Early morning after: ballot initiatives and progressive House candidates

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Since you write the blog you want to read, I decided to concentrate last night on the ballot initiatives and down ballot races that I thought progressives would be most interested in.   What strikes me the morning after is how Americans still seem almost genetically incapacitated when it comes to venturing much past the middle of the road in the left direction. There’s the sheer joy of seeing an African American become president.   And then there are these decidedly mixed results:

Ballot initiatives

Huge loss – CA Prop 8, ending marriage rights for same-sex couples and repudiating that state’s supreme court decision granting equality, was adopted. Although not all votes are in, the LA Times has just declared Yes on 8 the winner, apparently because the lead is greater than the remaining number of votes to be counted.

Probable win – CA Prop 4, which seeks to impose barriers on teenagers seeking abortion, has only 48% support, with 95% of precincts counted.

Loss – FL Amendment 2, amending that state’s constitution to bar both same-sex marriage and arguably a civil union-type status, won the 60% majority it needed.

ARK Loss – The proposal to amend the state constitution to ban adoption by gay couples was adopted.

AZ Loss – The ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage was adopted.

WON !! COL constitutional amendment to define life as beginning at the moment of conception was defeated.

Still too close to call – votes are virtually tied on a COL ballot proposal to end affirmative action.

NEB Loss – A proposal to end affirmative action policies has passed.

WON !! SD constitutional amendment to restrict abortion choice DEFEATED.

Progressives running for House seats –

WON !! COL 4 – Betsy Markey v Marilyn Musgrave. Although the Republican national committee  cut Musgrave loose from funding more than a week ago, a massive amount of outside money has flowed into this race, making the two sides together recipients of the  third largest amount of out-of-district donations of any House race in the country, at least as of last week.  Why? Musgrave has been the standard bearer for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and so the dollars have flowed in. Now she’s gone.

WON !!- FL 24 – Suzanne Kosmas won this district near Orlando, one of the fastest growing areas in the state.

WON!!   IL 11 – Debbie Halvorson, endorsed by EMILY’s List, opened up a blue beachhead in a heavily Republican downstate IL.

Loss MINN 3 – Ashwin Madia is an ex-Marine Corps lawyer and Iraq War vet with strong progressive values, committed, e.g. to repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Madia’s brother is reportedly gay, and he got lots of gay support.

Loss MINN 6 – Michelle Bachman, the anti-choice, anti-gay voice of out-state, was heavily favored to win re-election.   Then she appeared on “Hardball” in October and declared that liberals were anti-American.But she has squeaked through.

Loss –   NY 26 – Alice Kryzan, was running in a district just west of Rochester with tons of feminist, union, progressive endorsements, trying to expand the Dems’ position in upstate.

Loss – OH 2 – Dem Victoria Wulsin failed to take the seat away from Jean Schmidt. A Republican has held this seat since 1975.

Loss – OH 15 – Mary Jo Kilroy, the Dem who was running to replace Steve Silvers, was accused of being a socialist because she has worked on the staff of the Columbus Free Press, a progressive local newspaper.

Loss – SC 1 – Linda Ketner, a businesswoman from Charleston and out lesbian, was trying to unseat Republican Henry Brown to represent the Charleston-Myrtle Beach coastal strip in Congress.

Loss – VA 10 -Judy Feder, a long-time and devoted advocate of universal health care, was making her second effort to take the seat away from Republican Frank Wolf.

Nan Hunter – cross posted at hunter of justice

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