On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

No More Pasta For A While

stainless steel colanderYour stainless steel colander is going to be needed for other purposes.

Reality check: From January 1981 until today there was only one Democratic administration, that of William Jefferson Clinton. If you are one of the Democratic Party’s “heavy hitters” it is very probable that you were connected to the Clinton administration in one way or another. Can we all accept that?

Despite shared employment in the Clinton administration, not every member of that group is working for, or even endorses Hillary Rodham Clinton in the campaign for President, and some are even working for Barack Obama. Is everyone on board with that concept?

Not every woman in the United States is a supporter of Mrs. Clinton in the Democratic primary. Are there any problems with that statement?

Not every African American is a supporter of Mr. Obama in the Democratic primary. Can we agree on that?

If you can’t agree with those statements, find something else to read, because you won’t understand the rest of this post.

This is about people who rather obviously don’t agree with those statements, and have spun some mistakes by a non-profit organization into a kerfuffle¹.

Women’s Voices. Women Vote is an organization that started working in the 2004 campaign with the major purpose of getting single women to register and vote. I think we can all concede that WVWV is of the opinion that this group will overwhelmingly vote for candidates of the Democratic Party, but they don’t get into partisan politics.

This is their third campaign and they haven’t expanded coverage to all 50 states. In 2004 they were limited to 16 states, and their ability to cover other states is dependent on the amount of money they can raise.

If you are entering a new state, you probably are not familiar with all of the state rules and laws. As they concentrate on Federal elections to maximize their effectiveness, they are certainly not familiar with state primary elections. They are focused on the Federal elections in November, and getting people to register to vote in those elections.

Unlike partisan non-profits like MoveOn, which has decided to involve itself in the Democratic Party’s nomination process, WVWV is focused on the general election.

WVWV added North Carolina to their target audience and was attempting to distribute registration forms to unregistered voters in that state. As part of their process they had a contractor make robocalls to targeted people telling them that registration forms were on the way. They and/or their contractor screwed up and failed to identify the organization as the source of the calls, which violates North Carolina’s laws. They did notify North Carolina officials that they were sending out the registration packets, but did not specifically mention the robocalling.

WVWV is a small organization with a small staff. A lot of what they do must be contracted out on an as-needed basis. While certainly better than Pentagon oversight of KBR contracts in Iraq, or multi-billion dollar contracts for weapons systems, WVWV needs to perform more oversight of their contractors.

Now we get to the people who I once felt were reasonable, even thoughtful individuals with organizations that had some integrity.

Chris Krumm at Facing South has lost it. He is so obviously in the tank for Obama that he has been pushing this, even after the facts were known, as some kind of Clinton conspiracy. His early posts of his investigation demonstrate his delusions. WVWV is concerned with women, so it must be a front for Clinton to attack Obama. Even after it was pointed out that it has Obama supporters on its board, he won’t give up. If you read his posts you will note the absurd number of times he uses and highlights “illegal” in reference to the failure to identify themselves on the robocalls. He has lost it, and, despite good work in the past, a place on my blogroll. I can’t trust his judgment, as this is a total over-reaction to a mistake made by another progressive non-profit. He is hell-bent on crushing WVWV.

Now the NAACP is getting into the act complaining that this was an attempt to suppress minority voters in North Carolina. Apparently the NAACP thinks that minority voters are too stupid to understand what was going on in the registration effort. The NAACP might want to consider how much effort it has put in to its own registration efforts, when an outside group thinks that it needs to expend some of its limited budget on that effort because of low registration in the state.

If these groups and individuals had stood with the voters of Florida when the DNC decided to disenfranchise them, I might feel a little different, but voting in a primary is not much of a right when a political party can negate that vote with arbitrary application of rules.  A small non-profit screwed up, but there is no need to build gallows and stack fire wood.

