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Category Archive for ‘Kennedy’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'Kennedy' Category


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Ted Kennedy has died

One of the most powerful U.S. Senators in the country’s history and one of liberalism’s loudest champions in the latter half of the century, Ted Kennedy passed away tonight.

Ever since being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008, Kennedy had retreated from public life; his occasional appearances, for instance at the Democratic Convention in August, attracted wide attention. But his failure to attend his sister Eunice’s funeral last month had alerted us that his condition was deteriorating, but news of his death still comes as a tragic surprise that is sure to plunge the Democratic Party in mourning in the days ahead.

I will leave you to other, more detailed sources for a look at Kennedy’s life and legacy - from his 1980 presidential run to his influential Senate career - and use this space to quickly detail what is this blog’s primary beat - election news, and in this case succession details.

To fill Kennedy’s seat, Massachusetts will host a special election since the governor has no appointment rights since Democrats stripped Mitt Romney’s of that prerogative to ensure he would not replace John Kerry with a Republican in the run-up to the 2004 presidential contest. The law requires a special election to be called within 145 and 16o days of the vacancy. Applied to this case, I believe this puts us in a window that starts on January 18th and ends on February 1st.

Thus, mark your calendars for a Senate race either on Tuesday, January 19th or Tuesday, January 26th.

The state has not had an open seat race since John Kerry’s first election, and countless Massachusetts Democrats have clear ambitions they’ll now be likely to act upon. Since the race will be a special election, no House member will have to give up his or her seat to run for Senate. With nothing to lose, many are not likely to hold back so expect a crowded Democratic primary.

Until late January, then, the seat will remain vacant. Just like week, Kennedy had asked the state legislature to amend state law to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement who could serve during those 145-160 days, but the speed with which death struck seems to have come as a surprise even to him - making tonight’s news look that much more tragic. I cannot imagine that Massachusetts Democrats would be willing to change the succession law and apply it to an already existing vacancy - nor am I sure whether such retroactive legislation is even feasible.

Thus, until the end of January, Massachusetts will only have one Senator, the Senate will only have 99 members and Democrats will have at their disposition 59 votes. Since it takes 3/5th of all sitting Senators to break a filibuster, passing cloture votes will still require 60 votes (0.6*99=59.4, so 59 is not enough), which means that Democrats no longer have the supermajority they gained when Arlen Specter switched parties and Al Franken was seated. Since it had been months Kennedy was unable to travel to Washington, this should not substantially change the chamber’s dynamics, but it does require Democrats to dig a bit deeper to pass health care reform, which for decades had been Teddy Kennedy’s priority.


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Kennedy’s letter

The Boston Globe is reporting that Teddy Kennedy wrote a letter this week to Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. His wish is that the state legislature amend state law to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement if a vacancy arises; a special election would still be held within a few months.

This is the system used in Texas, as we might discover later this year if Kay Bailey Hutchison resigns from her Senate seat. Such a change would put Massachusetts somewhere between its current law (a vacancy cannot be filled until a special election is organized) and the mechanism used in most states (the special election is not held within a few months but on the next regularly scheduled Election Day, which is what is now happening in New York or Delaware).

This would reintroduce one of the worst features of the appointment system - one that allows the governor to be the sole person responsible for picking a new senator, who then can entrench himself and win re-election without facing any sort of primary (see Bennet and Gillibrand). In a state like Massachusetts that has a multitude of ambitious Democrats who have been waiting for an open Senate seat for 28 years, that would be particularly frustrating.

Yet, Kennedy is only proposing a temporary appointment, which would leave far less time for an incumbent to entrench himself and should probably still allow for a competitive primary. (It would probably be too much to ask for Deval Patrick to commit to picking someone who would not run for reelection.)

As far as Senate Democrats are concerned, Kennedy’s letter is a positive development: If the state legislature follows his wish (and it’s unclear as to whether they will), it would them to count on an additional vote months before they otherwise would. But let’s not lose sight of the big picture here: Kennedy might be gravely ill, but few other lawmakers would be given such a pass for not resigning after more than a year of incapacitation.

