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.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My 2009 Dream Cabinet

One election is over, the next one is coming ever closer with one Presidential hopeful (or wannabe) announcing after another.

You may say it's way too premature to discuss a possible Democratic cabinet with more than two years to go. But hey: we have a tough and largely successful election behind us. Let's just have a little fun for now.

The following is my dream cabinet for 2009. While it is a "dream" in so many senses of the word there are a few tough choices and compromises involved. I first had to decide who I wanted to win and who could win the Presidency. Some of the cabinet choices are related to that, most are not. My choice for President is in no way a judgment about other candidates. You will find a couple of other contenders as members of my dream cabinet. If you see another person winning the Presidency write a comment and tell us how that would impact some cabinet choices.

You will also notice something else. Since this is a dream cabinet, it is a cabinet of diversity, one reflecting the current make-up of the United States. There are 22 people listed below. President, VP, 15 Cabinet Secretaries plus 5 people with Cabinet rank. Of these half are women. You say this is impossible? Just remember that relatively conservative and Catholic Spain has a center-left government with half the cabinet being women. I also considered ethnic diversity. There a 4 African Americans, 3 Hispanic Americans, 2 Italian Americans and 1 Asian American and 1 Armenian American.

Here's my 2009 dream cabinet:

President – Barack Obama

Yeah, I think he will run, and yeah, I think he can win the primary (because he'll go with momentum out of Nevada and South Carolina) and with the right campaign and the right choice for VP (see below) he can win the general election. I think my choices below could be a little more realistic with a President Obama since I doubt that he would stuff his cabinet with a bunch of white men. Wikipedia

Vice President – Anthony Zinni

General Zinni, that is. Yeah, he might not be the most liberal candidate out there but he could balance out the ticket very well. Obama will need a strong VP but one without any personal ambitions. I would have liked a woman on the ticket but unfortunately I seriously doubt the voters are ready for a ticket without any white men on it. Zinni's position on the Iraq war is in sync with Obama's - they were both against it. Zinni retired in 2000. This year he got behind VA Senate candidate Jim Webb. Zinni's also from Virginia and with him on the ticket we can hold those voters concerned about Obama's inexperience (especially in foreign affairs) and have a couple of states in play like Virgnia. Wikipedia

Sec. of Agriculture – Patty Judge

Judge has been Secretary of Agriculture of Iowa since 1998. This year she ran as Chet Culver's running mate and will take office as Lt.Gov in January. Wikipedia

Sec. of Commerce – Charlene Barshefsky

Barshefsky was the United States Trade Representative in Clinton's second term. Wikipedia

Sec. of Defense – Jack Reed

Someone with a certain amount of respect needs to clean up the mess created by Rummy & Co in Iraq and elsewhere. This is a tough and unthankful job. I think Senator Reed (Rhode Island) can do it. He's on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was a Captain when he left the Army. He attended the US Military Academy at West Point. Wikipedia

Sec. of Education – Anna Eshoo

Eshoo is an Armenian American. Born in Connecticut she serves California's 14th District (Silicon Valley) in Congress since 1993. She's a strong supporter of the Gay Rights movement. In Congress she co-sponsored the "College Opportunity for All Act" and the "10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds Science and Math Scholarship Act" and led the development of the Democrat's Innovation Agenda in which education plays a central role. Wikipedia

Sec. of Energy – Hilda Solis

Solis is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and has been the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Environment and Hazardous Materials. She represents California's 32nd District since 2001. Previously she served in the CA Assembly and Senate and in the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and the OMB. Wikipedia

Sec. of Health & Human Services – John Kitzhaber

Dr. John Kitzhaber, MD, served as Governor of Oregon from 1995-2003. During his term in office (and previously as President of the Oregon Senate) health care issues were always on the top of his list. He was instrumental in creating the Oregon Health Plan. After leaving office he has kept on working to find solutions to achieve affordable health care for all. Wikipedia

Sec. of Homeland Security – Carolyn Maloney

Maloney represents New York's 14th District in Congress since 1993. Representing parts of New York City she has been involved in Homeland Security issues ever since the attacks of September 11, 2001. She is chair of the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security. Wikipedia

Sec. of Housing and Urban Development – Shirley Franklin

Shirley Franklin is the mayor of Atlanta and was the first black woman to be elected mayor of a major Southern city in 2001. Shirley has been listed as one of the five best mayors in America by Time Magazine. Wikipedia

Sec. of the Interior – Tony Knowles

Tony Knowles career as an elected official is probably over after losing the Governor's race this year and the Senate race two years ago. Nevertheless, I believe him to be a good choice to head the Dep. of the Interior which is traditionally run by politicians from western states. Wikipedia

Sec. of Labor – John Edwards

John Edwards would probably make a good President. That said, should he not win the nomination, I seriously doubt he'd want to be the running mate again. He has made labor issues an integral part of his campaign and could be a real asset in anyone's cabinet as Labor Secretary. Wikipedia

Sec. of State – Bill Richardson

Governor Richardson has previously been Secretary of Energy and Ambassador at the UN in the Clinton Administration. Should he not wind up on the ticket he would make an excellent Secretary of State. He would also be the first Hispanic American in this position. Wikipedia

Sec. of Transportation – Gary Locke

Locke was Gov of Washington from 1997-2005 and was the first Chinese American Governor in the US. As so many Governors he could serve in several positions, Sec. of Transportation being one of them. Wikipedia

Sec. of the Treasury – Bill Bradley

The former Presidential candidate is a sentimental favourite of mine. His wife Ernestine Schland would have been one awesome First Lady. The former Senator cares deeply about tax reform. Whether or not his proposals would be a good solution is debatable. Nevertheless, someone needs to clean up after the Bush administration. Wikipedia

