For those unaware of what #PinkTsunami is, it is the name I have given to my new political projects aimed at shedding light on the elections going on in this country from a leftist feminist perspective. I first used this term in my 2018 Midterms piece and said that I would continue to use it to refer to future pieces, and I plan to follow through on that after all. Also I decided that political pieces will be up for everyone the moment I am done with them because I want people to be informed as soon as possible.

A lot of eyes are focused on 2020 in the world of US politics. It is not hard to see why given the immense amount of democratic candidates coming out of the woodwork to be the one run against President Pussygrabber. This is not even taking the senatorial elections into account where 22 Republicans will be defending their seats in an election where tons of pissed off citizens will inevitably storm the polling stations to vote out Trump and anyone associated with him.

It is easy for us to forget that there ARE elections occurring this year. Specifically there are three gubernatorial elections that will occur during this year, and they are all in red states. I think we should take a look at them, don’t you think? I’ve been working on a piece about the 2020 Senate elections that is similar to this one, so you can consider this a sneak preview to what some of my future political pieces are like.

Kentucky

A lot of attentions has been drawn to current US senator Mitch McConnell in the past few years. Mitch McConnell has been known for using his influence as Senate Majority leader to pack courts with extremist far right homophobic judges, for leading the Republicans infamous refusal to hold a vote for Merrick Garland, and for playing a vital role in the confirmation of accused rapist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There is a lot to say about Mitch McConnell, but he is not the only far right scumbag from Kentucky who is up for re-election in the next few years. In fact, current Republican Governor Matt Bevin is up for re-election later this year.

For those who don’t know, Matt Bevin is a far right nutcase who has compared Hillary Clinton supporters to Nazis, has signed a multitude of bills allowing for legal discrimination against LGBT people, restricting abortion rights, stripping labor unions of power, and has signed one bill that made it a hate crime to attack a police officer. Because apparently people choose to be gay and trans but don’t choose to be cops by Matt Bevin’s logic. Oh, and he also blamed video games for causing a school shooting and has compared them to pornography in that they “have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency,” so you gamers aren’t safe from him either.

The plus side is that Matt Bevin’s approval rating was the 6th lowest out of all the incumbent US Governors at the end of 2018, so it is entirely likely that he will be booted out of office on election day. This is even more likely when one keeps in mind that eight of the ten governors on that list lost re-election in 2018. The current date for the primary elections are set for May 21st. Unfortunately it is already too late to register to vote as the registration deadline was April 22nd, but if you are not registered to vote then you can still vote in the general election if you register by October 7th of 2019. If you cannot make it to vote on May 21st then you can also file for an absentee application until May 14th for the Primary and October 29th for the general election.

There are currently four declared candidates for the Democratic Primary. The first of these is Rocky Adkins, the current minority leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives. Adkins is your typical moderate democrat whose core strategy seems to be appealing to moderate Republican voters by being very pro gun rights and pro- life. In fact, he voted to prohibit abortion after 11 weeks of pregnancy. For comparison, most states prohibit abortion after about 24 weeks. His neoliberalism is further exemplified with his silence on LGBT rights.

While he would be a step up from Matt Bevin, I can’t say I’m a fan of Adkins from what I’ve seen and I can pretty much determine that a vote for Adkins is effectively a vote for Bevin. Centrist neoliberal candidates have been frequently outperformed by progressives and leftists even in red states as of late. One only needs to look to the 2018 midterm elections for reference. Beto O’Rourke and Stacy Abrams ran campaigns far more focused on energizing young liberal voters and attacking their opposition and they came far closer to beating their respective opponents than previous centrist Democrats have. Meanwhile, all four Democratic senators that were voted out of office in 2018 were centrist neoliberals. It’s becoming quite clear that the Democratic voter base is shifting ever leftwards, and we need a candidate with genuine progressive values if we want to vote these corrupt scumbags out of office.

Thankfully, there is more than one Kentucky candidate that fits the bill. The first of these is incumbent Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. Beshear’s campaign website takes a very strong and aggressive stance against Matt Bevin. Considering that Beshear has filed multiple successful lawsuits against Bevin as Attorney General, one can clearly tell that he is committed to the job. He also is running on a strongly pro choice, pro LGBT rights, pro voting rights, pro marijuana legalization, pro equal pay, pro healthcare, pro environment, and pro affordable college campaign so that is definitely a plus.

