Monday, November 12, 2012

Even Fox pokes fun at Karl Rove
Click on the above link to see what witty view the"Simpsons" had of Karl Rove's election night tantrum.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Prediction Recap

  Okay, so here it is Thursday, and I picked all the winners correctly.

   So lets take a look at my margins.

    I wrote that I believed President Obama would be lucky to get 2.9 million votes. As of today on the Pa department of State Website, he received 2.86 million. Nailed that one, but I thought Romney would get around 2.7 million, slightly surpassing the 2.6+ million John McCain polled in 2008. On that I was way off, as Romney barely cracked 2.5 million votes.

   Overall, Pa turnout was down over half a million from 2008. Yes, turnout was heavy, but it DID NOT MATCH 2008. The big message here is that many Republicans were not as enthusiastic for Romney as I thought.

    In the United States Senate, I predicted Bob Casey 54 to 46 %. his final margin was 8.9%. I call that a winner.

    I also wrote that Kathleen Kane would defeat David Freed for Attorney General by a likely 55-45% margin.

    I hit that one dead on, but what really impressed me was Kathleen Kane being the only candidate on the Statewide ballot to crack the 3 million vote mark.  That was impressive.She outperformed President Obama at the top of the ticket by almost 150,000 votes. That can not be ignored.

   Finally, I think it was a foregone conclusion that Charlie Dent would win reelection to Congress. But I really didn't think it would be within 15 points, which it was (12.5% in fact). Dougherty ran a nonexistant campaign for the most part, and in many ways I think he may have hurt the Democrats below him.
   Charlie Dent won Lehigh County by 6,000 votes, while President Obama won Lehigh county by almost 11,000 votes. That is a 17,000 vote swing. Dent won by 37,500 votes in the district overall.

      Stay tuned, because one precinct alone kept Justin Simmons on the statehouse, and there is an interesting story behind it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Democracy is a messy thing to predict, but here goes

   I spend far too much time gathering, reading, analyzing and running algorithms with data I have gathered from past elections.
    For instance I can tell you that in 2008, in the state of Pennsylvania, Barack Obama received 3,276,363 votes (54.4%), John McCain 2,655,885 (44.2%), and there were approximately 83,000 votes  spead across other less well known candidates. That means just over 6,100,000 Pennsylvanains participated in 2008.
     I used my uwn personal formula to come to my predictions, and I believe voter turnout in PA will not quite be as high as it was in 2008. I think turnout will be down at least 100,000 , maybe more. I will be surprised if turnout cracks 6 million again. I have factored in voter motivation, the weather being forecast as nearly 20 degrees colder than 2008, as well as public apathy towards the political process.

   That brings me to my prediction as to who will win in PA.

   I believe President Obama will not receive 3 million votes. I think he will be lucky to get 2.9 million. That leaves the door open for Mitt Romney . Romney will surpass John McCain's 2.6 million, and even George Bush's 2.7 million in 2004. His problem is that the same people who were energized to vote for Obama aren't switching sides, they are merely staying home. For Romney it all comes down to how many Obama voters in 2008 stay home, and to a smaller bit how many Independents that voted for Obama in 2008 go with Romney after ignoring McCain. Romney needs 4 out of 5 Independent voters (Close to 650,000 will vote in PA this year) to embrace him.

    I believe Obama will win PA, but by a margin of less than 3%. I think it will be a 51.5% - 48.5% tace at best for Obama. I think it will be less than 100,000 votes in difference either way, and it is not out of the question that Romney could win. I think turnout in the Dem sreonghold of Philly has to be at least 90% of what it was in 2008 for Obama, and if it isn't, all bets are off, I am watching three Pa Congressional districts for a read, Fattah.s, Fitzpatrick, and Critz, Those are three diverse districts for voter demographic under my criteria. Cumulatively they will give me a cross section of what the results will be.