Sec. of Veteran Affairs – Max Cleland

Who else, really? Wikipedia

Attorney General – Patricia Madrid

Madrid is the current Attorney General of New Mexico. She chose to run for Congress this year and unfortunately lost against Heather Wilson. Should she run and lose again in 08 or chose not to run, she would make a great choice to head the Justice Dept. Wikipedia

Other cabinet level positions:

Head of the EPA – Tammy Baldwin

The Environmental Protection Agency is more important than ever. Someone who's knowledgable and passionate about environmental issues like Tammy Baldwin would be a terrific choice. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce committee she strongly opposes drilling in ANWR. Wikipedia

Ambassador to the UN – Susan Rice

Susan Rice was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Madeleine Albright. She would be the first African American Woman in this job. Wikipedia

US Trade Rep – Ronnie Musgrove

Musgrove was Governor of Mississippi from 2000-2004. During that time he managed to get Nissan to build a plant in his state. He'd probably be a good trade rep for the entire United States as well. Wikipedia

Head of the OMB – Rosa DeLauro

DeLauro represents Connecticut's 3rd CD since 1991. She has attended the London School of Economics and is a member of the House Appropriations and Budget Committees. Wikipedia

WH Chief of Staff – Donna Brazile

No, a black President doesn't necessarily need a black Chief of Staff. That said any Democratic President could use a CoS of the caliber of Donna Brazile. She was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000 and might have become his Chief of Staff then. It's likely that she will play a major role in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, no matter who the nominee is. Wikipedia

This is it. What are your thoughts? Who would you like to see in what position? Comment away.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Water Rock (aka Pahrump) Outlaws St. Patrick's Day

copyright: Elena Cordero-Arms (PVT)

Pictured above is Pahrump Sheriff Tony DeMeo. It may be hard to believe but if the Sheriff decorates the motorcycle for the next St. Patrick's Day Parade the same way he did this year (picture taken on March 22, 2006), he may be breaking the law.

Yeah, you read that right. The Pahrump Town Council this week passed an ordinance by a vote of 3 to 2 making English the official language which is ridiculous in itself as the town's name is not exactly English but derived from the Indian name Pah-Rimpi meaning Water Rock. Wonder when they'll change that. I also wonder when Town Board member Michael Miraglia will change his name to a more English sounding one and if he'll actually be able to remain on the board.

Also, the Town Board restricted the flying of foreign flags in this ordinance:
8. Flying of Flags on residential and business property including land. The Official Flag of the United States of America shall be flown in accordance to United States Code, Title 4. No other flag or pennant may be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America. And, if flown from the same halyard in this order from top to bottom:

a. The Official Flag of the United States of America.
b. The Official Flag of the State of Nevada.
c. The Official Flag of the Town of Pahrump.
d. The Official Flag of our Military Forces.
e. Any other flag or pennant an individual whishes to fly other than a flag of a foreign nation.
f. A flag of a foreign nation cannot be flown by itself, and must always be flown with the Official Flag of the United States of America, union first, from separate staffs. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag, equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States.

For the purposes of subsections a. through e. these flags can be flown by themselves.
As for the Sheriff, I think it's quite disambigous whether he adheres to the new rules. It may well be that he's disrespecting the U.S. flag... Let's just hope he and everyone else celebrating St. Patrick's Day next year will be prepared, so as to not face the $50 fine and 30 hours of community service originally meant for Mexicans. Isn't it fun to watch how a racist ordinance can backfire very quickly?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

John Ensign To Be The New Liddy Dole - Republicans Hand The Senate To Dems In 08

It's official, the ensignificant Senator from Nevada will be the new head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee which is responsible for recruiting and supporting Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate. This election cycle Liddy Dole was responible for that and you know how that turned out - can you say Majority Leader Reid?

Anyhow, things are gonna get much worse this time around. The Hair-do, as Ensign is known in Nevada, hasn't gotten much attention in the national press yet, cause, well, he hasn't done anything. He's been golfing under the radar. I'm pretty sure nothing much will change as he's only the face of the operation and surely, Republicans must have some qualified guys running the NRSC.

Or not:
Ensign said his chief of staff, Scott Bensing, would serve as NRSC executive director, political consultant Mike Slanker would be political director and Slanker's wife and business partner, Lindsey, would be NRSC finance director. The pair run Nevada-based November Inc., which does political consulting for many Nevada GOP candidates.
This oughta be fun. So, some Nevadan political consultant and his wife will run the show? Geez, what's the plan here? Give Democrats another ten seats in the Senate next cycle?

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Guinn: North Getting More Liberal, More Democratic

Many of us were disappointed that Jill Derby, Jack Carter and Dina Titus lost their respective races a week ago. However, there is still something to celebrate. Northern Nevada is getting more Democratic and more liberal. That's not me making stuff up. The (Republican) Governor says so:

And as for a north versus south, Republican versus Democrat political divide in Nevada, Guinn says that is changing too.

Governor Guinn: "There is a growing base in the north. And what I think people have not analyzed yet is that base growing in the north is more liberal, more Democratic."
Yup, you heard that right. And he isn't that far off. The best example of that is Jill Derby. Yeah, she lost to Dean Heller but Heller barely got over 50% of the vote in this oh so conservative district. Plus, Derby managed to win Washoe County by about 4,500 votes and even Mineral by six votes.

Even more interesting are the numbers for the constitutional offices. Four out of six constitutional offices will be held by Democrats - Secretary of State Ross Miller, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, Treasuser Kate Marshall and Controller Kim Wallin.

