A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Celebrate GLBT History Month!

This is my 250th post on Turn Tahoe Blue and I'd like to dedicate it to the GLBT History Month which starts tomorrow. Every day in October one leader on GLBT issues will be profiled. Among the honorees is a German politician. Volker Beck, a member of the Bundestag, a member of the leadership of the German Green Party and a former spokeseman for the leading German GLBT advocacy group LSVD, will be profiled on October 7.

Every honoree will be profiled with a short video clip. The clip automatically changes on a daily basis, so the video below will be up to date for the entire GLBT History Month:

The Dominos Are Falling

What do you think?

Help Charlie Brown defeat John Doolittle!

Contribute now!

Doolittle's Got Bush - Brown's Got Wes Clark

The President of the United States is scared. Of the voters.

It's quite evident. Why else would he come to one of the reddest districts in California and hold a fundraiser for corrupt and ineffective Congressman John Doolittle?

Doolittle will profit twofold: his campaign desperately needs the extra bucks (an estimated $500,000) and his wife Julie can rake in her 15% commission which she receives for all contributions to her husband's campaign. Another $75,000 before Doolittle will be voted out of office. Apparently they'll take anything they can get.

A potential presidential contender in 2008 will be in the district one day before Bush. General Wesley Clark will hold a rally with Charlie Brown on Monday, October 2nd, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento (Corner of 15th and L Streets) at 5pm. Later that night they will also hold a fundraiser . And you can rest assured that unlike the corrupt Congressman's wife, no member of the Brown family will even take one cent commission!

You can also help Charlie by contributing here!

The Next Senator From Nevada Rocks - Literally!

Watch and be impressed:

Another skill the hair do can't offer ;)

You can tip Jack here!

Good Candidates Can Win Everywhere!

I was born and raised in a very catholic, very conservative county. The less evil German equivalent to the Republican Party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has run this county continuously for the last 60 odd years raking in election results between 60 and 85% in all towns.

As everywhere, majority parties can get arrogant and complacent. This has been the case in the county of Vechta as well. The CDU is so used to winning that losing never came to mind. Traditionally, the parliamentary district comprised of the counties of Vechta and adjoining Cloppenburg always end up as the district with the best election results for the CDU in all of Germany. That is how conservative this area is.

However, voters in this county - like voters everywhere - aren't as stupid as many politicians make them out to be. The CDU made some really bad choices when looking for candidates for mayor in several towns in the last few years which has led to the result that as of now only six out of ten towns have a CDU mayor.

Four years ago two towns, Holdorf and Dinklage (birthtown of Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen and myself) elected the independent candidates rather than the one of the CDU. In 2004 the city of Vechta elected the former state minister of agriculture Uwe Bartels, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder) rather than the CDU candidate. It has to be noted that in all cases the CDU won the majority on the town councils easily.

Last Sunday, the town I was raised in was the fourth town in the county to chose the non CDU candidate. Manuela Honkomp (pictured) was elected mayor of Steinfeld with 55% of the vote over the CDU candidate. You just have to click on her campaign website and you get an impression of why she won. This website is more professional than the campaign website of quite a few congressional candidates in the US and of a whole load of candidates for state legislatures. And this for a mayoral candidate for a town of 9,400 people! Her opponent didn't even have a website. And her resume is quite impressive, too. She left the town to go to college and get her master in political science and later chose to come back. Since I'm not registered in Steinfeld anymore I couldn't vote for her. I certainly would have, if only for the fact that her family hosted an exchange student from Toledo, Ohio last year. Manuela Honkomp was elected the first non CDU mayor of Steinfeld (and also the first female mayor in the entire county!) despite the fact that 70% voted for CDU candidates for the town council in the same election.

What I am trying to say here is that the county of Vechta and especially the town of Steinfeld are far more conservative than say the 2nd Congressional District in Nevada or the 4th Congressional District in California. If Manuela Honkomp can win in Steinfeld, Jill Derby can win in NV-02 and Charlie Brown in CA-04. The voters are smart enough to vote for the better candidates and are willing to cross party lines if they feel it is necessary.

All Jill Derby and Charlie Brown need are the resources. Please consider contributing to these great candidates. Whether you can give $5, $50 or $100, every dollar helps!

Contribute now!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

End Of Quarter Fundraising Push

Yeah, I'm doing that now too. But it's important. This will be the last fundraising report before the election and the results will be significant. Recent polls haven't been too favourable for some of our candidates while others have been awesome. Money drives the narrative. Only if a campaign has enough money it can get the message out to the voters.

Support your favourite candidate. Almost all of them are on the Turn Tahoe Blue ActBlue page. The minimum contribution is $5, so each and everyone of you can contribute.

Every dollar helps! Contribute now!

Jill Derby's Best Ad Yet!

Today, the Derby campaign released a new ad on Dean Heller's support for Social Security. Jill Derby is doing a terrific job. This is the first negative ad that, well, comes of positive. I don't know how she does it but looking at this I'd say we have ourselves a new congresswoman pretty soon! But watch for yourself:

Remember that President Bush is coming to Reno next week to raise money for Heller. They're scared and they're probably gonna hit Jill Derby hard once Heller's raised some money. So help Jill Derby run this ad. Even $5 will help with putting this ad on the air as long as possible.

Contribute here!

Ensign in Newsweek: "Our Behaviour Has Been Wrong"

Newsweek just published the Nevada part of its "Face Off" series profiling what they consider to be this year's most interesting races. The story called Bush a Key Issue for Nevada's Senate Contenders is made up in large part by interviews with both Ensign and Jack Carter. I'll excerpt what I find noteworthy.

First from the interview with Ensign:
You have visited Iraq on a number of occasions. What is going on in the country right now?

