The Buckeye 20

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blog Revival

To anyone who might read this, I'm reviving this blog under the new title "Power to the Pundits". The new blog will be at . It has all of the old posts contained here and is designed to be my long-term blog. I'll put my political musings and whatever else I have an opinion on up. But don't worry-- it'll be emo free! I hope to see you over there!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Finally Over

Dear Readers,

I'm glad I was wrong. I've said earlier in this blog that Ohio would not play nearly a large role in 2008 as it has in the past. About that... Ohio was the turning point on election night. No McCain electoral victory map did not include Ohio. As soon as the state was called, a scream went up at Occidental's election watching party. Anyone who knew anything about politics knew that Ohio had just decided the election for Obama. Of course Virginia was the one to actually place the crown on Obama's head, but Ohio once again stepped up to the plate of history. I'll remember last night for a long time.

The night was bittersweet. Prop. 8 succeeded in California. It was a campaign I had worked long and hard on, and it broke my heart to see it pass. So today, I have been torn between my exultation over Obama's landslide and the crushing defeat of civil rights in California. Hope won the day in the US, but hatred and bigotry won in California.

Part of what's nuts is that the election isn't over yet! Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D) are heading for a nail-biting recount in Minnesota. And unless the few ballots left to be counted in Georgia change anything, Saxby Chambliss (R-i) will be heading into a December runoff against challenger Jim Maritn (D). Unlike Minnesota, this is a whole new election, so the campaigning and flow of resources will be unprecedented. I would not be surprised to see Obama stump heavily for Martin. Just a few hours, The Oregonian called the Oregon Senate seat for Jeff Merkley (D), bringing the Democrats to 57 seats in the Senate. In Alaska the outcome is still too close to call, but the consensus seems to be that a narrow win for 8-term incumbent and convicted felon Ted Stevens. Crazy.

It's been a fun ride, and it's not over yet! This blog will be updated less frequently with the election behind us, but please check in every once in a while! I doubt I can stay quiet for long!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Final Thoughts

Today I gut up at 5:30 to work the polls for the "No on Prop. 8" campaign. Responses at are Pasadena voting location were overwhelmingly positive. We even convinced a good chunk of people! It was great. And the Yes On 8 people were not on their game between 6-11am. We were at the Braille Club, and not a single Yes on 8 volunteer. I'm hopeful! Can we change the dialog on race and sexuality in one night? I hope so!

In other news, see my CA proposition voting guide @ . And NO ON 8!!!

I also think that Ohio will go to Obama. I predict 353 electors to Obama and 185 to McCain. Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Florida are all close enough to change that in a big hurry though. It's going to be an exciting night!


Saturday, November 1, 2008

State of the Race: Ohio Polling

It's been too long since I've dedicated a post to this blog's main topic: the Ohio vote. Ohio was in 2000 and 2004 a major decider in the national election. It was close both times and would have changed the outcome had it gone to the Democrats. Because of the massive national poll movement towards Obama though and his unconventional electoral strategy, Ohio is much less of a hinge this time around: Obama can win without it. Indeed, venerable poll analyst Nate Silver of has Obama winning 78% of his election scenarios with the pre-assumtion of Ohio being in McCain's column. Sorry buckeyes: you're probably not the deciders this time.

If Ohio was so important in 2000 and especially 2004, why is it less so this time? The answer lies in Obama's groundbreaking fundraising and "50-state strategy". Obama has been investing heavily in alternate electoral strategies. And with his coffers he can afford to do so. Even if McCain gets back the 2004 Bush states with small Obama leads currently (North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota), McCain would still need to win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Nevada to win. That's a tall order. So take solace buckeyes: if you give an Obama an early win on election night, you could still "select" our next president!

This graph from Pollster shows the trendlines for the Ohio polls. Interestingly the projected 7-point or so gap between Obama and McCain is right on par with the national polling numbers. I guess that speaks to Ohio's reputation as a bellwether. Considering how crappy McCain's endgame strategy on the ground appears to be, the Republicans will need a voter disenfranchisement system even better than 2004's. And now Ohio's Secretary of State is a Democrat. That'll make things harder. Without even that being topped, McCain needs a big external surprise in the next 3 days. Barring that, we'll be calling him President Obama.

But most of all? Remember to VOTE!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Volunteer Experience

Tonight I went to the No On Prop. 8 campaign campaign office. To say it was crowded is an understatement. We called volunteers who'd agreed to work all kinds of hours on election day. From 6:30 am to 8:30pm on Nov. 4th we'll be working the polls, informing voters and dispelling the myths perpetrated by the hate-filled Yes On 8 campaign.

