Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category
This article is the article everyone’s expected since Election Night. Unfortunately, it isn’t the article we’d been hoping for.
Thissen, Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook said they agreed on spending targets and will give conference committees a few other guidelines, such as:
- The sales tax would not rise on consumer goods, including clothing, but businesses could pay sales tax on goods sold to other businesses.
- Income taxes would go up on people in the top 2 percent of Minnesota earners, couples with $250,000 or more taxable income.
- An income tax surcharge would be added for Minnesota’s richest of the rich, with proceeds going to help repay money the state has borrowed from school districts.
- Cigarette taxes would rise.
- Some business tax breaks would disappear.
- All-day kindergarten would be funded.
- The state would spend $400 million in property tax relief, such as by increasing aid sent to local governments.
Thanks to this agreement, companies will leave Minnesota. Businesses staying will get with multiple tax increases. Businesses will get charged sales taxes on services. Additionally, they’ll get hit with higher income tax rates. That’s bad enough but that isn’t all. Current deductions will get eliminated, too.
Why would a business stay in Minnesota and absorb all those tax increases in a single year? The simple answer is many won’t.
The supposed property tax relief is a mirage. When liberal mayors get their increased LGA checks, it won’t go towards property tax relief. It’ll go towards increased spending. That isn’t a prediction. It’s noting what’s happened in the past without fail. Anyone that thinks Chris Coleman won’t increase spending on things that aren’t necessities isn’t paying attention. He’s done it in the past. He’s a creature of habit. He’ll do it again.
The three Democrats said middle-income Minnesotans would not pay more taxes other than for cigarettes. But when reporters pushed him on the subject, Dayton said that some of the business taxes could trickle down to consumers in higher prices.
Whether it’s in the form of a direct tax increase or it’s in the form of higher prices charged by businesses who’ve gotten hit with a tax increase, the net effect is that the middle class will get hit with higher prices, leaving people with less money to spend on the things of their choosing.
Most importantly, this budget won’t strengthen Minnesota’s economy. The best outcome we should expect from this budget and these policies is that it won’t hurt the economy too much. Fewer jobs will be created as a result of the tax bill. Company profits will be significantly smaller. People will have less disposable income thanks to the energy bill that’s about to get signed.
Gov. Dayton has sent out emails touting a “better budget for Minnesota.” That’s what we deserve. Unfortunately, the DFL has seen to it to give us this budget, which doesn’t strengthen Minnesota’s economy.
When the House DFL voted to artificially increase the use of solar power, they voted to raise the price of electricity on every Minnesotan. Almost. The DFL bill includes a carve-out for companies in northern Minnesota. Rep. Mike Beard has been the expert on energy issues in the House for years. Rep. Beard isn’t known as someone given to making wild statements. When he talks about energy issues, I listen because I’m about to learn something. Here’s what Rep. Beard wrote about the DFL’s energy bill:
House Democrats passed their hugely controversial Energy Policy omnibus bill this week that increases even more aggressive, unfunded renewable and solar mandates on utility companies.
Besides huge technological difficulties implementing the new law, it will increase electric costs for all ratepayers (homeowners, businesses, hospitals, you name it) and decrease the reliability of our state’s energy sources.
This bill benefits, to the best of my knowledge, a few Minnesota solar companies that rely on a mandated pool of government money to survive, even though they have over three decades of federal mandates throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at their industry.
This bill is a positive step forward except for a few things. First, it raises the price of electricity on everyone in the state. Except for the people of northern Minnesota. Second, it mandates the use of a form of energy that can’t compete with other forms of energy without massive government subsidies. Third, it mandates the use of a form of energy that isn’t reliable.
This video does a fantastic job of explaining why subsidizing solar power is a waste of the taxpayers’ money:
This partial transcript summarizes things:
REP. BEARD: I still have a picture of a poster in my office that Jimmy Carter’s administration put out in 1978, thirty-five years ago, that by the year 2000, fully 20% of our power would come from solar PB. He dropped $12,000,000,000 on that adventure. And what do we have to show for it? Nothing. One tenth of 1% today, thirty-five years later, is solar PB. And so we’re going to take another run at that windmill, and I’m not talking about the ones on Buffalo Ridge. We’re picking winners and losers and we’re desperately hoping that these are winners this time.
