Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I had planned to have my thoughts all neat and organized weeks before election day but instead found myself thinking, vetting, reading, and pondering on this decision. At one point in the process I was just about fed up enough to go write Jason Chaffetz' name down on the ballot and walk away. Instead, I looked at what Chaffetz had done in the race: he had made it clear he wasn't endorsing. I respected that decision a lot and began thinking about my own blog endorsements (the keen reader will notice some changes). In the end I decided I couldn't endorse either Lee or Bridgewater and even wondered if I should even say whom I was planning on voting for.
One nice consequence of not endorsing is that my mind remained unclouded so as to see the good and bad in both candidates. I saw many great patriots seem to become blinded to the bad in their own candidate. If you praised their candidate, you were a patriot. If you expressed any concern about their candidate you were ridiculed. I saw both the Bridgewater and Lee camps containing great and small modern-day patriots. I saw the sacrifices people were making to get what they deemed a great candidate elected to the Senate.
And then the election happened and Lee won by 2 points; I was secretly hoping it would be close although admittedly I thought Bridgewater would win. Post-election now follows with more ridicule by some of ridding of "blog trolls" and mocking patriots on the other side.
And yet I remain concerned, perhaps scared even. How will Lee (39) be as the youngest current Senator? Will he stick to his promises? Will he connect with the folks or be arrogant? I could ask the same questions were Bridgewater to be elected or anyone. The pro-Lee folks will tell you that you just don't know Lee well enough; OK, but if that's the case only God knows Mike Lee well enough. We don't have enough second chances left to get back to our Constitution for us to inadvertently send back the wrong person.
Bridgewater made the decision to vote for Lee easy for me by not responding to my email. I pretty much decided that when one candidate (Lee) would answer (yes, it took some prodding) and the other wouldn't or didn't, I wasn't interested in voting for a candidate who ignored me. I also became concerned that Bridgewater was more moderate in some of his views of wanting to do good government programs (Ex-Im Bank) rather than abolish them and cut wherever possible to downsize government and balance the government.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't this sleeper Lee guy all along as I'm sure I'll be accused now that I've announced my vote. Lee ducked more than one debate, donated to Bennett's campaign, and particularly in the beginning came off arrogant. While I thought the "Lee Lobbying Lenses" (as I like to title it in my mind) for 1-800 Contacts without registering was interesting, it didn't seem to make me want to bail when he had talked with the guy in charge beforehand. Finally, now that Lee is the probable winner come November, I don't want to see his brother Tom be on the State Supreme Court. Too many Lees for me. Let's not tie up all that power in one family when there are others out there.
Bridgewater wasn't my guy this time around. He may or may not be my guy another time around depending on my choices. But I wouldn't dare send anyone to Washington these days without keeping the strictest of watch over them. So congratulations Bridgewater and Lee you should both be proud of your great campaigns and desires to restore honor back to our country. I think highly of both of you. But Mr. Lee I have a special caution for you now: don't expect me to be letting you off the hook just because I voted for you. I'm ready to throw you under the bus at the first sign of you throwing my Constitution under the bus as has been done too many times before by predecessors. You will serve me and my fellow citizens of the state of Utah and we will hold you fully accountable before God in a judgement day even when God allows justice not to prevail for a time on earth. Should you come home in 6 or 12 years having kept your promises of repealing Obamacare, raising the Social Security retirement age, balancing the budget, and restoring honor to our Constitution, then will you have earned more than my vote: you will earned have my praise for a job well done.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Cap N Tax Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) won his primary with 56% of the vote.
Cap N Tax Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ-04) won his primary with 68% of the vote.
Cap N Tax Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ- 02) won his primary with 78% of the vote.
Cap N Tax Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) won her primary with 69% of the vote.
Case Study: NJ-02
Although none of the four "Cap n Tax 8" incumbents were defeated, we need to give the opposition candidates credit. Let's examine the LoBiondo race where the incumbent garnished the largest percent of victory to put things into perspective:
(1) The South Jersey Courier Post described this as a "second consecutive challenge" for LoBiondo meaning that the 8-term Congressman has betimes run unopposed. Thank you challengers Linda Biamonte and Donna Ward for running! Keep up the great work!
(2) Voters narrowed LoBiondo's margin of victory in the primary down from 89% in 2008 to 78% this year. Excellent progress!
(3) These results were achieved with a biased media who described Biamonte as the "LoBiondo Challenger" (Shore News Today) instead of properly using her real name. (SNT completely ignored the presence of Donna Ward in the race--who won 45% of the anti-LoBiondo vote.)
