I Voted!



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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90 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Oh, and for the record, when I voted, there was *NO* line whatsoever. The person I thought was standing in front of me was merely a chatty election official. I was in and out of there before 5 minutes had passed.Report

  2. Avatar Cascadian says:

    @jaybird Keep us up to date. I read a bit on this yesterday. For some reason I thought you were further East like Minnesota or something. Have you moved?Report

  3. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I have not heard this.

    All of my attention has been on the NYC Mayor Primary for the Democratic ticket. I am no longer a New Yorker but maintain an interest in city politics. I’m hopeful that De Blasio can win 41 percent and avoid a run-off.

    But I hope all turns out well for you in Colorado.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NewDealer says:

      At this point, the complaints all seem to be from the anti-recall people talking about how much out-of-state money is influencing this election.

      So we’ve got that going for us.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird says:

        Never mind. I just read the article. I’m anti-recall. Next time I will click on links provided.Report

      • Avatar Pyre in reply to Jaybird says:

        Oddly, the recall people are also accusing Morse of accepting out-of-state money in exchange for anti-gun votes.

        As for me, I haven’t voted.

        I’m not going to either.

        I find the whole thing to be silly and somewhat at odds with what should constitute the conditions for which a recall is necessary but I’m not really inspired enough to vote for or against Morse. At this point, it looks like the Republicans got this one anyway.

        I imagine that the lesson that we can take from this is:

        If your state votes to legalize Marijuana, don’t be a Democrat who tries to override and/or suspend that amendment. You may need the support of those voters later on.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to NewDealer says:

      I heard the guy who can’t tell pittsburgh from nyc is still running?
      You guys get real freaks running for NYC mayor.
      For pittsburgh, that’s nearly expected — it’s a small time city.
      But for the mayor of NYC? Loony…Report

  4. Avatar Cascadian says:

    This is tangentially connected to a secession movement isn’t it?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Cascadian says:

      Not to my knowledge… Morse has made some particularly unrepresentative decisions as state senator and this is the conservative base throwing a tantrum/making their voice heard (depending on who you ask).

      Ironically, Morse is term limited and can’t run for another term… so this is one hell of a signal. Or one hell of a popcorn fart, depending.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

        So if he does get recalled, who becomes Colorado’s senator for the next year? Or do you just not get one until the next election?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Some Republican dude who is, if the flyers are to be believed, in the pocket of big business. (This outcome is the go-to argument of about 90% of the direct mail we’ve received opposed to the recall.)Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Jaybird says:

        Popcorn fart. Recalls really should be used only for real malfeasance. Otherwise they’re just another tool for “citizens” who aren’t grown up enough to realize you can’t always get your way, a lesson most of us learn in kindergarten when that other kid gets the toy we want.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, if they succeed in ousting the guy, they’re demonstrating that they sometimes can get their way anyway.


      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Jaybird says:

        Sure, by stamping their feet and not playing by the normal rules.

        We had an attempt at a recall here in Michigan a few years back, based on the duly elected Republican majority supporting legitimate Democratic voters didn’t like. I didn’t support that, either. Then we got our Republican Speaker of the House recruiting a false Democratic candidate to secure a sure win for a Republicans…but no recall effort. This is no way to run a democracy.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Eh, if the normal rules allow for a recall…

        If it fails, it fails. If it passes, I figure it will encourage the others.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Jaybird says:

        Madison: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

        Some emphasis on stability is needed. Using rules devised for extraordinary occasions as part of the normal process is unwise. Perpetual electioneering (like perpwtual war) is wearying to the public and promotes inattention and capture of the democratic process by well-organized minority factions. The event of the moment may seem fine; but we need to look beyond that.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird says:


        That sadly sounds like most of American voting. I sometimes wonder whether most Americans learned the you can’t always get what you want lesson.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Jaybird says:

        It’s not a popcorn fart. He lied about how he intended to vote on a major piece of legistlation. It doesn’t matter if he’s term limited. By recalling his ass the point is made clearly: you work for us.

        All politicians deserve a major smackdown or recall when caught red handed lying, or anything else unsavory.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’m one of those who thinks that politicians pretty much ought to constantly be looking over their shoulder when it comes to the people who voted for them.

        A politician who decides to not represent his or her constituents, for whatever reason, should have to look forward to explaining why he or she hasn’t done so and, if the behavior is egregious enough, they should look forward to being kicked out on their butt.

