I went and voted early yesterday morning after stopping by the Democratic HQ and finding it to be closed yet again. I wish I could explain how bad the GOTV was here for Democrats, but I’m pretty sure you will have a firm idea of how bad it is on election day. It’s not the guy who is running the HQ as he is doing everything he can, it’s just resources are very limited and he has the office in Wheeling and Wellsburg that he is staffing. I finally got a call from them to do some phone banking, but he wants me to do it on Saturday and I couldn’t come up with an excuse quick enough that wasn’t “Umm, football,” so he is going to call me tomorrow and I will try to arrange a time to do some phone banking next week. Meanwhile, we do have money for nonsense like this:
I have no idea how much that ad buy cost, but every single penny would have been better spent paying people to do GOTV and man offices. It doesn’t seem so long ago that there was this community organizer type who managed to get that done in West Virginia despite knowing he stood no chance to win. Currently, it appears that the Democrats in WV are trying to out pro-life and out pro-NRA each other while scratching Big Coal’s itchy parts.
And that is what it is like being a Democrat in WV- you start every election cycle motivated and then the candidates you like lose the primary or the person you will only vote for because they are a Democrat runs unopposed. Then the general election cycle starts, and you notice that the Democrats are starting to sound like Republicans. Not like Bob Dole era Republicans, but slightly to the left of Mitch McConnell Republicans. Fortunately, though, that is balanced by crazy insane people on the right who make them look liberal by comparison. My representative, David McKinley, who was what I thought passed for a reasonable Republican is now guzzling the kool-aid and proudly running campaign commercials when he touts his 50 votes against Obamacare as a reason to vote for him.
There used to be a good alternative from Republican and Republican lite called the Mountain party, and they fielded a candidate named Jesse Johnson for Governor several times who I actually voted for in 2008 when Manchin was a lock for re-election. He wasn’t perfect, but he was ok on a good range of issues. Sadly, the Mountain Party seems to be in a rebuilding phase (although they never really built anything), so you can’t even field a good protest vote.
Regardless, I like to vote early because then it gives the Democratic candidates I intend to support several fewer weeks to piss me off and become more unmotivated to pull the lever than I already am. No matter how stupid Tennant’s future ads are or how insulting they are to the intelligence of her Democratic base, I’ve already voted for her, so what’s the point in getting upset? it’s sad, but true.
I voted mainly for Democrats when I could, and I voted for two of the three ballot measures. The first was for bond for the Brooke County educational system and the second was for a levy to fund the animal shelter in Brooke County, which is woefully underfunded and just depressing. We got rid of the game warden that euthanasia was the cure to everything and there is a committed group of people working to make things better, including my friend Harry (the vet with the farm I talk about all the time), so the money will be well spent and is a worthy use of taxpayer money in my mind.
The third ballot measure was a revision to the state’s constitution that would alter the nature of tax exemption status for certain charitable organizations:
Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption Support Amendment
“To amend the State Constitution to exempt from property tax certain properties in this state owned by nonprofit youth organizations and built at cost of at least $100 million whether or not the property is used for the nonprofit youth organization’s charitable or nonprofit purpose to help raise funds for the benefit of the nonprofit youth organization. If approved, the Legislature would be required to enact laws that would protect local and regional businesses from unfair competition and unreasonable loss of revenue caused by the nonprofit organization use of the tax exemption.”
Voting “FOR” means you are in favor of the amendment and would allow the nonprofit youth organization to use the property for other purposes without losing its currently available charitable use property tax exemption. Before taking effect, the Legislature would have to pass laws that define the types of use of the property and that protect non-tax-exempt businesses from unfair competition.
Voting “AGAINST” means that you are against the amendment and would not allow for the property tax exemption if the property is used for non-charitable purposes.