Every one of them won Washoe County. Miller by 15,000 votes, Marshall by 4,000, even Wallin by 1,000 and Cortez Masto just slammed her opponent winning more than double the votes he won beating him by more than 40,000 votes.

Besides Clark and Washoe County these candidates also managed to win in the rurals:

  • Miller won Carson City, Mineral and Storey counties.
  • Marshall and Wallin also won Mineral County.
  • Cortez Masto won Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Humboldt, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, and White Pine Counties.

(all numbers from the SoS website)

So, yeah, I guess you could say that there might be a growing liberal base in the north, especially in Washoe and Mineral counties. Thanks for pointing that out, Governor!

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nevada Caucus 2008 Blog

Spin-offs seems to be very fashionable nowadays. The Las Vegas Gleaner has the very professional Nevada Today, the Desert Beacon just created Blue Sage Views. So, it seem like I'm following a little trend here.

Today, I have started a new blog called Nevada Caucus 2008. On that blog I will solely focus on the upcoming Nevada Caucus on January 19, 2008 and all the news surrounding it.

Turn Tahoe Blue will not focus too much on the Caucus and the Presidential election and instead keep its attention on Nevada and California politics of importance to Lake Tahoe and the surrounding areas.

Check out Nevada Caucus 2008. I hope you'll enjoy it.

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I finally had the nerve to get around to updating my link list on the sidebar. I took down all the links that were election related and updated the blog links. A couple of blogs unfortunately were not updated anymore. However, this is more than made up by a new addition:

The Desert Beacon, which is really Nevada's finest has started a spin off called Blue Sage Views in which she will focus on Nevada legislative and political views. I'm very much looking forward to it.

I will add the official websites of the newly elected Nevada and California officials once they take office in January.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Kenny Guinn For Vice President?

My sleeping habits have been totally screwed up this week. After election night I went to bed at 8am CET, today I actually got up at that time. Doing things like that to your body (and your mind) doesn't go unnoticed.

So I had another one of my crazy-insomnia-ideas. Here it goes:

  • According to Woodward, Cheney said that if Rummy goes he'll be next.
  • So Cheney either resigns for health reasons, or he'll be impeached and resign for healt reasons or he's so addicted to power that he'll have to be dragged out of office.
  • Next, Bush is forced to appoint a successor if he doesn't want Nancy Pelosi a heartbeat (or an impeachment hearing) away from the President for too long.
  • Bush will need a very special replacement. Someone who is kinda dull, preferably unknown, yet still qualified, who no one really hates, who won't even consider running for Pres in 08 to avoid angering the scattered GOP presidential field that is left and who will make it through confirmation hearings in a Democratic House and Senate.
  • That's where Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn comes in.
  • Guinn basically meets above requirements. Plus: Dems won't hate a guy who kinda refused to endorse and campaign for the Republican nominee (and who is now his elected successor) and who's son contributed to the Democratic candidate.
  • There have already been rumours Kenny might get a position in the White House after he leaves office as NV Gov.
  • Harry Reid's Majority Leader. When's the next time a Nevadan could become Vice President? The closest any Nevadan before has ever come to power in the White House was poor Pat Nixon (so wonderfully played by Joan Allen).
  • Meet the next Vice President of the United States: Kenny Guinn!

Yup, that's how screwed up my mind gets when I'm sleep deprived... your thoughts?

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A Message From Dina Titus

Here we are, friends, at the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

What a remarkable journey we have taken together. Consider what has taken place as a result of last night's election.

I will return to the Nevada State Senate with our Democratic Caucus reinforced by Senator-elect Joyce Woodhouse.

Four of six constitutional offices in Nevada will be held by Democrats with new ideas and energy.

The Democratic majority in the State Assembly will be strengthened with a new member from Washoe County, David Bobzien.

The right-wing domination of the US House of Representatives is at an end.

At this hour, Nevada's Senator Harry Reid may become Majority Leader of the US Senate once final results in the last outstanding senate race are determined.

I have been blessed this campaign season with the opportunity to be with friends old and new in every corner of our state. The people of Nevada have given me extraordinary opportunities to be of service and I will never let them down.

Our cause was and always will be returning power back to ordinary Nevadans. For years, the election of our state's Governors has been referred to as an "annointment." This year, because of us, that has changed. It is my hope that you will continue to work with me for a more ethical, responsive government devoted to reform and innovation.

I am thankful for my campaign staff, an amazing mix of veterans and enthusiastic young people who share our vision for a better Nevada. They worked extraordinary hours and invested their abundant energy out of pure love for the cause. They are terrific.

From the beginning there was Team Titus, our volunteers corps whose selfless dedication carried us forward. Team Titus is truly unprecedented in Nevada political history. Without you, my campaign would never have gotten off the ground. It is truly an honor to know you all and call you my friends.

Then there are the volunteers throughout the state who are not formally part of Team Titus. Your countless hours of work and your loyalty are things I will never forget.

I have worked to uphold twin responsibilities: that of a state senator and that of carrying the banner of the Democratic Party as its candidate for Governor. I could not have accomplished this without my family. My mother and sister were there with me every step of the way. "Hi mama!" was the refrain I would hear from the staff whenever my mother arrived to work alongside the volunteer crews. My sister was everywhere at once with a smile and encouragement for everyone. You adopted my family just as I have adopted you into mine.

Finally...a word about my best friend and husband, Tom. He has shown this state what I have always known—he is truly the First Gentleman of Nevada. His steadfast presence, kind nature and generous spirit, along with a remarkable talent for bringing people together, was the rock our campaign stood upon.