We had so many volunteers that we contacted all the volunteers in our list in the course of 20 minutes. With 2 hours to go iin our volunteer shifts we gathered up all the signs in the office. We didn't have quite enough, so we made our own too. We marched out into the streets, and staked out a 4-way intersection. We screamed and hollered, and I learned enough No On 8 slogans to last a lifetime. My theater years paid off: I lead many chants and was always the loudest voice at the rally. It was truly empowering. Here's a small sampling of the slogans:

"Vote no!/ Vote no!/ Vote no, Prop. 8 has got to go!"

"No on 8!/ no on hate!/ we do not discriminate!"

CALL: "What do we want?!"
RESPONSE: "Equal rights!"
CALL: "How do we get it?!"
RESPONSE: "No on 8!"

I had an amazing personal experience too. I was reminded about why I wanted to do politics. We were out tonight fighting for our civil rights. We have the power to shape a generation. We shouted at every car that passed, and asked every pedestrian to vote no. With a few exceptions, almost everybody said they would and smiled at us. One man though said nothing. He just smiled and showed us his ring. For me this will be the image that sticks with me as I go to the polls to fight for equality. I know what I'm fighting for. And I know what we stand to lose.

The time to take a stand is now! Visit for more info on fighting for equal rights for all. And most of all, VOTE!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The California Propositions: My Endorsements

Since I live in California, and most of my readers are voting in California, I thought I'd share how I voted on the propositions, with a little explanation.

Prop 1A: YES. As flawed as this proposition is, now is the time to finally start high speed rail in California.

Prop 2: YES. Humane conditions for farm animals should be a given. This proposition finally makes it a reality.

Prop 3: NO. As much as I respect the children's hospitals, the hospital haven't used the $ we gave them last time! Plus, these are private institutions with absurdly overpaid executives. Why is the state paying for them exactly?

Prop 4: NO, NO, NO! This is the 3rd time this has been on the CA ballot! It is essential that women of all ages can have safe abortions! Abortions are not a pleasant thing- nobody claims as much. Forcing parental notification however would only result in more illegal abortions and more unwanted births. Let's kill this monstrosity one more time!

Prop 5: YES. Rehab over prisons for non-violent offenders. This is just the kind of thing that California's bloated prison system needs.

Prop 6: NO! This is a sleazy "anti-gang" initiative, that's really just a "more people in prison" initiative. Send it down!

Prop 7: NO ENDORSEMENT (though I voted yes). There is much wrong with this proposition. It punishes microenergy producers in an unfortunate way. Despite of this however it would effect a move towards clean and renewable energy. I have very mixed feelings about this one, so follow your gut.

Prop 8: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!! California is poised to uphold equal marriage rights for all. California could once again be the vanguard in civil rights for an entire nation. We can reverse the legal gay-bashing tide and take the USA into the future. Or if we vote yes, we can suffer for a generation. The time is now! Vote NO!

Prop 9: NO. "Vicitim's Rights". I call BS. Like Prop. 6, this is Prison Guard's Union double-speak. Victim's Rights means harder to defend suspects. And what does that mean? More inmates for our enormous prison system!

Prop. 10: NO. This energy proposition is much, much worse than 7. It is a thinly veiled payoff to natural gas interests. Natural gas is not clean energy. We need to move forward, not sideways.

Prop 11: NO. Redistricting. Yes gerrymandering is bad. No this is not the solution. This method is biased heavily towards Republicans and Independents and takes power away from our elected officials. No way.

Prop 12: YES. This is a renewal of our 12-year running bond for home-purchasing loans for vets. And even better? Since they're loans, the vets will pay for it over time. What's not to like?

In summary:

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!! on 4 and 8!

NO on 3, 6, 9, 10 and 11.

YES on 1A, 2, 5 and 12.

EH on 7

Remember, get out and vote! Don't let a perceived Obama landslide stop you! These propositions will dramatically affect our lives! So please, even if you don't care abotu the national election, stand up for women and same-sex couples on Nov. 4!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain in Flames

I was struck when sifting through the news by how many signs of a
failing candidate that McCain is showing.

His party is rebelling.

He can't make conservative pundits stay in line.

And his campaign is having massive infighting. They are calling Palin a
rogue, and get this, a /diva/. One adviser said: ""She is a diva. She
takes no advice from anyone," the McCain source said. "She does not have
any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else."

Partisanship aside, McCain has lost control of his image. His party, the
media and his campaign team are all beyond his control. By political science
standards, McCain is a failing candidate.