Tuesday, November 05, 2013

While Eli Freely Giggles

While Eli freely admits to being left of center in US terms, but somewhat in the center or even a bit to the right as far as civilized countries, the Bunny's reaction to many things varies between puzzlement and amusement.  No better venue for both to play than today's Virginia gubernatorial election where indeed, the players deck has been shuffled with a vengence.

It is interesting how Ken Cuccinelli's  politically trivial pursuit of, in Willard Willard's images, Sidney Crosby, aka Mike Mann has bit him in devious ways.  His opponent, Terry MacAuliffe, is not the best loved, especially on the progressive side of the Democratic Party from which many of the ground troupes come, but what enthusiasm there is has been generated by their vision of Cuccinelli which the Attorney General's enthusiastic jihad against Mann and UVa played no little part in forming.  Even more importantly Cuccinelli has been pounded by the staying away of the money club based in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. 

And the most interesting thing there is Mark Kington.  Kington as those bunnies who took their Alzheimer medicine may remember, was the Vice-Rector of the University of Virginia, up to his armpits in the coup against the President, Teresa Sullivan.  Robert Geraci, an historian at UVa has been trying to figure out what happened.

Both Warren and "Climategate" crossed my mind when the BOV announced Sullivan's "resignation" on 10 June 2012. By then, half the board members were McDonnell appointees. But when no overtly political angle established itself in the press, and attention settled on issues of online education, finances, management styles and curricular cuts, I went with the flow – despite suspecting none of these explanations had more than a shred of evidence behind it (which is still the case today), and a nagging feeling that those issues aren't "hot" enough to account for the meanspiritedness of the board's actions and the lack of transparency in its conduct.

But then, I found a reference to the Joe D and Helen J Kington professorship in environmental change. In 2011, board vice-rector Mark Kington donated $1.5m to UVa to endow the chair in his parents' memory. Amid the public protest after Sullivan's removal, Kington resigned from the board (the only visitor to do so). Kington's gift was matched by UVa alumnus Paul Tudor Jones, who had written an editorial a week after the coup praising the board's action, when, at the same time, Charlottesville's the Hook reported that Jones had been directly involved in it. In short, both men were involved in the dismissal of the president and were the co-funders of a chair in environmental change.
Of course, even though the department strongly backed Mann, the appointment was blocked at the Dean's office or higher, something unusual
So, a university that aspires to raise its profile in the sciences tossed aside the judgment of its own environmental scientists, spurning the opportunity to hire one of the country's best-known climate experts. Given Mann's high profile and the intensity of opinions about him, it is hard to believe that the blocking of his rehiring by UVa was not related to "Climategate". Whoever was responsible for blocking Mann's appointment abetted, in effect, the rightwing campaign against him and against an entire field of research – even if they may have thought they were only protecting UVa's reputation.
But something even more unusual happened this summer and fall.  Kington stoned Cuccinelli
Mark Kington, an Alexandria venture capitalist who gave $83,000 to McDonnell in 2009, said he steered clear of Cuccinelli because “his position on climate change to me was a real non-starter, and I told him as much.”
Kington, a moderate Republican and former business partner of Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said he would not have supported Cuccinelli even if climate change weren’t an issue. “It may be time to vote for the third-party candidate,” he said, “if only to send a message to the Republican Party that we need pragmatic solutions, not positions that are unbending.”
Oh well.


Susan Anderson said...

I hate to be so trite, but Eli, you rock. Hoping results are not a disaster in an hour or three ...

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Despite all that Cuccinelli is now leading by 60,000. Hope that doesn't hold up.


If the louche Cooch perishes at the pol1610 ls, credit will be due Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis .

Kevin O'Neill said...

I see the Koch brothers, through their Americans for Prosperity front group, is now putting their money into local elections. If there existed a political wizard on the left he'd be organizing Libertarian and Tea Party candidates to help get them ballot access all across the country. A quick and relatively painless remedy for GOP gerrymandering.

Terry Mc is now within a couple tenths of a percentage point with 88% of precincts reporting. He should win by a couple of percentage points.


Kevin O'Neill said
"...If there existed a political wizard on the left he'd be organizing Libertarian and Tea Party candidates... A quick and relatively painless remedy for GOP gerrymandering."

Huh ? Cuccinelli is the beau ideal of a Donahue Show teapartista.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

1% beats losing, but not exactly a ringing repudiation of the forces of darkness.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell, you misunderstand my comment. Get them (Tea Party and Libertarian Party candidates) on the ballot alongside Republicans to play the same role Sarvis did in the VA gubernatorial election.


Kevin, you misunderstand Cuccinelli- he's less a conservative Republican than a theocratic creep caught on the recieving end of the state motto he traduced.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell, it doesn't matter the flavor of the candidate - it was the 3rd party vote that likely gave McAuliffe the victory. Given the GOPs gerrymandering advantage in so many state state senate/house and congressional districts, a Libertarian or Tea Party candidate could effect the outcome in the same way.

bluegrue said...

