Prop 25 Most Essential Part of November Ballot

prop 16 results

Paul Hogarth: Proposition 25 was put on by labor unions and the Democratic Party, and political consultant Roger Salazar has been retained. Liberal bloggers and other progressives are skeptical, with some going so far as to claim it doesn’t make sense to get a majority for the budget – if raising taxes we need would still require a two-thirds vote.

Despite Spending $46 Million, California Rejects PG&E

“No on 16” revelers pay a 1:30 a.m. visit to PG&E Headquarters.

Paul Hogarth: Outspent over 1,000-to-one by a monster utility company, consumer advocates defeated by a 52-47 margin an odious measure that would have cemented PG&E’s monopoly. To call this a David & Goliath victory does not give it justice.

How Democrats Are Saving the Party from Itself

change we can believe in

Paul Hogarth: Democrats are not supposed to run primary candidates against incumbents because it is “divisive” – but it was time to hold Senators like Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln (who killed the public option) accountable. 2006 and 2008 were the years that voters picked “change,” and both Senators are the reason such change failed to get traction. Joe Sestak and Bill Halter faced huge odds taking on a Senator in their own Party who had the President’s support, but what they had was disenchanted Obama activists who wanted to see change happen.

Obama Lies to Defend Blanche Lincoln

Blanche Lincoln

Paul Hogarth: It’s natural for progressives to target conservative Democrats like Lincoln who are to blame, fielding primary challenges like they did to Joe Lieberman. But how the Party leadership berates, belittle, and insults these efforts will only make it worse – while a clear anti-incumbent mood is sweeping the nation that threatens to doom Blanche Lincoln anyway.

CDP Convention Wrap-Up: On the Value of Primary Fights

Paul Hogarth: But with no real competition among Democrats to replace Schwarzenegger, progressives have been nervous that Brown will not excite the base. This left much of the weekend’s drama on down-ballot races, where competitive primaries meant candidates for Lieutenant Governor and State Insurance Commissioner sought the Party’s endorsement going into June 8th. And while there’s much controversy around that process, it’s a good thing for Democrats.

Could 2010 Be a Good Year for Democrats After All?

barack obama

Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?

Did Obama Kill Public Option in July?

GOP-health-care

Paul Hogarth: President Obama has been justifiably slammed for not pushing hard enough for a public option, but the truth may be even worse than that. We know the White House cut a deal with hospitals and insurance companies last July on prescription drugs – but as a New York Times reporter said this week, they also killed the public option. And given the public option’s inexplicable fate, I have to believe the story.

Time to Mobilize on State Budget Reform

Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Assemblyman Alberto Torrico

Paul Hogarth: If we can’t get a simple majority for raising taxes in the legislature, we can still put AB 656 on the ballot – while in the meantime get a simple majority for passing the budget. It’s those kinds of incremental (and winnable) moves we need to get us out of this mess.

Jerry Brown Ends Stealth Campaign

Paul Hogarth: There’s no good reason why Democrats cannot win the California governorship this year. Barack Obama won the state with 61% of the vote, not a single Congressional district has a majority of registered Republicans left, and Arnold’s legacy as Governor will be driving the state to bankruptcy. In other words, the real fight should have been the Democratic primary – and as long as progressives turn out the base in November, the Republican will lose.

Going After the “Movable Middle” on Gay Marriage

Civil union

Paul Hogarth: Same-sex couples have largely won the battle for civil unions, but there’s something about “marriage” that makes moderates uneasy – and it’s time that we speak directly to their concerns.

Public Option Only Way Out of Health Care Mess

Obama_and_Reid

Paul Hogarth: Polling in key states where hot Senate seats are in play (Illinois, Colorado and Harry Reid’s own Nevada) shows the public option is still popular, and putting it back in the health care bill would improve things. Only 34% of Nevadans liked the Senate bill that passed in December, but 56% like the public option. The gap grows to 31 points in Illinois and 37 points in Minnesota, so why not use it?

Evan Bayh and Harold Ford: Hypocrites Who Cut and Run

evan bayh harold ford

Paul Hogarth: Evan Bayh and Harold Ford Jr. have a lot in common, and not because they’re both legacies who rode into public office on their family name. Both are anti-progressive Democrats who have built their political careers on making the Left feel small and weak – egged on by a corporate media that likes to call them “centrist.”

California’s Prop 16 is Worst Measure on June Ballot

shame on pge

Paul Hogarth: Every election cycle has an awful state ballot proposition, with plenty of corporate funding to fool voters. For the June primary, it’s Prop 16 – a thinly veiled power grab by PG&E to shut down competition to keeps its monopoly.

What’s a Real Democratic Majority?

Congress Paralyzed

Paul Hogarth: The filibuster means that progressive legislation requires 72 Senate Democrats – but you only need 54 Republicans to ram through the most awful right-wing agenda. Why? Because “Democrats vote with Republicans significantly more often than Republicans vote with Democrats, making it much easier for Republicans to pass the kind of legislation they want.

