It’s not a criminal matter, but it’s still worth noting that Bethlehem, PA Mayor John Callahan illegally used money from his mayoral campaign coffers for his congressional campaign – to the tune of nearly $10,000.
He used money raised for his federal campaign to pay just half of the amount taken from his local campaign chest. Callahan settled with the FEC, paying back the rest of the money and an addition $1,200 fine.
Callahan is contemplating another run for Congress in 2012. Though he works against the rights of lawful gun owners, let’s hope he’ll learn to respect election laws next time around.
Looks like Specter is getting a teaching job at Penn, teaching about the relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court, which no doubt will include how Congress’ power is unlimited. Given Specter’s treatment of Court nominees who dared suggest that Congress’ power might be limited and enumerated, you know, like the constitution says, I can’t imagine he’ll teach otherwise.
In the same Capitol Ideas post, we also find Governor Ed is appearing on Colbert to explain why we’re all wusses. It’s pretty clear Ed Rendell is through with politics, since insulting voters usually doesn’t work out well in the end for most politicians. Ed will, no doubt, be riding off into the sunset.
My displaced Congress Critter, Patrick Murphy, has taken a job with an area law firm with ties to DC. Probably helps that the Murphy Campaign finance chairman is a partner at that firm. This hints to me that Murphy may be Fitzpatrick’s next challenger in 2012. Murphy might be hoping this Tea Party thing is ephemeral, and the Democrats will once again be able to claim this district, which is rightly theirs.
Nine major stories everyone got wrong this year. Christine O’Donnell and the Tea Parties:
By focusing in on the assclowns the media painted a picture that not only wasn’t accurate, but pretty much made constructive political discourse impossible. They didn’t just fail to do their job — they did the opposite of their job, and they’ve been doing it for years.
Sadly, that’s only funny because it’s true. RTWT.
Joe Manchin shooting the cap and trade bill has been voted by Politico as one of the top ten moments of the 2010 election. Certainly worked out better for Manchin than Joe Sestak’s dog worked out for him. I think this means we can expect more of this from politicians, which is not going to please our opponents.
The Pittsburgh Post has a story on the political career of David Levdansky. He’s the kind of hunter gun owners love to hate. You know, the type that doesn’t think gun rights are that important? But even his support of hunting I think was tepid:
During his first term Levdansky worked to get a hunting license fee increase and modernize long-neglected fines and penalties in the state Game and Wildlife Code.
“Since both agencies are practically entirely funded by license fee revenue, I wanted to bring them under the normal state budget process,” he said.
The Game Commission and other critics argued that would permit urban legislators to strip money from wildlife management.
That would be a dream bill for HSUS and the enemies of hunting. There’s very good reasons that Game Commissions tend to be independent bodies from the legislature. The critics were exactly right.
A defining juncture in Levdansky’s career came in 1985 and 1986 when he tried to craft an amendment he said would help the Game Commission to catch hunters who illegally kill a second buck. The law would have banned the possession of rifles in the field after tagging an antlered deer.
“I was approached by the National Rifle Association field rep,” said Levdansky. “He said, ‘You’re trying to do gun control.’ I said, ‘What? I’m a hunter.’ He said, ‘You’re a closet liberal and you’re trying to do gun control.’ I said, ‘Through the Game and Wildlife Code? Come on.’ “
Apparently he doesn’t like a spade being called a spade. I never could figure out myself if Levdansky was just a closet leftist trying to clothe himself in camo in order to fool us, or was just genuinely ignorant. Either way, I hope he enjoys retirement. It’s a good thing for us for him to be out of the legislature.
It took this long for all the races to be decided, but Dave Kopel has some final analysis with the help of Chuck Cunningham, ILA’s top federal lobbyist. It’s a good landscape to be working in. It’s interesting to see how few people are left who are soft on the issue, with most being either As or Fs.
Dave Hardy links to a new poll that shows NRA’s impact in the elections this cycle. Overall, this looks really good. A total of 44% of voters polled claim they listen to what the NRA has to say in an election all, most or some of the time. Among independents this number is 42% on those polls.
â€œThese numbers show that the tea party and the NRA were the two major voices that influenced voter opinion in the midterm elections,â€ said Brad Oâ€™Leary, publisher of The Oâ€™Leary Report.
I suspect NRA’s numbers may even be better in a year where they aren’t endorsing a lot of Dems who voted for Health Care and other measures unpopular with the Tea Party movement. But this is an overwhelming amount of influence. And the Brady’s wonder why politicians don’t want to cross us?
Classical Values has a very insightful post on those who incite civil war:
Being human, we all want to get our way. There is, buried somewhere in each one of us, a spoiled, angry child ready to have a temper tantrum. Some control it better than others. Whether learning self control over that inner child that wants to throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way constitutes “adulthood” I don’t know, as such a pronouncement strikes me as awfully judgmental. I don’t get my way, and I’m used to it. Yet I think I am a very childish person who has yet to grow up, and learning to accept not getting my way has not helped much. I am still stubborn enough to cling to wanting what I want regardless of the likelihood of my getting it. That may mean that while I’m still a child, I’m just not given to childish displays. (At least, not in public.)
I also realize that it is unreasonable to demand that others control themselves simply because I think that’s a good thing to do, but still, there are few things I find more tedious than people who throw public fits when they don’t get their way, and then demand that others take their fits seriously. In that respect, I am so, so happy about the election results last week. Had the Republicans lost, by now I would be having to hear innumerable cries on the right about how the only alternative we have left is civil war, that the Declaration of Independence gives us the right to violently overthrow the government, etc., etc.,Â ad nauseam.
I’m glad we can go back to bitching about how the Republicans suck, rather than watch the Democrats floor the accelerator off the side of the cliff. People have been pretty amped up the past two years, and here’s hoping everyone’s collective pissed-off-o-meter goes from pegged back down to where it was around the time Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
Howard Nemerov takes a detailed look at how Brady manages to twist the numbers to declare victory even after disastrous elections. The truth is that both sides endorse quite a large number of safe seats each election year. The big difference is NRA took a lot more chances this year than the Brady Campaign did. NRA lost in 50 elections this year, 33 of them Democrats. Only twenty of them constituted any loss for gun owners. And finally:
Five new House Republicans earned NRA grades of C or D, and two were Brady-endorsed. Itâ€™s curious that â€œGOP operativesâ€ complain about the NRAâ€™s lack of loyalty to them, while ignoring their own betrayal of the Second Amendment by supporting anti-rights politicians within the party.
Read the whole thing. Gun control took a beating this election, regardless of what issues may have actually motivated it. The Second Amendment has won this election.
John Richardson takes a look at NRA’s assessment of this past week’s election. They maintained an 85% win percentage in the House. I would note that this was with the incumbent friendly policy. This reflects closely our incumbent re-election rate for 2010, which was, last I checked, about 85%. This is historically quite low. In fact, the last time it was this low was 1970. Even when people are as pissed off as they are now, incumbents still win elections.