Tag Archives: US politics

The Democratic primary for New York Governor just got interesting

The collision of two of my favourite worlds will keep me well occupied until June 26th when the Democrats choose their candidate for New York Governor.  Yesterday, Cynthia Nixon, who played my favourite character in Sex and the City, Miranda Hobbes, announced her candidacy with a  very effective video.

The Democrats already hold the seat, of course. Andrew Cuomo seeks his third term and won in 2014 with 54% of the vote in the General Election. He is the obvious frontrunner to fight again for the Democrats with, at the moment, a fairly massive lead over all-comers. From the New York Times:

Ms. Nixon, 51, has never before run for elected office and has chosen a huge undertaking for her first bid: seeking to unseat a two-term incumbent (and son of a three-term governor) who is sitting atop more than $30 million in campaign cash. “Our leaders are letting us down,” she says in a video posted on Twitter, talking about the inequities in New York spliced between images of her walking on the streets of New York City and taking the subways. “Something has to change,” she says in the ad. “We want our government to work again, on health care, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us. It can’t just be business as usual anymore.”

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

For Winchester 1997, read Virginia 2017

The mantra “EVERY VOTE COUNTS” is an article of faith for political activists everywhere. Liberal Democrats know this more than most, having won one election and lost one in the last twenty years by a margin of two votes (Winchester 1997 and North East Fife 2017).

Now, from the state of Virginia, comes another reminder that every conversation with an undecided voter can swing an election, in a very unusual outcome. On election night last November, Republican David Yancey ‘won’ a crucial state house seat by ten votes, just preventing Democrats from overturning a 32-seat Republican majority. However, his challenger, Shelly Simonds, filed for a recount.

Held in December, the recount appeared to have Simonds winning the seat by a single vote, 11,608 to 11,607. Great news for Virginia Democrats, who thought they would now split control 50-50 of Virginia’s 100-seat lower House of Delegates.

However, their initial euphoria was short-lived. Two days later, a three-judge panel threw out Simond’s one vote win, ruling a disputed ballot should count for Yancey, the Republican, and tying the race. (Veterans of disputed ballot arguments at recounts might want to look away now – here’s a copy of the disputed ballot in question, which shows a mark against both the Democrat and Republican candidates, but then also crosses out the Democrat candidate’s name).

Posted in LDVUSA and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Book Review: The Residence: Inside the private world of the White House

The Residence cover

If you get a chance over the Summer, have a read of Kate Andersen Brower’s book detailing the history and lives of the people who look after the first families at the White House. Find out about their relationships with the various occupants of the biggest goldfish bowl on the planet.  From the Roosevelts to the Obamas, find out about the details of domestic life and the varying relationships between staff and residents.

It is a little biased towards the Republicans and if you know a lot about US politics, there are no new sensational revelations, but it is a fascinating read nonetheless. My emotions went from sympathy for the Clintons and Obamas to annoyance with Lyndon Johnson’s obsession with his shower.  You feel the shock and fear around the Kennedy assassination and 9/11. How does it feel when you realise that your workplace could be the next target – especially when you leave some of your colleagues behind.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Lessons from history: What Bush and Reagan could teach some UK politicians about their attitude towards economic migration

Way back in 1980, as Ronald Reagan and George Bush were battling it out for the Republican nomination, they were asked whether the children of Mexicans working illegally in the US should be able to get educated. Their answer, posted on the Houston Chronicle’s Facebook page, might surprise you. Today’s politicians and tabloid editors might learn something.

Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush debate Mexican border security…

What would Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush say about immigration and securing the Mexican border today?Well, here's what they said about it in 1980 during a GOP debate in Houston.(Archival video from Getty Images)

Posted by Houston Chronicle on Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

South Bronx is just as important as Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall

South Bronx - Some rights reserved by Nathan CongletonIt is lovely to watch a US President taking the oath of office and not be scared. The feeling of dread I experienced in 1981 and 2001 when Reagan and the younger Bush took office was not pleasant. While Barack Obama has not been perfect, his heart is generally in the right place. His achievements in his first term are all the more remarkable when you consider that he faced a Congress full of some of the most right wing, conservative Republicans we’ve seen in our lifetimes whose sole aim was to thwart his every move.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarTom Harney 21st Oct - 3:52am
    I would like to think that it is everyone’s duty to put forward ideas on how our country should be run. There is a lot...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 21st Oct - 12:23am
    It is not merely the task of a democratic opposition to hold a government to account; it is also (and, I might add, primarily) their...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 20th Oct - 11:20pm
    Just on the VONC issue it can be said that Jo was too quick in pointing out the impossibility of Corbyn getting the necessary support...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 20th Oct - 10:51pm
    John Marriott, here is my explanation: leavers in 2016 had indeed no clue and were lied to. Their vote had nothing to do with the...
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 20th Oct - 10:20pm
    @Nigel Jones No actually. Should Bulgaria raise it's minimum wage from 1.7 euros per hour to be on part with ours? Or should Sweden, Norway,...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 20th Oct - 10:10pm
    "The last thing we want is a race towards the USA’s methods under which too many people work excessive hours; we have already gone far...