Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere

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A roundup of the leadership changes in the 111th Congress, such as I could put together:

With Democrats expanding their majorities in the House and Senate during the 2008 congressional elections, members of both parties sought to redefine the leadership structure within their respective caucuses. Some of the shuffling was predictable, while political calculation entered into consideration into other leadership campaigns. In addition, freshman members of the House and Senate were forced to take sides in their first actions in Congress, even though they have not been taken office.

H/T to John for the post title.

Netroots Nation: Future Leaders Liveblogging

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(I’m liveblogging a discussion with four congressional candidates – click the links below to find their Congresspedia profiles, part of our Wiki-the-Vote project)

3:13 Annette Taddeo says that her opponent’s opposition to SCHIP was the biggest reason for getting into the race.

3:17 Dan Seals: I want to see Democrats not blow it – we failed in 1994 because we didn’t elect a movement. Democrats should redouble their efforts.

3:19 Jill Derby says party and infrastructure building has been an incredible boon in Nevada. “Nevada is a new and different state,” she continues: In my dirstrict, the Republican registration advantage has shrunk 40% since I last ran in 2006.

3:23 Jim Himes is running in Connecticut’s 4th district, what he describes as one of the country’s most diverse district. He says moderates are sometimes enablers, and that Republican Rep. Chris Shays has broken with his party on issues where Congress doesn’t have much sway.

(More liveblogging and questions from the audience after the break) Continue reading…

True Blue New Mexico

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Donate to Democratic CandidatesMy friends at Democracy for New Mexico and New Mexico FBIHOP are fundraising again: they’ve started an ActBlue page for all of the Democratic candidates for federal office in New Mexico. They inlcude: Sen. Barack Obama, Rep. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Harry Teague, and Ben Ray Lujan.

The netroots is playing a big role in elections this year, and I give some serious props to Matt and Barb for stepping up and getting this effort going. I think it’s a testament to their hard work, and a recognition of the role they’re playing, that each of the New Mexican candidates are posting guest blogs this week (you can see Heinrich’s posts here and here).

Matt has a great post introducing the project, highlighting the unique situation in New Mexico this cycle:

In 2008, New Mexicans have a chance for a true change — a golden opportunity to make a True Blue New Mexico.  There are more Democrats than Republicans registered in the state, and Democrats control both the state Senate and House.  Yet in federal offices, Republicans hold a 3-2 advantage, including a 2-1 advantage in the House. This year, that can change — and change dramatically.

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve thought that some additional attention in southern New Mexico from groups like the DCCC could help push the district closer toward the “Democratic” column, and with the right candidate Rep. Steve Pearce might have had a fight on his hands. With changing demographics, who knows what would have happened? Continue reading…

Mr. Fancy Pants in the New York Times

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No less than four women called me “Mr. Fancy Pants” when I relayed I had been interviewed by the New York Times yesterday. I imagine they must teach this term during girl’s physical education classes in grade school, ((My reasoning here is that P.E. classes were mandatory, and yet were oftentimes the only occasion in which students were separated by gender))  since I don’t remember it on the general curriculum and its use seems confined to the female population.

Anyhoo, in case you were wondering:

These sites were all talking and cross-linking with each other and about two weeks ago they joined up with Congresspedia, a nonpartisan site that was already using the wiki process to build profiles of all members of Congress. Congresspedia, a project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Media and Democracy, had a fairly high profile, as well as paid editors in place who monitor the site and make sure all entries are sourced. On Wednesday, Congresspedia emerged as the host site for S.T.P. and it has quickly become a clearing house for superdelegate information.

“The biggest portion of the new users who have come in the last four or five days are people with local knowledge at the state level or the district level,” said Avelino Maestas, assistant editor for Congresspedia. “We’re getting information that most people at a national level wouldn’t have.”

I think that first paragraph merits the only clarification I saw in the reportage: I don’t think anybody partnered up with Congresspedia until last week.

Clinton pulls ahead – but just barely

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The latest from KOB (they’ve had some of the best info, IMO) has Sen. Hillary Clinton up by 210 votes, while Sen. Barack Obama was ahead this morning. However, if I’m reading their story right, Rio Rancho’s results still haven’t been tallied:

State Democratic Party leaders said 16,871 provisional ballots were being counted Wednesday.

At noon Wednesday, four precincts still had not reported their vote totals. They included three precincts in Rio Arriba County and one in Sandoval County where Rio Rancho voters experienced extremely long waits at the city’s only polling location. Some reported taking three hours to cast their ballots.

Also, the state Democratic Party’s Web site is less than helpful at 2:30 Eastern time (sorry, stuck in D.C. mode):

And it’s a toss up

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Looks like New Mexico is continuing in its tradition of not picking a winner outright, and making the nation cool on its heels while the Land of Enchantment counts ballots:

New Mexico’s Democratic caucus remained unsettled early Wednesday morning as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama were separated by just 117 votes with nearly 17,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton held 65,845 votes, or 42.97 percent, while Obama held 65,728 votes, or 45.89 percent.

State Democratic Party leaders said 16,871 provisional ballots were still to be counted Wednesday morning starting at 9 a.m.

The CNN site for New Mexico doesn’t even have that much information, while the vote tally section of the New Mexico Democratic Party is still lacking information on Bernalillo, Doña Ana and Grant counties.

Hopefully the picture will firm up by the time LP comes on.