Most of the country is pretty positive. Baghdad obviously is not a great place. There are major challenges to winning this whole war against Islamo-fascism [or] whatever you want to call it. Iraq is the central front in that war. Osama bin Laden said that.
Oh, good Lord. What do you say to that? Senator, where exactly is Osama? It's been five years!
What about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld? A number of Democrats and Republicans have been calling for his ouster.

It is not a number of Republicans. The president has full confidence in Rumsfeld. We are at war and it is time to not only be behind our troops but to be behind our commander in chief.
Ensign acting as Bush's echo-chamber once again. No one dare question the President. Did I mention yet that Ensign is practically a copy of Bush, with a more pronounced hair-do?
You have billed yourself as a fiscal conservative. What has it been like for you to be in Congress while the deficit has ballooned along with governmental spending?

That has been the biggest frustration since I've been here. I believe when you are at a time of war, when we had Katrina, we should have reprioritized our spending.
The biggest frustration? What, Senator, you're in the minority there? No one forced you to vote with the President 96% of the time. Geez!
Have some voters become disaffected because of this spending?

Yes. Our behavior has been wrong.
OH MY GOD! He did not just say that, did he? Hey, Jack, the ensignificant Senator just handed you a line to use in your next ad!
Speaking of Reid, you have a close relationship with the Democrat, who is the Senate minority leader.

Not only a close working relationship, but a close personal relationship. We have a spoken agreement that we will not criticize each other publicly or privately. If he campaigns for Jack Carter, that is his business.
Well, ain't that just sweet. You heard it, Senator Reid, Ensign just gave you the green light to campaign for Jack. How about finally getting at it?

Now, to the intelligent part of the interview. Here are a few excerpts from the interview with Jack:
You have been campaigning in many of the rural areas and small towns of the state.

We [recently] went through an area that essentially went for George Bush 70 [percent to] 30 [percent]. These are the people just like the ones I grew up with. I felt right at home. Got a very good response. There was a deep vein of anti-administration feeling out there. Literally as strong as the one I had.

Do you think those feelings can be translated into people switching party allegiances or even showing up to vote?

My opponent has voted with the president 96 percent of the time in the five years he has been senator. Even though he has been out [in Nevada] longer than I have, it doesn't make any difference whether you are from Nevada or not, if you vote as if you are from Washington.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if in the end Jack gets 40% + x in the rurals and that would put him over the top? I think his rural strategy is absolutely the right way to go!
Bush's approval ratings are in the 30s in Nevada, but your opponent's rating is around 50 percent. Why do you think that is?

The obvious reason is people don't know how my opponent voted. They don't know what he stands for.
Exactly, and this is where you come in. You need to spread the word! You can also help out the campaign by contributing to Jack Carter and make this a real "Desert Showdown".

Jack Carter currently tours the state with his father, former President Jimmy Carter. Here are a couple of news accounts of their joint appearances yesterday:

Elko Daily Free Press: Carter corrals hundreds in Elko

Las Vegas Sun (AP): Former President Carter criticizes Bush at son's campaign stop

Nevada Appeal: Jimmy Carter visits Fallon

"The Union" Publisher Endorses Charlie Brown

The Union is a paper that was founded to support President Abraham Lincoln's re-election. Its publisher says in his editorial that he does not believe in newspaper endorsements and that his paper doesn't endorse candidates. Yet, he chose to write an editorial to convey why he himself endorses Charlie Brown. A few excerpts:
That said, I personally believe it's time for a change. I say "personally" because there is only one photo and name attached to this column and they both belong to me ... personally. I have no idea how the other 77 employees of The Union feel about either candidate.

Why Brown?

Why not? Doolittle has had 16 years to deliver whatever he promised to do and it's time to give someone else a chance to at least make promises. I don't think political office was intended to be lifetime employment, but thanks to some clever redistricting (that's where they determine where the Republicans and Democrats eat and sleep and design the district boundaries to benefit whichever party has the majority at the time), Doolittle and others have been able to stay in office long enough for their children to grow beards and shave their legs.


As for Charlie Brown ... well ... I've never met him, but those who have say he's a good man. He served 26 years as an officer in the Air Force and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1998. He was a rescue helicopter pilot in Vietnam and helped evacuate Saigon. He also coordinated surveillance flights over Iraq in the 1990s and opposed the invasion because, as he states on his Web site, "he knew there were no WMDs present."

He thinks we ought to get out of Iraq and focus instead on our borders. He supports additional funding for veteran services, supports universal health care, a woman's right to choose, stem cell research and good government. "Who doesn't feel discouraged and angry at the constant news of corruption and influence peddling in Washington?" he asks.

Maybe that last one sums it up for me. Brown's really got no political experience and will have difficulty getting anything done in that cesspool we call D.C., but perhaps he is exactly what we need today - something new and innocent.
You can help Charlie get elected.

Contribute to Charlie Brown now!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Most Americans Don't Know About Doolittle's Abuses

Wanna know about Rep. John Doolittle's abuses? Just watch this video and pass it on:

Click on these links to find out more:

Doolittle Facts

Charlie Brown for Congress

Contribute to Charlie Brown

Ensign Now Responsible For Republicans Losing In 2008

I had to chuckle when I read in the Las Vegas Review-Journal today that our very own and most favourite golfer in Nevada is supposed to run the show at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2008.

For one, you actually have to be a sitting challenger to be eligable. So, our very own and most favourite future Senator from Nevada, Jack Carter, might just make a little dent in the Ensignificant's plans.

Furthermore, it seems like Ensign would actually get this job by default. After Liddy Dole's disasterous attempt at recruiting viable Senate candidates for this fall's election (think Katherine Harris in Florida) nobody wanted to taint his or her resume by taking on this job in 2008 when things might look much worse than they do today. Out of the 33 seats in play that year 21 are held by Republicans. If we won't win the majority in the Senate this year, we're almost assured of it with Ensign directing the NRSC in 2008:

Ensign considered running for the campaign committee previously, and was mentioned earlier this year for the job but demurred, citing family reasons.

