Monday, April 24, 2006

Decoding the vote for visitors
from our neighbor to the north

The AP story Incumbents Prevail in New Orleans Races is just wrong, but it's not surprising. Our political system may seem confusing to visitors from our neighbor to the north, so a little explication is in order.

Simply put, if you are an incumbent and don't carry the day in the primary, you lose. It's about that simple. If the candidate isn't in the statistical margin of error for 50%+1, you can pretty much build an exacta around the assumption they will lose.

If you accept this proposition, then the outcomes takes on an entirely different character, at least as it applies to races in City Government. Nagin lost. Oliver Thomas won. Everybody else on the council lost. We will throw out Sapir's at-large seat, for which he could not seek re-election under term limits. We should note, however, that one of the five district council members, Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, did not win that seat outright, but faces a runoff against a political newcomer. Not good for the incumbent slate.

Of the four district incumbents seeking re-election, only Cynthia Willard-Lewis won. The other three incumbents seeking re-election were tossed into runoffs. By our calculation, they lost.

So, let's review:

Mayor: Incumbent Lost

Council at Large: One incumbent wins, but district incumbent fails to win the second seat. We''ll call that a draw.

District Council : Two of four incumbent candidates lost. Almost no one has returned to District E in New Orleans East, making it hard for anyone to mount a real challenge. In District D centered in Gentilly, the Times-Picayune version of events points out that incumbent Cynthia Hedge-Morrell as been a vocal champion of her flooded constituents, as has District E incument Cynthia Willard-Lewis. In the district where there are a lot of returned voters on the ground, where interest was strongest, the incumbents lost.

Let's then consider the assessor races. Everyone in American who will vote tomorrow for a candidate whose entire is "I Promise To Raise Your Taxes" please raise your hand. Anybody? No? Ok, I thought so.

The tricky bit about the assessor races is that nobody is going to vote to toss out the old system until they know the new rules. The most obvious outcome of the new rules as proposed by I.Q. is that most peoples taxes would go up, on top of doubling their homeowners insurance and the out-of-pocket losses from the hurricane and the looming threat of doubled utility bills, already way to high. Anyone who doesn't understand this, I hear there's an opening in the Bush Office of Management and Budget you'd be perfect for.

You could call that a good day for incumbents. I call it a rejection of the idea of raising taxes for nothing in return.

The only way we are going to see the entirely noble platform of the I.Q. candidates accepted by the public at large is if there is a cap on all existing taxes as a result of the reassessment. At some future election, the voters should be asked to equalize the revenue stream by voting to decrease or increase the millages appropriately, based on the new assessments, and have only those millages they have approved or extended collected based on the news assessments.

Put a simply as possible, the new assessment would only be used for taxes placed for an up or down public vote after the newer assessment was made. Yeah, I know, it sound complicated, but if you have a better idea, I'm willing to hear it.

For the rest of the city races, the challengers never really gave voters a reason to vote against the incumbent. For Civil Sheriff, long-time incumbent Paul Valteau accepted that his office may likely disappear, and campaigned on the idea that he's the best person to handle the transition. The opponent to the criminal sheriff never got traction against the incumbent, who had the support of his predecessor and the head of Angola for his handling of the prisoner evacuation during the storm. Similarly, there was no real challenge to the civil district clerk of court.

Down at the bottom, you had one incumbent who won by promising to make the elimination of his office go smoothly (something the I.Q. candidates failed to do), one who is believed to have actually done a good job in his first term, and two races where the opponent never really mounted a challenge.

So sorry, y'all, but you got it flat wrong this time. The incumbents in the most important city offices, mayor and council, mostly had their incumbancies handed to them. Yeah, we do it a little different, but it's not as if we all still spoke French or something.

election incumbent

Comments:
Forget the numbers from the first primary. Do not discount "Devine intervention".

Landrieu 52%

Nagin 48%

If my prediction is correct, do not discount legal action from "Devine intervention".
 
