Interesting Items 08/22

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue –

1.  AK Primary
2.  Prop 2
3.  Raid
4.  Letitia
5.  Gascon

1.  AK Primary.  Alaska held its first statewide election under Lisa Murkowski’s new election reform rules passed in 2020.  The statewide primary is now a jungle primary, where the top four vote getters end up on the November ballot and voters rank order their choices for office.  More on Prop 2, the election reform initiative in Item 2 to follow.  Due to redistricting, an inordinate number of legislators were up for election, with only one of the senators not up for reelection (unopposed).  All of the House is up for election every other year, and half the senate is up at the same time.  We also have an election for governor, Lt governor, US Senate, and two elections for House of Representatives.  Results are posted at the State of Alaska Division of Elections, with the most recent numbers as of Aug 17

  • Up here, governor / Lt governor run as a ticket.  Incumbent Republican Mike Dunleavy and his new Lt Gov candidate came in first with 42% of the total.  Democrat Les Gara came in with 22%.  Former governor Bill Walker (who governed as a democrat) running as an indy came in with just under 22%.  Republican Charlie Pierce came in with 7%.  If you figure that voters will simply rank the red, Dunleavy should win in November after a couple rounds of instant runoff.  The only drawback are judicially imposed “emergency” election rules written by the Alaska courts in 2014 that allowed Walker and the democrat tickets to combine a mere 10 days after they were legally able to do so.  These rules are still in place.  According to the judges, when democrats screw up, it is an emergency that require them to intervene and rewrite state election law on the fly.  When anyone else does, sucks to be them.  So, the possibility exists that Gara and Walker will combine tickets in the next few weeks.
  • US Senate is more interesting, as the new election rules were pushed specifically to make it easier to reelect incumbent Lisa Murkowski may not have worked as well as they wanted.  Lisa ended up with 44% of the total.  Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka with 40%.  Democrat Pat Chesbro with 6%, and Republican Buzz Kelley with just over 2%.  Another way to look at this is that the Lisa vote was 44%.  The not Lisa vote was 56%, a whopping big number for a 3-term incumbent Republican US Senator in this state.  Normal democrat vote on a statewide race is somewhere in the mid-30% range, yet Chesbro got only 6%.  My guess is that all the rest of the democrats voted for Lisa, and that her 44% represents a ceiling rather than a starting point.  Total democrat vote among the 19 candidates was only 8%.  Total Republican vote not including Lisa was 46%.  Total other party votes were 2.5%.  I think Kelly Tshibaka has a difficult, albeit workable path to a win in November, while Lisa doesn’t.  This should be fun.
  • The only ranked vote instant runoff was for US House to fill the remaining 3-4 months of Don Young’s term that ends in Jan 2023.  In this, democrat Mary Petola had 38%, Republican Sarah Palin had 32%, and Republican Nick Begich had 29%.  On the face of it, looks like Sarah makes it to the US House, at least for a little while.  While not my first or even best choice, we can do worse than Palin, Petola, for instance.
  • For US House for the upcoming 2023 – 2025 term, the final four to November looks like Petola at 35%, Palin at 31%, Begich at 27%, and Republican Tara Sweeny at 4%.  Looks like the democrats are about where we expect them to be at 35% of the total.  Total Republican vote is 62%.  And remaining votes are just over 3%.  If we simply rank the red, someone, likely Palin, but possibly Begich ends up in congress.  Early dirty tricks by the NYT (among others) is to accuse Palin of refusing to rank Begich as her second choice.  This is a dirty trick attempt to irritate Begich and Sweeny voters do as not to rank Palin, giving Petola a back-door path to congress.  Sadly, Palin plays along with this simply by being Palin.  I fully expect to see more of it over the next 10 weeks. 

2.  Prop 2.  Project Veritas was busy up here in Alaska last month, releasing three videos with Lisa Murkowski former staffers and supporters detailing the use of the election reform proposition ran and passed in 2020 as a vehicle to help Lisa win reelection this year.  It took them a while to focus group their message, but they quickly wound up with Prop 2 as a vehicle to get outside money, dark out of state money out of state and local elections.  Of course, the little fact that fully $7 million of dark outside money funded the signature gathering and campaign was lost on the majority who voted to pass it.  Suzanne Downing in Must Read Alaska (MRAK) ran four pieces over the course of a week or so linking to the Veritas videos.  The last of these pieces links to the preceding pieces.  Worth your time to read.  Veritas gets a number of Murkowski staffers and campaign consultants on camera admitting that they worked on Prop 2 with Murkowski’s reelection in mind the whole time.  This is the fourth time Lisa has been on the ballot.  She mostly does not make it over 50% of the primary, though her general election totals have been pretty decent.  Given the very personal and unprofessional war she declared on all things Trump over the last six years, her chances at successfully making it through the Republican primary were slim to nonexistent.  Solution?  Rewrite state election law via ballot initiative so parties no longer are allowed to select their own nominees.  While it might just work this time around, it might not, which is far worse than the slam dunk reelection her supporters wanted. 

