said...

Liza is right about the canvassing. They are either undecided, uninformed, or favoring Patty. But they all know Patty Weiss, and they mostly like her.

If the news, radios, and television stations actually carried news on campaigns, then incumbents and well known personalities would not have the advantage of having to pay to play for coverage.

Public financing would be a good start.

Emersome Biggums said...

heard Latas is doing a bang up job at getting to the doors. I even heard of an unofficial poll from there convassing. We're on the back stretch and the long shot is moving up. Someone better tell the others to look over their shoulder.

Ever hear of the term Upset? It was a race horse before it had the current meaning. The current mean comes from this horse beating the appearent odds on favorite. Start looking over the shoulder, this could be an upset moving up.

Kralmajales said...
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