On November 19, 2018, Michael “Vass” Vasquez was the featured speaker for the monthly meeting of the Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC). The topic of the night was a post mortem on the 2018 mid-term elections, with a focus on New York State and the Southern Tier. The speech was to be followed by a Q&A session.
Due to the enthusiasm of the attendees, and the details involved, the live event became a question and answer event. Details on Affidavit votes, outside spending, changes in culture of voters, illegal immigration, and other questions took precedence. We are providing the text of the intended speech, for those unable to attend the actual event.
There are many things that can be said about the 2018 mid-term elections. Perhaps the single best word to describe it is surprise.
To be fair, there was no Blue Wave nationally – though many in the news media sold this idea for most of the year. While Democrats did win the House, with 23 seats sealing the victory, it is not record-breaking or even uncommon. At the same time, Republicans widened their hold on the Senate, moving to 52 seats plus the Vice-President if needed. Similar results in Governors and State legislatures confirm, there was no wave. Just a regular mid-term election.
Turning to New York State, there was more of this wave. In fact there was a massive increase in interest in this election, that prior mid-terms have not had. The singular constant, at a State if not national level, was how people felt about President Trump. This was an election that turned on perception, without regard to any actual facts at play. But more on that in a moment.
Out of a potential 11.6 million active voters, unofficially some 5.8 million people actually voted in New York State. This is an impressive number for a non-presidential race. In 2016 some 7.7 million voted for President. In the 2014 mid-term elections a paltry 3.8 million votes were recorded. 2018 was an increase of 52.6% in voter participation, or 5 in 10 voting.
The only clear winner in the Governor’s race was the Libertarian Party. They gathered 51,367 votes or 0.89% of all votes. In 2014, Libertarians had 16,769 votes, making the growth 206%. The key is that this allowed them to finally cross the threshold to becoming an officially recognized political party in New York State. That conveys a slew of perks, making them contenders in local and Statewide races for 2019 and beyond.
Conversely the biggest loser may well be the Green Party. They saw a drop in votes to just 95,716 votes. This is a drop of 12k votes from the 2016 election where they had 107,935 votes. Compared to the 2014 mid-term election, they were routed. They lost 88k votes from the recorded 184,419. Much of this loss in interest was the move of the Democrat Party to the Socialist Far Left, usurping several of the issues they had championed without public interest for years.
It’s sad but the expected outcome of the Governor’s race was a clear victory for Andrew Cuomo. With a win margin of 21pts, the 3rd term of Governor Cuomo has begun. It should be noted that the 2,089,228 votes for Republican challenger Marc Molinaro were just barely more than the total votes for Cuomo in 2014. This was also an increase of 36% over the 2014 Republican result of 1,537,077.
Moving on the regional races, there is the State Senate and State Assembly. For the NY-52nd State Senate race, Fred Akshar was unopposed. He received a total of 76,189. Some credible sites on the internet (like ballotpedia) claim this is 98% of the vote. In fact, unofficially, the total was closer to 76%. This percentage of win is important and will be addressed. It is also of note that this is a reduction in votes versus the 89,180 received in 2016, but still more than the special election voters of 45,157 in 2015.
Similarly, in the 123rd Assembly race, Donna Lupardo was unopposed. She equally received 98% of votes – according to the same sources as misreported Senator Akshar – for a total of 29,414. In actuality that was 67% of the vote. Again this is a reduction from the 2016 race where she had 32,613 votes. In 2014, where Lupardo was again unopposed, she received 23,156 votes, or 70% of the 33,249 votes cast in that race.
Finally. for what I am covering today, there is the NY-22 Congressional race. One of the top 10 elections in the nation again for the 2nd election in a row, this is still not final at this point. With counts of Absentee ballots and Affidavit votes ongoing, the Democrat Anthony Brindisi leads incumbent Congresswoman Claudia Tenney by 3,100 votes. There are roughly some 5,000+ votes yet to be counted, though the consensus indicates that Brindisi will win this race.
There were some 238,195 votes out of potential 405,396 or 4.1 out of 10 votes in the congressional district. Looking at Broome County alone, there were 68,416 out of the potential 114,074 votes for 40% participation. This result is actually down from the 2016 three-way race, which had a total of 278,348 votes – with 243k of those votes split between the Democrat Kim Myers and Republican Claudia Tenney.
In this race Brindisi only gained an extra 3,000 votes compared to Kim Myers. Tenney lost 13,000 votes versus the prior race. And some 24,000 people just did not show up.
These are the numbers, which are pretty straight-forward. But what is critical in understanding this race are the things not conveyed by the numbers alone. I’ll touch on a few of those points.
