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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Re the debate about “tax inversion,” loopholes allowing corporations to relocate their HQs overseas to avoid taxes, Justin Sink notes in his post “White House betting ’14 midterm elections on economic patriotism” at The Hill: “A poll commissioned by the Americans for Tax Fairness found that half of all voters were aware of the issue, and that large majorities — including 86 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans — disapprove of it…”Tax fairness stuff polls really well across the board,” said ATF executive director Frank Clemente…He said voters are “very sensitive to offshoring of profits and offshoring of jobs, and this inversion stuff feeds very much into that.”..His polling leaves him “extremely” confident it will resonate with independent voters.”
Rand Paul tries to sell his “big government is to blame” snake oil to exploit the tragic slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO for political gain. If you were thinking that budget cuts resulting in poorly-trained police had something to do with it, just never mind.
Other Republicans are treading gingerly around the Ferguson tragedy, but that probably won’t last, since they rarely miss an opportunity to gin up racial divisions. Ferguson may not be front-page news by November, but the development Republicans would fear most would be an energized movement to register African American voters emerging from it and spreading nation-wide. As Tommie Dale, a former resident of Ferguson who has set up a voter registration drive in the community, explains “It’s the only way we can make a change,” she said standing in front of a boarded-up Chinese restaurant, damaged during a night of violent unrest. “People don’t understand. Looting and rioting aren’t going to get it.”

Most political observers seem to have their favorite bellwether state, and NYT columnist Frank Bruni makes a good case for monitoring CO political trends. As Bruni describes the political demography: “In many ways, Colorado is the new Ohio, a political bellwether. The percentage of its voters who chose Barack Obama in each of the last two presidential elections almost precisely matched the percentage of voters who did so nationwide. And nearly all the currents that buffet national politics swirl around the Rockies…bursting with agriculture and booming with high tech, outdoorsy and urbane, a stronghold of the religious right (Colorado Springs) and a liberal utopia (Boulder)…In other ways, “Colorado is the new California,” in Hickenlooper’s words. It floats trial balloons — marijuana being one example, education reforms being another — while other states watch to see which take flight and which wheeze and crumple to earth.”
Moshe Z. Marvit of In These Times reports on a new labor organizing technique — creating “micro-units” of unions, which represent only workers who join the union. Marvit explains, “…A micro-unit is a traditional, NLRB-certified union, containing the majority of the workers in the unit and serving as the exclusive bargaining representative for the entire unit–it just represents a specific department or job classification…For labor, the potential advantage of micro-units is that they tend to draw from those departments that have higher levels of worker support, as opposed to wall-to-wall units, which may include departments where support is lower. Therefore, they’re harder to crush during the organizing phase.”
Meanwhile George’s Zornick’s post at The Nation, “A Bill to Get the Labor Movement Back on Offense” provides a backgrounder on a reform that would get the right to organize into labor unions included in both the Civil Rights Act and the National Labor Relations Act. The legislation, introduced by Reps. John Lewis and Keith Ellison, would “give workers a broader range of legal options if they feel discriminated against for trying to form a union. Currently, their only redress is through a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board–an important process, but one that workers and labor analysts frequently criticize as both too slow and often too lenient on offending employers.” This one may require a Democratic landslide to enact, but a dialogue about the concept is overdue.
Jack Healey reports at The Times that Montana Dems are running a 34-year old one-term state legislator/math teacher to replace Sen. John Walsh, who quit his candidacy after a plagiarism scandal. Amanda Curtis has no money and only three months to make her case to hold the U.S. Senate seat for Dems, who have held the seat for a century. Still, she has a populist message, a working-class background and an opponent who has lost his only two previous statewide campaigns.
Great headline, cute picture.

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