did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - Manchin and West Virginia

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Link?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 6:51 AM
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Think I found it. Just barely started reading it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 7:01 AM
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Link.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 7:01 AM
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Whoever Aaron Bady is, he needs to go and read some John Cole writing over at Balloon Juice. Cole grew up in West By God Virginia, and though he went away to serve in the Army, he lives there now and has for many years. Maybe even as long as Bady, whoever he is, has been away.

"On May 8, 2012, Keith Russell Judd, an inmate serving a 210-month sentence, won 41% of the [Democratic] primary vote in West Virginia against incumbent Barack Obama, a higher percentage of the vote in one state than any other primary opponent of Obama had hitherto achieved in 2012." -- Wikipedia

"In the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama lost West Virginia to Hillary Clinton by 41 points..." -- Washington Post May 9, 2012 "Why felon Keith Judd did so well against Obama in West Virginia

West Virginia has a really racist electorate. If that's not front and center in the article, it's a waste of time.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 7:07 AM
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It's also been pointed out that during all those decades of Democratic domination of West Virginia the state government did not produce any progressive policies. Or even any of the pro-labor policies you would expect from the "red bandanna" tradition. Note that the teachers aren't unionized, leading them to be poorly treated and revolt in 2018 alongside the teachers in places like Oklahoma where the teachers obviously would not be unionized. It was like a Southern state and it was not like Minnesota or Wisconsin or any of the other places where socialists ever gained power. A Southern state with ~no black people.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 7:21 AM
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Anyway I like Aaron Bady a lot, but this is a pretty weak effort at the "economic insecurity, not racism" argument. I think we can understand a lot of people who voted Obama in 2012 and then voted Trump (as opposed to the Republican base) being motivated by economic insecurity, but that doesn't apply to West Virginia. Romney already got 62% in West Virginia. Just the evidence of Keith Russell Judd indicates that the good performance of Bernie Sanders in Appalachia was simply "vote for whoever isn't Hillary" rather than an endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Joe Manchin being an asshole sped up the shift toward being 67% Republican but obviously it was going to happen.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 7:29 AM
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Still digesting the article - it's long and I do need to focus on work for a while today - but one of the few things I know about West Virginia is that it was the site of the Kanawha County textbook controversy in 1976. Thanks, Unfogged The Big Sort reading group. (Everything else I know about West Virginia comes from the 1632 series. I've been to Shenandoah Valley a few times but I don't think I ever actually left east Virginia.) I'm pretty sure we can't blame Joe Manchin's betrayal of Charlotte Pritt in 1996 for that.

I would agree with Bady that Democrats are too far to the right on economic issues. Whether that's why they lost West Virginia, or lose in general, or exactly what to do about it, I'd want to see more evidence and a clearer argument before agreeing. If he's trying to show that everything about West Virginia politics can be explained by Manchin's perfidy and the Democrats abandoning unions, I'm pretty confident that he's wrong.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 7:34 AM
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Anyway I like Aaron Bady a lot, but this is a pretty weak effort at the "economic insecurity, not racism" argument.

This. And everything else folks in this thread are saying.

Saying that Manchin is a dick tells us nothing about the Democratic Party and everything about West Virginia. Paula Jean Swearengin, who primaried him, seems like a perfectly fine person and a good representative of the Democratic Party. She won 30% of the vote.

The correct perspective on Manchin is to be extremely grateful that West Virginia elected someone with the correct stance on the most important issue for senators of our time: Which party should select the majority leader?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 8:06 AM
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West Virginia has a really racist electorate. If that's not front and center in the article, it's a waste of time.

Indeed. If I had to pick out another issue, it might be gun control---that might explain some of the big drop from 1996 to 2000, when the Democratic presidential candidate went from 58% of the two-party vote to 47%.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 8:21 AM
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There is a structural problem with Bady's argument that is quite common among foggy thinkers of all political persuasions: Bady conflates Democrats with liberals when it is convenient to his argument, but reverses field as necessary.

Bill Clinton, as a Democrat, is used as evidence of the liberal leanings of the West Virginia electorate:

It was 1996, a year when West Virginia was a one-party state ... and overwhelmingly supported a presidential candidate named Clinton.

A few sentences later -- and still specifically in the context of the 1996 election -- Clinton becomes the sort of corporatist Democrat that doomed the Democratic Party in West Virginia. The 1996 election was:

a time when even the left side of the country was moving to the right -- when Bill Clinton and the DLC were running as fast as they could from the word "liberal" or "labor," remaking the Democratic party into a corporatist, conservative shell ...