Last night on Almanac, Michael Noble pushed the DFL mantras that renewables were the way of the future, that we’re falling behind other nations so we have to invest now. That’s BS. Rep. Beard’s statistical summarization shows that Noble’s statements are spin. Thirty-five years and tens of billions of dollars later, not to mention stories like Solyndra and other failed solar power companies, have produced negligible results.
Some people will insist that that’s a good investment. People who don’t have a vested interest in that will insist that that’s the definition of pissing the taxpayers’ money away to support people with the ‘right’ political connections. Here’s another observation from Rep. Beard:
Unfortunately, this Energy Policy bill picks winners and losers. The winners are politically connected ‘green’ energy groups that are being given a government guaranteed market, while utility companies, electric co-ops, municipals and all ratepayers pay the price.
This DFL legislature is intent on pissing away the taxpayers’ money on things that are proven failures. They’re intent on doing this because these initiatives support their special interest allies.
Rep. Pat Garofalo ripped the DFL as out of control during this speech during the DFL tax increase debate:
There were 2 highlights during the speech. Both related to the silica sand tax included in the House DFL tax increase bill.
Here’s what Rep. Garofalo said about that tax:
You’re gonna actually tax an industry out of existence with a tax on silica mining. I actually had a liberal activist say to me they thought that by raising taxes on silica mining, they would somehow impact the fracking in North Dakota. (Laughter in background) Spoiler alert. They’re gonna get the sand from other states. Doesn’t matter. It’s gonna have no impact whatsoever on other states’ ability to do fracking of natural gas and oil but it will kill jobs here. And it’s not business groups saying that. It’s not small businesses saying it.
We’ve heard from the local 49ers. We’ve heard from the local unions. In fact, members, this is how totally delusional this tax increase is: Mark Dayton actually labeled the House DFL silica sand tax “ridiculous.” So when a tax increase is so high that Gov. Dayton labels it ridiculous, you know you’re checked out for lunch.
That’s stunning. A DFL activist thinks that killing jobs in Minnesota will shut down the Bakken. That isn’t stupid. That’s beyond frightening. And that isn’t the most frightening part of this.
The truly frightening part of this is that Gov. Dayton, the man whose every thought is to raise taxes, thinks the silica sand tax is “ridiculous.” When a taxaholic like Gov. Dayton thinks that a tax increase goes too far, red flags should go off immediately.
I wrote here about the differing DFL tax bills, characterizing them as disastrous and counterproductive. Little did I know just how disastrous and counterproductive the DFL tax bills were. This is downright frightening.
Tags: Tax Increases, Silica Sand Tax, Paul Thissen, Unemployment, Cigarette Tax, Environmentalists, Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, Sales Tax, DFL, Unions, 49ers, Fracking, Bakken Oil Field, Natural Gas, Pat Garofalo, MNGOP, Election 2014
After reading this Facebook post, I’m wondering if the Interior Department should be renamed the Department of Killing Jobs. Here’s why I’m wondering that:
In a study released last week, Dr. Joseph Mason of LSU demonstrated the vast economic benefits of opening up federal lands to oil and gas development: 500,000 new jobs a year and more than $30 billion a year in federal, state, and local tax revenue over the next seven years alone. That’s just for starters. The study also shows that opening new federal lands to oil and gas production will create a cumulative $14.4 trillion in economic activity. But instead of seizing the opportunity to unlock the benefits of expanding oil and natural gas exploration, the Interior Department on Feb. 6 identified 23 renewable energy projects for priority permitting.
Environmentalists have been making dire predictions about how fossil fuels destroy the environment for almost half a century. At minimum, the vast majority of those predictionsm have been off by orders of magnitude.
For instance, the president of the Sierra Club wrote an op-ed in Outdoor Life magazine in the mid-1970′s about the trouble the Alaskan Pipeline would cause the Barrows caribou. He predicted that it would disrupt the migration route of the Barrows caribou for a maximum of 3-5 years of oil from Prudhoe Bay. The Alaskan Pipeline opened in 1978. It’s still pumping oil from Prudhoe Bay. That’s almost 35 years later.
That’s just part of the consideration for these permits. The biggest reason why fossil fuel permits should be let at a more robust pace is because they make sense economically and environmentally. Permits for renewable energy projects don’t make sense because renewable energy is expensive. People need high-priced energy like they need a heart attack.