Ensign said he grew comfortable with the idea after talking with friends in Nevada and obtaining the blessing of his wife and three young children.

"There is some travel but it depends on how much you want to travel," Ensign said. "Some chairmen have traveled an awful lot and some have traveled a little."

And for some reason one would guess that those who were sitting on their lazy ass and didn't travel sucked the most. Sounds like the ensignificant Senator is aiming for just that position.

Of course, you can make it so much harder for the NRSC to find a chairman and so much easier for Democrats to win additional seats in the Senate and thereby either winning the majority or extending it by helping to elect Jack Carter. Contribute now!

Welcome To Nevada, Mr. President!

Starting today, former President Jimmy Carter will tour Nevada with stops in Elko, Fallon, Reno, Henderson and Las Vegas to support his son's campaign for the U.S. Senate:
Wednesday, September 27

10:30 a.m. Speeches to senior citizens at The Terrace senior center, 1795 Ruby View Drive, Elko, Nevada. In the dining hall.

11:00 a.m. News conference at The Terrace. In the same location (the dining hall), with seniors looking on.

12:15 p.m. Speeches to the Elko Rotary Club luncheon at the Stockmen's Hotel, 340 Commercial Street, Elko, Nevada. In the showroom.

3:00 p.m. News conference at VFW Post 1002, 406 South Maine Street, Fallon, Nevada. In the meeting room, with invited veterans looking on.

3:45 p.m. Informal remarks to, and mingle with, members of the public at Sandwinds Sports Bar, 1120 Taylor Place, Fallon, Nevada.

Thursday, September 28

2:00 p.m. Campaign rally at the Manzanita Bowl, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. Jack Carter and President Carter will speak around 2:30 p.m.

4:00 p.m. News conference for Spanish-language media, at Circus-Circus Hotel, 500 North Sierra Street, Reno, Nevada. In the Sierra Room. This news conference will follow a private meeting with leaders of the Hispanic community in Northern Nevada.

6:30 p.m. Speech during the Washoe County Democratic Party's Honor Roll Dinner, at Circus-Circus Hotel, 500 North Sierra Street, Reno, Nevada. In the hotel's convention center.

Friday, September 29

4:00 p.m. Campaign rally at Painters Union Hall, 1701 Whitney Mesa, Henderson, Nevada. Jack Carter and President Carter will speak around 4:30 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Speeches during the Clark County Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Dinner, at the Rio Hotel, 3700 West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada.
It must be awesome for the former President to be out on the campaign trail again and help his son get elected to the Senate.

You can help Jack Carter as well by contributing to his campaign!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What Do The Carter Poll Numbers Mean? - Nothing.

You might have noticed the new poll by the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the Ensign-Carter race. It shows Ensign leading by 23 points. What does this mean? Nothing. Ensign's Slanker says it best:

"We have and always will take this race very seriously," Slanker added. "We've seen numbers all over the place. We're running a very serious campaign, and we intend to win."

And he's right (good Lord, I never thought I'd say this): the numbers are all over the place. And there's a reason for that. Voters haven't focused on this campaign yet. We politics junkies have, but most voters in Nevada simply have not. Why? Well, for one, the national media doesn't focus on this, neither do a whole lot of other people who really should.

Everyone's attention is and has been on other races, the ones that actually made the news, usually the ones where there were significant primaries, like the Governor's race and the Congressional race in the 2nd district.

Nevadans will focus their attention on this race pretty soon. Maybe as soon as this week since President Carter's doing a campaign tour through Nevada.

We've seen other incumbent who were considered safe by the pundits. Well, tell that to Joe Lieberman et al. No one's safe and certainly not the ensignificant Senator.

Does Newsweek Hate America?

You know, I have to say it. Anyone outside the US was taken aback and just plain astounded how the American people could (re-)elect President Bush in 2004. It was just plain unbelievable. Are Americans that stupid?

Well, turns out, we just get better information. I don't wanna offend anyone but the newsmedia (while it sometimes sucks) is much better in Europe than it is in the US. It is. I've lived in both places, I speak from experience. We've got publicly funded TV stations and they actually have something called "correspondents" all over the world. In Africa, in Latin America, in India, in China, in Sigapore, in Japan, in Russia, in Italy, in Poland, in Turkey. Well, you get the point. How many correspondents do NBC, ABC and CBS have?

Anyhow, in case you didn't know it Newsweek publishes international editions. Now, I don't buy it since it's just not worth its prize. The Economist is much better. Anyway, on the side you can see this week's Newsweek. The European edition, the Asian edition, the Latin American edition. And at the bottom, you'll find the US edition. Americans are not dumb, they're made dumb by their own media. Why in the world would Newsweek tell its readers in Europe, Asia and Latin America about the renewed dangers in Afghanistan, but not their readers in the United States?

Does Newsweek hate America?

(hat-tip to Americablog for the graphic, also saw it on Wonkette yesterday)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Subscribe To Turn Tahoe Blue

If you have been here before (if not: welcome to Turn Tahoe Blue!) you have probably noticed all those flashy multi-colored little buttons on the sidebar. By clicking one of them you can subscribe to the feed of this blog and will never miss a post.

Now, I've added another new and easy way to read Turn Tahoe Blue. You can now receive Turn Tahoe Blue via email! All you have to do is enter your email address in the form at the bottom of the sidebar and click "subscribe". Enjoy!

Jill Derby Within 3 Points In New Poll!

Jill Derby is on course to making history. With every new poll she's inching up closer and closer to Republican Dean Heller. The newest Mason Dixon Poll, conducted Sep 19-21 was published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal today and it shows Jill Derby well within the margin of error:

Jill Derby 42%
Dean Heller 45%
MoE 5%

Jill Derby continues to be on an upward trend in this very Republican district that has never before elected a Democrat.