Call it "Divine intervention" or "don't count your chickens before they hatch" whatever...I would not say this is a done deal. I hope it is but I have learned to be very cautious when you predict NO politics. I do agree the fact large numbers voted against the incumbents is a sign the voters want change. Let us hope the follow through with that idea on run off day!
 
Dangle, I think you're prediction is dead line. I tend to think in racetrack terms more than absolute outcomes. I think the one-two finish is pretty much a cinch here. If Nagin had gotten close to 50%, then I'd have to box it to be certain, as it could go either way.
 
Vote Against The Incumbents.
Vati, Vati.

That’s V-A-T-I, with a long ‘A’ and long ‘I’.

The present state of America makes me sick. It actually makes me nauseous to ponder how far this once magnificent country has slipped into mediocrity. When I was a young man, fifty years ago, you could mention just about anything: And America was best at
that. Now we rarely lead the World in anything. We can still claim one title; America is the World's Greatest Debtor Nation.

Back then, America enjoyed the best health care, the best schools, and the best working conditions on Earth, while we worked less hours, made more money, and enjoyed a life style never before seen upon this planet.

Our coal mines were producing more coal, our steel-mills smelting more iron, and our assembly-lines led the World in manufacturing beautiful automobiles, refrigerators, wash-machines, dryers, and the hoard of smaller appliances and gadgets (which eliminated most of the drudgery of our daily chores) and introduced us to the life-of-ease, we all now enjoy.

Now, American High School Graduates rank only average (whether tested in Mathematics, World History, Language, Science or any other critical field of expertise) and compared with the test scores of students from other industrialized nations.

Our so-called health care system stinks, it is without question, the most dysfunctional conglomeration of nonsensical laws bureaucrats have ever assembled. It assures illegal aliens and greedy politicians unlimited free health care, while it renders millions of hard
working, honest citizens, incapable of obtaining any kind of health insurance.

The new Social Security Drug Plan deducts a premium for drug insurance, which you can bet will raise every year, from the social security checks, of subscribers. [AARP just raised my premium from $25.25 to $28.50, a 12.87% raise for 2007.] A great many drugs are not covered by this new plan, and it only pays a maximum of about 70% on any drug, a lot less on most. When the total drug bill (what the retiree and the government pays) reaches $2250.00, Grandma gets cut off, has to pay it all herself, until her total drug bill reaches $3500.00. Obviously if Grandma can not afford her drugs, her bill will never get to $3500.00, so she will go without her drugs for the rest of the year. Of course the monthly premium will still be deducted from her Social Security Check. The drug companies formulated this drug bill, got it enacted, and only the drug companies are going to benefit from it. (Our government gives them the premiums.) In short, this Shaft Our Grandparents Bill is nothing but a multi-million dollar windfall for the drug companies.

[AARP also broadened the gap between when they quit paying for Grandma’s drugs, and when they start paying again. During 2006 they quit paying when the drug cost reach $2250, and restarted at $3600, leaving a $1350 gap. In 2007 the gap will be extended to $1450.]

The above bill is sure not the worst medical bill our elected officials have ever enacted. It just happens to be the last that made me angry. Hundreds of anti-consumer bills and amendments are on the books, which benefit only the medical and or the drug industries. Foreign competition to American Drug Companies is nonexistent. If it was legitimized, we could import drugs from reputable foreign drug facilities, for as little as 10% of the extortion we are now forced to pay our American Drug Companies.

Sad to say, but the Medical Cartels and Drug Companies, with their unchallenged power, are not the worst villains when it comes to manipulating our government into giving them a license to gouge us. The international oil and gas conglomerates, the
interstate utility companies, railroad cartels, automobile and airplane manufacturing companies, the cable companies, international shipping cartels and a score of other business concerns all wield as much or more power over our Congress, Senate and
President, than the drug companies do.

Big Business is our real enemy. Big Business controls both our national and state governments, and Big Business is the real reason America is losing ground on all fronts, the reason America is slowly but steadily slipping into mediocrity.

