I’m going to split it up into two versions — This one for my neck of the woods, and a national edition some time next week.
These midterms are really weird for me. It’s perfectly obvious that the Republicans are going to turn over the House, and they will make gains in the Senate, maybe enough to turn it over, too. They’ll also make gains in State Governors. But I actually don’t like a lot of the Republicans that are going to have to win in order to make this a reality, especially in the Senate and among Governors. As you will read below and later on when I do the national preview, I would not vote for many of the Republicans that are evidently going to win.
Is Obama/SEIU/ACORN black/Hispanic voter fraud a concern this year? Maybe, but it won’t be effective in preventing the turnover in the House, because this kind of voter fraud (i.e. most voter fraud) happens within the confines of Congressional districts that are solidly blue and gerrymandered black and (to a lesser extent) Hispanic. It’s too risky to try to pull off this voter fraud in areas where there are too many white eyes watching. If this voter fraud happens, it MIGHT preclude a few Senate and Governor turnovers, but nothing more.
Race: Bill Brady (R) vs Pat Quinn (D, Inc.)
Bio: Brady currently holds a State Senate seat in or near Champaign. Quinn was RodB’s running mate in the 2006 election, and became Governor in late 2008 after RodB was impeached.
I Will Vote For: Brady/Plummer, all the way
Prediction: Brady by 5-10 point margin
Analysis: When the St. Louis, Chicago and national media project Bill Brady the next Governor of Illinois on the evening of November 2, I’m going to go dancing in the streets. Literally. (It won’t be a street in Edwardsville, as I’ll be at an election results watch party in West County.) You’ve been reading this medium long enough to know why, so I feel no need to expound here.
Brady’s win will mean that fellow Edwarsvillian, 28-year old Jason Plummer, an heir to a small lumber fortune, will become Lieutenant Governor.
I mistakenly said earlier this year in this space that the last time I was so gung-ho for any statewide candidate in IL was Glenn Poshard (D) in 1998 for Governor. I forgot about Jim Oberweis, but he never won a statewide primary for a statewide office.
U.S. SENATE, ILLINOIS
Race: Mark Jerk (R) vs AlexiG (D)
Bio: Jerk holds down IL-10 in the House, where he has been rated one of the most liberal Republicans in recent years. AlexiG is currently a Crook County Machine Cog who doubles as State Treasurer.
I Will Vote For: None of the above. Only 3rd Party is the Watermelon Party (green on the outside, red on the inside), so that’s a non-starter and a non-finisher.
Prediction: AlexiG will eke it out
Analysis: I don’t know if GOV will be above or below SEN on the statewide ballot. Even if GOV is at the top of the ballot, I don’t think Brady has enough or the right kind of coattails to help Jerk. My reasoning to predict a narrow AlexiG win in my current state is the same as why I will predict a Blunt win over Mrs. Antolinez in my native state — Two deeply flawed candidates drives the race to a pure matter of partisan turnout. In Illinois, that means Democrats, even in a year like this. In Missouri, that means Republicans, especially in a year like this.
I wouldn’t want Jerk to win anyway. If he does, he’d be another Collins/Snowe/Grahamnesty type, the type that Dummocrats are always begging to help them save their liberal legislation. That’s why I was so adamant about Christine O’Donnell beating Mike Castle in DE, even if it meant the Bearded Marxist winning in the long run.
OTHER IL STATEWIDE RACES
I’ll be voting Libertarian for Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Comptroller, as I have no esteem for any of the major party candidates. It is expected that incumbents Jesse White (D, SoS), Lisa Madigan (D, AG) and quasi-incumbent Judy Baar Topinka (R, Comptroller) will easily win. AlexiG abandoning Treasurer to run for Senate has opened it up, but I don’t have a good enough read to make a prediction. Topinka was Comptroller for quite a long time, but abandoned it to run for Governor in 2006, and is trying to return to the office this year. To show you how well her run for Governor turned out, she got a rip-roaring 40% of the vote against ROD F’N BLAGOJEVICH, who himself didn’t get a majority of the vote, who himself was impeached two years later. Moderate Repugnican, FAIL.
