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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 5/16 (320 comments)

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  •  Thought exercise (8+ / 0-)

    If you were made governor of the state you're currently residing in 2014 or 2016, with the best possible numbers in the legislature (while still being plausible, so no Dem super-majorities in Utah for example), what issues would you push for, what compromises would you make, and what issues do you think you'd have to confront, especially issues the legislature itself brings up?

    I'll save my ideal plan if I was Governor of Utah  for a few posts after this one, but needless to say, I'd probably at best still have a strong Republican majority, just with several more Democrats and more moderate Republicans.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Thu May 16, 2013 at 10:42:02 AM PDT

    •  Well, I would have a solidly Republican ... (4+ / 0-)

      .... legislature, maybe a little bit less so than right now.  I think the most important things I would do is make stronger investments in education and transportation

      More than that, I would have to use my veto pen a lot!  Absolute "no" to any of the wacky social stuff.  Willing to compromise on some of the taxes and spending.  Even though the governor has no direct role in this, I would throw my weight behind keeping a ban on same sex marriage off the ballot.  Another priority would be to roll back the right-to-work legislation.

    •  California (6+ / 0-)

      Pushes: Re-allocation of education funding to help low-income districts, release of nonviolent offenders from prisons to spend that money on social services, and single-payer health care would be my top three.  I'd also try and end the union stranglehold on our party, but I doubt that would get through the legislature considering how California works.

      20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

      by jncca on Thu May 16, 2013 at 11:44:06 AM PDT

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      •  How bad is the stranglehold? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnyBoston

        "Didn't anyone ever tell you? There's one thing you never put in a trap—if you're smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow—there's one thing you never—ever, put in a trap. …Me." -The Eleventh Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:15:13 PM PDT

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        •  That's probably a policy question. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnnyBoston

          Since this is somewhat of a policy thread but I don't want to get too far into policy, I'd encourage you to:
          a) think about your own experiences in public education, since NJ also has strong teachers' unions, assuming you went to public schools
          b) look up about my state's prison guard unions
          c) look up about Gray Davis's pension legislation, which will hurt our state for decades to come

          20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

          by jncca on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:05:27 PM PDT

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          •  I had a solid experience in my grade school. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            Only a few bad apples in a large assortment through all 12 years.  Tenured or untenured.  Heck, tenure was no easy get, they had to jump through hoops to show they deserved it and the NJEA would provide them with a jade apple as a trophy to put on their desk (my orchestra teacher was very proud when he earned his and his abilities never decayed after).  The only time I saw any teachers wave the union flag was at a school board meeting during a year when the budget was greatly delayed and they all wore shirts that said: "Settle Now."

            "Didn't anyone ever tell you? There's one thing you never put in a trap—if you're smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow—there's one thing you never—ever, put in a trap. …Me." -The Eleventh Doctor

            by KingofSpades on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:34:43 PM PDT

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    •  Oh my. That would be fun. (5+ / 0-)

      Basically I would undo everything Walker has done. Stop the Penoke Hills Mine in northern WI, stop the frack sand mining in western WI, end the corporate giveaways, restore collective bargaining, restore the massive cuts in education. I would also fix the school funding system, which penalizes small school districts like mine. I would also lobby for the $750 million High Speed Rail money back. Independent Redistricting. Healthcare exchanges. More transparency in gov't. Work to repeal the ban on SSM and  legalize it. Medical Mary Jane. I would also take down the 'Open for Business' signs Walker put on our state welcome signs at the borders, and replace them with 'Open for All' (or just my name, like previous governors have done.)

      I could have a Dem legislature. It is difficult under the new lines, but possible.

      Gay farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.88, -3.64, 2012 Daily Kos Elections Pick'Em runner-up.

      by WisJohn on Thu May 16, 2013 at 11:46:22 AM PDT

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    •  California (2) (8+ / 0-)

      I'd push for pot legalization first. Institute major prison reform along the lines of the Hawaii model, bust up the power of the prison guards. Push for a new state constitution that forbade term limits, any supermajority requirements other than for Constitutional amendments, and new restrictions to ballot initiatives (budget-neutral, higher threshold of support, for starters). Statutory death penalty abolition. Make for-profit prisons and schools illegal in the state. In fact, make the state have a monopoly on prisons. Non-profit charters I'll allow. With all the money saved from prisons, try to make college virtually free here again, like it was for my parents.