1. Any small matter that is only important in the minds of the delusional.

11 comments

1 Badtux { 05.04.08 at 9:50 pm }

I think there’s some folks who have just plain jumped the shark. A Hillary supporter accused me of being a “fauxgressive” because I didn’t agree with her that sexism was the primary cause of Hillary’s problems (given the number of woman governors elected recently in various states that Hillary lost, it seems rather unlikely… what, the majority of voters in those states suddenly decided, on the way to the voting booth, that unlike a year before they now hated women?!). And an Obama supporter accused me of being a “fauxgressive” because, well, ah, uhm, I have money and apparently he believes only poor people can *really* be progressives. I swear, these folks are so busy pushing people out of the clubhouse as not ideologically pure enough that by the time they’re finished, they’re gonna be standing alone in the middle of the clubhouse wondering why, once again, progressive causes are a lost cause. Well, duh. Alienate your potential supporters by calling them nasty names and attacking them, and that’s what happens!

We are now officially in the silly season, folks. I already knew that America had lost its mind and descended into insanity. But folks that I had thought were some of the few sane adults in the room suddenly… are not. Gah!

— Badtux the Silly Penguin

2 Bryan { 05.04.08 at 10:44 pm }

I just don’t believe this crap. The goal should be November but these people are on a Crusade burning everything in their path. That’s why I shifted from the state flag of the Kanton of Bern to the war flag. You have to be ready to defend yourself, and a pike length is a good distance at which to hold them.

I backed Edwards after Richardson dropped out, but these obsessives are doing their best to elect McCain by pissing everyone else off.

3 hipparchia { 05.04.08 at 11:00 pm }

2008: isn’t it the year of the rat? certainly its the year of disenfranchisement.

wvwv has sent me a few e-mails, one of which was mildly confusing because it seemed to maybe possibly perhaps imply that i was an unregistered voter they were targeting, but this being florida, i just figured they’d tried to work from our nice, clean, accurate voter database[s].

which did lead me to wonder if somehow i’d been purged from the rolls, so i can see how people getting those robocalls would be disconcerted.

fortunately, i’m one to pick up the phone and call the local supervisor of elections and start asking questions, but not everybody would know they could do that. and hard to believe, but it’s true, not everyone even has a phone they can blithely pick up.

wvwv, while they should be lauded for their gotv efforts, really should be criticized for not including some kind of identification of their organization and some version of if you’re already registered to vote, that’s lovely, please feel free to pass this on to someone who isn’t. especially since it seems they made similar missteps in multiple states.

yeah, i’m feeling pretty let down by facing south at the moment too.

4 Bryan { 05.04.08 at 11:58 pm }

They just need a good script saying who they are and that at the specific date of their list there was one or more unregistered voters at the address, so they are sending a registration packet. If it’s not needed, pass it on.

I mean, you can register at the DMV and well as the Supervisor of Elections office, but you only get a license once every six years, so that’s not very efficient. My local on-line system isn’t even secured, so I’m not using that.

There just haven’t been the voter registration drives that I’ve been accustomed to over the years. Everything seems to be directed at TV spots, which is pretty worthless in my area, even if I watched TV as there are no local stations between Pensacola and Panama City.

I’m not sure how much of that “multiple states” I accept. People may just have been complaining about robocalling. My Mother was pretty ticked off when she discovered the “Do Not Call” list didn’t include political calls. I wouldn’t expect WVWV to catch it, but contractors would generally react to the criticism and make changes.

5 hipparchia { 05.05.08 at 12:14 am }

well, they targeted me here in florida, so with north carolina that’s 2 states where they caused at least minor confusion. but they could easily have used the same formula in calls in multiple states whose primaries were close together, or even on super tuesday, so even hearing about such complaints only a few days later wouldn’t have given them time to change their message from one state to the next.

kind of annoying for obama to complain about this.

6 Bryan { 05.05.08 at 12:42 am }

I assume that all of the calls are using the same contractor and phone bank, so the message would be the same. If no one filed a formal complaint, they wouldn’t know it happened. Even with a formal complaint, it can take a while for the contractor and client to be aware of the problem.

I’ve done some volunteer political stuff in California, and there was a problem with part of the operation the candidate had, but he was ready for re-election before he knew about it, which was a PITA trying to tweak code you haven’t seen in four years. If we had known at the time it would have taken 15 minutes, but it took two days just to find the code based on the complaint. [I tend not to “over comment” the stuff I write for free.]

It wasn’t a legal thing, it was an annoyance thing, and you don’t want to annoy people who vote when you’re a politician.

