Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6   Go Down

Author Topic: Analysis of State Legislatures  (Read 40688 times)

Kelton

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 604
  • el resplandor de las llamas de la libertad
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2003, 01:51:51 pm »

Only two states, among our candidates have laws requiring a super-majority of the legislature in order to raise taxes:
Delaware 3/5ths
South Dakota 2/3rds
In Montana, such legislation passed, but the state supreme court struck it down.

http://www.atr.org/graphics/states_supermajority_raise_taxes_large.gif
Logged
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

TedApelt

  • FSP Participant
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 117
  • Free 50 states - one at a time.
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2003, 11:25:59 pm »

In Delaware one strategic step may be to first help Republicans gain control of the state in order to earn the support of at least the grassroots Republicans. The next step would be to elect Free State candidates where possible, but not where they would jeopardize an incumbent Republican (or Democrat if that person is more liberty-minded than the Republican alternative). Always keep an eye on the goal of liberty and not run Free State candidates just for the sake of doing so with a result of throwing the election to a more authoritarian statist..

Actually, I was thinking in terms of running candidates in primaries, not as third party candidates.  Some of these people might be natives who never ran before because they were afraid that they would not win, others might be people who ran before and lost.

This would also open up to us some of those districts where candidates ran unopposed.
Logged
How much political experience do you have?  Probably not enough.  Get some!  DO THIS NOW!!!

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2003, 01:26:26 pm »

Your analysis is fine as far as it goes, but I wonder, Is putting the Republicans in charge all we want to do? ;)  Jim Jeffords was a typical Vermont Republican after all, and he had a statist voting record even before he went Independent.  What would tell us more about whether the Vermont House & Senate are "doable" is figuring out which Republican candidates are simply RINOs (or populist conservatives hostile to much of our agenda).

P.S. I'll go ahead add the Vermont Senate data to the web page anyway, but I'll hold off on posting the analysis, as it is both far more detailed and far more controversial than the other analyses posted there so far: http://www.freestateproject.org/statelegs.htm .
« Last Edit: January 22, 2003, 01:27:56 pm by JasonPSorens »
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2003, 04:59:17 pm »

Quote
Your analysis is fine as far as it goes, but I wonder, Is putting the Republicans in charge all we want to do?
No, Jason. As I wrote earlier, it is the first step because it is the easiest. It also can make some Republicans and even Democrats "beholden" to the Free Staters -- just like other influential minorities make sure the candidate they help get elected knows that he or she is "their man" or "their woman" and that the support can be withdrawn and put behind somebody else who can deliver more liberty.

Absolutely.  However, in some other states that step is already taken, and all we'd need to do is to set the Republican party straight.  In Vermont we'd have more work to do.  But anyway, I didn't want to argue the pros and cons of VT, just to make the point that your analysis of the state legislature was too positive when put in context, since putting the Republicans over the top would be only a small piece of the puzzle.  (And heck, we may have some libertarian Democrats in the group who would oppose such a strategy - there aren't many, but there are a few out there.)

Quote
My posts about having enough people to get elected ignore a reality about winning a legislative district by 1,100 votes to 1,000 (Vermont) or 5,100 to 5,000 (Idaho, Delaware or multi-seat NH districts). After the win and after the new person and his or her allies start rocking the boat with a bunch of changes, the margin in the next election won't be 100 to the good but may be 1,000 to the bad because the angry folks will come out to vote a backlash. This has happened nationally, at a state level, and locally.

Absolutely!  That's one reason I'm skeptical of thinking of marginal districts as a good thing for us.  These may be marginal districts now, but if we put a guy in there who had a hardcore libertarian agenda, they might quickly become safe seats for the statists.  Safe Republican seats might be best for us, if those Republicans are Ron Paul or Butch Otter types.


Of course, safe districts are likely to have ensconced incumbents who will be difficult to replace without long years of working the party machine.  I see no way around doing some of this in the end.  However, we can also influence state politics by getting incumbents to move gradually our way, without replacing them.  Same politicians, new ideas - after all, they're mostly interested in getting elected.
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2003, 09:16:06 am »

I imagine we don't need winning number of votes or opposition number of votes, so long as we have win percentage and margin of votes at the last election.  For the Senate we'd want to know how long they served in the House (if at all) before being elected ot the Senate - if that information is available.
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2003, 01:35:18 pm »

Joe, I've kinda lost track of what is going on with this thread, or maybe I don't understand it. But I will try looking through it again...

