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This article is good news for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, saying “The new poll of likely Virginia voters by Republican firm Optimus/Firehouse Strategies over Wednesday and Thursday shows Gillespie leading his Democratic opponent Ralph Northam by 40.4 percent to 37.4 percent.” The thing that’s most encouraging, though, is that the Latino Victory Fund ad enraged independents and fired up Republicans.

As a result, turnout should be high for the GOP candidate. Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam is having difficulty turning out the Obama coalition. Those 2 things should help deliver a victory for a victory to Governor-Elect-in-Waiting Gillespie.

Turnout for Northam might be hurt because he’s played into Republicans’ hands on sanctuary cities. The article says “Northam has also received criticism among party members and progressive voter groups for his break with party rhetoric on so-called sanctuary cities, which do not comply with federal immigration laws, saying he would sign legislation banning them ‘if that bill comes to my desk.'” First, that’s taking a defensive position, which isn’t good anytime but especially troubling the last week of a campaign.

Then there’s this:

Following headliner Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, populist-nationalist 2018 U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart addressed the Remembrance Project National Conference in Washington, DC, Saturday. The event, at the capital’s famous Willard Hotel, featured a “who’s who” of leaders in the fight against illegal immigration, including headliner Bannon, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, and Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, in Remembrance Project’s largest annual event to honor Americans killed by illegal alien crime and the “angel families” they left behind.

Finally, there’s this observation:

“MS-13 is not just a Northern Virginia problem. It’s not just in Northern Virginia and tidewater,” Stewart told Breitbart News on Saturday. “It is spreading down the [Interstate] 81 corridor and is becoming a statewide issue … It’s an issue that will drive not only conservatives but independent voters who are concerned about it.”

The winner of the big elections is the candidate that finds the issue that evokes the most visceral reaction. I think MS-13 is this year’s visceral issue. We’ll see Tuesday night whether I’m right.

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Yesterday, I wrote this post, which I titled “Why Ed Gillespie will win”, I wrote “Don’t be surprised if this causes an anti-Democrat backlash that swamps Northam. In fact, I’d argue that the backlash has already started.” This NRO article examines the Latino Victory Fund’s offensive ad.

Ben Shapiro wrote “Monday, just days ahead of Virginia’s hotly contested gubernatorial election, the Latino Victory Fund released an ad opposing Republican Ed Gillespie. The ad is uniquely horrifying. It features four minority children, Latino, Asian, Muslim, African-American, running for their lives from a white man driving a pick-up truck. The truck is festooned with a giant Confederate Flag, a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ license plate, and a prominent ‘Gillespie for Governor’ bumper sticker. It runs the children into a dead end, its lights washing out their terrified faces. The children wake up in their beds. We then flash to video of the Charlottesville white-supremacist march, as a voice asks, ‘Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream?’ This sort of thing is insane, and it divides the country beyond any reconciliation. Alexander Hamilton recognized the danger of impugning the motives of political opponents in Federalist No. 1: ‘In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution. . . . And yet . . . a torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose.'”

Shapiro calls LVF’s anti-Gillespie ad “the worst in political history.” He’s right. What the LVF did was stupid. This close to election day, GOTV operations are super-important. This ad will create a turnout higher than any GOTV operation Ed Gillespie could’ve put together:

That’s why Ed Gillespie will win.

A month+ ago, Ed Gillespie didn’t seem to have much of a chance of becoming Virginia’s next governor. This morning, I’m predicting that he’ll win next Tuesday’s election. This article explains why he’s likely to win. The article opens by saying “A television ad depicting supporters of Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie as Confederates who attack children of color has been pulled in the wake of the terror attack in New York City. The Democratic group Latino Victory Fund removed the controversial ad, which showed a pickup truck driver chasing down children of color on Tuesday, Oct. 31.”

This close to an election, polling isn’t reliable because things are fluid. At this point in the campaign, it’s all about Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operations, capitalizing on backlashes and momentum swings. I’d bet the proverbial ranch that the pulled ad is creating an anti-Northam backlash. Cristobal J. Alex, the “president of the LVF,” posted a tweet saying “We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see. We have decided to pull our ad at this time. Given recent events, we will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.”

