Friday, August 23, 2013

A Few Quick Thoughts On Vicki Marble, Rhonda Fields, Ryan Call, And The Stupidity Of Bringing Up Chicken

Ryan Call, contrary to the belief of of some, is not a coward for the way that he has handled State Senator Vicki Marble's remarks on race and chicken.

Marble is a big girl and chose to run under the GOP aegis for a state senate seat. When she got the seat she knew or should have known that the left would be gunning for her.  
In spite of that, she made stupid remarks that have embarrassed the GOP nationally.

Were the remarks intentionally offensive? No. But when you hold office that isn't the standard. You don't make remarks that are even unintentionally offensive, especially this degree of offensive, especially when the left is coming for you at any opportunity. Marble broke that standard and forced Ryan's hand.

Another quick point of advice: Rhonda's handling of this situation was poor and she should be called out for that. However, if you start saying things like "jump suit Rhonda" or "Rap Sheet Rhonda" you are going to get accused of dog whistle racism. Stay on point: Rep. Fields could have chosen any numbers of ways to handle Marble's remarks. She could have spoken with Marble in private about them. She could have had legislative leadership speak privately. She could have asked for clarification as to what Marble meant. Instead of doing any of those things she decided to publicly humiliate Marble for an unintentional comment. That was her choice, she alone was responsible for it, and can be judged for it by a person of any race/ethnicit

Friday, August 09, 2013

Jax Bubis Causing Some In EPCO GOP To Question Endorsement Protocols

This is republished by permission from former El Paso County GOP Division Captain Bob Clark, author of following comment here, who was in turn responding to this ColoradoPols article:

I'm about to criticize two of my favorite elected officials. It sucks but it would be disingenuous if I attacked everyone involved except them. 
On ColoradoPols is an article linking former Candidate Jax Bubis to sovereign citizen's movement. You know - the people who believe they can print their own money partly because the United States of America and/or Colorado no longer exists in their eyes. Yes, Coloradopols is a very liberal site, but I consider this a very fair written article (at least until the end when they started jabbing the whole GOP).

What is truly damning in the article though is the list of her endorsers:
Sen. Owen Hill
Sen. Ted Harvey
Sen. Kent Lambert
Sen. Vicki Marble
Sen. Randy Baumgardner
Former Sen. Dave Schultheis
Rep. Janak Joshi
Rep. Chris Holbert
Rep. Justin Everett
Rep. Steve Humphrey

These aren't small timers in the GOP. These are state players including two U.S. [Senate] Candidates. You'd think these people would have done their due diligence. It's not like it was tough to do - the day Jax announced I was receiving calls about what people where finding out about Mrs. Bubis.

So what this whole mess plus the Beantown Heat stuff shows is a lack of checking a person out before endorsing them by the people who endorsed her. Now, some of these people I have a huge respect for, yet they need to start doing a better job of vetting people. What will be the result of this? Simple: Democrats will use whatever this lady does to hurt those who endorsed her. I wonder how many of these endorsers also endorsed Dan Maes? Starting to see a pattern here.

Former El Paso County Division Captain Bob Clark

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Why Does Nathan Silver's Interactive Map for 2012 Not Seem To Match A Prior NYTimes Post?

Nate Silver has published a handy interactive map for the impact of various minority groups in past/future elections.  Relying on that map, Byron York published the following article which claimed, using Nate's map, that "Romney would have had to win 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to prevail in 2012." I checked Byron's results against Nate's map, and it appears Byron is correctly utilizing it. In fact, from playing with the Map's numbers and holding everything else constant for the 2012 election, here is the minimum number of the Hispanic votes that the Map claims Obama was required to obtain to win the  following states:

Ohio - 25% and tossup at 24%
Virginia - 37% and tossup at 36% 
Pennsylvania - 29% and tossup at 28%
Colorado - 52%
Florida - 69%

These numbers though seem to conflict with a prior NYTimes Nov. 20, 2012 post, which utilized Exit Poll data reported by Edison Research.  That post said different numbers of Hispanic voters were required for the Dems to claim various states that they in fact carried.  Those states, and the number of Hispanic voters that it claimed Obama need to carry them, are as follows: 

Ohio - 22%
Virginia - 33%
Pennsylvania - 37%
Colorado - "just over 58%"
Florida - 58%

There is a pretty substantial difference with what the Map and the Nov. 20, 2012 article is reporting was needed, for some of these states.  Because I am not a stat professional and could easily be making a mistake I am not aware of I have posed the following questions to Nate Silver on his 538 blog and am hoping for a clarifying answer:
(a) Am I/Byron York using your interactive map correctly?;
(b) Am I interpreting your interactive map correctly?
(c) Was the Nov. 20, 2012 New York Times post incorrect?;
(d) Is your map incorrect?; and/or
(e) Any other explanation.   
For if it turns out that that there is a mistake in the Nate's interactive map, Byron and his allies might need to rethink their use of it to diminish the importance of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ColoradoPols Needs To Apologize To Colorado Secretary Of State Scott Gessler

Over the past few days, ColoradoPols, a prominent Colorado political website, has run articles attempting to tie Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler to an allegedly racist mailer. Because the mailer was not only not racist, but also because there is not a shred of evidence remotely tying Gessler to it, Colorado Pols owes Gessler an apology. 

