In Missouri Race for Governor, Anti-Semitism Is Still a Weapon

The death of Missouri state auditor, and Missouri gubernatorial Republican candidate, Tom Schweich’s, is all the more tragic given the circumstances.

Schweich committed suicide days after telling local journalists that he was the target of an attempted smear campaign alleging he was Jewish.

Although Schweich was a practicing Episcopalian, his grandfather was Jewish, and he did not shy away from his family history.

Schweich’s spokesman, Spence Jackson, stated that Schweich’s grandfather was a persecuted Jew in Germany: “He had a card which Tom kept with him that said, ‘This belongs to Julius Schweich, who is a good Jew.’”

The negative campaign tactics are rumored to have been employed by the state’s GOP chairman, John Hancock. Hancock denies the allegations, according to an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Hancock said he did not have a ‘specific recollection of telling anybody that Schweich was Jewish,’ but he may have used it as a description, similar to saying, ‘I’m Presbyterian and somebody else is Catholic.’ Hancock said that at the time, he thought Schweich was Jewish.

Schweich’s mentor, former U.S. Senator John Danforth refuted this claim during the eulogy:

Someone said this was no different than saying a person is a Presbyterian… Here’s how to test the credibility of that remark: When was the last time anyone sidled up to you and whispered into your ear that such and such a person is a Presbyterian?

In the 21st century it is extremely disturbing that conversations such as these are still taking place, that anti-Semitism is considered to be a suitable weapon in a campaign arsenal to derail a candidacy. Should these rumors of a whisper campaign prove to be true, this sort of behavior is unacceptable and Hancock should step down.

Senator Danforth provided a poignant eulogy, decrying the state of politics today:

The death of Tom Schweich is the natural consequence of what politics has become. I believe deep in my heart that it’s now our duty, yours and mine, to turn politics into something much better than its now so miserable state.

Originally published in NJDC.org.

Another Off-Shore Victory For The Off-Shore Banker

Missouri

This Saturday, Republicans voted again in Missouri’s caucus. The Republicans already had a primary there on February 7 and Santorum won every county across the state. Most Caucuses feature two events. A Presidential preference vote where people select the candidate of their choice, and a second vote in which each voters select one of their neighbors to represent them at the County level. The first vote is the vote which everyone talks about on TV, but it is the second vote that actually counts. Everything boils down to delegates. The networks guess the delegate counts will be similar to the Presidential preference vote, but that is unclear. It depends on whose supporters actually stay to the end of the meeting  for that final vote, and it depends on how the county convention goes one or two months later.

Missouri is unique in that the Presidential preference vote did not occur yesterday on caucus night but occurred rather last month. Romney belittled Santorum’s victory at that time saying that no delegates were at stake, but the contest yesterday was impossible for the major networks to clearly report on, so they basically ignored it.

Missouri allows each county to set its own rules. The resulting confusion led to turmoil at several sites. In St. Charles County, the caucus was cancelled and a Ron Paul supporter was arrested amid disputes over the rules. See video above.

The moral is that estimating delegate counts is premature before the dust settles and the county and district conventions play out.

Puerto Rico
Today, Romney scored an impressive victory in Puerto Rico hitting the 50% threshold necessary to lock up all 20 delegates for himself. (Puerto Rico and some states have a rule whereby you win all of the delegates if you get a majority of the votes. If no one gets a majority of the vote, then the delegates are divided proportionately among those who get at least 15%. Thus it is a big deal if you hit 50%.)

Santorum had announced that he favored statehood for Puerto Rico only if it made English its sole official language. However, 95% of Puerto-Ricans speak Spanish at home, so this was not a popular stand for Rick Santorum to take. See our Q&A for more information on the voting in the various US Territories.

Debates
A debate was originally scheduled for tomorrow evening. However, Romney withdrew and the debate was cancelled. No more debates are currently on the primary calendar.

Illinois
Oddsmakers at inTrade give Romney a 92% chance of winning this Tuesday in the Illinois primary. This would probably be his first victory in the continental United States since Super Tuesday.

The Romney campaign had been challenging Santorum signature petitions in several Illinois counties. BuzzFeed reported that the Romney campaign dropped these challenges. It was not immediately clear why they called off their lawyers, but now Politico reports that Santorum had countered that Romney’s signature petitions were all notarized in Boston while Illinois law requires that they be notarized in Illinois. Continuing the legal battles may have invalidated Romney’s candidacy throughout Illinois, so the two campaigns called a legal truce.

Louisiana
Then this Saturday is the Louisiana primary. InTrade gives Santorum a 79% chances of winning there.

 Other Key Dates

  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key  
Romney: Orange.
Santorum: Green.
Gingrich: Purple.
Paul: Gold.
Rick Perry: Blue.
No votes: Black.
Yet to vote: Grey.


States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH GU MP AS HI PR
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND KS AL MS
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Ron Paul: VI


Next Contests  
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT

Rick Santorum Crushes Romney In Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado


Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) turned the Republican primary upside-down yesterday winning all three contests yesterday over the “frontrunner” Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

According to FiveThirtyEight blog’s Nate Silver:

In Minnesota, a state which Mr. Romney carried easily in 2008, he has so far failed to win a single county – and got just 17 percent of the vote. That put him 27 points behind Rick Santorum, and 10 points behind Ron Paul, who finished in second.

Missouri is a less important result since its beauty contest primary did not count for delegate selection and since turnout was understandably low there. But Mr. Romney lost all 114 counties in Missouri – and the state as a whole by 30 points, far more than polls projected.

Then there was Colorado, a state that has reasonably similar demographics to Nevada, which Mr. Romney carried easily on Saturday. Colorado has somewhat fewer Mormon voters than Nevada, which hurts Mr. Romney – but it has somewhat more wealthy ones, which favors him. The betting market Intrade gave Mr. Romney about a 97 percent chance of winning Colorado entering the evening. But he lost the state by 5 points to Mr. Santorum.

Mitt Romney will have some time to contemplate this turn of events. The next contests are the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday, February 28 followed by the Washington State and Maine caucuses on Saturday, March 3, and Super Tuesday, March 6 with voting in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

The next debates currently scheduled will be held by CNN on February 22 at 8pm in Mesa, Arizona and a super Tuesday debate March 1 at 8pm in Atlanta, Georgia.  

States Won

  • Santorum: IA, CO, MN, MO
  • Romney: NH, FL, NV
  • Gingrich: SC
  • Paul: none