Remember, remember the 5th of November and a happy Guy Fawkes Day to you all. If you’re a history nerd or just really like “V for Vendetta”, you’ll recall that on this day in 1605, Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up Parliament with gunpowder failed. The Brits celebrate Fawkes’ memory by burning his effigy, go figure. Here’s your Roundup:
Not a Ladies’ Night: Tuesday may have been a sweep for the GOP, but it was a rough night for the ladies. For the first time in 30 years, the number of women in Congress will remain steady or drop. We’re waiting for a few more results before we know if there’s a decline. The best odds for women are that they continue to make up 17% of Congress. We’d like to know where have all the quality female candidates gone? View Here
Meet Your New Chairs: ProPublica’s got the details on prospective chairs for the House committees once Republicans take over in January. Darrell Issa will likely takeover the Oversight Committee and is expected to start issuing subpeonas tout suite. We could be looking at a repeat of relentless partisan subpeonas trying to bring down the White House. Your tax dollars at work. View Here
Big Money in State Races: The LJS is reporting that races for the state legislature saw an unprecedented amount of funding and negativity this year. Extreme conservative extraordinaire Pete Ricketts dumped big bucks into state races through his group Nebraskans for Fiscal Accountability. Americans for Prosperity also put big money into races, but they get to dodge the NADC because they’re registered as a corporation and foundation. How fiscally accountable of them. View Here
Thursday, November 4th
“I went asleep last night, tired from the fight. I’ve been fighting for tomorrow all my life. Yea I woke up this morning feeling brand new… It’s a new day.” We’ll be putting Will.I.Am’s 2008 hit song on a loop in the office today to pump ourselves up. It’s a new day! Here’s your Roundup:
$600 Billion: The Federal Reserve will be pumping $600 billion into the economy by buying bonds. They hope that lowering mortgage and interest rates will help the speed up the sluggish economy and lower the unemployment rate. It’s a completely new and somewhat risky strategy. But with a new Congress on the horizon and predictions of gridlock, the Fed wanted to do something that inspired business owners to hire more and consumers to spend more. View Here
CEOs Celebrate Republican Victories: Business executives are celebrating Tuesday’s results. They see the GOP wins as a mandate from the people to roll back federal regulation and oversight on the industry that caused the economic meltdown. Many CEOs appear to be holding their capital ransom, threatening to spend it overseas if the government doesn’t give them more free reign. One business leader put it so succinctly as to say, “Leave us alone and get out of the way.” View Here
Ron Paul Overseeing the Fed?: It’s a distinct possibility if no one opposes Paul for chairmanship of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Mint and American involvement with international development groups like the World Bank. It’s no secret that Ron Paul despises every entity he could oversee and has suggested on more than one occasion to abolish the Federal Reserve. View Here
Shoe’s on the Other Foot: The group trying to recall Mayor Suttle in Omaha will hire 10 to 20 people to circulate recall petitions. The group had a sad showing at the polls on Election Day and appeared to be outnumbered by the paid volunteers from Forward Omaha. After promising to release their most recent numbers yesterday, the recall group refused saying whatever number they released would hurt enthusiasm for their cause. No word yet on how much cash petition circulators will be paid. View Here
New Voter Turnout Record: Nebraska hit a new low with voter turnout on Tuesday, the lowest since 1968. Turnout across the state was 42% with the lowest rates in some of the most populous counties (Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy). Secretary of State John Gale is blaming a lack of high profile races and ballot issues. Guess Heineman and Bruning don’t count as “high profile.” View Here
And BP gives its oil pipelines in Alaska F’s.
Wednesday, November 3rd
It was a late night and early morning for those of us watching election returns on the edge of our seats. It was definitely a hard night for progressives and moderates in Nebraska, but it was by no means a catastrophe. We saw some candidates we like lose (Kent Rogert, Cap Dierks and Theresa Whitehead), but we also held on to some strong legislators like Amanda McGill, Danielle Conrad and Norm Wallman. And some races were won, like Burke Harr. We’re not out for the count, and we hope you aren’t either. There will be plenty of big debates in the next Nebraska Legislature (like the pipeline), and we want you there fighting with us. Here’s your Roundup:
‘Do-Something’ Era Over: Ezra Klein hit the nail on the head yesterday when he said this election would be the end of the ‘Do-Something’ Congress. The 111th Congress has been one of the most legislatively productive congresses in 40 years. They passed health reform that stopped the onslaught of insurance company recessions, expanded coverage to over 30 million Americans and will cut the deficit by $140 billion in the first 10 years. They passed new regulations on tobacco and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, expanded AmeriCorps, reduced troops in Iraq and invested in education and green jobs. The 111th Congress may have fell short politically, but they excelled legislatively. View Here
Rip off the BandAid, NY Times: Zeleny and Herzenhorn tell us it was a tough night across the country for centrists. Republicans picked up 60 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate. Many conservative Democrats will be out of work come January 2011, leaving the House with very liberal Dems and an influx of very conservative Repubs. Meanwhile, Dems held on to a narrow lead in the Senate, and several of the lackluster Tea Party candidates were defeated (ttfn, Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle). This has also been the most expensive mid-term election in the nation’s history. Don’t expect 2012 to be any cheaper. View Here
Did You Stay Home?: The OWH is reporting that there was a distinctive dip in voter turnout for Midterms in Nebraska. Returning Secretary of State John Gale expects that statewide voter turnout was 36%, compared to 54% in 2006. Voter malaise seems to be mirrored in the recall effort. There was a distinctive lack of recall circulators at the polls in Omaha yesterday. The promise of a tidal wave of circulators sweeping West Omaha with righteous anger seems to have been more sound than fury.