Alex apparently didn’t learn the first rule of holes, which is that “if you’re in one, stop digging.” This Washington Post editorial states “Ralph Northam would not have run this ad and believes Virginians deserve civility, not escalation,” a spokesman for Mr. Northam emailed us.” Northam didn’t criticize this ad immediately:

Northam’s silence says everything that voters need to know about Northam’s lack of character. Ben Shapiro’s article details the ad, saying “Monday, just days ahead of Virginia’s hotly contested gubernatorial election, the Latino Victory Fund released an ad opposing Republican Ed Gillespie. The ad is uniquely horrifying. It features four minority children, Latino, Asian, Muslim, African-American, running for their lives from a white man driving a pick-up truck. The truck is festooned with a giant Confederate Flag, a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ license plate, and a prominent “Gillespie for Governor” bumper sticker. It runs the children into a dead end, its lights washing out their terrified faces. The children wake up in their beds. We then flash to video of the Charlottesville white-supremacist march, as a voice asks, ‘Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream'”

Don’t be surprised if this causes an anti-Democrat backlash that swamps Northam. In fact, I’d argue that the backlash has already started.

One thing that I’ve noticed about Wisconsin since Scott Walker became governor is that it’s essentially become a red state, thanks mostly to Act 10 becoming state law. It isn’t a coincidence that Wisconsin become a red state now that public employee unions are shrinking as a result of Act 10. According to the report, “public employee union membership dropped significantly after the law passed, with AFSCME reporting a drop from 62,818 in 2011 to 28,745 in February 2012.”

That’s a pretty significant enrollment drop in a year. Think of how many fewer Democrat campaigns that AFSCME will be able to fund. Don’t stop there, though. Think about how restricted PEUs would be if people couldn’t be forced to pay union dues. Actually, it might not take that long before that vision might become a reality. John Hinderaker notes that “While rich leftists are often assumed to be the main supporters of the Democratic Party, it is public sector unions that provide the lion’s share of the Democrats’ funding. They take money involuntarily from their members, a large majority of whom have never even voted on whether to be represented by a union, and many of whom disapprove of the union’s agenda, and recycle that money into left-wing causes, Democratic Party candidates, and inflated salaries for countless union officials.”

If the Supreme Court rules in Mark Janus’ favor, public employee unions will lose millions of dollars and tons of political clout. The worst thing that can happen with Democrat-supporting organizations is for them to lose influence. If the PEUs lose union dues, they’ll lose clout almost immediately.

It isn’t a stretch to think that this ruling might happen before the midterm campaigns start. With Democrats not having an agenda, they need tons of money to buy races. In the short-term, it isn’t likely that Democrats can compete. John is right with this analysis:

Minnesota, where I live, is one of a number of states where public sector unions, especially teachers’ unions, are by far the most powerful political force. Conservatives who rely on voluntary contributions cannot begin to match the enormous revenues the teachers’ unions extract by force from people who are legally compelled to pay them. If the Supreme Court sides with the Janus plaintiffs, the political landscape in such states will be transformed.

I don’t know it couldn’t happen. To the left, Janus’ lawsuit literally is an existential threat.

We know that there’s two things in life that are guaranteed: death and taxes. Actually, based on this article, there’s apparently a third certainty: that DFL mayors can’t resist raising property taxes.

Preya Samsundar’s article starts by saying “Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges finally revealed her budget plan for 2018 on Tuesday including a proposal for a 5.5 percent property tax levy increase for the upcoming year. Hodges’ budget and the address she gave in presenting it covered a laundry list of progressive talking points and policy plans. The budget has a total price tag of $1.8 billion. Almost $6 million in total will be spent on efforts to use non-fossil fuel sources of energy, improve businesses’ climate effects, and increase energy efficiency in commercial and residential areas of Minneapolis. This is roughly a 60 percent increase compared with the 2014 budget the year Hodges assumed office.”

Hodges knows that she’s in a fight for re-election. That’s likely why she criticized President Trump in presenting her budget:

“Minneapolis is facing a challenge that we couldn’t have conceived of a year ago,” Mayor Hodges said. “Though we are shocked by the damage he does every day of his presidency, we have to anticipate that Donald Trump will remain in the White House through 2020. In the next three and a half years he can wreak untold damage to our country with his authoritarian tactics and his policies of oppression and suppression. Once he was elected, we knew it would be a disaster for our country, but even just six months in, it’s already far more disastrous than we anticipated.” Hodges believes that Trump is coming after “our diversity, our right to vote, our artists, our independent media, our workers” with his policies.

