Tag Archives: Republicans

Young Voters and Minority Voters Opted to Let Rich Older Voters Decide the 2010 Election.

If you don’t vote, you’ve still made a political decision. In this year’s election it seems that young voters and minority voters decided to opt out and let older voters and the wealthy decide the future direction of the country.  This disengagement in the political process allowed the Republicans to retake the US House of Representatives, decrease the Democratic majority in the Senate, increase the number of Republican Governors, and even change some state Legislatures from Democratic to Republican.

An analysis by Project Vote looked at those who voted in the 2010 General Election on Nov 2, 2010. A research memo from Project Vote, entitled “An Analysis of Who Voted (and Who Didn’t Vote) in the 2010 Election,”  done by Dr. Lorraine Minnite found that ” wealthier voters and Americans over the age of 65 surged to the polls in 2010, and increased their support for the Republican party, while young voters and minority voters (who strongly favor Democrats) dropped off at higher rates than in 2006″.

Here is a summary of some of the study’s analysis as posted on the Project Vote news release:

1.Senior citizens turned out in force, with the number of ballots cast by voters over 65 increasing by 16 percent. While making up only 13 percent of the U.S. resident population, Americans in this age group constituted 21 percent of 2010 voters. This age group also significantly increased their support of Republican candidates, from 49 percent in 2006 to 59 percent in 2010.

2. The number of ballots cast by Americans from households making over $200,000 a year increased by 68 percent compared to 2006.

3. Relative to 2008, minority and youth voters dropped out of the voting population at higher rates than whites, undoing much of the gain in demographic parity achieved in 2008.

4. Women—already one of the most reliable voting groups—increased their share of the electorate, and significantly increased their support of the Republican Party.

If Democrats hope to win in 2012, they are going to have to re-energize the youth and minority vote to turn out. These folks need to realize change takes time and they need to be involved for the long haul, not just one election.

And they need to be involved in getting their elected officials to vote for the things they believe in.

And that may mean raising their voices and passions to outshout the Tea Party and Republican Party of No and the anti tax, pro-corporate, pro big banks, pro insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce and all the others that put profit ahead of compassion and fairness.

Republicans in US Senate Stop Campaign Disclosure Bill

The last thing Republicans want is to let the public know  where  campaign contributions spent supporting them are coming from.  Voting on a party line vote, US Senate Republicans voted to oppose disclosing corporate contributions and expenditures  being spent to try to put them back in power.  The measure known as the Disclose Act also included disclosure by unions but corporate contributions through PAC’s and outside interest groups are likely to vastly exceed that of unions.

The New York Times  in its print edition misleadingly writes a headline entitled “Senate Democrats Fail to Advance a Campaign Finance Bill, an Obama Priority.” It should have instead been entitled something like “Senate Republicans Stop Passage of Bill to Require Disclosure of Corporate Contributions”. The vote was 59 for and 39 against on a procedural vote to cut off debate. No Republicans voted to end debate and all the Democrats did in an effort to bring the actual bill up for a vote.

The online edition headline says “Small-Business Bill Advances; Campaign Finance Bill Stalls” which is more accurate in terms of what is in the article but the lead sentence repeats the statement that “Senate Democrats failed Thursday to advance campaign finance legislation that would force businesses, unions and others to disclose how they were spending money in political campaigns and where they were getting it.”  The NY Times does a disservice to the public and its readers by failing to upfront attribute the failure to move the bill to the Republicans and their use of Senate rules to block a vote that clearly has a majority of Senators in support. Clearly the Democrats are behind disclosure.

Republicans continue to block passage of almost all legislation in the Senate in an attempt to brand the Democrats as unable to get things done.  Yet it is the Republicans who are cynically stopping action on bills, even on things they previously supported.  It remains bizarre that there are Americans who somehow think returning Republicans to power is going to make things work better. Ever since Obama got elected the Republican strategy  was to oppose anything the Democrats proposed. They were not concerned about putting Americans back to work, they were only motivated by putting themselves back in power.