The genesis of this ballot measure involves an 11,000 acre plot of land owned by the Boy Scouts that is used for various Boy Scout activities- retreats, knot tying, gay-shaming, etc. I’m just guessing- I have no idea what Boy Scouts do, but I do know that they are funded by the Catholic and Mormon churches and require an oath with a pledge to God and they have made clear they do not accept agnostics and atheists. So that, on top of their gay bashing, historical racism, and the fact that they were founded by a fascist who was a fan of Mussolini, they could be setting themselves on fire for all I care, just so long as they don’t hurt anyone outside their group or do permanent damage to the environment. The BSA just seems so outdated in a modern society- they’d be better off teaching the kids how to eat correctly and to cook, or how to balance a checkbook and to learn how to type, how to respect women, how to shop on a budget or make minor repairs to clothing, how to tie a tie, the basics of computers, how to garden, learning a foreign language, etc. Those are applicable life skills these days, not tying knots or starting a fire with a flint or making a lean to. Other than the fever dreams of Glenn Beck’s advertisers and Alex Jones, those are really no longer necessary skills for young men to have. For all I know, they do do some of those things.
The Boy Scouts want to rent/lease the land for profit for non-charitable uses, but as they are a charity, are currently not allowed to do so. Basically, they want to make money and retain their tax free status. I have a problem with that, because they have tax free status for a reason, and that reason is that they are ostensibly a non-profit charitable organization. Apparently, though, there is a new scouting badge called “Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too,” because this has left them undeterred and they have gathered the support of almost everyone in the legislature. That in and of itself sends up a red flag, because in my experience is that unless something is completely innocuous (let’s make today Coonskin Cap day or let’s issue a statement that child rape is bad), when everyone in the legislature is in favor of something, it’s most likely a really shitty idea.
The kicker, though, is that granting them this exemption not only unfairly lets the scouts double dip, but also hurts legitimate local businesses who may be able to provide the same services, but did not have the benefit of creating their business in a tax-free environment. That seems extremely unfair even though the measure states that lawmakers will have to do something about it (“Before taking effect, the Legislature would have to pass laws that define the types of use of the property and that protect non-tax-exempt businesses from unfair competition.”). As I have watched the WV legislature in action, I have no faith that this would happen, and if something did pass, I’m sure the usual corporate whores (COAL COUGH COUGH) and other monied interest will manage to get a little something, too. So basically, it’s this:
Boy Scouts: We’re a charity, but we’d like to make some money and have it not be taxed.
People with common sense: So then you wouldn’t really be a charity, then, would you. You’d be a for profit business in the business of leasing land and making money.
Boy Scouts: No, we’d still be a charity, we’d just like to make some money and not have it taxed.
People with common sense: So then you wouldn’t *REALLY* be a charity in this capacity, then.
Boy Scouts: No, we’d still be a charity.
People with common sense: Oh piss off you morons.
Even worse, in order to do that, we’d have to modify the state constitution, probably establish some way to regulate this, all while counting on the legislature to take care of the businesses who would get hosed for… being businesses that pay taxes, and then adding layers of legal code that would almost certainly include more corporate giveaways. So, for all those reason, I voted no on it.
Although in total honesty, all of this is post hoc justification for my decision to vote against it, because the moment I saw the measure and looked into it my reaction was “Oh, fuck the Boy Scouts.” So there’s that.
@Ebola Nights: What inspired you to post Nick Gilder? Did you know that he co-wrote the Scandal song “The Warrior?”
On Topic: Cole, you aren’t going to get liberal Democrats in WV for quite a while. You can push for it and move the needle a bit, but that’s about it.
Here in Georgia, Michelle Nunn (D) is leading — albeit within the MOE — in the four most recent polls.
Anecdotally, I have been poll-watching at a major advance-voting location for the past couple of weeks. Turnout has been good, I think, averaging around 1,000/day. I don’t like to make crude demographic assumptions, but I have noticed that minority voters are showing up well in excess of their numbers in the population at large. I would guess, very rough estimate, that somewhere around 40% of the voters are AA. Lots of female voters. Again, am reluctant to generalize (although I suppose that’s exactly what I am doing) but it seems to me that an inordinate number are kind of aging hippies.