That criticism is just a distraction. Hodges knows that she’ll lose if voters focus on the uptick in violence during her administration. She’s been a disaster since taking over for the equally disastrous R.T. Rybak.

It isn’t that I think Mayor Hodges will lose because she raised property taxes. My point is that the DFL annually promises property tax relief, then falls far short of their promises.

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Anyone who’s watched Amy Walters on Special Report’s All-Star Panel knows that she’s a lefty. Wednesday night, Walters’ leftism came out in a surprising way. The topic of discussion was President Trump’s ‘secret’ second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN’s and MSNBC’s hosts were scandalized by Trump’s and Putin’s second meeting. While she didn’t show it, Ms. Walters said that any meeting between Trump and Putin wouldn’t go well for Trump because Russia interfered in our election.

By admitting that, Ms. Walters essentially said that this event wouldn’t be judged fairly because the media is pushing a hateful, anti-Trump narrative. Apparently, Ms. Walters either doesn’t notice that she isn’t impartial or she’s admitting that she isn’t interested in being impartial. Personally, I’m betting on the latter. She’s already admitted that the MSM’s narrative isn’t fair. Next, Ms. Walters essentially says that the MSM’s partiality is something that the GOP will just have to deal with.

In 2004, Evan Thomas infamously said “There’s one other base here, the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win and I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox. They’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there’s going to be this glow about them, collective glow, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

Since then, the MSM, aka the Agenda Media, has gotten more anti-Republican each election cycle. After talkin about how unfair media coverage is on Trump/Russia, Ms. Walters compared Trump/Russia with FNC’s coverage of Hillary/Benghazi as though they were equal. Seriously?

With Trump/Russia, there’s speculation that Trump colluded with Putin in rigging the election. With Hillary/Benghazi, there’s indisputable proof that Hillary’s decisions got the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three others killed. Thanks to Hillary’s congressional testimony, we also have proof that she lied about a video causing the attack:

Ms. Walters’ comparison isn’t just intellectually dishonest. It’s incoherent.

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Harold Hamilton has an interesting read in this week’s commentary. Each Friday, Hamilton provides a weekly commentary on what’s happening politically in Minnesota. This week’s commentary is about Minnesota’s political alignment.

In the commentary, Hamilton wrote “The first glimmers of realignment began in the 1980s as the DFL became an abortion-on-demand party, causing many lifelong Democrats to migrate to the GOP because of deep seated beliefs regarding the sanctity of life. Next came gun control, as Democrats in the urban core became avowed enemies of law-abiding gun owners. The latest split on social issues has occurred in recent times over the gay marriage issue.”

In his abridged version of Minnesota’s transformation, Hamilton continued, saying “After Minnesota Democrats (and a handful of Republicans) legalized gay marriage in 2013, many rural Democrats lost their legislative seats in the 2014 election. The GOP held these seats in 2016, despite claims by the DFL that the seats were merely “rented.” If those seats are rentals, they are surely long-term leases. After the schism caused by social issues, the DFL suffered a catastrophic breakdown of their coalition over economic the economic issues that have become preeminent in recent elections. Strident DFL objections to mining, pipelines and oil extraction have proven to be the final straw for legions of erstwhile rural DFL voters.”

I’ve written extensively that the DFL has turned into the urban party that’s out-of-touch with rural Minnesota. If the truth is told, the DFL isn’t pro-farmer or pro-labor. They’re pro-hardline environmentalists and pro-government unions. Every 2 years, they make a pitch for the Iron Range but they’re losing their grip on that.

Ken Martin is the state DFL state party chair. When I did a search of YouTube’s videos with Martin in them over the past month, it came back with nothing. That’s understandable since the DFL doesn’t have a message and Martin’s DFL has been on a sustained losing streak. If I was in Chairman Martin’s situation, I’d hide, too.

If the DFL keeps urbanizing, they’ll soon be Minnesota’s minority party for a generation. That’s the trajectory they’re on.

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During Friday night’s Almanac Roundtable, Walter Hudson made a fantastic point about voter fraud. I don’t have Walter’s exact wording but the point Walter made was that people don’t wait until they’re robbed before putting a lock on their doors.