Republicans have no new answers, they knee jerk oppose taxes of all kind – witness their support of retaining the Bush tax cuts for millionaires despite the fact that this would increase the deficit  because money would have to be borrowed at taxpayer expense to cover these tax breaks.Witness their continued opposition to financial reform despite the fact that financial deregulation and lack of oversight and accountability contributed heavily to our current recession. Witness their opposition to health care reform despite the fact that the system was broken and private insurance companies were raising premiums much faster than inflation to add to their profits.

Democrats have accomplished a lot despite Republican opposition to most of what they’ve done. If  Republicans controlled the White House or the US Senate, imagine who might have nominated for the US Supreme Court. As Robert Creamer wrote on the Huffington Post in August, Democrats have been fighting for the average American and winning the battle against corporate special interests.

Democrats won the battle with Wall Street and the Republicans to rein in the power of the big Wall Street banks. We won the battle to begin holding insurance companies accountable and prevent them from discriminating against people with “pre-existing conditions.” We won the battle to rescue the economy from the death spiral created by Bush administration policies and the recklessness of the big Wall Street banks.

Democrats and Independents who want to keep our country moving forward to solve our pressing problems need to turn out and vote and support the Democratic ticket.  There is no such thing as not taking a position in an election.  If you don’t vote, you are letting others make a decision for you.  In this election Republicans have said they are more inclined to vote than Democrats by a wide margin.  Not voting and opposing this Republican enthusiasm is the same thing as voting for the Republicans.  Every voter has a vote. Use it. Democrats can win if those who want to keep moving America forward just get out and vote. Here in Washington State for most voters it is just filling out and mailing your ballot. Not a lot to ask considering the possible consequences of not voting.

You can go to the King County Democrats web pages to see a list of endorsed candidates and ballot measures.

See also NPI Advocate post for more information on the Disclose Act.

Republicans Blowing Smoke on Economy According to Newsweek

In an article in Newsweek’s The Gaggle on Press, Politics and Absurdity, Arthur Romano details how the Republican agenda for the economy doesn’t hold up when examined. The article is entitled Estimates Say Fewer Jobs, Larger Deficits if Republicans Were in Charge”. Romano examines and calculates the figures based on stated Republican positions and actions they have proposed.

The article notes:

As House Minority Leader John Boehner put it in a “major economic address” on Tuesday, President Obama is “doing everything possible to prevent jobs from being created” while refusing to do anything at all “about bringing down the deficits that threaten our economy.” Elect Republicans in November, Boehner assured his audience, and we will put an end to this insanity.

There’s only one problem with Boehner’s message: so far, the things that Republicans have said they want to do won’t actually boost employment or reduce deficits. In fact, much the opposite. By combing through a variety of studies and projections from nonpartisan economic sources, we here at Gaggle headquarters have found that if Republicans were in charge from January 2009 onward—and if they were now given carte blanche to enact the proposals they want to—the projected 2010–2020 deficits would be larger than they are under Obama, and fewer people would probably be employed.

It is good to finally see some response from the media to questioning the absurd pronouncements and posturing by Republicans beyond merely quoting their phony claims. Anyone can repeat the nonsense that many Republicans and Tea Party fanatics have been spouting. It’s something else to actually look beyond the heated rhetoric and rantings of the right wing and analyze what putting these folks and their friends back in power would actually mean.

As just one example of why people should read the Newsweek article to understand just how ridiculous the Republican claims are, let’s look at the claim that extending the Bush Tax cuts for the very wealthy will help small business create more jobs.

As Newsweek notes:

“…it’s unlikely that extending the cuts for the richest Americans would have much of an effect on small-business hiring, which is a claim that Republicans make with some regularity. Why? Because of the taxpayers that report running small businesses on their taxes, only 2 percent fall into the top two income brackets.* The other 98 percent of small-business owners make less than $250,000 a year and wouldn’t pay higher taxes under Obama’s plan.

