Monthly Archives: April 2007

Quinnipiac Calls Hizzoner “Swing State Rudy”

The most recent Quinnipiac University poll voters in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio indicates that Giuliani continues to lead the pack for the potential GOP nomination.  Having taken a brief look at the internals of this poll and the most recent preceding one in PA– taken a month ago– there is plenty for Team Rudy to be happy about.

First, much like the with the recent WSJ/NBC poll, Giuliani’s support in the GOP primary has dropped about four points in the face of the Fred Thompson love offensive, in this case in PA from 33 points to 29.  This is pretty close to the margin of error.

Second, Giuliani is the only GOP candidate that beats all the potential democrat nominees in these swing states.  And you know which theoretical democrat nominee seems to do the best against him?  Al Gore!  I dearly hope Al takes a look at these numbers and decides he must get in.  All his global warming hysteria aside, if he manages to channel at least part of the senator he was prior to being Bill Clinton’s veep he would be the most conservative democrat running.  Which, of course, says more about his party than his brand of Euro-Green nanny statesmanship.

Well, the conventional wisdom first said there’s no way Giuliani could attract conservative GOP primary voters.  That seems to be patently untrue.

Then the conventional wisdom said Fred Thompson would erode his support.  Well, Fred has been ubiquitous for the last month, and deeply conservative primary voters do appear to want to like him badly, as evidenced by the fact he is winning conservative straw polls the way Giuliani wins every other poll.  But Thompson only scored 6 points in this Quinnipiac poll in PA, about 20% of his total at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference straw poll.  So it appears that piece of conventional wisdom may be a little off the mark as well.

What surprises me is the conventional wisdom seems unable to pick up on what I think is manifestly obvious:  Rudy Giuliani’s positions come close to reflecting those of the average American voter.  The hardworking and loyal men and women who love their families and country and try to think the best of their neighbors.  The person who goes to Church every once in a while, and keeps meaning to get there more often.  The person who doesn’t live in DC, New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago.  [Which is funny, seeing how he is a Manhattanite “down to the soles of his shoes”]  The people who love law and order, because they aren’t doing anything wrong.

It is surprising to me pundits just have trouble seeing Rudy Giuliani appeals to voters because he seems like one of us, just perhaps with much greater leadership skills and the outsized ego that comes with it.  A man of great aspirations and nothing but the best intentions who sometimes falls short, but never, ever stops trying his best, at least partly because he manifestly loves his country and he loves America.

UPDATE:  Forgot to give y’all a link to the actual poll.  Sorry.  Here.

McCain AND Ridge Dislike Representative Government

I know Tom Ridge is popular in Pennsylvania.  I’ve never quite understood why.  It always seemed to me like he was constructed at the same politician robot factory that fabricated Romney.

Well, Ridge likes McCain.  They’re buddies from way back.  So he is supporting him as well as he can, organizing a fundraising shin-dig for the author of anti-political speech McCain / Feingold.  [HT Josh at The Morning Call]  Joe Scarnati of the 25th district and Sam Smith of the 66th will be cohosting.  Since as many people in Pennsylvania like McCain as Sam Huckabee, one wonders what their constituents in north central and western Pennsylvania think about that.

Josh wonders how influential Ridge’s support can be, since he’s busy getting his private sector career off the ground, and isn’t really in politics any more.  For now.  Until he gets some sort of cabinet appointment.

Well, the most important thing Ridge can do for McCain is help keep our coelacanth of a presidential primary lurking in April.  Their political agendas, of course, outweigh romantic notions of representative republicanism.  No reason to let Pennsylvania’s natural support for Giuliani’s candidacy help him.  We crazy voters aren’t able to weigh important things like US Congressional collegiality.

Braman Joins Team Rudy

Former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Norman Bramen, has joined Team Giuliani.  So let me take a moment to remind Eagle’s fans that Norman Braman is a pretty awesome dude.

Believe me, I know as an owner of a football team he could have been better.  But as a man he is top notch.  He has spectacularly succeeded at something like four different careers, from owning a retail drug store chain in Pennsylvania to being a legend in luxury car sales in Florida.  He also sits on numerous boards, including no less than three prominent Jewish non-profits, including the National Holocaust Memorial Council.  Finally, his Foundation gives away a ton of money.