“It is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election,” Kennedy wrote in his letter. In doing so, he betrayed no awareness of the fact that the state has had only one for Senator for a year because of his refusal to resign despite the clear signs that he is in no position to show up for votes even if the Democratic leadership urgently needs him to.

This forced Democrats to seek additional GOP support on the stimulus, contributed to block lower-profile issues like David Hayes and Dawn Johnsen’s nomination and is now forcing Democrats to seek a Republican Senator to support health care reform - a major roadblock to progressive hopes of an ambitious bill. To prevent this situation and to make sure his absence did not become an obstacle for passing progressive legislation, Kennedy should have resigned months ago.

If Kennedy is that concerned about his state missing representation or Democrats having trouble passing legislation, he could resign now - that way Massachusetts would be sure of having a new Senator and Democrats would be assured 60 votes by the end of the year. (A reminder: Even if a Republican had won the special election, it would make little difference on cloture vote: the GOP Senator’s “no” would be equivalent to the all-to-probable Kennedy absence.)

The argument against this is that Kennedy can still show up for important votes if he needs to - and perhaps he is also thinking he might be able to drag himself to Washington for the health care vote. But not only does this look unlikely based on the information we have been given, but it also misses the point that it’s unlikely that a bill will get to the floor without the leadership knowing it has 60 votes. It’s been a while that no one has expected Kennedy to show up for a roll call, and even if he suggests he might be able to show up it’s not like Senate Democrats can count on his presence and negotiate a bill accordingly.

For instance: As long as Democrats don’t know for absolutely sure that Kennedy will be in D.C. during the health care vote and that they will be able to count on his “yeas” vote on cloture, how can they not water down the bill until they make sure they can compensate Kennedy’s potential absence with a Republican vote? Imagine the nightmare for Democrats if a non-bipartisan bill is finalized in the conference committee with the understanding that Kennedy will be there - and then he ends up not being able to come, leaving the legislation defeated with 59 votes.

As such, I seem to be a rare person who finds Kennedy’s letter aggravatingly hypocritical rather than touchingly moving.  “It’s typical of Ted Kennedy to be thinking ahead and about the people of Massachusetts, when the rest of us are thinking about him,” said Deval Patrick in reaction to Kennedy’s letter. Kennedy might have been a great Senator and a brilliant man, but I would have hoped that Democratic leaders would spend at least as much time worrying about whether the health care bill they will pass will lower costs and expand coverage.

Thus, I find Patrick’s comments hard to understand. Kennedy is a U.S. Senator, not a private citizen; he has responsibilities to the country and to his constituents. I find nothing strange in expecting that someone in such a position would want to ensure that his sickness will not become an obstacle for passing reforms - and the Kennedy clan should have cared about this months before this week.

(The news that this letter was drafted in early July but only sent today makes the situation that much more puzzling: Even if the state legislature were to now try to implement such a law, would it get moving in time for Kennedy to resign before the health care vote - and can Senate Democrats count on that possibility during negotiations?)

In any case, I leave it to you to decide whether it would be politically feasible for state Democrats to amend the law. On the one hand, they just changed it a few years ago to make sure then-Governor Mitt Romney would not pick a Republican replacement if John Kerry were elected president. On the other hand, it’s a small enough change that Democrats could easily argue that they are implementing it to ensure continuous representation rather than to help their party: It’s not like the appointtee would serve more than a few months or gain a huge incumbency advantage.


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Plagued by Dem skepticism and Kennedy’s absence, card-check is thrown out of EFCA

Recent legislative activity surrounding cap-and-trade and health care reform made the Employee Free Choice Act fade away in the background, but negotiations were continuing in the background. Today, we learned that Democrats have thrown out of the legislation its highest-profile (and most controversial) provision: card-check.