History isn’t on the GOP’s side, either. If keeping the top marginal tax rate at 35 percent—the rate under Bush, and the rate that Republicans are fighting to preserve—spurs so much hiring, why didn’t America experience any job growth at all during Bush’s time in office? And if a top marginal tax rate of 39.6 percent—the rate under Bill Clinton, and the rate that Democrats are fighting to restore—is such a job killer, why did payrolls grow by 20 percent during the 1990s?”

I urge you to read the article to get more details and understand better why the Republican economic
rantings are just a lot of smoke obscuring the reality that things would be worse off, not better if Republicans gain control of either House of Congress.  If you thought we had gridlock and weren’t getting enough done now, expect nothing to get done if Republicans get back control of either house.

Corporate America Planning to Spend Record Amount in Congressional Elections

Republicans last week did the dirty work for the US Chamber of Commerce – their buddies. The Chamber lobbied hard against tougher campaign finance disclosure laws in Congress. Republicans in the Senate voted unanimously to block the legislation from being voted on. Republicans don’t want the public knowing who is going to be spending tons of money in their behalf to try to bring back the conservative’s failed free market economics with its lack of regulation and accountability that contributed heavily to our present lingering Recession.

As reported in the LA Times,

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest collection point for corporate contributions, has increased its spending for the congressional election in November from $35 million in 2008 to a projected $75 million this year. Officials say it may go even higher.

The chamber has been joined by new conservative fundraising organizations — such as American Crossroads, affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove — that have committed to raising tens of millions of dollars.

One report circulating among Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill last week estimated that more than $300 million has been budgeted for the campaign by a group of 15 conservative tax-exempt organizations.

“A commitment of $300 million from just 15 organizations is a huge amount, putting them in record territory for groups on the right or left,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions. “With control of Congress hanging in the balance, this kind of spending could have a major impact.”

The US Chamber of Commerce loves all this hype and obviously isn’t denying their attempt to influence the elections through this profligate paid speech.  They even posted the article on their website.

Decisions by the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court have opened the floodgates of paid media. Forget free speech – do you think  “free speech” can compete with “paid speech” of this magnitude? One has to hope that their lavish spending turns the public off and those concerned about corporate America’s blatant attempt to buy a Congress to do their dirty work out and vote.

Democrats and independents concerned about this country being run by corporate America need to reject the failed policies of the Republicans. This is a crucial election for the future of our country. Get out and vote.

Only 3 Senate Republicans to put Financial Reform before Politics

Most US Senate Republicans are more intent on playing partisan politics than they are on doing their job and looking out for how to protect the American public from shady financial interests.  Too many in the financial community were more intent on making a fast buck than on providing the public with fair consumer practices and honest deals. Lack of adequate consumer safeguards contributed to our near financial disaster.

We are still trying to recover. Most Republicans under their current leadership are more concerned about how to make President Obama look bad than they are on solving our financial problems. They are more intent on playing political games that they think will help them get back into power.

So when 3 Republicans show courage in bucking the do nothing approach of the Republican leadership, they are to be commended.  So far Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have said they will vote to prevent a filibuster from stopping passage of the proposed financial reform package.

Despite the New York Times characterization of the bill as “limping toward Senate passage“, I think garnering 60 votes in the US Senate is significant. My arithmetic saying that 60 votes is a hell of a lot more than 51 votes which would be a simple majority of  the US Senate.  The whole filibuster process stinks and its one of the factors contributing to the public low opinion of Congress. It’s time to end the filibuster.

As the New York Times notes this bill will accomplish a fair amount:

The legislation would create a system risk council comprising the most senior government regulators to try to identify potential dangers in the financial system. It would create a powerful consumer financial protection bureau to be housed in the Federal Reserve and would impose a new regulatory framework on the trading of derivatives, the complex instruments that were at the center of the 2008 downturn.

The bill seeks to avert future crises by giving government regulators the power to seize control of failing financial institutions, break them apart, sell off the assets and put them out of business, with shareholders and creditors taking losses.

The bill would also strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission by giving it new authority over credit rating agencies , hedge funds and private equity companies.

