Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Ten Simultaneous Terror Attacks Across Mumbai (Bombay), India Leave Over 100 Dead, Hundreds Injured or Missing
The photo at the top of this post, linked through the above Wikipedia link, shows an allegedly terrorist involved in the attack on a Mumbai rail station, and was taken by a surveillance camera outside the railway station which was attacked by gunfire and hand grenades, leaving ten dead.
While the terrorists reportedly were searching for those bearing U.S. or British passports, the U.S. State Department reports that there were no immediate reports of U.S. casualties in the attacks.
Additional updates on the Lede blog at the New York Times, and at the English-language website of the Times of India.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) has defeated long-time senior Democrat John Dingell (D-Dearborn, MI), to become chair of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. The final vote, 137 - 122, came one day after Waxman won the endorsement of the House Democratic steering committee for the post on a 25 - 22 vote.
Many senior Democrats were stunned by Waxman's victory. Charlie Rangel, chair of the powerful House Ways and Means committee suggested that the seniority system "just got buried."In fact, the seniority system's demise is likely overstated. The Energy and Commerce Committee will move much of the key legislation sought by the Obama Administration on healthcare and energy policy reform. Dingel was often seen as a "dinosaur", working to protect the interests of the big-three Detroit automakers (and, by extension, oil companies) by, among other things, fighting against increased fuel-economy (CAFE) standards, reductions in auto emissions and other auto-industry regulation.
Many will say that removing Dingel (whose wife is an executive at General Motors) from his post will allow President-Elect Obama to move truly reformative energy legislation through the House, where committee chairs exert great influence on the makeup of the bills making their way through their committees. Moving such reform forward was the reason Waxman gave for raising his challenge to Dingel for the post.
According to the Washington Post, Congressman Rangel (D-NY), accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who remained neutral in the contest, of playing a role in Dingel's overthrow: ""I assume that not playing a role is playing a role," Rangel said."
Waxman, a serious and focused Congressman whose 30th Congressional District covers a broad swath of western / north-coastal Los Angeles County, has long supported tougher standards on the auto industry, and is generally seen as an ally of those seeking to protect and strengthen the interests of individuals and consumers.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Court Orders Respondents to Show Cause Why Challenge to Prop 8 Should Not Be Granted.
The California Supreme Court today decided, in closed-door session, that the Court would take up the Constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, which passed November 4, banning marriage except between a man and a woman. The Proposition passed 52 to 48 percent.
The Court set an expedited briefing schedule, asking the parties (the State of California, and individuals representative of those whose rights have been diminished by the terms of Proposition 8), along with the official proponents of the proposition, to file papers addressing three key issues:
1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution? (See Cal. Const. art. XVIII, sec. 1-4.)The argument under the first question presented is essentially that a fundamental right (marriage) granted under the California Constitution (as interpreted by those who interpret such things - the State Supreme Court) cannot be removed from a "suspect class" (in this case, based upon gender and/or sexual orientation, but generally any "class" of people against whom discrimination would be suspect - e.g.: based upon gender, race, national origin...) by a mere "Amendment" to the Constitution by a majority of voters. Rather, before such rights, which have been determined to be Constitutional rights in California can be taken away, the Constitution must be "revised" -- which requires a 2/3 vote of the legislature (or a Constitutional Convention) in addition to a majority vote of the people of the State.
2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
Note that the questions presented are questions of California law, under the California Constitution; therefore, any determination which grants greater rights to individuals than might be available under the U.S. Constitution would not be appealable to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While the Prop 8 ban remains in effect pending the Supreme Court ruling in the matter, the Court has set an expedited hearing schedule. Deadlines for the various briefs to be filed by the interested parties are between December 19, 2008 and January 21, 2009. The Los Angeles Times reports that hearing on the Constitutionality of Proposition 8 is expected in March, 2009. The Court currently is scheduled to hearing oral arguments during the first week of March, 2009.
Proposition 8 supporters have promised to launch a drive to recall any Supreme Court Justice who finds Proposition 8 unconstitutional. They have previously promised such a campaign against those who voted in May of this year the the Constitution forbade discrimination against gays and lesbians in marriage. (A copy of the May 15, 2008 decision in "In re Marriage Cases" is available here. Copies of the legal documentation in support and in opposition to that decision is online here.)