This was a long time coming. Earlier this year, Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln, who had both voted in favor of cloture in 2007, clearly stated that they opposed card-checks; that made it extremely tough to envision how EFCA as it is currently written could gather 60 votes. As the White House looked unwilling to make too strong a push for labor reform in the midst of its other legislative priorities, moderate Democrats faced little pressure to fall in line and some sort of compromise looked unavoidable.

The good news for labor is that Democrats have not given up on passing binding arbitration, and that previously hostile Specter and Mark Pryor now look to support that provision. The bad news for labor is that odds for passage remain low as long as Teddy Kennedy and Robert Byrd avoid resigning.

The continued consequences of Kennedy and Byrd’s absences

I put together my most recent EFCA head count in April, showing that 12 Democratic Senators were uncommitted. That was a daunting enough number, but it also became obvious that, even if all 12 voted in favor of cloture, EFCA would still fall short because four Democrats looked like sure “no” votes: Lincoln, Specter, Kennedy and Byrd.

While the Democratic leadership could maybe have hoped to convince Specter to back card-checks because of Sestak’s primary threat and maybe compensated Lincoln’s defection by finding one Republican willing to cross-over, there is no way it could also have accounted for Kennedy and Byrd’s absences. (On cloture votes, an absent Senator is equivalent to a ‘no’-voting Senator.)

That’s right, Kennedy and Byrd’s refusal to resign despite the fact that they have not been in the Senate in months ended up being a bigger obstacle to EFCA than Ben Nelson’s conservatism or Michael Bennet’s efforts to dodge the issue. And this is not the first issue on which this is the case. It’s hard to imagine Dawn Johnsen’s confirmation held up in the Senate if Kennedy and Byrd had been around, and we’ll see what health care concessions Democrats are forced to grant to compensate for their absences.

The bottom-line: Every Senate vote counts when we’re talking about getting to 60 on polarizing legislation like health care reform. Kennedy has only cast one vote in more than a year, forcing Democrats to make more concessions to obtain an additional centrist or Republican vote. If he cares about progressive legislation, Kennedy should stop clinging to power and resign.

Binding arbitration remains, but can it pass?

The disappearance of card-check is a huge victory for the band of moderate Democrats who were holding up their support for the legislation. In addition to Lincoln and Specter, they were: Bayh, Baucus, Bennet, Bingaman, Conrad, Feinstein, Kohl, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Pryor, Tester and Webb. But a big question remains: What’s the compromise version of EFCA that will now be considered, and will these Democrats support it?

Many labor advocates consider EFCA’s binding arbitration provision to be as important (if not more) as the better-known card-card part. So why had opposition crystallized around the latter? It’s all about framing: Business groups figured out that ad campaigns hitting Democrats for doing away with secret ballot elections would be effective and they fired up the base on that issue. That does not mean that these groups are not as opposed to binding arbitration than to card-check. In fact, most of EFCA’s critics, including Lincoln and Specter, have expressed just as strong opposition to the former provision.

There is little doubt that labor reform stripped of card-check and arbitration could pass the Senate, albeit that would be a fairly extraordinary victory for Republicans given that they only have 40 Senators. For now, reports indicate that the compromise proposed by the Senate does include binding arbitration, so today’s development is no crushing blow for unions. The question, then: Can a version of EFCA that contains arbitration provisions pass the Senate?

Since, EFCA’s opponents have mostly framed their cause as a battle to save the right to a secret ballot, it could prove tricky for them to pressure Senators now labor has agreed to drop card-check from its demands. Moderate Democrats can say that they helped defeat EFCA’s most controversial provision and have more cover to vote for this version. It will not be easy for the party’s leadership to bring all their other uncommitted Senators on board, but labor’s threats to withhold support could be enough to push most of them towards a more supportive stance.

We can already move two Senators in the support column: Arlen Specter and Mark Pryor presumably support the new version given that they were among the 6 Senators who had a hand in crafting the compromise (the others were Harkin, Carper, Brown and the ubiquitous Schumer). Lincoln is now the only clear Democratic hold-out. But while she has explicitly opposed binding arbitration, she later declared herself opened to compromise so this could be her cue to at least signal she will support cloture.

