Politico: Giuliani backs ‘perfectly fair’ Ifill


Giuliani backs ‘perfectly fair’ Ifill

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended PBS host and vice presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill Wednesday, calling her “a very honest, decent journalist.”

Ifill has been at the center of a conservative uproar over her coming book, “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

“All my experiences with her have always been very positive,” Giuliani said on a conference call. “I think she is a very honest, decent journalist. I have no question that she will be perfectly fair in the way she asks the questions.”

But Giuliani added that the mainstream media’s coverage of Ifill’s book demonstrates a double-standard against conservatives.

“I just have an observation like I’ve had throughout this campaign, and this is by no means criticism of Gwen Ifill, but I think if the moderator of this debate was someone who was writing a book that basically said ‘The Age of McCain,’ I have a feeling that a lot more of these publications would be saying that the person should not be doing it,” Giuliani said.

Michigan Messenger: Two GOP precinct delegates in Michigan have ties to white nationalism

Michigan Messenger

Two GOP precinct delegates in Michigan have ties to white nationalism

A self-avowed member of the Klu Klux Klan, Randy Gray of Midland, is the second newly elected Republican precinct delegate in Michigan who has ties to white supremacist organizations.

Gray was elected by Midland County Republican voters to serve the party in Midland County. The other newly elected Republican official is Kyle Bristow. He is the newly minted Clinton Township (Macomb County) Republican precinct delegate and is the former chair of the Michigan state chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group.

In a report from Media Mouse (a West Michigan news blog), Gray said that all he had to do was put his name on the ballot and that he did not campaign for the position. The Media Mouse report includes a screen shot of Gray bragging about his victory on the message board of a white nationalist Web site, Stormfront.org. There is no evidence available whether Bristow campaigned for the position, either, or, similar to Gray, merely applied successfully to get his name on the ballot.

In his new position with the Republican Party, Gray reports to Midland County Republican Chair Diane Bristol. When called for comment, Bristol told Michigan Messenger, “If, in fact, he’s associated with the KKK, [then] yes, it troubles me.

New Nebraska Network: Affirmative Action: Real Leaders Reveal Heineman’s Cowardice & Calculation

New Nebraska Network

Affirmative Action: Real Leaders Reveal Heineman’s Cowardice & Calculation

A debate last week between the candidates for the Nebraska Legislature in LD 37 offered some hope in the ongoing affirmative action debate as both Republican candidates spoke up in defense of opportunity and diversity.  The Kearney Hub reports:

Responding to a question from a Mexican-American student attending the forum, both [Jim] George and [Galen] Hadley said they oppose the initiative to end affirmative action in Nebraska. If approved on Nov. 4, the initiative would end race- and gender-based preference and strip many ethnic students of the scholarships they need to attend college in Nebraska. “Affirmative action still has a place,” George said. “You want to be fair and give everyone an opportunity.”

Hadley said he worked hard as a college administrator to ensure the applicant pools he assembled for vacancies were a cross sampling of the population. Referring to Lexington, which has more than a 50-percent minority population, Hadley said ending Affirmative Action would deny many youths in that community of 10,000 the opportunity for higher education.

“It means that people have a chance. We need to help so legal immigrants have a shot at higher education,” Hadley said.

There’s nothing simple about the issue of affirmative action.  As its future in the state is put to voters, the very least they should expect is their leaders being honest and forthcoming about where they stand.  Congressional representatives probably have a lesser responsibility because this isn’t a federal issue. But, an amendment to the state constitution is definitely in the Governor’s domain – especially when it promises to severely tie the hands of state and local governments, public programs and public institutions.

I don’t buy into the demagoguery that has too often surrounded affirmative action from both sides of the debate.  To me, much more important than the position taken on this issue is how one actually comes to that final determination.  What factors are considered?  How does one communicate his or her decision to voters? It’s in these questions that a leader’s true value can be measured.  Here, Heineman proves himself practically worthless by his avoidance of the issue.  His refusal to answer so simple a question – even if it required a more complicated answer – is outrageous, insulting and downright irresponsible.