It’s a shame that the Obama administration is set in its ways. They’re bypassing the opportunity to stabilize our energy supplies, which stabilizes energy prices. That’s precisely what’s needed right now.
This information should outrage people:
As the table below indicates, BLM’s priority projects would be capable of producing about 44 trillion Btu of energy annually. To put that in perspective, oil wells in North Dakota produced more than 127 trillion Btu in Nov. 2012 alone. That’s almost three times more energy in one month than BLM expects all of its priority wind, solar, and geothermal projects to produce in an entire year. Not only that, but in the last 14 months for which there is data, North Dakota’s energy production, increased by 46 trillion Btus a month. In other words, the increase in North Dakota’s monthly production over the last fourteen months was greater than what the Department of Interior’s pet projects will produce over the course on an entire year. Plus, unlike solar or wind, oil can be used when and where it is needed.
Think about that. The Bakken created 3 times as many Btu’s in a month as these solar and wind projects will create in a year.
Over the course of a year, the North Dakota oil fields would produce 1,524,000,000,000,000 Btu’s. The BLM’s priority projects would create 44,000,000,000,000 Btu’s. That’s a difference of more than 3400%. There’s no justification for the Interior Department’s decision making. There’s only rationalizing their decisions, quickly followed by tons of alarmist-sounding spin.
Considering the fact that the Interior Department is preventing this much economic opportunity, there’s no reason not to rename them the Department of Killing Jobs.
Gov. Dayton’s State of the State speech was filled with lots of lowlights. Fortunately, there were a few things that might get classified as positives.
First, I’d like to thank Gov. Dayton for highlighting the fact that the GOP legislature put the state on the right track:
According to our Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are over 72,000 more jobs available in Minnesota today than when I took office two years ago. Almost 52,000 of those jobs were added in the past year.
Almost all of the economic policies put in place in Gov. Dayton’s first two years were GOP policies. The GOP legislature pushed for and passed budget reform and permitting reform while doing their best to limit the DFL’s reckless spending. Those reforms gave entrepreneurs some assurances to put their capital at risk and create jobs. It isn’t likely that the DFL-owned legislature and governor will match that record in the next 2 years.
In the decade after Minnesota’s income tax reductions, our economy fared worse than the nation and most other states. And at both the federal and state levels, big tax cuts followed by serious recessions produced large budget deficits, which threaten our current fiscal strength and future economic prosperity.
Minnesota’s economy suffered during the last decade because the DFL legislature wouldn’t reform Minnesota’s permitting system, which often created a bottleneck that choked off continued job creation and economic growth. Permitting reform was the first legislation in the GOP House in 2011. That bill passed quickly, which eliminated many of the bottlenecks that choked off job growth.
The other thing that hindered job growth in Minnesota were Twin Cities elitist progressives like Alida Messinger, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, Dee Long, Arne Carlson and other environmental extremists. These elitists waged war against high-paying mining jobs. Paul Aasen, Gov. Dayton’s first nominee to be the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, aka the MPCA, proudly bragged that he’d killed the Big Stone II power plant project that would’ve created 100 high-paying permanent jobs in western Minnesota.
That war against prosperity continues. While the need for sand increases in North Dakota for harvesting Bakken oil, the DFL is pushing for a moratorium on shipping sand from Minnesota. The Bakken will get its sand regardless of the DFL’s hissy fit. The only thing that the DFL’s hissy fit will prove is that Minnesota’s environmental extremists don’t care about high-paying Minnesota jobs. The DFL’s actions prove that they’d rather raise tax rates than create high-paying jobs that result in greater revenue in Minnesota’s general fund.
This part of Gov. Dayton’s speech should frighten thoughtful people:
In Minnesota, we have made real progress in areas like energy conservation, more efficient farming and manufacturing practices, and the development and use of clean, renewable energy, especially wind energy, instead of polluting fossil fuels.
The question is: are we progressing fast enough? Are we doing all we can to utilize other renewables, such as solar, and also to make Minnesota the best place to locate these new industries and their jobs?
Many of you, who served in previous legislatures, deserve great credit for your pioneering work to expand our use of clean energy, including Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and former Senator Ellen Anderson, who is also here tonight.
I challenge this legislature to work again with our state’s visionary clean energy advocates, large energy providers, large energy users, other stakeholders, and my administration to use your past achievements as springboards for Minnesota’s next big leap toward a sustainable energy future.