But the short answer is this: It’s hard to see how even this version of EFCA can pass if its proponents don’t get “yes” votes out of West Virginia and Massachusetts. Even if Specter, Lincoln and all other Democratic Senators are brought on board, it would still require 2 Republicans be brought on board to support a reform that is staunchly opposed by business groups. Lisa Murkowski has opened the door to supporting a compromise and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are also thought as potential cloture supporters, but they’ve also spoken against the binding arbitration provision.

Updated head count

As long as there is no sign Kennedy and Byrd can come to the Senate, this gets us to the following head count on the new version of EFCA (more details as to how I got to these numbers here and here):

  • 46 cloture supporters: including 40 co-sponsors, 4 who have said they support the bill, 2 who have signaled they’ll vote for cloture (M. Udall and Warner) and 2 who helped craft the latest compromise (Pryor and Specter)
  • 11 undecided/uncommitted: Bayh, Baucus, Bennet, Bingaman, Conrad, Feinstein, Kohl, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Tester, Webb
  • 5 opponents who could potentially be brought over: Lincoln, Murkowski, Collins, Snowe, Voinovich
  • 38 effective cloture opponents, including 36 Republicans, Teddy Kennedy and Robert Byrd

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Democratic absences

Rumors are circulating that the Minnesota Supreme Court will issue its ruling on Norm Coleman’s election challenge in the hours ahead. That decision could potentially pave the way to Al Franken’s swearing-in, giving Democrats an additional vote in the Senate at a crucial time of the legislature.

Yet, while everyone is obsessed about Republican obstruction costing Democrats a seat in Minnesota, there is far less coverage of another vote Democrats have been missing: Teddy Kennedy has been absent from Washington for a year now. Democrats are said to control 59 seats, but they effectively have only 58; that makes much of the celebration of Specter and Franken giving the party a 60th vote moot.

Yes, I understand that Kennedy is sick and I wish him all the best. Yet, I am not sure why that is an excuse for holding up progressive reform for such a long time. There is a point at which a Senator (a 77-year old and 47-year incumbent, no less) who has not been capable of exercising his functions should realize that the country - and his party - would be better off if he resigned. A vote is a vote is a vote, and when we are talking about close roll calls there is no denying that Kennedy’s absence is making it much harder for the Democratic leadership to win tight votes.

(Remember: According to Senate rules, for a Senator not to participate to a cloture vote does not reduce the number of votes needed to reach a 3/5th majority; rather, it amounts to a “no” vote. To close discussion, Democrats need 60 votes, no matter how many of their members are in the chamber.)

Kennedy should resign, and do so quickly: The Senate is due to vote on a lot of important bills and contested appointments throughout the summer and fall.

Now, another Democratic Senator can no longer appear in the chamber: West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, 91, was hospitalized three weeks ago. At first, his office said he was in for a minor infection but he has yet to exit the hospital, and there is little information as to what is occurring or where Byrd even is. Thus, we do not know whether Byrd will be in the Senate to vote over the summer or fall. That puts Democrats at 57 votes - 3 short of cloture.

West Virginia Governor Manchin said this week that such discussions are callous. But Byrd, who is now 91, has chosen not to retire and he cannot expect to be treated as a private citizen; he is a U.S. Senator, and he holds in his hands the fate of many political issues. It’s perfectly normal for Democrats to worry that his absence might impact health care reform, Sonya Sotomayor’s nomination and any other legislation that might come up in the months ahead.

Two tangible examples are the nominations of Harold Koh and Dawn Johnsen two key legal positions in the Obama administration who have not gotten a Senate vote for months as the Democratic leadership does not have the votes to get either of them approved. As far as I can see, no Democratic Senator has voiced opposition to Koh. As for Johnsen, only Ben Nelson, who also suggested that he would vote for cloture, and Arlen Specter, who most believe could be convinced to block a filibuster, have done so. By contrast, at least one Republican, Senator Lugar, has indicated he supports Johnsen’s nomination.

