Posts tagged ‘President’

November 9th, 2016

GOP, Trump Enjoys Wide Support

by Christopher O'Brien

As the clocks fell back an hour, colorful hues of leaves during a windy week mirroring the national Presidential race. Yellow, red, and orange falls predominantely against a bold blue and red sign-scape that shows Wolcott’s political colors. We haven’t seen a single sign for Clinton at all in Wolcott, while Trump-Pence signs are literally everywhere.

Tuesday night’s results were clear before the election: The President-elect won Wolcott decisively. In other races, Wolcott also voted for challengers Dan Carter for US Senate and Clay Cope for Congressional Representative. Both of those candidates lost their overall races, however.

More locally, State Senator Joe Markley won election against Southington resident Ryan Rogers. As of 5:30 am, the Secretary of State’s website only had 16 out of the 22 precincts reporting in that race.

State Representative Rob Sampson will also start his third term in Hartford. He was unopposed.

Statewide, Republicans will now be in equal numbers with Democrats in the State Senate. Democrats will control the chamber since Lt. Governor Wyman will cast tie-breaking votes and is a Democrat. However, the tone may change on fiscal issues as some Democratic senators, including Joan Hartley of Waterbury often side with Republicans on those issues.

The Whisper will publish more complete statistics when ballot numbers are tallied and released by the Town Clerk’s office.

April 24th, 2016

GOP Candidate Interviews

by Christopher O'Brien

vote clipartRegistered Republicans will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect their preferred nominee for President. 28 delegates are at stake. Most recent polls suggest that each of the three candidates are likely to receive delegates. The question is how many. If Ted Cruz receives more than 20%, he’ll likely get 3 delegates. (Polls range from 17-21%). Kasich is polling in the high 20s which would result in at least 4 delegates. If Donald Trump receives more than 50%, he’ll get all 28 delegates- but if not, he’ll only get a proportion. His polls range from the low 40s to about 51%.

 

Unaffiliated and new voters have until noon on Monday to register – in person – at Town Hall. 17 year olds can vote as long as they turn 18 on or before November 8th.  WTNH has some resources to verify your eligibility and your voter location: WTNH Voter’s Reference Guide

We’re providing links to voter guides and interviews with all three candidates here below and later today.

Family Research Council’s Voter Guide on Family oriented issues: http://downloads.frcaction.org/EF/EF16B01.pdf

Politifact: Ascertains the truth or untruth of many of the candidates’ statements. They have their own biases, but can give a guide to what has been said. http://www.politifact.com/

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March 11th, 2016

The March Republican Primaries

by Christopher O'Brien

vote boxIn the long marathon known as the Presidential race, there is often confusion in how we select our next President. Here, we’ll break down the rules and various issues that come up during the process.

One of the many myths disseminated during this primary season is that delegates selected after March 15th are awarded on a winner-take all basis. Not true! So let’s discuss.

First though, on Thursday the US Virgin Islands selected 9 delegates to the Republican Convention. Usually, this isn’t news, but it was determined that the US Virgin Islands will leave their 9 delegates as uncommitted towards any candidate thus far. The prospect of a potential brokered convention leaves the territories delegates to be potential power brokers. Residents of the Caribbean island territory cannot vote in the general election, yet in this way their voices will make impact on the future of our nation.

Before we continue talking about the next delegate races, let’s talk about the value of race thus far. John Kasich has the fewest delegates in the race, but a win at home in Ohio will be pivotal. He will more than double his delegate count, but a win will give him credibility in the industrial MidWest and potentially across the north and into New England states that have yet to vote. He is presenting himself as the most moderate candidate and could also have appeal on the West coast if he gains traction. Thus far, he has had strong 2nd place finishes in New Hampshire and Michigan.

Marco Rubio is appealing to a similar crowd as Kasich. He also has to win his home state of Florida, and not just for the delegate count. In the general election, Florida has the fourth most electoral votes of any state and has been one of the most important states to win in past Presidential contests. Florida also comprises a diverse population similar to the states that will vote in the upcoming months.  Many residents hail from the north and northeast as transplants and still have younger relatives back home. Winning his homestate could propel the former House Speaker to win other contests in the north with broad appeal. His generational theme may also have stronger resonance.

