12 Oct 2018

Election Follies – Madness 2018 Edition


With mailboxes full of campaign drivel, the airwaves sopped with bilious ads and an electorate either ambivalent or outraged – Election 2018 is less than one month from ringing in Campaign 2020.  Yes, election cycles run one into the next with the monotonous droning barely pausing.

While the main event is two years off, this mid-term election is not without its bizarre sideshows.  For openers, there is the Diane Feinstein v state senator Kevin De Leon (Democrat versus Democrat) election for Feinstein’s senate seat.  Only in California could Feinstein be successfully portrayed as too moderate and attacked from the left, and her opponent be a fellow Democrat.  Her performance in the Kavanaugh confirmation process gave both Ds and Rs ammunition to force her involuntary retirement.

In other Senate contests, a retiring Tennessee R refused to endorse his party’s nominee, claiming his personal friendship with the D overrides party loyalty.

Bob Corker’s relationship with D Phil Bredesen has left R nominee Marsha Blackburn with only President Trump to back her campaign, which he has done with personal appearances on multiple occasions.  In Ohio, Jim Renacci, a D turned R Congressman is attempting unseat Sherrod Brown.  Renacci was deceived by his predecessor when he was in private business.  Incensed, he changed parties and ran against the deceiver and defeated him.

In the Southwest the contest for the John McCain seat in Arizona has come down to a fighter pilot against a pink tutu.  R Martha McSally fought in the Iraq war as a fighter pilot and her D opponent Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was a college student protesting that conflict in a pink outfit that has been used by her opponents multiple times.

In the upper Midwest, North Dakota D Senator Heidi Heitkamp is trailing Congressman Kevin Cramer by double digits.  She’s been viewed as a moderate, but her vote for the BLM venting and flaring rule and then her vote against Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh likely sealed her fate.  Rumor in Washington is that she cast her nay in the Kavanaugh melee to position herself for a post in an eventual D administration.

In the Lone Star State Beto O’Rourke is trying to take down Ted Cruz.  The O’Rourke star has been fading in recent weeks as latest poll numbers have him trailing Cruz by nine points, up from six about a week ago.  Cruz is a relentless campaigner and O’Rourke’s appeal to anti-Trump forces, while energized, has been overwhelmed by the state’s conservatives.

In Illinois, there’s governor’s race pitting multi-millionaires against each other for what may be the least desirable office in play in 2018.  Bruce Rauner faces Jay Pritzker in vying for who gets rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic that is the Illinois fiscal disaster.  Perhaps the only worse office soon to be in play is for the mayoralty of Chicago.

Here in the backyard of the PolicySmith there is no senate seat up this cycle, but the gubernatorial races is a national “must see.”  Bush relative and sitting state treasurer Walker Stapleton secured the R nomination when Cynthia Coffman, sitting Attorney General, failed to make the primary ballot.  The lackluster Stapleton campaign is trailing D Jared Polis by double digits and is unlikely to prevail.  The Republican Governors Assn. made this race a priority but only a major faux pas by Polis could pull this one out.

Polis does have his own difficulties.  His big spending plans have made the business community nervous and in two previous campaign cycles he backed ballot initiatives that would severely hamstring the state’s booming oil and gas industry.  His party made the 2018 version – even more onerous than previous versions in 2014 and 2016 – a plank in the party platform.  He has disavowed this plank and says he is now for an “all of the above” energy strategy.

Such statements fly in the face of his vow to convert the state’s energy grid to 100 percent renewables.  Costs estimated for that impossible dream are estimated to be more than $17,000 for every man, woman and child in the state.  That does not include land acquisition costs for renewables which would be in the billions of dollars.

Further to the ballot initiative, Proposition 112 would set oil and gas operations 2500 feet from occupied buildings, parks and water resources.  It would effectively remove more than 85 percent of future development and place it off limits.  It is on its face unconstitutional and unlike its predecessors, this version is a statutory measure, not a constitutional amendment.  Even if passed, it would likely be granted a stay in court – it’s clearly a taking.

So less than a month away we’ll have been served the appetizer for the 2020 main course — when the likes of Cory “Spartacus” Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillebrand, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a cast of thousands will traipse through Iowa on the long slog to bring down Donald Trump.  Every cycle pundits declare US politics cannot get any lower and nastier.  The PolicySmith hereby declares –


3 Responses to Election Follies – Madness 2018 Edition
  1. Always good to see or hear your words! It’s been awhile!

  2. Comment *. who would have believed what has followed the next 4 years?


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