Factors affecting the vote
The single universal factor affecting every race in New York State, and realistically the nation, was how voters feel about President Trump. It has been the single most prevalent issue addressed on major news media. It has dominated pundit discussion, and even quasi-political punditry with The View, Bill Maher, and Samantha Bee as examples.
Being seen as similar in either words or tone as President Trump was a deciding factor for most of the electorate, early in 2018. Truly, these races were almost all decided on January 1st and not November 6th. Those that liked President Trump were only further motivated by the Supreme Court nomination hearings in the Senate, and the scandalous actions taken to try to delay Brett Kavanaugh from joining the Court. Those that opposed how they felt about Trump were motivated by calls to arms by Rep. Maxine Waters, and decrees to silence men by Sen. Hirono and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Facts were almost completely absent each race described so far, and that list could go on for longer than there is time today. The approach by Democrats was based squarely in emotions: A fear of reversing Roe v Wade; a fear of White males; a fear of law enforcement; a fear of closing borders.
This fear was coupled with promises. Promises to have free college and loans dismissed. Promises to improve the quality of life by giving unskilled workers higher pay, and everybody free healthcare. But most of all, a promise that anyone not offering these things were evil, if not directly Nazi’s, just like President Trump.
This was pressed to great effect on the younger voters. In New York, via use of HR 3295, passed by Congress in 2002 and made law by President GW Bush, set the path to allow voters in any part of a State to vote, even if they are not registered in that region. The concept was to allow easier access to voting, especially by Students. Largely ineffective, it was activated in 2018 to great effect and will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
In Broome County alone, of the 27% increase in voter participation, some 16% appears to have been due to Students located in Binghamton University and SUNY Broome. Students that were mostly unaware of the issues at hand, how to vote, the impact of their votes, but well directed on exactly who to vote for.
This brings us back for Senator Akshar and Assemblywoman Lupardo. Unopposed candidates that had little to do with their own races. Instead Senator Akshar worked hard and successfully promoted Marc Molinaro in Broome County. Assemblywoman Lupardo went for the congressional race, adding her support in the region to Anthony Brindisi.
Lack of opponents freed these candidates to influence other races. Neither the candidates nor the public were distracted from a focus on the races these candidates supported. No issues based on the consequences of this election, relative to these races, were discussed or on the public mind.
Again, students from regions across New York were predominately unaware of any of this. Witnesses at election polling sites noted often that students and youthful voters often skipped or questioned what they were to do about these races. Ultimately they were told, in at least some cases, to vote Party line in every race.
In addition, I became aware of, and published, actions of the Broome County Board of Elections. There was a member of the regional Board of Elections, responding to a Social Media post about an Absentee ballot prior to the election, that the Board member – under the official name of the Board – attacked. It was a surprising statement, both questioning the validity of Absentee ballots and disencouraging voter participation in this option.
This was the pervasive mood for the 2018 election. The combination of these factors lead to several wins in critical seats for Democrats. The consequences have only just begun to be understood.
Impact of election
As there will be a stalemate, the House and Senate having opposing and unbending ideologies, every issue pushed through the House will be cited as the good works of the Democrat Party shot down by the evil Republicans – continuing the current theme. The Senate will try, and fail, to pass a backlog of Bills already passed by the House. Many of those Bills because when changes are made in the Senate, the new House will revamp or kill the Bill before a final resolution can be created and presented to the President.
With the House of Representatives going to Democrats, the declared intent from March 2018 of reversing the tax cuts that have benefited individuals and spurred a growth in small business creation is an option. While it may not become a reality, now, it will become an issue for the 2020 presidential election. Already several “Democrat Socialists” like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Kamala Harris have suggested repurposing the funding of the tax cuts towards socialist entitlements. The idea by Sen. Harris, promoted in New Hampshire on the presidential nomination trail, is to pay the poor to be poor.
There has been renewed efforts to suppress and remove the 2nd Amendment. The leading idea is the Red Flag legislation that has either passed or pending in a third of the nation. As I have spoken at length previously, this means an end to Due Process as well as several Amendments as we have known them. All promoted by an emotional appeal without details of the consequences of such legislation.
With the imminent arrival of the main bulk of Honduran migrants at the southern border of the nation, immigration will again be on the table in 2019. President Trump will be called upon to broker a deal on a new immigration reform that will prominently feature a path to citizenship. Just like in 2018, this will likely be tied to Government funding and the potential to once again shutdown the Government.
Sanctuary cities will be relived as the House will eliminate all Bills punishing them for the selective adherence to Federal laws. Legislation not passed by the House will go unvoted, and Bills at the Senate will go without compromise.