The last poll on this race was done by Research 2000 for the Reno Gazette-Journal. It also had Heller at 45% and Jill Derby at 37% (I've written about it here). So this poll is even better.

Here are all the numbers from today's poll:

HELLER 45% 49% 41% 14% 68% 45%
DERBY 42% 37% 47% 72% 21% 41%
KROCHUS 1% - 2% - - 3%
BABB - - - - - -
ROSEN - - - - - -
UNDECIDED 12% 14% 10% 14% 11% 11%

The other three are minor party candidates. Jill Derby actually leads handily among women voters. She's doing better among her own party, which is unusual when you compare it to other polls (like the Governor's race). More Republicans are voting for the Democrat and are undecided than the other way around. And she's awfully close among Independents. I think we have ourselves a race here.

Remember that NV-02 is a very Republican district. It encompasses all of Nevada except most of Clark County. The district was created after the 1980 census and has been represented in Congress by Republicans ever since.

This year it's an open seat because incumbent Jim Gibbons is running for Governor. The Republican candidate won the primary by a very slim margin. Dean Heller was considered to be the strongest Republican candidate. He was elected as Nevada's Secretary of State three times in a row. His opponents in the primary were the incumbents wife, Dawn Gibbins (who came in third), and Sharron Angle, who was heavily supported by the Club for Growth. Conventional wisdom in Nevada had it that Heller would be tougher to beat than Angle.

However, it seams that Jill Derby, an 18 year University Regent, is giving Dean Heller a run for his money. That might be why Heller is having Bush come to Reno for a fundraiser, something that would not have been necessary in this district in the past. Heller is bruised from the primary and was virtually broke after it.

Interestingly, the NRCC commissioned a poll in NV-02 after the primary. Yet, those numbers were never made public. The numbers could not have been good as both the earlier Research 2000 poll and today's Mason Dixon poll suggest.

To find out more about Jill Derby, visit her website.

If you would like to contribute to Jill Derby you can do so here.

In the meantime the Review-Journal has published the article to the poll on its website. Here are some excerpts:
The race is surprisingly close, considering a Democrat has not won the seat since its formation in 1982.

Republicans also hold a 48,000 voter registration advantage in the district, which covers the entire state except for central, urban portions of Clark County.

Dean Heller seems quite desperate:

"The fact I am 3 points ahead after a rough primary and the fact her television ads have gone unchallenged for a month bodes well for this campaign, " Heller said.

Heller, of Carson City, spent $1 million on the primary and has not yet raised much money for an advertising campaign for the Nov. 7 general election race.

But he said that will change quickly, particularly since President Bush will campaign and raise money on his behalf during an Oct. 2 appearance in Reno.

"That appearance will help me, especially in Northern Nevada," Heller said. "It will generate money for my campaign and help bring the Republican Party together."

Jill Derby on the other hand can stay confident:

Derby, of Gardnerville, said the race is close because many residents are tired of politics as usual and want someone who offers a fresh approach.

"Their bickering has frustrated me as much as anyone else," she said. "This campaign is catching fire. Things are not going well in Washington. People don't want more of the same."

Derby said she has shown she can get along with members of the opposition during her 18 years as an unpaid, non-partisan member of the state Board of Regents.

Derby said Heller received a lot of media attention during the primary while she was almost forgotten.

"It is my message that is catching on," said Derby, who did not face a primary opponent. "People see me as the new direction."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dean Heller, Where's That Poll?

The series of tubes, as Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens likes to call them, are very nice tool before an election. There's a wealth of information to be found on the internet. For example, one can take a look at the expenditures of the DCCC, DSCC, NRCC, NRSC and many other political committees.

Chris Bowers at MyDD has started to put together a great compilation of the expenditures of the DCCC and the NRCC. Interesting to note is that the National Republican Congressional Committee seems to be very worried about its Nevada candidates. At least they're spending money in both NV-03 and in NV-02.

What grabbed my attention, though, was the fact that the NRCC commissioned a poll worth $21,000 on Heller's behalf on August 23. Surprisingly, I haven't heard about the poll, let alone the results of that poll. Must not have been too good, otherwise both the NRCC and Dean Heller would have bragged about it. There was nothing to be found on either the websites of either Dean Heller or the NRCC. I mean, it was a month ago. You should have the results by now.

Dean Heller, what happened to that poll?

Maybe the results of that poll would explain why President Bush is flying into Reno on October 2 to fundraise for Heller. Man, must these guys be in trouble.

Rumor has it that a new poll will emerge in the coming days showing Heller is in even more trouble.

Contribute to Jill Derby and help capture this district!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Have You Voted For Jack Yet?

On Tuesday I alerted you to the new Progressive Patriot poll. The winner will get an instant $5,000 contribution from Russ Feingold's PAC plus a very nifty fundraiser.

Vote now!

In the meantime Rasmussen has published a new poll on the Nevada Senate race:

Jack Carter 41%
John Ensign 50%
moe +/-4.5%

This is the first time that any poll besides the unruly interactive Zogby poll has Jack above 40%. That's the good news. The bad news is that Ensign also increased his margin from the July poll which had this race at 39-46. Since there are still 45 days until the election and since most polls done on this race were, well, not all too convincing, this race remains wide open.

What Jack Carter needs more than anything else right now is money. So, have you voted for Jack yet?

Or contribute if you can!

The Arnold And The Truth

Hilary over at the official Angelides blog Voices of California has a great take on the latest Schwarzenegger ads. She published two charts and posts a response to each half-truth and distortion in the Arnold's ads. You can read it here.

And don't forget to contribute to Phil Angelides!

