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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Kim Chandler of the Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, a George W. Bush appointee, will resign Aug. 1, “after months of review by a judicial panel and calls from politicians in both political parties for Fuller to voluntarily step down.” For more detail on the incident that appears to have lead to his resignation read Brad Friedman’s Salon.com post, “America’s most heinous judge: Why wife-beater Mark Fuller deserves more than resignation: After physically abusing his wives and children, here’s what U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller really deserves.” It was Judge Fuller, who sentenced Alabama’s former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman to federal prison — on charges that 113 Republican, as well as Democratic former state Attorneys General contend “had never been a crime before the popular Democratic Governor was charged.” Friedman reports that Judge Fuller “didn’t allow Siegelman to go free pending appeal, as is the usual custom in such cases.” Many believe that GOP political operative Karl Rove instigated the railroading of Governor Siegelman. Those who want to urge the President to pardon Governor Siegelman, can do so here.
At The Atlantic Matt Ford has a moving tribute to Beau Biden, son of the Vice President, former Attorney General of Delaware and devoted public servant, much like his father.
Lydia Saad reports at Gallup that “Half of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life.” This is the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice position has had a statistically significant lead in Americans’ abortion views.”
Violence casts cloud over Mexico’s elections of governors, mayors, lawmakers,” reports Dallas Morning News Mexico bureau chief Alfredo Corchado. Yet Mexico’s mid-term election is expected to draw half of all eligible voters. Corchado quotes Jaime Rivera, a University of Michoacon political scientist: “Voters believe less and less in political parties, but they still want to believe in their institutions,” said Rivera, who is also a state electoral adviser. “That’s why this election is so important, not just because of what’s at stake, but because of the very essence of hope that institutions can still work for the common voter.”
Olivia Marshall reports at Media Matters on media helping Santorum’s rebrand of himself as “champion of the working-class.”
At The Upshot Brendan Nyhan takes a look at opinion polling on ‘free trade’ and finds a substantial gap based on income: “Data from a 2013 CBS/New York Times poll show that 58 percent of Americans making less than $30,000 per year preferred to limit imports to protect United States industries and jobs, while only 36 percent preferred the wider selection and lower prices of imported goods available under free trade. But the balance of opinion reversed for those making over $100,000. Among that higher-income group, 53 percent favored free trade versus 44 percent who wanted to limit imports…Similarly, a Pew Research Center survey released on Wednesday found that a plurality of Americans making under $30,000 per year say that their family’s finances have been hurt by free trade agreements (44 percent) rather than helped (38 percent). By contrast, those making more than $100,000 per year overwhelmingly believe free trade has been beneficial — 52 percent said trade agreements have helped their family’s finances versus only 29 percent who said they have hurt.”
Also at The Upshot, Derek Willis reports on the areas of disagreement between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders: “They voted the same way 93 percent of the time in the two years they shared in the Senate…The 31 times that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders disagreed happened to be on some the biggest issues of the day, including measures on continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an immigration reform bill and bank bailouts during the depths of the Great Recession. Mr. Sanders, who formally kicked off his campaign Tuesday evening in Burlington, Vt., was opposed to all these actions.”
Jim Newell of Salon.com takes stab at explaining short and long-range strategic options for Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign.
But Dems in general are lagging in megadonors. Eric Lichtblau and Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times write, “In each of the last two election cycles, 14 of the top 20 donors gave their money to conservative organizations and Republican campaigns, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.”

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