ILLINOIS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Issue: Would tack on a special election requirement to the gubernatorial impeachment process. As you know from the impeachment of RodB, the current process is that the sitting Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor and stays Governor until the next usual election cycle.
I Will Vote: No. Needs 60% of the vote to pass and become part of the Constitution.
Prediction: No clue
Analysis: Why bother with this? The bad ole days of corruption in the Illinois Governor’s Office are through once Bill Brady is sworn in. The best way to end public corruption in IL is to weed out the Crook County Dummocrats and the DuPage County Repugnicans. And no more Ryans. Irradiate the Chicagograd cancer — Elect all downstaters to IL statewide offices.
U.S. HOUSE, IL-19
Race: Doesn’t matter
I Will Vote For: John Shimkus
Analysis: I’m putting this in my preview not because it’s an interesting race, but it has personal implications. For the first time in my life, I both have and will be able to vote for quality Congressional representation. Almost all my life on the west side of the river was spent in MO-3, meaning Gephardt and Boy Carnahan, with a little bit of time in MO-1, meaning Father and Son Lazy Bones. (I was able to vote in MO-1′s general election, i.e. against Old Man Clay, only once. My second period of living in MO-1 was under Boy Clay’s rule, but wasn’t long enough to encompass a general election.) As you know, I lived in Carbondale (technically, Carterville) for just about all of 2009, but that’s in Jerry Costello (D)/IL-12, and as it is, there was no general election in 2009.
Quality Congressional representation, FTW!
ILLINOIS STATE HOUSE, DISTRICT 112
I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of media buys in the St. Louis media about Hoffman versus Kay. Turns out that’s for H-112, which is my district. 112 is mostly Collinsville-Edwardsville, and since Illinois legislative districts are drawn for all the State House districts at first, 118 in all, then combine two House districts to make a Senate district, 59 in all, I knew that my State Senate district comprises my State Rep district plus another State Rep district. In my case, I’m in S-56, which combines my H-112 and neighboring H-111, which is mainly River Bend/Alton/rural northern Madison County. As it is, S-56, represented by a Democrat, isn’t up for election this year.
Anyway, the race in H-112 is between 20-year incumbent Democrat Jay Hoffman from Collinsville and Dwight Kay, a businessman and fellow Edwardsvillian. My only real interest in this race is over CCW, and both have said that they would support a carry bill. However, I would trust Kay more actually to vote for one when the rubber hits the road, because Hoffman is a Democrat, and therefore, is susceptible to pressure wielded by Crook county power brokers. So I will be voting Kay.
U.S. SENATE, MISSOURI
Race: Bugs Bunny (R) vs Mrs. Antolinez (D)
Bio: Blunt currently holds MO-7 in the House. A little more than four years ago, he was almost elected House Majority Leader. If that would have happened, he would be on the vestibule of becoming Speaker of the House right now. Mrs. Antolinez, currently MO Secretary of State, was elected to that position in 2004 mainly because people felt sorry for her father croaking in the plane crash four years prior. She has a politically advantageous maiden name.
I Would Vote For: A conservative or libertarian third party if available, if not, none of the above.
Prediction: Blunt by 5-10
Analysis: Same deal as IL-SEN. Two deeply flawed candidates, both were essentially pre-ordained nominees of their Party. So it’s merely a matter of partisan excitement, which means Republicans in all but the bluest of states, in a year like this. I was saying all spring and summer that I could never believe that Missouri voters would say no to a Carnahan, and that I was still at a loss to explain why Jeanne Carnahan lost to Jim Untalented in 2002. Maybe the Carnahans aren’t the omnipotent political force in Missouri that they or the media want us to believe. The only reason we tend to think of the Carnahans as that powerful is mainly because Mel rode Bill Clinton’s coattails to two blowout wins for Governor in 1992 and 1996, then the plane crash in October 2000 croaked him, (he had just finished a fund raiser at the Central West End house of some militant homosexual group, and was on his way to another fund raiser with some militant black group in New Madrid, when the plane crashed in Jefferson County, all for what was about to be a losing Senate campaign against John Ashcroft), and then enough voters in the state felt sorry for his wife to vote for her late husband.