All to say, I am not feeling discouraged. Starting this weekend, I’m being dispatched into the far suburbs as early voting begins at satellite locations. Will be interested to see if the trends hold up.
dance around in your bones
I hate that backwards voting stuff. A young guy came by to ‘do a survey’ and I read through his material and about two sentences in I realized it was about approving fracking in Santa Barbara.
I told him – this thing is written backwards, isn’t it? He looked kind of sheepish and I knew he was just getting paid probably 10 cents a filled out survey.
But gawd damn! I hate that shit, where YES means NO, and NO means YES and all that jazz,
I am voting as soon as I can and straight Democratic (warts and all) because the Republicans are fucking nuts.
@dance around in your bones: Generally, if you read a survey or ballot proposition and it is hard as hell to understand, it is best to vote no.
Here in Los Angeles County — population 10 million and 4000 square miles — we have one (1) early voting location, in Norwalk (aka the far southeast corner of the county) on weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Only.
Oh, but they also allow you to vote on the two weekends before the election, though you still have to drive to Norwalk.
This is why I got a one-time Vote By Mail ballot and sent it in instead.
It’s vital that we vote Democratic, because then we can look forward to more encouraging headlines like this:
Aghan Poppy Crop Hits Record High.
The article portrays America’s trillion-dollar endless unwinnable quagmire in Afghanistan as a “fight against opium” that mysteriously “failed.”
But it turns out that the so-called “fight” against afghan opium actually involved U.S. troops guarding the poppy fields.
Of course I’m sure little escapades like that CIA torture jet that crashed in Mexico in 2007 with 4 tons of cocaine on board had nothing to do with any of this…
Vote Democratic! More endless unwinnable foreign wars! More U.S. troops guarding opium fields!
I am going to do in person absentee voting tomorrow.
@mclaren: Your alternative? Who are you voting for?
I got an every time vote by mail ballot by moving to Washington.
I almost always vote no, even when it’s easy to understand and I mostly agree with the concept. I’m from the east coast so my weird belief is that we elect legislatures to do stuff. My exceptions for voting yes: gay marriage (last election), background checks for guns (this election).
And Jesus christ you moronic Washington state voters, you can’t reasonably be for both 591 and 594. 594 requires background checks for gun show sales, 591 prohibits them. Polls show both winning, because the general public are too fucking stupid to write their own laws,
My father’s father was from WV. Think I’ll pass on retiring there.
@ John C. I’m good with, “Oh, fuck the Boy Scouts” too.
dance around in your bones
Yeah, I hear you. It was just so obvious to me, and I talked to my daughter about it ( who is a busy mom with 3 little boys) and she thought I was incredibly smart for figuring out what the thing was about 2 sentences in.
A lot of people have things going on in their lives and don’t really pay attention. That’s just the facts
[email protected]mclaren: Gads, they’ve been growing poppies in AFG for centuries. They take almost no water, are very salable, and nobody seems to care about it.
The only time the poppy was eradicated was when the Taliban took control in AFG. Do we want THAT again?!! I think not.
But you are right that the good ol’ US of A has a checkered history between words and deeds regarding drugs.
@El Caganer: Snowshoe has the best skiing south of upstate NY for east coasters.
@dance around in your bones: mclaren is, at best, disingenuous. Just saying.
dance around in your bones
I know, but I just had to respond, having lived there and all.It is just not a big deal. What, should they grow corn instead? Hahahahahaha!!!!!!
@dance around in your bones:
Gotta love that reasoning. Hey, by the same logic, let’s stop prosecuting rape. After all…
And while we’re at it, let’s just stop prosecuting murder and child molestation. Gads, people have been killing each other and molesting children for centuries. (Rinse, wash, repeat.)
At some point you’d think the utter depravity of the status quo would sink in, even into the most sheltered obot’s brain — but no…
@dance around in your bones:
Corn for ethanol?
@mclaren: So answer my questions: Your alternative? Who are you voting for? Or do you want to just bitch from the sidelines?
@Omnes Omnibus: Me too. Double fingers crossed we survive the desperate final onslaught of Wackjob funded ads. Thank goodness I’ve basically given up all forms of media. I hope Bill and Barack can kick some people in the behinds and get them to the polls for Ms. Burke.
dance around in your bones
Jeebus fuck, mclaren – you are nuts! Extrapolate all you want, throw up straw men, but ignore the reality.
