Funny that Betty should ask that yesterday, because there are actually two local races around here I am super excited about. I’m obviously voting for Kendra Fershee to be my national rep and to hopefully replace Rep. McKinley, but I am really focusing on two races at the state level, because that’s really where things need to change for anything to happen at the national level. The state parties need to be reinvigorated. The first is for my state Senator, and I am supporting William Ihlenfeld. Here’s some background on him:
Former U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of West Virginia Bill Ihlenfeld says he’s running for State Senate to give the people of the Ohio Valley a voice in Charleston.
“I don’t think that the folks in Charleston are listening to the men and women who walk the streets of Weriton, Wellsburg, Wheeling and other parts of the Northern Panhandle. When I got the call to consider running a couple of weeks ago, I knew it was something that I needed to strongly consider,” Ihlenfeld told MetroNews.
Ihlenfeld announced his campaign Monday. He plans to run for as the Democratic candidate for the 1st District State Senate seat currently occupied by Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio).***
His top priority will be to address the state’s drug epidemic. As a former prosecutor, he worked to put drug dealers behind bars and worked to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the state.
“The opioid crisis has a strangle hold on the state. I knew that from the day I walked into the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2010. We need to do more in this state to loosen the grip of addiction upon all of our communities,” he said.
Ihlenfeld said he knows the federal officials that can help West Virginia combat the drug issues. He said West Virginia needs to be applying for more federal grants. He said he wants to work with the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, the state Department of Health and Human Resources and other agencies to make sure he’s doing all they can to help the state.
If you watched the Netflix, he was in the Cartel Bank episode of Dirty Money, the documentary series, as the US Attorney involved in the case. I’m actually going to be spending some time manning the Ohio County Democratic party HQ (my county, Brooke, doesn’t have one) and doing phone banking and postcard writing for him. I’ve spoken to him several times on the phone and he’s just a good person and the kind of non-flashy just gets shit done people we need in government at every level, and I’m really hoping he wins.
Here’s a great video of him in 2013 discussing complex prosecutions:
If you would like to donate, I have set up an actblue for him HERE. In these small races, even five or ten bucks go a LONG, LONG WAY.
“I implemented policies that not only utterly failed to work but also hurt poor people and supported prices to keep organized trafficking profitable” is a pretty terrible place to start your sales pitch.
The best way the “drug warriors” could contribute to the conversation would be to apologize deeply and then STFU forever.
@Matt: He’s not a weed warrior, he’s focused on big pharm and the opiate crisis. But thanks for your help.
I fucking love the internet
You are absolutely correct. Thank you for your work at this level. We need good Dem elected officials in state offices to get things done and hopefully some of them can move up to higher offices. We need to build the bench.
Progressives fetishize the presidency to the detriment of progress. You get a lot more bang for your buck at the state and local levels. Look at the state Attorneys General for what the resistance looks like, and the state legislators passing (or undoing) gerrymandering and voter suppression. That’s where the action is.
I can never read these stories about the opioid epidemic without imagining being the loved one of POC whose lives were ruined by treating drugs as a law enforcement matter instead of a public health crisis, now that it happens to white people.
@the Conster: What do you think of Zakim? My local D organizer is down on him. Two other juicers said that they were going to vote for him.
@schrodingers_cat: He was a lot better with Eric B.
@rp: Who is Eric B? Isn’t the incumbent Bill Galvin?
@schrodingers_cat: Sorry — stupid joke. Eric B. & Rakim were 80’s rappers.
@rp: Ah! Didn’t get the joke, I don’t know much about rap.
You could organize one.
A just-released poll — taken AFTER the financial revelations/indictment, and AFTER Duncan Hunter blamed everything on his wife — has him eight points ahead. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans in CA-50 (the deep red district next to mine) say they’re going to vote for him.
I really don’t know. I think Zakim has pushed Galvin, so perhaps he can bring something new to the table.
“My party, right or wrong”: nihilistic partisanship in action.
@Hungry Joe: there is no crime worse than being a democrat (maybe a social_ist)
@the Conster: +1
Mark Herring in Virginia has been the perfect example of a dedicated public servant fighting to restore sensible norms in state and federal legislation. E.g. He tried to stop Virginia from recognizing out-of-state conceal-carry gun permits that didn’t meet Virginia standards (and was ultimately unsuccessful). He’s been out front (with many other AGs) fighting all kinds of evils from Donnie and his Minions, also too.
Every race matters, and few matter more than state Attorney General.
@the Conster: Zakim has pro-Likud and pro-settler sympathies, it seems.
The fight against 3-D printed guns, eg., is happening at the state level. Voter suppression is also at the state level. I never hear that fraud Sanders exhorting his cult to do anything about any of that.
