Archive for Politics

Caucus Photos

Jodi took some photos of the caucus proceedings, and had some photos taken of her and Gabriel — I’ve posted them to the Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doddsfamily/sets/72157603888967247/

Here’s Little G at his first caucus!! πŸ™‚

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Here’s me leading the start of the caucus:

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Also, thanks to Adam Perry who took a bunch of photos and sent me the link to the tagged photos (also at Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/industrialbarn/tags/caucus/

None in that batch with Gabriel, but they give a number of views of the process — especially the delegate selection process toward the end! Here’s one that shows some of the 173 people we crammed into the room and out into the hallway.

 37-1833 Caucus

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Washington State Democratic Caucuses

Wow. Just wow. Today we did the Washington State Democratic Caucuses. As my precinct’s PCO (Precinct Committee Officer), it was my responsibility to run the caucus for my precinct. I’d gone through some training on this a few weeks ago — and it largely consists of being able to follow directions and read from a script — so I wasn’t too worried about it.

At Washington Middle School, where we caucused, there were a total of 15 precincts doing their caucus, spread around the school. Since our area coordinator had been out of town until just a few days ago, I had been the one to do a site survey with the chair of the 37th democrats, standing in for her about a week ago. Rob and I had walked around the school, getting a feel for which parts we’d have available for our use.

We had decided to start in the cafeteria — which could comfortably hold about 300-500 people. If we needed to overflow after the area-caucus greeting, we were going to spill into the library and possibly a couple of classrooms across from the library.

Now, I wasn’t at the caucus in 2004 (if for no other reason than I still lived in North Carolina at the time!), so I didn’t know what to expect. The rumor was that 2004 was “pretty big turnout” and we even expected to double it this time. But a room that could hold 300-400 people for the 15 precincts onsite was probably going to be fine.

Wow. Just wow. We were so wrong!

The turnout was… absolutely… spectacular. By the time the doors opened for “early setup” at 11:45am there were already about 30 people lingering outside. By 12:30, we’d already long-since passed 300-400 people collecting in the cafeteria. By the time our 1:00pm start time passed, the cafeteria was packed like sardines and spilled out in the hallway.

Our final count (and I’m doing this from memory, so perhaps I mix up some of the numbers) for the full site with 15 precincts: 1378. Yes. Thirteen hundred and seventy eight people.

37-1833 was the largest precinct in attendance, providing >12% of the total attendees at the site: 173 voters.

Thinking ahead, I had even staked claim to one of the “large” classrooms, expecting my 30 to maybe 50 people to show up. We (again, 173 people) ended up packed like sardines in the classroom, with people spilling out into the hallway. So — quick digression — if you ended up listening to me talk from out in the hallway, I apologize! I can confidently say as one of the planners of the caucus, the turnout was significantly bigger than even my wildest imagination!

In any event, even given the naturally chaotic nature of a caucus and the overwhelming crush of people, things still went off pretty effectively. We got through all the business, counted the votes, elected the delegates, etc. Good stuff.

As a quick datapoint, 37-1833 ended up splitting our 9 total delegates to 8 delegates for Obama and 1 delegate for Hillary. A pretty decisive victory for Obama!

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So many books

Wow. No book report posts since August. Ouch. Well, the good news is that I have a bunch to report on. Or the bad news. Your call. In any case, time is precious so I’ll keep them short.

  • Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean – super good book. “Authoritarian followers” who are ready and willing to submit to the extreme right-wing leadership of the current Republican party and religious leaders. Very prescient. Very scary. 5/5 stars.
  • The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds – Good clean fun, like most Ludlum books. But gone in an instant; no real long-term impact. 3/5 stars.
  • Conservatize me by John Moe – John tells us about his attempt to understand the conservative philosophy and lifestyle. Lightweight fun. Good Seattle references and makes very reasonable points. 4/5 stars.
  • One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind – I found this one hard to get into. Never got traction; finally aborted after 2 hours. First time I’ve ever done this. 1/5 stars.
  • Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman – Good. Very good. A particularly interesting and engaging discussion of how the Christian bible has “evolved” over the ages, both due to intentional manipulation and unintentional translation and scribe errors. 5/5 stars.
  • The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum. This one was quite long, but definitely one of the better Ludlum books I’ve “read” lately. The Progeria connection was tenuous at best, and a number of the plot “twists” were appallingly obvious. But it was still fun. 4/5 stars.
  • American Fascists by Chris Hedges and Eunice Wong – I never quite got figured out “the voice” of the book since there was no introduction and it seemed more like an academic reference book than a readable non-fiction at times. That said, it made interesting points, and I finished it right as the Jonah Goldberg book was hitting the media circuit, so it made for some interesting perspective on those interviews. 3/5 stars.

