Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Election Day


Image via The Geek Anthropologist.

New Yorkers from upstate and Long Island may not even realize it, but today is Election Day for them—an election in which hardly anybody normally bothers to vote, for their local school boards (in New York City, we don't have them at all, having surrendered the Education Department to mayoral control under the Bloomberg administration), because how is that even important?

It's becoming important now, as a key component of the web in which Republicans are attempting to take control with the bogus issues of "critical race theory" and anti-trans terror focusing on girls' bathrooms and sports teams, and the right to bully LGTBQ+ kids in general, and COVID masking and shutdowns. The enemy can bring out voters in some force, no doubt generally old people with no schoolchildren of their own; former GOP lieutenant governor and celebrated Pants-on-Fire liar Betsey McCaughey warns readers at the New York Post that 

In school-board elections from Long Island to Albany and westward Tuesday, New York parents outraged by the indoctrination and sexualization of their children will try to wrest control.

Don't let them succeed. Please please please check with your local media and find out what you can about the candidates and vote! On other races...

Today is Primary Day in Pennsylvania, too, which is looking kind of important (but not very suspenseful for Democrats—I'm not making any urgent recommendations, but I'd be voting for John Fetterman in the Senate primary, as the candidate mostly likely to come across as a celebrity in what is expected to be a race against an actual millionaire professional snake-oil medicine show TV star, just for one thing, and a true progressive in his back-country style), and also Kentucky, North Carolina (where Republicans who care about being respected have a chance to throw out Madison Cawthorn, whose carnival act would be the geek show, biting the head off a live chicken), Idaho, and Oregon. 

Democrats have some interesting options in North Carolina House races, with particularly unappealing "moderates" pitted against plausible "progressives": in the very blue 1st District bringing together rural Black Belt counties with wealthy Research Triangle areas,

progressive figures like the PCCC and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are backing former state Sen. Erica Smith, who has tried to make the race about [state senator Don] Davis’s spotty support for abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Smith has outraised Davis $831,937 to $612,266, but Davis has benefited from more than $2.3 million in outside spending from the United Democracy Project, a pro-Israel super PAC funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The primary still looks competitive, though: Despite the Davis campaign recently releasing a survey giving himself a 13-point lead, that isn’t very convincing since internal polls often overstate their sponsors’ positions by several percentage points.

Both [oil billionaire Sam] Bankman-Fried (the cryptocurrency magnate) and AIPAC are also pouring money into the Democratic primary to replace retiring Rep. David Price in North Carolina’s safely blue 4th District, around Durham. Protect Our Future has spent more than $1 million and the United Democracy Project nearly $2.1 million to help state Sen. Valerie Foushee defeat Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam and singer Clay Aiken. (Yes, that Clay Aiken.) AIPAC has probably gotten involved here due to Allam’s history of anti-Israel activism, but its investment has rubbed some voters the wrong way given that it also supports Republicans and Allam is Muslim. (Her religion has also made her the target of Islamophobic push polls and death threats.) The Progressive Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party even revoked its endorsement of Foushee for accepting AIPAC’s money.

My really important message is to voters from Long Island and upstate New York, who may not even be fully aware that they have an election today too, for local school boards.

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