On the Missouri side…

I wrote about Jay Nixon’s fiasco last week. His handling of the Ferguson shooting was incredibly inept. I’m being kind with that description. Some of his fellow democrats were not pleased either.

FERGUSON — ‘Black legislators air frustrations in meeting with Gov. Nixon in St. Louis County,’ St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus used a meeting Sunday with Gov. Jay Nixon to vent over the investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting death of an unarmed Ferguson teenager. The meeting Sunday afternoon at the University of Missouri-St. Louis was closed to the public and reporters, but some legislators said they repeated calls for an indictment of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson and for Nixon to remove St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the case. “He’s pretending he cares,” said Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, who walked out of the meeting after about 10 minutes. “It’s a waste of time. He’s doing this to look good.” — PolitocMO Newssletter, August 26, 2014.

Nixon told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he would be attending Michael Brown’s funeral. A space was reserved for him. But, come the funeral, Jay Nixon was missing.

Nixon told the Post Dispatch on Sunday that he would be attending Michael Brown’s funeral yesterday. He had a place marked for him at the church where the funeral took place, but was not in attendance. Per spokesman Scott Holste: “The Governor has communicated to attorneys representing the family of Michael Brown that he will not be attending today’s funeral out of respect for the family, who deserve time to focus on remembering Michael and grieving their loss.” — St. Louis Today.

Every one seems to be jumping on Jay Nixon. I can’t think of a better person to be receiving all this negative attention.

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Last week, by state law, democrats and republicans met to ‘reorganize.’ By reorganize, I mean all the Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen elected in the primary on August 5th, met to choose committee officers for the next two years.

Each county has a party central committee. What I didn’t know until last week is that each House and Senate districts also have committee each with a set of officers. The county central committees choose a Chairman, Vice-chairman, Treasurer and Secretary for the House District committee. The House District Chair and Vice-Chair are automatically members of the Senatorial District Committee.

What is the purpose of these committees? Basically, to choose candidates for office in case of a vacancy. For example, a couple of years ago, the Cass County Presiding Commissioner was deemed ineligible for office. The county central committee chose a candidate to run for office and that candidate won a special election a couple of months later. The committees also sent recommendations to the Governor when an appointment to fill a vacant term is needed.

The House district committee serves the same function if the state Representative position falls vacant for whatever reason. In such an occurance, the district committee would choose a candidate for the position.

The Senate district is slightly different. Its members are the two Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of all the House districts that fall within the Senatorial district. They choose a candidate for the state Senate seat if case of a vacancy. Plus—they also choose members of the state central committee. The House and Senatorial committees may have more functions than I have described, but those are the ones pertinent to today’s discussion.

Why am I going into all this detail? Because of what is happening in one House and Senatorial district.

TROUBLE BREWING IN STATE GOP? — ‘Local leader in GOP faces issue for post,’ Joplin Globe: “A longtime Southwest Missouri conservative activist has hit a bump in the road after his three decades of involvement within the inner workings of the Missouri Republican Party. The eligibility of ballots submitted by Carthage-area resident John Putnam, former chairman of the Jasper County Republican Central Committee, in his two-way race to become chairman of the 127th House District Republican Committee has been questioned. The issue arose after Putnam narrowly defeated Dade County resident Bob Jackson in a 15-14 vote last week. … 
“Putnam, a tea party activist who is well-known throughout the state, has not been shy about his concerns with the so-called party establishment. He backed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin until the end of the tumultuous 2012 campaign, and he has taken criticism directly to Republicans who he thinks are too flimsy on their beliefs. The night before the 127th District Republican Committee chairman election, during remarks to the Jasper County Republican Central Committee, Putnam criticized U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., for what he said was Blunt’s support of Mississippi Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in his heated primary against tea party favorite Chris McDaniel. … 
“‘’Roy Blunt has divided the Republican Party before, and I can’t support him in the Senate race next time, and I do think that has some bearing on what’s happening now,’ Putnam said in an interview. Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin has called for the Republican National Committee to investigate the Mississippi Senate race. He has said the runoff election there included “racially charged” television ads opposing McDaniel that should not be tolerated by the Republican Party. That episode solidified the distrust between Martin — and Martin’s supporters, like Putnam — and the so-called Republican establishment. Putnam said, ‘They can read the tea leaves: If I’m the chairman of the district, I’m going to vote for a state committeeman and woman that will support Ed Martin in his re-election.’” — PoliticMO Newsletter, August 26, 2014 and The Joplin Globe.