Roy Blunt is essentially a drop-in replacement for Kit Bond, from what I can tell, both in terms of personality (dull) and ideology (centrist establishmentarian). Whether the D.C. liquor stores will have the same level of brisk business after January 3 than before, remains to be seen.
Race: Tom Danforth (“R”) vs Susan Montee (D, Inc.)
I Would Vote For: Montee
Prediction: I haven’t seen any polling, but I think Montee can buck the partisan trend of this season.
Analysis: I don’t want another Danforth drone to latch his way onto this state’s body politic. That’s why I’m recommending a vote for Montee.
FTR, the last man to be MO Auditor was James Antonio, in 1984. I hope it stays that way, at least for another 4 years.
U.S. HOUSE, MISSOURI SEATS
All I’m going to talk about here is 3, 4 and 8.
For as hard as he’s trying, Ed Martin doesn’t have a chance in 3. 3 is just way too gerrymandered Democrat. Yeah, you can say yard signs, but I’ve been down that precise path before: I worked on Gary Gill’s 1994 challenge to Gephardt in 3, (before I could even vote), and Gill’s yard signs slightly outnumbered Gephardt’s. But Gephardt won by about 18 points. Object lesson was that elections are decided by people who don’t have yard signs. As it is, there are some Ed Martin yard signs in South County west of 55 and south of 270, which isn’t even in 3, it’s in 2/Akin. Martin’s campaign has got to know that’s out of district, yet they want those signs there to create the bandwagon effect.
If any Missouri House district is flippable, it’s 4. Like I said in the review of the Primaries back in August, all Republicans (including the winner, Vicky Hartzler) had 88k votes, all Democrats (including the winner and incumbent, Ike Skelton) had 32k votes. Will it be closer than that? Yes. Skelton’s a moderate and the incumbent. Just as people who don’t have yard signs decide general elections, people who don’t vote in partisan primaries decide elections. But for Rs to cast 2.75 as many ballots as Ds in August has to worry Skelton a lot. If Skelton were retiring, 4 would be guaranteed to flip.
As far as 8, Tommy Sowers has run a great campaign, and has done everything he needed to do to turn over a reliably red district from R to D. And he has a great chance to win…if it’s two or four years ago. But it’s this year. And it’s not as if I’ve got some sort of great love for an amnesty open border queen like Jo Ann Emerson — I’d be happy if she lost. But she won’t.
MISSOURI AMENDMENT 1
Issue: Here’s the most stupid ballot language ever:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the office of county assessor to be an elected position in all counties with a charter form of government, except counties with a population between 600,001 and 699,999? It is estimated this proposal will have no costs or savings to state or local governmental entities.
The only two counties with charters are Jackson and St. Louis, and Jackson’s population just so happens to be a six-figure number that starts with “6.” Ergo, this is a statewide ballot concerning ONLY St. Louis County. This measure is superfluous, because County voters voted to make the county assessor an elected office back in August.
I Would Vote: No
Prediction: No Clue
Analysis: Wouldn’t it be just the shit if Jackson County’s population at the next census is 599,999?
MISSOURI AMENDMENT 2
Issue: Would exempt POWs from real estate personal property taxes.
I Would Vote: Yes
Analysis: Several other states have this measure. Very few people were actually POWs, or will ever be POWs, so there will be almost no impact to tax coffers.
MISSOURI AMENDMENT 3
Issue: Would prohibit the state or any sub-jurisdiction from enacting a real estate transfer tax.
I Would Vote: Yes
Analysis: Several other big budget-strained states are implementing this kind of tax like hotcakes. This is to head off Missouri doing the same thing.
MISSOURI PROPOSITION A
The most confusing issue on the Missouri ballot. So I’m going to post the ballot language.
Shall Missouri law be amended to: * repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets; * require voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax to approve continuation of such tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every 5 years thereafter; * require any current earnings tax that is not approved by the voters to be phased out over a period of 10 years; and * prohibit any city from adding a new earnings tax to fund their budget? The proposal could eliminate certain city earnings taxes. For 2010, Kansas City and the City of St. Louis budgeted earnings tax revenue of $199.2 million and $141.2 million, respectively. Reduced earnings tax deductions could increase state revenues by $4.8 million. The total cost or savings to state and local governmental entities is unknown.