The companies mentioned above, along with a score of Countries and a hoard of other mighty forces, funnel billions of dollars annually into Washington, to influence the Republican and Democratic Party Leaders to legislate on their behalf.

The leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties, in the Congress and Senate, now have more control over their subservient Congressman and Senators, than a General has over his troops. The Political Party Lords control the pac-money. And the
pac-money is what decides who will get elected, or heaven forbid, smeared. The Political Lords can’t just walk down on the floor and tell a congressman or senator that they are fired. But they can have anyone that fails to kowtow to the powers that be, ostracized, rendered powerless, and by denying pac-money and support, they can keep them from being re-elected.

It is crucial to America's future that we, the voters, acknowledge that the Political Lords are running this country. When all the Republicans vote yea, and all the Democrats vote nay, our Congressman and/or Senators are not voting their conscience, and they sure aren't voting the way we want them to vote. They are voting exactly the way the Party Lords have decreed they vote. And folks that’s not Democracy, that’s flagrant Bureaucracy. If we are going to declare war, prudence behooves us to first learn all we can about our enemy.

Now, I just pulled what I have written here off the top of my head. So if you find a mistake, don’t get excited, it is not that important, the overall theme of this opinion is correct. And furthermore it is also correct that with a minimum of research, anyone can ascertain for themselves that this greatest of all nations, is rapidly slipping into mediocrity.

And even the United States of America, the greatest nation that ever existed, can fall from within, if we continue to allow misguided politicians, to barter piece after piece of good government away to any group able and willing to pay for preferential treatment.

I have been telling people for years; when in doubt always vati. But only in this last year has the urge to really push this concept become obligatory.

Actually, voting against the incumbents is a very viable method of straightening out what is wrong with America. Many congressmen and senators win their seats by very small margins, less than 5%. So if just 5% of the voters would vati, we would probably retire
near a quarter of our Senators and Congressmen. And you can bet we would get their attention. If as many voters vati-ed, as voted for Ross Perot in 1992, we would unseat nearly 75% of both houses. Very few politicians win their seats by a 18.9% margin.

Folks this plan definitely has possibilities. Politician’s egos are all wrapped up in their positions. Actually the only thing in the World, politicians love more than pac-money, is their influential positions, their jobs. And on the very day our legislators learn that their electorate is actually threatening to vote them out of office, they are going to be magically stricken with a burning desire to legislate on behave of their constituency.

The only question left is, where are you going to place your loyalty, to the Political Parties that you have been blindly supporting, or to America? You can’t serve two
masters, and be loyal to either. We have to take the power away from the Party Lords, to the extent that it allows our elected representatives to vote the way we tell them to vote. Or in thirty years you are not going to be able to tell the difference between Washington and the corrupt Government of Mexico, or for that matter, tell the difference between America and Mexico.

Actually, voting against the incumbents is a very viable method of straightening out what is wrong with America. The power of our vote is awesome, if we use it wisely. Many congressmen and senators win their seats by very small margins, less than 5%. So if just 5% of the voters would vati, we would probably retire near 25% of our Senators and Congressmen. And you can bet we would get their attention. If as many voters vati-ed, as voted for Ross Perot in 1992, we’d unseat about 75% of both houses. Very few politicians win their seats by a 18.9% margin.

Folks this plan definitely has possibilities. Politician’s egos are all wrapped up in their positions. Actually the only thing in the World, politicians love more than pac-money, is their influential positions, their jobs. And on the very day our legislators learn that their electorate is actually threatening to vote them out of office, they are going to be magically stricken with a burning desire to legislate on behave of their constituency.

The only question left is, where are you going to place your loyalty, to the Political Parties that you have been blindly supporting, or to America? You can’t serve two
masters, and be loyal to both. We have to take the power away from the Party Lords, to the extent that it allows our elected representatives to vote the way we tell them to vote. Or in thirty years you are not going to be able to tell the difference between Washington and the corrupt Government of Mexico, or for that matter, tell the difference between America and Mexico.

