Sam Seder: Pay Attention To Downballot Races In November

My favorite online host Sam Seder sat in for Chris Hayes Saturday morning on Up With Chris Hayes. This segment really stood out for me, because he tied in the Chicago Teachers' Strike, Rick Scott's shenanigans in Florida, and the Congressional race between Rob Zerban and Paul Ryan in Wisconsin to drive home the point that November isn't only about electing the President, but about getting rid of some of these corrupt do-nothings in Congress, local and municipal governments.

Here's the summary of Sam's points about what Republicans are pulling on a state and local level:

  • Florida: Despite Rick Scott's jihad on voter fraud, there has only been one fraudulently registered voter discovered: Austrian-born Canadian citizen Josef Sever. Mr. Sever also took advantage of his fraudulent status to buy -- ahem -- guns.

    Also in Florida, conservatives Orange County commissioners successfully shoved an initiative off the November ballot which would have required employers of more than 15 employees to provide paid sick leave. Big businesses like Disney had recently lost a lawsuit to prevent it and they just managed to wrangle enough stooges to actually kill the initiative altogether. So family oriented of them, isn't it? Get sick, go broke. Nice guys there in Florida.

  • Chicago - It appears that teachers in Chicago have reached a tentative settlement with Chicago Public Schools. According to the Huffington Post, teachers were able to negotiate a pay raise and some job security provisions, but the devil will be in the details of the actual settlement.
  • Wisconsin - Blue America candidate Rob Zerban is gaining on Paul Ryan, causing Ryan to start running ads in his district for his Congressional seat even as he pursues his Vice Presidential aspirations. Zerban is gaining on Ryan and the race is viable, despite the DCCC's refusal to step up and help him win it.

Even though the polls are showing Obama gaining, that surge doesn't necessarily spill over to the downticket races unless people actually get out the vote, and vote! Thanks to Sam for the reminder.

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