Yeah, that’s a good outlook.
@martha: Maybe we will bump into one another on MLK Blvd. I am planning on going around lunch time and maybe hitting the FIB stand.
ETA: I’ll wear a green sweater and sunglasses so you can recognize me.
@dance around in your bones: Yeah, like I didn’t mention it.
@Omnes Omnibus: The FIB part sounds yummy but I have to vote in a ‘burb. I feel like we Cheeseheads need to designate a meeting place to celebrate certain events. Like when Cheney’s heart finally stops. I’ll be out of town on business on election night which is probably just as well.
@martha: Okay, I’ll fall on the grenade and get a Belushi and Chelios to cover us both.
ETA: For Cheney’s passing, let’s say good Scotch at Jenna’s, or is it worth L’Etoile?
@dance around in your bones: All I ever see mclaren write is nice things about pie.
@Omnes Omnibus: Sigh. It is all about timing, isn’t it? Drat.
@BillinGlendaleCA: I don’t do the pie filter ( I have principles on free speech, blah, blah, blah….). As a result, I get to read weird shit.
@Omnes Omnibus: Jenna’s it is. Spread the word.
Not going to do much research into the BSA issue but it sounds to be like they have this piece of land they use for camping mainly and maybe they (or ever gave them the land originally) built a conference center on it. They want to rent the conference center as a for-profit entity but without paying taxes on profits. I do not agree with this. I would vote no on the measure. If they want to rent the conference center, they can find out how other not-for-profits do it and follow suit. Years ago, the Muellers Egg Noodle owners left the company to the NYU Law School, proviso that the profits would be given to school. The tax situation was complex, gave NYU headaches and eventually and NYU sold the company to have the situation made easier.
On the matter of what BSA troops do today, I think they have up-dated some of their activities. I don’t know for sure but I do know that the Girl Scouts have up-dated all their activities to introduce girls and young women to feminism and the modern world. That’s why RWNJs hate the Girl Scouts.
dance around in your bones
I have a bunch of people in my pie filter, but they have mostly disappeared.
I usually scroll past mclarens wall o’ text because – boring! But occasionally he/she makes some good points. I can’t believe that someone has all those links and info right at hand! It is clear that he/she is passionate about what he/she believes, and I respect that.
But mostly, mclaren comes off as a nutball.
pseudonymous in nc
This is an ongoing problem: the permanent campaign media class, making shitty ads to shitty templates, and the small-c conservatism of campaign teams, especially ones told by their state or county parties that their campaign funds have to go through these preferred media people even if they’d prefer to spend it elsewhere.
I’m sure, in fact, that you’ll find relatively unobjectionable Republicans in similar races saying the same things. This is how money distorts politics: it perpetuates fucking stupid things.
I also have a long rant about the biannual transfer of Shitloads Of Money to local network TV affiliates from regular people, when it could be spent on the ground game. I hate the fact that KBFK serving the Bumfuck-Boamfork-Beaumfoak media market gets to ka-ching ka-ching every time there’s an election.
@martha: I have no desire to spread that word. I’ll just go there and hope that the morons don’t find it.
pseudonymous in nc
I hate propositions. I see the kind of brain-dead shit that happens in California when you get 14 different propositions on the ballot, all written in the worst kind of legalese. The only proposition I’d support would be the one that prevents any propositions from then onwards. Legislators, legislate. If the legislation sucks and you vote for it, then you get voted out.
John, what you”re missing – and what we are missing here in North Dakota, God knows – is Howard Dean, AKA “the guy who really wanted to build the party from the grass roots up, and run a Democrat in every damn race.”
Also known as “The guy who was more responsible than anyone for the Democratic congressional wins in 2006, but who got stabbed in the back by Rahm Emmanuel, who’s own strategy (“pour millions into electing a lot of Heath Schulers, so they can screw the Democrats every chance they get”) was a miserable failure. There’s a whole damn Harvard political science study on this – how Dean’s strategy was both effective and cost effective.