If Putnam’s election to the House District is upheld, he will automatically be a member of his Senatorial committee…and possibly be selected as a member for the state central committee.

Roy Blunt is well known in ‘Pub politics as being an establishment butt-boy. His endorsement and contribution to Thad Cochran’s campaign, in opposition to Missouri’s GOP State Chairman Ed Martin, broadened the schism between party conservatives and the Washington (and state) establishment. Ed Martin was elected State GOP Chairman with the backing of the Tea Party and other grassroots activists as an anti-establishment candidate. The question upcoming is whether he will retain his position after the new crop of state GOP committeemen are chosen.

Missouri Constitutional Amendment #3

Have you heard about the proposed Amendment 3 to the Missouri constitution? Neither had I, but it will appear on the November ballot.

The teacher’s unions are all up in arms. Why? Because the amendment changes the rules for teacher tenure and provides for teacher performance evaluations.

A Missouri Teacher Performance Evaluation, Amendment 3 is on the November 4, 2014 election ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment. If approved by voters, this measure would implement teacher performance evaluations that would be used to determine whether a teacher should be dismissed, retained, demoted or promoted. It would also prevent teachers from collectively bargaining over the terms of these evaluations. — Ballotpedia.

This amendment didn’t come through the state legislature, it came through citizen’s initiative, a much more difficult process. But, it was successful and will appear on the November ballot…unless, like the failed attempts by gun-grabbers to block Amendment 5 in June, the unions fabricate a scheme to block Amendment 3, like their failed attempt to block Amendment 5 that passed this last Tuesday. I’m still researching the basis for Amendment 3 but on first look, I’ll support it.

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An idea whose time has come—closed Missouri primaries.

In Missouri, it is always an issue in primaries. The dems tightly control their candidates. In Cass County this year there were NO contested offices on the democrat ticket. That control allowed dems to crossover to tilt the ‘Pub primary choices their way. Whether crossovers had that much impact is a question that, given Missouri’s open primary, we’ll never really know. We do know, from bragging dems, that it has affected  the outcome of elections in the past, the run for Northern Commissioner in the last primary for example.

Some ‘Pubs are calling for closed primaries nation-wide. I agree.

Angry Republican leaders ready to shut door on open primaries

Changes sought after Mississippi Democrats help Thad Cochran beat Chris McDaniel

CHICAGO — Any party that allows its opponents to help pick its candidates in “open” primaries is a PPINO — a “political party in name only” — say many Republican officials at their annual summer meeting.

Republican National Committee members and activists are still seething about reports that longtime Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi Republican, enlisted Democrats to help him win his tough primary contest this summer against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who was backed by the tea party.

They would seem to have an ally in the GOP boss, but the sentiments of the entire party and the prospects for changing state laws are unclear.

At least one committee member plans to press the issue at the RNC meeting, which opened Wednesday.

Currently, 27 states let independents and Democrats help pick Republican candidates for general elections. The reason usually is not the desire of the state GOP but rather that the state legislature has mandated open primaries or requires no party registration.

The article continues here.

The usual excuse for not implementing closed primaries by state legislatures is the cost. Yes, it will cost money. A database will have to be created for voters to declare their party allegiance, processes and procedures to update and maintain the database just be developed and implemented statewide, a network and terminals at each county clerk’s office and, at election time, terminals at every polling station, during primary elections, to insure voters receive the correct ballot for their party.

The legislation creating the closed primary won’t be easy. The legislation must provide time-frames and methodologies for declaring and changing parties and how long, before the primary, will party change-overs be frozen (I’d suggest ninety days.) Voter registration procedures would have to be updated as well.

Regardless of the expense, it is a change whose time has come.

Third Parties

To the best of my memory, there has only been one successful third party in the history of the United States—the Republican Party. There has been many attempts, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, commonly known as the Bull Moose Party in 1912, Thomas J. Anderson’s American Party in 1976, and Ross Perot’s ‘Independent’ party in 1992. Neither Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas J. Anderson, nor Ross Perot, were successful. Instead, these three third party candidates insured the election of Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. How? They sucked away votes that would have gone to the Republican candidate.

