Edith Jones is 104 years old. She says everything she starts, she finishes, and that's why she's never missed an opportunity to vote.
The first state to hold a presidential primary to select delegates to a national convention was Florida in 1904, when Democratic Party voters held a primary among uninstructed candidates for delegate.
Edith was born on July 12th of 1908. Early in 1908, the only two Republican contenders running nationwide campaigns for the presidential nomination were Secretary of War William Howard Taft and Governor Joseph B. Foraker, both of Ohio.
In the nomination contest, four states held primaries to select national convention delegates. In Ohio, the state Republican Party held a primary on February 11. Candidates pledged to Taft were printed on the ballot in a Taft column, and candidates pledged to Foraker were printed in a column under his name. Taft won a resounding victory in Ohio. The three states holding primaries to select delegates without the preference component were split: California chose a slate of delegates that supported Taft; Wisconsin elected a slate that supported Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr., and Pennsylvania elected a slate that supported its Senator Philander C. Knox.
The 1908 Republican Convention was held in Chicago from June 16 to June 19. William Howard Taft was nominated with 702 votes to 68 for Knox, 67 for Hughes, 58 for Cannon, 40 for Fairbanks, 25 for LaFollette, 16 for Foraker, 3 for President Roosevelt, and one abstention. About a month later Edith Jones cried her first cry and entered the world as it was then. Theodore Roosevelt was the president for the first few months of Edith's life.
The United States presidential election of 1908 was held on Nov. Popular incumbent President Theodore Roosevelt, honoring a promise not to seek a third term, persuaded the Republican Party to nominate William Howard Taft, his close friend and Secretary of War, to become his successor.
The Democratic Party turned to two time nominee William Jennings Bryan, who had been defeated in 1896 and 1900 by
Republican William McKinley. Despite his two previous defeats, Bryan remained extremely popular among the more liberal and populist elements of the Democratic Party. Despite running a vigorous campaign against the nation's business elite, Bryan suffered the worst loss in his three presidential campaigns, and Taft won by a comfortable margin.
Edith has lived under the Presidential Administrations of Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama. To say she has seen it all may not even begin to cover the story. In theory when she attained the age to vote she had the right to do so.
Amendment XV to the U.S. Constitution -
Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
Edith Jones has been casting her vote since the age of 29. She first voted in 1937. That was the year Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was re-elected for his second term. Born under the first Roosevelt and casting her first vote under the second Roosevelt to be an American President Edith has treasured and kept alive her tradition of voting for 75 years.
But if you ask her who her favorite president is, she'll say without any hesitation it was John F. Kennedy.
"He had a vision and he had something he wanted to do that was worthwhile," she said.
She says that's something she plans to do as long as she's able.
"Always. Why not? Why not vote? See that's the trouble. People don't continue," said Jones.
"Forward. That means onward, that means forward, not backward."
Mr Beasley answering questions about changes in the voting laws at one of our meetings.
ACVDN Salutes Edith Jones. Gary Beasley and the whole team at his office deserve a lot of credit for helping Amherst County Voters cast their ballots. Mr. Beasley is the Amherst County General Registrar and his office is at 113 Taylor St on the first floor of the Amherst County Courthouse. Phone numbers 434-946-9315 or 434-946-9345.
Working Phone Banks
You Never Know Who Might Show Up
Effect On Race Of
Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson
Virgil Goode has not gotten much attention from the press or pollsters in his quixotic quest to disrupt the Virginia theater of the presidential race. PPP's recent poll ignored Goode & Gary Johnson when it showed Obama+2 in VA. This race is close enough that the presence of two candidates with the capacity to siphon votes from Romney on the VA ballot could swing VA's 13 electorial votes to Obama. The New York Times did a piece last week on Johnson's campaign which included a bit on Goode but there has been a dearth of information on Goode's impact on the campaign. PPP included Goode & Johnson in an October 7 poll showing Goode with 1%, Johnson with 4% and boosting Obama's lead by 1% overall from 3% to 4% with the inclusion of those two in that race. Why PPP has chosen to leave them off their latest poll is unknown. Goode is on the ballot in more than 20 states as the Constitution Party candidate but Virginia is the place this favorite son may actually sway the final tally.
For all the hand wringing that has made it's way into various diaries about polls and polling methodologies here I am surprised about the lack of Virgil Goode data in VA. It would be interesting to hear if anyone in Virginia, especially in Goode's congressional district, have any comments on the state of his campaign. In a campaign that is too close to call where even one swing state could tip the balance of the entire race this information is worth at least some attention.
In Nevada, a CNN/ORC International poll last month showed Goode winning 4% support and Johnson 3%, with Obama holding
a 47%-44% lead over Romney in the state. Based on 2008 turnout in Nevada, the support for Goode and Johnson would
amount to about 67,000 votes.
Goode, a former Democrat-turned-Republican congressman from Virginia known for an anti-immigration stance and other strongly conservative policies, routinely won well over 120,000 votes in his home district in elections from 1996 to 2008.