A copy of the Court's press release on today's decision is here.
Copies of all legal papers supporting the request for hearing can be found on the Court's website here, as may letters submitted in support of those petitions.
Six of the seven Supreme Court justices voted to grant the expedited hearing; one voted for an immediate stay on Proposition 8, to keep it from being an enorceable provision pending the Court hearing, and one voted against the hearing, but would hear a separate petition to determine the status of those of the same gender who married while such marriages were legal.
Six of the seven California Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican governors.
(Photo: Justices of the California Supreme Court.)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Latest from the Alaska Division of Elections, as of 4:18 p.m. local time, Tuesday, November 18:
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||438||100.0 %|
|Times Counted||320166/495731||64.6 %|
|Haase, Fredrick D.||LIB||2482||0.79%|
Our earlier post continues below:
Mark Begich, Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, is almost certain to become the 58th Democrat in the United States Senate this next term, as the Alaska Division of Elections shortly before 1 p.m. AKST reported the results of the count of over 16,000 additional absentee and questioned ballots from Southeast Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak and Anchorage.
The Division of Elections expects to count an additional 6,000 votes this afternoon, all of which are absentee ballots from in and around Anchorage, generally a Begich stronghold.
Begich now leads Stevens by 2,374 votes, or .77% of the vote, 146,286 to 143,912.
From the Anchorage Daily News:
Today's count should pretty much decide the race, although there will be overseas absentees to count over the next couple days and a likely recount in early December.
Since the state moved to mostly machine counting, recent Alaska recounts have resulted in little change in the final tally.
Begich has so far today doubled the 1,022-vote lead he held over Stevens on Friday, the last time the state counted votes in the race.
If Begich wins, he'll be the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the U.S. Senate in nearly 30 years.
If Al Franken defeats Norm Coleman in Minnesota in a race still too close to call, and if Democrat Jim Martin can beat Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss in a Georgia special election early next month, Democrats may claim a "filibuster-proof" majority, should all members of their caucus vote as a block on issues facing filibuster by the minority Republicans.
Here is the latest vote count from the Alaska Division of Elections:
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||438||100.0 %|
|Times Counted||311954/495731||62.9 %|
|Haase, Fredrick D.||LIB||2398||0.78%|
In the meantime, the GOP caucus in the U.S. Senate delayed their vote on sanctioning Sen. Stevens after his seven felony convictions late last month, preferring to await news of whether Stevens would be returned to the Senate by Alaska's voters.
Updated vote counts will be made available here when available from the Division of Elections.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Alaska Division of Elections has completed their counting of about 14,000 additional ballots in this Friday afternoon tally, leaving about an additional 20,000 ballots to count.
Mark Begich has expanded both his numerical and his percentage lead over Sen. Ted Stevens. Begich now leads Stevens by 1,022 votes, up from the 814 vote lead he had on Wednesday. While on Wednesday Begich lead Stevens by .29% of the vote, his lead is now .35%.
It is unknown whether there will be further reporting this evening (as on Wednesday), or none until next week. It is also unknown at this time which state House districts have and have not been included in today's count. There had been a number of uncounted absentee and questioned ballots in Alaska House districts (including House Districts 2, 5, 36, 38, 39 and 40) in which Begich beat Stevens on election day by double digits.
Here are the current results as reported by the Alaska Division of Elections as of 3:56 p.m AKST:
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||438||100.0 %|
|Times Counted||297328/495731||60.0 %|
|Haase, Fredrick D.||LIB||2270||0.77%|
Sen. Stevens is running about 13 percentage points behind the McCain / Palin ticket, which carried Alaska with about 60% of the vote. Mayor Begich is outperforming Obama / Biden by just over 10 percentage points. The remaining three percent not voting for either Begich or Stevens seem to be going primarily to the Alaska Independence Party U.S. Senate candidate, who is gathering a bit over 4% of the vote in the Senate race. (The AIP candidates for President and Vice-President were receiving about .5% of the vote in that race.)
