Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Will Complacency and Progressives Let Trump Win the Presidency?

Michael Moore in his comments to Bill Maher at the Republican National Convention makes a strong point. Complacency by Democrats and independents who think Trump has no chance of winning and then not voting could tip the election to Trump.

Voter turnout has been going down in our elections as voters disengage. Progressives will contribute to this problem by not voting for Hillary and continuing to dwell on her negatively rather than looking at her pluses compared to Trump.

There is no way progressives win with a Trump victory. Progressives can put pressure on Hillary and Democrats in Congress if we take back the Senate and the House. Nothing will happen positively with a Trump win and Republicans holding both houses of Congress.

Some of us have lived through numerous Republican Administrations and seen the power of the presidency. And as President  Obama has shown the President does have the power to affect a lot of things despite not controlling Congress. including Supreme Court nominations and who gets appointed to run the Government and executive orders. But a President Trump combined with a Republican House and Senate would be a wipeout for Democratic programs and American society in general, reversing decades of progressive action.

We win by being involved, not by sitting on the sidelines and complaining or disengaging. Turnout for Protest votes like Brexit have consequences. Who turns out to vote can have tremendous impacts. Younger voters were expected to vote “remain” but voted in lower numbers than older voters.

The same impact of low voter turnout by particular groups supporting Democrats happened in the US in the 2014 Senate and Governor’s race resulting in the US Senate being taken over by the Republicans. As Sam Wang noted in his post in the American Prospect entitled “One reason the Democrats Lost So Big in Midterms:Exceptionally Low Voter Turnout”:

A larger question is why voter turnout hit a new post-World War II low. Compared with 2012, the number of votes cast dropped by about 42 percent. Democrats lacked a coherent message, de-emphasized their own policies in immigration and health care, and sidelined their highest-profile messenger, Barack Obama. Instead, issues such as Ebola and ISIS dominated the news. Relative media inattention to the election may have depressed turnout more than usual. These and other factors affecting turnout are inherently difficult for pollsters to anticipate. In 2014, the Midterm Curse, which this year afflicted both pollsters and Democrats, was in all likelihood caused by exceptional voter apathy.

Lower voter turnout by Democrats  this year could help Trump become President despite lagging in the polls. Some of the reasons for lower democratic voter turnout could include:

  • Lack of a strong motivating message by Democrats that Hillary will move forward strongly on addressing issues like income inequality, increasing job creation, opposing bad trade agreements, funding educational opportunities and expanding health care for all.
  • Progressives sit on the sidelines upset because Bernie Sanders was not nominated.
  • Progressives vote for a third party candidate like Jill Stein.
  • Democrats think there is no way someone like Trump can be elected and don’t bother to vote.
  • Young voters who supported Bernie Sanders become disenchanted and don’t vote.
  • Voter suppression efforts prevent enough Democratic voters from voting in key states
  • Progressives and others believe FOX News, Roger Ailes and other right wing media that Hillary is “evil” and don’t vote.
  • Progressives and others help spread the right wing message that Hillary is “evil” and cause others to not vote.
  • Conservatives continue to believe Trump represents the middle class rather than the 1% he really represents.

There can be other reasons also but the real challenge is convincing Democrats and independents that this election is a change election and that Hillary is the change agent. Put the blame for income inequality on Republican tax policy. Lowering taxes on the wealthy as Trump proposes will only make things worse.

Not raising the minimum wage means that more people may have jobs but can’t afford basic things like food and housing in the current economy. Trump and Pence oppose raising the minimum wage. Hillary has proposed significantly raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.

Trump and the Republicans oppose acting on climate change and support continued mining of coal for producing energy. Hillary proposes shifting to green jobs and renewable energy.

Hillary has proposed overturning Citizens United with a Constitutional Amendment to help get Big Money Out of Elections while Trump has been silent on this and Republicans oppose any changes.

These and other issues point to a clear difference in the direction the country would move under their Presidency. Hillary’s positions represent a significant change from the direction Trump wants to go and that Republicans have so far prevented us from going.  Elect Hillary and boot the Republicans out of Congress and the people of America can really move forward to a better American future for all, not just the 1%. That is real change!

More Democrats Vote In 2016 Washington State Presidential Primary Than Caucus

Washington State held a Presidential Primary on May 24, 2016. While Republicans used the Presidential Primary to determine the ratio of  their delegates for  specific  candidates, Democrats did not. The Democratic vote was purely a poll with no impact on the dividing up who got how many delegates. Democrats held an earlier caucus on Saturday March 26, 2016 to determine that.

