Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Open Forum

I won't be around for much of today.

What's happening around the state?

57 comments:

CTOctaneBlue said...

Over the past few weeks, it has become apparent that the DeStefano campaign believes it will win both the primary and general election due to its touted "Labor Support". But I wonder- do union endorsements really get candidates elected in 2006? I would argue they do not! Even though JDS had some union supporters at the convention (hey ho vote for DeStefano), he did not have enough support from the actual convention delegates to win the nomination. I think that the primary will play out in the same way- the DeStefano campaign will be lazy and count on union support to win the vote, while the Malloy campaign will work hard and ultimately get the primary win. With each passing year, unions seem to have less and less importance in personal voting habits. People now vote for the candidate they like, not the one that their union tells them to. By placing all its chips on union support, the DeStefano campaign will be in for a big surprise on August 8.

Gabe said...

I think union endorsements don't mean that much, but when a union puts its money and people behind GOTV operations, it can make a big difference...

That said, I agree that laziness loses elections. It cost JDS the convention nod and will lose him the primary if he keeps it up - Close elections are won with hard work and JDS' operation doesn't seem to work all that hard. Union help with door-to-door campaigning and GOTV could start to alleviate that, but he will need to go all out on the ground to win the primary.

disgruntled_republican said...

ctoctaneblue -

Great points...

Unions are no longer the powerhouse to the Democrats they once were. They still pour money into Dem campaigns thanks to Dem leanings from union leadership but as Bruce has eluded to in many earlier posts, a great deal of union members are now Republican and a great deal more vote Republican when they get into the booth. The pressure from the "bosses" doesn't have the credence it once did and I dont think it will in this election either. More and more, union members have stopped being "robots" and have a mind of their own. Beyond that, unions, which would almost never endorse a republican candidate are now doing just that.

Just for the sake of arguement Gabe, when's the last time you saw a union organize a GOTV anyways?

Mmmm Jodi Rell said...

I think maybe you are some Malloy people who are scared because Dannel has close to no labor support. He doesn't even have the support of the unions in Stamford.

Labor is a key ingredient to successful primary campaign and DeStefano is likely to benefit from it. Remember, only 20 % of Democrats actually vote in Democratic primaries. And a lot of those Dems are union members. So it does make a difference.

Also - when Malloy's staff goes around and tries to justify their union support by saying "Well, the rank-in-file union members are with us - even if their unions are not" - it does absolutely nothing to endear their candidate to those voters.

Paul Vance said...

This one will sure be interesting to watch, especially since now the primary is a summer event. I think that the momentum coming from the convention will be enough to put Malloy over the top, but that is only a guess.

disgruntled_republican said...

MMMMMM JODI RELL-

I am far from a "Malloy Person" as you elude to. I beleive Bruce, who I mentioned in my post is a JDS supporter and contributor. While union endorsements means a bit more in primaries, there is no denying that union clout for dems as a whole is down...

narz said...

There was an interesting editorial in The Day this weekend that I missed... I thought some of you might be interested:

Contradictions At Capitol
Governor's top aide testifies she didn't know what she was doing.

The Day - Editorial
Published on 5/26/2006

Lisa Moody is the governor's chief of staff. As such, she gets angry anytime an employee does anything that reflects badly on the governor. She should have thought of that when she testified last week to a legislative committee.

The performance of Gov. M. Jodi Rell's top aide before the legislative committee was disingenuous, to put the best face on it. Ms. Moody tried to explain away her role in illegal fund-raising for the governor by state commissioners by saying she wasn't paying attention to a memo she herself sent out and didn't know it was improper to conduct fund-raising at the Capitol on state time.

But Rachel Rubin, a former ethics adviser to the governor, directly contradicted Ms. Moody. Ms. Rubin said she specifically warned Ms. Moody not to hand out invitations to a Rell fund-raiser in the office. But then, after the warning, Ms. Rubin said, Ms. Moody handed out invitations a second time.

These actions resulted in $500 fines paid by commissioners and deputies for soliciting contributions, a violation of state law.

Ms. Moody said Ms. Rubin never told her that distributing invitations was against the law or violated policy. She herself filed a complaint with the state Elections Commission when she realized there was a violation, Ms. Moody said.