According to the Anchorage Daily News (ADN), 56% of ballots which had remained to be counted as of Friday, November 14 came from districts which Mark Begich carried on election day, some by a substantial margin. 59% of uncounted absentee ballots came from such Begich districts, while just a slight majority of questioned ballots (usually ballots cast in a precinct in which the voter was not registered) came from Begich-favoring districts. The balance of those ballots, including from the university district in Fairbanks, are slated to be counted early next week.
It should also be noted that Mayor Begich made a major push for his supporters to cast early and absentee ballots.
The Elections Division expected to use today to count all remaining ballots from Matanuska-Susitna Borough (a Republican-leaning area which includeds Sarah Palin's base of Wasilla), along with western and northern Alaska. Most Fairbanks ballots were to be counted today as well. If those included the university district, they could have offset the conservative area surrounding Wasilla.
The Alaska Elections Division is scheduled to count the remaining ballots from Anchorage (where Mark Begich serves as mayor) and the Southeast, which trends Democratic. However, the absentee ballots counted earlier were reportedly cast earlier, perhaps just as Sen. Stevens was being convicted of seven ethics-related felonies by a Washington, D.C. jury. Later ballots could reflect Stevens return to Alaska to rally his supporters, raise protestations of innocence, indications of appeal, all of which lead to some apparent shifting of public sentiment about the senator on his home turf.
** The Anchorage Daily News, an excellent source of news on the Alaska U.S. Senate election and all things Alaska, provides a breakdown of the ballots which remained to be counted as of Friday, November 14:
The Anchorage Daily News, an excellent source of news on the Alaska U.S. Senate election and all things Alaska, provides a breakdown of the ballots which remained to be counted as of Friday, November 14:
The Division of Elections will count the remaining ballots as follows:
• About 510 questioned ballots from Southeast, the Peninsula and Southwest Alaska
• About 5,180 absentee and questioned ballots from Mat-Su
• Questioned, absentee ballots from Richardson Highway and the Interior
• About 3,600 absentee and questioned ballots from Western and Northwest Alaska, and North Slope
• Leftover absentee ballots from Richardson Highway and the Interior
Tuesday• About 15,700 questioned and absentee ballots from Anchorage
• About 8,300 absentee ballots from Southeast, Kenai Peninsula and Southwest Alaska
This post will continue to be updated on receipt of new information on today's count.
Begich Expands Lead on Steven in Alaska Senate Race (November 12)
Alaska Election Results - President, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress (Interim, Preliminary), November 4 - 5, 2008
Graphic - file share on Flickr.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Based in the additional votes counted since 3:30 p.m., Begich moved into an 814 vote lead over Sen. Ted Stevens - 132,196 to 131,382, with 35,000 or so ballots remaining to be counted over the coming week.
From the Alaska Division of Elections, here are the incomplete, updated results of the U.S. Senate race, as of 7:33 p.m. AKST this evening, November 12, 2008:
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||438||100.0 %|
|Times Counted||282383/495731||57.0 %|
|Haase, Fredrick D.||LIB||2086||0.75%|
From the Anchorage Daily News:
The state Division of Elections tallied some 60,000 absentee, early and questioned ballots on Wednesday. The ballots broke heavily in the Democrat's favor, erasing the 3,000-vote lead Stevens held after election night Nov. 4.
The state still needs to count at least 15,000 questioned ballots and an estimated 20,000 absentee ballots that made it to the Division of Elections after election day last Tuesday.
Most regional elections headquarters will count their remaining ballots on Friday. But the most populous region, based in Anchorage, won't count its ballots until either Monday or Wednesday, state elections chief Gail Fenumiai said.
Begich pushed hard in the campaign for people to vote early, a factor both Democrats and Republicans said contributed to his surge. More than 9,000 of those early ballots weren't counted until Wednesday in order to give the state time to double check and make sure people didn't vote early and then come back and vote election day as well.***
Republican Party of Alaska Chairman Randy Ruedrich wasn't giving up hope for Stevens, saying Begich's advantage could lessen as the state finishes counting the early votes.
