Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, June 14, 2004

A Nation Divided? Who Says?
Some scholars say the notion of a polarized nation is largely a myth created by people inside the Beltway shouting at each other....

Why, if the public is tolerant, would the political elites be so angry? One reason given by Professor Fiorina is the decline of party bosses, who promoted centrist candidates because their patronage systems depended on winning elections, and the corresponding rise of special-interest groups, who are more concerned with candidates' ideology.

Losing an election doesn't put pro-life or gun-control advocates out of work - in fact, it can help raise money for the cause. Nor does it hurt broadcast ratings or book sales for polarizing media figures like Sean Hannity and Al Franken, who need battles to keep their audiences entertained.

Another reason is gerrymandering, which has created so many safe seats that the only threat to incumbents comes from within the party, forcing them to appeal to the partisan voters who dominate primaries.

POOR BURT COHEN. Literally. The reason for the surprise, last-minute withdrawal of State Senator Burt Cohen (D-NH)Burt Cohen from the race against US Senator Judd Gregg (R) was explained over the weekend. While Cohen was unlikely to win -- or possibly even come close -- he was a credible candidate who had raised around $700,000 to date and would have given NH voters a thoughtful ideological choice. From various published reports in the state, it appears that Cohen's campaign manager Jesse Burchfield has skipped town and -- with him -- nearly all the money that remained in Cohen's campaign account is also allegedly missing. The amount: reported to be around $200,000. There were some vague red flags: the FEC recently warned the Cohen campaign that the numbers in at least two of their financial reports were not adding up correctly, and that the formulas used to make the calculations appeared unusual. The campaign Friday brought in an accountant and attorney to go over all the financial records. Sources also indicate the campaign has taken steps to trigger a formal criminal investigation of the matter. FYI: Other victims of similar embezzlements in recent years include US Senator Joe Biden ($400,000 stolen), US Senator Elizabeth Dole ($174,000 stolen), Congressman John Boehner ($617,000 stolen), Congresswoman Anne Northup ($40,000 stolen), Congressman Doc Hastings ($28,000 stolen), and Congressman Ernest Istook ($32,000 stolen).

Also at Politics1, see A DIFFERENT WAY TO HANDLE THE MEDIA -- discussing a political candidate who is also First Rabbi of the Libertarian Church.
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