But later still, again specifically in the context of 1996:

West Virginia voted for Hillary Clinton by voting for her husband (and the promise that with him, you were getting two for the price of one); at the national level, West Virginians voted for the pot-smoking draft dodging liberal, over the pro-business conservative.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 8:37 AM
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9: I wouldn't ignore Perot in 1996. Then you just get a 51% to 47% drop.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 8:39 AM
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Hmm. I was trying to follow the usual political-sciency way of looking at the two-party vote. I think Perot took votes roughly equally from the two parties nationwide, but that might not have been true in West Virginia.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 9:03 AM
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I think Manchin is right when he calculated that his base is pro-Union people who also think date rape is good. These kind of articles are stupid. It's all about racism, sexism, and homophobia.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 9:44 AM
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Wow, tough crowd.

So, if the problem is racism, what's a path forward for the US? This seems like a fatalistic perspective that leads to a much worse country very soon-- in other divided autocracies with weak institutions political disagreements, including those with journalists, are settled violently. I would prefer a different fate.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 10:13 AM
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There are not that many black people in West Virginia since it is composed of the non slave owning counties of Virginia that refused to join the south in the civil war. White people trend republican but there is no reason a struggling state like WV could not go for the democrats though. A pro union/ pro worker agenda is both a good idea in principle and effective politics . https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2018/10/11/17864706/harry-reid-jacky-rosen-dean-heller-nevada. in Arizona this means geting service unions to bring out the Hispanic vote. In WV it would mean rallying the white working class.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 10:17 AM
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This seems like a fatalistic perspective

I don't agree with this, but in any case, it's the wrong way to frame the matter. Upetgi offers an opinion about the appeal of the right wing in 2018. Upetgi is either broadly correct, or not. (Or somewhere inbetween.)

Whether or not Upetgi's view is depressing isn't really relevant to whether it's true.

Upetgi seems broadly correct to me. The next question is: What can be done? If the various bigotries are an intractable problem that can't be mitigated, then yeah, it's a fatalistic view - but still a correct one. Denial generally isn't a good starting place when you want to solve a problem.

Me, I think the bigotry is tied to a suite of problems that have a negative impact on people's lives, even if they aren't directly affected by racism, sexism, etc. And I think people can grow and learn.

Plus, the racism will wear thin when the economy turns. Trump is aided significantly by the Obama economy, and by his failure to repeal Obamacare.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 10:30 AM
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You create Robert Byrd 2.0 to buy off the racists. It is not possible to win a national election without getting a substantial portion of the racist vote.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 10:35 AM
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* The correct perspective on Manchin is to be extremely grateful that West Virginia elected someone with the correct stance on the most important issue for senators of our time: Which party should select the majority leader?

This.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 11:11 AM
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Utpegi is right, and this. Illustrates the problem: we can never turn our backs on the people victimized by racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Period. Can we win people back by keeping our commitment to those victims while adding more economic benefit for lower class white folks? The evidence isn't very good. The folks we've lost want us to quit caring about the base that's stuck with us and only care about them. It can't happen to any substantial extent.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 11:17 AM
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It's not and never has been true that we've abandoned the wwc, and Obamacare illustrates this. OK, sure, we might not have fought as hard as we should against Republican efforts to erode their standing, but the fact that they have been rewarding the Republicans for leading the effort to screw them surely casts some doubt on the assertion of causality here.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 11:21 AM
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The base is not really sticking with us, though---there are polls today showing the Republican Senate candidates in NV and TX at 37-39% among Hispanics. If the base is mainly African-Americans and white liberals, that's not nearly enough.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 11:24 AM
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||
Brief pause for cheer-up link:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/graduate-student-solves-quantum-verification-problem-20181008/

Warning: although most recipients of this link reported significant increases in cheerfulness, a few also reported increased feelings of inadequacy.
|>


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 11:44 AM
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21 Outside of California, I'm not sure how bad those numbers really are. GWB did well with Hispanic voters in Texas, I think.

