Play & Win $$ For Your Candidate!

Cross Posted @ Daily Kos and MyDD

Yea, the title of the diary looks like it could be the subject line of a casino or gambling spam email that we all get on a regular basis, but this one is for real.  Look, I wasn’t around in late 2004/early 2003 and thus had no idea what to expect here come primary season this year.  To put it lightly, some of us, myself included, could use a little break from candidate diaries, candidate promoting, and candidate critiquing (I’m trying to be nice).

Earlier today I stumbled upon a website called Fantasy Congress.  In short, it is like any fantasy sports game – you draft a “team,” earn points, and try to place first in your league.  The lone difference is that instead of drafting baseball players or football players, you’re drafting politicians.  Likewise, your team primarily earns points based on your politicians’ legislative activity, vote attendance, and generated news.

That is the basic idea – for more details on trading, the points system, etc, be sure to check out the website.  I’ve set the “Daily Kos 2008” league cap at fifty players – the maximum it will allow me – so, the first fifty people to either comment below or send me an email – nypopulist(at)gmail(dot)com – indicating they are interested, I’ll send you the password and you’ll be all set to start would should be an interesting gaming experience.  You’ll also have to register with the site (don’t worry, it’s free) in order to play – please register with your handle here at Daily Kos we have an idea who is who.

To make things interesting, however, the winner of the league will get to choose a real-life (Democratic) candidate that the other forty-nine participants must donate $10 to.  Yea, it’s not much, but many people can’t afford much more, like myself, and hey, $500 ain’t too shabby.

Don’t worry, the draft is not “live” so you wont have to be online or available at a specific time to take part – each participant begins with 1000 “political capital” and proceeds as if the draft is a silent auction – you can put any or all of the 1000 on a legislator and the person with the highest bid get ’em; you can place your wagers at any point from now until January 2nd. The league starts on Friday, January 4 and ends on Friday, May 23 – good luck and may the best politico named NYPopulist win!

If you want Al Gore to run, draft him!

Cross Posted at Daily Kos and MyDD

Fact #1: Despite twelve listed candidates, a majority of the Netroots want Al Gore to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2008.

Fact #2: Al Gore is on the record as saying he has little interest in running, but has said “I haven’t completely ruled it out.”

Fact #3: There has been little effort to draft Al Gore.

This is largely an extension of PsiFighter37’s diary where he points out that there is little unified effort to draft Gore to run.  I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with him.

The best recent example of a successful draft movement has to be Jim Webb – Webb entered the race and won the primary largely because of the guaranteed support he knew he was going to get if he chose to run.  I was one of the many who pledged to volunteer for the campaign should he run, and sure enough, I trekked down to Virginia on Election Day to help get out the vote in Arlington.

I strongly believe that Al will run if a lot of ordinary people want him to.  As PsiFighter37 points out, there is no single draft that has gained noticeable traction, but seems to have, by a considerable margin, the most signatures thus far at about 17,100.  I propose we make this the “official” draft for Al Gore supporters.  This means more than just signing – it means emailing and spreading the word to all of your Democratic (and non Democratic) friends.  With about 400,000 visits every day to Daily Kos alone, there is no reason we cannot pump that number into six digits in little to no time.

After writing this diary, I am going to contact Draft Gore and ask that they personally deliver the petitions to Al on behalf of all of us that support him.  If they cannot or will not do so, I will ask them if I can deliver them myself.  But 17,100 is not enough folks – lets get that number up to 50,000 by the end of today…I have never asked that one of my diaries be recommended, but if you want Al Gore to run and represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, you’ll do more than just vote for him in a Daily Kos Fantasy Poll.  A draft movement is necessary and it needs to start NOW!

Another thing that you can do is donate to the Draft Gore ActBlue page.  Remember: the number of donors is far more important than the total money raised.  Al wants to see that he has supporters, not how rich his supporters are.  And your money will not be wasted should he choose not to run: if that happens – and we all hope that it doesn’t – the funds will be to the DNC.

Please get involved.  If you care about the future of our country, you need to join me and the 17,100 others in drafting Al.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with the Draft Gore website or organization.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves – there’s still 2007

(Cross posted on Daily Kos)

Since Election Day, all of the election-related talk has naturally been about 2008, with a few Kissell, Jennings, and Jefferson stories sprinkled in between them. But I say wait a cotton pickin’ minute because we have some southern gubernatorial races to deal with in 2007. Below the fold, I’ll try and go through some background on the three races, the likely contenders, and our chances. I am a Yankee and live in none of the three states, so take my analyses with the required grain of salt.