I wrote this poem more than twenty years ago, and it reverberates my sentiment now as vibrantly, as then.

VATI VATI

As Mighty Rome Fell, America Could Die.
Whether It Falls Or Not, Is Up To You And I.

I worried and stewed, but by-and-by,
came up with a plan, where you and I,
can put America the a road, to a brand-new high.
Just blame the politicians, get blood in your eye,
and vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

Now just voting won't do it, we've got to vati.
That's v, a, t, i, with a long "A", and long "I."
Vote Against The Incumbents, and you vati.
Things will never get better, until we vati.
Vote against the incumbents, Vati, vati.

There is no time, to just set and sigh.
America will fail, without you and I.
The time has come, we must do or die.
We must all vote, and we must vati.
Vote against the incumbents, Vati, vati.

Things won't just get better, by-and-by.
Unless the apathetic voters, you and I,
hit those poles with blood in our eye.
And not only vote, but wisely vati,
Vote against the incumbent. Vati, vati.

We must not buy, some political lie,
the America we love, is about to die.
Politicians no longer, serve you and I,
but all acquiesce, to the powers that buy.
Vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

The newly elected may want to serve you and I,
until that powerful pac-money catches their eye.
Then party loyalty becomes, their big lie.
As they vote with the Pac, for their piece of the pie.
Vote against the incumbents, Vati, vati.

Congressmen and Senators are nigh as apt to die,
as meet defeat at the poles, by you and I.
They know we’ll vote for’em, they don’t have to try.
America is declining, as democracy goes awry.
Vote against the incumbent. Vati, vati.

Waxing fat on the apathy, shown by you and I,
politicians became hogs, and Washington's a sty.
But we can change all that, in the blink of an eye,
if we just get off our apathy, and dutifully vati.
Vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

If just one out of twenty, of us would vati,
we*d get nigh a forth of that Washington sty.
Now that might he to few, to help you and I,
But we’d darn sure make, the rest of them shy.
Vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

And when; "Foul, foul," the politicians cry.
And charge that; "great careers will sadly die."
Stand up and look them, straight in the eye,
And vow; "Losing only makes the truly-great try."
Vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

From the County Coroner, to that Washington sty,
if you don’t love the incumbent, always vati.
Help turn America toward, a brand-new high.
Teach your kids and your friends, they must vati.
Vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

If the state of America, makes you want to cry,
then help start a revolution, no one has to die.
Our party loyalty sent elections go so far awry.
And we can fix that error, just revolt and vati.
Vote against the incumbents. Vati, vati.

Part your 2nd and 3rd finger; that "v" means vati.
Send this to a friend, who you think will comply.
Let’s all band together and give'em a black eye.
Vati, vati, and hearty bye-bye.

Grandpa Nate @ Rawlins, Wyoming.
Also see: http://grandpanate.com
[If you like this, copy it, and pass it on.]
 
Vati Party

VATI is the first letter in "Vote Against The Incumbents,” and that is what it means. Vati means you always vote against the person holding the office, the incumbent, regardless of political affiliation.

The majority of our Congressmen and Senators have absolutely no fear of losing their offices. They know that party loyalty [be it Republican or Democrat] of their constituency will assure their perpetual reelecting. In the whole Senate you are likely to have only five or six seats [in the Congress less than 30 seats] that are not securely locked-up by one, or the other, political parties.

And actually, nothing is gained when we do manage to send an occasional new representative to Washington. In short: They are simply gobbled up by the system. They are introduced to pac-money, and the powerful party leaders [Party Lords] and end up cuddling up to Big Business, and voting the party line, for legislation that enhances the Conglomerate's bottom line, to the determent of their constituency, to the determent of America.

Now, a large percentage of Congressmen and Senators win their seats by very small margins, less than 5%, so if just 10% of the voters Vati, we would likely unseat nearly 20% of our Representatives. If we could generate as much support as Ross Perot did, [according to the last election] we would kick out close to 90% of the House and Senate.