An Interesting Take On The NV Senate Race

There are quite a few people out on the blogosphere offering their thoughts on which races are competitive and how many seats Democrats might win in November. One of them is a diarist named "Republicus" over at Daily Kos. Here is his assessment of the Senate race in Nevada:
Jack Carter's month started off well with the birth of his first grandson. Then it was downhill. On September 10, Carter was hospitalized with colitis (inflammed colon) and was forced to cancel a couple of campaign appearances. On September 15, a Research 2000 poll showed Ensign with a 21-point lead over Carter with 9 percent claiming undecided status. Over, right? Wrong. According to a Rasmussen poll released on September 22, Carter is just 9 points behind Ensign. This seems consistent with the race's dynamics to date, e.g. WSJ/Zogby (Carter 3-points behind on Aug. 21). I am not very familiar with Research 2000, but would suspect they are either GOP polling-goons or else were drunk and prank-called half of their sample. Nevada Blue explains in some detail on DailyKos. On a different note, Senate minority leader Harry Reid's 2-month-late endorsement of Carter last month was accompanied by a measly $250,000dollars. Reid had previously intended to reneg on his promise to Carter in favor of a confounding "non-aggression pact" with Ensign. Seeing as the DSCC has $30 million on-hand, one has to wonder whether the DSCC is trying to win an election or appease Harry Reid's self-interested political maneuvering. An uphill battle for Carter? Yes. Over? Far from it.
You can help Jack win by contributing to his campaign now!

What A Modern Republican Believes

The Desert Beacon has written a great post on 'what a modern Republican believes':
1. A Republican believes that it's justified to torture one's enemies in order to feel just a little bit safer.

2. A Repubican believes that it's perfectly acceptable to have working people pay for rich peoples' tax cuts.

3. A Republican believes that it's fine that all powers bestowed in the Constitution of the United States to three branches of government be handed over to the Executive, and that the rule of one man is preferable to the rule of law.
These are just the first three, go over to the Desert Beacon to read number 4 through 8! Well done!

Wanna read what BS a modern Republican sputters on the Senate floor? Then go read my post on the ensignificant Senator's speech marking the anniversary of 9/11.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

You Have ONE Day

I found the following on Blogolodeon today. It's the ultimate message to voters this year:

A TPM reader has the perfect Dem response:

Stay focused on one and only message — “You — the Voters — have ONE DAY to hold the Bush Administration accountable for what’s happened in Iraq, and here at home. ONE DAY — election day. If you like the way things are going, vote Republican. If you think things need to change, VOTE DEMOCRATIC. Seize the day. It’s your very last chance.”

Contribute Through ActBlue

As you can see on the sidebar, I inserted a nice new tool on this blog. Instead of having to click on the Turn Tahoe Blue ActBlue page first, you can enter directly the amount you'd like to give to a candidate of your choice and then proceed by clicking the "Contribute" button.

Unfortunately, ActBlue, for legal reasons, is not yet able to raise funds for Nevada state office candidates (except for Ross Miller). If you would like to give to Dina Titus, Bob Unger, Catherine Cortez Masto, Kate Marshall, Kim Wallin or JoEtta Brown, I would advise you to go directly to their campaign websites and find out how you can contribute their. You will find the links to all Turn Tahoe Blue candidates' campaign website on the sidebar as well.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

CREW: Doolittle Among 20 Most Corrupt In Congress

The watch-dog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today released its list of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress. 17 Republicans and 3 Democrats made this unhonorable list and Tahoe's own Representative John Doolittle features prominently.

Here's the summary of the report on Doolittle:

John Doolittle is an eighth-term Member of Congress representing the 4th congressional district of California. His ethics issues stem from his wife’s relationship to his campaign and political action committees, as well as campaign contributions and personal financial benefits he accepted from those who sought his legislative assistance.

Julie Doolittle

Rep. Doolittle’s wife Julie is the owner and president of Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions, a fundraising company retained by Rep. Doolittle’s campaign committee and his Superior California Leadership PAC. Ms. Doolittle has received at least $215,000 from Rep. Doolittle’s campaign committees since 2001, and has taken in nearly $100,000 for the 2006 campaign alone. Notably, the Association of Fundraising Professionals sent a letter to Rep. Doolittle stating that its long-standing ethics code, “explicitly prohibits percentage-based compensation” and urged the campaign to cease this practice with Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions.

Ms. Doolittle’s payments by her husband’s campaign appear to violate federal campaign finance laws and House rules, which prohibit converting campaign funds to personal use. By using his position as a member of Congress to financially benefit his wife, Rep. Doolittle may be depriving his constituents of his honest services, using his position for personal gain, and engaging in conduct that does not reflect creditably on the House.

Ties to Jack Abramoff

In 1999, Rep. Doolittle also assisted Jack Abramoff in securing a lucrative lobbying contract with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, helped Mr. Abramoff stave off legislation protecting workers in the CNMI and wrote letters on behalf of some of Mr. Abramoff’s tribal casinos. In return, Rep. Doolittle, an alleged gambling foe, has received $130,000 from gambling tribes with ties to Mr. Abramoff. If Rep. Doolittle has received contributions from Mr. Abramoff in return for legislative assistance he may have violated prohibitions against bribery, honest services fraud and House rules.

You can read the entire report (pdf) here.

Help toss out John Doolittle. Support Charlie Brown for Congress. Contribute now!

Sacramento Bee Endorses Charlie Brown

Yesterday, the Sacramento Bee, the area's largest newspaper, officially endorsed Democrat Charlie Brown for Congress. You should read the entire editorial headlined "Time for Doolittle to go; elect Charlie Brown". I'd just like to quote the end-part of it:

Voters have an alternative.

Brown was a career Air Force pilot who served in the Vietnam conflict, winning a Distinguished Flying Cross, and in the first Persian Gulf War. He coordinated surveillance over Iraq during the 1990s. His son, Capt. Jeff Brown, is serving his fourth rotation in Iraq. Brown worked eight years in the Roseville Police Department. He is well-placed to be part of a much-needed national discussion on alternatives to the current policy in Iraq.

