Nomination Math—www.realclearpolitics.com has a good summary of the race for delegates. Obama is about 47 from victory, and it appears that he will cross the line on Tuesday with the Montana and South Dakota primaries, the last two—finally! I expect Hillary to bow out next week, perhaps on Monday, after the winning Puerto Rico primary.
These three primaries pale in importance to Saturday’s meeting of the DNC’s rules committee, which will decide on ‘what to do with Florida and Michigan’. This is Hillary’s hail mary prayer, one which will not be answered. Most expect the delegates to be split 50/50 between Obama/Clinton, or given half a vote each with a net gain to Hillary of about 20—in either case, this doesn’t change the fact that Obama will have the necessary majority of delegates by Wednesday morning.
While Hillary can stay in the race, and fight the Rules committee’s decision in Denver before the Credentials committee, this would be an all-or-nothing tactic—if she fights and loses (which is highly likely), she is toast in the party, and will have ended her career. At some point, there is a limit to her ego, and she has to care a smidgeon for the good of the party. It is the job of the 200 undeclared superdelegates to swing to Obama after he gets the majority of delegates to convince Clinton that her battle is over, and it is time to begin acting like a loyal Democrat.
To find out how to help the Obama campaign, go to www.barackobama.com. You can go to Find Events, and enter your zip code to find area events. You can go to Volunteer to sign up and learn about how you can help. There is a ‘My.BarackObama.com community’ where you can link up with area Obama supporters.
It’s Our Year—www.electoral-vote.com is currently projecting that Democrats will pick up 5 US Senate seats (Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Virginia) this fall, and there are five more that could swing our way (MN, MS, NC, OR, and TX, yes, Texas). The same site shows Obama (and Clinton) both winning enough electoral votes to beat McCain this fall. I take this with a grain of salt, as Obama will not be running against McCain, but rather Obama and his running mate will run against McCain and his running mate. Furthermore, the polls do not yet reflect the impact of Nader and, much more significantly, Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee. Barr is a perfect compliment (in Republicans’ eyes) to McCain, a staunch conservative, and may well bleed a bunch of votes from McCain, just as Nader did to Gore in 2000.
State of the State—There are currently ten Delaware races with primaries—eight between Democrats and two with Republicans. On the Democratic side, there are three folks running for Mike Castle’s Congressional seat. For Governor, the Progressive Democrats of Delaware (PDD) and my 23rd Representative District (RD) have endorsed Jack Markell, and I concur. For Lt. Governor, Ted Blunt has stepped aside, leaving Matt Denn no longer worrying about a primary. However, he is set to run against DuPont heir (well-financed) Charlie Copeland in November, a formidable challenge. There are three Dems running for Insurance Commissioner, Reed, Savage, and Weldin-Stewart. If Reed would return the campaign contributions from insurance company executives (and spouses), I would support him, however this looks unlikely. I’m waiting to learn more about them during the PDD endorsement process.
There are two Dem candidates for New Castle County Executive: Chris Coons and Tom Gordon. My RD and the New Castle County Executive Committee (NCCEC) has endorsed Coons, and I support this. In the 6th Senate District (SD), there are two Dems running for incumbent Republican Liane Sorenson’s seat: Mike Terranova (retired police officer) and John Mackenzie (Christina School Board member). I hope to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of each at Monday’s 23rd RD meeting, and during the PDD endorsement process. In the 12th New Castle County Council district, I prefer Tom Scherer to incumbent William Bell. There are two Wilmington races with Democratic primaries, however I don’t know anything about the candidates.
At this time, the only contested non-primary race for the state legislature pits Democrat Bryon Short against James Bowers. Bryon won a special election in an upset a year ago to fill the spot vacated by Wayne Smith, the Republican who left the House to become a lobbyist the next day (typical career path for Republicans). This will be hotly contested.
Getting Involved in Delaware—Jack Markell’s campaign website is www.markell.org and includes events and volunteer opportunities. I hope to attend a Country Barbecue supporting Jack on July 19th from 5-8pm in Townsend. The cost is $25 per person (kids eat free), and you should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
By the way, last night the NCCEC endorsed John Carney’s bid for governor, not Jack Markell’s. This isn’t too surprising, as Carney has been Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s Lt. Governor for eight years, and is ‘the establishment candidate’, the candidate supported by the old Democratic Party movers and shakers. If you want more of that, then John Carney could be your candidate. I’m looking for a real change, in Dover in addition to in Washington DC, and this is why I support Jack Markell for governor.
Furthermore, keep an eye out for the ‘negative campaigning’ in this race. As a biased supporter of Jack Markell, I am starting to see some personal attacks by Carney, while Markell’s comments are most often focused on Minner/Carney policy shortcomings and related areas of disappointment.
Chris Coons’ site is www.chriscoons.com. I hope to attend a reception ($50 per person) on June 16th from 6-8pm at Rebecca Young’s home. RSVP to Tara Quinn at 302-427-3690. There is also a beef-n-beer fundraiser ($40 per person) from 6-10pm at the Mill Creek Fire Hall on June 7th, when he kicks off his campaign.
Matt Denn’s site is www.mattdenn.com. His kickoff is Saturday June 7th, including an announcement at the New Castle Old Courthouse at 4pm. I haven’t heard about a fundraiser yet, but you can contribute on the website.
John Kowalko’s site is www.johnkowalko.com. While he doesn’t yet have a filed opponent, there is no question that Delmarva is trying hard to recruit someone. There is a fundraiser in Newark for the 25th RD (where he serves) this Saturday from 7-9pm. I have tickets ($15 for one person, $25 for a couple)—let me know if you would like a ticket.
The Progressive Democrats of Delaware’s site is http://www.progressivedemsdel.com/. You can contribute online. There is a 4th of July event planned. This group is instrumental in helping voters identify candidates who share our liberal views, helping us separate the wheat from the chaff, so we can be smarter with our political contributions of time and money. Please consider joining the PDDs!
Delaware Legislative Update—There are three pieces of legislation that I care a lot about, and all three are holed up in the Delaware state senate.
SB4—This bill will open up our legislature, which exempted itself decades ago from FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act. If you think that our state legislature should be open to the light of day, contact your senator and urge them to get Senate Bill 4, the FOIA Bill, onto the floor for a vote.
SB141—This bill would make it illegal to discrimate against someone based on their sexual orientation. Without this protection, people can be kicked out of their apartment, or fired, purely due to being (or appearing to be) a gay or lesbian. Delaware is one of the few Dark Ages states that does not currently make this illegal. Please contact your senator and ask them to work with Senator Sokola to get this bill onto the Senate floor for a vote of the full Senate.
HCR38—This is a House Concurrent Resolution to bring wind power (and jobs) to Delaware. Senator McDowell (embarrassingly a Democrat) has done everything in his power to prevent this from happening, despite the three state agencies agreeing that the Bluewater Wind contract meeting all requirements and being the best for the state. In times when fossil fuel prices are rising ten times the overall rate of inflation, you would think that everyone would be falling over themselves to get this going. Well McDowell has jammed the works for more than five months, despite overwhelming public support for this deal. Please ask your Senator to bring HCR38 onto the floor, and to vote to get Delaware moving on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels (and on the Delmarva Power monopoly).