I have asked a great deal of you; but I have one more request. This campaign is over, but the causes we fight for are far from accomplished. I pledge to return to Carson City and work with leaders on both sides of the aisle on initiatives that will bring real improvements in education, ethics, the environment, energy, and economic development. Those five E’s won’t be forgotten. We all have a role to play there. If we do not work together to address these issues, the consequences for our state and future generations will be disastrous.

Thank you again. While our campaign did not end the way we had hoped, collectively we have moved forward and together we will help to usher this state into a new era.

Respectfully Yours,

Dina Titus


A Message From Phil Angelides

I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Although we may not have come out on top on Tuesday, together we accomplished some great things.

I'm proud of the campaign we ran. I'm proud that so many of you poured your hearts and souls into something we all believe in so strongly.

I'm proud that our campaign stood for improving California's schools and colleges, making health care accessible for all, protecting our environment, and making California work for working families again.

This has been the most energizing experience of my life.

And today I am more energized than ever because across the country our Democratic values have prevailed. Democrats have taken back the House of Representatives and may also take back the Senate. California's own Nancy Pelosi will become the first woman Speaker of the House in the history of our nation.

With Democrats across the country leading the charge, we must recommit ourselves to the fight.

Together we can - and we must - stop bowing to the special interests, Big Oil and pharmaceutical industries. We must stand up for the Democratic values of fairness and opportunity.

We can make sure that every California child has access to a doctor when he or she needs one. We can make college more affordable and accessible for the next generation. And we can make sure that government is on the side of the working people of this state and this nation.

I look forward to continuing to work and fight with you in the months and years ahead.

Thank you again for all of your support.

Phil Angelides


A Message From Charlie Brown

Thank you.

I want to say ‘thank you’ to each and every person who worked so hard this past year on our campaign.

Your tremendous effort took us so close to victory last night. We fell 3.5 percentage points shy in a three-way race – but our campaign has changed the 4th Congressional District forever.

I called my opponent, John Doolittle, to congratulate him last night. Congressman Doolittle won the most votes. But our strong showing has proven that he was wrong about one very important point.

He says that the 4th District is part of “Red” California. We showed that our towns and communities are part of a “Red, White and Blue” California. You did that. And I am deeply honored that I was able to work with you in this effort.

Jan, Jeff, Stacy and I are going to share a few days together as a family before Jeff heads back to Iraq.

But whatever happens in the future – I want to thank you again for all of your support these past months. This was a tremendous battle – and while we did not receive the most votes, I know we fought the hardest and longest for a vital cause.

I’m looking forward to the day when we can rejoin the fight. Until then, Jan and I send you our most heartfelt appreciation.

Please stay involved,



A Message From Jack Carter

Well, folks. We lost. But the nation as a whole pulled us away from the precipice we faced with this Republican government. We now control the House of Representatives and, as of this writing, have a good chance at gaining the Senate. The goal in our race was accomplished around us.

I want you to know that I have no regrets. In fact, Elizabeth and I are inspired by your efforts and by the thousands of people we met on the campaign trail who encouraged us and voted for us. We were the nail, but you who volunteered your time, your money, and your ideas were the hammer that drove us home.

Remember this: I did not lose because Nevadans rejected me or my message, but because I didn't meet enough of them. I am convinced that we Democrats can cut through the cynicism left by corrupt politicians and bring solutions to the problems we face in this country. And I'm equally convinced that our message of focusing the government on the working men and women in this country will ultimately triumph.

Take what you learned in this race and apply it elsewhere. Leave the cynicism to the other guys. Let's take another step forward in 2008 to add to the ones we took last night.

Elizabeth and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Y'all did great. We're proud to have worked with you.

Rock and roll!

Jack Carter

A Message From Rob Haswell

Personal Message from Rob

"When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action."
-- the late Senator Paul Wellstone

A Message to Our Supporters:

Hope and Action. When my wife, Kim and I decided more than a year ago to throw our hat in the ring and run for the open state assembly seat, we really only knew one thing: "Hope" is an empty word without action. If we ever hoped to make real change for good in our country, our state and our community, we needed to put both our ideas and our ideals into action. If we wanted to ensure that our children grew up in an America filled with as much promise as the one our parents left for us, we had to get involved in a meaningful way.

This great campaign that we shared with all of you was exactly that.

I want to tell a quick story: At the 2005 Democratic State Convention in Los Angeles, well before we were seriously considering this run, I spoke to a woman who had run for assembly in a deeply conservative district. I told her that I followed her race and hoped to learn from it. Despite running an inspiring campaign, she had been beaten handily at the polls. I didn't know it at the time, but what she told me then may have been the most important advice I've ever gotten: "Don't be afraid to lose," she told me.

Don't be afraid to lose. If I could give one piece of advice to all of you, it would be that. I believe that fear is the one overriding factor that keeps good people from creating needed change. Once fear is squashed, the possibilities are limitless. Once fear is gone, amazing things happen: Like the election results this past Tuesday.

On Tuesday, people-driven politics scored a resounding victory! In CA-11, the people's candidate, Jerry McNerney, defeated an entrenched incumbent. In the state of Montana, an actual honest-to-God working farmer is going to the United States Senate. In Minnesota, a high school teacher who turned his indignation about being barred from a Presidential town hall meeting into action, is now a member of of the United States House of Representatives.

And right here, in a Congressional District with twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats, Charlie Brown came within 3.5% of winning the race, and forced an eight-term incumbent to bring in the First Lady just days before the election to save the seat! In my race, 42% of the electorate voted against the Republican and we held Republican Ted Gaines to 58% of the vote, the lowest vote total for a Republican in this assembly district in a decade.