Brown supports a phased drawdown of American forces, redeploying U.S. troops from inside Iraq to the periphery. While people of goodwill can disagree with this view, at least Brown is telling voters what he'd do differently in Iraq.

An internal Brown poll conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group at the end of August shows a tight race: Doolittle, 41 percent, and Brown, 39 percent. Seventeen percent are undecided. Doolittle is in trouble, but Brown needs money to trumpet his message in this large district.

Doolittle has a legacy of money and influence-peddling that has left the nation with unbalanced budgets, ballooning earmarks and a mess in Iraq. Brown has a lifelong commitment to public service. The choice is clear. Elect Charlie Brown.

You can help Charlie win by clicking on the links below:

Charlie Brown's Campaign Website

Contribute to Charlie Brown

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Vote For Jack!

Russ Feingold has another "Pick a Progressive Patriot" contest on his PAC website. So, now would be a good time and practise for November. You can voter for Jack here.

Also, Sarah Carter wrote a diary on Daily Kos today in which she notes that they have another online fundraising drive for September. If you want to help the Carter campaign reach their goal of $100,000 you can do so by donating through the Turn Tahoe Blue ActBlue page.

Last, but most certainly not least, the Carter campaign gives you the opportunity to meet two of the greatest Presidents of the 20th century, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. All you have to do is take part in the
"Voter Registration Contest" and being among the top three. Man, do I wish I were in the States right now!

Monday, September 18, 2006

JoEtta Brown: "I Am Excited And Looking Forward To Working As A Servant Of The People"

Read part III of my interview with JoEtta Brown here.

JoEtta Brown is running for the Nevada State Assembly from the 39th district. The district encompasses all of Douglas County and goes up to Incline Village up at Lake Tahoe. You can see a map of the district here.

The fourth and final part of the interview JoEtta Brown gave to Turn Tahoe Blue focuses on her relationship with Jill Derby and her priorities in the Legislature should she be elected in November:

On your campaign website you quote Margaret Meade saying “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” What meaning does this quote have to you personally?

When I was elected Governor of Soroptimist International Desert Coast Region I truly worked with a small thoughtful, committed group of people. And we made tremendous differences in the lives of many women. I have always been involved with small groups who determined they could achieve incredible results. It is my mantra that working together anything is possible. Look at my campaign, against all odds it has made notable strides and it is a small group of people that enable me to walk the campaign trail.

Considering that Nevada is such a large state, Jill Derby, candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, lives just around the corner from you. What is your relationship with her? Do you think that you might have a better chance to win in this traditionally Republican district because of her strong candidacy?

Jill Derby is a wonderful neighbor close enough to be there if I really need her for anything. Yes, Jill has a strong candidacy and offers a “New Direction” for our country. It is the year for women, and it is time we hold positions of power to make positive change. Working Together in 2006 We Can Win!

What would your priorities be in the Legislature if you should be elected in November?

I am fortunate to have Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell as my mentor, and the Nevada Democratic Caucus as my supporters. At this very moment I am preparing to go to work February 5, 2007 as the Assemblywoman for District 39. I have studied the issues met with many political leaders to make certain I know the most pressing issues. And I am excited and looking forward to working as a servant of the people, becoming a Voice For All.

I'd like to thank JoEtta Brown for answering my questions.

You can help JoEtta Brown win. Click on the links to find out how:

JoEtta Brown's Campaign Website

Contribute to JoEtta Brown

Tahoe Candidates In The News



The Next President of the United States?

Just watch and think about it:

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Link Between Terrorism And Iraq - It's This Simple

Okay, I don't do this often. Actually, this might be the first time. I have some unsolicited advice for some of the candidates out there, especially for Jack Carter, Jill Derby and Charlie Brown - anyone running for federal office, really.

Watch this:

We didn't go into Iraq because of terrorism. We have terrorists in Iraq because we went in there.
Jim Webb knows this, I know this, we all know this, but then we read polls and realize that many voters just don't.

So, here's my advice: Use this line. It's short, it's memorable. It does it's job. Use it in mailings, use it in radio commercials, use it in TV ads. Just use it!

JoEtta Brown: "There Must Be A Vision For The Future"

Read part II of my interview with JoEtta Brown here.

The third part of the interview JoEtta Brown, Democratic candidate for the 39th Assembly District, focuses on preserving Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley, GLBT issues and what JoEtta loves about Nevada:

What do you think needs to be done to preserve Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley?

I am not opposed to growth; however, there must be a vision for the future and we must carefully determine how to maintain open space and comprehensive business development. Market share should be the most compelling factor for any future business development. There should be standards set for development at the state level that would also include building codes and restrictions. Until this is achieved Nevada runs the risk of massive over development.

In Nevada same-sex marriages are banned by the constitution. Would you work to overturn that to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry or would you favor civil unions instead?

While working in corporate banking we addressed this issue as part of our Diversity Training Program “Building Bridges”. There are many legal issues that face alternative lifestyle partners, such as medical, ownership of bank accounts/property, insurance, credit, and inheritance. Because of these issues I favor civil unions.

After retirement you have moved to Nevada and have become active in your local community. What do you love about Nevada and your district in particular?

It is the genuine warmth and friendliness of the people that make you feel welcome this is what I love about Nevada. The beauty of the entire Assembly District 39 instills a sense of peace and I love being closer to nature with our vistas of open space.

You can help JoEtta Brown win! It's easy, just click on the links below!

JoEtta Brown's Campaign Website

Contribute to JoEtta Brown

Read the fourth and final part: "I Am Excited And Looking Forward To Working As A Servant Of The People"

Tahoe Candidates In The News



Saturday, September 16, 2006

JoEtta Brown: "Every Student Should Have The Opportunity For A Quality Education"

Read part I of my interview with JoEtta Brown here.

Today's second part of the interview JoEtta Brown, Nevada Assembly candidate in the 39th district, has given to Turn Tahoe Blue focuses on the most important issues to Nevada voters this year:

What are the most pressing issues for voters in the 39th district?