    As for PA-15, Charlie Dent will win handily, Likely around 65% or more. I will do a post mortem on that race later. The other two biggiies I predict are  Casey over Smith 54 to 46% in the U.S. Senate, and Kathleen Kane by a similar margin, possibly greater, maybe 55-45% in the AG race.
  Now get out and vote!.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

November 2012 Election Predictions for the 15th Congressional district

  There are less than ninety days until we try to vote, depending on whether we have ID or note. I have run two separate algorithms, one accounting for the Voter ID bill, and one without, The difference does favor Republicans but in the Presidential race it is not enough to take the 15th District away from Barack Obama. It is close, but Barack Obama still cariies it with between 50.4 and 51.9% of the vote. Statewide I believe Barack Obama will carry PA with somewhere just under 53%. The experts are right when they say the key to turnout for Obama is in Philly, and I also believe that despite my prediction, the State of PA still remains in play, but more from an it is Obama's to lose than a Romney's to win perspective.
     In the race for Congress, Charlie Dent will likely win with between 60.2% and 61.7%. He will crush Rick Daugherty in a landslide.   (The number I like is 60.45%) What people have to remember here is that redistricting gave Congressman Dent parts of Lebanon, Berks, and Dauphin Counties that lean Republican, while removing heavily leaning Democratic Easton from the district. Readers also have to realize that Congressman Dent connects with the Household income Demographic that exists in the district, Two Income households that make over $80K dominate the suburbs. They tend to register for an ideal, as Democrats, but when it comes to election day, they vote to protect their pocketbooks, for a Republican they see as moderate.  Rick Daugherty is trying to be more Charlie Dent than Charlie Dent, and that isn't going to sway anybody in the undecided, if there are any left.

    It is ironic that voters will use that reasoning to vote for Dent and Obama, splitting their tickets, but anyone looking at the last three Congressional contests will see that is just what they did. When I added up the precinct results from the last three elections, I saw Kerry would have won the new district in 2008, in precincts that Jim Gerlach carried.
      As for the local State house races, I am looking at them, and I will have more on that eventually.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lehigh County Commissioners would be right at home in North Korea.

On Wednesday, there was a meeting of the Lehigh County Commissioners. At that meeting, they discussed repealing a resolution to put a term limits initiative for County Officeholders on the ballot in November. One of their reasons was that there would be too many uninformed voters participating this year because of the Presidential election.
      SAY WHAT?
      I always thought having more eligible voters involved in making a decision was a good thing, but the 8 to 1 Republican Commissioner majority doesn't want the 35,000 voter registration majority of the Democrats to have their fair say.
     That's sort of like the President of North Korea only holding elections when he knows he will win, dontcha think?
    I find it amazing that the "REFORM" gang of Three plus their allies are so open about their efforts to suppress any opportunity for the people to use their voice at the ballot box. How Ironic that people like Scott Ott who profess to be such devout supporters of the Constitution would so willingly act to subvert the intent of it.
   So much for Democracy. I guess they only believe in it when it only serves their means. Elections are only good things when the outcome is what you want. Welcome to the People's Republic of Lehigh County, ruled by 8 Republicans who don't want any ballot initiatives that would challenge their benign dictatorship by committee.  Maybe they admired how Saddam Hussein ran Iraq after all. They sure are acting a bit like the Ba'athist party did, excluding the rival religious sects from power.

   It should be noted that the referendum would allow present Executive Don Cunningham to run for a third term, something Commissioner Vice Chairman for life wannabe Scott Ott just can't have.

    Some reform team Ott, Mazziotti and Scheller have proved to be.  It looks like they have the "Incumbent Protection Plan"  all figured out. Same old political games, but they all have an "R" by their names.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Looks like Someone tinkered with the sign at PP&L Plaza

   My lovely wife and I had a nice meal at the Brewworks Wednesday night, and as we were walking to the car, she noticed that the "out" part of the display wasn't lit.
     Thank God for camera phones.

     You can take whatever you want from the message, I only felt it was worth sharing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Did Pawlowski encourage Jaindl to "Ante Up?"

One nice thing about the Internet is it allows campaign finance reports to be posted online, where everyone can see them. Unfortunately, much like the newspaper, people can still refuse to read them or ignore them all together.
   I don't ignore any of them, what I do is try to read between the lines.

   And on that note, I want to point out something that all the various reporters in local media may have unintentionally, or intentionally overlooked when it comes to the 2011 campaign finance report for the Entity known as "Friends of Ed Pawloski."

   Mayor Pawlowski was not up for reelection in 2011, but he raised a boatload of cash from all over the state. The list of donors was a who's who of the influential.

   But if there was one donation that caught my eye, (and there were many) that made me question the motivation for it, it was one made on 12/5/2011 by the president of the American bank, one Mark Jaindl.

