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Wednesday, December 13, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via Rodriguez upsets incumbent Bonilla:

Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez completed a stunning political turnaround Tuesday with an upset win over incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla that topped off the Democratic takeover of Congress.

Rodriguez overcame a huge financial disadvantage with the help of national party officials, who overhauled his campaign and spent aggressively on his behalf.

Bonilla, a 14-year incumbent, phoned Rodriguez to concede at about 9 p.m.

The seat in question is Texas 23.

Why the results now?

 Tuesday’s runoff stemmed from the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last June that Texas Republican leaders breached the Voting Rights Act by slicing 100,000 Hispanics from the district in their 2024 remap. A three-judge panel answered by removing several largely Anglo Hill Country counties and pulling heavily Hispanic South Bexar County into the district.

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Monday, December 4, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Chavez wins re-election by a wide margin

With 78 percent of voting stations reporting, Chavez had 61 percent of the vote, to 38 percent for Rosales.

Chavez has won a loyal following among the poor through multibillion-dollar social programs including subsidized food, free university education and cash benefits for single mothers.

He’s been quite the petro-populist.

The result is hardly a surprise, except perhaps to the most optimistic of Rosales supporters.

Here’s the Miami Herald version of the story: Chávez easily wins fourth term

President Hugo Chávez won his fourth presidential bid in eight years on Sunday, defeating career politician Manuel Rosales and boosting his ‘’21st Century Socialism,'’ which includes widespread social projects, increasing relations with countries such as Cuba and Iran, and diminishing relations with the United States.

The National Electoral Council, or CNE, announced at 9 p.m. EST that Chávez had received 61 percent of the vote and Rosales 38 percent, with 78 percent of the votes counted.

The victory was greeted with fireworks, small parades, dancing and chants of ‘’Uh, Ah, Chávez no se va!'’ — Chávez will not go — throughout a rain-soaked Caracas.

For anyone not familiar with the political career of Chávez should read the Herald piece, as it provides a decent synopsis.

The NYT report on the event is here: Chávez Wins Easily in Venezuela, Showing Wide Support

Publius Pundit has photos, commentary and links.

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Filed under: US Politics, Latin America, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (4) | | Show Comments here
Sunday, September 3, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

On a two-fer Sunday, here’s another piece from me from today’s Press-Register:

State Democratic Party narrowly avoids electoral shame
Sunday, September 03, 2024
Special to the Press-Register

The Democratic Executive Committee recently avoided a public relations nightmare, and — more important — also righted an injustice that had been made by a lower-level party committee days before. But the closeness of the vote (95-87) suggests that there is an unsettlingly large number of party leaders who would have preferred to stick with the unjust outcome.

The issue at hand was the primary for Alabama State House District 54, which pitted Gaynell Hendricks, an African-American, against Patricia Todd, a lesbian, for the party’s nomination for an open seat.

It should have been a win-win for state Democrats: The district had no Republican candidate, so the seat was as safe as it could be.

However, because the primary itself was for all practical purposes the actual election, the stakes were high and things got nasty.


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Filed under: My Columns, Alabama Politics, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
Saturday, August 26, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP:  Alabama Democrats reinstate gay candidate for Legislature

The Alabama Democratic Party Executive Committee voted 95-87 to reject the ruling of a subcommittee that had voted to disqualify Todd, who is white, and her black opponent, Gaynell Hendricks, in the race for the House seat from Birmingham’s District 54.

Todd defeated Hendricks by 59 votes in the July 18 party runoff election.

This is the just outcome.

Further, the state Democratic leadership had to know what a PR nightmare they had on their hands (not to mention a possible drawn-out legal set of problems had they let the sub-committee’s ruling stand).

Of course, the racial and power-broker politics of the event will likely resonate into the future:

The committee vote pitted vice chairman Joe Reed, a powerful black political leader, against other party officials. Reed had written a letter to black leaders in Jefferson County before the July 18 runoff asking them to support Hendricks so that a black would be elected from the majority black district.

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Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2024 | Comments Off |
Friday, August 25, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

So reports Jeff Vreeland at Politics in Alabama:

the 1974 rule was not pre-cleared by the Department of Justice. There is record of the DOJ receiving the motion for pre-clearance of the rule change and a record of the response from to the DOJ requesting more information; but there is no record of the approval of the change of the Alabama Democratic Bylaws. The letter sent by the DOJ to Robert E. Vance was requesting more information before the approval could be made. There was no record of receiving any of the requested information from the Alabama Democratic Party or of the bylaws change being approved.