The Kids are Alright: Young people bucked the national trend and continued to vote for Democrats. They are the only age group to follow their 2008 trends. Billy Wimsatt does a great job recapping the youth vote numbers from last night. He points out the obvious: that this is a great long-term trend for progressive values. The question is can candidates and elected officials actually read the writing on the wall? View Here
What’s Next?: As the LJS points out, the big thing facing incoming state legislators will be redistricting. Though elections and the legislature are officially nonpartisan, a majority of state senators identify as Republican. You can bet that the state GOP is still smarting over Obama’s electoral point from the second congressional district in ‘08, and they won’t want to see it happen again. Count on BOLD to fight to keep the redistricting process honest and open. View Here
Tuesday, November 2nd
Election Day is here, polls are open from 8am-8pm CT. You can get your voter guide and polling location at www.votebold.org. Today’s Roundup will be brief because we are “getting out the vote,” but watch our Facebook page for live election results tonight starting at 8pm. Here’s your Roundup:
Nebraska Races: Today we as head to the polls, we are voting for Statewide candidates like Governor, Congressional candidates, State Senators and lots of local races. Bold put together Voter Guides for many races which you can print and bring with you to the polls. Since you are probably the “political one” in your circle of friends, email the Bold Voter Guides to your friends and let them know about the guides and polling location finder. View Here
National Races: Pundits are on the air pontificating about potential wins, loses and what it all means. Bottom line seems to be there is a major anti-incumbent mood, and Americans want to see real results on politicians working together. Some good bloggers and reporters to follow all day are Nate Silver, the master number cruncher; Markos and his team, the “oldie but goodie” bloggers; and Politico has tons of great folks who have recapped the year and will be tracking races all day and night.
Did we mention we have Bold Voter Guides for Nebraska races?
Monday, November 1st
One day to go! We know it’s been a particularly long election season, but we’re almost across the finish line. The BOLD blog will be at minimum operation today and Tuesday because the staff will be doing some last minute get out the vote. Here’s your Roundup:
Corn Fed: “We’re already America’s bread basket… we’re also becoming America’s gas tank.” Those are the words of Senator Nelson who was instrumental in securing federal funding for biofuel research that will go to UNL. The University will be one of five centers in the country dedicated to studying the next phase of ethanol (cellulosic ethanol). NE is currently number 2 in the nation for ethanol production, IA is number 1. View Here
Budget Deficit Balloons: There’s been plenty of attention given to the national debt and deficit since the Tea Party took the national media by storm. But Nebraska is facing it’s own revenue shortage which doubled since the last calculation. Our budget shortfall increased from $751 million to almost $1.4 billion on Friday. The growing shortfall will mean tough decisions for the legislature this year, but Heineman insists it can be resolved without raising taxes. Does this mean we should expect more disastrous privatization of essential social services in the name of fiscal responsibility? If that’s as unappealing to you as it is to us, voice your displeasure by voting tomorrow. View Here
Bueller, Bueller?: The race between Tom White and Lee Terry for CD will come to a close tomorrow, and oh has it been an interesting one. But Joe Jordan notes that low voter turnout means this one will be a photo finish. C’mon CD 2, get out there and prove the naysayers wrong! We also like that Jordan used the word “spanking” in describing Terry’s close shave in the primary. View Here
One of the Greats: John F. Kennedy’s speechwriter and Nebraska native Ted Sorensen died yesterday at age 82 after complications from a recent stroke. Sorensen was one of the key advisers and writers who shaped and penned many of Kennedy’s idealistic messages, and was a man known for his wit and wisdom. Sorensen leaves behind a truly monumental legacy that will continue to inspire generations of Nebraskans and Americans. We solemnly pause to respect his passing. View Here