November 12, 2014

How Many GOP State Senators?

We've had a real nail-biter in Colorado. Gov. Hickenlooper (D) won handily, and the State House was not in danger of flipping from D, but the State Senate was down to one seat. And a write-in election for surveyor in Adams County impeded ballot counting. It took a few days, but we learned that Republicans had won a majority. This should be handy for stopping most Democrat nonsense.

So, how many seats is that? And how lucky they were able to all find shirts in Colorado with that number on the front?


Photo credit: Denver Post

Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Au contraire mon frère, the CO house WAS in danger of flipping. The GOP needed to defeat 5 incumbent Democrats, without any losses of their own, and it looks like they will end up flipping 3, including some who thought they were in safe districts.

Also, my new senator, former Weld Sheriff John Cooke, who appears to be the tallest of the bunch (2nd from left) has now moved to the other side of the hearing bench as he was one of the most outspoken critics of the legislatures gun law frenzy last session. I expect him to demonstrate to Democrats what it means to actually listen to testimony at a hearing.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 12:12 PM

November 7, 2014

Cheery News, Deux

I'm not going to let anybody else link to Kim Strassel first. This one's mine!

As Billy Gibbons would say. "How, how, how, can I get my libertarian friends to read this trenchant punditry?"

She compliments the new class as the maturing, pragmatic-but-principled political class we all hoped the Tea Party would grow into. I hope she is not too complimentary, but she underscores everything I thought I was fighting for in the midterms.

[The focus on races and electability] doesn't give credit to voters, who on Tuesday elected one of the more solid and reformist freshman Senate classes in decades. Conservatives have been overhauling the GOP for years--replacing an older, lazier, spend-happy generation with Republicans who have run on policy change and principle. The tea-party wave sent 87 new Republicans to the House in 2010, churning over more than a third of the GOP caucus.

The pace has been slower in the Senate, though it too has seen a steady growth in reformers: Marco Rubio , Ron Johnson , Pat Toomey, Jeff Flake, Kelly Ayotte , Mike Lee, Rand Paul , Ted Cruz . Up to now, their influence has been largely internal--putting the older guard on notice and helping shift the Senate Republican caucus mostly in smarter directions. Harry Reid's Senate lockdown hasn't allowed for much more. But that's about to change, as Republicans take the Senate reins, and as the reformers' ranks swell with Tuesday's victors.

The particular skill set, military and business acumen imported by the new class is mentioned, as well as political deftness. No, the New Deal did not end Tuesday night. But the change in slope, the foundation of principle that we all fought for bore some fruit.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

That last paragraph looks like link-bait to James Taranto's "Metaphor Alert" feature. ThreeSources apologizes for anyone offended.

Some of my style flaws offend me and I attempt improvement. That one seems a schoolbook rule that does not really endanger comprehension. In the middle of the stream, as it were.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2014 11:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Everything evolves and changes over time, even the GOP.

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2014 1:09 PM

The Cheery News Keeps Rolling In

The WSJ Ed Page's Alyssa Finley enumerates the incredible drubbing the teachers' unions took in the 2014 midterms. It's a Schadenfreudepalooza for ThreeSourcers and a response to the libertarian mantra of "oh nothing happened yesterday, we traded big spending Democrats for big spending war mongering Republicans."

Besides the high profile wins of Govs. Walker, Kasich and Snyder, Thom Tillis withstood a barrage of union ads targeting the voucher program he got through the NC State legislature. It was a good night up and down the tickets.

Unions also got clobbered in statehouse elections and, in some cases, on Democratic turf. A pro-charter group defenestrated three Democratic state senators in New York, giving Republicans control of the upper chamber. School reformers warned that re-electing the Democratic senators would give Bill de Blasio , New York City’s progressive mayor, and his union cronies hegemony over Albany.

The American Federation for Children, which supports private-school scholarships, elected all 13 of its legislative candidates in Alabama despite being outspent by the state teachers union 27-to-1. In Tennessee, the pro-school-choice outfit toppled Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson, a teachers-union favorite.

At the end -- and I hate to torque poor Brother Keith -- but we cannot hide from the truth because it is unpleasant.
A rare silver lining for the unions was California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson's slender victory over school reformer Marshall Tuck, a fellow Democrat and former head of the nonprofit Los Angeles-based Green Dot charter schools. Mr. Tuck, who was backed by other Democratic school reformers, including San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson , was blasted by teachers-union ads as a creature of Wall Street who would turn "our schools over to for-profit corporations motivated by money" and "those who profit from high-stakes testing would take the joy out of learning."

