Sunday, June 28, 2009

Laura Brod and the Most Interesting Race of 2010

While we still have quite a wait before the 2010 midterms, one thing that can be said with some certainty is that the gubernatorial race in Minnesota is going to be one of the more entertaining contests. The DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor Party) was already gearing up for a crowdedprimary, and with Tim Pawlenty opting against a third term, we Republicans now have a multi-candidate smackdown of our own (pardon the Jesse Ventura joke).

What’s more, most of the potential GOP candidates are young hotshots rather than established figures – and playing field is ridiculously level. There’s State House Minority Leader and tentative frontrunner Marty Seifert (age 37), and State Rep. Paul Kohls (35). Moving up to the old people, there’s former State Auditor Pat Anderson (43), State Rep. Tom Emmer (48). An then there are the more reasonably seasoned former State House Speaker Steve Sviggum (57) and State Senator David Hann (also 57).

However, the candidate who seems to be generating the most excitement is State Rep. Laura Brod (37), who I first mentioned back on June 3rd. I said back then that I thought she showed great potential. Since then, she has blasted out of the starting gate to set herself up as a potential frontrunner -and she hasn’t even announced her candidacy yet! (Granted, that’s likely coming very soon.) In a recent poll of GOP insiders at the State Central Committee meeting, Seifert won, but there was more focus on Brod’s strong third place showing. It’s nothing to sneeze at when a lowly State Representative blows away a former State Auditor (Anderson) and a former Speaker of the House (Sviggum). And that’s just the insiders. With a the primary still over a year away and not many candidates with name recognition, Brod should be more than able to catch up to Seifert.

Furthermore, some of the lefty Minnesota blogs are already cranking out attacks on Brod (and attacking me for daring to mention her), which makes me inclined to concur with the assertion of Truth vs. The Machine – this woman scares the Dems.

She’s young, she’s fresh, she’s well-spoken, and she knows how to play to Minnesotans. She’s not a perfect conservative, but she is certainly no squish on either fiscal or social issues – and frankly her slightly more moderate environmental positions will be a big help in her state (I love Jim DeMint types, but they don’t play statewide in MN). Also, I would note her stated commitment to the development cellulosic ethanol – which means she’s well aware of the damage that corn ethanol can do to food supplies.

As a hard-core conservative, I would personally have absolutely no trouble supporting her as a nominee, and she also seems to have some credibility with libertarian leaners (my old friend Eric Dondero is as libertarian as they come, and he likes the idea).

So, while she may be a little more Pawlenty than Palin, she’d probably be the most conservative person to hold a major statewide office in Minnesota for a long time – and she’s electable to boot.

The more I hear, the more I like – so unless something changes in a major way, Laura Brod has my endorsement for Governor of Minnesota in 2010.

…and did I mention that Sen. Brod is on Twitter? Definitely someone to follow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Webathon for Sarah!

As you may know, I also blog occasionally at, and the people over there are doing a webathon this week to help Gov. Palin retire the legal debt from the truckloads of frivolous ethics complaints which have been hurled at her by left-wing activists. Personally, I don't care what you think of Palin herself, it is absolutely unacceptable to sit back and watch as a prominent political figure is subjected to a concerted effort to personally bankrupt her. The people filing complaints about snowmachines and hockey sticks are the some of the lowest scum inhabiting today's political scene, and I think that we are obligated as Americans (regardless of politics) to help Sarah fight them off. If you have a problem with her views, fine, but we should be debating the issues rather than engaging in acts of personal sabotage.

So, please head over to C4P and follow their donation instructions. The goal is to get a half million dollars donated to the Alaska Fund Trust (Palin's legal defense fund), and I think that is a very achievable goal. This is also the first real attempt at an independently operated "money bomb" in the conservative blogosphere, so it is a good chance to show just how much power the internet has. Let's get to work!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Creigh Deeds Thumps Terry McAuliffe in VA Primary

It’s official - Terry McAuliffe and his mountains of cash will not be competing for Virginia’s governorship this November. Instead, the Democratic nominee will be moderate State Senator Creigh Deeds, who crushed both McAuliffe and former Delegate Brian Moran in tonight’s primary. Local TV here in DC just reported that, with 87% of the vote in, Deeds has 49% of the vote compared to just 27 for McAuliffe and 24% for Moran. This is even more impressive when one considers that Deeds had only about half of the money and staff than McAuliffe threw at the race, and lagged behind Moran on those fronts as well.

In fact, Deeds was lagging in third place in the polls until las month - but for some reason he’s been riding a rocket for to the last few weeks. As he surged to the front, he managed to pick up the endorsement of the Washington Post - which is amazing for a rural moderate who was running against two liberals from the DC suburbs. Now, the erstwhile also-ran has seized the nomination and will face of with the GOP’s Bob McDonnell in November. And while I am 100% behind McDonnell, I have to take my hat off to Creigh Deeds tonight. What he pulled off is flat-out amazing.

On the more practical side, Deeds is probably the toughest opponent for McDonnell. He’s pro-gun, and hails from rural Bath County - deep in the heart of red-state Virginia. This is a guy who can eat into the GOP voting base and knows how to win in GOP territory. He has experience against Bob McDonnell, having run against him for Attorney General and lost by just 323 votes. However, he is also the worst-funded of the three Democratic candidates, and he does trail McDonnell in the polls - so there is some good news.

Still, Creigh Deeds proved tonight that he can come from behind and beat better-funded opponents. So, we are definitely going to have to throw the kitchen sink at this guy - or else we will find ourselves thinking what Terry McAuliffe must be thinking right now: “What the hell just happened?”

Sunday, June 7, 2009

UK Elecions - Hell Officially Freezes Over

The entire European Union Parliament is being elected at the moment - and that is interesting - but I’m personally glued to the British results broadcast on the BBC. British politics is a mess right now due to an expenses scandal in Parliament, support for the ruling Labour Party is collapsing, and all hell is generally breaking loose. And tonight - the craziness has reached a head. A lot of the news is good, but some of it is actually scary.

On the good side, the Conservatives are wiping the floor with everyone, topped the polls in the Labour heartland of Wales for the first time in history. Many results are yet to come in, but Labor is currently fighting for second against the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a Euroskeptic party that sits decidedly to the right of the Conservatives. By the end of the night, I would not be surprised to see Labour in third or even fourth (depending on the performance of the Liberal Democrats, who currently sit fourth).

However, there is also some news - as the racist British National Party (BNP) has won it’s first ever seat in the European Parliament. The BNP has benefitted from the wave of anti-establishment sentiment (which is also carrying UKIP), and while UKIP is mainstream protest vote, the BNP is unfortunately picking up the people who want to flip the finger to the all of the mainstream parties. And while I am all for throwing bums out, I am certainly not for electing parties who only allow whites to join (which is BNP policy).

The BNP breakthrough may also provide a lesson to those of us in the U.S. who are interested in our own experiments in anti-establishment sentiment - the “Tea Party Movement”. We should be more than happy to embrace the mainstream of this movement (independent, Glenn Beck-style libertarians - who I would say are our equivalent of UKIP). However, we need to be very vigilant in making sure that we don’t allow hard-core wackos to ride the wave. Otherwise, we will wind up dealing with our own versions of the BNP.

Luckily, as we have a two party, first-past-the-post system - we will never see racist fringe parties elected here (the BNP made it through via a “proportional representation” system where seats are allotted based on percentage of the vote). However, we still should be watching out for nut jobs who wish too use “tea parties” and other such events to gain legitimacy.