Translated into English, this means if Prop A passes, it means that no other cities other than STL and KC could ever implement an income or earnings tax. But it does NOT do away with STL’s and KC’s earnings tax immediately — It would mean that voters in both cities would decide in April 2011 whether to keep or do away with theirs. If they keep the earnings tax, then the same question goes to the voters in 2016, and 2021, and 2026… If they reject the earnings tax, then the city has to phase it out over the next 10 years.
It says nothing about counties. Not sure (NEED SOME HELP HERE), but I think the MO Constitution disallows counties from levying income taxes. I want to know this because St. Louis City is both a city and a county, and almost all of KC that matters is in Jackson County. I could easily see the STL City Government, acting in its authority as a county government, impose a county earnings tax, and/or Jackson County imposing a county earnings tax, if STL or KC voters do away with the city earnings taxes at some point.
I Would Vote: Yes
Prediction: Even money
Analysis: Strangely, I’ve seen/heard very few anti-A media buys. Mostly Pro-A. In fact, there was a story from early in October where KC’s leaders and STL’s leaders are at odds over Prop A, even though they’re both opposed — KC wants to kill the dragon before it gets out of the cave, while STL doesn’t care if it gets out of the cave because it’s confident of its ability to kill it out in the open. In other words, STL thinks that its voters would never do away with the city earnings tax even if they had the chance — KC I suppose thinks it could go either way in April 2011.
MISSOURI PROPOSITION B
Issue: The puppy mill proposition
I Would Vote: No
Prediction: Probably wins
Analysis: Existing state law is sufficient. I know it is, because raids on unlicensed and cruel puppy mills are almost monthly news in Missouri. And I’m not being glib.
I do think the opponents are blowing smoke up people’s asses when they try to say that Prop B would affect farms and farm animals. The ballot language mentions and is relevant to dogs and ONLY dogs.
ST. LOUIS CITY PROPOSITIONS
Issues: F would double the maximum allowable fine for municipal violations from five to ten Benjamins. L is a non-binding resolution about local control of the SLPD.
I Would Vote: No on both
Prediction: Props like F and L have been on the City ballot in the past, and F has always failed, while L has always passed. Therefore, F fails and L wins.
Analysis: Even if L wins, it’s meaningless. Just like all the other times similar plebiscite resolutions have passed.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Race: Charley Dooley (D, Inc) vs Bill Corrigan (R)
Bio: Dooley became County Exec in 2003 after Buzz Westfall’s untimely passing, as he was the County Council member who had the longest tenure on the Council of those Council members of the same political party as the CoExec who vacated the office, (tragically, in this case). Bill Corrigan won’t release his tax returns, or something like that.
I Would Vote: Corrigan
Prediction: Dooley, easily
Analysis: First time in a long time that a Republican is trying and is said to have at least a fair chance to win. BUT…it’s St. Louis County, and it’s not the 1970s or 80s. Not even a favorable climate for Republicans in a year like this will result in a Republican becoming CoExec.
Now you know why Buzz Westfall wanted the Page Avenue Extension built so badly. Bye bye, Republican voters, as you go home to St. Charles County.
All these are under the Plan Nine from Outer Space. I rarely mention Judges’ names, but since they’re on a public ballot, I’ll violate my own rule.
SUPREME COURT: Zel Fischer is the only one up for retention. Blunt appointee. He voted on the wrong side of the school transfer lawsuit. But that’s all I know about him. I do know if he is turned out, Nixon appoints his replacement, so that’s enough of a reason to keep him. I would vote to retain.
APPELLATE COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT: Mary Kathryn Hoff is up. Carnahan appointee. Don’t know anything about her, so I would have to vote to toss her out just based on her being a Carnahan appointee. However, Ashcroft appointed her to the trial level circuit before Carnahan promoted her, so she might be half good. Won’t matter anyway, because voter rejections of judges based on the Plan Nine from Outer Space are as rare as teeth on hens.
21ST/22ND TRIAL LEVEL CIRCUITS: Again, based on the precept that rejections are very rare, I don’t read any names of judges that are up for retention that are either especially commendable or especially reprehensible. So I would skip them.