The surprise was that more Democrats voted in the Presidential Primary than Republicans despite the Democratic vote not affecting the delegate count. According to the Washington State Secretary of State some 1,421,841 voters voted in the May 25, 2016 Presidential Primary. Of the 4,088.o29 registered voters at the time this represented a turnout of only 34.78%.

The results according to the Washington Secretary of State’s website were as follows:

Democratic vote:  Hillary Clinton ….. 421,461….. 52.38%                                                                               Bernie Sanders……382,393…..47.62%

Total Democratic vote …..802,753

Republican vote:  Ben Carson…………..23,849…….3.96%                                                                                 Ted Cruz………………65,172……10.81%                                                                               John Kasich………….58,954……9.78%                                                                                 Donald J Trump … 455,023…..75.46%

Total Republican vote ….602,998

The Democratic vote was 56.46% of the turnout and Republicans only represented 43.54% of the vote.

The actual division of delegates for the Democrats went through the caucus system where precinct delegates were elected in the following proportion at the March 26, 2016 caucus.  These results are as reported by the New York Times.

Bernie Sanders ……19,159 delegates = 72.7% = 74 delegates

Hillary Clinton ……..7,140 delegates = 27.1% = 27 delegates

other ………………………..46 delegates = .02%

The number of Democrats participating in the caucus was about 230,000 according to OPB . This was about 14,000 shy of the turnout for Democrats in 2008 when Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton ran.

Comparing the Democratic turnout in the Presidential Primary and the Caucus, the nonbinding Presidential Primary saw 3.9 times as many Democrats participate compared to the caucus.  Many voters found the caucus system frustrating and time consuming, particularly when Legislative District Caucuses were held on May 1, 2016 and went into late evening hours. Many people left in frustration and weren’t able to vote.

Some 27,000 Precinct level Delegates were narrowed down to 1400 Legislative District Delegates in the legislative District caucus. The Legislative District Delegates then elected 67 National Delegates at Congressional District Caucuses on May 21, 2016. The Washington State Democratic Central Committee on June 19th elected an additional 34 National Delegates and appointed 17 Super Delegates.  On July 28th in Philadelphia the 118 Washington State Delegates will vote to nominate the 2016 Democratic Party Candidate for President of the United States.

36th District Senator Reuven Carlyle after the Presidential Primary echoed the view of many when he called for an end to the Caucus system. Carlyle in the Tacoma News Tribune said:

State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, said Tuesday’s results highlighted how Washington Democrats’ system of holding both caucuses and primaries needs to go.
Awarding delegates to candidates based on primary results would be less confusing and expand the number of voters who could participate in the nomination process, he said.
“I just think caucuses have a romantic image and play a meaningful role in terms of activism and energy, but that a primary is more Democratic and reflective of the broader values of the population,” Carlyle said.

If you agree the system needs to be changed, contact people in the State Democratic Party. The Washington State Democratic Central Committee can vote to support a Presidential Primary rather than a Caucus system in 2020. Let them know now so the system can be changed.

The current Presidential Primary in Washington State became law in March of 1989 after the State Legislature passed Initiative 99. I-99 had 202,872 people sign.

Two recent cases provide clear evidence that the Federal Elections Commission is broken

Two recent decisions by the Federal Elections Commission provide clear evidence that the Commission is broken and nonfunctional just like Congress. On split partisan votes it took no action on two separate cases.

As the Washington Post reported in an article entitled, “FEC deadlocked on allegations that Gingrich used 2012 campaign to sell books“:

“Former House speaker Newt Gingrich will not face a Federal Election Commission investigation into allegations that he broke federal law by using his 2012 presidential campaign to promote books that he and his wife wrote, documents released Friday show.

…The FEC’s top attorney recommended in 2013 that the agency investigate Gingrich, but the case languished and the six-member commission eventually deadlocked along partisan lines in June, with the three Republican commissioners voting against an inquiry.

The general counsel’s initial review found evidence of seven violations of campaign finance laws, the FEC documents show. Among the findings: Gingrich’s campaign staff and the employees of his production company at times swapped duties as the then-candidate was holding concurrent campaign rallies and book-signing events….

The general counsel also found evidence that the campaign’s resources benefited Gingrich personally, noting that his campaign website included more than 80 links to the Gingrich Productions website, along with blog entries promoting book signings and movie screenings. Many of the links went to pages urging supporters to buy books written by Newt and Callista Gingrich.”