Forty-nine states took on "the blob" and won. This will diminish their power and influence in 2016 -- and perhaps cause more teachers to shorten the leash on the unions' activities.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:33 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

No offense taken, brother. I can always point at Tuck as proof of my broadmindedness - I voted for a Democrat (running against another Democrat, of course).

Torlakson/Tuck was a rare collision between two wings of the Dem party. Torlakson is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State-employee union wing, and Tuck is one of the bright lights of the reformer wing. Torlakson waged a completely libelous campaign financed by the unions, promising in return that charter schools will become a thing of the past and easy tenure for even the most incompetent of the teachers will continue to be protected.

The straight-ticket Dem win - highlighted by our famous governor and or radical Attorney General - goes to prove how out-of-step California is. On a related note, the city of San Francisco just voted to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. The only good effect that will come of that is it may remedy the sky-high unemployment across the bay in Oakland.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 7, 2014 11:22 AM
But jk thinks:

I suppose the non-cheery news is the success of Minimum wage referenda. Many are surprised at how well that did in Nebraska (who is surprised at anything SF does?)

We need to spend some cycles figuring out that coalition. I thought that Lou Dobbs, like the city in which Tony Bennett lost his heart, could not surprise. But the FBN populist is an avid supporter and encourages conservatives and Republicans to champion increases. Et tu, Lu?

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2014 11:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Beyond just minimum wage hikes, Sally Kohn points out many "genuinely progressive reforms" that passed by initiative Tuesday night, and quoted a Tweet which summarized:

"So voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, abortion access and GOP representation. Ok then."

Yep. Ok with me too, since none of the Progressive agenda that passed contradicted any of the priority issues that appear on most of the new Congress wish lists. And while minimum wage laws are anathema, they are being passed at the state level where their failures can be compared to states that do not outlaw entry-level jobs, and not at the federal level. All of this adds up to a happy conclusion:


Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2014 2:35 PM

November 5, 2014

What, Is This a Gloat-free Zone?

Two losses:

1. Colorado Guv: You cannot win them all. Colorado rarely denies a sitting governor term two, and Rep, Beauprez was a solid but not wildly exciting candidate. I would have relished spanking Gov. Hick for his signing the gun control and rural renewable bills, but with a GOP State Senate, he won't do much mischief. And a pro-fracking D (he has a Geology degree) might come in handy.

2. Jean Shaheen in NH Senate: I am signed up for the "Free State Project" where 20,000 liberty lovers vow to move to the Granite State and turn it into libertarian paradise (like Somalia?) The Free State Facebook page touts their liberty bona fides. But, kids, if you send Sen. Shaheen back in a Republican wave year then you have lost jk.

Innumerable wins:
1. The US Senate Majority: Woo hoo.

2. CO Senate Cory Gardner: The War on Women actually fails.

3. All CO Ballot initiatives: We have a "robust" citizen initiative process in Colorado, derided by some for "how easy it is to get something on the ballot." Jon Caldara points out most of those have not tried. Caldera has a few times -- and his Prop 104 to open meetings with teachers' unions to the public passed 70-30! All the others went down in flames: personhood, GMO labeling, and a crony-arrangement for gaming at one location (for the children).

We hates us some plebiscitary democracy on these pages. But there was a GOP speaker at a recent LOTR-F who pointed out that liberty does very well in statewide referenda. I pushed back on the first question but he said "trust the people. not the legislature" and provided many examples. Last night my citizen brothers and sisters were perfect.

4. Everybody I donated to, with non-zero expectations, won. Lookit me! I'm a Kingmaker! Mia Love, the new Congresswoman elect from Utah; Joni Ernst, Senator-elect from Iowa; Mike Coffman (R - CO6), and of course Sen-elect Gardner. I don't think I gave to Bob Beauprez. Sorry.

(I gave to George Leing's quixotic tilt at Rep. Polis in CO-2. He may be my favorite candidate ever, but Polis has a safe seat and more money than God. I think 12-points is considered a nail-biter in CO-2. Next action item is a nasty letter to Reason magazine. George Leing is exactly the kind of candidate they want, but they undercut him with two puff pieces on Polis ["He's a gamer!' "He accepts contributions in BitCoin!"] the "libertarian-democrat" who votes for the ACA, Dodd-Frank, and personally finances gun-control state-house candidates is somehow a darling of Reason and FBN's The Independents.)

5. Sen. Landrieu is going down. you know it, I know it, we're just going to have to wait a month. That will be like desert.

6. I received a personal apology from one of my "libertario delenda est" FB buddies who regrets not voting for Beuprez. The others are recalcitrant. But? Hope?


Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

More specifically, I view last night's results in Colorado and elsewhere as an endorsement of Rand Paul Republicanism and a repudiation of Mike Huckabee Republicanism. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush? As soon as anyone can tell me any Republicanism that they represent, let me know.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 1:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I agree with JG - "Centrism" didn't benefit anyone last night. What paid off was a lot of things - some bad Dem candidates, and some very intelligent, very reasonable Republican candidates who campaigned with positivity.

I posted the following this morning at another site:

"If I may…

"There needs to be a serious discussion about McConnell as Senate Majority Leader. Yesterday was a repudiation of Obama and his policies (such as Obamacare, but many, many more), but don’t for get that it was a wave AGAINST Democrats more than it was a wave FOR Republicans. Some elections, such as McConnell’s, or the Florida governorship, were hold-your-nose votes. There’s no evidence that yesterday was a mandate for McConnell.

"What is was was a mandate against Obamacare, against statism, against aberrant candidates (looking at you, Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke), and against governance against the will of the people. The Republicans have a two-year audition to prove they can lead and win the hearts of America on a more permanent basis. That doesn’t mean compromising with the people and policies that just got roundly rejected. That doesn’t mean America wants them to “reach across the aisle” to partner with Harry Reid and his ilk. America wants Obamacare dead and buried, the borders secure from illegals and Ebola, ISIS stomped to a stain in the sand, and the IRS and the NSA not being used as a blunt instrument against our own citizens. America wants elected Republicans to get down to the business of fixing this country. If they do not, the gains made last night will not hold, and we’ll be facing President Hillary.

"McConnell has been a spine-free engineer of compromise and collapse. I’m not convinced he merits the job of Majority Leader. He has almost no part in bringing the GOP to the Majority. To be honest: I changed my party registration from Republican to American Independent as a response to the GOP’s refusal to seriously oppose Obama’s policies. If they want me back – and I’m open to being wooed – a good way to show that they want me back would be to make someone who represents last night’s tsunami the next Majority Leader. I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Senate Majority Leader Ted Cruz, for example; it would be a good way of telling me that they’re serious about getting this country back on the right course. There are probably a dozen other names I wouldn’t mind seeing, but McConnell and the other Dem-lites that have gone along to get along aren’t among them.

"Submitted for your consideration…"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 5, 2014 1:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I suggest that my like-minded brother has the right idea, but the wrong tone. I believe that Americans can support all of the worthy items he listed, but what they really want is just for everyone to get along. As "the people" see it, they elect representatives to make sausage, and have no interest in knowing what's in it. They just want it to taste good, and part of that is to not hear constant whining and bickering from the kitchen.

Ted Cruz started out with the right temperament to be a face for friendly Republicanism but, as I myself often do, he adhered too tightly to the rectitude of his principles and was caught being mean to worthless, corrupt Democrats, some of them women, and that has harmed his brand. Not irreparably, but it needs some rehabilitation. The same is not true for Rand Paul. But I'd rather see him as the GOP presidential nominee than the Senate Majority Leader. So, who then? We need a young, fresh, friendly face. Ron Johnson, perhaps. Mike Lee would be good. Marco Rubio! Yes, I'd like him.

But "friendly" is not the way the senate works. None of these has the ruthlessness to take on McConnell and depose him. McConnell will be majority leader. We just have to make the most of it.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 2:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

On the subject of gloating on Facebook, by the way -- here's the awesomest comment I saw last night:

"The election wasn't a wave; it wasn't even a tsunami. It was a 'Game of Thrones' season finale."

Red wedding, indeed. The Lannisters send their regards.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 5, 2014 3:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not being a GoT devotee, the full impact of that analogy is over my head. But I can feel the meaning of Joe Manchin (Blue Dog-WV) who called it "a real ass-whuppin.'"

[I notice that the headline is an accurate quotation, but the hyperlink was clearly written by a yankee: "a-whooping." What the hell's an a-whooping?]

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2014 5:41 PM
But jk thinks:

I love Ron Johnson. What did he ever do to you that you want to make him Majority Leader?

We did this on Speaker Boehner a while back, and I would put McConnell in the same bucket: leadership is not the place for your firebrand. Let Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Lee and Johnson appear on the Sunday shows and campaign for President if they want. Leader is a necessary evil, and Sen. McConnell is just the man for the job.

I also give him points for taking McConnell v SEC all the way to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: jk at November 5, 2014 7:18 PM

October 16, 2014

And It's Here!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Our ballots arrived on Tuesday, October 14, the first day they were legally permitted to be mailed. That postal service efficiency is off the hook - 0 days for delivery!