In the meantime, have you addressed the margin of victory in the primaries? This is important to states dominated by one party.
Logged

Solitar

  • Guest
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2003, 09:27:11 pm »

Zxcv,
I do appreciate the work you have done.
In addtion to we few, we need more activists doing research!

Sure, the primaries are worth looking into also.
But for some of these states, such as Wyoming and now South Dakota, digging up how many terms these people have been in office means digging up the stats for each general election for as far back as these incumbents have been in office or as far back as the Secretary of State has data on the web.
 I've posted the links to the sites where I got it (or ask me for 'em or search google.com for 'em).
If somebody wants to do the primaries in each district in each state
go for it.
Somebody did do some of it for Wyoming and maybe a few others.

In states such as NH and VT that have been posted on the web site.
http://www.freestateproject.org/statelegs.htm
for very little effort or votes, the Free Staters can win a lot of those races at the general election.
Will primaries be easier in the one-party dominant states? Maybe. But maybe not.
I only know what I've researched so far.
Ideally we should narrow this list of candidate states down to about four and really do an indepth analysis of every primary and general election race from local through state and congressional.
But I really shouldn't spend the time to do that since other issues are pressing.
I'd like to dig into the voting records (such as the GOA may have regarding anti-gun stances) of some of these incumbents the Free Staters will be trying to take seats from.
Logged

Solitar

  • Guest
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2003, 06:19:54 am »

Zxcv asked posted this over on another thread.
Quote
Joe wrote:
Quote
Please go look again at the districts in NH and VT that have been posted on the web site.
http://www.freestateproject.org/statelegs.htm
For very little effort or votes, the Free Staters can win a lot of those races at the general election.
I looked. I don't understand stuff like this VT entry:
Party, Win% (seats/field), Hi Dem, Rep, Margin, County-District, Last Name, First Name
R, 22.3% (2 of 6), , , 0, Chit-6-2, Kirker, Linda F.
Are you saying Linda won with 22% of the vote? What is (2 of 6)? What does "Hi Dem" mean? etc.
It is confusing! When you and I have trouble the general reader or voter will have more.  I don't know yet how to put it more simply, yet I'll keep trying to rework the data and the explananations depending on feedback I get here.

Go choose "CHITTENDEN 6-2" at this site
(The 6-2 is the district number and has nothing to do with the coincidence of six people running)
http://www.sec.state.vt.us/results/02ghouse.html
You should get this table
General Election Results '02 For State Representative
District: Chittenden-6-2             Number of seats:  2
CandidatePartyVotes% of Total
Hunt, Peter D. Democratic158225.120%
Kirker, Linda F.Republican140622.330%
Jerman, TimDemocratic126520.090%
Stevens, MatthewRepublican119518.980%
Dunbar, George, Sr.Independent75411.970%
Stetson, JoeProgressive891.410%
Six people ran for two seats.
The top two in percentage and total votes were the winners of those two seats.
Linda did indeed win with only 22.33% of the vote. Yet, because each voter had two votes (but in many cases used only one), she likely had between 40% and 45% of the voters voting for her depending on the actual turnout in that district(a number I've yet to dig out of the VT data). In the Vermont Senate data I actually have a turnout number because I added up the turnout for each town in a district. The 151 House districts may be tedioius to do.
But coming back to that particular race...
For the second Republican to get one of those two seats he would have had to beat Linda or, better, to beat Peter,  the top Democrat but that would only have pushed Linda out of the the top two slots.
To defeat both Democrats, both Linda and Matthew would have to beat the top Democrat.

Zxcv also wrote:
Quote
Joe wrote:
Quote
And the chances of getting elected to a legislature in significant numbers or percentages is a lot better in VT, NH, and maybe ME (when Amanda gets that state done) than in some of these die hard Republican western states.
I guess I don't understand this assertion. Maybe you can explain it to me. Are you suggesting that because a guy has little competition in the general, that means he is going to have little in the primary? My personal experience is to the contrary. Mark Hatfield was Oregon's entrenched US Senator for many years, yet he was scared out of the primary because he had become so liberal and finally a serious challenger came up to contest the seat. He knew he was going to lose the first primary race he had had for years. So he just quit and took his pension.
Besides, WY, SD, MT and ME are the only states with term limits. It's an awful lot easier to run for an open seat, than one with an entrenched opponent, no matter whether you are talking primary or general. So this feature alone puts these 4 states on the top in terms of electability of FSP candidates.
What I mean is that in entrenched party machines in some states, getting just the primary nomination may be tougher than getting both  the primary nomination and winning the general election in states where a person could win  in a large field or what amounts to a six-way race for two seats. Shucks, even an independent or libertarian could win if they picked the right districts and if they seriously went after the vote or had a bunch of their people living in the district.