The second case also was decided on a split partisan vote, meaning no action was taken on what clearly appeared to be political action and avoidance of reporting of campaign donations. As the Washington Post reported “How a film about Obama’s communist ‘real father’ won at the FEC “ was also won because of a partisan split. It is a revisit of the Hillary Clinton case that was decided in the so called “Citizens United” decision by the US Supreme Court which opened the floodgates on money in elections since then. The film in that case mailed also right before the election was  “Hillary:  the movie”

As the Washington Post post reported:

“Four years ago, voters in Ohio and a few other swing states opened their mailboxes to discover a documentary they’d never ordered. “Dreams From My Real Father” posited that the president of the United States was not the son of Barack Obama Sr., but of Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist activist and poet who moved to Hawaii late in life ….

In 2014, a progressive activist named Loren Collins filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Gilbert, arguing that the filmmaker had a responsibility to disclose his donors. The FEC finally weighed in last month, and in a typical 3-3 split decision — by law, the FEC is perpetually split between Democratic and Republican commissioners — Gilbert’s DVD mailing was considered “press,” not subject to donor disclosure, comparable to any political documentary.

“With the right framing, even the most dishonest, smear-mongering attacks can skirt FEC regulations under our current regulations,” said Collins. “His mailing cost at least $1 million, and that could’ve been paid for by Mitt Romney or Donald Trump, and there’s no way to know. Taken together with [the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision], this could have very serious negative ramifications. The general counsel’s report might as well be an instruction manual on how to avoid the transparency that comes with public disclosure of financiers.”

Asking a Commission composed of partisan politicians divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats in a clearly highly charged partisan Washington DC atmosphere is a sure way to have more gridlock. If anything the decisions need to be made by those without a direct stake in a partisan outcome. Time to restructure the FEC to  enable it to make decisions. The simplest  solution is to add a fifth member chosen by the other four members. Another alternative is to remove partisan politicians  and to have the issues decided by a panel of judges. Clearly the current  system is broken.

 

Should Money Buy "Free" Speech in Elections?

U.S. Supreme Court maneuvering in a case involving corporate money in political campaigns suggests that the right wing majority on the court is practicing judicial activism. The case involves a corporate documentary last year that was critical of Hilliary Clinton. According to an article today in the New York Times entitled “High Court Poised to Rewrite Spending Rules” the US Supreme Court appears to be setting up to overturn major provisions of the McCain Feingold law that it upheld just 2 years ago.

What has changed in those 2 years is that two more conservative justices have been appointed to the Court – Justices Roberts and Alito. As the New York Times notes “The Roberts court has struck down every campaign finance regulation to reach it, and it seems to have a majority prepared to do more. “

The issue involves “corporate money” in campaigns. The conservatives say that limiting the spending of corporate money is equal to limiting free speech. They argue limiting corporate money in elections violates the first amendment.

Of course there are several assumptions here that are questionable. One is that corporations should be accorded the same rights as citizens under the first amendment and second the assumption that equating the ability to spend money is somehow equivalent to a free speech right. The reality is that money buys access and exposure and corporations in general have more access to money that individuals.

The problem here is how you reconcile fairness in elections with lavish spending of money by special interests. Obviously the more money a corporation has, the more ability they have to get their message out to the voters. Thus the more money they have, the more “free” speech they have. At what point does corporate free spending of money overwhelm the ability of those with limited ability to raise money to have their voice heard?

The issue as the NY Times states is that “The court is poised to reverse longstanding precedents concerning the rights of corporations to participate in politics,” said Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Columbia. “The only reason to ask for reargument on this is if they’re going to overturn Austin and McConnell.”

The issue is another that denotes the hypocrisy of conservatives. They argue against judicial activism, unless it is their own activism. Its just like conservative Republicans arguing for the sanctity of marriage except when its their marriage. Look not at what they say, but what they do. In this case it appears they are actively working to overturn a law they don’t agree with now, that two years ago a court without Roberts and Alito supported.

The current case as stated by the NY Times

involves “Hillary: The Movie,” a slashing political documentary released last year while Mrs. Clinton, now the secretary of state, was seeking the democratic presidential nomination. The film was produced by Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group that is a nonprofit corporation.

The McCain-Feingold law bans the broadcast, cable or satellite transmission of “electioneering communications” paid for by corporations in the 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before a general election.

The law, as narrowed by a 2007 Supreme Court decision, applies to communications “susceptible to no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.” It also requires spoken and written disclaimers in the film and ads for it, along with the disclosure of contributors’ names.”