Then Rahm Emmanuel took all the credit. And booted Dean, the most effective party chairman in 20 years.
Rahm Emmanuel – failing upward since 1992.
And not for nothin, but what happened to the vaunted Democratic GOTV software that was built for the 2008 presidential campaign? How come it isn’t being used in every damn state?
great article on this – “When the nerds go marching in”
My teacher thinks I would do well as a masters natural bodybuilder competitor. I look in the mirror and I see the most athletic, weightliftingest pile of goosh ever. But I did do 480 upper body reps with my highest free weight totals today. And willingly did my pushups!
It was just more interesting to me than WVW Dem party bitching.
@dance around in your bones: Everything I have read by mclaren on legal issues is half assed. He (and he has come out as a he) shows an autodidact’s knowledge, but not the basic understanding of a first year law student. I cannot speak for his knowledge on other topics, but I extrapolate. I would trust the guy’s opinions as far as I can throw him. YMMV, of course.
pseudonymous in nc
Probably a combination of “not shared” and “not shared in a way that local parties wanted” because local parties are far too wedded to hoary old platforms and methods. It’s just a clusterfuck that only gets put aside in presidential years because presidential campaigns have fucktons of money and call the tunes. And a clusterfuck on both sides, in all honesty.
@pseudonymous in nc: You are correct. It is very, very difficult for non-presidential candidates to work with state parties. For the most part they don’t really have staff that knows any better than the state people do, and even if they did, they can’t pull rank on the people who got them the nomination to begin with.
The national party doesn’t just tell the states how to do things, and for the most part that’s a good idea. It’s just a pity that both sides don’t do better with sharing tools.
@Omnes Omnibus: People are free to speak, I just don’t have to listen.
@PurpleGirl: John’s description of what the Boy Scouts do is quite a bit different from the reality I encountered when I was a Boy Scout in the early/mid 70’s. Yes, we learned to tie knots; it’s kind of useful to hold up a tent.
@BillinGlendaleCA: I feel an obligation to listen. I do not suggest that this obligation applies to others.
At the same time, i will note that I asked, what I think are reasonable questions of mclaren and he hasn’t bothered to reply. I bet that means something.
It’s virtually certain that non-profits are permitted to earn income under WV state law (you think the WVU bookstore loses money on all that Eer Gear it sells?). For Federal income tax purposes, that’s whats known as “unrelated business income,” and it is sure as shit taxable, at the same rates that for-profit corporations pay. And since the WV corporate income tax uses Federal taxable income as the starting point in the computations, non-profits that operate in WV should be paying WV tax on their UBTI.
It’s entirely possible that this so-called change in the law is just to bring the statute in line with what is already happening where the rubber meets the road. That happens sometimes.
pseudonymous in nc
I don’t have a problem with state parties having a sense of what sells in their state. I do have a problem with them in practice, because they are mostly shit, risk-averse, and inflexible.
The disconnect between candidates’ staff/volunteers and county parties and state parties and maybe the DCCC or DSCC or DNC or someone on secondment from EMILY’s List or whatever… is a clusterfuck.
Perhaps we overstate Howard Dean’s role at the DNC, but the idea of having people on the ground who actually wanted to win elections beyond ones within their own party committees? Priceless.
The NYU/Mueller’s fiasco is what led to the enactment of the rules about unrelated business income, as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1969. If you wanna talk about a set of rules that are far more complicated than they need to be …
Whatever you heard about how the new iPads are … gifted, it’s twoo, it’s twoo.
@burnspbesq: The Tax Reform Act of 1969 and the active phase of the NYU/Mueller debacle was a bit before my years at NYU. What I remember best is when NYU went to sell the company.
