- “Isolation has not worked”: Obama says U.S. ending outdated approach to Cuba
- BREAKING: US To Normalize Relations With Cuba
- Jesse Ventura on immigration: Open the borders, lift the Cuban embargo
Better late than never, we suppose.
|"Bestest Senate Buddies"|
Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are facing a backlash of their own from Republican colleagues after scuttling a deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow lawmakers to leave town over the weekend and vote on the bill Monday.Read the full story,Utah lumpencitizens:
The agreement between the leaders required the unanimous consent of members, but an unsuccessful attempt by Lee and Cruz on Friday to force a vote on a measure to defund President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration upended their plan.
The result was an extraordinary gift to Democrats, handed to them by unwitting allies: two conservative Republicans who plainly didn’t know what they were doing:
Giddy Democrats could hardly believe their good fortune. Meanwhile, the other Senate Republicans – who didn’t know what Cruz and Lee were up to, and weren’t in a position to tell them what a mistake they were making – were livid. Many of them were eager to tell reporters – out loud and on the record – how badly their right-wing colleagues had screwed up. Indeed, Senate Dems posted an online collection of quotes from Republican senators bashing the Cruz/Lee gambit – and the list of quotes isn’t short. Asked for her reaction, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) added, “I think this is ridiculous."MSNCC reporter Steve Benen neatly sums it all up, now that the smoke has cleared from Saturday's surprisingly productive Senate session:
"What Democrat got thanks to Cruz and Lee: the opportunity to advance dozens of Obama nominees, some of whom might have otherwise failed.
What Republicans got: nothing."
It didn’t have to be this way. If Cruz and Lee spent a little more time learning how the Senate works, if they’d bothered to check in with their own leaders about the chamber’s procedural rules, if they’d thought about the consequences of their actions, this would have gone much differently.And yet some folks are still asking why consciencious Utah citizens (including prominent "mainstream" Republicans) strongly support recent changes to Utah's political nomination system, changes which are squarely aimed at dumping "self-centered" and "posturing" Utah politicians. such as "erstwhile" Senator Lee.
Democrats, however, are awfully appreciative of their ignorance.
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The first crop of candidates to go through Utah’s new nominating process in 2016, if it holds up in court, will include Gov. Gary Herbert, the four Utah House members and — perhaps most notably — Sen. Mike Lee.
Herbert, according to a new poll, won’t have any problems. He’s got a 74-percent favorability rating.
Lee, though, does appear more vulnerable.
A slight majority — 52 percent — view him favorably, while 45 percent have an unfavorable impression, according to the poll released this week by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University. Nearly one-third of those have a strongly unfavorable perception.
In fact, Lee’s overall approval rating of 52 percent is a substantial improvement from a year ago when, on the heels of waging an intense budget battle that led to the federal government shutdown, Lee’s favorability was at just 40 percent and 56 percent had an unfavorable impression, with 43 percent strongly unfavorable.Check out the full Robert Gehrke story here:
"To me, they just have an end game for a particular election cycle," [Utah GOP Chairman James} Evans said, although he wouldn’t name Lee specifically. "Everyone needs to ask the question: What else is going on here?"So whaddaya think, folks? Does U.S. Senator Lee still have a giant "kick me sign" affixed to his back, despite our Utah electorate's obvious short-term memory deficit?
Others are more direct.
State Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, who is committed to undoing the nominating changes in SB54, thinks the changes are squarely focused on ousting Lee. If SB54 survives, he said, he expects former Gov. Mike Leavitt, one of the founders of Count My Vote, to challenge Lee in a Republican primary.
In order to qualify to have their nominee from the caucus/convention system appear as their designated candidate on the general election ballot, however, they must agree to certain rules set down by the law. They must change their threshold for a candidate winning the nomination at convention from 60 percent to 65 percent of the delegate vote. They also must have alternate delegates who can sub for delegates unable to attend the convention. And, they must allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary elections.Mr. Rolley also identifies the statutory provisions most likely to be left intact:
Legal experts tell me that the courts have been consistent in upholding a state’s right to set the criteria for candidates getting on the ballot. More than 40 states already have some form of a direct primary. But political parties do have rights to set their own policies and rules. So if there is a chance of anything being overturned, it would be the rules imposed on the parties under SB54.Taking the foregoing into account, we're inclined to believe that in negotiating the SB54 compromise bill with the State Legislature, Count My Vote petition advocates capably "did their homework."
If that is struck down, however, the Count My Vote part of the bill — the signature-gathering process for direct access to the primary ballot — would still be intact because when the Legislature passed the bill, it included a severability clause. That means that if one part of the bill is declared invalid, it does not invalidate the rest of the bill.