But for Ms. Moody to suggest that she didn't read an ethics policy statement that went out to all commissioners and many department heads from her office shows that Ms. Moody has a credibility problem. She violated the governor's own ethics rules and then induced state commissioners to violate state law by handing out the invitations to the fund-raiser.

Ms. Moody's singular loyalty to the governor is what led to this mess. In an effort to raise a lot of money for the first report from the governor's fund-raising committee, Ms. Moody involved state commissioners in an improper role and a violation of state law — fund-raising.

The governor gave her top aide two weeks' off without pay as punishment, but she did not fire Ms. Moody, nor apparently did Ms. Moody offer to resign.

The governor's office seems to think the Democrats' conducted a kangaroo court to embarrass the governor by calling the committee meeting. The truth is, the testimony revealed a contradiction between top gubernatorial advisers regarding what happened that precipitated the illegal solicitations.

The Democrats did the people of Connecticut a favor.

Gabe said...

D_R - I am going to go with the 2004 presidential election. And the next one would be the 2006 congressional elections.

America Votes

disgruntled_republican said...

Gabe-

Can you perhaps show me an example of these operations in Connecticut vs. a liberal (i know, i know, its not liberal, its progressive)website with no substance?

Since noboday cared about Connecticut in the Presidential election I know it did not happen then...where and when in CT for this election cycle?

Again, not being crtical, just want somew substance to your answer.

HealthcareNOW said...

CT Octane Blue -

I don't think anyone is going to get "lazy" in the campaign, and any campaign would be stupid to bank on a particular constituency to win. You can talk all you want about labor "not coming through" for DeStefano at the convention but the fact is, politicians vote at these conventions, everyday voters don't. Put the labor people out in the field, have them start rallying the labor base, and there definitely will be a major labor push for whoever labor supports.

Please don't put down labor because supposedly now labor's the easy part of the Democratic Party to pick on. It'll only drive the labor vote out even more in support for real, progressive Democrats who will fight for labor rights, universal healthcare and the other real issues facing us in this state today.

BRubenstein said...

Gentlemen and ladies..in prior postings i had laid out the labor and primary numbers...and i will do so again here.

The are about 700,000 registered democrats and about 350,000 union members in CT.If we assume a 40-50% turnout rate ( there is no prior history) there will be roughly 300,000 registered dems voting, meaning 150,001 to win.Of the 350,000 union members roughly 40% are republicans who wont vote,leaving 210,000 elgible to vote..assuming the same 40-50% it means there will be roughly 90,000 union dem votes in a total of 300,000 who vote..meaning labor's rough estimate of total votes in the August primary is between 25 and 35% ( which tracks the curry vs. larson 1994 primary).

If labor pulls 30% of the voting 300,000 then the 210,000 non-labor voters must..and i repeat must vote nearly at 60% for DM in order for him to win....tough but not impossible.

disgruntled_republican said...

Thanks Bruce...as I am sure you saw, I mentioned this in previous posts here but didn;t have the time to go back and look...

CTOctaneBlue said...

Politicians vote at the convention, and interested Democrats vote in the primary- I argue that many individuals in unions are not sufficiently motivated to go out and work for their candidate, may now vote Republican (as d_g wrote), and may simply not be interested enough in the primary to vote. There really isn't enough of a difference between JDS and DM to really drive voters in unions towards JDS, other than the "endorsement" of their respective unions. Indeed, with the convention win, some union voters may now go with Malloy as he is the perceived "winner". As I said before, people now think for themselves, and the union vote for JDS will be much less than they are predicting. This will cost the DeStefano campaign the primary- I am convinced that they feel "entitled" to the union votes, and will not work hard enough to actually get those votes delivered.

BRubenstein said...

Also:

My estimate included a roughly 2/1 split for JDS over DM ( see curry vs. larson..same split)

Mmmm Jodi Rell said...

I am sure that the DeStefano campaign does not feel "entitled" to the union votes - but we are all glad that we have a psychologist such as CTOctane to tell us what is going on in their heads.

BRubenstein said...

Octane....that's entirely possible also...

Even though the AFL's exective board for the very first time endorsed a candidate for the primary it doesn't translate into a great deal of labor WORK. Each union on their own will either work hard or not based upon their relationship and committments from JDS.

On the other hand Octane is right and the rank and file do not always follow the leaders.