Thanks for the link. I’ve heard references to that a couple of times, but it’s nice to have the article from his local puppy trainer, and before he became the savior of the world as we know it.

7 hipparchia { 05.05.08 at 1:06 am }

de nada.

complaint processes are notoriusly slow anyway, but with elections being episodic events, and campaigns being temporary coalitions, it’s probably even more difficult.

comments? whuzzat? i never did a lof of programming, so maybe i would have gotten better at it with practice, but i sometimes found that deciphering my comments several months later wasn’t all that much easier than deciphering the bare code.

ot, i know puppy trainer is less regional than mullet wrapper, and far be it from me to discourage diversity in euphemism, but i discovered early on that making that crucial transition from indoors to out is a lot easier if you just put a piece of sod in a tray for the indoors part of it. eliminates that extra annoyance of carrying the paper on walks.

8 Frederick { 05.05.08 at 5:07 am }

Good post. Just one question. “He is so obviously in the tank for Obama that he has been pushing this, even after the facts were known, as some kind of Clinton conspiracy.” Does one’s pick for the Democratic nomination disqualify them from making any further statements or having any further questions about the opposing campaign? I can relate to Badtux’s earlier comment. I’ve seen it over and over. That’s why we own the defiled word. But I have seen nearly as much crazyness on the interwebs from Obama supporters as I have from Clinton supporters. In fact in our little neck of the blogosphere there are only one or two outward supporters of Hillary Clinton…

9 Frederick { 05.05.08 at 5:09 am }

That should read haven’t*

But I haven’t seen nearly as much crazyness on the interwebs from Obama supporters as I have from Clinton supporters.

10 Bryan { 05.05.08 at 3:23 pm }

I’ve been know to use the Christian Science Monitor in cat carriers [before I discovered puppy training pads which are much better], so I’m loose with my euphemisms, Hipparchia.

In for-profit programs I tend to do a lot of labeling assuming someone else may have to maintain the code if I get hit by a truck, or it is a team project. Meaningful variable names and comments make life a lot easier than C code with single letter variables and no white space. Experience has taught me that people expect to call you years after you wrote something and get changes quickly, which is like asking Rowlings what she meant by the her description on page 73 of The Secret Chamber at a forum. She would probably have to refer to a copy of the book.

On the complaints side, the WVWV targets only the November generals, because you are still talking about 51 different elections systems at the state level. This limits the efficiency of any GOTV or registration drive. It would be nice if there were Federal rules for Federal elections, but that isn’t going to happen. Hell, it would be a “great leap forward” if Florida had one system, instead of the 67 currently in place.

11 Bryan { 05.05.08 at 3:52 pm }

Frederick, it was established early on that WVWV was not connected with the Clinton campaign, and was dealing with registration for the general election, not the primary. To continue attacking them for something that has already been established as false is not reasonable. Go after the opposing campaign by any and all means, but there’s no logic in attacking bystanders.

He wasn’t concerned with the facts after they were established, he acted as if the facts didn’t exist, even though he uncovered them and reported them.

Attack Clinton for her policies and actions, not for the actions of people who have nothing to do with her campaign.

WVWV waits until after the the registration deadline for primaries has past to get to work because they concentrate on the general election. Claiming they are attempting to influence the primary makes no sense because they don’t deal with primaries.

As for who leads in the insanity I won’t state an opinion because I am automatically biased against Obama for his efforts blocking the resolution of the DNC v Florida primary problem. He shouldn’t expect Floridians to forgive him for the part he played in disenfranchising them.

Obama and Clinton are both moderate Republicans with a “D” behind their name. I won’t support or vote for either one. I don’t vote for Republicans, no matter what letter follows their name. There are reasons John Edwards hasn’t endorsed either one.

I would note that many people who are assumed to be Clinton supporters, aren’t, they just don’t like misogyny, and it has been rather rampant. I used to sit on an EEO board when I was in civil service, and I am thoroughly grounded in the “dog whistles”. Some of the worse cases involved supervisors who were totally clueless about what they were saying and doing, and how everyone else viewed it. Using terms your grandparents taught you was not a good idea unless you really understood what the terms meant.