It's not because we're not left enough in Texas and Nevada, in any event. The question is not whether we can get back people who are supporting the other team in the current issue universe by going left, but whether by going left we can win non-voters enough to replace the few of our current voters we'd lose by going left. I don't think you can look to the past for the answers to that question, especially not to the South before Reaganism.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 11:52 AM
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With Bush it is a little more understandable. But after two years of a unified Republican government led by Donald Trump, I'd say that 37% is pretty damned bad. But I agree that moving to the left in TX and NV is not going to help. I don't know about Rosen in Nevada, but O'Rourke is fairly far to the left already.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:05 PM
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I don't understand why the Democrats would elevate someone not Hispanic to try to flip a Senate seat - that's what worked in 2016.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:17 PM
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I'm currently just a few miles from West Virginia. I will tell you all about the locals. The dominant type of building is the largish hotel, in a variety of architectural styles with no concern for the overall effect. The locals dress like early 20th century English domestic staff. I have yet to see a coal miner or have anybody offer to sell me oxycodone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:21 PM
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26: Have you ridden in a cab yet? Please report back.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:24 PM
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There's no cab here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:26 PM
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This is a good discussion of the Hispanic support/turnout issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:30 PM
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21: Expecting 100% support from any group isn't in the cards. Similar percentages of white people went for Hillary, but Trump nonetheless continues to exploit white identity politics.

"Hispanic" and "Latinx" are tricky ethnic designations - more like "American" than "black." As we have seen, plenty of Americans are comfortable with racial discrimination against other Americans, and I've known Hispanics who are quite proud of their low regard for other Hispanics. Heck, they aren't even "self-hating." They regard other Hispanics as "other."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:32 PM
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Cubans?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:33 PM
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No thanks, I'm trying to quit.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:38 PM
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31: A significant portion, yeah.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 12:42 PM
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Fun West Virginia fact: Population peaked in 1950. It's the only state to have lost population between 1950 and the present, in a period that U.S. population more than doubled.

African-American population is 3.4%, 40th of 50 states, down from 6.2% in 1950. Hispanic populatiin is 1.2%, which I believe ranks 50th.

It also has the third highest percentage of elderly population, since younger people keep leaving (highest is Florida, for completely different reasons. Second is Maine, same problem as West Virginia but also a retirement place).

It also has the highest home ownership rate --when population is declining, houses are cheap. Ask John Cole.

White elderly homeowners are not the core Democratic party.

It's a freak of state from which larger conclusions should not be drawn.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 1:06 PM
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34.1 is really surprising.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 1:10 PM
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There's also an actual lion across the way from my room. Which, as noted above, is code enough to West Virginia to serve as a proxy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 1:25 PM
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The thing is Manchin isn't really a problem that needs to be solved. Parties are diverse coalitions and there should be room in the coalition for senators from WV who are a little racist and misogynist so long as when their vote really matters they fall in line and they don't cross certain lines. Manchin pandered on Kavanaugh, but if D's had a 1-vote majority Manchin would renew the VAWA unlike Republicans. That's not nothing. So long as the leadership is less sexist/racist than WV D senators, and D WV senators are less sexist/racist than their R opponents, it's ok if D WV senators are more sexist/racist than other D senators.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 1:38 PM
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It's true that West Virginia is a relatively racist State it's one of the first things I noticed when I moved in here that isn't new though they've been racist here for a long time and they used to elect more Democrats and better Democrats. People here have been talking about the corruption of the democratic party for a long time. The most common statement about politics or politicians that I hear is that they're all the same. Even though I participate in political groups here or used to anyway most people I meet are totally disengaged from politics and don't think it has anything to do with them. I do think racism is maybe not the most important thing about people here my wife and I she's black encounter very little racism day today even when we're out in a rural area.


Posted by: Roger The Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 1:49 PM
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Are you following me at a significant remove both geographically and temporally?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:05 PM
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Aaron is smart, good article, cosign.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:09 PM
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Since we're at 40 comments, I'll ask a question that's been on my mind.

So, people talk about the money pouring into campaigns and how, for example, Devin Nunes has millions in his account and keeps fundraising. OK, fine, but what the fuck can he do with it?

There are only tens of thousands of people in his district and he is not campaigning at home. His district isn't an expensive media market and I'm sure his recognition is sky-high. So what the fuck can he do with the money? When is it diminishing returns? He just sent every person in his district a no-shit, glossy FORTY PAGE magazine about how the Fresno Bee is biased against him. But how much power does a forty page magazine have over a mailer? When do mailers just annoy people? And TV ads.

I feel like I've asked this here before, but I still don't get it. What can he DO with that campaign money? When does he hit diminishing marginal returns?