This conversation was made in the context of news that Steve Simon told the Trump administration that they wouldn’t supply them with voter lists. While Democrats insisted that this was important symbolically, it really isn’t. The truth is that anyone can buy those lists. The DFL’s resistance is just an example of how far they’re willing to go to please their special interest activists.

Despite the DFL’s protests that voter fraud doesn’t exist, they’re lying. In the past, Phyllis Kahn has accused her DFL primary opponents of committing voter fraud. Regardless, there are lots of people who are registered in multiple states. President Trump’s commission will identify those people and, hopefully, eliminate them from voter rolls.

Mark Ritchie refused to eliminate these people, saying he didn’t have the authority to update Statewide Voter Registration Systems, aka SVRS. Actually, the Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress in 2002, not only gives secretaries of state this authority. It requires them to “perform list maintenance on their SVRS with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis.”

It’s time to clean up each state’s SVRS and each state’s voting system. It’s time to start incorporating more common sense and accountability into our voting system. It isn’t just implementing photo ID, though. It’s about implementing a system that’s hack-proof, too.

Walter’s points are important and sensible. It’s time to start.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has asked the incoming Trump administration to look into a series of hack attacks that happened over the last year. Secretary Kemp is asking for the investigation to be done by the Trump administration because Kemp thinks the cyberattacks were conducted by the Obama administration.

According to the article, “Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said DHS has made multiple attempts to ‘infiltrate our network,’ including a ‘large attack’ on Nov. 15, which DHS disputes, that prompted him to send a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.”

Kemp thinks that DHS attempted these attacks because “Georgia has been pushing back for months against DHS deliberations over whether to classify electoral infrastructure as ‘critical infrastructure'”, adding that these “scans correspond to key election dates and times when I was speaking out against DHS’ plans.”

If Kemp is right that DHS tried strong-arming Georgia to accept DHS ‘protection’, which is what Kemp is accusing them of, then there needs to be an investigation into who performed the scans and who authorized them. It’s apparent that the Obama administration wanted to strong-arm Georgia, which is disrespectful of the Constitution itself. The Founding Fathers wanted most decisions made close to the voters.

Further, let’s study this. Hackers have accessed federal employees’ personal information, including their social security numbers. Compare that with DHS attempting to penetrate and failing. I love the fact that the feds are incompetent but that the state is competent and prepared. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you:

Saturday afternoon, Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org, appeared on Fox News to talk about the incoming Trump administration. Saying that his presentation was nothing but the typical litany of progressive chanting points is understatement. After the interview, I visited MoveOn.org’s website. What I found was what I expected to find. One interesting thing that I found was this statement supporting Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as House Minority Leader. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I wholeheartedly agree.

Their statement said, in part, “Progressives are also counting on congressional Democrats to express a populist and inclusive vision for the future that speaks to Americans across lines of race, class, and geography—a vision for how we can build a democracy that isn’t run by corporations, and an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top, and a country where all Americans’ rights are respected and equal opportunity is protected. We believe that Nancy Pelosi is best positioned to lead House Democrats in this direction, and support her candidacy for Democratic Leader.”

It’s nice to know that MoveOn.org is working hard to solidify the Republicans’ majority in the US House of Representatives. They’re also working hard to strengthen the Republican Party for the next 4 years. That’s what they’re doing if this statement is accurate:

The DNC must clean house and the new chair must stand up to all efforts by Trump and Republicans to move their harmful and bigoted agenda, which lost the national popular vote. At the same time, the DNC must connect with the grassroots of the party base that wants the party to reject corporate influence and advance an inclusive, progressive agenda that will energize voters and grow our base in 2017, 2018, and beyond. To do this, we need to bring back a real 50-state organizing strategy. Rep. Keith Ellison would be an excellent DNC chair.

FOOTNOTE: Keith Ellison just said that he’s open to leaving Congress if he’s elected as the next chairman of the DNC.

Finally, there’s this:

More than 250 million Americans did not choose Trump. In fact, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The millions of us—MoveOn members and allies—who spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, and defending democracy can be proud of what we did together.

There’s no doubt that MoveOn.org is trying to restore morale after a demoralizing defeat. That’s fine. In college sports, winning the popular vote but losing the election is sometimes called a moral victory. In pro sports, though, it’s still thought of as a defeat.
This is the video of Wikler’s interview:

That communication style is why Democrats lost the last election.
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