Senator Cantwell Fights to Strengthen Financial Regulatory Reform Bill

Washington State Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell joined with Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold to oppose ending debate on the Senate’s sweeping financial reform bill.  As reported in the New York Times, they were the only two Democrats to oppose further debate and were joined by 39 Republicans. Two Republicans, Maine’s Senators Snowe and Collins voted to end debate.

Senator Cantwell strongly supports the legislation but believes it needs to be strengthened.  As the New York Times notes:

Ms. Cantwell, in a floor speech after the vote, said she was mainly fighting for a vote on an amendment to tighten proposed rules for the trading of derivatives, the complex instruments that were at the center of the economic crisis.

Her proposal would make it illegal to enter into a derivatives contract that had not been cleared through an exchange, other than contracts specifically exempt from the law. It would also empower regulators and investors to stop or undo a derivatives deal if banks knowingly violated the trading requirements. …

“If you don’t have a regime of exchange trading and clearing you will have money seeping into the continuation of a dark market,” she added.

Ms. Cantwell said she would also like a vote on another amendment she proposed, with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, that would restore the Glass-Steagall Act, which maintained a firewall between commercial banking and investment banking from the 1930s until it was repealed by Congress in 1999. In a statement, Mr. Feingold said he favored restoring that firewall.

Republican opposition to financial reform was obvious by the subsequent action of Senate Republicans. Senator Reid blamed the Republicans, not Senator Cantwell or Feingold, for stalling the legislation.
Senator Dodd agreed and to show the opposition of the Republicans, he returned to the Senate floor and asked for unanimous consent to vote on the proposed amendment of Senator Cantwell. The motion was defeated when Republican Senator Shelby of Alabama objected.

Republicans continue their strategy of opposing Democratic action on legislation, believing this contributes to the Republicans chances of gaining seats in Congress.  They hope that the public does not see that the Republican stalling tactics are the primary reason Congress is not addressing our Nation’s problems in a timely fashion. Sooner or later the public is going to see beyond the Republican noise machine and Democrats will prevail.

Senator Cantwell is to be commended for her efforts to strengthen this legislation. She is acting in the public interest and showing leadership. Her amendments are reasonable and vital ones to address serious problems in the financial markets. Washington State can be proud of Senator Cantwell’s leadership on this issue.

David Frum’s Comments on Health Care Worth Contemplating by Both Right and Left

David Frum last week resigned from the right wing American Enterprise Institute after they cancelled his pay and office. Frum is a former President George W Bush speechwriter and decided to speak his own thoughts rather than follow the current Republican campaign strategy of saying no to anything and everything the Democrats and President Obama proposes. Frum’s comments relate to the just passed health care reform legislation.

The Republicans hope that Congress’s not acting on many critical issues helps Republicans get elected.  The only thing they don’t consider in this negative strategy is that the public may wake up and realize that it’s the Republicans that are causing this inaction, not the Democrats.

David Frum, in his column entitled Waterloo on Frum Forum irritated the right wing by his comments that the Republican strategy on health care was and is wrong. It’s not that he’s supporting the Legislation that passed but he believes the Republicans are making a big mistake.

This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

His comments were not a one time fluke. He repeated his comments on CNN the next day in an atricle entitled How GOP can rebound from its “Waterloo”

“Some Republicans talk of repealing the whole bill. That’s not very realistic. Even supposing that Republicans miraculously capture both houses of Congress in November, repeal will require a presidential signature.

More relevantly: Do Republicans write a one-sentence bill declaring that the whole thing is repealed? Will they vote to reopen the “doughnut” hole for prescription drugs for seniors? To allow health insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions? To kick millions of people off Medicaid?

It’s unimaginable, impossible.”

Such blunt talk didn’t sit well with his right wing free enterprise think tank employer. Hence his resignation.

While Frum discusses the GOP’s mistakes and problems he also see the issue from a larger perspective which it is important to keep in mind. Consider these comments he made later to the The Globe and Mail in an article entitled David Frum makes no apologies to Republicans

“The health-care status quo is for sure not sustainable. The United States is now spending 17 per cent of its GDP [on health care] and Canada spends about 10. The average in most developed countries is about 10 1/2 and the runner-up in Switzerland spends about 11. If the United States spent as much on health care as Switzerland does per person, relative to the economy, you would liberate six points of GDP. You would get your entire defence budget for free and have two points of GDP left over to pay down your debt.”