You did that. You forced the debate.

This campaign has shown me that the people of this district are not afraid of change. All of you, who did so much to inspire me and aid us in this effort, have planted the seeds of change.

My hero, Paul Wellstone, also liked to say, "Sometimes you've got to start a fight, to win one." For far too long in El Dorado, Placer, Alpine and eastern Sacramento counties, we have allowed the local political machinery and their big money allies in the development industry, to dominate the discussion. No more.

I say to you now, and I pledge to you my word: The days when these Sierra foothills -- my family's home for six generations -- are dominated by a single political voice that tolerates no dissent are over. The days when partisan political machines handpick their candidates for local non-partisan races and pay no price for this inexcusable meddling in local affairs, are over.

Kim and I have been so inspired by all of your efforts, and commitment and sacrifice. Thank you.

There is still much to be done and we are counting on working with you all in the coming weeks, months, and years as we continue to put "people before politics."

Fight on.

Rob Haswell

About Harry Reid, Britney Spears, Mojo, Loving Hillary And Throwing Bombs

Yup, the New York Times managed to include all of the above in its profile of the incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today. The first paragraphs:
Harry Reid began Election Day with 50 situps and 80 push-ups (very red state of him) and 40 minutes of yoga (very blue state of him).

He spent most of the momentous day in his Senate office, waiting. Just after 2 p.m., he finally heard some actual news: Britney Spears was filing for divorce.

“Britney Spears,” Mr. Reid said, shaking his head. “She loses a little weight, and now she’s getting all cocky about things.” He added, “Britney has gotten her mojo back.”

Read the rest, there's much more.

You are currently NOT on the Turn Tahoe Blue homepage.
Click here to read more.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nevada Caucus Starts With First Democrat Launching Presidential Run

Was anything going on this week? It all seems to be yesterday's news as the first Democrat launched his presidential run today.

Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa declared his intention to form one of these fance exploratory committees today. We'll have to see whether he'll even campaign in Nevada since his state is so pissed about our new caucus here.

You can read more at CNN including a poll that doesn't mean anything that currently has him at 1%.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Buh-bye Rummy! Hello Majority Leader Reid!

There were quite a few changes yesterday and even more today. With the win of both the House and the Senate (there are apparently rumours that Allen won't go for a recount in Virginia) we can now look forward to Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid. California and Nevada have never been this influential in Congress. With this win we also got rid of some incredibly insulting people like Rick Santorum and George Allen and today we got the Rummy resignation!

I'm still a little tired from last night. I went to bed at 8am CET and got up five hours later. I'll gather my thoughts and write a few more extensive posts both looking back and looking forward.

I'd just like to say to all Tahoe candidates whether they won or lost last night that they ran very spirited and inspiring campaigns, especially Jack Carter, Jill Derby, Charlie Brown and Rob Haswell. Let's hope they'll run again in the future!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Going To Bed

I'm calling it a night (or morning, it's dawn outside). Hoping for some surprises when I wake up. While we won the House and it looks like we might have even won the Senate (though that might still take a month to figure out in Virginia) things for the Tahoe races doesn't look that promising.

So, we'll definitely have another two years of "Turn Tahoe Blue". Good night!

Charlie Brown Slowly Inching Up

I've been watching the California's Secretary of State results page for CD-04 for the last half hour. In this time Charlie Brown has moved from 43 to 45% and the majority of the votes is still to be counted. Doolittle's currently at 50%, so Charlie can still make these five points up.

Can Derby Win By Only Winning Washoe County?

When looking at the results at CNN and at the SoS site, Jill Derby is really close to Dean Heller. They're only about one percentage point apart right now. I'm wondering whether it will be enough if she only carries Washoe County. Derby currently holds a clear lead in Washoe County, while Heller is ahead in the other ones where results are known. Interestingly, Washoe County decided the Republican primary for Heller. Let's see what happens tonight.

Congratulations Senator Feinstein!

Senator Dianne Feinstein will serve another six years in the Senate representing the State of California. While the results are not yet in the news media have already called this race.

Meanwhile, CNN and MSNBC have called the House of Representatives for the Democrats!!!

Derby Leads With 14% Of The Vote Counted

This is looking relatively good right now. Jill Derby currently leads Dean Heller 51-46 with 14% of the precincts reporting. Almost all of this is from Washoe County where Derby leads Heller with 23% of precincts reporting.

More on Derby, Carter and Titus results at CNN.

Douglas County Results In

The Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer has published the first results having counted absentee and early voting ballots. With these results in, here's how the Democrats currently stand in Douglas County:

The top vote getter is Catherine Cortez Masto (AG - 51.97%), who's actually above 50% right now, which is remarkable in this very Republican county.

Here's where others stand right now:
Jack Carter (Sen): 29%
Jill Derby (CD-02): 39%

Dina Titus (Gov): 31%
Bob Unger (Lt-Gov): 24%
Ross Miller (SoS): 39%
Kate Marshall (Treas): 36%
Kim Wallin (Cont): 34%

JoEtta Brown (Assembly 39): 34%
Greta Hambsch (County Comm): 35%
Judging from these early numbers from Douglas County, I'd say Cortez Masto will win very big tonight and I'd say that any of the state wide candidates well above 30 have a good shot at winning.

More election results here:

NV Secretary of State's Election Results
Washoe County Election Results
Clark County Election Results

Santorum's Gone! Yeah!

Among the vile, evil and hypocrite, gay-basher Rick Santorum is right at the top!

Now he's gone! MSNBC just declared Bob Casey Jr. the winner in Pennsylvania, the first Dem Senate pick up!