        Consent of the governed is the cornerstone of what makes government legit. If “the people” no longer consent… then what? “Wait”?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Recalls are more like primaries than like normal elections — they attract a disproportionate number of extreme and single-issue voters. It’s unsurprising they’ve become a tactic of the gerrymandering, vote-suppressing, filibustering, legislating from the bench while calling it originalism party.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’d rather they do that than ban voting.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’m one of those who thinks that politicians pretty much ought to constantly be looking over their shoulder when it comes to the people who voted for them.

        Eh…I don’t know about that. The median voter favors a lot of really fishing stupid policies. I suspect that the marginal returns on responsiveness to constituents in terms of good policy hit negative territory fairly quickly.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Hey, I think that the party of goodness, light, and propriety should use them more too.

        If a politician from the evil, racist, bad party steps over the line (when *DON’T* they?), recall his (inevitably a male!) ass.

        Seriously: we’d be better off.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:


        It’s also better than poisoning the water supply in minority neighborhoods.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Jaybird says:

        In support of Brandon’s point, I’d note that effective delegation requires some degree of being hands-off. Having regular elections on a sufficient frequent basis is enough to keep them looking over their shoulders. If we insist on daily control* then we might as well run a plebiscitary system. Either way, the affect will be to so drain the electorate’s attention reserves that we’ll once again end up with a small–not necessarily mainstream–subset of the electorate, but without the current capacity of stirring up the mass of the electorate on a regular, sufficiently frequent, basis.

        We delegate for a reason, whether in politics, business or home life. We lack time and attention so we ask others to do a task for us. Review them regularly, by all means, but don’t try to track their every move. You’ll just end up focusing on relatively unimportant details, as opposed to observing whether the general goal was satisfactorily accomplished.
        * I know, that’s not exactly what Jaybird said; I’m taking rhetorical liberties for my own purposes.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

        and just where exactly is that happening?
        All the recorded poisonings of water supplies I’ve been keeping
        track of lately have been primarily rural white folks (TN, PA, WV, etc).Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        I know you acknowledged this but I do think that we need room between “daily control” and “wait two years for the primary”.

        If a politician does something particularly egregious, then there ought to be a way to remove them.

        Now we can argue over whether the shenanigans pulled by these particular politicians qualify as “particularly egregious” but I think that the hill to get a recall rolling is high enough that if there is X amount of support then we’ve got sufficient reason to move forward.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Jaybird says:


        I’m not fundamentally in disagreement with you, the way you phrased that. Indeed it comes down to the definition of egregious. For me egregious requires real dereliction of duty (not showing up for the job, not showing up and voting “the wrong way” or changing their mind and voting differently than how they’d originally said they would) or actual crimes or serious ethical violations (the speaker of the house in Michigan effectively rigged an election by running a fake candidate–it turns out it wasn’t illegal, but I don’t think there’s much doubt it was seriously unethical).

        I think without a relatively firm distinction like that, there is no reasonably consistent standard other than “I didn’t like how he voted,” which puts you back into the day to day plebiscitary type of oversight.

        That is, you need to have some standard that has some reasonably objective basis, or you have no real standard at all.

        That’s my two cents anyway. YMMV, and reasonable people can reasonably disagree.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

        Recalls are more like primaries than like normal elections — they attract a disproportionate number of extreme and single-issue voters. It’s unsurprising they’ve become a tactic of the gerrymandering, vote-suppressing, filibustering, legislating from the bench while calling it originalism party.

        Ya. Those Wisconsin Democrats are real bastards, aren’t they?

        (For the record, I am generally opposed to recalls and would – pretty much – vote against any attempted recall in protest. I can think of exceptions, but I haven’t really seen any of the exceptions in action.)Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’d agree with those resisting recalls on principle if it seemed like they were frequently being abused just to reverse commonplace losses in the system when it’s working as it should. Which I guess means I don’t agree on principle per se – which I don’t. I guess I think if the enthusiasm is really there, there should be a mechanism, since one way or another something has allowed there to be a misunderstanding during the span of less than one term of office about what it was expected the official in question was going to do with his power. A person gets in office & does what he said he’d do: what is it that triggers a recall in that case? Again, if this were just happening all over the place willy-nilly, then I’d be in favor of greatly raising the requirements for what has to happen numbers-wise to trigger a recall. It just doesn’t seem like that’s happening to me, though. At the frequency with which these are happening, it just doesn’t seem like a bad thing if an electorate occasionally changes its mind about someone. One way or another, if it happens, so long as the requirements are high enough, that means there was a significant miscommunication about values somewhere along the way – and that’s what elections are supposed to reveal in the first place: who will take with them to office the set of values that more people want taken to office.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:


        It was intended as a reductio.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

        I stand by it. I think office-holders should have some room to maneuver here. Especially on the executive branch, where they should be able to (absent malfeasance) know that they have a certain number of years to try to enact their agenda. Institute a “four year plan” that they can see through.