UGH. I guess I missed that part. I’m not sure what that has to do with being Sec. State, but if there’s a statewide BDS issue, he’s not the guy.
@Hungry Joe: What about other voters? How was ‘Republicans’ defined? I don’t doubt Hunter’s district is full of brain-dead, morally challenged, fearful homunculi, but I’d be interested if there’s been any shift in folks defining themselves as Republicans.
Nor voting for a Dem. That would be a grievous sin. Yet they make deals with the devil supporting people who regularly break most of the Commandments and lose no sleep.
@the Conster: BDS?
@the Conster: @schrodingers_cat:
I am definitely voting for Josh Zakim. First, his father, Lenny, was a true giant of the civil rights community in Boston. Lenny was a lawyer who didn’t go to Harvard, but went to New England Law which is about as working class law school as one could get back then. Josh is a kind and decent young man. He has taken on perhaps one of the most powerful and entrenched people in Mass. politics — Galvin. Galvin is a decent SoS, but he has been a little too cozy with the gerrymandering plans in the Commonwealth that keep both republican and Democratic incumbents happy. Also, I swear (and I HATE to admit this), Charlie Baker probably cares more about minority voting than Galvin does. Ouch, I said it.
I also know his sister, Deena, as she was a student where I teach. She is kind and earnest — hard working and dedicated to social justice. (And a relatively new mother to boot). She insists Josh (who I only met briefly twice) is the real deal, and I trust her opinion even if it is about her sib.
J R in WV
I have already started to support Kendra Fershee financially with a monthly donation via ActBlue.
I would encourage others interested in WV politics to support Richard Ojeda, from Logan County, running for 3rd District congressional seat. He is a retired US Army Airborne Major who worked as a school teacher and has been elected in the WV legislature first as a Delegate and now as a Senator.
You may recall that Richard was brutally attacked at a labor picnic two years ago by a thug hired by his opponent, and spent some time in hospital recovering from that.
A good friend is retired as an ER doc, and has studied drug addiction and treatment in order to help his community, he successfully started a needle exchange and teaches other doctors how to treat addiction as a medical problem. Law enforcement should stick to crime and let the medical community treat medical issues rather than jamming private prisons full of profitable prisoners at a huge cost to communities.
Prohibition does not work at all for anything. We proved it doesn’t work for alcohol, and marijuana, magic mushrooms, LSD, peyote or smack are the same. In places where some or all drugs are decriminalized (like Great Britain, Portugal, Bolivia, The Netherlands, California, Colorado, etc) and available from government certified sources, addiction shrinks and is not a problem in any case because addicts pay a small cost to acquire the drugs they need.
I won’t be supporting any candidates who believe that law enforcement is the answer to addiction issues.
Devin Nunes’s Curious Trip to London
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee flew to London to gather intel on Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier alleging Trump-campaign ties with Russia. But MI5, MI6, and GCHQ didn’t seem interested.
9:10 AM ET
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
My mother and I attended a fundraiser for our excellent Governor Kate Brown yesterday evening. The Republican Governor’s Association has Oregon near the top of their target list, and are pumping the state full of negative ads, funded by unaccountable dark money. I don’t watch much TV with advertising, and am missing out on the ads, but it sounds like they’re pretty bad. I figure that’s an okay political conversation starter, though, to ask an acquaintance if they’ve seen the nasty ads, and then point out that Kate Brown must be doing something right if they’re spending all that money.
And then I’ll point out some of the positive things she’s actually done, like helping expand health care access to thousands of Oregon families and children, protecting Elliot State Forest, establishing the Cleaner Air Oregon program, and fighting for a Clean Energy Jobs bill. I think I’ll write a letter to the editor, and another closer to November, and I’ll try and have this conversation with a few people between now and November too.
@Immanentize: I should have pointed out: How often does a working class kid from New Jersey, who moved to Massachusetts to work for Dukakis and who ends up dedicating his life to civil rights work (especially the earlier version of the ADL), get a major friggin’ infrastructure project like the Zakim Bridge named after them. Lenny was really a special fellow.
@the Conster: Thanks.
Thanks for this info. I like personal testimonials.
@the Conster:FWIW, this is the article that my local D organizer sent us.
I do not think that Zakim has pro-settler sympathies. I have seem nothing in the record about that, although I would like to be informed if he is. He is certainly pro-Israel, but my colleague says he is Kibbutznik, now a Likudnik. I think this argument is being pushed by the purity ponies in the region (with a tinge of anti-semitism thrown in). Josh is well known in Boston, not so well known in western Mass.