The other candidate is Adam Edelen, former Auditor of Public Accounts of Kentucky. Despite the fact that Edelen doesn’t mention LGBT rights, his website carries a very strong progressive vibe that allows me to easily assume he has our support. Specifically his plan for African American rights shows that he has given thought for how he plans to combat inequality by restoring voting rights, creating affordable housing in black neighborhoods, and issuing a “ban the box” executive order.

The final democratic candidate is Geoff Young, a perennial candidate who runs in as many elections as possible but never comes close to winning. He ran as the Green Party candidate for the Kentucky House of representatives in 2012 and lost with less than 10% of the vote. He lost the primary with less than 2% of the vote in 2018, less than 20% in 2016, and less than 40% in 2014 when running for the US House of Representatives. He ran forGovernor in 2015% and lost the primary with less than 22% of the vote. Yeah, he’s not going to win.

My prediction is that it’s going to come down to Edelen and Beshear since both of them have infinitely more brand recognition and stronger campaigns than Adkins. Unfortunately part of me is worried that Edelen and Beshear will split the vote among Kentucky leftists and lead to Adkins getting the nomination and then losing to to fuckhead Bevin. Still though, I think Beshear and Edelen would both have a pretty good shot at winning this. If you would like to support either of their campaigns, you can donate to Beshear’s campaign here and to Edelen’s campaign here.

Update: The winner of the Kentucky Democratic Primaries is Andy Beshear. I think that he also has a pretty good shot at winning given Bevin’s abysmal approval rating. I’m especially glad to hear this considering Beshear was my preferred pic and also the one with the best chance of winning. I’m especially hopeful that Beshear will win because if he does then it will likely signal the end for McConnell as well.

Louisiana

I’ve said in my 2018 midterm piece that Louisiana is so red that it belongs in a burn unit. Despite this fact, Louisiana not only has a Democratic governor, but a lot of sources say that this race will lean in John Bel Edwards’s favor. I can’t say I’m too surprised since I’m pretty sure the key reason nothing changed in 2018 is due to gerrymandering in the districts. Based on what I’ve read about Louisiana, it seems as if their congress is treating Edwards similarly to how the US congress treated Obama for eight years.

Despite this, Edwards seems fairly popular in Louisiana. Unfortunately this is because he is your standard neoliberal who is staunchly pro life and opposes the legalization of marijuana. I can understand the former at least since red states do have a fair amount of people who will literally base their entire vote on abortion (does not mean I agree with or condone it though) but the latter is indefensible. The only reason that pot was ever illegal to begin with was to put as many black people in jail as possible. This isn’t a generalization, this was ADMITTED by a Nixon official! Anyone who continues to support this pointless drug war is supporting racism. End of story.

So yes, Edwards is no Bernie Sanders, but he’s still better than damn near any Republican in his state would be. He is pro LGBT rights, against defunding Planned Parenthood, in favor of rehab for criminals, is in favor of equal pay for women, and most surprisingly of all, does not think that “pro-life” just means anti-abortion and believes it extend to helping the poor get access to healthcare. So naturally, it would be beneficial to keep him until someone better comes along. Considering there have been no democratic candidates other than Edwards, he seems like our best shot at the moment.

Thus far Edwards has two opponents who have declared candidacy. The first of these is US congressman Ralph Abraham. I’ll let his voting record speak for him.

Among other things, Abraham also supports Trump’s ban of trans people from the military, is opposed to same sex marriage, is a climate change denier, is against net neutrality, and has voted with President Pussygrabber 93.7% of the time. So yeah, he’s a piece of shit. The other candidate is Eddie Rispone, a rich CEO with no political experience other than giving his money to other big name republican scumbags, so he’s no good either.

Hopefully Edwards can keep his seat in 2019, as the southern states need as much as they can get. The Primary will be held on October 12th and the general election will be held on November 16th. Edwards cannot accept campaign donations until July but you can sign up here until then.