      Beyond that...keep pushing to face the problem of climate change. My state is doing probably all it can at this point, we already have cap-and-trade and we use much less energy than the national average. But I'd just keep pushing for incremental changes on that front.

      •  What is the Hawaii model of prison reform? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera, MichaelNY
      •  My state is Oklahoma (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        so this exercise is no fun for me since I'd still have a Teabagger Legislature no matter what.

        Soo..if I added on to yours (and I agree on all of them) I would add for California

        * SINGLE PAYER BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE *
        Then:
        1-High Speed Rail and funding for the Desert Express
        2-Increase in Conservation funding and a ban on fracking in sensitive ecosystems (Monterey County being the focus)
        3-Designation of 10 new State Parks since the last 10 years has only seen 6 square miles added to the State Parks System (a pathetic indifference to our wilderness)
        4-Gay Marriage in the Constitution
        5-Prostitution Legalization while heavily regulated and taxed (a similar model to Nevada)
        6-Increase in Arts Funding. Arts is always on the chopping-block and I'd like to change that
        7-An increase in income taxes (I'd be willing to slightly lower corporate taxes to make this work)
        8-Death penalty abolition added to the Constitution (beyond statutory)
        9-"Make for-profit prisons and schools illegal in the state"
        Agree 1000%. I'd also add cash advance services that make a profit on ripping off the extremely destitute
        10-Electoral Law to be more like Washington's. Immediate registration.

        I also have 10 more for my prospective future home state, Maryland, but I'll leave it there for brevity.

        21, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco, Terracotta, and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); Currently studying in Madrid, Spain

        by gigantomachyusa on Thu May 16, 2013 at 03:28:18 PM PDT

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    •  I keep a list in my desk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, MichaelNY

      Of every terrible Walker bill that needs to be repealed in toto. I'd probably start there.

      You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

      by Gpack3 on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:10:18 PM PDT

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    •  In NJ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnnyBoston, MichaelNY

      Democrats have 27 Senate seats (what they currently have plus Jennifer Beck's district, SD-7 which should go blue when Diane Allen retires, and SD-16), 54 Assembly seats, and restoration of Dick Codey as Senate President (or someone second best like Loretta Weinberg).  They can override vetos, pass SSM (though there are two Democrats in the Senate who are no's: Senator Van Drew who is in a fairly red district and Senator Rice of Newark who is like a brick wall; his son, a Newark Councilman said he tried to convince his father to support SSM, but in vain) over Christie's veto, and pass the budget they want.

      If I was Governor of Louisiana, though, it would be cool.  The governor chooses committee chairs (wtf?) and has weight in choosing leaders in the legislature.

      "Didn't anyone ever tell you? There's one thing you never put in a trap—if you're smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow—there's one thing you never—ever, put in a trap. …Me." -The Eleventh Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:21:29 PM PDT

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      •  Jen Beck is LD-11 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, MichaelNY

        In a good year, her seat is actually flippable.  I just don't see this being the year as her district is Monmouth County (parts), which went 2-1 for Christie in 2009 (despite Obama losing it by only 3 points the year before).  

        •  I think Obama won its post-redistricting form. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          "Didn't anyone ever tell you? There's one thing you never put in a trap—if you're smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow—there's one thing you never—ever, put in a trap. …Me." -The Eleventh Doctor

          by KingofSpades on Thu May 16, 2013 at 02:11:43 PM PDT

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          •  He did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            And he won the old 11th district (which I live in) in 2008.  Problem is the urban voters don't turn out in off year elections.  It's the same throughout NJ.

            If our legislature (and governor) were elected in federal years, we'd be a bluer state.

    •  This one's a total no-brainer (4+ / 0-)

      pass an independent redistricting law and force Republicans to repeal it in 2020 and take flak for it. Then gerrymander an 8-5 congressional map so that Heath Shuler, Brad Miller, and someone in the 8th and new Triad based 9th could win. Then repeal voter ID and pass same day registration and vote by mail.

      All of those are within the realm of reason for what a Dem trifecta could do, not necessarily that they would.

    •  In North Carolina... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      We would have a Republican legislature, probably, though not with supermajorities.  

