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Monday, December 19, 2016

North Carolina governor signs laws restricting successor's power

Another example of the Republicans using their dominance in the state and local levels to turn the tide in their favor. Roy Cooper (Democrat) narrowly defeated incumbent Pat McCrory (Republican) for the North Carolina governor seat in the 2016 election.

The GOP dominated state legislature of North Carolina passed a bill that would considerably weaken the next governor's power of North Carolina. Outgoing governor Pat McCrory signed it and this is what the new bill offers for the next governor.

  • Reduce the number of positions the governor can hire and fire at will from 1,500 to 300
  • Strip the governor’s party of the power to control the state board of elections
  • Require legislative approval of gubernatorial cabinet appointments
  • Move the power to appoint trustees for the University of North Carolina to the legislature.
All across the United States, the GOP has successfully used their power at state and local levels to even influence the President. Here's an American Political pop quiz. Even if Trump or anyone else did not win the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the Presidency, who then determines the President?

If no candidate wins 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives votes for the President, and the Senate votes for the Vice President. Both chambers are controlled by the Republicans.

Democrats, you better get smart, very fast and soon, or else face more staggering losses like these.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Republican wins Louisiana runoff election, increases GOP Senate majority to 52 seats

In the state of Louisiana, if a political candidate does not win at least 50 percent of the popular vote on Election day, a runoff election is scheduled about a month later to determine the winner. On December 11, Louisiana held a runoff election for a U.S. Senate seat. On Election day, J. Kennedy (Republican) was ahead of F. Campbell (Democrat) by 25.0% to 17.5% (a 7.5 point lead). There were other candidates running as well. After the runoff election on December 11, J. Kennedy (Republican) was farther ahead of F. Campbell (Democrat) by 60.7% to 39.3% (a 21.4 point lead).

The GOP now have a solid 52 seats in the U.S. Senate, with the Democrats holding 48 seats. These kind of runoff elections are heavily biased toward Republicans, as minority and young voters are considerably less likely to vote on special elections. It happened in 2014 when Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu won 42.0% to Republican challenger Bill Cassidy 41.0%, but lost to Bill Cassidy during the runoff election.

As long as Democrats and Democratic voters ignore the strong influence of state and local elections, the Republicans will continue to use tactics like runoff elections, voter ID and registration obstacles, and gerrymandering to their advantage. As I said before, Democrats better stop crying over their 2016 losses and start taking action now, which includes getting their voters to vote every year and on special elections, and take a grassroots campaign to build stronger campaigns at the state and local levels, and build it up to the federal level to Congress, and then the Presidency.