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The Democratic Primary Where the Candidates Agree on Constraining Democracy


The Democratic gubernatorial primary is where there is substantial agreement that the scope of democratic and representative decision-making needs to be narrowed (ironic, isn’t it?), so that special interests will encounter less interference with their ability to extract resources from the people. All three candidates with a chance of winning tomorrow seem comfortable with a government that gives more governing power to private interest groups at the expense elected public bodies, and even the people themselves.

The candidates are willing to ignore prohibitions on burdening the taxpayers with debt without their direct consent, and to ignore direct language that places retiree benefits outside of the collective bargaining process, because special interests do not approve of these laws. This kind of “leadership” is moving our system in a direction where certain privileged special interests are assumed to sit above the government, with a right to exercise powers that are above the law, that the government of the people never consented to, and cannot change.

GOP Gubernatorial Primary: After the Campaign, Allan Fung is the Clear Conservative Choice


Neither Allan Fung nor Ken Block would claim to be an idealized conservative. The difference between them is this: where Allan Fung doesn’t have fully-conservative positions or has moved to more conservative positions over his political career, he tends towards telling us what the substance of his positions is now (e.g. finding a real limit to the pro-choice position at late-term abortion; having evolved on gun-control), while Ken Block tends towards telling us that a number of issues of importance to conservatives aren’t important enough to merit attention right now (put the “social issues” aside until the economy is fixed; won’t move the needle one iota either way on gun control, etc.).

The area where Ken Block has most directly tried to define his plan, if not himself, as conservative is in the area of making government more efficient. No one doubts that Block is sincere about this, or that he is probably capable of administering government better than it is being administrated now. But, by itself, wanting government to be efficient doesn’t define a conservative position. Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras sincerely want government to be more efficient too.

The problem is that trying to be “conservative” on fiscal issues, while declaring neutrality on many others, cedes the setting of government goals to liberals. Actively disengaging from other conservative priorities in the name of a total focus on economic efficiency, helps advance (intentionally or not) the liberal, Democratic one-way-ratchet-towards-more-and-bigger-government ideology of governance, because the balance point between a liberalism that believes in expanding government and a “conservatism” that restricts itself to getting government to be more cost-effective at whatever it’s doing is a government that constantly expands, just not at the full-speed-ahead rate that liberals would like.

Conservative voters want Republican leadership willing to support conservative solutions from the outset. And, to bring a legitimate issue up one more time, as their positions on Obamacare showed, Allan Fung is the candidate in this race that is comfortable immediately considering conservative positions on substantive issues, while with Ken Block it seems that liberal solutions have to be tried first and not work as well as promised, before he’s ready to start thinking about whether it’s time to start thinking more conservatively.

GOP Gubernatorial Primary: A Final Word on Ken Block’s Vote for Obama


When choosing a President based on the very legitimate criteria of his influence over the Supreme Court, had Ken Block considered what it might mean for basic issues of religious freedom, the right to bear arms, and economic rights?

Republicans want a leader who is going to do more than work around the strange ideas that liberals have, after they’ve been implemented in government. His good work on the master lever notwithstanding, the votes for Obama are a strong suggestion that Ken Block isn’t that type of leader.

Little Towns, Big (Government) Guns

The events in Ferguson, MO have drawn widespread public attention to the increasing militarization of local police departments. It’s a topic that has been discussed amongst civil–rights minded folks for the last decade or so and has both national and local impact.