What we are talking about, then, is the Democratic leadership lacking one, perhaps two, votes to get either appointees confirmed. Whenever an article is written about these appointments, a lot of ink is spilled trying to determine which Democratic Senator are unwilling to support Koh and Johnsen. Who is responsible for holding up these appointees? Whose votes are lacking?

For some reason, Kennedy is almost never mentioned in this discussion, tough blogs have poured a lot of vitriol on Republican obstruction, on Norm Coleman’s challenge and on Ben Nelson’s vague statements. And yet, if we are talking about one to two votes missing, Kennedy’s absence explains much of it. Had Reid held a vote last month, Kennedy’s vote would effectively have been the same as that of Coburn, DeMint or worst-case-scenario-Nelson: NO on cloture. The fact of the matter is that the clearest obstacle to Koh and Johnsen’s confirmation is that Massachusetts effectively has one Senator.

Kennedy’s absence is also having a clear impact on health care reform. The HELP bill, the liberal alternative to the increasingly centrist legislation drafted by Max Baucus’s Finance Committee, is typically described as the “Kennedy bill.” But that is misleading: Kennedy’s staffers might be involved in efforts to draft the legislation, but the Massachusetts Senator has not been around to defend the proposal. This makes all the difference in the world: Chris Dodd might be presiding over hearings and the ‘Kennedy bill’ might have plenty of backers, but none of them are seen as influential players.

This situation, which might explain why the HELP committee’s actions have looked so disastrously amateurish, could result in the liberal option not being taken as seriously as the Finance Committee’s draft. That would be a fatal blow to liberal efforts to push Baucus leftward by forcing a compromise between the HELP and the Baucus bills.

All of this might be fine if we were talking about a one month absence, but it starts being a bit depressing when it lasts for over a year - even more so when we read about how Kennedy is trying to ensure that another member of his family is installed in the Senate by the time he leaves the chamber. First, it was his wife, in Massachusetts; then, his niece Caroline, in New York; and now, his nephew Chris, in Illinois.

Update: Just this afternoon came another example of Democrats struggling because of Byrd and Kennedy’s absence. The war supplemental spending bill barely survived in a 60-36 procedural vote, and only after the party leadership convinced Maria Cantwell to switch after initially casting a “no” vote. (4 Republicans voted “yes,” which was just enough to make up for Byrd and Kennedy’s absence.)


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Stimulus vote: Artificial partisanship and the Kennedy problem

Before the results of the House’s stimulus vote were announced, I was expecting that I would have to write a post about the Republican representatives who ended up supporting the President’s bill; for instance, I was planning to look at whether they had much to worry about 2010 - and whether their vulnerability might have pushed them to vote “yea.”

Instead, and against predictions that up to 20 would cross over, not a single House Republican voted in favor of the stimulus bill. Just as in the House’s initial vote two weeks ago, this was a surprising development.

For one, many provisions demanded by the GOP had been integrated in the final bill. In fact, a significant number had already been put in the original version, but the bill the House was asked to vote on yesterday had been reshaped by three Republican Senators. How was that not enough to get at least some Republicans on board? Is the entire GOP caucus to the right of Susan Collins, Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe? Sure, moderate Republicans have been decimated over the past few years, but enough remain (like Reps. Castle and Cao) that you would think the White House would have gotten a few cross-over votes - not to mention Midwestern Republicans who could be haunted by this vote come 2010.

It looks like the Republican caucus made the concerted decision to take a huge gamble on the stimulus bill. Last fall, the bailout bill was essentially a bipartisan bill; it was proposed by President George Bush, supported by John McCain and adopted by Congress on the strength of its Democratic majorities. Voters who opposed the bailout had no one to turn to if they wanted to show their disapproval, and voters who supported it had no reason to take it into account when casting their November ballot.