Since the last polls, I'm no longer as optimistic about Janz, but Janz is at every chicken dinner in the district and has been for ages. How can Nunes spend money to counter that. The 60th mailer? A fifty page magazine about Nunes? What the fuck is Nunes supposed to do with all that money in a semi-rural district?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:22 PM
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Facebook ads, I guess?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:23 PM
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I think 38 makes a god point. It sounds right that WV is so insular that the dynamic "politics = corruption" which seems a little old-fashioned is still assumed. We can see right now with the legislature impeaching the entire (non-Republican-dominated) judiciary so they can replace it with all Republicans. Opponents of this banana-republic scheme admit that the Democrats on the court (and the Republicans too) are all corrupt, but they've been corrupt for decades and nobody ever considered doing this before, and they will certainly not be replaced by less corrupt people.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:24 PM
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What the fuck is Nunes supposed to do with all that money in a semi-rural district?

Drive people to the polls?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:25 PM
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Or pay people to knock doors and make calls continuously for the next month to make sure his base gets out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:26 PM
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(I don't know if Republicans actually do stuff like that, though. More likely he'll give it all to some high-priced consultants offering dubious value propositions.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:27 PM
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When is the court going to legalize just paying people for their vote? All these ads are a waste of money and annoying. It's be better to cut out the middleman.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: “Pause endlessly, then go in” (9) | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:28 PM
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Can a campaign pay for driving people to the polls? Also, that county is one of the three expanded voting counties that is letting people drop off ballots for a full month at libraries and vote centers. (CA is having three trial counties before rolling it out for the whole state. I'm in a trial county and as much as I liked the voting day ritual, it is pretty awesome to be done with it and sure my vote is in.) Between Lyft and the poll driving volunteers and the whole month to bring in a ballot or mail it, is paying for driving people to the polls a good way to spend money?

I keep going over it in my mind, and I keep not understanding how campaign moneys in a small semi-rural district keep providing value (after some initial outlay).

ALSO. every left-y non-profit in the area has more paid canvassing jobs than they can fill.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:37 PM
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Paid canvassing jobs suck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:42 PM
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Or maybe that's different from where they ask you for money while you're walking down the sidewalk


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:43 PM
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Sure, but my point is that money isn't turning into voters if paid canvassing jobs are going unfilled (and they are).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:49 PM
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The real answer is "give it to other campaigns." It's usually candidates in safer races that hit the point of diminishing returns where that makes sense, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:52 PM
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I think canvassing means knocking on doors or phone-banking to get voters motivated to vote. Which sounds even worse than asking people for money when they're walking down the sidewalk, but some people like doing it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:57 PM
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Here's Nunes's FEC data, if you're curious about what he's actually spending it on. Looks like the biggest individual expenditures so far have been on direct mail. He's also given $100,000 to the NRCC and $5,000 to something called "Young Optimistic Useful Republicans JFC."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 2:59 PM
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I assume the vulgar-Christian expansion of "JFC" that leaps to mind is not the correct one.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 3:04 PM
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I assume the vulgar-Christian expansion of "JFC" that leaps to mind is not the correct one.

I had the exact same reaction. My second guess would be "joint fundraising committee".


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 3:28 PM
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I used that site to download all Nunes's reported expenditures ($4.2m) since January 2017 and then sorted by type.

$3.2m was in the broad category of "solicitation" - mailers, emails, etc. - of which $2.6m was to one company, Voyageur, looking like a printer/mailer.

$548,000 in political contributions, including what looks like $100,000 to the Yes on 6 committee.

$250,000+ in "advertising"; not sure the difference with solicitation.

And then a bunch of miscellanea: office supplies, events, refunded contributions. No salaries, except a little on "consulting" and "professional services".

Over the same period he collected $7.4m. I wouldn't underestimate their desire to be sitting on a big warchest in case things get tougher down the line.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 3:32 PM
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I gave out my cell phone number to a group I wanted to volunteer with, and I think they sold it, because now I am getting texts about voting for candidates and organizing a vote party. I got the Our Revolution people to remove my name. I can livve with e-mails but campaign texts are too intrusive.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 5:48 PM
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Nunes' expenditures don't sound that unusual relative to what I remember seeing when I used to regularly go through FEC reports. The stuff that stood out mainly were the campaigns spending a lot on defense lawyers, something I was assigned to look for from time to time for people known to be under investigation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-11-18 10:13 PM
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53: I worked for PIRG once. I lasted about a day. Canvassing for Dean was a lot better, but that was as a volunteer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-12-18 5:19 AM
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So, Trump is coming to our little town next week. Counterprograming is a complicated thing: he presumably wants some sort of Dems Gone Wild video he can peddle, but at the same time, there are people who view civility as complicity.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-18 6:09 AM
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This is reinforcing my impression that there's only so much money can do in a small, cheap media district. He must be awfully confident then, since he isn't campaigning in person.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-12-18 9:29 AM
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