My Letter to State Senator Dave Schatz

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You might have heard that State Senator Dave Schatz gutted ethics reform in Missouri. According to Ryan Johnson of Missouri Alliance for Freedom:

Cleaning up the practice of Jefferson City’s revolving door is the reason for Rep. Caleb Rowden’s House Bill 1979 (carried in the Senate by Sen. Bob Onder). It puts in place a one year cooling off period that will make legislators sit out for at least a year before lobbying. It passed the House early and with overwhelming support.

It was the Senate that gutted his bill. Senator Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, offered an amendment to strip out the one year cooling off period making the bill worthless. His amendment passed and for now the revolving door remains open.

Adding insult to injury the Senate played cute by allowing his amendment to have a vote by the practice of standing division. This means there is no written record of who voted to gut the revolving door bill except ours. It helps that we are in the Capitol watching.

Here’s what I wrote to my State Senator Dave Schatz:


Why did you gut the the ethics reform bill?

I understand you pushed the amendment to remove the one-year cooling off period from HB 1979, making the law meaningless. Why would you do that?

Missouri is the wild west of revolving-door politics, as you know. By gutting a common sense ethics reform bill, you seem to say, “I like cronyism more than I like good government.”

As a voter and activist in your district, I find your position disturbing, and I look forward to your next appearance on the ballot. Then again, you probably do, too. With Missouri’s revolving door, win one time and you’re set for life. 

Bill Hennessy

Other Republicans who supported Schatz’s amendment and opposed clean government include:

• Senator Ed Emery
• Senator Mike Kehoe
• Senator Doug Libla
• Senator Wayne Wallingford
• Senator Paul Wieland

Let’s give these Senators a swift kick through that revolving door. Maybe they’ll do less damage as lobbyists than as legislators.


Ted Cruz’s ultimate strategy

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Ted Cruz has a powerful strategy available to him. This strategy could not only determine the winner of the Republican convention but put Cruz in position to influence policy for generations.

But it’s probably not what you’re thinking.

I’m going to lay out some assumptions, many of which you could disagree with. That’s okay. But for the purposes of this post, let’s stipulate:

  1. Ted Cruz believes, like Glenn Beck, that Donald Trump would make a worse president than Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders. I say this because Glenn Beck has been joined to Cruz’s hip since before Iowa and these are things Beck believes, at least this month.
  2. Ted Cruz’s hypothesis of evangelical voters carrying him to the White House was rejected in New Hampshire and again in South Carolina. It will likely fail across the country. While he may be right about 50 million or so evangelicals not voting in 2012, he was wrong that most of them would vote for him if they voted.
  3. Ted Cruz is unlikely to get enough delegates to win before the convention. I say this because Ted Cruz’s best states award delegates proportionally, while the best states for Rubio or Trump award winner-take-all. Which means, for example, if Cruz wins Texas by one vote, he walks away with 3 more delegates than number two. But if Trump wins Florida by one vote, Trump as all 99 delegates to himself. That pattern repeats itself through the primaries. States with lots of evangelical conservatives are proportional (like Iowa), states with fewer evangelical conservatives are winner-take-all (like South Carolina). So winning a majority of states will probably not win a majority of delegates for Cruz. FiveThirtyEight provided everything I know about this.
  4. Ted Cruz sincerely wants what’s best for America.
  5. Senate Republicans would love to get rid of Ted Cruz.

You’re free to reject any of those, but let’s just play along for a little. Let’s just say all five points are true. Now what?

Here’s Ted Cruz’s ultimate strategy.

Cruz could make an offer to Trump and to Rubio separately: “I will drop out of the race and endorse you on one condition: you must, in writing, guarantee to make me your first Supreme Court appointee.”

The first who signs the affidavit wins. Oh, and let each candidate know that the same offer is before the other rival. Play a little Prisoners’ Dilemma with them.

Most likely, game over. One of the two will make the deal and that candidate will pick up a lot of support. Ted Cruz will overcome the controversies from Iowa and South Carolina that led some people to question his integrity and political acumen. In fact, Cruz would come off as the most selfless statesman in generations. And even if Trump takes the offer and wins the White House, Ted Cruz will be there on the Supreme Court to keep him in check.

What if both candidates reject the offer?

Then you go public. Trump and Rubio would both look bad for rejecting a brilliant and humble offer from Cruz. Maybe the goodwill Cruz would generate would be enough to overcome assumption number 3. Maybe not.

But if Cruz, Rubio, and Trump all stay in the race to the convention, Cruz will end up playing power broker between them anyway, cutting a deal to deliver his delegates to the ultimate winner.

There’s my best strategy for Cruz. Have a better one?

Trump’s South Carolina win was impressive

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I got tire of scrolling.

Politico shows the results of each county in South Carolina, my state of residence from 1985 to 1992.

Abbeville: Trump

Aiken: Trump

Allendale: Trump

Anderson: Trump

Bamberg: Trump

Barnwell: Trump

Beaufort: Trump

Berkeley: Trump

It goes on and on and on.

Donald Trump not only won the geography, he won the demography:

Evangelical Christians: Trump

Born-again Christians: Trump

Conservative Voters: Trump

Moderate Voters: Trump

Young Voters: Trump

Old Voters: Trump

First-time Voters: Trump

Veterans/Military: Trump

Women: Trump

Men: Trump

High School Grads: Trump

College Grads: Trump

It goes on and on and on like Journey song.

Granted, there are demographic/psychographic groups Trump did not win, but very view. Rubio did better among post-grad folks. Cruz did better among people very conservative voters. But the breadth of Trump’s win is staggering. And he did the same thing in New Hampshire. He won all the major demographics and almost all the counties.

Donald Trump has now won New Hampshire and South Carolina by double digits. His chances of winning the nomination are above 80 percent, probably closer to 90 percent.

It’s time for Republicans and Republican-leaners to start dealing with the probability that Donald J. Trump will be the party’s standard-bearer in 2016.

Since 1996, ordinary Americans have warned the political and corporate elites not to ignore their plight. But the elites didn’t listen.

They’re listening now.