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Friday Ramblings with Robert

Amnesty International Fluff Piece

Amnesty International, a so called protector of human rights, released a report today bashing the US government and the Gulf South states, including Mississippi for their post-Katrina recovery efforts.    They title the report “Un-Natural Disaster” and really took the angle of how poor minority communities have been left out in the cold along the Gulf Coast because of the government.  Their big issue is with the rebuilding of low income government housing, which they say the states have been slow or refused to do.  This in their eyes is a violation of human rights that people are not able to get their government housing.  I am not sure how much more our state or federal government could possibly do to help poor people.  I understand that some people physically cannot work, but I have a major problem with people who absolutely refuse to work and have never done so complaining about how their free handouts are handled by the state.  The only thing Amnesty International accomplishes with this is to stir up the people who feel the government has wronged them and mistreated them.

Straw Pollin’

Straw polls have been pretty popular this week and more importantly the issue on how much we can trust their results.  I believe the Tea Party straw poll in District 1 later this month will be pretty reliable, but I am not real sure how much of a read we will be able to get from the results.  It is no secret that Angela McGlowan and Henry Ross really want to win this because it would be seen as a strong endorsement.  I think the real issue is how much impact can this have on the actual primary itself if one of those candidates were to win it.  Alan Nunnelee is obviously the favorite to win right now and has a nice voting base coming in to the primary, but could this open up a potential for either McGlowan or Ross to make huge inroads.  Will voters see this as a strong endorsement of a candidates credentials and side with the Tea Party preferred candidate or will it just be seen as another endorsement that has no real impact in the long run.  I think there are quite a few voters who have the same thinking of the Tea Party movement and I believe that their members are very motivated to vote so it has some validity and it should be interesting to see who they get behind.

Raisin’ Money

There has been a good bit of talk this week about how much certain congressional candidates have raised in the first quarter of the year.  I realize it is still early and that the ultimate judge of things will be when citizens go to the poll to vote, but it is never to early what the highs or lows of donations mean at this point.  If we turn our attention to the coast we have 2 Republicans competing for the chance to unseat Gene Taylor and both have had success in raising money.  Steven Palazzo has raised a good amount at $125k, but don’t discount Joe Tegerdine’s smaller amount because compared to past candidates in previous elections he is ahead of the curve as well.  I really think what we are seeing down there with Gene Taylor’s low fundraising numbers and Palazzo and Tegerdine getting good numbers versus past results is an engaged electorate trying to make a change and willing to do what it takes to defeat the incumbent.  Look no further than 2008 when a young, inexperienced senator from Chicago had amazing success engaging the electorate and raising record numbers of donations from individuals and not just special interest or PACs.  The money talks and it can sometimes show us a trend of how things might be headed in the future.  Money does not necessarily win elections, but it is foolish to think it is not a major factor in how your campaign can operate on a daily basis.

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