How About House Democrats Next?

nancy pelosi

Paul Hogarth: In the past year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have made major strides passing progressive legislation – only to see it die or lull in the Senate, with the President barely lifting a finger. Voters are getting restless, Obama’s approval ratings are down and Democrats are in trouble because they haven’t gotten much done. Now with the Senate acting like a House of Lords, it’s time for House Democrats to get a little respect – and give Obama a piece of their mind.

Blue Dog Democrats Exposed as Frauds

Blue-Dogs

Paul Hogarth: many Blue Dogs are in trouble because of health care, and ironically what could save their hide is a public option. Instead, they are left selling a corporate-friendly bill hashed behind closed doors that forces Americans to buy private insurance – which will only make their constituents vote Republican. That’s why so many Blue Dogs are retiring – so they can bail and become lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Paging Dr. Dean: Please Save the Democrats from Themselves

Howard Dean

Paul Hogarth: Now, the Democrats have managed to fumble Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat – losing to a right-wing Republican who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan. Evidence shows that Martha Coakley’s numbers went down after the Senate passed the health care bill. Shouldn’t the Party leaders listen to Howard Dean? At least, they owe him an apology.

Democrats Never Had Sixty Votes; Sixty Votes Never Mattered

Obama Massachusetts

Paul Hogarth: With Scott Brown now pledging to be the 41st vote to kill health care reform, Democrats cannot react by ramming through a bill before the Senate seats him. Republicans are not interested in governing; it’s time to pass a real bill through reconciliation.

Bumpy Legal Road Ahead for Marriage Equality

Bumpy Road for Marriage Equality

Paul Hogarth: For years, civil rights groups had carefully kept the federal courts out of gay marriage fights – and the prominent lawyers in Perry filed the suit without consulting them. But with most of marriage’s legal benefits coming under federal law, it was only a matter of time before the federal courts weighed in on this issue.

Political Predictions for 2010

2010-clock

Paul Hogarth: California desperately needs to abolish the two-thirds requirement to pass a state budget, and even an amendment that does not include taxes would be incremental progress. But unless labor unions start putting real money in this effort, and the Democratic Party makes it the priority it must be, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle – and we won’t have what it takes to run a winning campaign.

2009: The Year Change Fell Prey to Backroom Deals

Poltics

I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken “off the table” – except that Senator Max Baucus said it was. Without single payer, progressives focused on the public option – which although a compromise, could have held insurance companies accountable. Everyone knew it was tough and compromise would happen, but we were supposed to be part of that decision.

The Day the Democrats Died

rahm

But with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel bullying the Senate to cut a deal – any deal – just to save face, the pressure proved too much. Those who hoped Obama would use Rahm to strong-arm a liberal agenda were wrong. If the President really cares about “change,” he wouldn’t have his henchman dampen progressive spirits.

Memo to Washington: We Are Not a Conservative Country

2008 Presidential Election results -- adjusted by population

“Can we have a new Senate for Christmas,” asked blogger Joan McCarter yesterday at Daily Kos. “This one is broken.” It’s time for politicians to stop hiding behind an inaccurate, outdated and dishonest view of America. We are not conservative!

Obama Becoming Clinton I Feared

Obama-Clinton

The American people who voted for “change” did not merely seek a return to the Nineties – or else they would have nominated Hillary Clinton. Obama stood to become the most progressive President in over 40 years, and yet his Administration has little to show for it.

What Should Really Matter in the Maldonado Confirmation

Abel Maldonado

Republican Senator Abel Maldonado is an Olympia Snowe character. He is a so-called “moderate” who is willing to cut a deal on the budget, while the rest of his party would rather see the state fall off a cliff than raise any taxes whatsoever. But the deals that Maldonado has extorted in past years for his one vote are enough to leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth.

Is Jerry Brown Really the Only Democrat Left Standing?

Any trace of the Jerry Brown who sounded like Dennis Kucinich when he ran for President is gone. At this weekend’s California Democratic Party E-Board meeting, Brown got into an argument with Party Chair John Burton about single-payer health care. Brown insisted single payer “will not happen” – even though the state legislature passed it twice, only to have Arnold Schwarzenegger veto it. The only thing stopping single payer in California from happening is a Republican Governor – yet the only Democratic candidate left in the race has insisted that it will not happen.

Oldest State Was “Test Run” for Repealing Prop 8

no-on-one

In Maine, we lost in ways that lay the groundwork for an eventual victory. Maine may be the oldest state in the nation, but California is 46th. It will only be a matter of time.

When Has “Compromise” with Olympia Snowe Ever Been Good?

olympia snowe

Despite a brutal August recess where right-wing Teabaggers disrupted Town Hall meetings, the American people generally trust Obama on health care and want to see meaningful reform.

Why Is Max Baucus Even a Democrat?

Baucus

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus finally produced his own health care bill earlier this week – and it’s an absolute gift to the insurance industry.

Obama Didn’t Deliver for Progressives, But Paved Way For Success

Speech

the Obama Administration knows that the final health care bill won’t get a single Republican vote – and is preparing to make it possible to pass a public option. But it will only become a reality if progressives focus like a laser beam in order to make that happen.

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