        A lot of this, I guess, does back to my belief that there should be some distance between officeholders and popular impulse. Which is a view that I understand not everyone shares.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Jaybird says:

        there should be some distance between officeholders and popular impulse. Which is a view that I understand not everyone shares.

        This, at least partly, reflects the divergence between the delegate and trustee models of representation. The delegate model says represent me as I would represent myself. The trustee model says within some relatively broad bounds we’ll trust you to use your own judgement.

        Both are legitimate, but for my part I support the trustee model, and am in agreement with Will. The public can be wildly mad for something one moment (balanced budget amendment, federal flag burning amendment, etc.) and forget about it the next. Letting momentary passions dominate is hardly wise, in my view. How long was it until these two representatives were re-elected, a couple years? If you’re seriously mad about a serious issue, you’ll still be mad in two years. (Also, the need for instant gratification is essentially a juvenile emotion.)Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

        James and Will,
        I would support a 2-year break between elections and recalls. And between one recall and the next.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

        I think office-holders should have some room to maneuver here. Especially on the executive branch, where they should be able to (absent malfeasance) know that they have a certain number of years to try to enact their agenda. Institute a “four year plan” that they can see through.

        I mean, they generally do. Like, 99% of the time. If you want to institute a four year plan, you should tell your constituents in enough detail what it’s going to be during the election campaign so that there aren’t major surprises when you go to implement it. If that happens, and you get elected and then you try to institute it, you shouldn’t get recalled. If people are frequently getting recalled under that circumstance, then we should dial back recalls – the good thing is that recall statutes can be adjusted to present the right level of challenge to success. But the fact that we can identify recalls we don’t agree with doesn’t show we should have recalls only in the case of grave malfeasance. It just shows we know what constitutes an insufficient reason for a recall (i.e. the pursuit of an agenda that was clearly laid out during the campaign). Again, where that’s the reason for the recall, that’s an insufficient reason, but agreement on that point is all that agreement really dictates.

        What about major surprise moves that were not announced during the campaign? That kind of situation doesn’t conform to the “the winner gets to try to implement his agenda” maxim – the public surely gets to hear what the agenda is going to be before being subject to that kind of limitation. And malfeasance-only view of recalls leaves the public vulnerable to politicians who will simply hide their true agenda and then expect to be immune from consequences for a full term: hiding your agenda doesn’t amount to malfeasance in office, it’s just a breach in trust that the public ought to have the ability to respond to. And, it’s not like this eliminates room for maneuver – it just means you’re limited in making surprise moves against moves that won;t outrage the public so much as to create a wave of opposition enough to over come (what should be high) numerical standards to satisfy a recall statute. The public deserves a mechanism by which to correct mistakes. If that’s a juvenile impulse, fine, it’s completely irrelevant that it is. Four years isn’t nothing – a lot of damage can be done in that time.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:


        I would actually support a limit on recalls that limited them only to the first half of a term. Thereafter, conditions since the election may well have shifted enough to justify major departures from the agenda laid out n the campaign, and if there has been dissatisfaction with unanticipated policies in the first half of the term, clearly it wasn’t so great that you were moved to act on it. This prevents a series of commonplace grievances to pile up over the course of the term and lead to a recall that just moves the election up a matter of a few months. The impeachment process is there to handle major malfeasance in the second half of a term (or after some other point that could be decided on).