The political dynamics surrounding the stimulus bill are completely different. Sure, Democrats would have owned the bill whether or not they had attracted 15 House Republicans. But there is now a pure partisan divide, and the GOP’s decision to live up to its role as the opposition emphasizes the differences between the two parties’ economic ideologies - and this provides voters a clear choice depending on how they come to view the stimulus.

Ironically, this is an artificial effect since so much of the bill was shaped by a bipartisan coalition of centrist Senators and by Barack Obama’s desire to win GOP votes. That all Republicans chose to make a political point by voting “no” does not erase the fact that the bill was crafted for some of them to vote yes.

It’s probably too much to ask for the White House not to flirt so heavily with the GOP, but many liberals did find themselves unhappy by the large amounts of concessions made to Republicans. It often looked like the Democratic caucus was seeing as much fighting as were the exchanges between the two parties. Senator Tom Harkin, for instance, expressed his dismay at the cuts that had been operated in the bill; and Rep. Pete DeFazio, an Oregon congressman who is one of the most progressive members of the House, was one of only seven Democrats to vote against the stimulus bill - and the only liberal to do so.

This is classic Washington: The parties’ bickering (and the media’s lament that there is no bipartisanship) obscures the fact that much of a bill was shaped by centrist legislators often more concerned with getting support from the opposition party than with satisfying their own rank and file. In short, artificial partisanship.

Other than DeFazio, the other Democrats who voted “no” are NC-11’s Heath Shuler, AL-02’s Bobby Bright, AL-05’s Parker Griffith, ID-01’s Walt Minnick, MS-04’s Gene Taylor and MN-07’s Collin Peterson. All represent very Republican districts, and all are known as conservatives. In other words, their vote against the bill is certainly not a surprise. In fact, it is very much possible that some of them got the Democratic leadership’s green light for voting “no.” Shuler, Bright, Griffith and Minnick are vulnerable incumbents, so it would make sense for the DCCC to want them to buck their party.

Interestingly, five Democrats who had voted “no” two weeks ago switched to supporting the bill: FL-02’s Allen Boyd, TN-05’s Jim Cooper, IN-08’s Brad Ellsworth, PA-11’s Paul Kanjorski and MD-01’s Frank Kratovil. It will be interesting to see whether the NRCC jumps on these members for their change of mind - though these 5 Democrats can certainly not be accused of flip-flopping: The bill they had to vote on two weeks ago and the one presented to them yesterday were vastly different.

As for the Senate vote, the most important factor was (once again) Ted Kennedy, whose health prevented him from coming to Washington and casting a vote in favor of the stimulus. As a result, the bill passed with 60 votes, the exact number it needed to be adopted.

I discussed the problem of Kennedy’s absence last week in some detail, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the Massachusetts Senator should resign. He has been on the sidelines for much of the past nine months, and Democrats cannot afford to be missing one of their Senators on practically every important vote. Whether or not Kennedy is present does not change the number of votes needed to pass a bill, so his absence is causing the  leadership major headaches by forcing them to find one more Republican vote than they would otherwise need.

Liberals are essentially deprived of a Senate seat from Massachusetts, and that is giving the Senate’s centrists added power to shape legislation. In the context of the stimulus bill, Kennedy’s absence gave Reid no room to maneuver whatsoever: He needed Specter, Snowe and Collins to all remain on board, and the conference committee could not change the Senate bill in a way that would make just one of these Republican Senators bolt.

Also, Kennedy’s absence put more pressure than was fair on these three Republicans, and especially on Arlen Specter, who faces the threat of a challenge from the right next spring. Since the final vote was 60-38 rather than 61-38, each of the three Republicans who voted for it individually provided the decisive vote - and that makes it much harder for them to evade responsibility. A right-wing challenger will be able to rightfully argue that the stimulus bill would not have passed had Specter voted no.

This might seem like a minor concern, but it can have major governance implications. In this particular case, it was too late for the three Republican Senators to pull out of the deal when they learned Kennedy would not participate in the final vote. Yet, the Democratic leadership was still reportedly worried they might do so. In future Senate negotiations, Republicans might not take a similar risk if they realize that Kennedy is unlikely to make it to Washington.