Based on my conversations with voters through-out Assembly District 39 it is the state budget that most often is discussed. My budget priorities will be healthcare, education, security and community.

Healthcare: Nevada should take the lead in developing solutions to improve healthcare access and affordability. One in five Nevadans does not have health insurance. This is another area where coalitions of the state government, private business and representatives of the public should work together to propose affordable, workable solutions. Other states are developing innovative group health insurance offerings that target the uninsured. Through innovative risk management affordable health coverage options are being made available to small businesses and the self-employed. The legislature should analyze these programs and determine the feasibility and the costs associated with adopting the best aspects of these plans for Nevada. Once a thorough study has been made, public hearings at the legislature and in our districts should be held to educate and receive constituent feedback. Then the legislature should take concrete steps to institute an acceptable program to improve healthcare access and affordability for Nevadans.

Education: To improve the state’s education system we must first provide our students with the books and supplies they need to learn while we strive to improve the efficiency of the state’s education system and the effectiveness of our educational programs. The curriculum in our schools must prepare students to obtain higher paying jobs rather than simply entry-level, minimum wage jobs. We must empower our teachers to challenge their students with advanced education in mathematics, science and the arts. The curriculum should also provide students the specialized skills training needed in local trades. This alternative path to conventional education could utilize Public/Private/Government partnerships working to offer specialized training-on-the-job experience. During the last Legislative session the first round of deliberations were concluded to support full-day Kindergarten, and I support full-day Kindergarten. It will give the very young a head start. I do not support a voucher system for school choice. We must find ways to make all of our public schools state-of-the-art. Every student should have the opportunity for a quality education and should be proud of the school they attend.

The state should help fund school construction in the wake of the 2005 property tax cap that reduced revenues to county school districts. It is important that early in the next session a status update be made by school districts regarding the impact of the property tax cap so that the issue can be properly assessed. If some of the 2006 surplus over the long term is wisely invested, a portion of the interest earned from the surplus could be used for school construction, capital improvements, and maintenance.

The Millennium Scholarship has played a significant part in the educational life of many students. While we need to strength the requirements and adjust penalties for abuse of the scholarship, it must remain and be fully funded. Some of the funding can come from the budget surplus by using a wise investment theory and over time some of the interest from the investment can be used for the Millennium Scholarship.

Community: Wise investments in community include investments for water that is clean, safe and adequate to meet our needs. It means smart growth that is well planned and managed, and it can mean incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy or the development of new innovate industries in Nevada. Our economy must be kept vital to provide good jobs and allow businesses to prosper.

Security: It is important that AD39 residents are safe and secure. This means our national guard, law enforcement, first responders, public health professionals, those maintaining our public works and public service providers (whom are often taken for granted) are given training, equipment and support. It means we are as prepared as we can reasonably be to provide public safety in times of natural or man-made disaster. We must hire more qualified law enforcement officers to meet the growing demands of our communities.

To find out how you can help JoEtta Brown win click on the links below:

JoEtta Brown's Campaign Website

Contribute to JoEtta Brown

Read part III of my interview with JoEtta Brown: "There Must Be A Vision For The Future"

Friday, September 15, 2006

JoEtta Brown: "I Will Be A Guardian Of The Public's Best Interest"

Last week I published my interview with California Assembly candidate Rob Haswell. Today, I'll start publishing the interview JoEtta Brown, Democratic candidate in the 39th Assembly District, has given to Turn Tahoe Blue.

JoEtta Brown moved to Douglas County from Los Angeles to enjoy the retirement years with her husband. Just like Jack Carter, she has become involved in Nevada politics shortly after her arrival and, just like Jack Carter, is running for office for the first time.

Here is the first part:

Ms. Brown, as many other candidates this year you are running for office for the first time. Why have you now decided to run for the Nevada Assembly?

I believe that Nevada is at a crossroads, we can continue with business as usual, go forward with a vision that truly answers the needs of the state, or go backwards with outdated opinions. I offer a new direction with “30” years of corporate banking experience I know how to create and work with Public/Private/Partnerships that can obtain results that benefit communities. I am the candidate that will put the people’s best interest above partisan politics. I want to share my talents, expertise, and love of this valley this is why I decided to become a candidate for Assembly District 39!

Compared to other districts the 39th Assembly district is relatively small. What has been your experience on the campaign trail around Douglas County so far?

Since July, 2005 I have been on the campaign trail. Now, my campaign has taken on a positive life of its own. I have a wonderful campaign committee and a large group of thoughtful and dedicated supporters. I have been visiting with voters from Incline, Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, and Topaz Ranch Estates. In order to win this election I must appeal to a broad cross section of voters and I have been extremely successful in persuading voters to choose me as their candidate. Many of the ranchers whose property dates back to the 1800’s have allowed me to place signs on their land. Signs are also placed long the business district of 395 where I have had the pleasure of meeting owners or managers. My campaign trail is exciting, as well as, challenging and I am enjoying every moment.

What do you have to offer the voters? Why should they vote for you and not for your Republican opponent James Settelmayer?

I am the best candidate because I will be a guardian of the public’s best interest. My constituents will be my only “special interest group”. I will always place the people’s best interest above partisan politics. I am fiscally conservative and will oppose any new taxes. I pledge to serve while adhering to the highest ethical standards. I am a supporter of businesses and jobs. I am for reasonable, smart planned growth. Through-out my professional life while I was working and busy raising our family, I made the time to be active in community affairs. From an early age my grandmother inspired and encouraged me to work to make a positive difference in this world. Now that I am retired, I have the time and energy to be a public servant. I need your support and ask for your vote to serve as your State Assemblywoman.

For more on JoEtta Brown read my previous post:

Nevada Appeal Profile On Assembly Candidate JoEtta Brown

You can help JoEtta Brown get elected to the State Assembly and make sure a Democrat represents the people of Douglas County:

JoEtta Brown's Campaign Website

Contribute to JoEtta Brown!