        If you’re more than halfway there, you can make it, absent truly outrageous dereliction, which if it occurs in the second half of a term, is unlikely to trigger a recall that actually removes an official all that significantly much before they’d have faced the public again anyway. But if you’re just a month into the term and the guy does something he didn’t tell you he was going to do that’s a very major deal to you and would have changed your vote, in my view clearly there should be a mechanism to correct that mistake without having to just wait for four years. If enough people don’t agree with you that it’s a surprise and an unacceptable policy, then the politician won’t be recalled.Report

  5. Avatar dexter says:

    Isn’t a” republican who is in the pocket of big business” a redundancy?
    Some of the things I would do if I had a magic wand would be to pass a law that states that a politician could only spend two dollars for every voter in the state, that all the money for said election would have to come from instate and that anybody who said they were running for a particular office more than thirty days before the election would have to roller skate down the Grand Canyon backwards after drinking a quart of moonshine and then swim the rest of the way to whatever dam that stops the Colorado.
    Question: A long time ago, if memory serves, you said that the company you work for fires anybody that gets a medical mj card. I was wondering what their policy is now that the stuff is legal.Report

    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to dexter says:

      That’s a brilliant incumbent protection plan you’ve conceived there.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Other western democracies seem to have plenty of turnover without people running for office for years ahead of time. I don’t think dexter’s plan is great, but with a few changes, it’s not completely crazy,Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:


        That’s not really true. They just don’t run so publicly. They’re still running, rounding up support among influential party people, we just don’t see it. And the reason it doesn’t happen so publicly is two-fold. First, in some countries folks vote for the party, not the person, so running publicly is pointless–you, as an individual candidate, will not get votes from the public. Second, in countries where the person is voted on, elections are not on a predictable time schedule. If parliamentary elections could be called anytime between next month and 4 years from now, when do I start running? But if we know precisely when the election will be–and in the U.S. you could figure out the precise election dates for the next millennium–then you know when to start running, and while there’s such a thing as running too early to be an effective candidate, within the effective window of time, earlier is politically more strategic than later. Change those countries’ system to ours, and you’d see the same behavior, because it’s a dominating strategy.

        Another point you seem to miss in my “incumbent protection” comment is that incumbents have at several built-in advantages that challengers often (though not always) lack: name-recognition, a well-developed fund-raising program, and a successful campaign organization. How is a challenger going to compete with that? They generally need more money than the incumbent to have an even shot at winning, and they need to start early so they can build name recognition.

        I understand the frustrations folks have with our campaign structure, but almost nobody proposing ideas stops to think about whether their ideas would have disparate effects on incumbents vs. challengers. Which, to repeat myself for the ntynth time, invokes Hanley’s Second Rule of Policymaking: Don’t focus on the goals you hope to achieve; focus on the incentives you’re actually creating.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        P.S., Here’s the abstract from “The Dynamics of Campaign Fundraising in House Elections,” Jonathan S. Krasno, Donald Philip Green and Jonathan A. CowdenSource: The Journal of Politics, Vol. 56, No. 2 (May, 1994), pp. 459-474

        Examination of disaggregated Federal Election Commission fundraising data for 1985-1986 House candidates illustrates the tremendous financial advantage incumbents enjoy over challengers. Incumbents raise more money than challengers in every single period of the election cycle, particularly in the decisive time just before the election. Incumbents are also able to react quickly to well-financed opposition. Challengers, on the other hand, must raise money early to experience fundraising success later on, and they are unable to respond to incumbent fundraising by raising more money themselves. Our intraelection analysis, in sum, confirms many of the inferences other researchers have drawn from cross-sectional data


    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to dexter says:

      I haven’t asked.

      It’s also weird. I haven’t ever been tested here. Like, not once. Nor has anyone I’ve ever broached the subject with.

      When I applied to Blockbuster, they gave me a goddamn hair test.

      Now that I work for real companies with real assets? Nada. I can’t figure it out.

      (Of course, I recently signed up for some life insurance and had to pee in a cup for them… but not for my job.)Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

        it’s simple. all their assets are flying away anyhow.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

        I would guess that the issue is that historically drug use hasn’t been much a problem for IT employers. Which is not to say that IT workers don’t use drugs, but rather that they very rarely do so in a way that impairs their ability to get the job done. If you graduated from college or have significant work experience, and you can get through the technical interview, you’re at worst a high-functioning recreational drug user.

        If you’re applying to work at a video store, though, who knows? You’re either a new entrants into the labor force or someone who has consistently failed to find and/or keep a better job.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

        All due respect, but IT firms would do better to screen for untreated mental illness.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to dexter says:

      *cracks open a can of Coors*
      … sorry, you were saying?Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    And with 3% reporting, it’s 60% against, 40% for.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    83% reporting, 52.5% for to 47.5% against. Looks like the recall for John Morse was successful given that the remaining votes will have to be overwhelmingly against the recall for Morse to turn it around. Even 60/40 numbers won’t do it.