A Supreme Court with several Obama appointees could very well reverse the negative climate against campaign finance restrictions. See related article e.g. on Sonja Sotomayor in NY Times entitled, “A Long Record on Campaign Finance, Often in Support of Regulations” which notes that “In 1996, Judge Sonia Sotomayor delivered a speech comparing campaign contributions to “bribes” and asking whether elected officials could credibly say they were “representing only the general public good, when private money plays such a large role” in helping them win office.”

This threat of new appointees to the US Supreme Court by Obama obviously seems behind this manoeuvring by the present court to reverse McCain Feingold and their two year old decision. This is the type of judicial activism we need to fear – a conservative US Supreme Court hell bent on attacking laws they don’t support. They are trying to act before the Court changes to a more mainstream philosophy that the American people support. This distorted right wing philosophy of judicial activists like Roberts and Alito intent on changing US laws they don’t like will remain a threat until the makeup of the US Supreme Court changes.

McCain and Clinton Pandering to Voters

Give Barack Obama credit for the straight talk, not John McCain or Hillary Clinton. Obama has refused to climb aboard the crazy train of his opponents in both parties suggesting that cutting the Federal tax on gasoline this summer makes sense. It doesn’t.

Gasoline usage is price sensitive. Cutting the cost for the summer by suspending the Federal tax of 18.4 cents will not lower the price because the same fixed amount will be available and oil companies will merely raise the price to take advantage of customer demand. Any decrease in prices will be very short term.

The oil companies have no qualms about raising prices. They continue to rake in record profits at the expense of American car and truck users. Republicans in Congress, and President Bush with his threatened veto power, continue to support the oil companies making record profits at the expense of the American economy and American consumers.

And the bulk of the profits raked in don’t even go for producing more oil or alternative energy. For example, as Yahoo.news reports:

“Exxon posted record earnings of $40.6 billion in 2007, with revenue higher than the gross domestic profit of Turkey, the world’s 17th-largest economy….
The company has been criticized by some analysts and investors for laying back on capital spending while going full bore on share buybacks.
Exxon spent $31.8 billion to buy back shares in 2007 while shelling out $20.9 billion for capital expenditures.”

Exxon Mobil reported today that they raked in another $10.89 billion in first quarter profits this year.

So American consumers are shelling out their cash so that companies like Exxon can but back their stock. It’s absurd. At least Hillary Clinton proposes that the oil companies be hit with an excess profits tax to pay for her proposed summer tax cut. John McCain does not even support that and says he would cut elsewhere.

Democrats tried to pass legislation to end special subsidies to oil companies but Republicans held fast and stopped legislation passing. Democrats wanted the subsidies to go for funding alternative energy programs like wind and solar, which would help to reduce global warming impacts from carbon fuels. Instead we are left with no approval of existing incentives for solar and wind energy which expire at the end of this year.

And where was John McCain when votes were taking place to pass an energy policy to reduce dependence on carbon fuels and reduce global warming. AWOL – see excellent article by Grist on McCain’s missed votes in Congress, rightly pointing out McCain’s professed concern about climate change action is more hot air than anything else.

see also
Dumb as we Wanna Be – New York Times
The Gas-Guzzler Gambit – New York Times editorial
Summer Fuel-ishness – Seattle Times editorial
Clinton Gas Tax Proposal Criticized – Washington Post

If Obama or Clinton Said That, They’d be Toast

John McCain continues to get the soft touch by the media. As Frank Rich points out his Sunday New York Times piece entitled “The Republican Resurrection

… As if to emulate Dick Cheney, who arrived in Baghdad a day behind him, he (McCain) embraced the vice president’s habit of manufacturing false links in the war on terror: Mr. McCain told reporters that Iran is training Al Qaeda operatives and sending them into Iraq.
His Sancho Panza, Joe Lieberman,
whispered in his ear that a correction was in order. But this wasn’t a one-time slip, like Gerald Ford’s debate gaffe about Poland in 1976. Mr. McCain has said this repeatedly. Troubling as it is that he conflates Shiite Iran with Sunni terrorists, it’s even more bizarre that he doesn’t acknowledge the identity of Iran’s actual ally in Iraq — the American-sponsored Shiite government led by Nuri al-Maliki. Only two weeks before the Iraqi prime minister welcomed Mr. McCain to Baghdad, he played host to a bubbly state visit by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Whatever Mrs. Clinton’s or Mr. Obama’s inconsistencies about how to wind down the war, they are both models of coherence next to Mr. McCain. He keeps saying the surge is a “success,” but he can’t explain why that success keeps us trapped in Iraq indefinitely. He never says precisely what constitutes that “victory” he keeps seeing around the corner. His repeated declaration that he will only bring home the troops “with honor” is a Vietnam acid flashback recycled as a non sequitur. Our troops have already piled up more than enough honor in their five years of service under horrific circumstances. Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda proliferates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a
survey by Foreign Policy magazine of 3,400 active and retired American officers finds that 88 percent believe that the Iraq war has “stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin.”

