Friday, November 12, 2010

A Seismic Shift

A Seismic Shift -
More and more evidence is emerging that shows that the engine that drove Republicans to an historic victory last Tuesday was the shift of women voters back to Republican candidates compared to results in 2008 and 2006....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Humboldt Republican Women Meeting

Humboldt Republican Women, Federated - Since 1938

Meetings are held the third Thursday of every month.
11:30 a.m. - Buffet Luncheon- Meeting 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Buffet Luncheon - $14.50
Beverage & speaker - 4.00
*Please RSVP to Colleen Hedrick at 268-0101. Early reservations appreciated.

Visit the events page for more details.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not as Crazy as They Seem

Here are a couple of good items from John Fund...
California voters may have opted for Democrats in statewide races, but at the local level they overwhelmingly favored curbs on the power of public employee unions. Nine out of ten cities with ballot measures to rein in public sector pensions and pay scales voted for reform last week. The sole exception -- as it often is even in California -- was uber-liberal San Francisco, which turned down a proposal to increase employee co-pays for health and retirement benefits.

Other liberal cities turned thumbs-down on excessive union demands. Voters in San Jose, the state's third-largest city, overwhelmingly approved a pair of measures to shrink union pension costs and limit arbitration awards to police and firefighters. Palo Alto, another liberal city, rejected a measure backed by the firefighters union that would have restricted staffing changes to the department.

In Redding voters strongly supported non-binding initiatives expressing popular approval for curtailing employee benefits. And in working-class Bakersfield residents passed a rollback of retirement formulas for new public safety employees. Currently, police and firemen can retire after 30 years of employment at 90 percent of their final year's pay as early as age 50.

The unions expressed disappointment at their losses. "Labor leaders said city officials only prevailed by trashing hard-working public servants," reported the San Jose Mercury-News. But they can take satisfaction that they helped elect an impressive slate of candidates to state offices who have a track record of support for public employees. Example No. 1 is new governor Jerry Brown, who in his previous stint in that office three decades ago started the pension bonanza when he gave public-sector employees collective bargaining rights.

Here's hoping that even Mr. Brown will recognize both the fiscal peril caused by pension obligations as well as the public's appetite for reducing them.

Rubio Republicans

When it comes to Hispanic voters, last week's elections were a tale of two results for Republicans. On one level, the GOP can take pride in the fact that 31% of all Hispanic members of Congress are now in their party. But on another level, the overwhelming Democratic advantage among Hispanics helped cost the GOP key Senate seats in Nevada, Colorado and California.

The next Congress will feature an unprecedented five new Hispanic Republicans. Two are from Texas and defeated Democratic incumbents - Bill Flores of Bryan and Quico Conseco from San Antonio. Jaime Herrera was elected to an open seat in Washington state. Raul Labrador defeated a Democratic incumbent in Idaho. David Rivera won an open House seat in Florida, just as Marco Rubio won that state's vacant U.S. Senate seat. In addition, Republicans elected two Hispanic governors -- prosecutor Susan Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval, a judge, in Nevada.

But Hispanic voters also powered the come-from-behind victories of two Democratic Senators. Hispanics accounted for 14% of the electorate in Nevada, up from 12% in the last midterm election of 2006. The two-to-one advantage they gave Majority Leader Harry Reid allowed him to win by a surprising 50% to 45% margin. In Colorado, Hispanic voters made up 13% of the vote, up from only 9% four years ago. Their big margin in favor of Democratic Senator Michael Bennet helped him pull off a come-from-behind victory.

Finally, in California exit polls show Hispanics made up 22% of all those voting, up from 19% in 2006. Republican Carly Fiorina won Anglo voters over Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer by nine points, but her 65% to 28% loss among Hispanics doomed her chances for an upset.

There are some lessons here. Clearly, Sharron Angle's ad depicting dark-skinned figures violating U.S. immigration laws angered many Hispanic voters in Nevada, especially after she clumsily tried to claim they might have been Asian. Similarly, the presence of anti-immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo on Colorado's ballot as the de facto Republican candidate for governor helped fuel Hispanic turnout.

On the other hand, there were Republican success stories. Texas Governor Rick Perry won 38% of the Hispanic vote in his re-election bid this year. He credits his showing to his advocacy of economic opportunity even while he vowed to tighten border controls. Marco Rubio won 40% of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote in Florida (and 55% of the overall Hispanic vote) and ran effective Spanish-language ads describing what the American dream means for immigrants. Columnist Luisita Lopez Torregrosa writes in that both men "appeal to the growing Latino middle- and upper-classes in states like Florida and Texas who oppose illegal immigration (because the negative image of illegal immigrants affects the image of all Latinos) and who believe in assimilation in the American mainstream."

Going forward, Republicans know that hardline immigration positions seen as insensitive to Hispanics can cost them votes among a growing share of the electorate. On the other hand, candidates can talk tough on immigration and still do well with Hispanic voters if they can convincingly promote a message of economic opportunity

-- John Fund