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Why do public employee unions run ads against Romney in Ohio?

Is it because they don’t like his policies?  Or perhaps because they want to help Rick Santorum who opposed Right-to-Work legislation when he was in the Senate?

Several unions that back President Obama’s reelection bid are spending big in an effort to damage Mitt Romney in key GOP primary states.

Unions including The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are making ad buys to hit the Republican presidential contenders on issues key to their members, including immigration reform and the bailout of the auto industry.

. . . .

AFSCME, the country’s largest public sector union, spent $500,000 on Internet, television and radio ads to air in Ohio that target Romney before the state’s GOP presidential primary this coming Tuesday, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

5 in a row for Mitt; Santorum finishes 3rd in Washington State

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:03 pm - March 3, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

After Rick Santorum’s hat trick on February 7, Mitt Romney has been on a roll, narrowly besting Ron Paul to win the Maine caucuses on February 11, with Santorum a distant third.  On Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor edged the former Senator in Michigan and beat him soundly in Arizona.  A few days later, he was proclaimed the winner in the Wyoming caucuses.

Two weeks ago, Santorum led Romney by a double-digit margin in the Evergreen State, with Ron Paul a distant third:

Wedged between the Michigan/Arizona primaries and Super Tuesday the Washington state GOP caucus hasn’t received a lot of attention. At least for now it looks like it could give Rick Santorum some momentum headed into the critical March 6th contests. He leads there with 38% to 27% for Mitt Romney, 15% for Ron Paul, and 12% for Newt Gingrich.

Romney and Paul have since surged, with Romney leading Santorum by 13 points as he and the Texas Congressman battle for second place.

UPDATE:  Well, if Santorum didn’t win Washington State, he needed to come close.  And he did, just 500 votes behind Ron Paul’s second place finish, though, in the county count, the libertarian Congressman enjoyed a 2-to-1 margin over his Pennsylvania rivalry, winning 9 to Santorum’s 4.  Romney carried 26.

Romney ran 13 points ahead of Paul, 14 ahead of Santorum.  Quite a shift in just two weeks.  From down by 11 to up by 14.

The gay sheriff and the Tea Party

Yesterday, in a piece manifesting a misunderstanding of conservatives prevalent on the gay left, Peter Casseis discussed the dilemma facing conservatives in the Sheriff Babeu hullabaloo, given that the story falls at the intersection of “the twin hatreds of gay men and immigrants.”  He then calls the tough-talking conservative “ne of a long line of anti-gay conservative government figures forced out of the closet”.

Seems that for some on the left, a strong advocate for conservative principles must necessarily be (to borrow an inaccurate depiction of another outspoken conservative) “a racist, sexist, homophobe.

Turns out, however, as Casseis, to his credit, begins to acknowledge (in the second page of his article), that anti-gay sentiment really isn’t a defining issue for many, if not most, conservatives and Tea Party supporters.  Over at Big Journalism, Brandon Darby reports something which comes as little surprise to gay conservatives:  most grassroots activists couldn’t care less about his sexual orientation:

The state’s tea party grassroots continued to see Sheriff Paul Babeu for what he is; namely, a man who has done a good job in the many positions of service he’s held throughout his life and career.

An Associated Press article from February 26th says it best: Tea Partiers Stick with Outed Gay Sheriff. In the article, members of rural Arizona’s Yavapai Tea Party spoke out on their support for the Sheriff the Left needed to stop. The AP writer quotes 64-year-old Air Force pilot and Tea Party leader Bill Halpin as saying: “I care less. I just care less. Don’t preach it on me. Don’t push it on me and, by golly, I respect your rights.”

Read the whole thing.

Let the Cato Institute remain Cato

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:12 am - March 3, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,Tea Party,Worthy Causes

Most criticism of the Koch Brothers comes from hyperventilating leftists or hyperpartisan Democrats.  Now, we hear some from principled libertarians, concerned that they want to change the focus of one of the nation’s premiere think tanks:

Now, billionaires Charles and David Koch, who are among the institute’s four equal shareholders, are trying to gain full control and remove [Cato President Ed] Crane, for reasons they have not spelled out publicly.

Crane says their goal is to turn it into “yet another political arm of their vast empire.” If so, they will be turning gold into straw. Cato’s value is precisely that it’s not a political entity but an idea factory, where the goal is sound research and intelligent advocacy on important issues. It’s hard for me to imagine that getting rid of Crane, who has steadfastly upheld its mission, will be for the good.

Emphasis added.  Cato is a first-rate idea factory, an institution which owes its strength in large part to its independence from the political “wars” of the nation’s capital.  Its experts offer sound and principled analysis of public policy, showing how statist solutions tend not to solve social and economic problems, but exaggerate them.

There are a number of free-market advocacy organizations out there, a good number which have grown with the emergence of the Tea Party.  Let Cato be Cato.  And let other organizations to do the advocacy work that this successful think tank shuns.

More here.

My two cents on “Slut-gate”
Rush was wrong & the president’s priorities are misplaced

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 am - March 3, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

When it comes to standing up for conservative principles (and taking on liberal shibboleths, SIster Toldjah is no shrinking violet, so when she criticizes an conservative icon, you know she’s not doing it to score points with the mainstream media.

Yesterday on Facebook, she joined Michelle Malkin in criticizing* the nation’s top (radio) talk show host:  “Love me some #Rush but calling Ms. Fluke a slut played into the left’s false narrative that GOP ‘hates women.’ Also, it’s a very ugly word.”  Smartly and succinctly said, summarizing my sense of the matter.

Here’s what Michelle said:

My two cents: Yes, we’re seeing the usual left-wing double standards when it comes to defending women against sexist putdowns. The language Rush used is completely unacceptable…except when it’s used against the likes of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, myself, and every other prominent female conservative in public life, of course.

Read the whole thing.  She doesn’t just criticize Rush; she also takes the Georgetown student to task as well.

To show you that the good sister (Toldjah) is on our team, just read her reaction to the news that the president had telephoned the woman in question:  “Probably the most stupid story you’ll read all week”.  Tina Korbe contends the president made the call in large part “to keep conservatives preoccupied with his contraception mandate because he sure ensures the topic stays in the spotlight.”  (Check out William Jacobson’s post on the matter; he reminds us about some of the people the president didn’t call.)

And that’s one of the problems with Rush’s name-calling.  That becomes the story, not the woman’s politicization of her private life.  Recall that this hullabaloo blew up just about the same time the president released his budget. (more…)