In contrast, Ted Cruz’s natural base in the Southern and Plains states have already mostly voted. He took advantage of that base and positioned himself well as the leader with political experience. If Kasich and/or Rubio go on, there will be a fight as to whether Cruz should consolidate the support he has already enjoyed or if his appeal can broaden to those less religious northern states. Unlike Rubio and Kasich, he already won his home state. This is not a typical election year framed by passed conventions. Demographics of the Republican race show that policies and style have been more important than traditional routes of the past. Cruz may pull it off, especially because of his lead and a strong anti-Trump sense within the party. What remains to be seen is if his more traditional style will change the electoral college map in November’s general election.

Donald Trump’s mission is to simply continue what he’s already been doing. With the delegate math, reaching the magic delegate number is still not easy for him because he’s only won about 33% of the delegates allocated thus far. If he is strategic about focusing on winner-take-all races where he can wrack up large numbers of delegates with on only a plurality of the vote, he may be able to garner 50% of the delegates faster. With a fragmented race, he will need to appeal to a certain percentage of Rubio or Kasich supporters if they drop out. If he wins outright though, it still won’t be until very late in the process – perhaps in the last few electoral contests. The races in Ohio and Florida will be very telling.

Let’s move to the week ahead.

The District of Columbia’s 27,472 registered Republicans will vote on Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm. This should be an interesting race because all of these Republicans are urban dwellers. They only comprise about 6% of all voters in D.C. and will vote at a single polling location (the Loews Madison Hotel on 15th Street). Many likely have transplanted from somewhere else yet are so close to the very seat of power that the candidates are running against. What would it say if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz won this race? Or would Rubio or Kasich be proud to promote the win of their 19 delegates as they take their race to voters who are mad at capital city itself?

Whatever the outcome, it is a reminder that everyone is a citizen of our nation, even those who may be employed by it or have the greatest influence on it. Each citizen only has one vote at the ballotbox, no matter their position.

The Republican or Democratic Party are both privately affiliated organizations, so they choose how their nomination rules are chosen. The US Constitution doesn’t govern this phase of the race at all. Both major parties have general rules that govern their July nominating conventions, but allow each of the respective states to decide how to assign their state delegates to a candidate.

In the District of Columbia, if a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, then that candidate will receive all 19 delegates. That has only occurred in one race thus far, when Marco Rubio won 75% of the vote in Puerto Rico last week. If no one receives 50%, then the delegates will be assigned proportionately to candidates receiving at a 15% threshold.  The Green Papers website has compiled the rules for each race.

So let’s move to the pivotal races on Tuesday, March 15th. Five large states will be voting. Two of them will assign delegates in a winner-take-all format: Florida and Ohio which just happen to be the home states of Senator Rubio and Governor Kasich. They are expected to do well there, but Trump is making a strong play in both to block them from proceeding further. The other three states will award delegates more proportionally. North Carolina will grant one delegate for every 1.39% of the vote each candidate receives. This totals 79 delegates and will be a great opportunity for even lesser candidates to try running up their numbers. There is no threshold requirement.

Missouri has a winner-take most format with two formats. First, candidates will gain 5 delegates for each of the state’s 8 Congressional districts won. So, a candidate who does strongly around St. Louis could win delegates without winning the state. Geography could be used to one’s advantage here. The statewide winner will receive an additional 15 delegates.

Illinois has a confusing “Loophole” format. I’m not really sure how it works, but it seems to be a semi-proportional system where delegates themselves may also have an option to disregard the selection of the people. The reason they could do this is that in many states delegates are chosen separately from the Presidential Preference Poll, as some contests are called. A voter may indicate their “preference” for a candidate, but that vote is not always binding, depending the state’s rules. This isn’t a concern in most states, because delegates are usually bound by the preference of voters – even if a delegate might favor someone else. In North Carolina, delegates are chosen through a series of caucuses and conventions that begin at the county level, then the congressional level, and ultimately at the State level. These conventions also serve to nominate other candidates for Congress and the state.

I this is somewhat helpful in understanding this process further. The best way to ensure that you have a voice in the process is to register with a party due to the influence that parties have in the selection of Presidential candidates. If you wait until November, there is usually only two major party candidates. Voting in the primary will allow you even more selections on who those candidates will be.