Read part II of my interview with JoEtta Brown: "Every Student Should Have The Opportunity For A Quality Education"

Senator Mary Landrieu Goes After John Ensign!

Yesterday, Senator John Ensign demonstrated once again that he's nothing more than the Bush administration's echo-chamber. Well, his rantings didn't go unanswered, as Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana hit right back (hat-tip to DownWithTyranny!):

Here's the official transcript as part of the Senate record:
Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I came to the floor to speak briefly about one of our outstanding superintendents in Louisiana and to pay tribute to an accomplishment that has been made on education. But in light of the rantings that went on for the last 30 minutes in the Chamber from my two colleagues on the other side, I would like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism. America is tired of the wrong-headed and bone-headed leadership of the Republican Party that has sent $6.5 billion a month to Iraq, when the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. America is tired of leadership which led this country to attack Saddam Hussein when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden, and which captured a man who did not attack the country and left loose a man who did.

Americans are tired of bone-headed Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them the most. And Americans are most certainly tired of leadership that, despite documented mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake--and even their own party admitting mistakes--never admits that they do anything wrong. That is the kind of leadership Americans are tired of.

I didn't come to the Senate to have partisan rantings on the floor, but I most certainly am not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about how Democrats are not making us safe. They are the ones who are in charge, and Osama bin Laden is still loose.

"Wrong-headed and bone-headed." Well said, Senator!

I won't waste too much precious space on this blog by quoting the ensignificant Senator in full. You can read it all here, if you so choose. I'd just like to point out a couple of his stupendous talking points:
The world has changed much since that horrific day. Unfortunately, the will to fight extremists who planned and executed September 11, and many other attacks around the globe, has wavered since then. The united resolve of many nations has softened dramatically.
First of all, that is just wrong! Many European nations, including my home country Germany, are on the ground in Afghanistan and are trying to keep the Taliban from resurging while the U.S. has largely abandoned Afghanistan and its fight against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban there in favor of overthrowing Saddam Hussein who had nothing to do with 9/11. In essence, Senator Ensign: weren't it for the European troops the Taliban would probably already be back in power.
They challenged us many times over the years and received little more than empty rhetoric and a slap on the wrist for such atrocities as striking the USS Cole, the first World Trade Center bombings, destruction of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and the Marine barracks in Lebanon; and, of course, they attacked our Embassies in Africa.
"A slap on the wrists?" Is that your new talking point? What a brave distortion. It was Republicans who had nothing better to do than impeach President Clinton on quite ludicrous charges and it was Republicans who accused the President of trying to divert attention from his impeachment when he was trying to go after Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.
We were at war, but we didn't even know it. For too long we ignored the words of these terrorists. We attributed their declarations of hate as mere rantings of lunatics.
Yeah, you did. You were too busy going after President Clinton, remember?
We know Iraq is central to the war on terror because Osama bin Laden said it is. He said:

The most serious issue today for the whole world is this third world war that is raging in Iraq.

Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, described Iraq as ``the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era.''

Oh, that is just so sweet. You quoting Osama and all. Would you like to give us the dates of these quotes? Could it possibly be that they were uttered after your President decided it was a grand idea to invade Iraq instead of hunting down Osama and his friends? Is it possible that Osama could only utter these words because the US invaded Iraq?

Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks, in his words, ``a great step toward the unity of Muslims and establishing the righteous caliphate.'' There are reports that some of Osama bin Laden's supporters believe that he is the Mahdi, the 12th Imam. The Mahdi will lead believers in Islam to victory over the infidels, ushering in an era of peace and justice.
Another Osama quote. Is it in any way possible that Osama is still on the loose so that you can quote him more often? After all you need a visible enemy when you're fearmongering. But, hey, there's another enemy just around the corner:
Even Iran's President is on record as instructing America, in his words:

If you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future, bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender. If you don't accept to do this, the Iranian nation will force you to surrender and bow down.

Those are the Iranian President's own words.

It is not farfetched to believe that with nuclear weapons in his possession, he would use them to usher in this cataclysmic confrontation that he seeks. We must take these threats seriously and act accordingly.

There's has been a lot of chatter among Republicans about Iran recently. Is it in any way possible that you're preparing to attack Iran next after not finishing your jobs in Afghanistan and Iraq? Just asking.
By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except power, they follow the path of fascism and Nazism and totalitarianism. They will follow that path all the way to where it ends: In history's unmarked graves of discarded lies.
Oh, goody, another Bushy talking point! The Nazi's are back! Who would have thought. Senator, I'd like to have a chat with you and just check if you have any knowledge of history whatsoever. Somehow I doubt it.
The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. Make no mistake: this is an enemy we cannot appease; this is an enemy we must defeat.
Talking point number 1275: appeasment. Who appeases, Senator? Name names!
On September 11, 2001, and the days immediately following, this country stood united. We stood ready to protect all Americans.
You left out something, Senator: the world stood united. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Then your President decided he'd like to attack Iraq for some made up reason. And the sane part of the world said: hell, no! You and your Republican friends threw the world's solidarity right out the window by attacking Iraq.
Mr. President, al-Qaida reads our newspapers and watches our television stations. They see the lack of resolve in some of our leaders and they seek to exploit it. This is the time to lead, a time to unite, and a time to defeat an enemy that wants to bring an end to freedom around the world. We must lay down our party labels as Republicans, Democrats, or Independents and become Americans. We must not tire. We must not falter. We cannot fail.
Good Lord! Is it in any way possible that an election is around the corner? And since when is "Americans" a synonym for Republicans? Must have missed that.

By the way, you faltered and you failed.

Senator, where the hell is Osama bin Laden? It's been five years!

Help defeat the "bone-headed" Senator! Contribute to Jack Carter!