Or maybe single seat districts would be better because they do bring a representative closer to the constitutents -- as the New Hampshire editorial noted above. But that would take more work on redistricting which can be very difficult. The NH legislature never did get it done so the court did it for them.

The primary race data is important.
Maybe somebody else wants to use the links I posted in order to dig out the primary race data.
         
Logged

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2003, 01:17:36 pm »

OK, Joe, your explanation here finally did the trick. It still makes my head hurt to think how NH/VT voters elect their reps, though! So does this mean they just don't have primaries at all? It's just a free-for-all for the one or two seats in a district?

Doesn't this method (sort of an "at-large" in miniature) make for very large districts? That would add to the difficulty, of course. You'd have to appeal to an awful lot of people. Or find some method of zeroing in on the ones likely to be sympathetic to your views.

Maybe this is why the socialists ended up in VT, eh? Could be someone looked at their voting method and said, "that's a place where we can get some representation in the state house". I agree with you, VT looks like the easiest place to get some representation, if we were judicious about what districts we concentrated in. At least at this point, it looks that way.
Logged

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2003, 11:07:49 am »

I've added the South Dakota data to the website, as well as the sources for the NH data.

http://www.freestateproject.org/statelegs.htm
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2003, 10:40:58 pm »

Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2003, 03:00:01 am »

A high concentration of multi-termers there in the Montana House...

Term limits could really shake things up there before too long.

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2003, 09:02:35 pm »

Quote
The level of education, experience, and connections these Senators have is awesome or intimidating.  Note especially the family interconnections of State Senators, Governors, and US Senators.

Your comment here makes me think, "Hey, isn't that the way it's supposed to be? The Senate was supposed to be the chamber of Wise Ones, less inclined to the uproars of the House."

Maybe term limits should be applied to the House only.
Logged

Solitar

  • Guest
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2003, 11:57:18 pm »

Zxcv,

Thank you for the reminder of what I had read by David Hume.  He had written A Treatise of Human Nature and other invaluable items before he died in 1776. Undoubtedly Jefferson, Madison, Adams, et al had read Hume's writings because he had proposed a balanced system of government
Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy with each having a veto over the others.
Our nation was so devised with a Presidency, Senate, and House (the latter, being Republican in nature, was just one step shy of the full Democracy).

Thus you are correct.
The Senate, in the original intent, was supposed to be an aristocracy!
In the US it has become an ungainly hybrid and, with popular election, not what the founders intended.

Unfortunately a full-fledged version of the intended Senate won't get pass the US Supreme Court because any attempt to return it to the original version violates the "Equal Protection Clause" and the amendment to elect senators by popular vote rather than appointment.  The latter, at a Congressional level was appointment by the state; at a State level it was appointment by the counties. Wyoming's Constitution still reads that each "county" should have its own Senator (even though changes have hence nullified that provision).

Is there a way to returning to the above intent without getting it vetoed by as against the US Constitution (and to those lurkers and others who jump to a conclusion --  secession is not feasible).

Zxcv and ALL,
The legislative tabulations for all ten states are now done. They are on the web page.
State Legislature Report for the Free State Project

If anyone wants source spreadsheets on any state, just let me know. Perhaps, if there is enough demand, I could polish them up and Jason could put them up on the website. If other data is wanted on any legislature, please post an item here about it and maybe I have it. But, then again, stuff like occupations, birth states, years of residency, etc. were not easily available in each state. For some states that would require web searches for each and every legislator rather than finding all the bio info at one site such as Alaska and a few others have done.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2003, 12:47:26 pm by Joe, aka, Solitar »
Logged

Solitar

  • Guest
Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2003, 01:37:38 am »

Maybe it wasn't Hume who suggested a balance of Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy.
I've been reading from Aristotle and John Stuart Mill as well recently and I'm not sure which had the most recent reading of that idea. Aristotle originated the concept, but I'm sure one of the others re-published it.

Jason,
Your the political science doctoral student...
To whom is the above to be attributed to, or is it all three, or others too?
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6   Go Up