The urgency of national news sometimes casts local politics into the shade. Watch out for that. I spent the last election season preaching “downballot” to anyone who would listen. I have no regrets, in view of some of the issues coming up in my area at the state and local levels that are sure to be reflected in federal policy a few years down the road. Furthermore, the candidates succeeding locally are apt to look to higher office sooner or later.

This came to mind as my Facebook feed kicked up a new ad, inviting me to “like” a Model Citizen’s new page. My internal alarms went off. This MC ran last cycle for mayor of the largest city in the state, and lost by a whisker. She’s back for another crack at it.

Ms. Model Citizen was endorsed last time around by EMILY’s List, which was established for exactly one reason: to elect pro-abortion women. Ms. MC downplayed that in her last campaign. The EMILY’s List material promoting her, knowing that the unrestricted-abortion line wouldn’t play well in the city, emphasized her aldermanic experience. I’m betting on the same game plan this time.

And when that happens, it’ll be last time all over again: ask any ten likely voters in that city if they’d support a pro-abortion candidate for mayor, and most would say no. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of EMILY’s List, and nine of them would go “huh?” But ask them if they’d support the alderman from ward X, and it’s a different story.

The last time the mayor of the largest city in the state ran for higher office, he wound up in Congress. Local experience and name recognition counted heavily.

It’s not just the prospect of upward mobility that gives me pause; it’s the more immediate effect on local policy. Who determines local school policies, as least as far the feds allow? Who lends credibility to certain groups by marching or volunteering with them? Who names volunteers to local committees? Who determines the priorities in municipal budgets?

Yup: the locals. While Sean Spicer is briefing reporters about developments in Washington, there’s plenty going on in your own town, without much publicity.

Watch those candidates, whenever your local elections may be. Watch those campaign finance reports. Shine a light on stealth efforts, like EMILY’s List mailings that fail to mention abortion advocacy. Care now, because you can be sure there are interest groups who would be happy for you to leave the caring to them.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

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I paraphrase, but here’s the transcript from last night’s Tucker Carlson show, where Brit Hume asked an excellent question,

Emphasis added (starting at 3:05 into the video, link via Real Clear Politics):

BH: There’s one other thing worth mentioning here — that the FBI director also said in an answer to the question that he had found no evidence, no information pointing to a wiretap of Donald Trump or of Trump Tower. No evidence of that. However, what about this investigation that’s been going on since July of the Trump campaign and Trump associates?

TC: Great question!

BH: Are we not to believe there is no surveillance associated with that? We do know, as you pointed out, that Mike Flynn was caught up in a wiretap. That may be a routine wiretap of the Russian ambassador to whom he was speaking. But who knows?”

“And when he made this announcement, Comey, that there was this investigation going on, which he said he received permission from higher up to do this announcement — there was a story back on January 19 in The New York Times, which basically laid this whole thing out and said it was based on surveillance that indicated there had been these contacts. That story also said it wasn’t clear that the wiretaps turned up anything about the Trump campaign. So, we kind of don’t know where we are. And remember this — this is also supposedly a counter-intelligence investigation, which that means it is basically national security matters. So, what’s up with that? I mean what’s that tell us about how likely they are to find about Putin or collusion? One wonders.”

TC: You just made the point of the month, if not year. If there was an investigation, and there was, there was surveillance.

And we wait for Congress to demand an answer to that question.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

As you might have noticed over the last month I shot a video or two or ninety while I was at CPAC 2017 interviewing a lot of people attendees. If you watched my interviews you will notice they were very similar in that I asked a very specific set of questions to those who came. This is why.

There have already been plenty of words written about why the Trump voter went with him. In many ways the CPAC crowd is a very different crowd than the avg working class Trump voter.

1. They can either afford to come to CPAC (travel hotel and meals and time from work cost money) or will save up to come to CPAC each year.

2. They tend to be activists, former activists or future activists.

3. They follow the political world the way I follow Doctor Who

Thus to understand part of the current GOP/conservative coalition (and lets face it that’s what it is) the activist community must be understood.  That was my goal at CPAC.  I need to discover the whys and wherefores of what these conservative activists think about the Trump administration.  To do this I settled on these four questions:

Who did you support in the primaries?
Did you vote for Trump in the general and if you did when did you decide to do so?
What do you think of the job he is doing now?
What is the one thing you want to see President Trump achieve in his term of office (regardless of length)?

The purpose of those questions were to establish the following about this activist class

Where they were in the primaries
Where they were in the general election
Where they are now
Where the might be in 2018 & 2020

Each of these interviews were data points to answer these questions, here is what I found:

In terms of question 1. (Who did you support?) The most common person people supported was Ted Cruz, I ran into the occasional Rand Paul person, several Marco Rubio fans and a few scattered fans of others from Jeb Bush to Bernie Sanders, but most of the crowd there was a Ted Cruz crowd, which must be why I felt so at home at CPAC.