First Dem House Pickup In Indiana!

CNN just projected the first Dem House pick up. Brad Ellsworth will be the next Congressman from Indiana's 8th CD!

Also, there seem to be some surprising things going on. Carol Shea-Porter is currently leading in NH-01. She already managed to pull an upset in the Dem primary by beating the establishment candidate. She must have an incredible ground game. If she wins this one the wave is on!

Dems Pick Up Ohio Governor!

That both CNN and MSNBC are already able to project Ted Strickland's win is a good sign for the Democrats chances tonight. Maybe we'll sweep Ohio! Ohio's Kitty Harris is gone, gone, gone!

Arnold & Doolittle Learned Something From Bill Clinton

NBC Nightly News is running a little piece right now about the "Clinton thumb". He did and still does it quite often when he wants to drive home a point. It's an almost closed fist only with the thumb sticking out on top, a halway thumbs up.

Well, everyone's copying it according to NBC and who were the Republican examples they showed as examples? The Arnold and our very own and hopefully after tonight former Congressman, the corrupt and ineffective John Doolittle. So, Doolittle learned something from Bill Clinton. Next, hell will freeze over.

Some Voting Problems In Nevada

So far voting seems to go relatively smoothly, at least according to the reports at the Reno Gazette-Journal's website. Though, there's at least one place reporting problems:

Poll manager Ambrose Shepherd at Traner Middle School had not run the voting machine test on a couple of machines before voters came in. So there was a slight delay before voters could run a paper copy of their ballots.

About 150 to 200 people had come in to cast their votes by 9 a.m.
Among them was Maurice Knapp, a Reno resident, who said he tried to generate a paper receipt four times before giving up and leaving for a business trip.
“I still feel cheated because I’m supposed to get a receipt,” Knapp said. “I’m a war veteran and I take voting seriously.
“I don’t know if my vote will count.”
If you have problems call these numbers or go to these websites (from DailyKos):

For irregularities:

Vote by paper ballot if you can!

Choose The Paper Ballot!

There have already been numerous problems with voting machines, especially in Indiana, where voting hours have already been extended in a couple of precincts.

The Sierra Sun reports that in Placer and Nevada Counties you will automatically be offered the paper ballot and can choose if you want to use the Diebold machines. Even if it might be more convenient, the voting machines have been too unreliable in the past and it looks like this might be the case again today. If you want your vote to count and you can use a paper ballot then do so!

A more or less fun fact: The first four letters of Diebold form the German word "Dieb" which means "thief" in English. Appropriate, don't you think?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Live-Blogging Of The Election Results

I plan on live-blogging the election results tomorrow night. This depends on Blogger.com not breaking down (if it does, blame Google!). It has been really bad last week but better in the last couple of days. So, let's just hope they've fixed it and are ready for election night traffic. It also depends on me not falling asleep. As you might have noticed, I write this blog from Germany. I'm nine hours ahead of you. The first election results from the east coast will come in at midnight where I live, so I'll probably have seen the sun rise once the results from Nevada and California come in. I will also be posting links to all the sites that report the numbers.

Get Out The Vote!

Georgia 10 at Daily Kos has great suggestions what you can do to get out the vote tomorrow:
  • It's not too late to help out with local campaigns. Head on over to DoMoreThanVote.org for contact information.
  • If you have a camera, sign up to Video the Vote. If any voter suppression or election irregularity occurs, let's make sure we have it documented.
  • Contact your local party to help out on election day. Are you a lawyer or a law student? Join the DNC's National Lawyers Council. Here's to hoping we won't need an army of lawyers after Tuesday.
  • Remind your friends and family to vote! Send them a free GOTV e-card.
  • Find your polling place.
  • National Hotlines:
    1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
    1-888-DEMVOTE (1-888-336-8683)
  • Also, check out VeektheVote, where you can send election-related videos captured on your cellphone.
Please pass this on. It's easy, just click on the little envelope below this post.

The Republicans Are Harassing You At Night!

Do you really trust these bullies to run the country? From the DCCC:
Dirty Tricks 2006: GOP Spends $600k on Late Night Attack Phone Calls

Republicans Caught Making Calls to Democratic Voters in the Dead of Night to Anger and Turn Them Off to Voting and Dampen Turnout

NRCC Has Spent $2.1 Million on Calls, Nearly $600,000 on Attack Calls in the Last Week Alone.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, with memories of past intimidation in the minds of voters, national Republican operatives are phoning voters at all hours of the night, especially at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. to try and dampen Democratic turnout. Reports of these calls have come in from New Hampshire, where the GOP has been forced to stop the calls, and FCC complaints have been filed in Pennsylvania because of the calls. Republicans have spent $2.1 million on calls like these, targeting 46 Democrats in the last week alone. In terms of precedent, in 2002, Republican Party officials in New Hampshire and Washington with ties to the White House jammed phones to prevent Democrats from voting. This is just the latest example of why it’s time for a change in Washington.

“With no record of accomplishment on the economy or border security and no strategy to speak of in Iraq, the only thing Republicans have left to sell is fear itself and Americans aren’t buying,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s time for a new direction in Washington because Americans deserve bipartisan solutions to the problems we face, not more dirty tricks and illegal calls meant to intimidate.”