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Kennedy’s absence

For the past four days, Democrats have been desperately looking for 60 votes to pass the stimulus bill , and it looks like the Senate has finally cut a deal that at least three Republicans are comfortable voting for. Yet, the situation is close enough that we are still tracking where individual members are leaning on the overall bill, and key amendments proposed have already fallen one or two votes short; the most high profile failure was perhaps that of Murray Amendment that would have increased the frustratingly low funding reserved for mass transit.

Everyone has been talking about how Minnesota’s vacant seat is hurting Democrats: If Franken had been in the Senate, they would have one extra vote to work with (59 Senators instead of 58). Yet, there has been much less talk about the other crucial vote that Democrats are missing: Ted Kennedy’s.

Only starting last night do news reports seem to have noticed Kennedy’s absence, with a number of stories pointing out that, to pass the stimulus bill, Democrats might need the vote of the Massachusetts Senator who has been sidelined by sickness for much of the past nine months.

Kennedy’s absence means that Democrats have been working with 57 Senators rather than the 58 they should have at their disposal. According to Senate rules, for someone not to participate on votes that require the support of 60 Senators amounts to a “no” vote, so Kennedy’s absence helped Republicans defeat key amendments - and it is now helping them block the stimulus bill by forcing Democrats to find three GOPers to cross-over rather than only two. And even though Kennedy might now show up for the final vote, Democrats cannot rely on that fact and need to compromise enough to ensure passage as if they did not have Kennedy’s vote.

It is difficult to fault a Senator for being sick, so it is understandable that Democrats are far more focused on seating Franken than on getting Kennedy to resign. Unfortunately, perhaps we should be a bit less delicate when it comes to the future of the country and the passage of important bills. This is the Senate, after all, so is it fair for a Senator to choose to stay in the chamber when he will be unable to participate for the foreseeable future and thus cost his party a crucial vote?

Kennedy has been holding on to his Senate seat for 47 years, and he is now 77 years old. He is one of many Senators who are entrenched enough that they will never face a serious re-election challenge and thus choose to never retire, even as they get old and even as their health declines. Senators like Kennedy or Byrd are certainly not as capable to exercise their function as they once were - and not as capable as others could be if they deigned to retire.

This is not to say that Senators should have to leave their seat as soon as they face a health problem. South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson, for instance, suffered a dramatic brain hemorrhage in late 2006 that kept him sidelined for much of 2007, but he was back in the Senate by the end of the year. Yet, some Senators give the impression that they are so attached to their power that they will never agree leave it, even if it hurts their party’s caucus and even if it deprives their state of representation.

What will it take for Senators like Byrd and Kennedy to decide they should leave the Senate? Will they wait as long as Storm Thurmond did - retiring past 100 and after 47 years in the Senate? (That’s as many as Kennedy and less than Byrd.) That Kennedy let it be known that he would like his wife to succeed him if he were to die while in office or the fact  that he was probably behind his niece Caroline’s disastrous bid for New York’s Senate seat worsens the impression that Kennedy is unable to let go of power.

Naturally, this is currently impacting many areas other than the stimulus. Take health care, for instance: Kennedy is the go-to person for that debate in the Senate, and most Democrats would not dare try to take action on the issue as long as Kennedy does not give them the green light; Kennedy’s absence thus dramatically slows down any attempt to reform health care. It also is a blow to liberals, since leaves the issue in the hands of Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, one of the most conservative Senate Democrats who is already out with the outlines of his own reform.

These circumstances should make us think about the viability of imposing term limits on Senators. I understand that the Senate functions along seniority rules, but I am not talking about a limit of 2 terms (12 years) , like the one most Governors are subjected to. But what about a limit of 5 terms (30 years) - or even 6 (36 years)? It might sound ridiculous, but it could be one way to keep some type of mobility in the Senate, avoid Senators holding on to power and allow politicians from states like Massachusetts to rise through the ranks.



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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What remains on the table

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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