"We expect that the subsequent absentees will be more truly by mail absentees, which should be much more favorable to Republicans," he said.
But state Democratic Party spokeswoman Bethany Lesser said Begich workers are "cautiously optimistic" the lead would hold.
She noted that the election district based in Nome, which covers northern and western Alaska, has not counted any of its absentee ballots yet. Begich beat Stevens in that area on election day, just as he did throughout Bush Alaska, a traditional Stevens stronghold that relies on federal appropriations.
But that was before the FBI and IRS raided (Stevens') Girdwood home and a Washington, D.C., jury found him guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms about $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from the oilfield services company Veco Corp.
Begich, whose grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Croatia in 1911, is the son of Alaska's early representative in Congress, Congressman Nick Begich. Congressman Begich disappeared over Alaska in 1972 in a small, twin-engined Cessna in which he was traveling to a campaign event with the U.S. House Majority Leader, Hale Boggs, of Louisiana. Mark Begich was ten years old when his father (and Boggs) disappeared over Alaska, remains and wreckage never to be found.
(Congressman Begich was running for re-election against Don Young when he disappeared. Congressman Begich won that election posthumously; Don Young won the special election to fill out Begich's term, and Young has been re-elected to that seat every election since, apparently continuing that run this year against Ethan Berkowitz.)
(Ethan Berkowitz continues to trail Congressman Don Young in voting for Alaska's sole congressional seat; the vote margin remains at about 15,000 votes, representing an approximate 5.5% lead for Young, who had been tied to corruption allegations. Will this vote differential between the Senate and House races, after polling showing a strong lead for former Alaskan House Minority Berkowitz against Congressman Young someday be postulated as "the Berkowitz effect?")
Prior related post: Begich Takes 3-Vote Lead Over Stevens in Alaska Senate Balloting
(Minor edits 11/13/08 8:50 a.m. PST)
Photo: Mark Begich at Fairbanks, Alaska Labor Day Picnic; courtesy Wikipedia / Creative Commons.
As of this past Monday, the State of Alaska was reporting approximately 90,000 uncounted ballots -- from less-accessible areas of the state, mail-in ballots (which, under Alaska law, are counted if they are postmarked by election day) and provisional / challenged ballots.
After 28,519 of those ballots had been counted earlier today, Sen. Ted Stevens' lead, which had been 3,257 votes, had shrunk to 971.
After an additional 15,000 or so ballots were counted this afternoon, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich took the lead over Stevens by three votes, 135,019 to 135,016. Both candidates are now calculated to have 47.24% of the vote.
With an additional 45,000 or so ballots to review and count over the coming hours and days, the trend is quite positive for a Begich come-from-behind victory, perhaps after a full or partial recount.
Here are the Alaska U.S. Senate results, as of 3:30 p.m. AKST on November 12, 2008. Do note that there are additional ballots remaining to be counted: this is not a final count:
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||438||100.0 %|
|Times Counted||267941/495731||54.0 %|
|Haase, Fredrick D.||LIB||1961||0.74%|
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the elections division had an additional 10,000 ballots to count today, with today's ballots coming from all regions of the state; the Division of Elections reportedly expects to count "roughly 35,000 additional absentee and questioned ballots over the next week."
Were Begich to hold on to become Alaska's new senator, the Democratic caucus would increase to 58 members (presuming Lieberman stays in the caucus), greatly increasing the power of the Democrats to move legislation they desire through the Senate, with the help of two or three of the more moderate / fearful Republicans.
Minnesota and Georgia U.S. Senate races remain to be decided.
(In the contest for Alaska's House seat, former statehouse leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) continues to trail incumbent Don Young (R), now by a margin of about 15,000 votes, or just under 6%, or a closing of the gap by about 1,000 votes. Berkowitz' deficit is unlikely to be made up from the counting of the outstanding votes.)
(Edited at 7 p.m. PST, adding paragraph citing Anchorage Daily News.)