   The Jaindl name means much in the Lehigh valley, not just for Turkeys, McMansions, or the Mother of all Warehouse districts, it also is emblazoned on an entire wing at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
     Make no mistake, when the Jaindl family puts their name and fortune behind a project, you can bet that the project will happen. I'm not arguing whether they are right or wrong, and this isn't about the quarry or any sweetheart deals with Township officials. Besides, that is more of an issue for David Jaindl.

   This is about Mark Jaindl giving $2000 to Ed Pawlowski within days of his investing Jaindl money into the proposed riverfront development down by the Lehigh Structural Steel property.

    Now I personally think that the Jaindl family pushing this is great news. Developing the waterfront, especially as to the Neuweiler Brewery Property is something the city, and the County needs. I'm not thrilled with the EIT tax grab, but that's not my focus here either.

     My focus here is the appearance that Ed Pawlowski demanded tribute from Mark Jaindl to smooth the project along.
   Why do I think this way?

    Mark Jaindl has been here all his life, Ed Pawlowski a decade at most. Since Pawlowski ran for mayor in 2005, I can't find one previous financial contribution to DEMOCRAT Ed Pawlowski anywhere from a member of the Jaindl family, who happen to be staunch Republicans.

   Sure I could have missed them, but really, the one I write about is right there on page 21 0f 28 of the campaign finance report for all to see. It is only two entries above the entry for $2000 from Chris Perrucci. Why isn't anyone in the mainstream media asking questions about that?

    The problem is that the public has a right to know how their elected officials are using public funds, and it always seems like campaign donations are nothing more than bidders trying to get a piece of the pie.

    In Mr. Jaindl's case, he doesn't need the money, the better analogy appears to be that of a new player at the Arena table in Allentown being forced to buy his way into the game.

     Everything that is going on is LEGAL. But excuse me for thinking that it just isn't right.

   If done the right way, with the right motivations, The arena project and surrounding development COULD, revitalize our urban core. But if it becomes a cesspool of greed and manipulated overpriced contracts like other projects around the country before it, Allentown could end up like Trenton. I believe that having the Jaindl family in the mix will prevent that. But I also fear that faced with dealing with political corruption and other unsavory variables, they might cut their losses and bail. They are not fools to be easily parted with their money, and if they see money going down a toilet, they won't go along.

   In this case, the ends do not justify the means. I am an avid student of history, and one thing I read again and again is that eventually people get too greedy and it leads to their down fall. What is taking place in Allentown/Lehigh County has eerie similarities to the Michael Soloman/Glenn Reibman fiasco in Northampton County just over a decade ago.
Those who ignore the past are destined to repeat it. In Ed Pawlowski's defense, he didn't get here until after that "Soloman goes to prison" went down.

   But that is still no excuse.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mike Schware endorsed to fill Eckhart's term