Mississippi

Of the three gubernatorial elections set for this year, I think this one will be the most difficult for Democrats to take. I’m pretty sure that it is self explanatory when Ms Public Hanging, Cindy Hyde-Smith, got elected in 2018 (speaking of which, she’s up for election to a full term in 2020). The Republican incumbent Phil Bryant is a total piece of shit, but he is thankfully term limited. The down side is that Mississippi is a blood red state and the Republican candidates are no improvement over Bryant.

The first declared candidate is state representative Robert Foster, a far right douchebag who voted in favor of a bill to legally discriminate against LGBT people and in favor of banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. There isn’t much info on him aside from this, but it is quite easy to draw one’s own conclusions and the only good thing about him is that he is at least critical of the war on drugs, but that’s like putting a band-aid over a bullet wound.

The current front runner for the Republican nomination is incumbent Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, and he likely won’t be much better than Bryant. Much like Bryant, Reeves supported that 15 week abortion bill and he also criticized a Mississippi judge for blocking a law to try that would allow them to cite religious beliefs to avoid issuing gay marriage licenses. None of these are his biggest fuckup though.

There was a controversy a few months ago regarding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in that a racist yearbook photo of him resurfaced that depicted a man in blackface standing next to someone in a KKK robe. It turns out that Northam is not the only one caught in that controversy, given that Tate Reeves was revealed to have been part of a fraternity that frequently wore blackface and hurled racial slurs at black students. I will just let the Jackson Free Press speak for me on this one.

One photo shows three Kappa Alphas wearing blackface, with one smoking a cigar. Another shows members dressed in drag, with one wearing an afro wig. One from a luau party shows shirtless members in blackface, wearing afro wigs and evoking “savage” imagery.

In another photo, a member of Kappa Alpha has dark paint on his face with the Confederate ‘X’ crisscrossing between his eyes. It is not clear if the student in the black and white photo wore black face paint or dark blue.

In Reeves’ freshman year, an add for the fraternity in the Nov. 10, 1993 issue of the Purple and White newspaper included a 1966 photo in which new recruits received invitations from what appears to be a child dressed in a mammy uniform, like that of a slave era housemaid.

The yearbooks list a “Black and White Party” as a social event the fraternity engaged in, along with the Old South Ball. Yearbook photos show pictures from the ball during Reeves time, with the fraternity’s all white men wearing garb akin to that of Confederate soldiers and their dates dressed as southern belles.

While Reeves was in Millsaps’ chapter of Kappa Alpha, the fraternity had a reputation for racist incidents. In 1994, the school newspaper reported an altercation between members of Kappa Alpha and some black students in which members of Reeves’ fraternity called them the n-word.

After the incident, the black students targeted with the epithets were talking to WLBT about what happened when members from another fraternity, Kappa Sigma, showed up and told one of them to “engage in oral sex with his ‘white genitals.'”

The Millsaps administration ordered Kappa Alpha and Kappa Sigma to pay for and attend sensitivity training, and put them on social probation. Photos of students wearing racist costumes and holding Confederate flags, though, continued to appear in subsequent yearbooks.

Yeah, this is pretty fucking fucking disgusting. While I’m not one to excuse Ralph Northam’s photo in any way, I would like to mention that Reeves was with this fraternity from the years 1993 to 1996. That is over a decade after Northam’s yearbook took place, which means also means that Reeves has had much less time to grow as a person. On top of that, Northam has at the very least held progressive policies while in office and a decent case can be made that he genuinely changed his ways. Hell he stated that he previously voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 when he was “apolitical” so I could buy the idea that he changed his beliefs before he had a political awakening that inspired him to run for Virginia senate. Reeves on the other hand, appeared at a Sons of Confederate Veterans event where “Yankees” were compared to Nazis… IN 2013!!!!!

Our third Republican candidate is former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller. I can’t find much info on him but he seems like a more moderate Republican than Reeves or Foster. Unfortunately this still means he will be an inferior choice to any Democrat in his state and it isn’t a guarantee he won’t try to pander to the far right if he wins.

The plus side is that there is no shortage of Democratic candidates either. We already have nine people who have declared candidacy for the Democratic nomination. A few of them seem to be nobodies that I can’t find any information on but I will stick to those who aren’t for this piece. The first of these is author Robert J Ray who has written two books on the subject of race so one can assume he will be good on that front, but his site is a mess and there is little information on him. I’m pretty sure I’d perform better than him in the race for Mississippi Governor, and I’m not even from Mississippi.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Ray’s stances, it is just that I don’t have much faith in him winning unless he seriously picks up the pace. On the other hand, he has already done better than three other Democratic candidates by even having a website. Hell he has more information available online than Philip West, and he is a former State Representative and Mayor.