3.  Raid.  The Mar a Lago raid story continued last week, as apologists for the FBI and their lawless actions pushed back on the narrative a bit, choosing to wrap themselves in the flag, insisting that any criticism of the FBI being use as Praetorian Guard, shock troops for democrats was tantamount to anti-law enforcement violence.  The pressure increased to the point where the federal magistrate in Florida who approved the search warrant decided to release part of the underlying affidavit upon which the search warrant (which ended up being a general search warrant, also illegal) got into CYA mode and announced he would release part of the affidavits.  This was a response to his position as a democrat supporter who had recused himself in a previous Trump case.  He gave Do(In)J a week to figure out which parts can be released and which parts cannot.  This action puts us squarely in the middle of the wonderful old DC Redaction Game, where the feds attempt to maximize the amount of information the general public and the media is unable to see.  The other side wants to see as much as humanly possible, theoretically all of it.  In a perfect world, and we are a long way from that world, an underlying affidavit essentially gives away the path selected by the prosecution to convict its target.  The problem is that the FBI has lied and misrepresented what they are doing and what they are interested in to judges for decades, most recently in their targeting of Trump and anyone associated with him.  As such, they are not to be trusted, and deserve absolutely no deference from anyone.  It is a position they spent a lot of time, energy and effort getting themselves into.  I hope they enjoy their time there.  Chuck Grassley (R, IA) claims that 14 whistleblowers have come forward from the FBI concerned about the political war against all things Trump by its leadership.  On the face of it, 14 is a pretty good number.  But if you think about it, 14 out of 35,000 that work for the FBI is miniscule, and tells you that the rot runs very, very deep.  Solution needs to be equally as deep.  So will the cleanup of DoD following 12 years of O’Bama and Biden (CRT, wokeness, conservatives and religious people are white extremists, etc).  Two final Trump story associated with the raid.  The first of these is that Trump has in his possession some sort of information useful in demonstrating illegalities committed by the FBI in any number of venues.  Jan 6 frequently comes up in speculation.  I think this is false, and may very well have been planted by the Trump team to raise dissatisfaction with Do(In)J, not that we need any help.  Lastly, the raid may have been orchestrated by Harris – Xiden as a way to change the subject from their serial failures to Trump 24/7/365.  If you change the subject, you make it easier to reelect democrats.  I don’t think they can keep this up for 10 weeks.  But I do think they will try.

4.  Letitia.  Speaking of the recently converted, Donald Trump repeatedly took the 5th Amendment while being questioned by NY prosecutors over finances of Trump Organization.  The deposition is in a civil investigation probing allegations that he overvalued his real estate assets.  NY Attorney General Letitia James ran on a platform that if she were elected, she would get Trump.  And she is doing her level best to make that so.  Trump’s epiphany after six solid years of being hounded by prosecutors at every single level of government reverses his position from the 2016 campaign that only the guilty took the Fifth.  Points and Figures ran a piece 8/17 noting that Trump is correct that the NY attack on the Trump Organization is a purely political attack by a political hack, no different than an apparatchik working for Stalin.  James’ problem is that private markets are just that, private.  It is not publicly listed in a stock exchange.  There are no markets where you can purchase shares in any Trump organization.  It is entirely his.  And as such he can value his assets at whatever he determines they are worth, and given that there are no outside investors, it doesn’t matter what he values the buildings at all.  The only time it would matter is if he goes to a bank or some other entity to get a loan.  If he decides to sell equity shares to the public, it matters.  If he has some other party with an accounts receivable owed them. It matters.  Finally, it matters if he puts it up for sale on the open market, though the marketplace will set the price regardless of what his asking price may be.  Essentially, what James and the Manhattan prosecutors have been doing to Trump and his CFO are political theater, boob bait for Bubbas.  Not being content going after the Trump Organization, James is going after anyone who in any way favorable to anything Trump.  She sent an astonishing letter to The Cornerstone Church in Batvia after she found out that the church was going to host a visit by the Reawaken America Tour, which has been making the rounds since Apr 2021.  The letter threatened, bullied, and promised possible investigation and prosecution.  If the church chooses not to host the tour, all this goes away.  Great.  Law enforcement as a protection racket.  NY democrats have become what they claim to hate the most – the mob.  The event did take place as scheduled, with a crowd of 3,500.  Eric Trump and General Flynn spoke.  No investigation or prosecution.  Yet. 

5.  Gascon.  In today’s final prosecutor story, a second attempted recall of Soros-backed LA County DA George Gascon failed when LA County found that there were insufficient signatures gathered.  The recall gathered 715,833 signatures.  They needed 566,857 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.  The county threw out 195,787 signatures, 27.35% of those gathered.  They missed the ballot by 46,807 signatures.  Note for the record, that the reject rate for mail-in ballots in the 2020 election in LA County was less than 1%.  Of course, most of the mail-in votes were for democrats in 2020, and the signatures this time around were aimed at removing a democrat from office.  If it weren’t for dual standards, democrats would have no standards at all.  Having run a ballot initiative 25 years ago, our target for gathering signatures was 50% overkill, in other words, if we needed 10,000 signatures, our goal was to turn in 15,000.  These guys didn’t gather enough signatures.  They promise to go to court and fight the county, but this is normally a losing proposition, as time is always money.  In this case, the county has an unlimited funding stream.  Ballot initiative groups are generally cash strapped at best.  In this world, you gotta go big or not go at all.  And they blew it twice. 

More later –

– AG

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