Delaware Dem's Latest Posts
Christine O’Donnell, the Delaware manifestation of the nationwide Tea Bagger Freakout over having a black President in 2010, was found guilty of federal election law violations last week in the case the FEC brought against her for using campaign contributions to pay her rent in her Greenville Place apartment home. The FEC is seeking a $25,000 penalty. Yesterday, in an unofficial capacity (i.e. not an official settlement offer in writing), O’Donnell and her campaign committee offered to settle the matter for $10,000.
My back of the envelope reveals the following: Her apartment home was used as an “campaign office” for approximately a year, from early 2010 to March 2011. Her rent was $1410 a month. That is $16,920 for twelve months. She supposedly reimbursed her campaign committee $770 a quarter for the premises, or four payments of $770, or a total of $3080. I don’t know the rules here about using a residence as a campaign office, like are the campaign and candidate in her personal capacity supposed to split the rent during the relevant time period? Or if the office space is a residence, is the candidate on the hook for the whole thing? From these questions, the she could owe in terms of rent anywhere between $5,380 (assuming a split in rent between the campaign and O’Donnell minus the $3080) or $13,840 (assuming that the campaign is fully on the hook minus $3080). In other words, I think the $10k offer is reasonable, the government should just take it and be done with her (assuming of course my reasoning and math is correct, and it may not be).
According to the News Journal and the Department of Elections, as of September 1, there are 36,518 more voters registered now than there was on Election Day in 2012.
The number of registered voters on Sept. 1 already has surpassed the 2012 totals, with 671,043 registered voters, according to the Department of Elections. The total in 2012 on Election Day was 634,525.
Of that 36,518 number, 17,408 are new registered Democrats. Republicans only registered 6,000 new voters. And those voters who are either unaffiliated or are “Others” increased by 12,687.
As of Sept. 1, there were 318,991 voters registered as Democrats (compared with a total of 301,583 in 2012) and 188,491 voters registered as Republicans (182,491 in 2012). The number of registered voters under “others” has grown significantly – from 150,874 in 2012 to 163,561.
Rick Klein: “Among the ways Donald Trump is breaking with conventional politics? He’s not even really pretending that he won the debate. He is insisting that he won, of course – but he’s also complaining about the moderator, the questions, and even the microphone he used at Hofstra. (As his opponent pointed out, winners don’t complain about the equipment.) And in the debate’s aftermath, he is also adding fuel to a two-decade-old feud with a former Miss Universe whom he attacked for gaining weight. This is the Trump that the Trump campaign had been trying to disappear – and the Trump that Hillary Clinton’s campaign insists is the only true Trump to exist.”
“That’s what’s behind Clinton’s masterful strategy from Monday night: She set traps for Trump to fall into – or, rather, she pressed a whole bunch of buttons knowing that something would set him off. Clinton got the result she wanted. Trump’s reaction, meanwhile, took would could have been a partial victory or a split decision and turned it into a solid loss. The Clinton camp got a debate win, and then a parting gift.”
First Read: “Trump’s ill-advised feud with Machado fits into a pattern we’ve noticed throughout the campaign: When Trump is in a bad period like this, he makes it worse for himself by refusing to back down. Particularly in the face of poor reviews (remember the Khan fight after his convention message was panned by pundits?), Trump has a tendency to spiral downward for a few days until he’s convinced to stop lashing out or punching down. Our question is: how long does bad stretch for Trump last?”
Donald Trump “beleaguered after an erratic performance in Monday’s debate — with viewership as high as 100 million — retreated to his Fox News and Twitter cocoon. There, he took potshots at debate moderator Lester Holt and cited unscientific Internet surveys to prove he’d outperformed Hillary Clinton. And his advisers hinted that he might consider skipping the next showdown between the candidates, set for Oct. 9 in St. Louis,” Politico reports.
