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Democrats Afraid of a Return To Average Black Voter Turnout Numbers

Bookmark and Share   According to a Aaron Blake at The Hill, Democrats are fearing that a drop off in African-American votes in coming elections that do not feature President Obama on the ballot, could be quite detrimental to Racial Politicstheir election and reelection efforts.

This fear is playing itself out in the elections for governor and state legislative seats in Virginia and New Jersey which are about three weeks away. I previously illustrated evidence of this concern among Democrats, more specifically the concerns on the issue that New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has.

I pointed to a slew of billboards the Governor has purchased in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. The billboards display an image of President Obama at a podium and off to the right, in the background, is the image of Jon Corzine. The bold tag line that goes along with the imagery reads “Keep it Going”.

What we are suppose to “keep going” is left to your own imagination but it is more than likely intended to mean that we should keep the work of President Obama going and that, by electing Jon Corzine, we will continue to do just that under Jon Corzine. Being strategically placed only in predominantly black communities, these billboards are obviously meant to inspire African-Americans and convince them that a vote for Governor Corzine is a vote for Barack Obama, even if the president isn’t on the ballot.

corzine bama billboardThe intended message behind the ad is, to say the least, shallow but that is the essence of the entire race for governor in New Jersey. There are no clear, concrete plans being offered by any of the candidates for governor that offer a hint of how they will improve the quality of life in New Jersey. In Governor Corzine’s case that is particularly true.

For Corzine’s main opponent, Republican Chris Christie, his campaign is banking on that being anyone other than Corzine is enough to pull him through to victory. Independent candidate Chris Daggett is hoping that not being either Corzine or Christie will make him the next Governor. But Jon Corzine, with no record of accomplishment to point to, is counting on strong voter turnout among traditionally Democrat sectors. The focus of that strategy is centered on African-American and Jewish voters. Such is why the Governor has focused on bringing people like Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to campaign for him among select New Jersey communities. It is one reason why he picked an obscure state legislator to be his running mate for Lieutenant Governor. When receiving the nomination from Corzine, State Senator Loretta Weinberg defined herself a fiesty Jewish Grandmother and had been running on that ever since.

But it is the African-American vote he mainly focuses on.

Since being re-nominated by Democrats, Governor Corzine has linked his name to President Barack Obama in every breath he takes. He has tried to morph Republican Chris Christie into George W. Bush and even tries to run against Christie, a former federal prosecutor, to Bush’s first Attorney General, John Ashcroft. In addition to that and evoking Obama’s name every chance he gets, Corzine has brought the President in for rallies and is desperately trying to get him back for more. Until then though, he is using images that cast him as the President’s shadow.

All of this, I repeat, all of this, is based on the need for the type of extraordinarily large African-American voter turnout that New Jersey and the nation saw in 2008 when President Obama was on the ballot.

He is not alone.

Democrats nationwide are begining to shake in their boots at the thought of not having the ballot draw of President Obama above their names come this and next November. A Washington Post survey estimates that the African-American voter turnout in this year’s race governor in Virginia to be around 12%, 40% lower than last year. According to The Hill, in New Jersey, the black population is “unmoved” in the race for Governor. Abnormally high black turnout seen in 2008 which offset Republican turnout in proportions too hard to overcome, will not occur in 2009 and the same seems to be true for next year’s nationwide, mid-term elections.

According to Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen, If what looks like is going to happen in Virginia plays out on a national level, I do think Democrats will lose the House”. That comes from a partisan polling outfit, a leading partisan Democrat polling outfit.

Virginia’s African-American population is 20% while New Jersey’s stands at 14%. Both are substantial and while their unprecedented turnout in 2008 had a significant impact in the presidential race, it had an even stronger impact on local races. In many congressional districts, they provided the pivotal power that cost Republicans several seats in the House. However, in two special elections held in Louisiana after the race for President, Republicans won both seats away from Democrats, including one in a predominantly African-American, New Orleans district. This was in large part due to the fact that the President was not on the ballot and did not attract the larger than normal black voter turnout that helped Democrats win in ‘08.

In addition to a return to average black voter turnout in the coming elections, many expect fewer young voters to show up at the polls. President Obama captured the imaginations of many younger voters. His own youth and allure of change made many even register and vote for the first time. His not being on the ballot is more than likely to return the attendance numbers of young voters back to pre-Obama levels. Both will put democrats at a disadvantage come the next two Novembers.

All of this raises two questions and points.

First; Was President Obama simply elected because he was black? Many had wondered if it was impossible for him to get elected because they feared his color would prevent Caucasians to vote for him. As it turned it, considering the almost unanimous vote for Barack Obama from blacks because he is black, it would seem that the more pertinent question is not if being African-American would have prevented Barack Obama from getting “elected” but rather if his being African-American was the reason “why” he got elected.

It makes us have to wonder if in fact race is still not a problem but not the way we expected. Plenty of Caucasians voted for African-American Barack Obama, but few if any blacks voted for white John McCain. So is the real problem reverse racism?

The other question that must be tackled is, when will the Republican Party begin to appeal to black voters?

Republican Jack Kemp devoted much time and energy to delivering the Republican message of independence, self-reliance, prosperity and personal strength over government power. He tried to take this message to, as he put it, “the inner-cities”. He was right, but he was alone. Many

Republicans simply feel that it is impossible to receive support from African-Americans and the truth is that it is not impossible.

Until they deal with that truth, Republicans will have to consistently hope for “low voter turnout” to win elections and that is just not right. Our message is an inclusive one. Freedom, prosperity, education, personal empowerment are not terms limited to white people. They are terms that should inspire all Americans regardless of background or color. Until the G.O.P. realizes that, they will always be a marginal power in America.