Some suggest returning them quickly so that you don't get campaign calls asking you to vote. I think that's a bad idea. Here's why:

While everyone knows that vote count results are not released until after polls close on the last day of election weeks, few realize that, under Colorado law, General Election ballot counting may begin as early as October 20th "(15 days before the election)". [Seriously. That's how they word it. Ballots may be counted "before the election."] Which means that SOMEONE knows what the running total is. Who believes that NOBODY ever leaks ANY results to ANYONE before the polls close? Would you like to buy some "beach front" property in Florida?

And beyond the possible ILLEGAL electioneering that is possible, the Secretary of State offers, for a fee, "electronic download access to the listed data extracts (blah blah) The following reports are included with the subscription:"

Most importantly:

"Statewide Mail Ballots Returned (CE-018) for the primary, general, and odd-year elections - hourly after ballots are mailed

Statewide In-Person Voting List (CE-019) for the primary, general and odd year elections - hourly after in-person voting begins"

[emphasis mine]

So what? Yes, you're right, this is not the information on HOW each voter voted, but it is the information on WHO voted and WHAT PARTY each is affiliated with. (How else would candidates know who hasn't voted yet, so those voters can be called, which you can prevent by voting early?) Combine this with same-day registration on demand and a determined party could "move" votes wherever they are "needed" quite effectively, to achieve the turnout percentages they have estimated in advance to be needed to put their guy over the top.

Who thinks I'm wrong? Just $100 per acre. No HOA. Unobstructed views. And, gator free!

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2014 3:05 PM
But jk thinks:

I returned mine immediately because I want it to count if I get hit by a bus. Not that I don't appreciate your nuanced observation and game theory (but I got this cough and a sore shoulder and...)

That said . . . Eli Stokels (Colorado's own Ezra Klein)'s Sunday show featured a debate between the Democrat and Republican SecState candidates. (The Republican will be at the S Weld County GOP breakfast this week in the JG Barony of Ft. Lupton...)

We have so many highly visible top ticket races this year, but if the Democrat gets elected we will never have a fair election in this state ever again. I know those are strong words, and I attest that the candidate seems to be a very good guy. He's a bright and well spoken immigrant from I-forget-the-West-African nation who sees it as his goal to expand the franchise and make it easier to vote.

For those outside the State, our Democratic majority the term before this passed sweeping new election rules. Everybody gets a ballot in the mail and you can register the day of the election even on the promise that "you intend to move into the district." Anti-fraud groups have shown apartment buildings with stacks of ballots sitting on tables with the Supermarket inserts. Jon Caldera registered -- on camera -- in a Colorado Springs district on "intent to move" and cast a blank ballot to show it could be done.

Like Minnesota before the Al Franken Mafia, we have a good record of clean elections. But the vehicle for fraud is now there and only a pugnacious SecState keeps it from devolving into LBJ's home county in Texas.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2014 4:15 PM

September 22, 2014

Hate the Name. Love the Video

Americans For Shared Prosperity (umm, okay...) releases a funny ad:

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty/

Posted by John Kranz at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2014

Hickenlooper Gun Ban Denial Goes Horribly Wrong!

I like the old-fashioned ways of politics better, where they actually got creative in their prevarication. The lies we're told today are so phony, so obviously transparent, it takes all the fun out of exposing them. But I will say we rarely get to see the unvarnished gut reaction when a politician is caught red handed in an outright lie. Full stop period. Like this:

"How many apologies do you want? What the f***!"

Only one for each lie, governor.

HT: Westword Blog post.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:34 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Sadly, he lost Mayor Bloomberg's emails when his hard drive crashed -- I guess we'll never know.

Posted by: jk at June 20, 2014 12:12 PM

March 13, 2014


Politico's Jake Sherman and Burgess Everett caution against "overanalyz[ing] the results of a special election" but I can't contain my enthusiasm over the way the PPACA debacle has boomeranged on the President and his party.

Republicans seem to think they've struck political gold, but Democrats aren't even sure how to interpret the loss. A veteran Democratic fundraiser called the loss a "double whammy," hurting the party with major donors and energizing Republicans.

Democrats naturally put a positive spin on the health care law, the increasingly unpopular President's signature achievement, but the depth and breadth of its stupidity, economic impossibilities, widespread personal dislocations and unmitigated incompetence combine into a self-inflicted wound so great that even Republicans can't screw up their good fortune. And Democrats, privately, seem to be admitting it.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for her part, didn't discuss changing health care messaging at a closed party meeting. One Democratic source at the meeting said members were privately "angry and disgruntled."