In terms of question 2, (Did you vote Trump and if so when did you decide to do so) there were three primary groups.

A: The smallest were those who in the end couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Donald Trump. That group consisted of some of the oldest and youngest of those I spoke to. The oldest tended to either have a write in choice or wouldn’t say who they voted for, while the youngest who didn’t vote from Trump tended to go to Gary Johnson but we did have one McMullin guy.

B. The next largest group was those who were party republicans. These people had decided to go with Trump as soon as he had the nomination, because they were republicans and weren’t going to let Clinton win.

C. The largest group were those who in the end went Trump after some thought. There was a lot of variance here. Some decided at the convention, some after much soul-searching at least one person say he finally decided to go Trump while actually in the voting booth. Some had been strong partisans for other candidates, some had gone from one candidate to another but in the end they had gone from Trump, a few with gusto (at least one became a key member in the state Trump team) and many reluctantly but they got there in the end. It’s fair to say that fear of Hillary and what the Democrats would do had a lot to do with that decision.


Question 3 had the most uniform answer of any other. With VERY few exceptions (less than 10%) people were very happy with Donald Trump. They liked the tone, they liked the executive orders but what seemed to be the biggest thing to people, was the feeling of DOING vs TALKING. Of the few who where not very happy, they game him a mixed report card, they liked specific things, but were worried about others or withheld judgement. It’s worth noting that the older folks who didn’t vote for Trump from previous interviews were all in this group while ALL of the younger folks who voted for someone else were in group C, while the young folks in this group tended to be more wonkish.


Question 4:   (What do you want to see Trump get done) had the widest variation of answers, which in one respect was to be expected. I got some abstract answers, vague things about unity, both nationally and within the party. Some who were all about defeating ISIS, others big on the 2nd amendment and a few who talked religious liberty and abortion (far fewer than I expected but that could be because it was my big issue) but there were two answers that were the most common.

One was Obamacare. People wanted it gone, dead, Kaput. A few of them wanted a replacement but more important that what replaced it was the idea that it needed to be dead.

The 2nd was the wall and illegal immigration. While less important to folks than killing Obamacare this was a big issue to a lot of people. They didn’t just want the laws being enforced (as we’ve been seeing lately) they wanted the actual physical wall built that they could see.

Both of these issues add up to both the greatest opportunity and the greatest danger to the Trump administration. Failure to get them done will be the easiest way for the president to lose these people, but if he manages to pull them off the upside is incredible.


So that’s the data based on my interviews,  this is what people said and it is what it is regardless of what anyone thinks of it.

As to what this data means?  Here’s my conclusion

Everything you’re seeing highlighted on TV and in the papers right now by the Press is meaningless Bullshit!

No amount of talk about Russia, Wiretapping or the media wringing their hands about the President’s tweets, his language or anything else by the media, Democrat or the chattering classes makes any difference. These activists don’t care about them and aren’t going to be moved by them.

Even the media’s attempt to promote any conservative groups whining about the current repeal bill, an issue that does matter, are just as meaningless as the rest of the chatter

The only thing that matters in the long run is this: Is Donald Trump going to deliver on these big issues (Obamacare and the Wall) that he highlighted during the campaign?

If this administration can’t answer yes, he is in danger of losing these folks and risks a primary, but if Donald Trump, in the end keeps his eyes on this prize, then these grass room activists are going to be with him when he needs them no matter what anyone in the media says.

As long as President Trump understand this fact, he’s going to do fine, and I have the distinct feeling that he does.

Update: If you didn’t see my videos or coverage here is the lot or check out my youtube channel

3/13 Voices of CPAC 2017 Traci Belmonte in the van, Michael & Mya at the airport

3/12
Voices of CPAC 2017 Emile, Robert Stacy McCain Cynthia Yockey final thoughts
Voices at CPAC 2017 Lee Stranahan, James O’Keefe

3/11
Voices at CPAC 2017 Donna Keene, David Keene and Kayne Robinson of the NRA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Naseem & her Mother Salome, Dustin (Sanders supporter) & Charles from WI

3/10
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Pastor Greg Young and Cody from MD
Voices at CPAC 2017 Senator Rick Santorum

3/9
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Mona Salama & Tyler
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kurt Schlichter and Stephen Kruiser

3/8
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Caleb from South florida and Robert Stacy McCain
Voices at CPAC 2017 Rep Josh Moore NH and Micha Pierce from WI and American Majority

3/7
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Zaire Ali from MD & Daniel from LA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michael Graham & Bill Lewis

3/6
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court NIRSA Liberals strike back, Plus Elliott and Adam
Voices of CPAC 2017 Marc Hayden Conservatives vs the Death Penalty & Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

Update 2: Instalanche, thanks Glenn.


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