Thursday, May 29, 2008

Progressive Update--05/29/2008

Nomination 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 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 ‘ community’ where you can link up with area Obama supporters.

It’s Our 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 DelawareJack Markell’s campaign website is 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

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 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 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 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 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 UpdateThere 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).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Progressive Update--05/08/2008--Tick, Tock

Nomination Math—On Tuesday Barack Obama fully erased the impact of Clinton’s victory in PA. She won 12 more delegates than him in PA, and 4 more in Indiana, but he won 16 more in North Carolina, and so he has the same margin of 166 more pledged-delegates than Hillary as he had in mid-March, and there are less than four weeks left of primaries.

There are six primaries left—the three big ones (more than 50 delegates each) are Oregon, where Obama should have a big win, Puerto Rico where Hillary should have a big win, and Kentucky, where Hillary should have a modest win. Of the smaller three, the largest is West Virginia where Hillary is very strong, and Montana and South Dakota, where Obama should rock. Bottom line—the pledged delegate gap is unlikely to change by more than 8 by the time the last voter has been cast on June 3rd—Barack Obama should end the primaries with 155 more pledged delegates than Hillary, or even more.

The ‘superdelegate’ math continues to work against Hillary. Months ago she had 100 more supers than Barack. Today that gap is down to 11, and that gap should completely close within a week, two at the most. After June 3rd, the remaining uncommitted supers will jump onto the Obama wagon (reinforcing the voice of the states and voters), and the party can finally move to the business of kicking McCain’s rear. The strategy of pointing out how a McCain administration will be equivalent to a 3rd term for W will likely have the most traction this fall. McCain has two impossible tasks. He feels the need to pander to the right wingers (the base) while also pitching that he is a maverick who bucks the base. The second impossible task is that he has to do this with no money (compared with the incredible grass-roots financial support that backs Barack Obama).

There are two important dates remaining in the nomination process. On May 31st, the rules committee meets and discusses the fate of delegates from Michigan and Florida. The most likely outcome is the seating of 50% to 100% of the normal number of delegates, with a split between 60/40 (Hillary/Barack) and 50/50. This may slightly narrow, but has no chance to change, the outcome. The second date is the date that Hillary concedes. We don’t know the date, but my guess is June 2nd, after a victory from Puerto Rico, but also 48 hours after the rules committee dashes her incredible dream of getting 100% of the Michigan delegates.

Hillary Clinton—Please remember that Hillary is a great Democrat, as are each of her supporters. We need Hillary, and each supporter to help our party take the White House, and gain as many seats in Congress as possible this fall. Please keep all of your statements positive—going negative only helps our foes, and could keep Hillary supporters home from the polls in November. Hillary and her supporters have waged an incredible campaign, and deserve our support on determining on their own when to call it quits. We each have our personal views, but we respect Hillary’s right to decide the timing for herself.

Helping Make it Happen—If you have some time on Saturday, you can help bring this to an end. One factor considered by superdelegates, including DE Democratic Party Chair John Daniello, is how each candidate can help their state’s candidates in November. Obama has the clear advantage in the western states, states that the old guard, including Hillary, have ceded to the Republicans, but progressives such as Howard Dean refuse to neglect. This is why Montana, Oregon, and South Dakota will go to Obama.

For several reasons, the Obama campaign is holding a National Voter Registration Project this Saturday, nationwide. If you can pitch in a few hours (generally 10am to 2pm), email Rob Carver at TODAY. The New Castle County drive will have Rodney Square as its hub. Remember that our work this Saturday will help superdelegates better understand that Obama is the best candidate for President this fall, the one who can get the most voters out to help candidates ‘up and down the ballot’. Help Barack Obama get the nomination, volunteer on Saturday.

State Candidates—The Progressive Democrats of Delaware endorsed the candidacy of Jack Markell for DE Governor, Matt Denn for DE Lieutenant Governor. I sit on the endorsement committee and am proud of our process and these results. There are other important Democratic primary races, including for insurance commissioner, New Castle County executive, and US Representative.

There are also going to be several critical races in Delaware in November. I expect dynamic and well-financed Jack Markell to trounce whatever Republican wins their primary. However I worry about the race for Lieutenant Governor (in DE, it is possible to have one party win the race for governor and the other party to win the race for Lt. Gov. The Republicans have the incredibly-well-financed DuPont-heir Republican Charles Copeland running for Lt. Governor. This is going to be a very difficult to beat, and requires our strongest candidate, and for the entire party to stand behind the primary winner. I endorse Matt Denn, and will be giving time and money to his campaign to become DE’s next Lieutenant Governor.

I am also currently focused on the race for my State Senate district 6 (even split of registered Dems and Republicans) with Democrat Mike Terranova against Republican incumbent Liane Sorenson, Senate district 10 (many more registered Democrats) with Democrat Bethany Hall-Long and no Republican yet as Steve Amick is retiring, and Senate district 17 with Democrat Brian Bushweller and no Republican yet as arch-conservative John Still is retiring (YEAH!). In the state House, Democrat Rebecca Walker is running in the 9th (many more Democrats) against incumbent Republican Richard Cathcart, Democrat Michael Barbieri is running against incumbent Republican Terry Spence in the 18th (where there are loads more Democrats), and Democrat Earl Jacques is running incumbent Republican Vincent Lofink in the 27th (where there are also loads more Democrats).

2008 promises to be an incredibly great year for Democrats, at both the national and state level. The Republicans are lacking for both money and candidates, but most notably, they are lacking for votes. In Delaware, we can select a liberal, visionary Governor and Lt. Governor, which will be a breath of fresh air compared with the past eight years. We can reshape our state Senate, replacing a conservative Senator Pro Tempore, desk drawer vetoes, and closed meetings, and we can also transform the state House, getting a Democratic majority so that we can get health care reform and other important legislation passed, bills that have been held hostage for years by the Republican majority.

After depressing results in 2000 and 2004, this is the year to step up, pitch in, be heard, identify your candidates, and help them win. Get fired up!