As a party member, you may also opt to attend local party meetings at the Town level. It is a good way to receive news about policy decisions that affect local education, taxes, and other issues. Those town committees also fill vacancies in town government and send delegates to state conventions. Even if you are not a delegate, simply knowing about these events will allow you to be a participant or observer at these functions and ensure they are run fairly.

February 20th, 2016

Ziti Fundraiser to Benefit Republicans

by Christopher O'Brien

Local Republicans are taking advantage of the Presidential excitement by inviting all residents to a ziti supper at the East Street Eatery, 141 East Street this Wednesday evening from 6 – 8:30 pm. A raffle will also be held.

Cost is only $15.00 dollars per person, 6-10 years old only pay $7.00 dollars and 5 years old and under-free.

Pay at the door or RSVP to Gloria Clair via email at GloriaClair@outlook.com or Chris O’Brien 203-558-5817 or inbox the WRTC on Facebook.

December 17th, 2012

Obama Mourns In Newtown

by Christopher O'Brien

A woman kneels outside of Newtown High School | Christopher O’Brien

By Hugh McQuaid and Chris O’Brien | IMNCT
NEWTOWN — President Barack Obama said the reaction of the Newtown community to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting inspired a nation, but it also left us with some hard questions.“Can we honestly say we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?” Obama asked. “If we’re honest with ourselves theChristopher O'Brien

answer is, ‘no.’”

Since he’s been president, this is the fourth time he’s visited a grieving community following a mass shooting.

“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end and to end them we must change,” Obama said, acknowledging that change won’t be easy.

Satellite trucks parked in  Sandy Hook center photo:  Christopher O’Brien

The families of 15 of the 27 families who endured loss took their places at Newtown High School after meeting privately with President Obama. Other residents joined them for the interfaith service and in adjacent overflow room. Unfortunately, some town residents couldn’t make it inside as hundreds flocked the town from as far away as New Jersey, feeling the need to ‘feel close’ to the tragedy.

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November 5th, 2012

Wolcott Election Ballot

by Christopher O'Brien

Wolcott’s Ballot is below. Residents can choose any ONE candidate for each of FIVE offices.
Some candidates appear on more than one party, which means that they have been endorsed by those political parties. The candidate is elected based upon the total number of votes they receive from ALL lines that they appear. Voters should only fill in the oval for ONE candidate for each office, evne if they appear more than once. This ensures an accurate count.

Wolcott Ballot

In some towns, redistricting has shifted voters from one polling place to another, but this has not happened in Wolcott. Since the overlapping districts include the entire town, there was no need to do so.

District 1 – Tyrell Middle School (south entrance)

District 2 – Wolcott High School

District 3 – Wakelee School (gym – park in back)

August 14th, 2012

President Clinton Calls Wolcott Voters

by Christopher O'Brien

Contributed photoMary Weber, who supports Elizabeth Esty’s candidacy in the 5th Congressional District, was not impressed when she received a robocall from former President Bill Clinton Monday.

The robocall paid for by Dan Roberti’s campaign and the subsequent live phone call from an unknown source told Weber that Clinton supports the 30-year-old.

“You’re full of crap,” Weber recalled saying into the phone.

Continue Reading…

April 23rd, 2012

Vote For An Energetic Conservative

by Christopher O'Brien

Commentary
I’m tired of being told who to vote for.

Year after year, Republican Party officials tell their registrants who they think our candidate should be. Then that candidate – because they’re rich, or have kissed their boots for years – loses. See John McCain, Bob Dole, and virtually every state Republican to emerge on the horizon in the past ten years. Do Connecticut Republicans have any Congressional or state- wide office holders today? No. Yet their Pravda –style message presses on. Romney is the ‘obvious nominee’… who’s still short 400 votes of the 1144 goal. According to today’s RNC count, he only has 51% of the delegates he needs for the nomination.

Despite his “obvious nominee” status, no crowds showed up on the sidewalk outside Romney’s rally for women’s businesses in Hartford last week. Passersby on their lunch break instead asked “what’s going on with all the TV trucks?” The message from the rally almost unraveled when reporters asked an obvious question: “What is Romney’s stance on the gender equal-pay law?” The Romney campaign answered with…. Silence. They had to

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