Such straight talk is uncommon these days from Republicans.  While I don’t agree with his proposed “solutions” to changing the health care reform legislation just passed, it is refreshing to see a Republican discuss some hard realities of the problems that our current health care system has produced.

Republican Reconciliation Hypocrisy

The Republican myth making nonsense that there is something wrong with Obama and the Democrats in the US Senate using the reconciliation process to resolve the health care impasse is finally being challenged. And the Republican mirage is being shown as just that.

As EJ Dionne Jr points out in his column yesterday in the Seattle Times entitled “The GOP’s astonishing hypocrisy on health care and ‘reconciliation'”

“…The health-care bill passed the Senate last December with 60 votes under the normal process.  The only thing that would pass under a simple majority vote would be a series of amendments that fit comfortably under the ‘reconcilation’ rules established to deal with money issues.”

Dionne is responding in his opinion piece to statements by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch trying to paint the Democrats in the US Senate as somehow acting  contrary to the views of the founders who wrote the US Constitution.  Funny thing is that, as Dionne notes, there is nothing in the US Constitution about 60 Senators needing to be in agreement to pass any piece of Legislation.

But the mirage the Republicans are trying to paint that the Democrats are proposing to do something Republicans would never do is the big joke here.  As Dionne notes

“…the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which were passed under reconciliation and increased the deficit by $1.7 trillion during his presidency, were “substantive legislation.” The 2003 dividends tax cut could muster only 50 votes. Vice President Dick Cheney had to break the tie. Talk about “ramming through.”

The underlying “principle” here seems to be that it’s fine to pass tax cuts for the wealthy on narrow votes but an outrage to use reconciliation to help middle-income and poor people get health insurance.’

As Media Matters remarks, the media has been slow to challenge the false assertions by the Republicans that there is something wrong with using reconciliation in resolving the differences between the House and Senate passed versions of the health care legislation.

Media Matters notes that the Republicans frequently used the reconciliation process to pass major legislation:

“GOP used reconciliation to pass Bush’s tax cuts. Republicans used the reconciliation process to pass Bush’s 2001 tax cut, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001; Bush’s 2003 tax cuts, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003; and Bush’s 2005 tax cuts, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2001 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; that the 2003 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; and that the 2005 tax cuts would “reduce federal revenues … by $69.1 billion over the 2006-2015 period.” 

The Media Matters article has many more instances where reconciliation has been used by the US Senate, noting that some 21 bills were passed by reconciliation between 1980 and 2005.

The Democrats need to move forward and act on passing health care legislation.  The Republican’s goal here is not to help more Americans get health care coverage or lower costs.  Their goal is to make the Democrats look incompetent in not getting anything done. The Republican goal is to try to get back in power.

What a mistake that would be for our country. It’s under their watch that the economy tanked and deregulation and lack of financial oversight brought us almost to financial disaster comparable to the Great Depression. Let’s move forward to resolve our problems, not backward.

Let the Republicans Filibuster All They Want

The New York Times has an interesting opinion piece today by David E RePass. RePass is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut.

RePass’s opinion piece is entitled “Make my Filibuster” and his thesis is simple. Republicans have been repeatedly threatening to filibuster legislation essentially giving a minority veto power to 40 Senators. Yet actual filibusters he says are extremely rare. He says this threat of a filibuster is preventing government from functioning effectively and is really more appropriately called a “phantom filibuster.”

RePass notes that:

“The phantom filibuster is clearly unconstitutional. The founders required a supermajority in only five situations: veto overrides and votes on treaties, constitutional amendments, convictions of impeached officials and expulsions of members of the House or Senate. The Constitution certainly does not call for a supermajority before debate on any controversial measure can begin.

And fixing the problem would not require any change in Senate rules. The phantom filibuster could be done away with overnight by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. All he needs to do is call the minority’s bluff by bringing a challenged measure to the floor and letting the debate begin.”