So in the end..i am in a "wait and see mode" If I see the unions working hard..its better for JDS..if not..then its better for DM...the jury is still out for me..but Chris Mc has already called it for DM...without evidence,history or any research.

HealthcareNOW said...

CT Octane Blue -

DeStefano's the one going out there and actually talking about issues that labor voters really care about. How does creating jobs, universal healthcare and protecting labor rights NOT affect labor voters? I think BRubenstein hits it on the head with the 2/1 split, and there is plenty of incentive for labor to go out there and vote.

Also, Ned needs to get on that labor vote. He might as well try to take advantage of the fact that he's on the same line as DeStefano and perhaps will get some labor coattails. These are real Democrats that will be voting in this election. Don't forget that.

Chris MC said...

Now Bruce, why the testy tone? What if the labor demographic splits its vote between JD and DM? Say instead of 66/33 it goes 55/45? This ain't Curry v Larson, after all.

And on the merits anyway, how has this theory about a labor-brokered nomination worked out at the General?

And don't you think this latest silliness about "taking it to the people" coming from JD's campaign belies your analysis, if your analysis is borne out? I mean, if the AFL leadership can somehow manage to dictate marching orders to the rank and file and "deliver" the primary for JD, that is hardly a popular mandate.

BRubenstein said...

Real political operatives with experience like "disgruntled rep" understand that the field operation is but one part of the campaign and might produce an increase of 5-10% if properly executed. JDS's task..and its a tough one is to amalgamate the field from the town chairs and elected officials,labor and interested citizens into one tight and responsive field operation.

Based on the JDS operative's and staff's performance so far...i have trememdous doubts of their ability to run the field correctly.
So far, the only change publically in JDS's campaign is that the issues person has left. Field and political operations seems to be unchanged from the same staff and operatives that brought us an incompetant performance at the convention.

BRubenstein said...

Chris..i was'nt being testy..but was stating facts...if you took it personally then i am sorry as i wasn't being personal with you.

Naturally if DM gets 45% of the labor vote then his % of the non-union voting dems he needs to get would drop to around 53-55%..which of course is much more doable.

By the end of June you and I will know if Labor is working hard and make his race the priority race. In addition we will also see what staff and operatives he chooses to run the operation ( if its the same as who ran the convention then i think there will be problems)

Gabe said...

Being as how the election has not happened yet, and we are months before knowing whether national union GOTV resources will be spent in CT districts, and I can't predict the future, lets table this particular discussion - I will update you when it happens (or when I hear that it is in the process of happening).

As for America Votes, rather than being a liberal/progressive/moonbat website with no substance, it is what remains of the Americans Coming Together GOTV effort from 2004. You no doubt noticed that it is funded and staffed by, among others, AFL-CIO, SEIU, and AFSCME. Also that it is gearing up for 2006.

Here is a quote from their "What We Do" page regarding the 2004 election:

In 2004, the America Votes partners trained and mobilized over 40,000 volunteers, made 100 million phone calls, sent 76 million targeted mailings and had over 5 million one-on-one conversations with voters. The result: the largest voter turnout in this nation since the Civil Rights era.

Chris MC said...

Bruce, speaking as one who attempted the very thing you are talking about, I predict it will fail utterly. Given that, care to alter your forecast?

BTW, based on consultations with some of the top field operatives in the national party, a realistic number for a top flight field operation in a large-scale campaign is 2%. That's TWO percent.

And one favorite political consultant, with whom you are personally acquainted Bruce (but who shall otherwise remain nameless), told me over dinner about a year ago that the type of field effort contemplated for this primary (and other races) cannot be effectively executed above the level of a state house or municipal campaign. Just doesn't work.

What say you, Professor R?

HealthcareNOW said...

Bruce - from my knowledge I've never heard of field staff handling convention politics before...I was disappointed in the outcome too, but I highly doubt they use the same team for field and ground work. From last I heard, the DeStefano crew hired someone pretty experienced and skilled in handling field, I forget his name, but I would be really surprised if they didn't perform well, especially given labor's efficiency in the field too.

Chris MC said...

Gabe -

The guy who was heading ACT (a Connecticut guy) is no longer there, and the real raison d'etre of the organization was the Presidential election. I haven't looked, but from what I've heard there isn't much going on there right now.

