Some interesting results from around the country in the past week, a few of which might have implications for the mid-term elections in 2014 and the Presidential race in 2016. Here are a few odds and ends:
New York City: The recent trend toward renewed prosperity in the Big Apple has probably just peaked with the major turn to the left in the election of Bill de Blasio as Mayor. And I mean hard left. This guy is at least a borderline Marxist with a record to prove it. Good luck on avoiding major negative reversals in crime, education, city finances, job growth, and city services, along with general living conditions and progress in many of these areas that had been made over the past 20 years under Giuliani and Bloomberg.
Virginia: A big blown opportunity for the Republicans that could certainly have implications for 2014 and 2016. Holding the Governor’s office in a key swing state like Virginia is critical and they had every opportunity to do so with the right kind of help from the party regulars and the insurgents in the Tea Party. In the end, they lost it to a carpetbagging political hack.
New Jersey: I don’t yet have settled opinion on Chris Christie, but it’s becoming clearer to me that he now is the leading GOP name for 2016 and possibly could win if he can get nominated! What is not clear is whether or not Republicans will adhere to the “Buckley Rule”, which is to aggressively support the most conservative candidate who can be elected. If not, they will blow it again.
Colorado: Voters soundly rejected, by almost 2-1, the highly touted Amendment 66, which would have represented a major overhaul of the state’s education finance system and resulted in a $950 million tax increase. The outcome came in spite of well-funded support by the Governor, various progressive leaders nationwide, and celebrities such as New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Bill and Melinda Gates. The message here is that people are fed up with the constant demand from the education bureaucracy for increases in funding while pushing back hard on the necessary reforms in expectations and accountability. Let’s hope this message is heard loud and clear around the country, particularly in Texas.
Texas: No national implications here, but close to home and at long last after over five years of failed political leadership on the issue, the voters of Harris County have spoken and defeated the proposal to “repurpose” the Astrodome. Supporters of the referendum to spend $217 million on the project are blaming “bond fatigue”, but that’s a copout. The County proposal, like many others submitted by private interests over the past several years, was not economically viable and there has been no demonstrated need other than to satisfy the emotional attachment to this iconic structure, which has been condemned for over four years. The only realistic option is demolition, and the Harris County Commissioners’ Court should get on with it right away. After all, despite the great memories, as the Wall Street Journal has noted, this isn’t the Alamo we’re talking about.