(Photo: Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, courtesy Mark Begich for Senate.)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Circuit City stated that the filing was an effort to continue to receive merchandise from wholesalers, to whom it owes substantial sums of money. (If wholesalers believe they will receive payment for the new merchandise sold to Circuit City (CC), they may essentially treat the company as a new entity, looking at the likely earnings from the new sales, and "ignoring" the prior losses on which it may receive pennies on the dollar.)
Circuit City made a similar filing in Canada, where their subsidiary InterTAN Canada Ltd operates over 850 retail stores and dealer outlets.
Circuit City had been cutting costs and reducing workforce, replacing retail sales employees with lower-cost workers (in a move which could backfire as consumers become increasingly irritated with the retailer, taking their business elsewhere.) CC announced a cut of an additional 700 jobs from their Richmond, Virginia headquarters.
While Circuit City had been suffering a deteriorating position in the market, exacerbated by consumer nervousness and credit tightness, they claim that three factors led them to file for bankruptcy protection: erosion of vendor (wholesalers such as Hewlitt-Packard, Samsung, Sony, Zenith, Toshiba...) confidence, decreased liquidity (inadequate cash on hand, access to credit), and the global economic crisis.
From the Associated Press:
"Without immediate relief, the company is concerned that it will not receive goods for Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season, which could cause irreparable harm to the company and its stakeholders," Besanko said in the filing.
The company's biggest creditors are its vendors: Hewlett-Packard has a $118.8 million claim followed by Samsung ($115.9 million), Sony ($60 million), Zenith ($41.2 million), Toshiba ($17.9 million) and others. Smaller creditors include GPS navigation system maker Garmin, Nikon, Lenovo, Eastman Kodak and Mitsubishi.
Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst David Schick said in a note to investors that since Circuit City is a well-known brand it could re-emerge from bankruptcy, saying "We believe the marketplace has a slot for a higher-end chain with a commissioned sales force."
But Stephen Lubben, the Daniel J. Moore professor of law at Seton Hall Law School, said the company's surivial depends on "whether these folks here like Sony and Hewlett-Packard are going to be willing to work with Circuit City going forward or whether they think they're a lost cause and cut them off permanently."
Lubben said it has the added burden of facing Chapter 11 at a difficult time for retail.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker told investors that consumers learning about Circuit City's bankruptcy may choose elsewhere due to a lack of confidence in the company.
Circuit City shares were down 56% on the news, to 11 cents per share, before trading of its' stock on the NYSE was halted.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons.)
Friday, November 7, 2008
There are over 615,000 uncounted ballots in Los Angeles County, more than 250,000 in conservative Orange County, more than 150,000 in Alameda, 29,700 in Marin, over 38,500 in San Francisco, 140,000 in Sacramento, 105,000 in San Bernardino, 225,000 in San Diego....
From the distribution of the uncounted ballots and a review of how those counties voted on various propositions, it would not appear that there would be a large enough swing to change the result of Proposition 8, the marriage equality (gay marriage) initiative. However, the voting tendencies of those who mailed in ballots in the last few days, or who dropped them off at their polling places, or who voted at the wrong polling place cannot be predicted with any specificity. In most years, absentee ballots in California trend conservative / Republican; however this year, the Democrats were pushing absentee / early voting.
It would appear that the outstanding ballots could have an impact on several local races, including the Brown / McClintock race in the 4th Congressional District, (where over 40,000 votes apparently remain to be counted - over 10,000 in Nevada County, 20,000 in Placer, 16,000 in El Durado and an unknown number in the small portion of Sacramento which is in the 4th Congressional District.)
Also impacted will be the Jackson / Strickland race for the 19th Senate District seat, (above map) where Jackson holds a narrow lead thanks to voters in Santa Barbara County; she narrowly trailed Strickland in the portions of the district falling within Ventura and Los Angeles Counties (27% of Santa Clarita.) There are about 36,750 uncounted ballots remaining in Santa Barbara County, 75,900 in Ventura County, though it is unknown what portion of those are within the 19th District (see above map, showing about half of the county, including the county seat of Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Camarillo within the district. Virtually all of Santa Barbara County, including the City of Santa Barbara, and Isla Vista, home to U.C. Santa Barbara, is in the 19th District.) With the nature of these votes, predicting the outcome of the counting with any degree of accuracy would seem to be extremely difficult.