“It was a scarcely concealed defensive posture from the Trump camp, which found itself defending Trump against accusations of sexism (even as he redoubled his criticism of a former Miss Universe he had previously called ‘Miss Piggy,’ saying on Tuesday she had gained ‘a massive amount of weight’). His surrogates, too, joined the pile-on against Holt, describing “hostile” questioning about his position on the Iraq War, his role in the birther controversy and his refusal to release his tax returns.”
This was when a panicked Trump, realizing that he was destroyed by a woman who is five times smarter than him, went into the spin room to continue talking about this racist birther lie. Look at the face of his wife. Look at the faces of his staffer on the left.
What can one say? I was afraid that Trump’s charisma and stage presence and salesmanship might outshine Hillary Clinton’s usually tepid and wonkish instincts. I feared that the facts wouldn’t matter; that a debate would not take place. And it is to Clinton’s great credit that she prepared, and he didn’t, and that she let him hang himself.
His utter lack of preparation; his doubling down on transparent lies; his foreign-policy recklessness; his racial animosity; his clear discomfort with the kind of exchange of views that is integral to liberal democracy; his instinctual belligerence — all these suggest someone who has long lived in a deferential bubble that has become filled with his own reality.
Clinton was not great at times; her language was occasionally stilted; she missed some obvious moments to go in for the kill; but she was solid and reassuring and composed. I started tonight believing she needed a game-changer to alter the trajectory of this race. I may, of course, be wrong, trapped in my own confirmation bias and bubble — but I thought she did just that.
I’ve been a nervous wreck these past two weeks; my nerves are calmed now.
Josh Marshall on the state of the polling race:
First, let’s compare the 2012 and 2016 races. Obviously, we have the full race data set for 2012 while more than a month of 2016 is still to happen. Still the comparison is instructive. I’ve filtered each chart to begin in May. [Click through to TPM at the link above to see the charts].
A few things immediately jump out. First, the 2012 race is much more stable than the 2016 race. This is likely do to having four candidates, two fairly unliked candidates and a race that is at least to some degree upsetting recent voting patterns. Second, Clinton has maintained a lead at all times. The lead ranges from very small (less than a single percentage point) to fairly substantial (high single digits). (It is important to note that statistically speaking, when you are talking about an average of many polls, a lead of perhaps two percentage points is not a virtual tie.) This captures the key factors in the race. It is close by historical standards but not closer than 2012, judged by the leader’s margin. Indeed, over the course of the period we’re looking at the 2016 margin has usually been higher than 2012’s, sometimes substantially higher.
Does this mean Clinton more likely to win than Trump? Yes. Does this mean it’s close? Yes. Can you just assume Clinton will win and not worry about it? No. Should you channel your anxiety into self-doubt, recrimination and drama? Please don’t. Pretty much everything else seems like a matter of semantics.
My own hunch is that that line separating the two candidates is likely more durable than some suspect. But that’s just my own hunch.
Josh Marshall on the debate:
For Trump, the bigger problem in a debate setting is the nature of two person debates versus as many as ten on the stage at once. Answers in multi-person debates tend to be short and pointed. Time is in very short supply. Generally you have to fight to get in on a question. There can be back and forth and candidates are sometimes pressed on a given point. But that isn’t the norm. Time is scarce and you can generally just hang back on a question you don’t want to address.
Two person debates have very different dynamics. I think the bigger liability for Trump is what we saw in the national security forum hosted a few weeks ago by NBC News. [....] [There, on a question regarding ISIS,] Trump has very little idea what he’s talking about and when pressed on a clear contradiction he starts making up new nonsense to avoid addressing the question. As I said at the time: I think this exchange is pretty obvious for people in a way that transcends politics and ideology. Trump is the kid telling the teacher the dog ate his homework. Then the teacher points out he has no dog. But he’s not going to apologize or come clean. He’s just going to keep talking.