    3% of vote in for Giron. 57.9% against to 42% for.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Okay fine. One last update and then bed.

    Hey Drudge, here’s your headline: Total Recall

    Morse final numbers: 50.9%-49%. Result: Recalled.
    Giron numbers with 62% reporting: 59.8%(!) in favor of recall, 40.1%(!) against. She’ll need 75% support of the remaining votes to catch back up to tie territory. I don’t see that happening. (Of course, anything could happen, etc… but I don’t see that happening.)

    Okay. Good night.Report

  9. Avatar Kolohe says:

    is this another one of those cases (as I think Tod Kelly pointed out on one of the Syria threads) where one control-h’s “Colorado” for “Wisconsin” and everyone’s argument flips upside down?Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Kolohe says:

      I’m not certain Walker actually lied about what he said he was going to do.
      Anyone know?

      Certain political personages deserved to be recalled in Wisconsin.
      I sincerely doubt any of them were, however.Report

    • Avatar Sky in reply to Kolohe says:

      More or less. In one person’s hands a recall is the sword of light and justice, in their opponents’ hands it becomes a bastardization of democracy.

      As to the argument that a recall should be saved for malfeasance: nonsense. The proper response to malfeasance is an impeachment. Recalls are for otherwise legal, but unpopular actions undertaken against the will of the constituency (as measured by the ability to successfully recall the politician at issue).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Sky says:

        Or, in the hands of even a moderately intelligent strategist,
        it becomes a way to protest (and affect change as a direct
        consequence) — even if you don’t win.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Sky says:

        Uh, Sky? The constituents of a state or federal legislator do not have an impeachment mechanism for malfeasance. The recall is all they have (and in some jurisdictions, not even that). Impeachment’s a fine thing, and too little used, but it’s not a citizens’ tool.Report

  10. Avatar Stillwater says:

    I found this bit interesting:

    With the backing of 55 of the state’s 62 elected sheriffs, Caldera’s organization filed a lawsuit challenging the new laws.

    That’s about 89%. Don’t know what to make of it actually.Report

    • There are also two unelected sheriffs (City and County of Denver, City and County of Broomfield), so 86%. Representing counties with about 35% of the state’s population, if I remember the dissenters properly. This is the year that the divide between urban/suburban and rural/exurban has really come to the fore in Colorado (IIRC, the secession movement previously discussed will be on the ballot as a non-binding resolution in all eight of those counties come November). In the early jockeying for the two big statewide elections in Colorado in 2014 (governor and one US Senate seat), the Republicans seem to be headed towards a “rural values” strategy — which I think would be a disaster for them.

      I suspect that the Republicans will not be able to hold either of the seats they won yesterday in a general election with normal mail-in balloting. Jaybird, what do you think?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I suspect that the Pueblo seat will go to a good, old-fashioned Blue Dog like God intended. The Colorado Springs seat could go either way. It depends on the primary. I want to say that Michael Merrifield (my old state representative) would be a shoo-in… but I see now that he was Colorado state coordinator for Mayors Against Illegal Guns… but he is in the running for the 2014 election for senator.

        From here, I’d say that… yeah, he probably could have won it handily but MAIG might be really, really stinky and might allow the Republican to win. Unless, of course, the Republicans run someone absolutely toxic (which ain’t beyond them).Report

  11. Avatar NotMe says:

    Sounds like the Dems are already whining and making excuses for losing. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is already calling the loss a result of voter suppression. It must be nice to always have an excuse when you lose. I wonder if nanny Bloomberg got the message?Report

  12. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    To add to the confusion… Nominally, the recalls were because of “overreach” by these senators on gun control. A poll conducted in Giron’s district shortly before the election, but not published until after, hit the 56-44 split almost dead on. The same poll asked about the two gun control policy changes opposed by the NRA. Expanded background checks were supported by voters 67-33, and magazine limits was a dead heat at 47-47. Some sort of odd “We’re recalling the senator for supporting policies that we support” message there.

    Statewide, polls find support for the expanded background checks runs about 80-20. So I’ll make a prediction: come November 2014, the Republican candidates for governor, US Senate, and most of the state legislative seats won’t even mention the idea of repealing the checks on private gun sales.Report