So what’s the deal with the rest of the media? Not much was said critically of McCain. McCain doesn’t deserve special treatment – either he knows what he’s talking about or he doesn’t. And it appears he doesn’t. McCain is a recipe for disaster. We can’t afford a Bush clone in the White House after 8 years of Bush/Cheney.

Obama Wins 7 Wyoming Delegates, Clinton Wins 5

Obama gained 2 more national delegates over Clinton as a result of the Wyoming caucuses. A total of 12 delegates were at stake.

Several places report the results as votes. The Green Papers reports that Obama received 5378 votes (61.43%) to Clinton’s 1313 (37.84%) to 64 (.73%) for others. If these are actual votes and not delegates as other states have reported at the precinct caucus level this would only represent a turnout of 13% of the 2006 registered Democratic voters.

Wyoming is not a state Democrats are likely to win. A look at the last 2 Presidential elections in Wyoming show that by more than 2 to 1, the state voted Republican.

2000 Bush 147,947 Gore 64,481 other 5298
2004 Bush 167,629 Kerry 70,778 other 4543

In 1992 Bill Clinton received 68,160 votes to 131,724 votes cast for the Republican and independent candidates. In 1996 Bill Clinton got 77,934 votes to 163,637 for his opponents.

In 2004 only 60,385 Wyoming voters were registered as Democrats, 162,952 were registered as Republicans and 32,885 were independent or other. In 2006 67,246 voters were registered as Democrats and 152,952 were Republicans. Wyoming does allow same day registration for voters. Current registration figures were not available on the Secretary of State’s website.

Caucuses are a reflection of enthusiasm for a candidate by hard core supporters more than any reflection of actual general election voter support. If you can not physically be present at the caucus site at the appointed time you have no vote in the process. Many potential voters wind up being excluded, weather for example was a factor in Wyoming.

If you are an active duty military person, or have to work, or are sick or are out of state, you have no vote in the caucus process. Primary voting with absentee ballots are the most democratic and inclusive. That is why the majority of states have primaries rather than caucuses. More people participate.

Hillary Clinton Wins Both Texas and Ohio to Surprise of Many

Senator Hillary Clinton decisively won Ohio’s primary 55% to 43% and has been declared the winner in Texas but by a smaller margin of 51% to 47% with 90% of the vote counted. As the Washington Post reports on Clinton’s comeback:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) roared back into contention for the Democratic presidential primary race Tuesday night after claiming primary victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. These win ensure that her challenge to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) will continue through Pennsylvania’s primary on April 22.

Clinton’s popular vote margin in Ohio was larger than expected, while she appeared to eke out a very narrow win in Texas. Earlier in the night, Obama won an easy victory in Vermont while Clinton cruised to a triumph in Rhode Island.

As the New York Times notes, voters are not yet ready to write Senator Clinton off:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday night not only shook off the vapors of impending defeat, but also showed that — in spite of his delegate lead — Senator Barack Obama was still losing to her in the big states.

Those two states were the battlegrounds where Mr. Obama was going to bury the last opponent to his history-making nomination, finally delivering on his message of hope while dashing the hopes of a Clinton presidential dynasty.

Yet then the excited, divided American electorate weighed in once more, throwing Mrs. Clinton the sort of political lifeline that New Hampshire did in early January after her third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Barrack Obama still leads in delegate counts – some 1466 to 1376 by one estimate Votes in Mississippi and Wyoming are coming up in the next week which favor Obama. Even with the large number of delegates at stake in Pennyslvania, and Clinton being currently favored there, Clinton is in a difficult position trying to overtake Obama.

The battle now is going to shift to the undemocratic process of superdelegates committing and the question of what to do about Michigan and Florida whose delegates are not currently being counted because they broke party rules and moved their primaries to January.

The irony here is that Clinton won both of these states when the candidates agreed not to campaign there. With all their names on the ballot in Florida, Clinton won Florida. In Michigan Clinton’s name was on the ballot but Obama’s was not. People had to vote uncommitted if they didn’t want Clinton and wanted Obama. Clinton still won. Both Michigan and Florida are states the Democrats want and need to win in November.

