State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

Who wears the cowboy boots in Texas?

First out it was Levi Johnston v. Sarah Palin. Then Letterman vs. Sarah Palin. And Republican PR person Steve Schmidt, way post-seasonal in the marketing curve, coming in just in these last few weeks. But now in Texas it is George H.W. Bush vs. Sarah Palin. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The Republican primary race in Texas is now virtually a referendum on federalism.

George H.W. Bush supports Kay Bailey Hutchison. Sarah Palin supports the current governor, Rick Perry.

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What’s worse, a public official who takes two bucks in cash from each of hundreds of employees or a Speaker of the Illinois House who solicits big business for his law firm?

The answer, of course, is they both stink.

The latest corruption news in Chicago features Dorothy Brown, 56, currently the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court, and a candidate for Cook County board president, who, shall we say, encouraged her employees (she presides over more than 2,100 of them) to give her cash gifts for her birthday and for Christmas. When Chicago Tribune reporters started to ask questions, she stopped.

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Understanding Romney: One size does not fit all

As The Wall Street Journal points out in an opinion this morning, this is a good day not only for Scott Brown, the new senator from Massachusetts, but for Mitt Romney as well. Glenn Beck doesn’t trust Brown, he says. But with Brown toting friends like the popular former governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, John McCain and Romney around on his bus, it might not be such a good day for Glenn Beck.

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Hunker down, Governor!

This past Saturday, Robert “Bob” McDonnell topped off a crackerjack campaign by becoming the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 71st governor. He is carrying with him the hopes of Virginians ready for pragmatic solutions to their state’s problems, but also the aspirations of his party, which is desperate for a comeback this year. In a statement congratulating McDonnell, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said, “Bob McDonnell’s campaign for governor should serve as a shining example for all Republicans looking for success in 2010.” There has even been talk of the new governor cutting his term short to enter national politics and run for president in 2012.

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Will Massachusetts join the world?

If the sound of ghostly laughter is heard in Massachusetts these days as this campaign rolls on, with Martha Coakley self-portrayed as the guardian of justice and civil liberties, there is good reason.
Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal

With all due respect, that is not Ted Kennedy’s seat and it is not the Democrats’ seat. It is the seat of the people of Massachusetts.
— Scott Brown, candidate for United States senator in Massachusetts

I like to point up and explain to my kids with pride when we drive through Providence that their grandfather put the beacon light in the Hancock building, the tallest building in Providence at the time. And when we drive through Fall River to tell them that he was the electrician in the last factory to head south. He turned the lights out.

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NY state Senate, serious about gov't transparency

Turns out that the New York state Senate is taking a genuine leadership role in using the Internet seriously to increase government accountability and transparency.

Specifically, they're showing citizens how the sausage is made, and how the Legislature really works,
starting to get citizens involved.

The Feds are taking a look, which means that we all benefit.

Check out this video for more, and take a look at their very impressive open data environment.

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Arnold’s excellent pig-and-pony show

Healthcare reform that started as a noble and needed legislation has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes ... California’s congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal that Sen. Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State.
— Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jan. 5, 2010



As divisions appear among conservatives about state sovereignty, it should be recalled that the Governator was the first to sense the positive charge and the awakening potential of state and regional identity long before the train left the station. Early on, Arnold challenged the feds on environmental issues and brought with him other original thinkers like Jodi Rell, governor of Connecticut.

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Good customer service from Georgia state employees

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Congress’s ‘Lost Weekend’: Rick Perry and Reagan lawyers — More state sovereignty initiatives on the way

The Nancy and Harry show suggests a mad adolescent rush, like in those classic Hollywood B-movies where the parents go out of town and the teens take over the house (read: the Senate) for the weekend. Or the drunken euphoria of Billy Wilder’s “The Lost Weekend.” Or “Animal House,” maybe, staring Barney Frank as John Belushi.

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Cordelia Ruth Tucker: Working-class hero — hard hats v. hippies

There was a time — before Starbucks, before Bill and Hillary, before the Rolling Stones — when liberals supported working-class people. No longer. But back then no one represented the strong and fearless heartbeat of American working people like West Virginia coal miners. They were the stuff of legend chronicled in folklore, bluegrass and folk music. In the ’50s we’d listen in pained silence for word about mine disasters, even way up here in New England. We shared in the lives of the miners. If they could find the strength to survive in the mines, we could survive on the surface. They were the canaries of our own desire. No longer, as the recent occurrence at Sundial, W.Va., makes clear.

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