So veto-proof might be a bridge too far, as 22 seats would have to switch from D to R in the Senate and I'm pretty sure there aren't that many D terms expiring this year. But the House? Who knows?

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:02 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

And I thought I was excited.

It's a great win and one of my favorite aspects is that it will make Democratic legislators distance themselves from the President to self-preserve. I'm not quite looking for supermajority in either chamber but the GOP has a great chance to get a majority in the Senate.

But, help me, brothers & sisters: is there yet an answer to "War on Women?" Or my favorite: "<Candidate> is TOO EXTREME for <state>." That is all we're going to see against Cory Gardner for the next eight months. Sen. Udall has already started it on his Facebook Page with a petition to get Gardner removed from the ballot (don't remember candidates' being allowed to pick their opponents even if Daddy was a Senator, but I might have missed something...)

It sucks rags but it works. I think it works very well in Colorado. The forces of goodness and light will say "Obamacare,Obamacare,Obamacare" and the others will say "personhood,personhood,personhood." The media will be on Sen Udall's side and he will win.

Disabuse me my lacking confidence after a great victory (I worry about the Avs as well).

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2014 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dagny's on your side bro. She thinks I'm way too optimistic to which I can only say, better than being a pessimist, Ira.

How about this-

"My opponent thinks government should give you everything you need, no matter what impact his policies have on the American birthright of liberty, but here's my question: Would you rather starve on your feet, or grow obese on your knees? I'm for more iPhone and less Obamaphone; more job choices and less unemployment insurance; more paycheck and less payola; more health care and less Obamacare. Ya feel me?"
Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2014 5:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I wonder if an R would dare say-

Am I anti-abortion? You bet I am. Unborn children should be protected as much as any other child, but the mother has rights too and I will never support forcing mothers to give birth against their will, or deny them the medical care of their choice.
Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2014 5:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, iiiii like it but I'm not the target demographic...

Starve or fatten? Why, Senator Udall is for "good, wholesome, nutritional food for all children -- with no Palm, Oil!" (Sorry for the digression, but the Palm Oil / orangutan contretemps on Facebook has me despairing of Reason's ever being effective in debate.)

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2014 6:01 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

JK, answer to answer to "War on Women?" is a gentle smile, hinting at a roll of the eyes and to say "do you have a question for me?"

Hugh Hewitt mentioned this a while back: "I'm not a crook" is the worst sort of reply (and Dem's under BHO's clueless tutelage have been saying things like this, too). Barely acknowledge the accuser, just enough to haughtily dismiss the accusation with misdirection.

Same goes for "Too Extreme for CO" is a set of counter-ads showing Udall defending Obamacare, supporting Fracking bans, defining a BLT as an assault weapon, voting to play kiss-kiss with Assad or Morsy, etc....

I'm cautiously optimistic... just recall all the "mean" screams thrown at Reagan. Ken Buck and certainly Tancredo would have shown vulnerability to this tack, Gardner, no way.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 14, 2014 12:07 AM
But jk thinks:

I like it, nb, but you and I are not always there to apply the gentle eye roll. What I have seen -- and the Koch Brothers may rescue us this time -- is that Democrat 527s buy up tons of TV time in the relatively cheap Denver market and blanket coverage. Nothing else gets out.

Agree as well on Gardner's style. There is a personhood amendment in his past. I don't know any details, but that is a tough sell to Colorado moderates.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2014 10:14 AM

January 27, 2014

Progress toward Xenophobia

Before I learned why, I wondered how an entire national population could support a government that murdered millions of its own citizens. Among other places, it happened in Nazi Germany when the populist regime whipped up anger and resentment against the small and distinct set of individuals who were identified by their Jewish heritage. On Saturday Tom Perkins, a co-founder of a successful investment firm, opined, "I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent." His short letter to WSJ ended thusly:

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?

Given attitudes like this being spoken out loud, in public, by prominent members of society, is there any wonder why President Obama and Congressional Democrats are sparing no effort to demonize the TEA Party, and anyone who says that everyone has a right to his own liberty and his own opinions, even the "obscenely" rich?

Yet every single commenter to this Fox Denver article on the subject is disapprobative of the "delusional" billionaire. Notably, however, none of them posits that there is not a "rising tide of hatred for the successful one percent." Instead, they just call him names. But apparently that's all it takes to win a philosophical battle in today's world, since even the firm Perkins founded threw him under the bus.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:21 PM | Comments (0)