Seems to me a politician interested in scaring up both money and votes could do a lot worse than Braman.  Furthermore, in this particular case, Giuliani and Braman go way back.  Norman was nominated to head up the INS by Reagan back in the early 80’s.  Giuliani, at the time, was the lawyer in the Justice Department primarily responsible for interacting with the INS.

Braman was never confirmed, as his desire to jump headlong into cleaning up the department cheesed off way too many career bureaucrats.  It seems he was to the INS what John Bolton recently was to the UN.  It appears, though, Rudy and Braman were pretty simpatico when it came to a desire to reform government, and their relationship continues.

Act 1 & the PA Primaries

Tony Phyrillas informs us that school boards continue to opt out of the scam known as Act 1 Tax Reform.  It has been a burden figuring out how this legislative rat’s nest works, and he was kind enough to direct me to the best summary I’ve seen.  It is a page at the Pennsylvania Taxpayer’s Cyber Coalition.

This is relevant to us here because one of the reasons it is allegedly a bad idea to move up Pennsylvania’s presidential primary– so we grubbies and sweaties in the Commonwealth can actually have a say in who the major parties nominate for president– is it will be awkward for school boards trying to increase our taxes.  You see, under Act 1 school boards who want to raise property taxes above locally determined inflation levels will have to get approval via a referendum during the primary elections.  February is apparently too early for school boards to do this.

Turns out that many schools want no part of this scheme anyway.  Furthermore, those that are getting suckered into this organized gambling giveaway masquerading as property tax reform are availing themselves of numerous loopholes obviating the need for this referendum.  So how many school boards in the entire Commonwealth will need to secure this referendum approval this year?


Only a single school mismanaged gaming this system badly enough that the referendum was invoked.  This referendum is supposed to be the major benefit accruing to taxpayers with this scheme.  So people can stop telling me Act 1 prevents us from moving up the primary.

Furthermore, if you check out the coaltion’s summary, you will see that ultimately Pennsylvania’s taxpayers will realize no relief at all from this ball of red tape brought to us by the geniuses in the General Assembly.  The horse racing industry gets dough for their jockey pension fund before we taxpayers actually see any relief.

So the only reason to keep Pennsylvania’s antique primary where it is would be so John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton can artificially inflate the perception of their support in the Commonwealth.  The voters of Pennsylvania are screwed four ways ’till election Tuesday.

We can do our part in this year’s primary by declining to allow our municipalities to race our Earned Income or Personal Income Tax.  [EIT or PIT]  Without jacking these up, Act 1 won’t work.  That was good for me to learn, because when it comes to taxation I can be persuaded to pay a little more for my borough, while I reflexively spurn all other tax increases.  Now I know better, at least for this cycle.

Final note:  A gentleman at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference gave me a reason I had not heard for why moving up the primary is a bad idea.  He said it was already hard getting enough signatures for primary candidates to run in a Spring primary, and it would only get harder trying to get those signatures in the winter.  Really?  Well, last I checked Wyoming and Maine seem to manage.  And New Hampshire has been first since 1952.  Heck, if they keep having to move it up they may end up avoiding winter altogether.

Installment 3: Look at Philly, Then Look at Rudy

People of Southeastern PA, take note:  Philadelphia’s murder rate continues to skyrocket.  [HT Keystone Politics] I’ve said it before, but let me say it again:  Being the man in the White House where the buck stops is all about executive competence in difficult situations.  Most of the problems we conservatives have with the current occupant of the White House have to do with competence.  Newt said this at the PALC, and I agree.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani fixed New York City.  NYC had many of the same problems Philadelphia does now.  It also happens to be the crucible wherein antipathy for conservatives and Republicans is formed.  As I said elsewhere, because of the treatment we get from the MSM half the voting public is disposed to think of us right-wingers asgay-hating racists who want to put surveillance cameras in bedrooms and use poor people as fuel to power Halliburton’s corporate HQ.

So the environment Giuliani faced in NYC was even more hostile than Philadelphia’s would be to a real reformer.  But through the enaction of real reform effected by superb leadership Giuliani cleaned up the Big Apple.  Given this record I would think anyone who lives in the Philadelphia media market and knows its tangled problems– democrat, republican, and independent– should be entirely disposed to support his candidacy.  After all, look what a mediocre mayoral tenure did for Fast Eddie.