For any national organization to get involved in a Democratic primary in Connecticut would be dumb, dumb, dumb, and I personally can't imagine any of those organizations, much less all of them, wanting to do it. I can tell you from personal knowledge that 21st Century Dems, for example, wouldn't touch it.

Bear in mind folks, there are no enemies of working people in the Democratic mix in Connecticut.

blueper said...

Not sure where BDR gets his numbers. Latest census figures show about 250,000 union members. (not 350,000)

He then suggests 40% are Republicans, and 60% Democratic, to come up with 210,000 Dems. Of course, as we all know, Independents make up a large part of the electorate.

My guess on distribution would be 45% D, 35 I, and 20 R. This would mean 112,000 Potential Union voters in the primary or maybe half that as likely.

This does not mean that the Union vote is unimportant or that, if sufficiently motivated, the membership won't be the key to JD winning.

I just don't think this is Larson/Curry; the differences (or perceived differences) aren't as big as in that race.

BRubenstein said...

Chris...

The field % goes up for state races, what you quote is the national field which is anywhere from 2-5% ( that is effiencey only and doesn't count turnout which maynot be field induced)

Well Chris..we will all wait and see if the field operations is amalgamated well in the JDS campaign. Unlike you..i am not prepared to predict a winner yet other then to say if labor makes this race a priority and works hard..then JDS would be the favorite based on history and the numbers. But..for me..the jury is still out.

BRubenstein said...

Healthcarenow..my understanding was that all resources were thrown in at the convention..thats why you may have seen " finance people" there acting as whips. The field folks were there also...As a JDS supporter i do hope the new field folks are sharp.

Chris MC said...

The discussion I had with the field people was about Congressional races, not a national race. Two percent, best case, they insisted.

By large scale I would reach down and include a Connecticut State Senate race as being like a small Congressional race, and a Connecticut state-wide race as being perhaps at the outer limit of a comparable operation. Would you agree with that ballpark range Bruce?

disgruntled_republican said...

Gabe-

I did read that. Singling out "largest voter turn out since the civil rights era", I ask, what good did it do for their cause? As a liberal group they: lost the white house, lost more seats in the house and more seats in the senate. Beyond that, there was no documented efforts in Connecticut as it was not a state that mattered. FUrthermore, they had nothing to do with the genius of Rove getting the religous right to the polls. (like him or not, the man knows his stuff)

The only reason I questioned it was in your previous post you said, and I quote: "And the next one would be the 2006 congressional elections". You did not say "I speculate", you told us that this was the case. I asked for facts to back the claim up which you could not produce. Pure speculation gets my objection sustained. I did not ask you to predict the future young grasshopper, just to support your claim with fact.

Mmmm Jodi Rell said...

I'd be interested as to who some of these top national party leaders Chris is consulting with.

If Howard Dean and James Carville go out to dinner with Chris, I'll be expecting the Queen for tea this afternoon.

BRubenstein said...

Blueper..sorry but the " independants you mention cannot vote in a democratic primary unless they switch their registration.YOUr numbers are way way off since you calculate the independants into the voting numbers for the primary.

The union numbers are both what's in the AFL and those union members not belonging to the AFL, but who are registered democrats.


Finally, the fact that the AFL executive committee endorsed JDS means your theory that this isnt the intense race like curry vs. larson is wrong. Curry didnt have the executive board's endorsemnt and still won labor's votes by more then 2/1. We will wait and see if JDS gets the june full endorsement of the AFL and if labor works hard.

Chris MC said...

Mmmm Jodi Rell-

HBD and Carville aren't field operatives.

The dinner was with a guy well known on the liberal side of the spectrum around here, not a national player.

The national people I met at a training session out of state, they were people who had been involved in statewide and congressional races and were short-listers for national campaigns.

I'm not naming names.

BRubenstein said...

chris...my guess is 5%...

Mmmm Jodi Rell said...

Bruce - I think you're right about having to wait and see. But I think the executive board taking a step towards DeStefano this early is a good sign that they've latched onto a candidate they think can win and that will be good for the state.