The Next Generation Energy Act isn’t an achievement. It’s hurt families’ budgets by driving up electric prices. What’s worse is the fact that the prices are artificially lowered by state subsidies that help hide the true cost of producing electricity through renewables. If wind and solar weren’t heavily subsidized and mandated by government, wind and solar companies would be going out of business left and right. (See Solyndra to remove all doubts about that.)
The worst part is that the fix is in on these policies. Alida Messinger and her environmental extremist allies are pressuring Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature to pass counterproductive green energy policies that will hurt families when they’re still struggling.
After the next 2 years, Minnesotans will have a clear vision of 2 dramatically different ideologies. Gov. Dayton admitted tonight that the conservative blueprint works. The jury is still out on whether the DFL blueprint will work. Based on past experiences, it isn’t likely to succeed.
After the DFL’s legislative victories in the House and Senate, it became fashionable to talk about major tax hikes. It didn’t take long for the DFL to quickly tamp that talk down and replace it with chanting points touting tax reform instead. Fortunately for the GOP, I’ve kept track of the DFL’s tax reform proposals, including their previous reform proposal:
“This bill proposes the most significant tax overhaul in 20 years,” said the bill’s chief author Rep. Ann Lenczeswki, DFL-Bloomington.
In addition to the tax hikes, Lenczewski’s bill removes a variety of tax breaks for homeowners and businesses. Charitable contributions, the mortgage interest tax deduction and the property tax deduction for homeowners are eliminated and replaced with a tax credit based on income. The bill also eliminates several business tax breaks, like the Research and Development credit and parts of the governor’s JOBZ program.
Lenczewski said she wants to clean up the state’s tax code.
“Which is to sweep the tax code clean of all of the preferential treatment and subsidies and things we can’t afford anymore and instead bring a fairer, more progressive income tax to Minnesotans based on the ability to pay,” she said.
Rep. Lenczewski’s tax overhaul is stunning because it would’ve:
- Raised tax rates
- Eliminated deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable giving and property taxes
- Eliminated the R & D tax deduction for businesses.
Today, at a committee hearing, Cy Thao told Steve “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.”
Another golden oldie that I haven’t talked about recently is Steve Murphy’s quote about the 2008 gas tax increase:
Tucked away in a big transportation funding bill being fast-tracked to a Senate floor vote today are future increases in Minnesota’s gas tax that could push it from 20 cents a gallon to more than 40 cents over 10 years, higher than any state’s current bite at the pump.
“I’m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, sponsor of the measure that would increase funding for roads and transit by $1.5 billion a year once it was fully implemented in the next decade. “There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.”
In short, the DFL’s happy talk about tax reform is what most people call tax hikes. There’s little in the way of replacing the relic tax code with a 21st Century tax code. Historically speaking, there’s just lots of major tax hikes to the DFL’s tax ‘reforms’.
Whatever the DFL calls it, the reality is that their ‘reforms’ will hit everyone hard.
Tags: Tax Reform, Ann Lenczewski, Mortgage Interest, Charitable Giving, Deductions, Steve Murphy, Cy Thao, Gas Tax, License Tabs, Wheelage Fee, Metro Sales Tax, Light Rail, Income Taxes, Mark Dayton, Tax Hikes, DFL
When Speaker-In-Waiting Paul Thissen announced his committee chairs, one chairmanship in particular jumped out at me. Thissen’s pick of Melissa Hortman as Energy Committee chair should frighten taxpayers. I wrote about Rep. Hortman’s exotic opinions on energy policy in this post. At the time, Rep. Hortman and others were pushing legislation that would’ve implemented a cap and trade policy, with emission standards tied to California’s. In an op-ed, Rep. Hortman cited this statistic:
FACT: More than 75 percent of Minnesotans favor the legislation. In addition to loving our trucks and cars, Minnesotans also value our lakes, rivers and streams; our forests and natural areas; wildlife habitat and clean air; and way of life.
In a statewide poll conducted by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership in fall 2007, more than 75 percent of voters supported legislation requiring new cars and trucks registered in the state to meet lower emission standards.
If Rep. Hortman gets her way, and I’m betting she will, we’ll soon have a cap-and-trade system in Minnesota. It’s best to not think of Rep. Hortman as representing a district. It’s better to think of Rep. Hortman as being assigned to get Alida Messinger’s militant environmentalist agenda passed.
