Monday, March 22, 2010

Liberty Ticker, 3/22/10

Hi folks, welcome to our second edition of The Liberty Ticker! Note that due to my travels across the state of Texas there will be no update from Tuesday-Saturday. Today we have a scattering of analysis from races around the country. We will also start a small series on healthcare, with the first post intended to come tonight. Stay tuned!


Frontrunner in a Swing District? (Ann Marie Buerkle, R-NY-25)

A big surprise in New York. It looks like there may be a Ron Paul supporter who is leading a US House race in New York. Ann Marie Buerkle is a nurse, former New York assistant Attorney General, and former Syracuse Common Councillor. She is taking on the incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei. This article claims she worked on Ron Paul's presidential campaign in 2008. In addition, she is endorsed by a prominent central New York Ron Paul Republican, David Gay (Gay now appears to be running for the state house in New York).

Buerkle is running a legimate bid. She has already been endorsed by the local Republican and Conservative Party organizations. And with Maffei's recent yes vote on health care, she may have gotten a boost in this district. The district has a slight edge in Democratic voter registration. Buerkle's biggest obstacle will probably be funding, unless she can get national attention in her bid. However, Maffei has thus far proven to be a prolific fundraiser.

Woops! (Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA and Jim Duncan, R-TN)

Chalk this one up in the "My bad!" corner. Dana Rohrabacher, John Duncan, and Tom McClintock have come out claiming the GOP now knows the Iraq War was a mistake and stated they are against the buildup in Afghanistan. Rohrabacher actually did vote for the Iraq War, while McClintock was not in office at the time. Both are considered to lean libertarian, but they have significant caveats to that label. John Duncan is probably the most consistent in the area of nonintervention.

Don't forget me! (Linda Goldthorpe, R-MI-01)
Bart Stupak recently sent shockwaves across the political world when he cut a deal with the Obama administration and voted for the health care reform package. Conservatives, angered at his perceived betrayal of the pro-life movement, have suddenly flocked to (and funded) a formerly obscure GOP opponent of Stupak named Dr. Dan Benishek. His facebook page now has over 13,000 fans, but his website is still not up.

However, Linda Goldthorpe has been in this race since the end of the 2008 election. After modifying her message a bit, she has been actively campaigning for the Republican nomination. Nevertheless, she is considered an outright Ron Paul Republican. With Benishek's recent surge in support, her attempts to secure a bid to take on Stupak could be sidelined in obscurity.

Last Man Standing (David Krikorian, D-OH-02)

David Krikorian is the last prominent Democratic candidate left against incumbent Republican Jean Schmidt, who voted for the Bush bailout in 2008. Krikorian's primary opponent, state representative Todd Book, has withdrawn from the race. Still, other opponents may enter if the opportunity seems available. A Libertarian has also filed in the race.

Krikorian ran as an independent in 2008 in the district, securing 18% of the vote on a platform of fiscal conservatism, social liberalism, and non-intervention abroad. While that number appears low, it is a quite formidable accomplishment when acting outside of the two major parties. His campaign for the Democratic nomination is an attempt to remedy that barrier to success. Krikorian recently came out in favor of the health care reform package passed yesterday.


A mess (Chuck Devore and Tom Campbell, R-CAL)

Many libertarian types looking into this race may be a bit confused. Tom Campbell, the former US Representative, appears to have taken stances against foreign aid to Israel and is a social moderate on issues like gay marriage. However, state assemblyman Chuck Devore, while appearing to be more fiscally conservative, is somewhat more hawkish on military matters and much more socially conservative.

Either way, Devore has been struggling to gain ground against Campbell and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina. Campbell is the clear frontrunner in the race and polls close to Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer.

Helping Hands (Rand Paul, R-Kentucky)

Rand Paul is lending a hand to his fellow Republican candidates. Rand Paul spoke outside of Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth's office today. Yarmuth voted in favor of the health care reform package yesterday. Rand Paul also recently campaigned against Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler. As the frontrunner in the race, Paul appears to be making a move to position himself as a unifying candidate for the Republican Party in Kentucky.


National Endorsements (Nikki Haley, R-SC)

State Representative Nikki Haley has received the endorsement of Mitt Romney in her bid to become the next governor of South Carolina. The impact of the endorsement is unclear, as many of her competitors have also received endorsements from 2008 presidential candidates (McCain for McMaster, Fred Thompson for Barrett, and Mike Huckabee for Bauer). Each endorsee appears to have been connected to the endorsing presidential campaign. Still, it gives her race a bit of national attention. There have also been rumors of an upcoming Ron Paul endorsement.

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