Monday, January 01, 2007

A few things...

A lot of interesting news took place over the weekend. Sen. John Edwards and his wife were on This Week yesterday in a pre-taped segment. You can read the transcript here. Stephanopoulos asked Edwards about the subject of global warming. It's an issue that this blogger cares about deeply and with the warm December temperatures, I am glad to see presidential candidates talk about the issues.
Stephanopoulos: And you also said that Americans have to be patriotic about something other than war. What kinds of sacrifices will Americans have to make to make us energy independent, to combat global warming?

Edwards: They're going to have to be willing to give up some of the vehicles that they drive and I, myself, have driven. They're going to have to be willing to conserve in the use of energy in their homes.

There may be other things that will be required. I mean, we have some very serious issues about our use of carbon-based fuels. There are intermediate steps that can be taken, trap-and-trade. There are a number of things that can be done to reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.

But at the end of the day, we may be faced with more serious choices. People are concerned about a gasoline tax, including myself, because of its regressive nature. You can't take it off the table.

Our carbon tax, which Vice President Gore has been talking about, is it a necessity? Not yet, in my judgment.

Stephanopoulos: But you are open to it?

Edwards: Not yet. I would never take those things off the table.

But people who think that global warming is a problem for our grandchildren are living in never-never land. If you're under the age of 60 and we don't change the course that we're on now, there's a significant chance that global warming is going to affect your life.

And the American people have got to engage on these kinds of issues. We can't stay at home, complain that somebody else is not doing their job, and hope somebody else is going to solve the problem for us.
Edwards does have one advantage over the already announced opponents so far. He won't be missing any votes in the Senate or the House during the campaign.

In other Edwards news, he's criticized the "McCain Doctrine," a doctrine that calls for more troops in Iraq.

For Democrats, Western Kentucky will be a huge region to focus on. For Republicans, it's the old 5th. That said, I don't think Democrats should ignore Northern Kentucky either as the region is growing in terms of the economy.
• Jefferson County and neighboring Oldham and Bullitt counties had about 173,000 registered Republicans, of which about 40,000 voted in the primary for governor -- a turnout rate of 23 percent.

• Less than 10 percent of the 95,000 registered Republicans in Northern Kentucky went to the polls to vote for either Fletcher, former Jefferson County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson or then-state Rep. Steve Nunn in that primary.

• And 38,000 --or 16 percent -- of the 231,000 registered GOP residents in the 23 most Republican southern Kentucky counties voted.[...]

After all, 16 percent of all voters who participated in the 2003 Democratic primary lived in one of the 23 counties in the far west. That gubernatorial contest was largely between then-Attorney General Ben Chandler of Versailles and House Speaker Jody Richards of Bowling Green.

So far none of the tickets that have entered the 2007 primary call Western Kentucky home.

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller is from Lexington, and his running mate is Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze. And even though former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear grew up in Dawson Springs, he's lived the last several decades in Central Kentucky. His running mate is Hazard's state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo. Otis Hensley, who ran a limited campaign in 2003, and running mate Richard Robbins are Eastern Kentuckians.

Candidates don't necessarily have to be from Western Kentucky to do well there. They just have to work to court those voters, said Danny Briscoe, a Democratic campaign consultant.

"I guarantee you they feel closer to Nashville than they do Frankfort," he said. "I think you go down there as a candidate and say, 'Let me tell you something: I'm going to come here once a month every month when I'm governor. I'm going to take care of infrastructure here.'''

It worked for Casey County native Wallace Wilkinson in 1987 when he took two dozen trips to Daviess County alone.

"Wilkinson carried every precinct in Daviess County," said Briscoe, who consulted for Wilkinson in that race. Wilkinson defeated three other Democrats who carried Daviess County in previous statewide contests: Paducah native and former governor Julian Carroll, former Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. and Beshear, who had won it as a candidate for attorney general and lieutenant governor.
John Moylan, an attorney from Columbia, SC, is running the South Carolina campaign for John Edwards.
Edwards is using many of the same organizers who helped him win here in 2004.

Columbia lawyer John Moylan is reprising his role running Edwards' South Carolina campaign, but Moylan says this time there is more interest early from volunteers who want to work on the campaign.

"I would rather be John Edwards with our organization than any other candidate in this state by far," Moylan said.

Since Edwards announcement, Moylan said Columbia Mayor Bob Coble and state Senate Democratic Leader John Land signed on for the second race.

"I'm absolutely for Edwards," Coble said, adding that he was "impressed with his making the fight against poverty more of a centerpiece of his campaign."

Land said "the country made a bad mistake not nominating him" in 2004. "He just brings a fresh approach to this whole country."

Barnwell lawyer Terry Richardson, one of the state's wealthiest trial lawyers, said Saturday that he's backing Edwards again.

In 2004, Edwards got his campaign off the ground with donations from lawyers like Land and Richardson. His "base of support this time is tenfold what it was four years ago. He's in a very different place - a very different starting place," Moylan said.
Congressman-elect John Yarmuth will be taping an episode with Stephen Colbert later this month.
U.S. Rep.-elect John Yarmuth thinks he has his answer if Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert asks him the ubiquitous question, "George Bush: great president or the greatest?"

Yarmuth, a liberal Democrat who many believe ousted five-term U.S. Rep. Anne Northup because of her support of Bush, said he'll probably respond: "Did you say gravest?"
I think that's about all for now.

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