That was close. Politico has a run-down on what they consider the reasons for the difference between polls and election: Obamacare, lack of funding for Cuccinelli, base election, gender gap, Obama, the shutdown.

The Old Man is back said...

So, the results are in. It looks like the RINOs have done better than the Rightists. Recent work in the UK elections showed that support for renewable energy scored 11% higher approval at the polls than resistance to it. It'll be interesting to see how CC rates in the post-poll analysis as an issue.
It's also hard to escape the feeling that, come election time, media spend still wins the argument - but since this view is at a distance, perhaps others, in the USA, will have a different view.

Susan Anderson said...

Indeed, money talks. Suggestion has been made that one push for a RICO investigation of ALEC. Corruption all the way to the Supreme Court.

One of several definitions of racketeering and liability under the RICO Act is illegal activities across state lines.

ALEC falls under 501c3, a nonprofit organization, in the IRS tax code. According to the IRS a 501c3 organization may NOT attempt to influence legislation.

I don’t know of any organization that tries to influence as much legislation in an many states as does ALEC violating their nonprofit tax status in multiple states — clearly a violation of the RICO Act.

ALEC is the reason there has been a tightly coordinated state legislative effort to suppress the vote and to disenfranchise voting constituencies who tend to vote for Democrats like our elders, students, and voters of color. Now public officials have been forced to vote by provisional ballot from Texas to North Carolina.

ALEC is the reason that we had such tightly coordinated anti-worker and anti-union legislation — some bills using the same language — all across the upper Midwest to weaken labor and make the union vote politically irrelevant.

Clearly ALEC is trying to and succeeding at influencing legislation in state after state — at least 19 states.

Right now, everyone of us can and should call or write or both our Senators and Member of Congress and tell them that ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — should be investigated by the Department of Justice for violations of RICO.

The Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121.

(Yes, DailyKos, so political ...)

Russell has a good point: extremists are following the pattern of history (French Revolution, Russia) moving the cutoff point (no, not funny) further to the right and imploding.

Anonymous said...

In teh end, the polarizing issues of Government Shutdown and Obamacare rallied voters on boths sides.

However, it does look like AGW is a key issue for a sizable (significant?) minority of potentially progressive voters. Let's hope the Democrats keep that in mind.

The Old Man is back said...

Looks like Dana and Ken have picked up on this, too: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/nov/06/global-warming-science-denial-losing-position

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

For a while last night it looked like Eli's victory ejaculations might be dangerously premature.

EliRabett said...

Not if you looked at a map. The Dems know how to hold their fire. FWIW, the Ken doll got killed on his home turf in Fairfax which was the tell. Probably mostly due to the shutdown, but anti-science played some role in a very techie area.


The exit polls, such as they are , indicate Sarvis voters would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli.

As any True Whig will testify, it is erroneous to insist potential votes somehow really “belong” to either Democrats or Republicans

Hank Roberts said...

> Russell Seitz said...
> The exit polls, such as
> they are , indicate Sarvis
> voters would have voted for
> McAuliffe by a two-to-one
> margin over Cucinelli.

Thank you Russell. Easy info to find, but not mentioned in any of the news I've read today


Susan Anderson said...

I don't think climate denial was much on the radar, much as I'd like it to have been. It was Cuccinelli's neanderthal attitudes towards women and life in general that made voters swallow their dander and vote against him.

willard said...

> It is interesting how Ken Cuccinelli's politically trivial pursuit of, in Willard Willard's images, Sidney Crosby, aka Mike Mann has bit him in devious ways.

Never thought of an hockey player for Mike. But I'd try to get ca. 1965 as a birthday, not 1987. And since he's the captain of the Kyoto Flames, I'd try to pick someone from Atlanta or Calgary.

Lanny McDonald is a bit old, but may have had a similar attitude. Perhaps Doug Risebrough, who won 4 consecutive cups with Montreal and 1 with Calgary, because of a McDonald goal. The fact that he became a manager also helps.

But Mike's a climate scientist, so that makes him either a defenseman or a goalie. Grant Fuhr or Mike Vernon? Neither, for here would be my choice:

> The power of his shot grew into legend on January 17, 1984, in a game against St. Louis.[52][53] In his first full season with the Flames, MacInnis took a slapshot from just outside the Blues' defensive zone that struck goaltender Mike Liut on the mask. The shot split Liut's helmet while the puck fell into the net for a goal.[17] The power of his shot, and the fear it inspired in his opposition, led to MacInnis' success as an offensive-defenceman, especially as a threat on the power play.[54] He won the "Hardest Shot" competition at All-Star Game skills competitions seven times between 1991 and 2003.[1] He occasionally topped 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), including his win in the 2000 All-Star Game.


As Lord Halifax would have said, I like my choice.