Wall Street Journal Washington Wire: Some Conservatives Want PBS’s Ifill Out as Debate Moderator

Wall Street Journal Washington Wire

Some Conservatives Want PBS’s Ifill Out as Debate Moderator

Others are agitating for voters to voice their opposition with the Commission on Presidential Debates to “request that a replacement for Ifill be a neutral and unbiased moderator,” wrote Deborah Hamilton of Hamilton Strategies, a conservative public relations firm, in an email today.

Ifill’s journalism colleagues have come to her defense. “Of virtually all the reporters I know, Gwen is somebody I have no idea where she stands politically. I mean, I have no idea where she is,” Judy Woodruff told the Huffington Post. “Writing this book does not present a problem ‘at all,’” she added. “I haven’t seen it because Gwen has been working on it. But Gwen Ifill is a reporter. She is not someone who delivers opinion and I know that that is not the type of book she is involved in.”

UPDATE: Palin told Sean Hannity today that she had no objections to Ifill’s role as moderator. “You know, I’m not going to let it be a concern,” she said, adding that the scrutiny just makes her “work harder” in the campaign. “It makes us want to communicate more clearly and profoundly with the electorate, letting them know what the contrasts are between these two tickets,” she said.

The Roots of Symbolic Racism I: Kevin Phillips, 1970

New York Times (5/17/70)

Nixon’s Southern Strategy ‘It’s All in the Charts’

From a profile of political strategist Kevin Phillips”

“The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are.”

Yahoo News: Obama Backers Worry His Race Will Hurt Him in `Middletown, USA’

Yahoo News

Obama Backers Worry His Race Will Hurt Him in `Middletown, USA’

Hurley Goodall knows what it’s like to be first and black.He has white Democratic voters in Muncie, Indiana, to thank for breaking a barrier when he was elected to the General Assembly 30 years ago.

Race is a powerful subtext of this presidential election, and its impact is largely hidden, with few white voters willing to acknowledge openly that they won’t vote for Obama because he is black.

Goodall isn’t so sure other whites will feel the same way. He estimates that “more than half” of Muncie’s poor white Democrats will vote for McCain. “If they do better than that, it will surprise me,” said Goodall, who went to work in the neighborhood foundry at age 16 during World War II. “I know them all, but when it comes to race, I don’t trust them and they supported me every time I’ve ran.”

Michael Carpenter, a 65-year-old tour-bus driver, might be one of those people. He says he’s leaning toward McCain, citing the Arizona senator‘s Navy experience and Obama’s race. Blacks “have an ax to grind, and they are going to grind it,” he said. “If he gets elected, this country is in for some real troubles.”

After canvassing white Democratic neighborhoods earlier this month, local Democrats grew concerned that race was playing a bigger role than they have previously expected.

“Who’s going to look at you and say, `I am just not going to vote for him because he’s a black man,”’ said Tyler, who knocks on doors for a couple of hours every day, asking voters to fill out their absentee ballots. “Nobody is going to tell you that.”

Sue Errington, the county’s state senator, said she heard more racial arguments against Obama in the Democratic primary, when she was on the other side, stumping for Hillary Clinton, a New York senator.

Those same voters now “raise the experience issue,” Errington said, “but you know it’s something else.”

“It’s harder to address the underlying issues when they won’t bring it up themselves,” she said.

ThinkProgress: McCain responds: ‘I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.’


McCain responds: ‘I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.’

Today, Fox News’s Carl Cameron asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if he still supports having PBS’s Gwen Ifill moderate Thursday’s vice presidential debate, in light of the fact that she is writing a book called “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” McCain said that he retains full confidence in her ability to be objective:

I think that Gwen Ifill is a professional and I think she will do a totally objective job, because she is a highly respected professional. Does this help that if she has written a book that’s favorable to Sen. Obama? Probably not. But I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.

Watch it: