Blue State Red State

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Thompson Bows Out In NYC

NYC Comptroller William Thompson Jr. has dropped out of the Mayoral race. Excerpts from NY Times (via Gothamist):

"Mr. Thompson, who at 51 is serving his first term in his current post, is young enough that many of his supporters encouraged him to wait four years, when, if Mr. Bloomberg does win re-election, the mayor's job would be open because of term limits. He would also avoid engendering any hard feelings among Hispanic voters, which could complicate a future run, by challenging the former Bronx borough president, Fernando Ferrer."

Fernando Ferrer is now presumably the front-runner for the Democratic nomination with other candidates trying to catch up; Chief among those is City Council Speaker Gifford Miller.

Empower Howard

Howard Dean gave a speech on his vision for the Democratic Party. Excerpts (emphasis added):

"Our challenge today is not to re-hash what has happened, but to look forward, to make the Democratic Party a 50-state party again, and, most importantly, to win.

"To win the White House and a majority in Congress, yes. But also to do the real work that will make these victories possible -- to put Democratic ideas and Democratic candidates in every office -- whether it be Secretary of State, supervisor of elections, county commissioner or school board member."

"The most practical destination is winning elective office. And we must do that at every level of government. The way we will rebuild the Democratic Party is not from consultants down, but from the ground up."

"Now we need to build on our successes while transforming the Democratic Party into a grassroots organization that can win in 50 states."

"We cannot be a Party that seeks the presidency by running an 18-state campaign. We cannot be a party that cedes a single state, a single District, a single precinct, nor should we cede a single voter.

"As many of the candidates supported by my organization Democracy for America showed -- people in places that we've too long ignored are hungry for an alternative; they're hungry for new ideas and new candidates, and they're willing to elect Democrats."

"There are no red states or blue states, just American states. And if we can compete at all levels and in the most conservative parts of the country, we can win ... at any level and anywhere."

"If this election had been decided on moral values, Democrats would have won.

"It is time for the Democratic Party to start framing the debate.

"We have to learn to punch our way off the ropes.

"We have to set the agenda."

"Reform is the hallmark of a strong Democratic Party.

"Those who stand in the way of reform cannot be the focus of our attention for only four months out of every four years.

"Reform is a daily battle.

"And we must pursue those reforms with conviction -- every day, at all levels, in 50 states."

Howard Dean understands that the Democratic Party needs to start taking its cues not from entrenched political consultants working from fee to fee and election to election, but from the people who do the voting and run for the offices with arguably the most impact on peoples' daily lives--- city council, schoolboard, mayor, state legislature, etc. Without support, these people can't win office and eventually rise to statewide and national level. A party with no grassroots is a party with no future. Howard Dean understands this and will work to flip the party over and make progressive reform once again be what the Democratic Party is about. To support Howard Dean's bid to become chairman of the DNC, check out to sign a petition and find other ways you can get behind him.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Spitzer Announces

It's official: Eliot Spitzer is running for Governor of New York:

"Almost a year ago, I said I would consider running for Governor of New York and that I would make a decision before the end of the year. I've thought about it carefully. I've consulted many people across New York. I've talked to my wife and family, and I've reached a conclusion.

"I will run for Governor of New York in 2006. I believe I can be a very good governor and I think the people of this state will be pleased by the job I do as governor.

"I start with the proposition that I'm going to fight for all New Yorkers and do my best for all the people of this state, regardless of their position or party, or color or creed.

"One of the keys to solving the problems of New York is to make state government more responsive and accountable. Right now, New York government is all about partisanship and gridlock. We're not doing the things we need to do to generate good paying jobs, safe neighborhoods and excellent schools. The system is broken. The state is facing a crisis.

"I want to fix what's broken. It's what I do best. I bring people together whether they like it or not and we tackle complex problems – not with band-aid solutions, but with major reform and real change. We did it in the financial industry and other sectors and we can do it in government. I'll bring new energy and resolve to the task of transforming state government and turning around the state economy.

"Today, I am confirming that I intend to run for governor and I have authorized my supporters outside the government to begin preparations for a campaign.

"The people of New York have been wonderfully supportive of my work so far – and I will be asking for your continued support as we move forward to 2006. The most important thing I can do during the next year is to listen. I ask for your continued feed-back through and as I travel around New York. Let's discuss the direction of our state and the things we can do to strengthen it.

"I believe that people who want change are a very positive and powerful force. I am depending on you and millions of New Yorkers who understand New York's history and tradition as a place of unparalleled opportunity. We believe that New York can be great. We believe that we can change things. That's what my candidacy for governor will be all about.


Dem Governors Come On Strong

The Washington Times reports that the Democratic Governors' Association will attempt to "reclaim" the national party by rebuilding from the state and local level. Excerpts:

"Democratic governors complained [Dec. 1st] that their party is losing elections because it is too closely tied to Washington and said they intend to play a central role in rebuilding their political base at the state level in preparation for the 2008 elections.

"Announcing that they plan to be more active and visible in the party's affairs, the chief executives said they will propose that a Democratic governor be made the chief spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said.

"'We want to become the center of gravity in our party,' said Mr. Richardson, who was elected yesterday as chairman of the Democratic Governors' Association (DGA)."

Hey, you know who was a Democratic governor? Howard Dean. You know who's been out there preaching the gospel of rebuilding the party at the grassroots to strengthen it on the national level? Howard Dean. Dean should be chairman of the DNC and it sounds like the DGA agrees, whether they realize (or want to admit) it or not.

Teens Misled About Abstinence

The Washington Post reports on a report that teens are being misled by some abstinence programs. Excerpts:

"Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals 'can result in pregnancy,' a congressional staff analysis has found."

"Among the misconceptions cited by Waxman's investigators:

• A 43-day-old fetus is a 'thinking person.'

• HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

• Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.

"One curriculum, called 'Me, My World, My Future,' teaches that women who have an abortion 'are more prone to suicide' and that as many as 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said."

America (The Book Of The Year)

AP reports (via The Regular) that America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart and company has been named Publishers Weekly's Book of the Year. Excerpt:

"In announcing the award Monday, Publishers Weekly called the book 'a serious critique of the two-party system, the corporations that finance it and the "spineless cowards in the press" who "aggressively print allegation and rumor independent of accuracy and fairness."'"