Which should mean, if I understand the rules, that the rule used to oust the candidates never was in force, and therefore could not be used to disqualify them.

Kudos to Jeff for doing the research and reporting on this issue–although Wheeler at Alablawg isn’t sure if this matters or not.

Regardless, this whole affair is an embarrassment to the Alabama Democratic Party–indeed, to the state itself.
My previous post on this topic is here.

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Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

The race for Alabama House seat District 54 (in the Birmingham area–see this map) has turned ugly.

The race made headlines in July, because it appeared that the winner of the Democratic run-off, Patricia Todd, would be the first openly gay member of the state legislature (there is no Republican candidate running for the seat).

However, yesterday, via the AP we find that: Dems use ignored rule to oust gay candidate with the kicker being that it was (as reported by the NYT):

a rule that, by party officials’ own admission, has not been enforced in nearly 20 years.

The rule has to do with the filing of financial disclosure forms (again via the NYT):

The accusations against Ms. Todd are that she failed to file campaign finance reports with the party chairman in a timely fashion. But candidates no longer submit such reports to the party, instead they send them to the secretary of state. Ms. Todd did miss the deadline for filing her final report, however, which Ms. Hendricks said was an effort to conceal a $25,000 contribution from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that supports gay candidates. The report also showed that Ms. Todd made payments for consulting services totaling $10,750 to two primary opponents who later supported her in the runoff.

Ms. Todd’s opponent also failed to comply with the rule (and the challenge was filed by the opponent’s Mother-in-law). But because the complaint was filed against Todd, her opponent, Ms. Hendricks, could be named to replace her, even though she also violated the rule.

This entire situation stinks: it reeks of petty racial politics (Ms. Hendricks in black and the district is majority black), the worst of power-broker politics (Democratic Vice-Chairman and powerbroker Joe L. Reed is at the heart of much of this) and anti-gay prejudice. If that’s not a trifecta of shame for the Democratic Party of Alabama, I don’t know what one would look like. And, above all else, the ruling violates the democratic rights of the district, as Todd has received the most votes in both the first and second rounds.

Birmingham Blues has some photos from yesterday’s hearing.

Alablawg looks at the actual law and then comments on the results of the hearing.

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Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (5) | | Show Comments here
Thursday, August 3, 2024
By Brett Marston (guestblogger)

It’s always dicey to predict what appellate courts will do, but Rick Hasen argues that the U.S. Supreme Court is not likely to be persuaded by Tom Delay’s attempts to get off the ballot in the good old Texas 22nd:

But I would rate the chances of a further appeal being successful as very small. The reasoning of the 5th Circuit opinion is solid (the meat of the ruling, on page 20 of the pdf reads: “The intersection of § 145.003, which requires that proof of ineligibility be conclusive, and the Qualifications Clause, which requires inhabitancy only ‘when elected,’ presents an extraordinary burden to declaring a candidate ineligible on residency grounds prior to the election. This is because it is almost always possible for a person to change their residency: to move to the state in question before the election, thereby satisfying the Qualifications Clause.”).

Apparently, Delay’s lawyers are bypassing en banc review by the 5th Circuit and going straight for the gold (see Lyle Denniston here.)

Aside from the Qualifications Clause issue - about which the 5th Circuit holding seems reasonable enough to me - a contrary ruling would reward attempts by Delay and his party to game the primary system.

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Filed under: Courts/the Judiciary, 2006 Elections, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (2) | | Show Comments here
Saturday, June 24, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via Angus Reid Consultants: Riley Holds Upper Hand in Alabama Ballot

Incumbent Bob Riley could earn a new term as governor in Alabama, according to a poll by SurveyUSA released by WKRG-TV, 51 per cent of respondents in the Yellowhammer State would support the Republican, while 40 per cent would back Democratic lieutenant governor Lucy Baxley.

A separate study by Rasmussen Reports gives Riley a 14-point lead over Baxley.

Hardly a surprise. Indeed, I ultimately expect Riley to win by fve to six points.

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Filed under: Alabama Politics, Border Security, Elections: 2024 | Comments Off |
Friday, June 9, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Here’s a second clip, which is lengthier and contains a discussion of the Alabama GOP’s race for Supreme Court candidates, the Moore candidacy and the Democratic contest for a gubernatorial candidate:

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Filed under: General, Alabama Politics, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (2) | | Show Comments here
Wednesday, June 7, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Here’s me on APTV’s For the Record from last night (and yes, they spelled my name incorrectly):

Filed under: General, Alabama Politics, photoblogging, Elections: 2024 | Comments/Trackbacks (19) | | Show Comments here
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