The labor unions have been burned time and time again by Republican governors . DeStefano's health care plan has a powerful sway over labor unions and workers rights. The Teamsters who went on strike at Sikorsky hadn't been on strike in over 50 years and they were terrified about losing the health care coverage for their families. DeStefano's the only one with a plan and that might be sign of courage for these guys. Malloy pays lip service to the issue, saying he 'believes' in universal health care and always has. But he hasn't put out a plan or a vision and voters will realize.

I can walk around all day and say I believe in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but unless I have a plan for making them a viable franchise, its all talk.

Mmmm Jodi Rell said...

Not to pick on the Devil Rays or anything. They beat the Yankees most of the time.

blueper said...

BDR, my point is that you can't include the I's. You assume that 60% of all Union members are D's and 40 % are R's, and thus that there are no I's. How would you break it down?

As for total numbers, my source is US census, and Dan Haar.

(sorry, can't do the links, but if you google search: connecticut union member census, you'll get the hit to his article from February this year, and it appears to include all union members, not just afl-cio)

BRubenstein said...

blueper..the "i"'s are in the 40%

Your calculation of 250,000 within the Haar reference doesn't take into account the retiree's who are organized by the unions and who vote...Nor does it take into account direct familly members whom are influenced by familly union members...hence a democratic male pipe fitter may influence his wife to vote more then you or i ever could.

BRubenstein said...

Blueper...I took into account the 250k Haar number..added the retireee's and added a % of what i call " influenced dem family members" to get to the 350,000 total..i do think my number is alot closer to the mark then yours of 250,000 which is just " active registered members within the AFL and outside it.

Gabe said...

Chris MC - ACT is defunct, but America Votes, which seem to have grown from ACT, is organizing GOTV.

D_R - In the future, when speaking about things that have not taken place yet, I will be clear that I cannot, in fact, predict the future and am, obviously, speculating. Where I got that speculation from was the front page of the site that I cited, where AV talks about their organizing efforts for the 2006 election cycle.

As for the results of ACT in 2004, am I misunderstanding your point, or are you arguing that, since the Democrats had a losing election their GOTV had no effect?

BRubenstein said...

Disgruntled...

It may be true that the dem gotv effort in 2004 was greater then ever before....but the republican effort to galvanize the christian movement was even better and since your guys won...the proof is in the pudding as they say.

disgruntled_republican said...

My point is, obviously they are organizing GOTV efforts to get the candidates they want to see elected, elected. I think that is a fair estimation, wouldn't you?

Since they appear to be a liberal/progressive group, I would venture to say they wanted Kerry to win and the Democrats to gain control of congress. Again, I think that is a fair estimation, wouldn't you?

Seeing as how Mr. Bush won and the Republicans GAINED seats in both halls of congress, I feel comfortable in saying that their GOTV we not all that effective in 2004. This a blanket statement and they may have, in fact, gotten some members of congress elected through teir efforts but by and large, they did not succeed.

I think this is a pretty rational deduction.

Mr X said...

The DeStefano Campaign is in La La Land.They are now in the Underdog position and they will say and do anything they can to try to keep their eroding support from slipping away completely.

They do claim they have the unions behind them Well If the Unions were truly behind them would they have won the convention.

I was a delegate and what DeStefano did to all of us was an example of How a DeStefano governorship will be and I think Connecticut deserves much much better than DeStefano.

I am so mad at DeStefano that I would seriously either support Jodi Rell or the Green Party If DeStefano were to somehow win the Primary.

I dont believe DeStefano can win now Because Litchfield County is not happy with him and that is a good part of the 5th CD He wont win in the 4th thats Malloy's turf the 3rd might be where Destefano does well The 2nd who knows and The 1st CD is split so Destefano and Slifka need to go long to pull this off and I dont think they can.

Gabe said...

There are two things wrong with your rational analysis:

1. Neither here nor there, but in 2004 ACT was focused on the presidential election, so, while its not critical to either argument and the two elections are certainly connected, throw out the congressional portion of your analysis.

2. More substantively, your argument would only make sense if GOTV was the only thing that decided elections. One possible variable that you didn't mention: Kerry is uninspiring and his campaign was awful. If you could produce evidence that the GOTV didn't have an ultimate result on the electorate, I am open to it. A strong argument could be made that without the GOTV, Bush might have actually had a mandate, rather than being the President re-elected during a war with the lowest margin of victory in American history.