Statewide, the results of Proposition 11, the redistricting initiative, could quite conceivably be impacted by the yet-to-be-counted ballots.
The full county-by-county list of uncounted ballots, divided into "Vote-By-Mail", "Provisionals", "Other" and a total of "Estimated Remaining, along with information on the most recent update by each county, can be found in a pdf here, courtesy California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
California Election Results - Propositions, Brown/McClintock (4th CD), Jackson/Strickland (19th SD) - Updated November 6, 2006 ;Key California Congressional, State Senate, Assembly Results (as of 11/5/08);
California Election Results - Propositions (Interim, Updated) (as of 11/4/08.)
(Map: CA 19th State Senate District.)
Behind the Scenes Photos of Barack & Michelle Obama, Family, Key Staff, Election Night, Chicago, November 4, 2008
Over 100 mostly behind-the-scenes photos of President-Elect Obama and his family, key staff, and other election night sights at the Obama's Flickr account.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
California Election Results - Propositions, Brown/McClintock (4th CD), Jackson/Strickland (19th SD) - Updated November 6, 2006
(Updated, related posts at bottom of this post.)
Totals, as of close of business November 6, 2008, do not include over 2.3 million [pdf] [over 2.7 million as of 11/7/08 - ed.] challenged or provisional ballots, or absentee ballots received by mail or at the polls on election day. From the California Secretary of State:
Vote-by-mail ballots received in the mail or returned to polling places on Election Day cannot be counted until signatures on the envelopes are verified against voter registration records. Elections officials have 28 days after the election to process all valid provisional ballots cast at polling places on Election Day and all vote-by-mail ballots received by elections officials by mail or in person by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.)The Secretary of State then has seven additional days - until December 9, 2008, to certify the election results.
County-by-county updates on status of uncounted ballots available here [pdf.]
With that in mind, in the 4th Congressional District, McClintock (R) leads Brown (D) by 644 votes, with an estimated 20 to 40,000 late absentee, provisional and "missing" votes outstanding. According to the Sierra Sun:
Turnout throughout the area was reported to be higher than usual, often at record high levels.TAHOE CITY/TRUCKEE — It could be weeks until many local races are decided, after area counties reported thousands of absentee ballots still uncounted.(Emphasis added.)
While County Web sites posted all precincts as reporting late Tuesday night, officials said potentially tens of thousands of absentee ballots are still uncounted.
“There may be 10,000 to 12,000 absentee ballots that were turned into the polls, and 3,000 or 4,000 provincial ballots,” said Placer County Clerk Recorder Jim McCauley. “That has the potential to sway some local elections."
While a more accurate tally of how many ballots are uncounted is expected soon, results won’t be changed until the canvassing period ends in a matter of weeks, McCauley said.
“We don’t do the results peace-meal (sic),” he said.
Gail Smith, acting assistant clerk recorder for Nevada County, said the canvas ends Dec. 2.
Early estimates for Truckee uncounted ballots [an area in which Brown ran well - ed.] were around 1,000, and another 2,700 for the rest of the county, Smith said.
And the trend holds true statewide, with an estimated 2.6 million to 3 million ballots still untallied, reported the Associated Press.
Truckee Town Council is one race locally that hangs in the balance.
“Four years ago I got 3,700 votes, and Josh [Susman] got 3,300, and this year so far we both have about 2,200,” said current Mayor and candidate Barbara Green. “Something is not quite right.”
The missing votes could have repercussions as far reaching as the tightly-contested 4th Congressional District race between Republican Tom McClintock and Democrat Charlie Brown, Green said.
“Clearly there’s been a major administrative error... said Alison Elder, Measure U chair.
In the 19th State Senate District, Hannah Beth Jackson leads Tony Strickland by 108 votes out of more than 300,000 votes cast. Jackson narrowly trails Strickland among voters in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties; her margin of "victory" comes from voters in Santa Barbara County.
California Statewide Propositions:
The closest measure is Prop. 11, Redistricting, which is passing by a 99,000 vote margin. On Prop. 8, Yes votes lead No votes by 5%; due to the numerous outstanding ballots, the No on 8 campaign has not conceded defeat.