      First I would fire every corrupt Democratic d-bag in the state party organization, and state government that made us look so bad.  Not really related to government, but I would want the Democrats in the legislature to have better leadership and messaging than what we have had since Marc Basnight and Joe Hackney crawled in a hole.  

      Don't steal any more money from the education lottery.

      I would fire everyone at the Department of Transportation that wants to spend billions on roads to nowhere in rural parts of the state, and move that money to repair actually congested roads.  Raise gas tax by a cent, it won't hurt anyone.

      Make state government more efficient, blah blah, stop tolling drivers more than they owe, implement regulations more efficiently.

      Bomb the DMV!! Okay, no, not that, but something must be done.

      Raise teacher pay, but tie it to results, not tenure.  How we afford to raise teacher pay... well... I'll have to get back to you on that one.  DO NOT cut the university system and then cut taxes as well.  Put emphasis on the importance of higher education.

      Expand Medicaid... veto all the crazy BS the Republicans pass.

      •  Demurral (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisJohn, JBraden

        Raising gas taxes a cent affects virtually all prices and would indeed hurt some people. When you're really close to the edge, anything hurts. That's not a reason not to do it, though; it's a reason to offset it with other spending on behalf of poor people.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Thu May 16, 2013 at 10:34:44 PM PDT

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    •  push assimilation type programs in the schools (0+ / 0-)

      RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

      by demographicarmageddon on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:22:08 PM PDT

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    •  Hmmmm (4+ / 0-)

      I'd have a Republican legislature here in NC... So,

      I'd probably request and push somewhat hard to raise teachers salary in NC because we've had a freeze on teachers for four or five years now, and that's just not gonna make teachers want to continue teaching, but it would be based on how well those teachers students are improving overall, not just test scores.

      I'd continue pushing for improvements in our roadways, especially around Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte. They're getting better, but they're still pretty bad in spots. I just drove up to Raleigh today, and on US 1 there were some pretty rough spots, surprisingly.

      I would also push for a small tax increase 'Shocker" on cigarettes and alcohol, but keep the gas tax where it is, because I think it's too high already.

      21, Male, NC-02 home, SC-04 School. Majoring in Piano Pedagogy. Not your typical DKE junkie!

      by aggou on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:45:06 PM PDT

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    •  I have no idea if the legislature would be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin, KingofSpades, MichaelNY

      supportive, or how I'd get elected as a non-citizen, but I think my first steps as Kyoto Prefecture governor would probably be instituting stricter smoking bans and bans against discrimination (based on national origin and other qualities).

      if I were governor of RI...well, I would never want to be governor of RI, but priorities would include repealing voter ID and encouraging clean energy.

      Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Thu May 16, 2013 at 03:39:42 PM PDT

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    •  I would probably use the bully pulpit a lot, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      campaigning around the state, and pushing ballot measures to reform sentencing, abolish the death penalty, and perhaps tax reform, but I am not quite sure what it would look like.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:05:20 PM PDT

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    •  If I was governor of CT, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, MichaelNY

      The first thing I'd do is change the redistricting laws so that Democrats could gerrymander the State Senate and reduce the number of Republicans there from 14 to 5 (which is perfectly possible and reasonable, by the way).

      Once that's done, I'd implement early voting. Connecticut already passed same-day voter registration (which takes effect July 1), but turnout in the cities is so low that I think we need to go further.

      Second, I would outlaw municipal budget referenda (these have really messed up the public schools in my town and others).

      Third, I would increase state aid to UConn and other state universities so that tuition can be lowered.

      Finally, I would impose a huge tax on the residents of New Canaan and Darien, as revenge for voting 2-1 against Malloy in 2010 and Obama last year.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Thu May 16, 2013 at 05:05:55 PM PDT

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    •  New York (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, Skaje

      I'd push for pot legalization, an end to prison terms for drug possession (at least below a certain amount), decriminalization of prostitution, a millionaires' tax, increased funding for libraries - basically, a down-the-line liberal program, opportunistically pushing for whatever I could get.

      In New York, the biggest problem really is corruption, and the only thing I could do about it is hope the Attorney General has clean hands and aggressively investigates.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Thu May 16, 2013 at 10:28:04 PM PDT

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    •  Oooh, fun! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I'd be strengthening work laws left and right (particularly with paid time off). With a pretty strong Democratic majority in both Houses of the legislature, I could easily get something passed on the labor front.

      Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

      by NMLib on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:18:27 AM PDT

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