Welp. It’s a banner day for New York politicians getting arrested.

(H/T: Jammie Wearing Fools) Geez Louise.

State Sen. Malcolm Smith and city Councilman Dan Halloran were arrested this morning on charges they were plotting to rig this year’s mayoral election through fraud and bribes.

The pols allegedly formed an alliance built on cash payments and fraud to get Smith — one of the state’s top Democrats — placed on the GOP mayoral ballot, sources said.

FBI agents arrested them both at their Queens homes shortly after 6 a.m.

You may remember Malcolm Smith from last December, when he half-broke from the Democratic party in order to join the Independent Democratic Caucus, which is the organization that is allowing the NY GOP to retain control of the state Senate.  I don’t think that Smith being thrown out on his ear will be enough to flip the state Senate back, but I guess that we’re about to find out! Dan Halloran is the neo-pagan guy (I mention this for identification purposes only: no, seriously, some of my best friends really ARE neo-pagans) who ran for Congress last year, and lost.  There’s a bunch of other people who got arrested, including some top NYC GOP party officials (Joseph Savino and Vincent Tabone) and the (Democratic*) mayor and assistant mayor of Spring Valley: which may explain why this story will be slow getting off the launching pad.  Everybody’s really busy checking first to make sure that none of their people are actually in the blast zone. Continue reading Welp. It’s a banner day for New York politicians getting arrested.

Why the Democratic party is not taking the House back.

OK, now that I’ve read this Politico article about how the supposedly soon-to-be-triumphant Democratic party* is not going to get more than five seats at best (and may actually lose seats), and I’ve stopped laughing, let me do my civic duty for the day and explain what actually happened.  There are three real reasons for this slow motion car wreck, and none of them are redistricting, outside money, and/or chicanery:

  • Nancy Pelosi.  There is a reason why Speakers of the House tend to resign after being handed an electoral shellacking of the kind that was handed to Madam Speaker in 2010, as events since have shown. The woman is simply weaker as House Minority Leader than she would have been if she had never been Speaker of the House at all; less ability to command others, and decreased deference when it’s not to her face.  There are people in the Democratic party who would rather badly like to actually react realistically to what happened in 2010, even if their solutions may not be realistic… but as long as Nancy Pelosi is running things, they won’t.  She doesn’t think that she did anything really wrong.  I understand that Pelosi is an earner, but honestly: get her out of the house and give her a Super PAC, then. (By the way: most of the ostensible answers in the Politico article happen to come back to the meta-problem – for Democrats, anyway – of Nancy Pelosi keeping her job.)
  • Barack Obama. You can argue about whether Barack Obama is a drag on House races or not, but it’s largely academic anyway: Obama for America simply can’t make itself care about the downticket races when they’re in trouble.  Which is why House races have dramatically shifted towards the GOP in the last month. If you’re a Democratic candidate in a swing state, you might have seen the President stop by and help you out.  Might.  If not… well?  Good luck?
  • Wave election fatigue.  …We’ve had three wave elections in a row: two Democratic ones, and one Republican one that wiped out the first two.  We’re pretty much out of low-hanging fruit. We’ll have some more in 2014 – it takes two to three terms for a Member of Congress to decide that he or she is invincible – but right now everybody’s mostly hunkered down and taking no changes.

And… that’s how it is.  With one important caveat: none of this would really matter if the Democrats happened to have, say, a six point advantage in the electorate this year.

Moe Lane

*Actually, to be fair to Politico they actually referred to Democrats as “a party that has a legitimate shot at keeping the presidency and the Senate on Tuesday.”

Cedra Crenshaw back on ballot!

Cedra, as you will recall, is a conservative Republican running for the Illinois state Senate who had been thrown off the ballot for being a black conservative Republican a ballot technicality.  That has been… resolved, and not in the Democrats’ favor:

State Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi has a fight on his hands, and his Democratic bosses have only made it worse.

Party leaders brought out the big guns to try to blow Republican challenger Cedra Crenshaw off the November ballot for the 43rd District seat. But a Will County judge ruled Wednesday that Crenshaw’s ballot petitions are valid, rejecting the argument contrived by the Democrats who wanted Wilhelmi to coast to victory unopposed.

Continue reading Cedra Crenshaw back on ballot!

Why *did* Gov. Corzine fund Ferriero’s corruption for so long?

I mean, I know that the Governor’s rich, thanks to Goldman-Sachs – so donating a mere $440,000 or so to former Bergen County chair Joe Ferriero (and yet another convicted Democratic politician) over the years may have been a mere lark.  A minor duty.  He just did what they told him to.  Still, you’d have thought that Corzine might have noticed all the dirty dealing going on.  Or cared.

Because the legal system did b0th: Continue reading Why *did* Gov. Corzine fund Ferriero’s corruption for so long?

What? In what alternate universe is there a “cloud” over Rangel?

“It’s a new day, and Mr. Rangel is part of that new day,” Levin said.

The Democrats have made it clear that they don’t give a tinker’s dam about Rep Rangel’s numerous ethical lapses, as even this Politico article makes clear (via Instapundit):
Continue reading What? In what alternate universe is there a “cloud” over Rangel?