(4) LoBiondo got some national vetting exposure in April by Michelle Malkin about his ignorance on the U.S. Constitution.
(5) Keep in mind the reason why incumbents are so hard to defeat is the money donated to incumbents by PACs and businesses. In the last FEC report, LoBiondo had donated $375K to his own campaign, outraising his opponents combined fundraising by magnitudes. LoBiondo has bought himself another two years in Congress.
Having seen LoBiondo run on an issue-less platform (see the utter lack of issue positions on his website at http://lobiondoforcongress.com/ -- unless you count his dogs as an issue position) it is great to see these two courageous patriots--Biamonte and Ward--stand for principle and I remain excited about their success.
The two remaining GOP "Cap n Tax 8" primaries are: Cap n Tax Congressman Michael Castle (DE) against Christine O'Donnell for the DE Senate seat with primary elections on Sept 14th and Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) vs. Ernest Huber with an Aug 17th primary.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Somewhere along the years, I deprecated endorsements of political candidates: that is, in casting my own vote I enjoy doing my own vetting process rather than subserviating to someone else's opinion. Nevertheless endorsements serve as interesting windows acutely into the endorser and as anchored starting points into political vetting.
As the race between Bridgewater and Lee enters its final days of maturation, Eagar's endorsement is hardly a starting vetting place for me; and as Eagar leaned toward Bridgewater during post-campaign remarks the endorsement came as little surprise. Thus for me, Eagar's endorsement does nothing to clear nor cloud my own analysis of this race. I hope to soon finalize my own thoughts on this race.
On Presidential Endorsements
Lately, I have been in preponderance that our President should decline to be leader of their respective political party. One of the things that appealed to voters voting for President Obama was his campaign communiques that he was "post-partisan." Obama has failed miserably on that account as acutely exampled in the ramming through of Obamacare in a most partisan way. I feel our Presidents should not be actively endorsing candidates A to Z of their respective parties, instead working on leading the country in solving the limited breadth of problems they are responsible to do.
In his 1792 farewell address Washington warned us on the dangers of political parties:
In my vision of "What would Washington do?" it would be exactly this on their first day in office: renounce being head of the Party. The Chief Executive, as our Supreme Court, should be above partisanship and the politicking of endorsement; and being the leader of a private political party does nothing to speak of representing the interests of ALL AMERICANS. While Washington might advocate the complete abolition of political parties, Executive declination of the leadership role while remaining part of the party would be a tremendous step in the right direction.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the
spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and
countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful
++++ Update 6/10:
It looks like Bennett is jumping on the endorse-Bridgewater bandwagon (SL Tribune). That is one endorsement I'd like to see Bridgewater decline but of course he won't because it is and has been politics as usual for Bridgewater.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The fact that it has been 10 days with neither candidate to respond is unacceptable. Here are two very good candidates yet neither is lifting a finger to earn my vote through their actions.
I have noted that some candidates are great about answering questions and some ignore you. I have first hand positive experience with response to email from a diverse collection of Utah elected officials including Provo Mayor John Curtis, Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy, and Utah Rep. Jim Matheson. While I don't necessarily agree with everything all three of these officials and there are many others I could name in a positive light, these three have responded in a timely manner to multiple emails sent them and have earned my respect--which serves as a prerequisite to my vote.
Team Bridgewater seemed to want to be open to discussion by the following tweet last month:
While the tweet is warm, it seems now in retrospect to carry little weight if my emails are going to be ignored.
So I have to ask myself: why? Are both campaigns so disorganized so as to have no volunteers with which to answer email questions? Am I blacklisted because I dare speak to factual concerns about them? Has this important race become a lifeless zombie staggering toward a finish three weeks from now with me the only undecided Republican left in the state of Utah? And the big granddaddy question and fear: when you get elected to the Senate, Mr. future senator, will you also ignore my emails then?
Some of you might recognize this verse from a classic pop song of yesteryear which sums it up:
"Fools," said I, "you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
++++ Update 6/3 5:30pm:
I received the nicest email this morning from the Lee campaign in which an apology was issued for the delayed response. It rather took me by surprise that the Lee folks were so gracious. I am going to wait to reveal the specifics on the answer of the question in the hopes and fairness that Team Bridgewater will also step up to the plate and respond. I won't be waiting too long however, as early voting begins June 8th and I had hoped to have my mind made up by then as to which patriot to vote for so I can early vote as I please.