But more important than just getting rid of some self-serving politicians, unseating just 10% of the House and Senate would definitely get their attention. And then we could demand drastic change. We could demand a clean break between our Legislators and Big Business. We could outlaw all soft-money, and make any contact between our Legislators and Big Business [except publicized discussion in an open forum] illegal.

We can demand term limits. I am for an eight-year term limit, for all Government Offices. Let Senators serve one six year term or change the length their terms to four years. We can demand secure borders, and that everything entering our ports be inspected. We could demand a rigidly enforced alien worker program, which caters to America’s needs. And demand a viable plan which honorably ends the war in Iraq.

We can let Washington know, anyone who votes against anything the majority of America clearly wants, had better start looking for a new job.

Vatiing is a very viable method of voting to save America, to cure what is wrong with America, a viable way of stopping America’s rapid descent into mediocrity.

The interest in “vote against the incumbents” is growing exponentially. Now we need to get organized, form a political party. Much like any other political party, except we won’t run candidates for office. Our challenge will be to make the other Parties Candidates legislate for American, and America’s People.

If you have any ideas, comments, want to help get organized, or whatever, please leave a message at: http://voteagainsttheincumbents.blogspot.com/
 
I speak to a deaf world. And I know not how to gain her ear. America is degenerating at a rapid pace. We are now over $9,210,000.000,000 in debt. That is over $30,275 for every man, woman and child in this country. It would take us over thirty years to pay off this debt, if we installed sane representatives in Washington, and strictly adhered to a balanced budget.

Our schools now rank 28th [28th that’s pathetic,] in the World. We are in a war that we can’t win, in the foreseeable future, and can’t get out of. Our Government is broken. We are no longer functioning as a Democracy. We are operating as a Bureaucracy. The Party Lords tell our congressmen and senators how to vote. And Big Business, mostly International Conglomerates, give the Party Lords [which they buy with Pac-money] their orders.

That should be enough said: Because I don’t really believe that there is anyone in America, who is old enough to vote, that does not know this country is in trouble.

Every day the Republican and Democratic Party Lords work at enacting bills, which cedes one international conglomerate after another some financial quid pro quo, for pac-money received. And nearly all concessions to Big Business prove to be detrimental to America’s working people. Under the present system America will eventually have hungry masses without health care, millionaires, and no middle class. America, as we know her, is at this moment rapidly degenerating.

Changing out Republican for a Democratic, or Democratic for a Republican, or just replacing a Republican or Democratic with what is deemed a better member of their own party, will not help the situation. The new comer will quickly learn how the ball bounces in Washington, and vote the Party Line, as the Party Lords dictate, and business will continue as usual. And that is not Democracy, but Bureaucracy.

But all is not lost: America can still be saved. There is enough energy being wasted fighting our unresponsive system, for various causes, to fix America twice. This is still America, and we still get to vote. So let’s act like a Democracy, band together, vati, [Vote Against The Incumbents.] and send enough Congressmen and Senators home, to get the attention of those who are left.

If just 10% of us would vati, we would get between 20 and 25% of the House and Senate. If 20% of us vati, we would send 75% of both Houses home. And you can bet: You’d have your Representative’s ear.

It really doesn’t matter whether you want to save the spotted owl, secure our borders, protect the giant redwoods, or the North Slope, save some swamp, fight Global Warming, or clean up a river, or whatever, all these things are going to cost Big Business money. And they are not going to allow you to get it done until, unless, we take back the reins of government. And none of you have the power to do that alone. So the answer is simple; whatever your cause, You Have Two choices; either fail, or band together and clean up Washington. Save America, and then you will have a hoard of accommodating representatives to help promote your cause. So start contacting other groups and get the ball rolling. You can do it, and it will work. But! Time is essential. So get at it. Good Luck, GrandpaNate
http://Voteagainsttheincumbents.blogspot.com/
 
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