I strongly agree with DePass. He suggests that the Democrats would be politically astute if they called the Republicans bluff. Obama is enjoying much public good will, having inherited a disaster of an economy from the Republicans. The Republican mind set of a free market economy and little or no regulation and oversight brought on this current economic nightmare.

Voters clearly said it’s time to change and Republicans still don’t get it. Their answer to the problems is to continue the tried and failed Republican free market economy approach, rather than admit that they failed and brought us this mess. It is a Republican mess and if they want to filibuster Obama’s proposals to try to fix the problem, let them go ahead.

Let them get on the Senate floor and oppose health care legislation and green jobs legislation and regulation for the financial industry and unemployment compensation for the unemployed and mortgage reform and help for homeowners losing their jobs and solutions to deal with climate change. That’s what they’ve been doing for years.

But the public mood has changed. If they didn’t get the message from last November’s election of Obama and the loss of formerly Republican seats in the House and Senate, let them see how Americans feel about their trying to stop Congress and the President from working and doing their job by proposing and passing needed solutions to our current problems.

Americans are tried of naysayers and want our problems solved. Republicans botched the economy and Americans want them to get out of the way and let the President and Congress work to clean up the mess they created. They’ll soon learn that the filibuster approach to solving problems is not one that going to earn them more votes in the next election. It’s time for Reid and the Democrats in the US Senate to call the Republicans bluff on filibustering and move on to working out urgently needed solutions to our pressing problems.

Late Returns Helping Republicans Gain Legislative Seats

In a turn around, late counted votes in some Washington State Legislative races are seeing Democrats losing some races they thought they won. The end result could be that Republicans may see a net gain of 3 to 4 seats in the Legislature.

As reported by Bryan Bissell on PoliticklerWA.com the Republican gain is coming in both House and Senate races:

In the Senate 2nd Legislative District which includes parts of Pierce and Thurston County, Republican Randi Becker is now leading incumbent Democratic Senator Marilyn Rasmussen.

Randi Becker (Republican) …..29,908 (51.54%)
Marilyn Rasmussen (Democrat) …..28,098 (48.44%)

In the Senate 17th Legislative District which is Clark County Republican Senator Don Benton has turned a deficit on election day into a large lead over Democrat David Carrier.

Don Benton (Republican) …..29,169 (51.15%)
David Carrier (Democrat) …..27,796 (48.85%)

In the House 10th Legislative District which represents Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, Norma Smith currently has a 450 vote edge over Democrat Tim Knue who lead on election night.

Norma Smith (Republican) …..33,365 (50.34%)
Tim Knue (Democrat) …..32,915 (49.66%)

In the House 6th Legislative District in Spokane County, Democrat John Driscoll has seen his lead drop from about 1000 to 63 votes over incumbent Republican Representative John Ahern.. This race will obviously go into a recount.

John Driscoll (Democrat) …..34,805 (50.05%)
John Ahern (Republican) …..34,742 (49.95%)

In other turnovers already decided, Republican picked up seats in LD 6 and LD 26 .

In House Legislative District 6 in Spokane County, incumbent Democrat Don A Barlow was defeated by Republican Kevin Parker.

Kevin Parker (Republican) …..36,746 (52.86%)
Don A Barlow (Democrat) …..32,767 (47.14%)

In House Legislative District 26 in part of Kitsap and Pierce County, Republican Jan Angel defeated Democrat Kim Abel. The seat had been held by a Democrat, Pat Lantz, who retired.

Jan Angel (Republican) …..30,178 (53.41%)
Kim Abel (Democrat) …..26,322 (46.59%)

Democrats picked up 1 House seat in Legislative District 17 in Clark County. Democrat Jim Probst beat Republican Joseph James in a seat previously held by Republican Jim Dunn who lost in the Primary in August.

Tim Probst (Democrat) …..31,457 (55.86%)
Joseph James ((Republican) …..24,856 (44.14%)

You can keep track of the latest results in these races by going to the Secretary of State’s Election website.