If he gets only 10% of that support this time, it could be enough to swing what is currently considered a dead-even race for Virginia's 13 electoral votes to Obama.
Last week, the Republican Times Free Press of Chattanooga, TN endorsed Johnson over Romney. Though TN is not a swing state, the endorsement has created blog buzz and FWIW, TN does border on NC.
Some have argued that as a "social liberal," Johnson might peel away Obama voters as much as Romney voters. That's possible, but not likely. Goode, on the other hand, will be attractive to Republicans who just don't trust Romney to be as racist as they would like. Virgil Goode will sell well in the 5th and 6th districts of VA.
Here's Goode in 2006: The Muslim Representative from Minnesota [Keith Ellison] was elected by the voters of that
district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. This was a lie told by Goode but it was believed by 5th district republicans. Keith Ellison was sworn in using a Bible and never requested a Koran
That's red meat for some Virginia voters (i.e., the 120,000 who voted for him in his last election for Congress) who think Romney is squishy on these issues. These same tea party republicans are not happy with Romney being a Morman.
As for third party threats to Obama, Democrats have apparently learned the Nader lesson. Green Party candidate Jill Stein barely shows up in polls, and is not on the ballot in swing states NC and NH.
ACVDN wishes Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode the best of luck and many votes.
Does Cutting Taxes Create Jobs?
Republicans say it all the time, over and over. We will cut taxes on the job creators, the upper 1%, and the economy will flourish. They never explain why it has failed to work for the Bush years and the Obama years. The last time we had great job creation Bill Clinton was President and during his eight years 22 Million jobs were created and Bill raised taxes.
John Kenneth Galbraith cynically referred to this as the “horse and sparrow” theory: “If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” But there’s some sense to it. Income taxes when Reagan took office were confiscatory — the top-bracket rate was 70 percent. Few actually paid it, of course. Over the years the wealthy had gamed the system to create a seamy mess of loopholes to avoid taxation.
Reagan changed that. The top rate was cut sharply — today it’s 35 percent — and many tax shelters were eliminated.
The result wasn’t a flat tax, but it was flatter and more transparent than before.
But Reagan didn’t change the other side of the big-government equation. In his influential 1981 book Wealth and Poverty, George Gilder argued that tax cuts needed to be balanced with public spending cuts. Reagan skipped that part. He cut back on social programs but cranked the defense budget. The excuse was the infamous Laffer Curve, the brainchild of economist Arthur Laffer, who reputedly sketched it on a napkin during a 1974 power lunch. The curve plotted tax revenue against tax rates, supposedly showing lower rates would spur the economy and produce a net
increase in government revenue.
Magic? No, the start of the con. Reagan’s first budget director, David Stockman, later admitted to journalist William Greider that he pushed through the 1981 tax cuts knowing full well they would lead to massive federal budget deficits. He hoped this would keep Congress from spending on domestic programs.
How did this bastardized version of trickle-down economics work out for those on the bottom economic rung? On the face of it, not too well. Reagan took office with a 7.5 percent unemployment rate. By September 1982 it had climbed to more than 10 percent and didn’t drop below 7 percent till halfway through his second term. From 1979 through 2004 the real after-tax income of the poorest fifth of the country rose by a paltry 9 percent, while that of the richest fifth rose by 69 percent. Over roughly the same period CEO pay rose by about 500 percent.
That’s not the con, though. The real cause of growing U.S. income disparity isn’t tax policy but globalization. What with competition from China and other low-wage countries, U.S. workers are in no position to demand better pay. It’s the crowd whose skills can’t be easily outsourced, known as the creative class if you’re part of it or the 1 percent if you’re not, that’s made off with most of the enormous increase in wealth of the past 30 years.
Which brings us to the con. A string of millionaire candidates for public office has duped a good chunk of the electorate into thinking the way to create jobs and otherwise solve the problems of the middle class is to cut the taxes of the wealthy. That's absurd. If the massive tax cuts of the Reagan era didn’t do the average worker much good, trimming another percent or two now sure won’t.
What it will do is leave more money in the pockets of the comfortably affluent.
Why does this self-serving argument fly? Because too many Americans don’t get where they stand in the scheme of things. The U.S. has one of the most unequal distributions of income in the developed world — we're closer to Latin America in that respect than to Europe — and perilously low economic mobility. But much of the country's workforce believes it’s either already in the overtaxed bourgeoisie or on its way there. The top 10 percent of filers shoulder most of the income tax burden (about 70 percent in 2009). For a typical U.S. wage-earner to worry about sharing in
this plight is borderline delusional.
Don’t misunderstand. Keeping taxes at a moderate level is a good thing. Arthur Laffer makes the legitimate point that in 1925, 1965, and 1985, cutting taxes from very high levels to more reasonable ones caused the economy to boom.
But know this. While cutting taxes sometimes may help the country as a whole, if you’re like most people, it probably won’t help you.
The Republicans hope you are uninformed and think cutting taxes on the wealthy will improve your lot. It Won't.
Amherst County Virginia