Date of election:
November 6, 2006

Likely Republican Nominee:
Incumbent Haley Barbour

Possible Democratic Candidates:
Wayne Dowdy – Former Congressman and current head of the Mississippi Democratic Party
James Graves – Member of the Mississippi Supreme Court
Ray Mabus – Former governor, 1988-1992, and former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Mike Moore – Former Attorney General, 1988-2004
Ronnie Musgrove – Former governor, 2000-2004, defeated in 2003 by Barbour in a close election

Governor’s Approval Rating:

Probably will be the least competitive of the three gubernatorial races, but that’s not to say it can’t get interesting.  The only way, in my opinion, this race is winnable is if Musgrave or Moore throw their respective hats in the ring.  Moore is apparently well-liked in the state for most notably taking on tobacco companies and getting them to reimburse the state for treating patients of smoke-related illnesses.  Musgrove, being a recent former governor, obviously has the name recognition to make the race potentially competitive.  He did however lose in 2003 to Barbour, so quite a few things would have to go right for him to win again in this deep-red state.

No matter who runs however, they face a huge uphill battle facing a fairly popular Republican governor in a Republican state.


Date of election:
October 20, 2007 & November 17, 2007 (if necessary)

Likely Democratic Nominee:
Incumbent Kathleen Blanco

Possible Republican Candidates:
Bobby Jindal – U.S. Congressman for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district
John Georges – CEO of several large Louisiana based businesses
Walter Boasso – State Senator from Arabi

Governor’s Approval Rating:

Blanco may face a strong challenge from Mitch Landrieu, the current Lieutenant Governor, if he decides to enter the race, which some local pundits expect him to do.  Former Senator John Breaux has been mentioned as another candidate, but has said he would not enter if Blanco runs for re-election, which she has stated she intends to do.  Although she must be considered the favorite among Democrats, a strong challenge from Landrieu would be devastating to her chances as he’ll sifend much needed money from her and potentially cost her an outright victory or, at the least, might allow a Republican into the run-off election.

Bobby Jindal has already announced he will run against Blanco, and from what I can tell, he is already considered the frontrunner in the race.  A poll of 600 people in late October showed Jindal with 52% to Blanco’s 20%.  Landrieu is polling at 9%.  That being said, a lot can happen between Oct 2006 and Oct 2007, but it seems like Blanco has an uphill battle here – a large part of which has to be contributed to the exodus of African-American New Orleans residents leaving the state.  An unpopular Democratic governor in a Republican state is not a good thing.  Throw in that a large part of her base is gone, and it’s hard to see Blanco winning re-election.  One X-factor that’s in her favor is that Jindal is not very battle-tested in that he has won every election by a landslide since taking office.

The other two potential Republicans would not be very significant to the race if they entered.

Note: Louisiana has a run-off election system where if one candidate does not take more than 50% of the vote on Primary Day, another election with the top two finishers is held.


Date of election:
November 6, 2006

Likely Republican Nominee:
Incumbent Ernie Fletcher

Possible Democratic Candidates:
John Y. Brown III – Former Kentucky Secretary of State; son of former Governor of Kentucky John Y. Brown, Jr.
Julian Carroll – Member of the Kentucky State Senate; former Governor of Kentucky, 1974-1979; former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives
Ben Chandler – Representative from Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District
Martha Layne Collins – Former Governor of Kentucky, 1983-1987
Brereton Jones – former Governor of Kentucky, 1991-1995
Greg Stumbo – Attorney General of Kentucky
Otis Hensley, Jr – Private contractor

Governor’s Approval Rating:

This is probably the most interesting of the races to watch in 2007, with a whole slew of Democratic heavy-hitters lined up to take on the very corrupt Fletcher.  The only Democrat who has announced his candidacy thus far is Hensley (who received 3% of the vote in the 2003 Democratic primary), but as you can see, there are a lot of big names that are rumored to jump into this race.

On the surface – which is about the only place I’m capable of making judgements from – there doesn’t seem to be the one or two stand-out candidates that would make a formidable challenger like there is in Mississippi and Louisiana.  Chandler seems like he would make a very formidable candidate, and his seat would not be at-risk as it is heavily Democratic.  You probably can’t go wrong with a former governor – which there seems to be a plethora of on the Democratic side – either.  Perhaps some Kentucky Swing Staters can shed some light on this race.  One thing I do know, however, is that Fletcher is not liked and will face an uphill battle no matter who he faces.

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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