1. Background
In the updated version of its original story, "Hackstaff Gessler Mailer Targets GOP County Clerks", ColoradoPols drew attention to a mailer that Citizens For Free And Fair Elections ("CFFE") sent out. Specifically, ColoradoPols noted that: (a) the mailer attempts to hit Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner on her support for House Bill 1303, the Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act"; (b) the mailer "Photoshopped out [an] African-American woman in the original photo"; (c) that this photoshopping added an "ugly dimension" to the story; and (d) that the address of Gessler's former law firm, Hackstaff Law Group, was listed on the mailer. Subsequently, ColoradoPols ran two more articles. The first reported that the NAACP had expressed serious concern regarding Secretary of State Scott Gessler's close ties to a group that sent the photoshopped mailers. The second claimed that "[i]t's absurd . . .to suggest anything other than a racist motive for editing the photo in question". By virtue of this reporting, ColoradoPols has created an implicit narrative: that Colorado Secretary of State Gessler is tied to a racist mailer. The problems with such a narrative is that it is baseless, dishonest, and wrong. 

2. Gessler Should Not Be Tied To A Mailer He Had No Part In Making
Let's start with how Gessler gets tied to the mailer in the first place. Prior to campaigning in 2010 and serving from 2011 to the present day as Colorado Secretary of State, Gessler worked at the Hackstaff Law Group which was then known as Hackstaff Gessler LLC ("Hackstaff"). Hackstaff, in turn, is the registered agent for CFFE. Not the strategists. Not marketers. The registered agent.  In other words a position that accepts correspondence and service of process.  

3. The Mailer Was Not Photoshopped For Racist Reasons
Beyond that though, there were always problems with the theory that racism was employed as the basis for photoshopping.  Namely, what possible political gain would a GOP group have by removing African-Americans from a mailer?  And even if there was some theoretical (and practically impossible to see) gain from photoshopping, how could that possibly outweigh the risks of detection?  For these reasons, the theory that racism was the reason for doing the photoshopping never made sense.  On close examination of the photoshopping, it is now clear why it made no sense - because racism was never the reason for the photoshopping in the first place. 

Let's take a look at the portion of the photoshopped picture in question (courtesy of ColoradoPols) and compare it with the original version: 

It's clear an African American was photoshopped out.  What is also clear is that the face photoshopped in is identical to the face immediately to its left.  In other words, the picture clumsily attempts to make it appear as if the Caucasian is attempting to vote twice, and thus fit with the theme of impending voter fraud that it claims the Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act would result in.  

In fact, further buttressing this position is the complete photoshopped image (again courtesy of ColoradoPols). 

If one takes a look around the photo one will find....wait for it...African Americans.  So if the point of the photoshopping was to remove African Americans, why did it leave African Americans?  Simple - that was never the photoshopping's point in the first place.  In fact, if the mailer was actually racist it wouldn't have photoshopped African Americans OUT - it would have photoshopped them IN as a crude attempt to try to show minorities voting twice. 

4. ColoradoPols Should Apologize
So what we have here is Gessler getting tied to a mailer solely because Hackstaff, a firm Gessler hasn't worked at in years, accepts mail for the people that put it out.  Sort of reminds one of charts, where Glenn Beck attempted to tie Obama to Communists.  Not only unpersuasive, but the kind of McCarthyism that a site like ColoradoPols should be ashamed of advancing.  Especially when the mailer itself wasn't even racist in the first place. 

It is hatchet job stories like this that give alternative news media sites a bad name.  ColoradoPols has spent the better part of two days unjustly tarring and feathering not only Gessler, but also Hackstaff Law Group.    Such irresponsible labeling risks unjustly ruining reputations and damaging professions.  For this reason, responsible reporters would never have shot off ColoradoPols stories, in the form they were in, without asking questions and doing due diligence first.  Because ColoradoPols at best failed to do such due diligence it should, if it has any decency, immediately apologize and issue retractions for these stories.