At the time of her pushing cap-and-trade legislation, I did some research into how the California emissions regulatory system would affect car prices. Here’s what I found in 2008:
The California vehicles I checked cost north of $2000 more than the identical vehicle sold here in Minneosta.
As I said at the time, I didn’t do an exhaustive search. That said, I did a lengthy search. Repeatedly, the pattern held.
It’s impossible to think of this pick as anything other than a jesture of obedience to Alida Messinger and a first signal that this legislature will be compliant with the militant environmentalists’ agenda.
This is a stunning admission:
Congress allows states to adopt either the California standard or the federal standard for air emissions from vehicles. California regulated air pollution from motor vehicles before Congress adopted the motor vehicle sections of the Clean Air Act. Because of California’s pre-existing state law on the issue, states were given the choice to follow the California standard or the federal standard but they may not set their own standards that would be different from either the California or the federal standard. Minnesota has not yet adopted the California standard so the EPA regulates motor vehicle emissions in Minnesota. The Clean Car legislation I have authored would have Minnesota opt into the California standard for motor vehicle emissions.
It isn’t a coincidence that California’s gas prices are the highest in the nation. California’s emissions standards have driven up vehicle prices while forcing a glut of exotic fuel mixtures. Think of it as the worst of both worlds: higher priced gas going into higher priced vehicles.
Welcome to Rep. Hortman’s world.
Hardline progressive columnist Michael Tomasky used his latest column to declare that last Tuesday’s election meant the death of Reaganomics. Like other progressive fools before him, he sounds silly. Reaganomics didn’t die last Tuesday night because it wasn’t on the ballot.
Along came Ronald Reagan to assure everyone that the rising tide would lift all boats. It’s never happened quite the way conservatives said it would. Even during the general prosperity of the second Reagan term, income inequality began to expand dramatically, wage stagnation became a permanent feature of American life, and the immiseration of the poor worsened.
That’s odd. I lived through the Reagan Revolution. My 401(k) grew exponentially during the 80s. Q3 of 1983 was particularly good, earning an astonishing 44.59% return that quarter. Yes, you read that right: 44.59% in Q3 of 1983. It isn’t coincidence that September, 1983 was when the economy created 1,100,000 jobs. It isn’t coincidence that GDP growth that quarter was 7.1%.
If Mr. Tomasky wants to argue against Reganomics’ GDP coming out of a recession, let’s have that fight. The GDP rate of Q3, 1982 was over 9%, followed by GDP rates of 8.1%, 8.5%, 7.9% in that order. If Mr. Tomasky wants to argue that this type of explosive economic growth, coupled with a strong dollar, explosive job growth and an abundant, inexpensive and stable domestic energy supply is a bad thing, let’s have that fight.
It isn’t that Reaganomics is a failure. It’s that we need the right person to cut through the progressives’ lies about the alleged failures of Reaganomics. It’s important we remember that progressives insist voter fraud doesn’t exist and that President Obama’s policies worked while cutting the deficit.
The plain, simple truth is that people like Mr. Tomasky and John van Hecke are liars. They peddle lies because arguing policies on the merits is how they’re defeated. They don’t think Reaganomics dies. They’re praying that people believe them so they don’t have to fight Reagan’s policies.
When hsi second term finally ends, President Obama will have created fewer jobs in 8 years in office than what President Reagan created in a single quarter of 1983. That’s before comparing economic growth, inflation and deficits.
This past Tuesday, Democrats won a decisive victory. While much of the discussion has questioned whether Republicans have to move to the center or who will win the battle for the GOP’s soul, I’ve focused on a different tactic.
With a couple notable exceptions, conservatives believe in the right things. A couple adjustments will fix things there.
Starting this January, it’s time for Republicans to pick fights with President Obama and Harry Reid. The sooner, the better. In fact, the bigger the fight, the better off we’ll be.
I’d hope the House would start with a fight on fossil fuel permitting increases and EPA regulatory relief. Send the message that Republicans won’t budge an inch on anything coming from the Senate or White House until they agree to reshape energy policy.
That’s just one thing to pick a fight over. Another fight worth picking is over the ACA. The House GOP Doctors Caucus should immediately draft legislation that increases patients’ health insurance options. It should include a provision eliminating the federal government’s ability to dictate to health care consumers what coverages must be in their government-mandated insurance policies.