If a third party arose today, would circumstances in the next Presidential election be any different? Probably not. Presidential elections are determined by the highest number of votes. It’s is highly unlikely that any number of minor parties could combine and gather sufficient votes to win.

Control of Congress, however, does not have to be a binary decision—dem or ‘pub. Coalitions can exist, and control Congress.

The Republican Party evolved from the disintegration of the Whig Party in 1856. The Kansas-Nebraska Act divided the Whigs over support for slavery and the creation of new slave states. The Whigs had lost their vision and their core during the slavery debates of that time. The anti-slavery elements of the Whigs created the Republican Party that, in 1860, elected Lincoln for President.

The Whig part died over slavery. The Republican party is teetering, perhaps on its death bed, over socialism and big government. Like the Whigs, the Republican establishment has lost its vision.

In my last post, I said the Republican party is dissolving. It hasn’t broken up yet. But, taking that thought further, how could such a dissolution occur?

There are a number of scenarios that could trigger the breakup. One, that I think is likely, is the public formation of a conservative faction within the Republicans in Washington. We know there are conservatives, all we need do is to watch their voting records. They haven’t, yet, created a voting bloc.

As an example, what if Cruz, Lee, Paul, maybe Rubio and others, like those who supported Ted Cruz’s “long speech” last week, were to form a…let’s call it The Tea Party Caucus. A caucus who would examine each voting issue, whether it is the Continuing Resolution, the Debt Limit, or other controversial issues, and determine how they would vote—as a bloc. That would be a first step towards a third party.

The caucus would divide the conservatives from RINOs like McConnell, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, and others like them in the House. The Tea Party Caucus would vote enbloc. They would present candidates for Congressional offices like Speaker and Majority/Minority Leader. They would form intra and extra-party coalitions to wrest control from the establishment of both parties. I note that Mancin (D-WV) has voted very conservatively for a democrat, often against his party leadership. There are a few more dems like him that may slip away from that democrat dictatorship in Washington.

Come the next national election, the establishment of both party would attempt to remove these conservatives during the primary. At this point, if the establishment blocked conservatives during the primary process, or in the primary election, it is quite possible, the conservatives would run as independents—perhaps creating a real Tea Party or whatever name they chose.

It would be a critical decision. Historically, new parties lose their first elections as did the Republicans in 1856 and the American Party in 1972, 1976 and 1980. The Republicans survived and won in 1860. The American Party failed each time and faded away.

Would the new Tea Party political machine fail too? Perhaps, if there aren’t enough officeholders and candidates, and public, grassroots voters to sustain the new party. If the bigger conservative names like Cruz, Lee, Paul and the others move enmass to the new party, the probability of it surviving is much, much greater. The new party would have existing officeholders in the Senate, some would win seats in the House, others would win as ‘Pubs or Dems and vote as a coalition alongside the new conservative Tea Party Congressmen. Another successful election cycle with more officeholders as members of the new party or aligned politically with them and the new third party would remain as a voter option against the big government dem and ‘Pub parties.

Is this a viable scenario? I have no idea. I’m no political pundit, just a retired engineer with a taste for history and political trends. Will something happen? Yes. Every day brings more evidence of the disintegration of the Republicans. Just look at the antics over defunding Obamacare. The Senate ‘Pubs betrayed their constituents, again, allowing Reid to reinstate Obamacare funding. The CR went back to the House where Boehner assured the funding for Obamacare while cutting a minor tax of medical devices and delaying some of the Obamacare deadlines. The ‘Pub establishment of both houses of Congress has not endorsed funding Obamacare.

The Republican establishment sided with the dems to protect Obamacare. The one beneficial result is that we now know explicitly, who are our ‘Pub Senate traitors. Here is Missouri, a Facebook group, “Replace Roy Blunt,” doubled its membership within hours of Blunt’s vote to allow Reid to reinstate Obamacare funding.

These are the 25 Republicans who voted with Reid to invoke cloture on the CR:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ)
Daniel Coats (R-IN)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
John Thune (R-SD)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)

CNS News.

The Cloture vote had 25 establishment ‘Pubs supporting Harry Reid and 19 ‘Pubs who supported Cruz and Lee. Nineteen potential members of a new conservative party. Let’s remember in the coming elections, who supported us, the conservative base, and who, like Roy Blunt, didn’t and supported Harry Reid against us.