The candidate with the highest chance of getting the nomination would most likely be Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. Jim Hood seems to be a rare example of a Democrat who is well like by southern Republicans despite the fact that he has a fairly progressive track record. He has opposed Governor Bryant’s attempt to pass the previously mentioned anti LGBT bill and has prosecuted members of the KKK for one. It is not as if he has received no criticism for this, but he does seem to know how to appeal to independents well enough to maintain appeal.

Unfortunately he has some baggage that needs to be discussed. The first of these is in regards to the yearbook photos and the fraternity that Tate Reeves was part of… Jim Hood was part of it to. This of course kills his chances of victory because his name ensures everyone will be making “more like Jim Crowe/Klan Hood” jokes until he gets Howard Dean-ed out of the race, but I would just like to be fair that his policies at least show a genuine improvement and he didn’t meet with the Sons of Confederates. Also if you read his response, you will see that he had a much more rational and level headed response to criticism while Tate Reeves acted agitated and paranoid.

So the choice is obvious if it comes down to Reeves and Hood, but he has three more opponents. Unfortunately for Hood, they are all black. And even less fortunately for him, one of them is Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, someone that Hood unsuccessfully tried to prosecute three times and that Smith claims were racially and politically motivated. If Smith does have text messages that prove this like he says, then it could very well sway the vote away from Hood in the primaries. And even if it doesn’t, it could result in Hood not having the support of the Democratic base.

Ignoring the whole quandary based on whether or not Hood tried to get Smith arrested for political gain and focusing on them as candidates, I can’t say I’m a fan of Smith’s policies given his support for that aforementioned abortion bill. My candidate of choice would have to be Velesha P. Williams. Yes I know, who would have thought my preferred candidate would have been the only woman?

But the reason why I prefer Williams in particular is the fact that she clearly has thought a lot about this, speaks with very strong conviction, and criticizes Jim Hood on a large number of issues. She speaks the truth and is a genuine progressive who clearly has a much stronger campaign than Hood does. Of course, she has an uphill battle to get the nomination over Hood, but I hope she wins this. I am also quite fond of Albert Wilson’s campaign as well, but I think that Williams has both the better campaign and a better shot at beating Jim Hood and Tate Reeves. The primary election will be held on August 6th and the general election of November 5th. If you want to support their campaigns, you can donate to Velesha P. Williams’s here and Albert Wilson’s here.

Conclusion

We seem to be in a rare spot where Democrats are capable of winning the gubernatorial elections in all three states this year, all of which are deep red states. That doesn’t mean that all three are going to win but the point is at least one of them will. My prediction is that Bevin is going to lose and John Bel Edwards will win re-election, but I’m not quite as confident in Democrats winning Mississippi. To be fair, I do think that Jim Hood could win against Tate Reeves cause he has polled higher than him, but it is more so a question of if that is a good thing after we know about the skeletons in his closet. Still though, you could have either a progressive leftist like Velesha Williams or Albert Wilson who rallied dormant leftists who had no faith in the system prior, or you have Jim Hood who has some serious problems but is still an immense improvement over his predecessor AND his opponent.

It is because of situations like this why I try to avoid connecting to politicians as actual people, because at the end of the day I likely wouldn’t get along with even most Democrats if I knew them personally. I instead prefer to view them from a practicality standpoint of which ones will better push our country in the right direction and will be less of a piece of shit. You can’t spark a revolution just by voting but it sets the stage fairly well, and we need to take advantage of what we can if we want anything to change.

Of course, I’m likely either preaching to the choir or I’m talking to a wall depending on who reads this, but the point is that the outcome is going to be interesting here. If you would like to support this series and my other work then please consider pledging to my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/AnnieGal. If you would like to help spread the word about this cause then please consider sharing my videos with friends or on social media with the hashtag #PinkTsunami.

Take care, comrades!

 

 

One thought on “Pink Tsunami: 2019 US Gubernatorial Elections

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