…And the World:
The United Nations General Assembly opened today and diplomats and world leaders descended upon New York City to give opening speeches. Syria, Iran’s nuclear program and emerging democracies of the Arab world are high on the agenda. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, after an in-depth interview with the New York Times this weekend, will address the Assembly as will President Barack Obama among other world leaders. True to form, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had an absurd and over-the-top visit as tension between his country and the rest of the world rise.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was given only a suspended sentence and a fine on the sole charge for which he had been convicted. Prosecutors promised an appeal of the acquittal on the two other corruption charges. Olmert, who resigned as premier when the charges were brought against him, was implicated in a scandal dating back to his tenure as Jerusalem’s mayor.
It is party conference season in Britain and a new poll reported in the Guardian says that Labour, which is in opposition, scores a ten point advantage over the governing Conservative Party. Presently, the Liberal Democrats, who occupy a junior position in Britain’s coalition government led by the Conservatives, are holding their conference. That poll also said that if Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, became party leader replacing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems could get a bump of five points in the polls.
The blowback from Mitt Romney’s leaked fundraising video remains a huge part of the political conversation as more and more polls who Romney slipping behind in swing state polls. Add to that another absurdity of Mitt Romney, flip-flopping on health care saying that some Americans should go to Emergency Rooms for Health Care in a CBS interview. However, according to the Washington Post, in advocating for Massachusetts health care reform when he was governor, Romney cited use of ER services as a substitute for health care as a main driver in the health care costs. Ergo, that behavior should be discouraged. Apparently Mitt Romney doesn’t believe that anymore.
With campaign season in full force ads will play a pivotal role. Some are stupid, some are mean, some are boring. However, one ad stands out this week from Pennsylvania Congressional candidate Kathy Boockvar. She released a funny spin on a traditional attack ad stating out her opponent, Mike Fitzpatrick does not “fit” Pennsylvania anymore.
Also in Congressional races we look at California Democrat Henry Waxman’s fight to stay in Congress after redistricting shook up the district he held for much of the past 35 years. Bill Bloomfield, a one-time Republican turned independent, is his opponent who became his opponent due to the state’s “top-two” primary. Bloomfield hopes to capitalize on the fact that new areas have been added to Waxman’s district. However, Democratic voter registration gives Waxman an advantage.
Also in the Connecticut Senate race, Republican Linda McMahon’s attacks on Democratic rival Chris Murphy hit the wall after it was discovered she, a millionaire, too, was late on property taxes not five years ago like Murphy, but this year, 2012.
The State of Things:
“No More Mr. Nice Guy”? That’s what Politco calls Scott Browns latest shift in strategy where Brown goes after Warren’s Native American heritage as he did in Thursday’s debate. However doing so carries great risk for Brown as much of his campaign had been based on a nice-guy persona rather than substance. Lose the nice guy and his campaign, per Blue Mass Group, may be taking on a Coakley-esque air. Not taking anything to chance, however, or seeking to reinforce the chance of blowback on Brown, Warren has released an ad in response echoing the one she gave at the debate.
Since Thursday’s debate, Warren also received formal backing from Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and most significantly his machine, and from Senator John Kerry today. Brown, meanwhile faced another round of questions about the handling of his campaign finance reports after a Patriot Ledger story on the subject.
Staying in Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino will veto a second redistricting plan passed on another 7-6 vote form the Council for failing to draw districts that adequately enfranchise the city’s minorities. An earlier map was vetoed for similar reasons that could, in the eyes of opponents, minimize minority representation.
Although theoretically a “State of Things” story especially as he is no longer a resident of Springfield, the Republican published a story about the political resurrection of former Mayor Michael Albano despite the taint of numerous FBI investigations.
New England Public Radio expands upon reports last week that an anti-casino group has been formed in Springfield. Last week, Mayor Domenic Sarno set an October deadline for casino bids in the city.
Voting – the sacred right of every citizen – should be simple and convenient. 1.usa.gov/UM3OlI
— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) September 24, 2012
Left undiscussed in this week’s markup is some critical things. A Pennsylvania court sent a challenge to the state’s voter ID law back to the trial court and a federal case over South Carolina’s law has reached closing arguments. Both states laws due to the onerous burden it puts on voters could cost citizens access to the vote. We award this week’s tweet prize to California Governor Jerry Brown for articulating what should be a fundamental precept in our civil society. Brown tweeted that voting, a “sacred right” of citizens, should be among the easiest exercises in citizenship. Brown’s tweet is accompanied with a link to a press release announcing his signing of the state’s same-day voter registration law.