While Clinton has not won as many states as Obama has, the delegate and vote count is close. Unlike the electoral college which is winner take all, the Democratic primaries and caucuses assign delegates to the Democratic National Convention based on the proportion of the vote each candidate won.

As the New York Times notes:

The nomination is not determined by the number of states won, but Mr. Obama’s inability to win major battleground states beyond Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and his home state, Illinois, is a concern of some Democrats — especially since Ohio and Florida have become must-wins in presidential elections.

Quoting Clinton according to the NY Times:

“If we want a Democratic president, we need a Democratic nominee who can win the battleground states, just like Ohio,” she said. “We’ve won Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arkansas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee”

There is plenty for Democrats to think about. The hope is that a resolution can be reached and a nominee selected without splitting and losing the combined passions of the Clinton and Obama camps. The last thing the Democrats need is to enter the fall campaign split and angry at each other rather than united in working to defeat the Republicans and John McCain.

One thing for sure – the Democrats need to come up with a better plan and timing and spacing of primaries for the next party contested Presidential election. Reform of the process should include making the elections fairer by going to an all primary system where voters can see how their votes count and maximum voter participation is ensured – something the caucus system doesn’t do.

Clinton Wins Rhode Island, Obama Wins Vermont, McCain to Win Republican Nomination

The Associated Press according to the Washington Post has projected Hillary Clinton as the winner in Rhode Island. Barack Obama has been declared the winner in Vermont where the Iraq War was listed in exit polls as the major issue.

Meanwhile polls in Ohio have closed. Clinton has a small lead in early results. Weather has been terrible in Ohio with snow in northern Ohio and rains and flooding in southern Ohio. Some polls in Cleveland were kept open later as they ran out of Democratic ballots. Ohio recently changed to all paper ballots that are then optically scanned after problems were assessed with their touch screen machines.

Ohio’s election results in 2004 were rife with problems. Robert Kennedy Jr, among others called into question the election results in Ohio in 2004.

Meanwhile Texas is also currently having some problems. Sixty-five percent of Texas 193 delegates are determined by a primary vote and 35% are determined by a separate caucus vote this evening. The Clinton campaign is reporting problems with being excluded from some of their supporters being excluded from the caucuses.

Because of the nature and complexity of the Texas voting process a final tally of delegate allocation may actually take several days.

Overall some 370 Democratic delegates are being determined today. Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton the results will probably not significantly change the delegate lead that Obama has. Unfortunately for Obama if the results are mixed it is likely that Hillary Clinton will continue her campaign which will make John McCain happy.

While some Democrats may lament the lack of a knockout punch, the Democrats continuing to battle will get the two candidates before more voters and allow a further Democratic organizational effort in more states including a key battle in the Pennsylvania primary.

Meanwhile John McCain is the projected winner of all four states – Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont and has gained enough delegates to win the Republican nomination. Mike Huckabee has announced he is withdrawing from the race.

John McCain Gets Zero Rating from League of Conservation Voters

John McCain missed so many votes last year in Congress that he scored a zero on the League of Conservation Voters 2007 ratings. He was the only Senator to miss all of the key environmental votes used in the scoring.

As LCV noted in their recent press release:

“The presidential candidates’ scores all suffered from the occupational hazard of absenteeism. Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) missed four votes each in 2007, although both made a point of being on hand for the key vote that would have allowed a version of the energy bill to move forward that included a provision to repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for big oil and put that money toward clean energy programs.

Clinton’s score in 2007 was 73 percent (87 percent lifetime); Obama’s was 67 percent (86 percent lifetime). * Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) scored 0 percent in 2007 (24 percent lifetime) due to missing all 15 votes scored, including the key vote on repealing tax giveaways to big oil – a measure that failed by only one vote.”

McCain’s LCV ratings:
0 (2007), 41 (2005-2006), 56 (2003-2004), 36 (2001-2002), 6 (1999-2000)

Obama’s LCV ratings:
67 (2007), 96 (2005-2006)

Clinton’s LCV ratings
73 (2007), 89 (2005-2006), 92 (2003-2004), 88 (2001-2002)

Of the other Presidential candidates who have dropped out of the race Joe Biden missed 4 of the environmental votes used in the rating in 2007 and received a score of 67. Christopher Dodd missed 6 of the environmental votes in 2007 and received a score of 60. Dennis Kucinich missed 3 of the environmental votes in the House and received a score of 80.