Illegal Phone Calls By GOP Designed to Turn Off Voters. The Republican National Congressional Committee has agreed to end its automated calling campaign that left the state Democratic Party swamped with phone calls from voters who believed the messages were coming from Democrats. New Hampshire residents had been complaining to the Democrats, party Chairwoman Kathleen Sullivan said, because they thought the calls are coming from congressional challenger Paul Hodes. Instead, they were coming from the National Republican Congressional Committee, on behalf of Rep. Charles Bass, but sound, at first, as though they may be from the Hodes' campaign. Under state law, delivering prerecorded political messages to numbers on any federal do-not-call list is punishable by a fine of $5,000 per call. [AP, 11/5/06, LINK]

Pennsylvania Voters Filed FCC Complaints on Misleading NRCC Ads. According to the Associated Press, “Bruce Jacobson, a software engineer from Ardmore, Pa., received three prerecorded messages in four hours. Each began, ‘Hello, I'm calling with information about Lois Murphy,’ the Democrat running against two-term incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach in the Philadelphia-area district. ‘Basically, they go on to slam Lois,’ said Jacobson, who has filed a complaint with the FCC because the source of the call isn't immediately known. FCC rules say all prerecorded messages must ‘at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call.’ During or after the message, they must give the telephone number of the caller. ‘The way they're sent is deceptive. The number of calls is harassing. The way her stances are presented in these stories is deliberately misleading and deceptive,’ said Karlyn Messinger, another Murphy supporter from Penn Valley, Pa., who filed a complaint with the FCC.” [Associated Press, 11/2/06]

NRCC Spends Thousands on Calls Attacking Hayhurst Record on Immigration from Callers with Foreign Accents. According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “The telemarketing business used by Republicans to flood northeast Indiana with phone calls attacking Democratic congressional candidate Tom Hayhurst promises its political customers ‘a geographically neutral dialect’ to drum up voters. But many people who received the calls said the messages were delivered by voices with Indian or Hispanic accents. Many telemarketing companies hire call centers in India and other countries because of cheap Internet-based telephoning. A representative at FLS headquarters did not respond to a request for an interview. The NRCC paid $13,747 to the telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls this week describing Democrat Hayhurst as ‘bad on immigration’ or an advocate of higher taxes.” [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 11/5/06]

NRCC Has Spent $2.1 Million on Calls, Nearly $600,000 on Attack Calls in the Last Week Alone. As of last week, the NRCC had spent $2.1 million on phone banks. From 10/30 to 11/3, the NRCC spent $597,232.75 on phone calls solely designed to attack 46 Democratic candidates. [www.fec.gov]

Last week alone, the NRCC spent the following money on attack phone calls on the following Democratic candidates. One news report estimated each call costs only 5 cents each.

  • AZ-05: Harry Mitchell: $8210.76
  • CA-04: Charlie Brown: $16,617.24
  • CA-11: Jerry McNerney: $4120.28
  • CA-50: Francine Busby: $2641.68
  • CO-04: Angie Paccione: $10,456.32
  • CT-02: Joe Courtney: $12,844.56
  • CT-04: Diane Farrell: $44,964.56
  • CT-05: Chris Murphy: $17,494.08
  • FL-13: Christine Jennings: $24,638.82
  • FL-16: Tim Mahoney: $16,428.72
  • FL-22: Ron Klein: $3813.36
  • GA-08: Jim Marshall: $10,546.68
  • GA-12: John Barrow: $16,087.86
  • IA-01: Bruce Braley: $8386.26
  • IA-03: Leonard Boswell: $13,812.12
  • ID-01: Larry Grant: $23,752.26
  • IL-06: Tammy Duckworth: $11,474.31
  • IL-08: Melissa Bean: $14,134.38
  • IN-03: Tom Hayhurst: $13,746.88
  • IN-09: Baron Hill: $12,852.36
  • KS-02: Nancy Boyda: $4,093.74
  • KY-02: Mike Weaver: $1,510.74
  • KY-04: Ken Lucas: $15,242.10
  • MN-06: Patty Wetterling: $21,053.90
  • NC-11: Heath Shuler: $11,843.70
  • NE-03: Scott Kleeb: $3,492.66
  • NH-02: Paul Hodes: $19,321.98
  • NM-01: Patricia Madrid: $6,702.42
  • NV-02: Jill Derby: $10,934.16
  • NV-03: Tessa Hafen: $12,197.70
  • NY-19: John Hall: $16,123.62
  • NY-20: Kirsten Gillibrand: $11,143.38
  • NY-24: Mike Arcuri: $6,824.82
  • NY-25: Dan Maffei: $17,183. 46
  • NY-29: Eric Massa: $10,855.26
  • OH-01: John Cranley: $9,236.64
  • OH-02: Victoria Wulsin: $7,953.84
  • OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy: $11,826.84
  • PA-04: Jason Altmire: $23,111.61
  • PA-06: Lois Murphy: $14,253.66
  • PA-08: Patrick Murphy: $18,969.36
  • PA-10: Chris Carney: $3,942.00
  • TX-22: Nick Lampson: $2,258.61
  • VA-02: Phil Kellam: $14,345.58
  • WA-08: Darcy Burner: $14,992.80
  • WI-08: Steve Kagen: $20,794.68
If you live in one of these districts, be on Republican dirty trick alert.
Don't let them with with these cheap shots! Tell your friends and family what the Republicans are doing!

Will Karl Rove Lose His Childhood District Tomorrow?

A lot of us were mighty afraid what "October surprise" the almighty Karl Rove may have in store of us this year. Somehow that one big surprise that could swing the election back to the Republicans never materialized. Instead there were oh so many October surprises the Republicans were not so happy about.

Therefore, tomorrow could be a historic day. In Nevada's 2nd district this could especially be so. Jill Derby is on the course to make history (as the Las Vegas Sun observed) by being the first Democrat ever elected from this predominantly Republican district which was created after the 1980 census and encompasses almost all of Nevada except most of Clark County.