Also, Josh went to Northeastern Law which is probably the most lefty law school in the country (UDC Clark School of Law in D.C. and U.C. Irvine Law School also can claim some of that lefty title). That is where I went and I refer to it as the Montessori law school — no grades (when I went), no law journals or other indicia of competitive strife, and an extensive mandatory co-op system (4 co-op quarter requirement for graduation). Certainly, some real a-holes have come out of that law school, but their percentage of a-hole production is significantly less than other law schools in the US.
@Another Scott: I ❤️ Mark Herring. Fabulous Attorney General. I guess he’d like to be governor next? Or stay at AG. He is effective.
He came to the launch of Beth Macy’s Dopesick (book on the opioid crisis) in Richmond.
@Immanentize: I have no opinion about Zakim that’s why I posed the question to the BJ hive mind. Thanks for your input.
@schrodingers_cat: That is exactly the article and type of swipe I am talking about. It equates support of Israel as supporting all of its policies without any link to Zakim’s actual position other than he traveled to Israel on a junket. And he still supports the ADL where his father was the Boston Director for decades (before Abe Foxman’s now-ended tenure).* Please consider that critique carefully — it seems to be guilt by ten degrees of separation rather than any actual thing Zakim has said or done, ever.
*Abe Foxman spoke at my school’s graduation one year and I and a host of other faculty members of the stage wore Palestinian flag lapel pins in protest. As horrible is his pro-Israel, right or wrong stance has been, Foxman gave an amazingly moving accounting of his concentration camp imprisonment as a young boy, losing all his family in the ovens. The guy is a bit insane with grief and survivor’s guilt.
Thanks for this too. I take issue with Americans aligning themselves with other countries, whether it’s Russia or Israel.
@Immanentize: That article did not convince me but left me with questions hence my query.
@Immanentize: Thanks for this. I, too, am another Masshole (of the North Shore persuasion) curious about the Sept 4 election. There seem to be quite a few of us.
What does a state secretary of state have to do with Israel policy anyway? Voting rights is related to the job description.
@Matt McIrvin: Calls into question his progressive bona-fides according my local D organizer person.
Cheryl from Maryland
I’m echoing the importance of state and local elections. Like Mark Herring, Brian Frosh in Maryland has picked up the load regarding Trumpism and progressive policies.
I know this is not an open thread, but I’m going to bitch anyway: Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back. IT’S NOT EVEN FUCKING SEPTEMBER, PEOPLE!
/hates the pumpkin spice trend with all of their black, shriveled soul
@Luthe: Happy Holidays!
@eric: Nice try, but you forget Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are approaching. Plus the equinox counts as a holiday in some religious traditions. So technically you are correct. :P
@Luthe: Kroger has halloween candies and decorations out as of this morning
Gin & Tonic
@Luthe: It probably means pumpkin beer in the appropriate establishments, too.
/my soul is apparently as shriveled, or more so, when it comes to beer.
@Haroldo: I assume that “Republicans” in the poll are people who are registered Republican. As for any “shift in those defining themselves as Republicans,” well, the poll didn’t address that. But it still had Hunter up eight percent overall. Also: 64% of Republicans in the district believe that the charges against Hunter are politically motivated.
@Luthe: Ganesh Chaturthi in September, Navratri and Dussra and then Diwali, in late fall.
Harold M Persing
@Hungry Joe: Oh, yeah. The troglodytes will keep on ’til things totally crumble, if then. It’s our job to insure that their world crumbles. That is necessary, then we find out if it’s sufficient. Thanks for the reportage.
Harold M Persing
And it wasn’t half-bad! (It was very good for MSM, but Rudd conveniently left out some of his shenanigans in that regard.)
P.S. As a partial Aussie I’m very happy to see folks here bring up Oz.
I have family that just posted on FB “Will there be a 2nd civil war in America between Americans and Democrats”.
@J R in WV: I went to his website. Top story is the candidate gushing about how Trump’s trashing Obama-era regulations will “help WV families.”
Sorry. Fuck him.
J R in WV
Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve written him a little note withdrawing my support, not that I’m a big wheel, and will be visiting Act Blue to kill off the monthly contributions. I pointed out that nothing politicians do will put more coal into the mined out hills, and what Trump is doing will harm his constituents regardless of the lack of real job creation. Added that a Bad Democrat was no better than a Republican.
Sad! I wished him and his family well, but said I couldn’t wish him good luck in his campaign.
Well, long late to a doubtless dead thread, but I am going to be talking to Jared Polis, Democratic candidate for CO governor, this Friday at a campaign event. Guess I’m getting a few minutes of face time with our (hopefully!) next governor. I’ll be badgering you all for interview questions, I’m sure!