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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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FEBRUARY 28,  2023

MY KIND OF TOWN...AGAIN:  Lori Lightfoot has been voted out of the Chicago mayor's office.  The main issue that brought her down was the city's ghastly crime problem.  From Fox: 

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has lost her bid for re-election as the race heads to runoff without her after no candidate reached the required 50% vote threshold to be elected.

Lightfoot faced challenges from eight other candidates in the race, including Chicago Public Schools CEO and city budget director Paul Vallas, who held a significant double-digit lead in the polls ahead of Election Day.

Leading up to the election, Lightfoot also narrowly trailed Brandon Johnson, a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, by two points, and was in a dead heat with Democratic Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia who represents Illinois's 4th Congressional District. 

Vallas received enough votes to head to the runoff and will face Brandon Johnson on April 4.

Lightfoot conceded her bid Tuesday stating: "I will be rooting and praying for the next mayor of Chicago."

Crime was seen as the central theme of the race and the city's soaring crime rate served as the backdrop to Lightfoot's dismal approval rating, according to one poll. 

She also faced sharp criticism for her less than cordial relationship with law enforcement throughout her tenure, which saw a drastic reduction in police officer headcount to coincide with the rise in crime.

Homicides in Chicago rose to their highest number in 25 years in 2021, according to police department records, outpacing New York City and Los Angeles.

Lightfoot frequently touted Chicago as a "safe" city and defended her record handling the issue, including touting a "multitiered strategy" to curb gang and gun crimes last August.

Vallas portrayed himself as the law and order candidate, and received support from Chicago's police unions. He was also a sharp critic of Lightfoot's handling of crime.

COMMENT:  Those of us who've lived in Chicago know what a beautiful city it can be.  The new mayor will inherit an urban train wreck, choked by homicide and by an endless obsession with racial politics.  Fiorello LaGuardia, the great mayor of the once-great city of New York, said that there's no Democratic or Republican way to pick up the garbage.  There should be no Democratic or Republican way to fight crime.  There should only be a right way.  And Chicago had better find it fast, or fade away.

February 28, 2023       Permalink     

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 26-27,  2023

TAKING ON THE BIG GUYS:  Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis wants to be the toughest fighter in the ring, and he takes action to prove he can be just that.  Now he's confronting the monster, the most feared, the creature sent by the Devil himself...Mickey Mouse, and his gang of sinister friends, including the degenerate Snow White and her vicious little people.  You just watch Governor Ron at work.  From Fox: 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill into law that ends Disney’s self-governing power and puts the media giant under the control of a state board.

"Since the 1960s, they’ve enjoyed privileges unlike any company or individual in the state of Florida has ever enjoyed," DeSantis said at a news conference held at a firehouse minutes away from Disney World. "They had exemptions from laws that everyone else had to follow. They were able to get huge amounts of benefits without paying their fair share of taxes."

Before signing the legislation, DeSantis told attendees to check their watches so they know "what time the corporate kingdom came to an end."

"How do you give one theme park its own government and then treat all of the other theme parks differently?" he asked. "So we believe that that was not good policy. We believe that being joined at the hip with this one California-based company was not something that was justifiable or sustainable."

He added that Disney will be treated like SeaWorld and other theme parks in the state.

The bill, HB9, renames the Randy Creek Improvement district, where Disney World is housed, to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that may only have term-limited members who are not recent employees or have been contracted by Disney in the past three years.

"My signature will also end Disney’s exemption from Florida building code and Florida fire prevention code. It will end Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and approval," DeSantis said of the bill.

DeSantis announced the five names of the new board members that will have their first meeting next week. He added that one of the first items on the agenda for them will be reviewing the compensation for the first responders in the area.

"We have people that want to see Disney be what Walt envisioned," DeSantis said.

Following the signing, DeSantis was presented with an ax from the firefighters at the station hosting the conference.

COMMENT:  Sounds reasonable to me.  It benefits Florida and enhances the image of the governor as a man who gets things done.   I get the sense that the left-wing press is starting to panic. I mean, a man who beats Mickey Mouse can beat Joe Biden. 

February 27, 2023       Permalink

 

MOST ENTERTAINING LATEST POLLS:  We've cautioned often that polls are just snapshots in time, and, a year and a half before a presidential election, they're really more entertainment than news.  But they are such fun.  So, herewith, my choice for the most fun poll in the last few weeks.  Good stuff to chew on.  From Issues and Insights: 

If you’re wondering who Republican voters want to see square off in next year’s presidential primaries, it’s probably no big secret. As the latest polling data from I&I/TIPP show, a solid majority of registered GOP voters and independents who lean Republican, or Republican primary voters, say they want to see former President Donald Trump and current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis duke it out on the primary trail.

In the latest poll, taken of 1,155 registered voters from Feb. 1-3, 397 were identified as GOP primary voters. They were asked to respond to the following statement: “I would like to see a primary contest between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.” They were given a choice to “agree strongly,” “agree somewhat,” “disagree somewhat,” “disagree strongly,” and “not sure.”

The margin of error for the sub-sample is +/-5 percentage points.

The answer that came back: an emphatic “yes.” By 61% to 23%, voters said they’d like to see DeSantis and Trump joust in the campaign, with 26% saying they agree “strongly” while 35% saying they agree “somewhat” strongly.

Republicans were slightly more keen than independents (56%) to see the two heavyweights face off, which perhaps is not so surprising. Both have made big headlines in recent months that have fired up their followers.

Some intriguing differences emerged among a few demographic groups.
For instance, men overwhelmingly (70%) wanted to see a Trump-DeSantis battle, as compared to just 55% of women.

Meanwhile, minority voters and white voters showed a big gap: Just 59% of white voters want to see the Trump-DeSantis battle, versus an overwhelming 94% of black voters and 72% of Hispanic voters.

Equally interesting, among those who self-describe as “conservative,” only 60% said they wanted to see that battle of the GOP titans, compared to 61% of moderates and 77% of liberals.

Why the big differences? Years of polling and unrelentingly negative media coverage show there is not much love for Trump in either the official Democratic Party, the “Never-Trump” circles of the Republican Party or the media.

Even so, his support has been strong at the grassroots level, and his hands-on, Everyman approach to campaigning has clearly struck a chord with minority voters, including some Democrats.

That is the most important thing to come out of this poll.

TIPP’s own polling on how the 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls are doing shows how the race currently stacks up.

We asked GOP primary voters, “If the Republican presidential primary were held today, whom would you support for the nomination?”

At this very early stage in the game, one candidate has established a clear lead: Trump.

Half of respondents said they would support Trump, compared to 27% who would support DeSantis.

No other major candidate — not Nikki Haley (1%), not former Vice President Mike Pence (7%), not former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2%), not former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (0%) — even broke into double digits. Just 2% answered “someone else,” while 9% said “not sure.”

COMMENT:  There's more to the poll.  Read on.  I'm fascinated by the comments about minority voters, and also fascinated by the continuing loyalty of the Trump voters.  

At the same time, it is clear that DeSantis has done a masterful job of making himself into a national figure in a very short period of time.  Name recognition is critical in politics, and he has it because he's earned it.   He's earned many things.  Good things.  Watch him.

February 26, 2023       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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