Of course, all of this is off the topic of the original comment, "grasshopper".

disgruntled_republican said...

C'mon now...

They are a LIBERAL organization. Whether Kerry is uninspiring or not is irrelevant to this arguement. They were trying to get Kerry elected, bottom line. They didn't succeed. If they did not succeed, they did not accomplish what they set out to do. The margin of victory does not matter. Bush got 50% plus one...

I did not claim they had no effect, I am sure they did and I beleive I actually said that (or close to that). I did say that their efforts were not successfull.

As for Bush and your comment, "rather than being the President re-elected during a war with the lowest margin of victory in American history"... that may be but he received more votes than Clinton did (he never got 50% even with Perot taking away from the Repuiblican base) and I maintina the margin is irrelevant...who is in the White House now is all that matters...

As you have been told before by other bloggers here, you may want to let this one go

Chris MC said...

America Votes isn't an organization, it is a coalition. I don't know why Gabe thinks this coalition is going to jump into a Democratic primary, it makes no sense. The Congressional in November is just five months away, these component organizations are already deploying whatever they can to whomever will make the best use of them against Republicans in the General.

Chris MC said...

Sgt. Bilko represents an interesting departure from the conventional analysis about the Gubernatorial primary.

Since the premise of labor turnout for a specific candidate is the perception that their interests are at stake or have been offended by the alternative, it is questionable whether or not anybody outside of the executive board of the Connecticut AFL really has strong enough feelings about DeStefano or Malloy to be called a discernable demographic. Other than being members of unions, and not even affiliated organizations in the case of the Teamsters and SEIU, they don't really seem to be a meaningful demographic come election time. Forty percent vote Republican, a portion of those, judging from Bruce's numbers, crossing party lines to do so.

On the other hand, there is a very motivated demographic of people from Audreyland and environs who are quite certain they don't want a candidate much less a Governor who approaches things the way DeStefano for Connecticut and its allies approached the convention.

This is an element of why I said earlier that the DeStefano for Connecticut strategy has already failed, and it is time to get behind the approach and candidate that carried the day at the convention.

Malloy is running, that is his strategy.

The day of the deal should be left behind. It has not and will not get us into the Governor's mansion.

Gabe said...

CMC - I don't think they are going to jump into the Democratic primary. I was using them as an example of union GOTV in response to a question. It was seperate from the point I was making regarding the primary which was that the union endorsement of JDS will mean less than union's organizing or donating resources to GOTV.

D_R - I guess my point is that effective and successful are not synonoms. ACT was effective at GOTV without being successful at electing Kerry. The margin of victory is relevant only to the discussion that (I thought)we were having: whether the GOTV was effective. If the margin would have been more, than it was effective, if not, than not. Obviously it was not successful in electing Kerry, but it was a larger GOTV effort than the Dems have had since I could vote.

Chris MC said...

ACT did make an impact, just not a decisive one. The story I last heard was that Rove got the evangelicals to turn out in Ohio in unforecasted numbers - enough to swing that state and the electoral college to Bush. I'm buying that, although I know there is a lot more that has been said about it.

Thanks for clarifying on the primary piece Gabe.

Gabe said...

Hey, no problem. I love actual misunderstandings (that can be quickly resolved), rather than made-up ones (that take eight posts to bicker over).

CMC - Was it you that wanted a copy of the study I did on the NYC legislative PR elections in the 30s and 40s? If so, I lost your address and will be retreiving the files this weekend - send me your email address again if you want a copy!

disgruntled_republican said...

Gabe-

Fair enough...

disgruntled_republican said...

Well, it was until you took a shot...

You just can't lose an arguement can you?

This started with me questioning your comment about a definite GOTV efort that may or may not happen...let it go.

Chris MC said...

Gabe -

Check your email.

Gabe said...

I took a shot? Pot, meet kettle.

The only argument you "won" is the one you had with yourself...

cgg said...

Isn't ACT defunct now anyway?

disgruntled_republican said...

Get over yourself Gabe. You yourself admitted that they have no organized plans...that was my point. YOu are the one that has been dragging this out.

Anyhow, I am done now. I have to do some work and my home internet is down so...

Chris MC said...

CGG, yes Gabe clarified that, said now America Votes appears to be the successor more or less...

Gabe said...

Quite an open thread, huh?