This is what I came to comment on. In the museum world we all have gift stores that sell crap and (we hope) make a profit. Some of us even rent out our halls for events. Any money we make that is not related to our mission statement must be reported as unrelated business income and we pay tax on it like everyone else. (There are hilarious ways to get around some of this. Next time you are in a museum gift store, look for these cheesy little tags that try to edumacate you about something. Those are tacked on by the museum to avoid UBIT issues. Also, while some museums are now making a small fortune on first release IMAX movies, they put one artifact from filming in the atrium and LOOK! IT’S EDUCATIONAL! and totally related to our mission.) In every state I have worked, we are also responsible for all applicable sales tax.
Either the BSA wants to rent their space out for a profit and not pay their UBIT (which is weaselly) or they are willing to pay their UBIT but can’t even rent it out for unrelated business under current rules, which is restrictive. If they want to rent it out, let them, but let them pay their taxes. I have no idea which this is.
On the other hand, is the constitution really the right place for this? This sounds like it should be statutory to me. If this is any indication of the type of crap in the WV constitution, their constitution must be huge.
Votebuilder is in use in every state and has been since 2008.
Oh, you’re talking about Narwhal? It was a piece of shit like nearly everything else Harper Reed’s team built. I know he was good at fluffing himself in the press but he’ll never get a job in Democratic politics again. He fucked up badly.
BSA is so varied depending not only where you are but on the interests and abilities of the local leadership. So you will get some who are interested on getting kids to Eagle, others who want to just hang out and others which are super religious, etc.
But I disagree strongly with this:
On the contrary I’d say that a lot of what is wrong today is because boys and girls are disconnected from the outside world, and have no understanding of what survival is really about. It’s not about hunkering down in your shelter, it is knowing your place, knowing what you would do if you got lost, having the correct mind-set not to panic in situations that stretch you, trusting your own strengths and learning to work together to get through things that are tough or impossible to get through individually.
Not saying the BSA provides this, but any decent wilderness school, especially one that partners with schools and the homeschool community is a genuine treasure.
I personally have taken classes with this school and the leader is top-notch, and a super nice person to boot: http://www.earth-connection.com/
He’s right – knowing the earth is part of our birthright and heritage. We miss it, even if we do not realize it – and this loss comes out in other places in our lives.
I have no idea about the legal specifics, but in England “charity shops” are ubiquitious. They are all owned by one charity or another (red cross, elderly concern, etc), are staffed by volunteers, and take donations of second hand stuff to sell for cheap. It’s basically like Goodwill in the states, except on steroids.
Anyway, according to the great wiki:
“Charity shops in the UK get mandatory 80% relief on business rates on their premises, which is funded by central government (not by local ratepayers) and is one illustration of their support for the charity sector and the role of charity shops in raising funds for charities. Charities can apply for discretionary relief on the remaining 20%, which is an occasional source of criticism from retailers which have to pay in full.”
JR in WV
The Boy Scouts have invested like $100,000,000.00+ in what they call their Adventure Center. Scouts are able to do white water on the New River National River, climb the “endless wall” that runs on the edge of the New River Gorge, and many other adventurous things.
A friend of mine runs a construction company that won the bid to install water/sewer lines for the BSA, it was several millions of $$ just to get water to the Adventure Center.
The land was once strip mined back in the 1950s, we used to wander around out there in a 4×4 and shoot guns at 30-y-o abandoned heavy equipment, so I think they got the land pretty reasonably…
I’m sorry they now want to make a profit on their investment of $100 million dollars of contributed money! I wonder if the donors planned for their contributions to create a for-profit business? I wonder who will pocket the funds raised by the for-profit business? I wonder why I, as an active and inquisitive WV political person have never heard of this amendment before now? Too complicated to explain to voters, so let’s keep it super seekreet !??
@BretH: I have two sons in Scouts right now (Cub and Boy) and I completely agree with you, modern Scouting at it’s best helps boys grow into responsible, conscious men. Scouting is highly decentralized, and we’re fortunate enough to live in the mountain suburb outliers around Denver where troop choice is diverse, and we’ve managed to completely avoid any homophobia or other right-wing tics.
@mclaren: But fewer endless, un-winnable wars than we might get from Republicans so yeah, vote for the corrupt D’s not the Corrupt R’s.
And the links in your post…. Holy crap! Bookmarked the permalink for later reading.