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A few more election thoughts

OK, people, one last day of election stuff and I'll move on.

I was struck first in the voting booth, and again in reading the vote tabulations in Thursday's paper, at the competition in local judicial races.

Let's see, for Buffalo City Court there was McLeod on the Democratic line and McLeod on the Republican line.

Erie County Court, Pietruszka vs. Pietruszka.

Erie County Family Court, Rodwin vs. Rodwin.

Only when you got to State Supreme Court did you have a choice, three candidates, vote for two.

And they (the party bosses) call this democracy. (Hit it, Bruce)

Next, what lies in store for State Senate Republicans come January, when they lose their majority? My colleague Tom Precious discusses Dale Volker, who spends more on his office operation than anyone in the local delegation, some $1 million.

First elected to the Senate in 1975, Volker was coming to grips Wednesday with his loss of majority power. Come January, he will be stripped of his Codes Committee chairmanship. His staff will be slashed, his office downsized, his influence reduced.

To say nothing of the loss in pork barrel spending, which Volker spread around his district like manure in the months leading up his primary, then general election. Well over $2 million.

My guess: This is it for Volker. After more than three decades in the majority, with all its perks, moving to the back of the bus will hold zero appeal.

Finally, on the national front, Gristmill speculates on what green agenda to expect from an Obama presidency.

A declining carbon cap with fully auctioned permits, massive investments in energy research, job training, infrastructure, and efficiency, a renewable portfolio standard, a low-carbon fuel standard, higher fuel economy standards, and so on and on, in great detail. It is marred by its lavish support for biofuels and "clean coal," but that is a minor flaw in light of the historic changes it would spark if fully implemented.

Will it be fully implemented? In trying to figure out what Obama will do, it's helpful to contemplate how he navigated the campaign itself.

The overall campaign strategy was to play the long game, to proceed steadily toward big targets and not get flustered or distracted by the day-to-day news cycle. No-drama Obama.

MSNBC's Bob Sullivan had a good item the other day about Ralph Nader's final press conference before the election. Nader gave only one-word responses, his way of taking a shot at sound-bite journalism.

What should Bush do on his last day in office? "Surrender."

Will Obama be able to provide tax cuts to 95 percent of the population? "Impossible."

What is your opinion of the media? "Servile."

Contrived, but clever. The reader posts are pretty good, too.


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