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More candidate matching…

My cousin Joanie sent me a link to another “answer some questions about your politics and find your best-match candidate” site: http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

The results were not unlike the last time I took a similar survey, although these results were a little higher-fidelity (“oooh, look at the pretty pictures!”) πŸ™‚

Not sure I think the survey was quite as accurate, since it had far fewer questions/topics vs the previous one. For instance, Chris Dodd got a better rank because they didn’t ask all of the topics he and I disagreed on in the other survey! Oh well. The unfortunate part is that it reminds me once again that my decision of Hillary vs Obama is a toss-up.

I still hold that it’s too bad Dennis Kucinich isn’t a real player in the primaries. Maybe he’ll surprise us all.


Below are the candidates ranked by how much you agree with their stances.


Dennis Kucinich
Score: 56
Agree
Iraq
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Marriage
Death Penalty
Disagree
Immigration


Chris Dodd
Score: 56
Video
Agree
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Marriage
Death Penalty
Disagree
Iraq


Barack Obama
Score: 51
Video
Agree
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Marriage
Disagree
Iraq
Death Penalty


Hillary Clinton
Score: 51
Agree
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Marriage
Disagree
Iraq
Death Penalty


Mike Gravel
Score: 51
Agree
Iraq
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Marriage
Death Penalty
Disagree
Line-Item Veto
Energy


John Edwards
Score: 43
Video
Agree
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Energy
Marriage
Disagree
Iraq
Immigration
Line-Item Veto
Death Penalty


Joe Biden
Score: 43
Agree
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Energy
Marriage
Disagree
Iraq
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Death Penalty


Bill Richardson
Score: 41
Video
Agree
Iraq
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Marriage
Disagree
Immigration
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Death Penalty


Rudy Giuliani
Score: 31
Agree
Stem-Cell Research
Abortion
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Marriage
Disagree
Iraq
Immigration
Taxes
Health Care
Social Security
Death Penalty


Ron Paul
Score: 25
Agree
Iraq
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage
Death Penalty
Disagree
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Energy


Mitt Romney
Score: 21
Agree
Stem-Cell Research
Abortion
Energy
Disagree
Iraq
Immigration
Taxes
Health Care
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage
Death Penalty


Jim Gilmore
Score: 14
Agree
Abortion
Energy
Disagree
Iraq
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage
Death Penalty


Sam Brownback
Score: 12
Agree
Energy
Death Penalty
Disagree
Iraq
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage


John McCain
Score: 12
Agree
Immigration
Marriage
Disagree
Iraq
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Death Penalty


Duncan Hunter
Score: 7
Agree
Energy
Disagree
Iraq
Immigration
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage
Death Penalty

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Presidential Picks Site

I’d been looking for a way to determine my alignment with particular candidates on the issues in the 2008 election cycle. Thanks to this table at 2decide.com, we’ve got a good way to see where the various candidates sit on the issues!

But what would be even easier? That’s right — if I could input my issue preferences and let the computer rank the candidates in the order they agree with me. πŸ™‚

Well, thanks to this site, that’s exactly what you can do! The topics listed under the ones I agree with more than I don’t (ie – those with positive # instead of negative #) are those topics on which we disagree. Now, it’s obviously not perfect, as it doesn’t encapsulate any of the nuance of the various issue positions — universal healthcare is not universal healthcare… uh… universally, for instance. But it’s still a fun exercise, and it reminds me that I really am in the progressive wing of the party. Listening to Thom Hartmann’s show a few weeks back, I got quite a kick out of how Kucinich cleaned up in his straw poll; but he’s effectively a non-starter in the national primaries. Shame.


My results:

Kucinich 63
  No Child Left Behind, Net Neutrality
Gravel 56
  (you have no disagreements with this candidate)
Obama 31
  Patriot Act, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Iran Sanctions, Same-Sex Marriage
Clinton 31
  Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Iran Sanctions, Iran – Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage
Edwards 30
  Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Net Neutrality, Iran Sanctions, Iran – Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage
Dodd 29
  Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Iran Sanctions, Iran – Military Action
Richardson 26
  Death Penalty, Assault Weapons Ban, Patriot Act, Net Neutrality, Iran Sanctions, Iran – Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage
Biden 24
  Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Iran Sanctions, Same-Sex Marriage
Paul 11
  Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, ANWR Drilling, Kyoto, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns – Background Checks, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Border Fence, Minimum Wage Increase, Same-Sex Marriage, Universal Healthcare
McCain -9
Thompson -13
Giuliani -23
Brownback -31
Cox -32
Huckabee -46
Tancredo -59
Romney -61
Hunter -63

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