As for Democrats, they too need stop relying on racial politics. They need to be able to campaign among all the population, not just use billboards in black communities designed to appeal strictly to African-American racial pride over their life conditions and the quality of life that their government limits them to.

Until Democrats accept that truth, they will have to count on the color of President Obama’s skin and his placement on the ballot as their sole opportunikty to stay in power. That is not an enduring strategy. President Obama is likely to be on the ballot only one more time and at this point in time, that isn’t even a sure thing yet.

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STATE SENATOR NICK "I don't want to run for office so much" SCUTARI

STATE SENATOR NICK "I don't want to run for office so often" SCUTARI

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Right now New Jersey state senators run for two consecutive four year terms followed by a two year term. That two year term is designed to compensate for newly created district lines every ten years.

 But recently State Senator Nicholas Scutari has proposed that the senate terms be lengthened to 5 year terms.

Scutari claims that the move would help to take some money out of politics by requiring state senators to have to pander to special interests a little less.

The claim is one of the most ludicrous excuses for unethical conduct since Jim McGreevey tried to blame his political shenanigans on his being a “gay-American”.

I must admit that Scutari has guts. He actually had the guts to tell people that instead of trying to change the negative aspects of politics,he wants to  institutionalize them and reward the negative aspects by giving politicians longer terms in office. Instead of trying to elect people who do not pander to politics, accept political pandering and give the panderers a longer amount of time in office.

I called that guts but what it actually is is nerve.

It takes a lot of nerve for someone to come out and say “hey it costs me a lot of money to run for reelection and I don’t think I should have to pander for money from the people and ask them if I am doing a good job so often. So extend the length of time in my term”.

Nicholas Scutari truly is political scum.

As a a state senator he has been one of only three legislators to serve while under a subpoena during a federal investigation for accepting state budget grants that provided personal benefits.  The questionable conduct of Scutari stems from the fact that his wife works for a non-profit organization that has received state funds.

On top of that Nick Scuatri himself, is a double dipper.Photobucket

Not only does this guy get a taxpayer funded salary for his legislative schemes, he also gets paid by taxpayers as a municipal prosecutor for the town of Linden in his senate district.  So Scuatari lives off of the people he legislates.  So much so, that he has been investigated.   Yet his primary concern is how expensive it is for him to run for reelection.  If that is the case he should do us a favor and not seek reelection. He is obviously overly concerned by that and not half as concerned as he should be with how expensive it has become for his constituents to live in New Jersey.

Furthermore; if money and costs are his concern, when it comes to elections, how about offering incentives for municipalities to hold elections on what we call Election Day.  At times it would seem as though everyday is Election Day in New Jersey.

Be it municipal elections, for council or fire inspectors or school boards, the proliferation of different days of voting for different offices costs a great deal of money. It costs money to pay election workers and to move voting booths around. It costs money to print and mail ballots and to maintain the added manpower that an election requires.

Why not use the day set aside for elections to hold elections?

Instead of incurring costs for four or five different elections, incur one cost for one Election Day or at least fewer Election Days?

Such a move would also help to increase turnout for those scarcely voted on school board elections or lesser offices.

That is a money saving option worth looking at. But as for Scutari’s proposal. I can only offer a one finger salute and it is not a thumbs up.

If there is a change in the length of any state legislative term it should be a shortening of senate terms to every two years, not an increase in the term of office.

In New Jersey there is no reason for state senators to have a longer term than assembly members. Unlike places like New York, New Jersey State Senators have the same district as their counterparts in the assembly. In New York there are fewer state senators then assemblymen because their senate districts are twice the size of assembly districts. Here there is no difference. It is not as though New Jersey state senators have more ground to cover or constituents to address. They run in the same district as the assembly members do and they answer to the same number of constituents.

There is absolutely no need for state senators to have a five year term in office.

In Virginia, the Governor only has a two year term and I don’t think a New Jersey state senator needs more than twice as long a time in office than a Governor needs, in order to accomplish some good.

What Scutari neglected to mention was that the five year term in office would only help to make state senators less responsive to the needs of their districts and allow them more time to pander to special interests and raise even more money for their less frequent elections.

I do give Scutari some credit.

Even though it is very early in the year, he has already won the prize for the best legislative scheme put forth in Trenton this year.

Thank goodness for people like Senator Jennifer Beck who, although she is an incumbent state senator, she opposes this scam and she does so quite vocally. She does not support this blatant attempt to consolidate power and limit the will of the people. She has also proposed legislative reforms to prohibit people like Scutari from abusing the system.  One such bill of Beck’s was just unanimously passed by the senate state government committee.  The bill will not allow government officials to collect health care benefits from more than one publicly financed health insurance plan.

Hopefully there are enough legislators who think that way and will be able to put this proposal out of its misery. And hopefully the people of Scutari’s district will realize that they have a sneaky, little, schemer representing them and when the time comes, hopefully they will say “not only do we not want you to have a five year term, we don’t even want you to have another single term in office”.

In the mean time I have just one suggestion for Nick Scutari………………………..

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A high-priced call girl brings a customer to her fancy apartment. He admires the fancy furnishings and the art and asks how she was able to amass such splendor. She replies that those really were her father’s, that he was a politician for forty years.

He said, “How come you didn’t follow in his footsteps instead of choosing this way of life?”

She sighed and said, “Oh, just lucky I guess. Besides, I had my moral standards to uphold.”

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