Here's the fun part: Karl Rove spent five years in the city of Sparks, Reno's little sister from 1961-66. He was 16 when he left Nevada but somehow, 40 years later, Nevada still seems to be on Rove's mind. Why else would he have sent President Bush twice within one month to this usually safe Republican district?

This from a Reno News and Review report from a year ago:
Rove's success is a surprise to those who knew him because he was so docile in Sparks--"quiet" is the term that keeps being repeated. No one remembers him as any kind of a strategic thinker.
We will find out tomorrow night if the recollections of Sparks citizens from 40 years ago will prove true for the race between Democrat Jill Derby and Republican Dean Heller. Derby's holding her own, tied in an internal poll, and Heller always stayed below 50% in every independent poll. Pollster.com shows an average six point lead for Heller with only four polls done in September and October.

What's more important is that the major newspaper in Northern Nevada, the Reno Gazette-Journal, endorsed Jill Derby over Heller:

Either candidate would be likely to struggle in a first term in Congress, though much will depend on which party has control of the House after the Nov. 7 election. Certainly, it's difficult to imagine that Derby would be very successful in her quest to change the ingrained culture of Congress.

However, Derby is right when she says that the public is fed up with the way Congress has behaved in recent years. She's also right that it has a responsibility to take an oversight interest in the policies of the current administration "" any administration "" instead of simply rubber-stamping those decisions.

And she's right, there has been too little serious debate on very important issues, too much finger-pointing from both sides of the aisle, too many decisions made for political gain, too much kowtowing to special interests and too much money spent on guaranteeing re-election.

Those are the kinds of issues the candidates should be talking about in the final weeks of the campaign, discussions that so far sadly have been lacking.

A vote for Derby appears to be the best way to get those issues in the open.

Many Democratic heavyweights, among them Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and General Wesley Clark have endorsed Jill Derby and campaigned for her. Within the last month national blogs like Daily Kos and AMERICAblog have also taken notice, the latter raising a whopping $17,000 for Jill within a couple of days.

Tomorrow could be a historic day. There could be a sweep, a wave, a tsunami. Whatever you want to call it. And Karl Rove's childhold district might very well send a Democrat to Congress.

Jill Derby's Campaign Website

Friday, November 03, 2006

Rob Haswell - People Before Politics - The Ad!

Man, this is just awesome! I love, love, love this ad! This is undoubtedly my favourite ad of this entire campaign season. Why? Because of its simplicity and honesty. Watch:

Rob gave an exclusive interview to Turn Tahoe Blue in September. You can read it here.

And this is the only candidate, that I know of, with an ethics pledge. Incredible!

Support Rob!

Listen To What Willie Nelson Says About Jack Carter

The Carter campaign has two last ads out before election day. Willie Nelson recorded a great radio ad encouraging Nevadans to vote for Jack. You can listen to it here.

There is also a new TV ad called "Last Chance:"

Help Jack win!

Gaines "Out Of Touch", Vote For Haswell!

From a Haswell for Assembly press release:
Democratic State Assembly Candidate Rob Haswell assailed Republican opponent Ted Gaines as "out of touch" with Fourth Assembly District voters, specifically pointing to Gaines' support of Proposition 90 and his close relationship with Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos.

"When voters overwhelmingly rejected Jerry Simmons in his bid for Supervisor earlier this year, they sent a clear message. They are tired of big developers like Angelo Tsakopoulos meddling in local elections," said Haswell, noting that not only has Tsakopoulos poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Simmons's failed Supervisor bid, but he and his associates also have backed Gaines with tens of thousands of dollars. "Other than Jerry Simmons, no Placer County politician has received as much money from Tsakopoulos. I think that's telling."

Despite the record amount of money spent by Tsakopoulos, Supervisor Robert Weygandt defeated Simmons for the District 2 supervisorial seat in June, gathering more than seventy percent of the vote.

Haswell noted that Gaines's long-standing relationship with the Tsakopoulos family should give Placer and
El Dorado county voters pause. Last week, Gaines received more than $5,000 in contributions from Angelo Tsakopoulos and longtime Tsakopoulos associate, James A. Regas, an Illinois attorney. The recent contributions bring Gaines' total from the Tsakopoulos family, AKT Development and associates to an amount in excess of $50,000.

"Gaines has been raising money from big developers since 2004 and Angelo Tsakopoulos was one of his first patrons," Haswell said, noting that Gaines has said he's been too busy to attend any of the 10 public forums that have been held in the district since the primary. "It's a matter of priorities. Apparently, Gaines has decided that reaching out to big developers and promoting Proposition 90 are more important than talking and listening to voters."

Gaines recently joined fellow Placer County Supervisor Bruce Kranz in a failed bid to get the Board of Supervisors to support Proposition 90. Supervisors Weygandt, Jim Holmes and Bill Santucci defeated the resolution.

"Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger joined the long list of individuals and organizations opposing this dangerous proposition, which would make the notion of 'smart growth' meaningless and could cost taxpayers billions of dollars in potential lawsuits. Inconceivably, Gaines has made support of this scheme a centerpiece of his election campaign. It boggles the mind," Haswell said.

In a statement Wednesday, Schwarzenegger said, in part: "The proponents of Prop 90 added provisions that I believe will undermine basic government laws that protect our home values, safeguard our environment and allow for the building of safe roads, schools and other essential infrastructure."

Haswell said he believes residents of the Fourth Assembly District are tired of partisan extremism and the intrusive influence of mega developers in local politics.

"On November 7th, I'm confident that voters will continue to send a message rejecting politicians with extreme partisan agendas and the continued meddling in local elections by mega-developers," Haswell said.