   It wasn't a big secret that the Intergovernmental Committee of the Lehigh County Commissioners would be meeting Tuesday night to interview the three candidates to replace Glenn Eckhart. The Voters promoted Eckhart in November and he took office as County Controller a few weeks ago, after defeating incumbent Tom Slonaker for the job.
    But for some reason, other than 6 of the 8 current commissioners,  three county employees, and the three applicants, the only two people in attendance to witness the proceedings were me and Express Times reporter Colin McEvoy. Read his account HERE
     The Intergovernmental Committee consist of  Republicans Scott Ott (Chairman), Tom Creighton, Vic Mazziotti, and Democrat Dan McCarthy, but Republicans Brad Osborne and Percy Daugherty were present as well. Norma Cusick was the first applicant to be interviewed, and she passed out her resume.
      Mrs Cusick rambled on in her introduction about her Republican street cred as a fiscal conservative and her roles in the community, serving on the Lehigh County Authority, the Allentown Public Library board, and as a Township Supervisor in Salisbury. I was quickly put off by her trumpeting of her never voting to raise taxes. I was amused later when during questioning by none other than reform team member Scott Ott she admitted that she had voted for tax hikes as a Salisbury School district board member, but only because of those pesky unfunded mandates.
    There was no question that Mrs Cusick had the requisite time put in doing public service to apply for the job, but it was painfully obvious, at least to me that she wasn't the best candidate.
     Next up was Dan Paschke, a Coopersburg resident and a legislative aide to State Representative Justin Simmons. I would like to think that Dan had good intentions in applying but his answers to the Commissioners questions exposed his naivete and made him look like a political opportunist.
     Paschke had no opinion on a bi-county health commission, and was cautious answering questions about whether he was worried about voting on issues while serving as a legislative aide. It should be noted that former Commissioner Democrat Kurt Derr worked for State Senator Lisa Boscola in recent years without problems. Neither Paschke or Cusick seemed to have a grasp about what being a commissioner entailed, both spoke that they would work to curtail any services duplicated at the County level to cut spending. The two conveniently ignore the fact that the Commissioners and current executive Don Cunningham have been doing just that for the past 6 years, but hey, it sounds good.
     Last up was Allentown  resident and CPA Mike Schware. For his introductory statement, Mike simply read about his life history, growing up in Allentown, his resume, and living with his wife and two daughters on 16th street. He didn't spout any political slogans or agenda, but did accentuate his experience as an accountant and a person willing to work with others of different and varying opinions. I'm not saying that Paschke or Cusick could nor or would not be willing to work well with the other Commissioners, I am just pointing out that Schware focused on serving the electorate over using political catch phrases to try and get appointed to a job.
     I was glad to see Mike get recommended to the full board for appointment. The Three Republicans voted for him, but Dan McCarthy did point out that Norma Cusick's long history of public service made her his preference.  Even though they were present for the interviews, Commissioners Osbourne and Daugherty did not vote, but they did ask questions of each applicant.
     The most bizarre and off topic question was asked by Commissioner Tom Creighton, who asked each applicant where they thought the U.S. Dollar would be in the near future. It was either a genius question to see if they had a grasp of how the strength of the dollar effects municipal bond and or credit ratings or an example of how clueless an officeholder can be. You decide.
      Dan McCarthy asked if each applicant had plans to run for a full term in two years and each was up front that it was likely but predicated on how well they felt they could do the job after two years.
    On their views of the Bi County health bureau, Cusick was for it, Pasche admitted he needed more information before taking a position, and Schware had reservations about how it would be funded, but I got the impression that while he was against it, he would be open to compromise if it could be funded without drastic cost to the taxpayers.

    That's all for now, I will have something else in a couple of days.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Survivor, Republican Primary" is a God Awful reality show.

  I'm not the amazing Kreskin. I'm not psychic, nor do I pretend to be. ESPN has a show in during the day called "NUMBERS DON'T LIE". I am a serious believer in numbers and data. I don't agree with how some read certain statistics and data, especially when it comes to elections, turnout projections, and results. So I am slightly amused at all the excitement over two early Presidential primaries in two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, that I find hard to accept as a reasonable slice of the American consciousness.
   Lets be real, in the United States of America, White people make up less than 50% of the population, but we are gauging aspiring Presidential hopefuls on two states that are damn near 90% white and make up less than 1.5% of the Population. Iowa has around 3 million and New Hampshire 1.3 Million, according to the last census. There's 308 million plus here now in all of the country. Why are we magnifying their importance?
     Mitt Romney won and Ron Paul came in second. All the various messages aside, I believe that average Americans of every creed and color, White, Black, Hispanic, Christian, Muslim, Jew or whatever, will see thru all the political rhetoric and vote for what they see as the safest course to take.
     And that course is likely to stay with our incumbent, whether some like it or not.

      The politics of destruction that I see being waged by the far right of the Republican party to consolidate themselves in a primary is one that turns off the American public in the General.
     As I watch the PBS coverage, I am struck by the pundits who felt that voters chose Romney because "while voters aren't enthusiastic for Romney, they chose General motors and played it safe."
     The richer and older you were, the more likely Republicans were to vote for Romney. This from columnist Mark Shields. That's a telling observation. Romney got 45% of the vote from voters who made over $100,000. That's great, but in the general, how many Americans make that much these days?
    Exit polls also showed voters chose Romney because they felt him electable.

   This is all wonderful stuff, and if this were a football playoff game the pundits would be hypothesizing how great a chance Romney has in the upcoming Super Bowl In November.

    I look at the Republican Primary as a bad season of a reality show. The networks are hyping false drama to build interest, so people will watch and care. But most viewers, er voters, don't really give a damn. The Republicans have not put forth any viable candidates with good alternatives to what President Obama is pushing. Lets be honest, Who in the Republican party do you see as Presidential?
     There's no one that I see, and the Republicans have only themselves to blame for disappointing the American public.