Rudy Leads GOP Candidates in PA Fundraising

I understand that money does not necessarily equate to votes.  But a candidate would certainly rather have more of it than less, so I am happy to report that Rudy Giuliani leads all the other GOP presidential candidates in fundraising in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  See the numbers here. [HT Grassroots PA]

 I would like to take credit for this, but all the people I know who may be inclined to slip a couple ducats to the campaign are holding back.  Why?  Because all the people I know with money are dissatisfied with the state GOP.  It’s a bit of a Catch-22 with my crowd, I guess.  A candidate has to run to get money, but as soon as he or she runs there will be no money forthcoming because by running you have to stand next to the state GOP.

Interestingly, in this Commonwealth the democrat fundraisers are not holding back so much.  The bad news is Hillary, Obama, and Edwards all raised more than Giuliani.

Gingrich Endorses Giuliani at PALC

Well, he didn’t explicitly endorse Giuliani.  But Hizzoner was the only presidential candidate mentioned by Gingrich in a positive way.  And the thrust of his remarks at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference seemed, to me, like a list of reasons to elect Rudolph Giuliani president.

Newt made two broad sets of points.  First, he claimed American politicians need to concentrate on three areas if they expect to be successful:

1)  Concentrating on “red, white, and blue” issues rather than “red state vs. blue state” issues; the types of issues 80% of Americans can agree on.  “Find an issue everyone agrees with, stand next to it, and smile.”  Obvious examples included making English our government’s official language, and allowing “under God” to stay in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Opposition to partial birth abortion, it seems to me, would be another.

2)  Transformation of government.  Our government needs to be as efficient as our private sector.  The ’06 cycle, he claimed, was about competence, not ideology.

3)  Vigorously defending ourselves against the Islamo-nutters.

On these issues, Giuliani is clearly your man.  For example, I have said over and over again that Giuliani is exactly with the bulk of Americans on social issues:  Personally conservative, but extending charity to those that disagree.  When it comes to executive competence, Giuliani’s record as mayor is unmatched by any other presidential aspirant.  Finally, on defence, Giuliani clearly states that the jihadis have declared war on us, not the other way ’round, and we need to act accordingly.  What bigger bird could we flip at Al Qaeda and their psychotically ignorant sympathizers than electing as president the mayor of the City most prominently attacked by them?

Gingrich also spoke about some tactics the GOP needs to employ to fashion a near-permanent governing majority.  These included an embrace of “green conservatism”, and reachout to Latino and African American voters.  Hizzoner has a great record on the environment, as detailed here by Deroy Murdock.  He also takes energy independence seriously.  As for reaching out to Latino and African American voters, the decline in crime during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor saved lives and property regardless of race or creed.  As more blacks get murdered than whites– per capita– one could probably make the case the Mayor did more for people of color than for white folks in that respect.  Let’s also remember Hizzoner was able to be elected– twice– as mayor in perhaps the most multicultural city on the planet while simultaneously engaged in constant combat with the race baiters and mau-mauers the hometown pundits had annointed as representatives of the “minority” community.

So all you people who would like to vote for Newt in a presidential election should seriously consider becoming Giuliani supporters.  Hizzoner fits iron-fist-in-velvet-glove with Newt’s own agenda.  And I don’t think anyone would argue Newt is more electable in a general election.  Keep in mind this is coming from a cat who places Newt only behind Reagan in the late 20th pantheon of conservative politicans.  But if you think Giuliani’s life history is a problem, wait and see what Peoria thinks about serving divorce papers to your wife while she’s on her death bed.  Peoria may want to try to avoid thinking about it.  But the MSM– the one that thinks Clarence Thomas is beyond the pale but Bill Clinton is a lovable scamp– is not going to let them.

PA Leadership Conference Straw Poll: Rudy Leads All Presidential Candidates

The above may be a little deceptive.  Because Hizzoner actually finished tied for second, with Newt.  Keep in mind, though, that Newt was actually speaking there.  Both had around 16 points.  Romney had something like 12.  Fred Thompson, though, slaughtered the field with 35 or so.

This conference is put on by Pennsylvania grassroots conservatives, not the GOP party faithful.  This is the first time I attended, and I can say this group clearly represents the political center of gravity when it comes to Republican political activism in PA.  Of course, there may have been a couple Blue Dog Democrats prowling about as well.

Do I think Giuliani would have scored better if his campaign were not so close to a couple prominent state GOP insiders greatly detested by this group?  Yep.  I know Team Giuliani has to take support from where it is offered in the GOP tent.  And the insiders that repulse these activists will help with  fundraising.  That is important.