"Maps", below, show vote percentages by county (though that feature seems to be out of commission this morning.)
|State Ballot Measures||100.0% ( 25423 of 25423 ) precincts|
reporting as of Nov. 6, 2008, at 7:06 a.m.
|1A||Y||Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act||5,072,778||52.2%||4,661,366||47.8%||Map|
|2||Y||Standards for Confining Farm Animals||6,259,522||63.2%||3,656,765||36.8%||Map|
|3||Y||Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program.||5,314,603||54.9%||4,383,084||45.1%||Map|
|4||N||Parent Notif. Before Terminating Minor's Pregnancy||4,761,793||48.0%||5,157,390||52.0%||Map|
|5||N||Nonviolent Drug Offense. Sentencing, Parole, Rehab||3,910,125||40.0%||5,843,962||60.0%||Map|
|6||N||Police, Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Laws.||2,927,597||30.7%||6,581,530||69.3%||Map|
|7||N||Renewable Energy Generation||3,419,193||35.1%||6,307,979||64.9%||Map|
|8||Y||Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry||5,387,939||52.5%||4,883,460||47.5%||Map|
|9||Y||Criminal Justice System. Victims' Rights. Parole.||5,100,970||53.5%||4,438,988||46.5%||Map|
|10||N||Altern. Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy Bonds||3,889,794||40.2%||5,763,536||59.8%||Map|
Key California Congressional, State Senate, Assembly ResultsCalifornia Election Results - Propositions (Interim, Updated)
(Photo: USAF Lt.Col. Charlie Brown (Ret.), candidate for U.S. Congress, 4th C.D., Cal., courtesy Charlie Brown for Congress)
(Minor edits at 11:50 a.m., 11/6/08, plus addition of reference to 20- 40,000 outstanding ballots in CD4; reference to 2.3 million uncounted ballots added at 11:40 p.m., updated total to 2.7 million 11/7/08 at 6:25 p.m., added related post)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Prepared remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama, delivered on Nov. 4, 2008, at Grant Park in Chicago, IL.
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.
I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends&though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
For that is the true genius of America that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
The Portland Oregonian is calling the Oregon U.S. Senate race for Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley over incumbent Republican Gordon Smith.
With 84% of the vote counted, Merkley, who had been trailing through most of the vote count, has pulled ahead of Smith by something over 5,400 votes, 710,454 to 705,027.
The race is being called despite the fact that 16% of the vote remains to be counted, based upon the location of those uncounted ballots. All but a smattering are from Democratic strongholds Lane County (Eugene), where with 76% of the ballots counting, Merkley is leading Smith by nearly 30,000 votes, at 58% to 38%, and from Multnomah County (Portland), where 71% of the ballots have been counted, and Merkley has a 38% lead over Smith, with 67% of the vote (157,385 votes) to 29% (68,262.) (Third party candidate Brownlow has 8,850 votes in Multnomah County.)
Based upon the location of the uncounted ballots, we join the Oregonian in calling the Oregon U.S. Senate seat for Jeff Merkley.
Democrats will now have at least 57 seat in the U.S. Senate, with Minnesota, Alaska & Georgia yet to be determined. There is a very real possibility that we will have no final determination of the winners in any of those races for several weeks, based upon the need to count late absentee ballots, provisional / challenged ballots, and, in the case of Georgia, the likely need to conduct a run-off election.
And you thought we were done with elections for the year.
(Photo: Jeff Merkley, L, Gordon Smith, R., courtesy Jeff Merkley.com.)
In the 3rd Congressional District, Dan Lungren (R, Inc.) has defeated challenger Dr. Bill Dunston (D), by a margin of 12,321 votes, 49.4% to 44.2%
In the 46th Congressional District, incumbent Dana Rohrabacher (R) held off challenger Debbie Cook, 52.3% to 43.5%.
There do not appear to have been any upsets among the California congressional delegation.