I’d call for hearings that include health insurance company executives testifying that they could reduce health insurance premiums by giving consumers greater latitude and choice.
In 2014, Democrats in the House and Senate will have to run by defending their votes to limit people’s health insurance options. I’d love seeing the Democrats defend their votes to kill the fossil fuel industries. Likewise, I can’t wait seeing them defend their votes to keep gas prices high and electric bills expensive. Let’s see the Democrats explain how they sided with the militant environmentalists instead of voting for robust job growth.
Again, the House should call for hearings of oil, coal and natural gas company CEOs to highlight the fact that they’d love to create millions of new jobs if only this administration’s EPA would take their foot off the energy companies’ throats. Have them explain that, at minimum, additional exploration and production will lead to lower prices and higher wages.
With the Obama Recession heading in our direction at an accelerating rate, it’s time for Republicans to offer the most compelling alternative plan to President Obama’s policies. Highlight the fact that President Obama’s policies alone have lead to high gas prices, dropping family incomes and high unemployment.
Now that the election is over, I hope the superPACs don’t disappear until 2014 or 2016. I hope they fund outreach programs. Have these outreach programs reach into parts of society that the GOP hasn’t spent much time in. The people doing outreach must speak fluent Main Street. Technocratese won’t cut it.
Let’s start picking important fights that impact families’ ability to cope financially. If we take that path and we communicate our agenda without talking in technocratese, the GOP’s resurgence won’t take as long as the experts predict.
Tags: President Obama, Obama Recession, Unemployment, Militant Environmentalists, ACA, EPA, Democrats, Regulatory Reform, Health Care Choice, GOP Doctors Caucus, Tom Price, Phil Gingrey, Fracking, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, GOP
Newt Gingrich is one of the best political strategists of our time. Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, whether you think he’s too temperamental or whether you think he’s utterly brilliant, there’s no denying the fact that he’s got a fantastic knack of understanding main street. This video is a tour de force presentation by Newt:
Here’s the first thing Newt said that caught my attention:
It’s great. It’s the American drama. After all the talk, after all the ads, after all the pontificating, the American people get to tell us.
I’ll just say this. It’s about time. Let’s get this started. I’ve had enough of looking at deceitful polls. I’m tired of listening to President Obama’s stump speech. It isn’t time for the pontificators to leave the stage. It’s just time for them to add insight into why the American people made the decision they made.
This is the next thing Newt said that caught my attention:
I’ll give you one example. They’re talking about Democratic early voting in Ohio but they’re counting the counties along the Ohio River, which is coal country, which are Second Amendment gun rights country, which are God-fearing counttry, which are the very things that Obama had contempt for in San Fransisco. Those Democrats are going to vote against Obama.
It’s wrong to think of these coal-mining Democrats as Romney Democrats, at least at this point. It’s possible they’d be accurately described as Romney Democrats. It’s entirely possible they’ll just join the GOP.
At this point, though, it’s best calling them anti-Obama Democrats. At this point, they’re best described as people agitated that a Democrat wouldn’t fight for the blue collar Democrats that once was the backbone of the Democratic Party.
This statement spoke volumes to me:
NEWT: I was struck by something Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times, hardly a right wing reporter, said that the states he’d been in this week, his phrase was “The organic enthusiasm was for Romney.” There was a mechanical machine for Obama but there was an organic enthusiasm for Romney. My experience in politics is that organic enthusiasm,. the whole wave effect, always defeats the mechanical machine.
Notice that Newt didn’t criticize the machine. He simply said that a mob of genuinely enthusiastic voters will defeat the machine every time. I couldn’t dispute that if I wanted to.
Later, they talked about Todd Akin. Here’s what Newt said there:
Well, first of all, Callista and I have both been out campaigning with him. I’ve really liked Todd Akin. He was given a very bum rap by the national establishment. She is a very Obama-like voter in a state that voted by 71% against Obamacare and then she voted for Obamacare six weeks later. And Romney’s going to carry the state by 8-12 point so I think Akin wins by 3 points.
Frankly, I hadn’t thought about the folks along Ohio River Democrats voting early for Mitt but it makes sense. If that’s what’s happened, then that drops Ohio comfortably into Mitt’s lap. Similarly, if Mitt’s winning Missouri by double-digits and if Missourans don’t like Claire McCaskill like I think is the case, then I think Todd Akin wins.