GoLocalProv | Political Potluck as We Near Primary Season

Sunday, April 24, 2022

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Former President Donald Trump PHOTO: White House

Right now there is so much going on in politics, as many states get ready to hold their political primaries in the coming weeks and months. It is a proverbial “potluck” buffet of issues, candidates, and choices. I’m hungry!!! Let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“Southern Border” – Illegal border crossings are up 33% from February to March 2022, and now total the highest in 22 years. This is a big GOP issue. Immigration problems helped to put Donald Trump in the White House, but no significant immigration reforms ever passed. Now President Joe Biden has the same dilemma. While he stopped Trump’s controversial border wall, Biden has also failed to pass any immigration reforms, and his party controls both chambers of Congress. Biden’s Title 42 repeal is in the offing, and even moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (R) West Virginia are opposed. Just like the chaotic departure video from Afghanistan will be used in GOP attack ads, you can bet the Southern Border video will, too.

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“’Don’t Say Gay’ Update” – The last two weeks I was on the ground in Florida writing about politics there, including controversial legislation surrounding the teaching of gender identity and sexuality in schools. Disney opposed the Republican-led bill. On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law revoking Disney’s special status as a 55-year self-governing entity. Yes, Disney didn’t just own Disneyworld. The entire property was governed by the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was in essence, “Disney County,” with its own taxing and public safety authority. Now it is gone, and there could be huge tax ramifications for the company.

“Georgia Senate Race” – One of the only things we can say with certainty in 2022, is that the State of Georgia will send a Black man to the US Senate for a full term. Sen. Ralph Warnock (R) Georgia won a special election in January 2021, but must run for a full six-year term in November. He is opposed by Republican Herschel Walker, a University of Georgia football legend and USFL and NFL star. Walker is backed by former President Donald Trump, who owned the USFL’s New Jersey Generals where Walker broke into pro ball. Millions of dollars are pouring in on both sides, with this one of the most expensive Senate races this year.

The latest poll from The Hill/Emerson College has 49 percent for Walker, 45 percent for Warnock, and six percent undecided. This is the nation’s marquee Senate race in 2022.

“Country Roads Showdown” – The other night one of the networks was handicapping hotly contested US House primaries. One of the top five races in the nation is happening right in my backyard of West Virginia. After the state’s population loss in the 2020 census, West Virginia will go from three House seats to just two. That means Rep. Alex Mooney (R) WV-District 2 is in a primary with Rep. David McKinley (R) WV–District 1. Mooney, who is endorsed by former President Trump, voted against a January 6th investigation, and against the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. McKinley, who is endorsed by Governor Jim Justice and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, voted for those two bills. The ads are already getting nasty! A poll by North Star Opinion Research has McKinley at 38 percent, Mooney at 33 percent, with 25 percent undecided. There are three other GOP candidates.

“Eric Greitens” – There is an old saying, “Tragic figures appear in public twice; first as comedy, then as farce.” The point is, sometimes public figures try to recoup from a scandal, by taking another bite at the public marketplace, only to have another scandal. Train Gov. Eric Greitens (R) Mo. is a case in point. Greitens was just into his second year as governor but resigned after an extra-marital affair became public. That woman, and Greitens ex-wife have both accused him of physical abuse. Greitens has denied his ex-wife’s allegations in court. At the same time, he is now running for US Senate from Missouri, with virtually every story reliving the past scandals. Can he win? Sure, anything is possible in politics. Donald Trump Jr., has endorsed Greitens, but former President Trump has not yet weighed in. Like Georgia, this breed is key.

“Tennessee Removes Trump-backed Candidate” — Who should elect candidates, the people, or the parties? I ask because this week the Tennessee Republican Party removed three candidates from the primary ballot, including one endorsed by former President Trump. Former State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus moved to Tennessee last year, became a legal resident, and filed to run for a US House seat. Tennessee Party rules – not state law – say any GOP candidate must have voted in three of the last four primaries, or they cannot run for office. That means you would have to be a six-year GOP resident of Tennessee to run for office. Fair? I do not like it. Democrats have a separate set of rules, so it is an even playing field. Look, people like Ortagus, (and former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) New York), are called “carpetbaggers” for running in states where they have few, if any, ties. But voters can judge the candidates on their merits and decide. I do not like the idea of ​​any political party deciding for whom I can, or cannot, vote! The oddity is the GOP needs every seat it can to take the House, like this one!

“More Ukraine Aid” – On Thursday President Joe Biden announced another $800 billion dollars in US aid to Ukraine, to help combat the invasion from Russia. That could increase to $1.2 trillion, but the president needs Congressional approval. That is likely given bipartisan support for funding Ukrainians to fight Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces. But the old saying that “politics stops at the water’s edge” will not apply anymore. That used to mean the opposing party did not publicly or vocally oppose a US president on foreign policy. Republicans will continue to attack Biden’s energy policies, and it may have some merit. President Biden has made it clear he wants to phase out fossil fuels, while his opponents say oil, natural gas, and coal are still viable and needed for US energy independence. Many in the GOP also support an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, including wind and solar. This is a top-tier issue for 2022 and 2024.

Which party do you think will win the US Senate in 2022? Which party rules this House?

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the seven Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and the entire Washington, DC media market. He is also a MINDSETTER™ contributing political writer and analyst for www.GoLocalProv.com and its affiliates.


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  • Politics: The Gift that Keeps on Giving – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – December 5, 2021
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  • The Warning Signs for an Ugly, Nasty Midterm Election –“The Sunday Political Brunch” – January 16
  • The Legacy of President Biden’s First Year in Office – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
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  • Putin on the Fritz – “The Sunday Political Brunch”—February 27, 2022
  • The Supreme Challenges that Lie Ahead for President Biden – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • Weighing the Consequences of 50-50 Politics – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – February 6, 2022
  • The Mixed Signals of Campaign 2022 – “The Sunday Political Brunch” – February 13, 2022
  • Political Advantage Cuts Both Ways This Year – “The Sunday Political Brunch”
  • Why Florida Could Be King in the Next Two Elections – The Sunday Political Brunch April 17, 2022

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