But those insiders don’t deliver votes any more.   The folks at the Leadership Conference are the people that will generate votes in a presidential primary, and the general election.  His 16 points indicates he can indeed win these people over, even though we will never stop hearing how Giuliani can’t win over the right wing of the party.  But getting doubled up by a candidate who has not even announced ain’t good.

Aside:  McCain, the man favored by many insiders, only scored a point or two.  He and Ron Paul were about even.  Any wonder why the men and women who pull the strings don’t want us to have a relevant primary?

UPDATE:  A point I mentioned at this site, but did not mention here, deserves emphasis:  Note how well candidates who do not have to publicly associate with any PA GOP insider did in this poll.  If Newt or Thompson were to announce, the minute they were pictured standing next to any number of prominent GOP insiders their support with this crowd would plummet.  Given this, Giuliani’s showing was very strong.  But there’s still a lot of work to do.

Pennsylvania Leadership Conference

I will be attending a conservative confab called the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference this Saturday.  Can’t make it Friday, unfortunately, so I will miss Laura Ingraham.  I will only be a guerrilla advocate for the Mayor while there as the campaign will not have a formalized presence.  They were not able to make the scheduling work, although I know there were a number of folks that really wanted the mayor to make an appearance.

The only presidential candidate who will be appearing is one who has not announced:  Newt.  If Pennsylvania had a relevant primary I’m sure GOP candidates would all be there.  Alas, our Governor and General Assembly seem unperturbed by the fact I have little say in who my party elects to run the Free World.  I think we can charitably say they have embraced the delegative notion of democracy over the representative.  They think it would be best for all of us if they choose the respective nominees.  We voters may make rash decisions that interfere with their fiscal liquidity.

I’m looking forward to hearing Newt speak.  When he’s not trying to suck up to a debate opponent he is rather compelling.  I could have been a Newt supporter, except for the fact that he is totally unelectable in a general election.  That’s the price a politician has to pay for infuriating half the world and most of the media by successfully breaking the Democrat’s death grip on the Federal legislative branch.

My other goal while there will be looking for business opportunities.  I don’t mean this in the sleazy, backscratching way which is all too common in both parties.  Instead, what I have discovered is I like being involved in politics, and would like to find a way to subsidize my new habit.  In real life I am a PR, marketing, and sales consultant.  As such, I create case studies, white papers, press releases and marketing materials.  I also do competitive intelligence projects, market research, phone room management, cold calling, PR solicitations, and secure speaking engagements for my clients.

It occurred to me this skill set is pretty much exactly what is required for a political operative, and the Lord knows our politics could use more honest and results-oriented conservatives like myself.  Our politics, I think, could also use an elevation in tone.  So while at the conference I will be seeing if there are any local candidates who would like to hire my consultancy on a reasonable project basis.  I suspect a little professionalism could go a long way towards doing things like unseating State Senator Dinniman, who cannot be bothered to tell one of his constituents where he stands on moving up the PA primary.

Or maybe Pat Toomey will need some help running for the Governor’s office?  Or I could lend a hand to whoever will try and keep Arlen Specter honest in the GOP primary?

I will have a report upon my return late Saturday night.  Or Sunday.  We’ll see.

Non-Partisan Break: Time Warner Opposes Market Forces

I would like to take a moment to pimp a non-partisan issue dear to my heart as one who works with trade publications, and also enjoys reading political journals.

Time Warner is massaging the Postal Board of Governors with their lobbying muscle, hoping to make periodical postal codes about as complicated as our tax code.  One of the results of their proposed revisions will be to lower rates for publishers like Conde Nast which mails issues of Vanity Fair selling designer clothing, and it will be a lot more expensive for trade magazines and political journals to mail out their issues.

The increase could be between $100k – $200k dollars for modestly sized publishers, which will be enough to put some of them out of business.  If this were just the cost of doing business, so be it.  Print is dying.  But these same regulatory revisions will make it cheaper for Time Warner to mail out their bricks of vapidity stuffed with display adverts from vendors already eager to pay them millions of dollars in advertising fees.  To wit, they don’t need their rates lowered.  They should at least play on the same field, especially when using a service subsidized by our tax dollars.

As a free-marketeer nothing burns me more than large companies using their economies of scale not to deliver better products, but to skew the market in their favor.  If you want to learn more about this please click the button below.  If you agree with my take on the issue, please sign their petition.

Stop the Post Office