In the 19th State Senate District, with 100% of precincts reporting, Hannah Beth Jackson leads Tony Strickland by 108 votes: 153,106 (50.1%) to 152,998 (49.9%.) Provisional ballots likely remain to be counted, and Strickland and the Republican party are likely to call for a recount.
In State Assembly races, in the 78th District, Democrat Marty Block beat Republican John McCann, 55% to 45%, while in the 80th District, Democrat Manuel Perez defeated Republican Gary Jeandron, 52.5% to 47.5%.
(More to be added.)
(Photo: Hannah Beth Jackson)
Franken Takes (65 Vote) Lead in Minn; Georgia Vote Totals Too Low - May Not Include Early Voting Totals; More
Oregon U.S. Senate: Many votes still not counted, particularly in Portland area, which is running heavily for Merkley (D) over Smith (R, Inc.) Currently, Smith is sitting on a 9,000 vote lead. We expect a narrow win for Merkley when all votes have been counted.
Georgia U.S. Senate race appears headed for a run-off; incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) currently stands at 49.9% of the vote, needed 50% +1 to avoid runoff with Jim Martin (D), who garnered 46.7%. After heavy early voting, election day voting was light, and overall turnout evidently was lower than in the 2004 presidential election.
Al Franken pulls ahead in the senate race in Minnesota - by 65 votes - out of over 2,500,000 votes cast in the race.
Indiana called for Obama. 99% of precincts reporting, Obama has a 23,000 vote lead out of more than 2,600,000 votes cast.
North Carolina still too close to call, despite 100% of precincts having reported. Obama leads NC by 12,000 votes out of over 4,000,000 cast. Provisional ballots may change the results.
Georgia vote totals are very low, may not have included early voting in the total numbers released -- which may result in a run-off for U.S. Senate.
Nebraska allocates electoral votes by congressional district; second district (Omaha) too close to call.
If Franken holds on, if Jeff Merkley in Oregon can win (Multnomah is the big Portland Democratic engine and is largely outstanding)[ed note: as is Lane County, home to Eugene, OR], then it is increasingly likely that the Dems will converge on Georgia for the next four weeks to try to win the 60th Senate seat.
More political fun to come.
Alaska Election Results - President, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress (Interim, Preliminary), November 4 - 5, 2008
After leading significantly in late polls, Ethan Berkowitz (D) has apparently lost his effort to unseat controversial Congressman Don Young (R), who has been Alaska's sole congressman since 1973.
With all but three of Alaska's 438 precincts reporting, the Republican Stevens held a 1.5 percent vote advantage over Democrat Begich -- 48 percent to 46.5 percent. About 4,000 votes separate the candidates. The thin margin means the Senate race might not be decided for two weeks.
Still to be counted are roughly 40,000 absentee ballots, with more expected to arrive in the mail, as well as 9,000 uncounted early votes and thousands of questioned ballots. The state Elections Division has up to 15 days after the election to tally all the remaining ballots before finalizing the count.
If the lead holds, Stevens will shock the nation and be the first person ever re-elected to the U.S. Senate after being found guilty on criminal charges. Polls had shown the Republican down by at least 8 percentage points on the day before the election.
Update: As of12:22 a.m. AKST, 96.1% of Alaskan precincts have reported, and Sen. Ted Stevens, recently convicted of seven felonies related to ethics violations, appears to be heading to a narrow reelection as Alaska's senior senator.
According to the Alaska Division of Elections, the votes stand as follows:
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||421||96.1 %|
|Times Counted||219615/495731||44.3 %|
|Haase, Fredrick D.||LIB||1575||0.72%|
Earlier posts follow.
Alaska election returns, as of 10:59 p.m. AKST, from the Alaska Division of Elections. Location of precincts "still out" unknown to this writer.
|Registered Voters 495731 - Cards Cast 193696 39.07%||Num. Report Precinct 438 - Num. Reporting 316 72.15%|
|Number of Precincts||438|
|Precincts Reporting||316||72.1 %|
|Times Counted||193696/495731||39.1 %|
|Berkowitz, Ethan A.||DEM||84125||43.97%|
|Wright, Don R.||AI||8205||4.29%|
|Young, Don E.||REP||98515||51.49%|