Monthly Archives: April 2021

Ratf**cking, Voter Suppression & a “Sleazy” Petition Drive (Guest: David Daley)



Mark Brewer and Jeff Timmer open this week’s show with the inside view of efforts they are leading to disrupt statehouse Republicans:

  • Timmer’s  promised recalls aimed at legislators voting for the GOP voter suppression package
  • Brewer’s fight against the “sleazy” and sometimes downright illegal petition drive seeking to restrict the emergency powers of future Governors.

They are then joined by one of the nation’s top experts in gerrymandering, the every-ten-years political exercise to influence election results through partisan map-drawing: author David Daley.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the first of its 2020 reports in the last few days and, as expected, Michigan is one of 7 states losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The population shifts and reallocation of House seats will set launch the every-ten-years battle over drawing congressional maps. Joining us today: an expert in the political gamesmanship of redistricting.

Daley is a senior fellow for FairVote and the author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, which helped spark the recent drive to reform gerrymandering. Dave’s second book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy, chronicles the victories and defeats in state efforts to reform elections and uphold voting rights. 

A frequent lecturer and media source about gerrymandering, he is the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com, and the former CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project. He is a digital media fellow at the Wilson Center for the Humanities and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, New York magazine, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Details, and he’s been on CNN and NPR. When writing for the Hartford Courant, he helped identify Mark Felt as the “Deep Throat” source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Links and Transcript


The Happy Warriors of “The Meidas Touch”



Brett, Ben and Jordan Meiselas: “The Meidas Touch”

The three brothers who created the Meidas Touch PAC are the new happy warriors of politics. They gleefully donate their time and talents to skewering MAGA-preaching politicians. Their fast-response videos have generated millions of hits, and led to a burgeoning grassroots movement that supports a growing multimedia structure and an ever-increasing number of local Meidas Touch chapters.
Jeff Timmer and Mark Brewer talk about one of the most improbable stories of the 2020 campaign cycle with Meidas Touch creators Brett, Jordan and Ben Meilesas.

Ben Meiselas is a Partner at Geragos & Geragos, where he focuses on civil litigation and civil rights law. Most notably, Ben represented Colin Kaepernick in his highly-publicized lawsuit against the NFL and led a class action lawsuit against Billy MacFarland and FYRE festival. He put together the Kaepernick NIKE endorsement deal, widely regarded as one of the top marketing campaigns in history. Ben is also the co-founder of Kaepernick publishing, where he recently inked a deal with Amazon for distribution. Ben was Variety’s 2019 Power of Law award recipient.

Bret Meiselas is a two-time Emmy award winning video editor and digital media strategist. He was a video editor for the Ellen DeGeneres show for over five years and ran digital media for a major sports organization, in addition to working as a creative executive for a mainstream film & TV production company.

Jordan Meiselas is a Marketing Account Supervisor based in New York City. He has been responsible for running campaigns and activations for some of the world’s top brands including HBO, the NFL and AT&T.

Transcript

 


1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis



Mark and Jeff are joined by 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Dukakis the longest-serving Governor in Massachusetts history, winning his first term in 1974. After losing his reelection bid in 1978, he regained the governorship in 1982, serving for two more terms. (He’s only the 2nd Greek-American Governor in American history.) 

Since leaving office, Dukakis has served on the board of directors for Amtrak and has taught political science at Northeastern University and UCLA. Governor Dukakis and his wife Kitty have been married for 58 years. The two of them have published a combined 9 books.

A little presidential campaign history:
In 1984, Ronald Reagan demolished Walter Mondale … winning 49 states. Mondale barely avoided a clean sweep by winning his home state of Minnesota by just 4,000 votes. Reagan’s popular vote margin was a massive 19 percent. 

Four years later, Michael Dukakas’ campaign launched what turned out to be a national Democratic revival. He won 10 states and came close in seven more … cutting the popular vote gap more than half and setting the stage for Bill Clinton’s defeat of George H.W. Bush in 1992. 

Beginning in 1992,  Democratic presidential candidates have won the popular vote in 7 out of 8 elections.

Transcript and Links


Whither Goest the GOP (Guest: Gov. John Kasich)



Mark and Jeff are joined by former Ohio Governor and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich to discuss the future of the Republican Party, the nadir of traditional GOP fiscal conservativism and Joe Biden’s progressive populism. Kasich was one of the nation’s most popular Governors (reelected in 2014 by a two-to-one margin) but now is branded a “RINO” by the ruling Trumpian establishment of his party.

Kasich’s reelection in 2014 came after he supported Medicaid expansion after enactment of Obamacare, much to the distress of national Republicans.

Governor Kasich previously served for 18 years in Congress where he chaired the House Budget Committee. His political career began as a member of the Ohio State Senate. In 2016 he voted for John McCain for President as a write-in; in 2020 he broke from fellow Republicans to endorse the election of Joe Biden.

Links and Transcript