Trump is extremely ignorant when it comes to public policy. George W. Bush had a pretty limited handle on public policy issues too. But either he or his campaign staff (likely both) had some awareness of this fact and kept his answers general and brief. Trump has no such self-awareness and generally just makes things up on the fly. That’s seldom gone over well in non-Fox contexts – not just because he’s ignorant but because it’s usually pretty obvious he’s just making things up.
I do think it’s possible he’ll be goaded into saying something offensive or unhinged. For instance, I think it would be highly advisable for Clinton to confront Trump on birtherism – to press the point that he needs to provide some explanation and apology for why he spread this lie for six years. He’s shown very little indication that he has a good answer to that question. Questions like that, shaming questions, tend to set him off.
“U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president,” Yahoo News reports.
“The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election.”
Meanwhile, “Russian intelligence agencies are trying to interfere with the U.S. presidential election, the top Democrats on the intelligence committee said,” according to NBC News.
“The lawmakers, part of the so-called ‘Gang of 8,’ members of Congress who are briefed on nearly all the nation’s intelligence secrets, went much further than President Barack Obama has been willing in engaging the question of Russian hacking into American political organizations.”
Mark Cuban, who has savaged Donald Trump by suggesting the GOP nominee is not really a billionaire, was given a front row seat in next week’s first presidential debate by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, CNN reports.
“Cuban has tried to publicly shame Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, regularly slamming the Republican nominee for not releasing his taxes. The attacks have been particularly effective, given Cuban’s status as a fellow billionaire and his public persona as a similarly brash businessman.”
More on how Hillary is preparing for the debate, and tons of new poll numbers inside!
Donald Trump faced a swift backlash after declaring that African Americans are “in the worst shape they’ve ever been” during a campaign event in North Carolina, the Washington Post reports. “The comments drew immediate criticism on social media from critics who accused him of failing to consider the United States’ history with slavery and North Carolina’s history with Jim Crow laws and segregation.”
And one of Donald Trump’s solutions: nationwide stop and frisk. “We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well,” Trump said of the practice, which empowered police officers to stop a person on the street for a pat-down if they suspected him or her of wrongdoing. In fact, data showed that the practice effectively turned into racial profiling that disproportionately targeted black New Yorkers. Studies also found that stop-and-frisk was ineffective in catching criminals or preventing crime. A federal judge ruled it unconstitutional in 2013. Not to mention, I thought Republicans were for less government? What Trump is calling for is a nationwide police state that can stop any citizen for any reason (because we are talking about the subjective thoughts of a cop, and recent evidence demonstrates wrongdoing equals being black).
The Delaware Democratic Party has been holding Platform meetings up and down the state over the last two months, as part of the process of drafting a new platform that will be presented and hopefully approved of at the 2017 Democratic State Convention. You can submit platform ideas yourself by emailing proposals and suggestions to Platform@deldems.org, so long as you are a registered Democrat of course (if you are a Green or an Independent and want to take part in this process in order to make the Democratic Party more liberal, how about you, oh I don’t know, join the Democratic Party in order to make it more liberal). The public comment period will remain open until October 31, 2016.
The Progressive Democrats for Delaware (PDD) have submitted their suggestions….
The Donald Trump campaign on Tuesday night blasted the Washington Post over the paper’s latest report on the Trump Foundation and how Trump used his charity’s funds for personal matters, but the campaign did not address the specifics of the report. [...]
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump used a total of $258,000 from his foundation to settle personal legal issues. For example, when Trump was fined in 2006 by the town of Palm Beach over the height of the flag pole at Mar-a-Lago, Trump settled the issue by donating to a charity of the town’s choice. However, Trump wrote a check with funds from his foundation. This follows Washington Post reporting showing that Trump’s Foundation has largely used other people’s money in the past few years.
Responding to the Washington Post report on Tuesday night, the Trump campaign did not address the specific checks highlighted by the Post, and instead tried to turn focus on Hillary Clinton’s family charity.
The Trump campaign is most nervous about this story, according to reports. There is something thee. Keep digging.