At the State level, with a full court of Democrats, New York will begin a race to outdo California as the progressive capital of the nation as Gov. Cuomo promised in 2014. This will be even more important as both Gov. Cuomo and Sen. Gillibrand are seeking the nomination for 2020 (in both cases violating public promises made to get re-elected). Further pushing the State to the Left is the desire of Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Price to join Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in their socialist ideology.
Bills pending in the State Senate, previously impassable due to the limited Republican control, will now be immediate options. It would be fair to expect that at least one of 5 State-level Red Flag Bills to pass by the second or third week of January. A renewed push for a living wage, likely in excess of the $15/hour compromise, will be rejoined. This time such legislation will affect the entire State in a blanket, and in far less of a timeframe for implementation.
These 2 factors alone will likely increase the exodus from the State all remaining Conservatives and Republicans that have the financial ability to do so. That is the ability to move, with or without comfort. This will solidify the loss of at least 2 congressional seats after the 2020 census, decreasing the importance and capabilities of New York in national politics, and statewide funding.
Pressure to institute a single payer health care, likely the Medicare for All, will be at an all-time high among Democrats and the Progressive Far Left. This will mandate an increase in taxes, which will be focused on homeowners and the remaining millionaires in the State.
Adding to this pressure will be the emergence of Libertarians in races statewide, in preparation for a 2020 presidential run. This will cause the virtual demise of the Green Party, which is already under pressure from Democrat Socialists making mainstream many of their pro-communist ideas. It will also lead to the loss of several seats by Republicans to the Libertarian Party, as this Party is more attractive to a youth trained to be inclined to socialism.
In addition, with the proof of concept having been proven, student voting via Affidavit votes will become a norm of elections. Targeted voting patterns, promoted via social media and reinforced by college administrations, will see regional surges in voting altering normal voting patterns.
Finally, another direct consequence is an acceptance at the State and likely national level of extremist Far Left organizations like the Domestic Terrorist group Antifa. I believe that the new, more socialist, fully identity based politics will spur Antifa and like minded groups to set a foothold visibly in New York State. Additional attacks on Republican and Conservative headquarters, and possibly high profile businesses and/or individuals, will become prevalent.
Perhaps the biggest consequence of the 2018 election, and there are many other issues I don’t have time to discuss like debt at the national and State levels or the impact on international politics which has not been discussed at all in the mid-terms, is the new trends we have seen. Those trends are movements in the nation away from traditional capitalist and constitutional values.
President Trump, race, and other emotional influences
Instead we are seeing the national politics fracture and divide the country into ever smaller categories. Each of these categories are then plied against each other. Support is thus based on the best emotional appeal made via commercials and social media.
As an example, look at the races in Florida, or Georgia, or even the NY-19 congressional race. In each case the question was more about implied racism than policy issues. The emotional appeal of not being a racist or Nazi surmounted discussion of the issues in social media. Add to that the suppression and compulsion of speech by the leading internet based companies, and you have a vacuum of ideas present for voters to address.
Looking at various races we can see examples of gender, sexual preference, and other inherent traits as the formative issue. If there was a central theme to the 2018 elections, identity politics might well be it. All of it centered on President Trump, with the actual candidates as proxies.
News media as influencer
This says nothing of the dearth of reporting about factual inconsistencies. News media in 2018 either ignored or actively withheld discussion of issues character of the candidates. One example is the on-going Utica Hospital email scandal as reported by WRVO. That was actively suppressed by WNBF, and almost entirely ignored by other regional media.
Thus we have a news media that has become complicit in elections. No longer is there a neutral stance, with facts and questions being the standard. Instead there is pontificating on a national level and suppression on a local level.
In the NY-22 race, the concept of not supporting the President in order to provide healthcare at no cost dominated several of the debates. The fact that Anthony Brindisi lied directly to the Spectrum News moderator, at Temple Reform in Binghamton, and many other locations and events – as proven by RealClearPolitics article on July 23, 2018 – was suppressed to the point that voters had no idea it had happened.
In the local City Council race, the fact that a self-admitted criminal Dan Livingston was willing to repeat the crime he committed in November 2017 was absent the news or social media landscape. In direct conversations with his supporters, not one was aware of what he stated on Spectrum News and WNBF. But each of those supporters were willing to accept a candidate lied since they felt that President Trump was a liar and womanizer.
The problem here is that elections are unimaginative. What works in one election is copycatted in another. Refuting Rep. Nancy Pelosi, while accepting upwards of millions under her control was used again in this race – and will be again in 2020. Using race and gender and sexual preference as a shield is now an expected norm. The defense of any candidate in denying an interview or answering a question is that to ask the question is biased, or merely a tool of supremacy. Using upwards of tens of millions in ads to confuse issues and keep voters focused on emotion prevails.
For over 18 months I have asked Brindisi where he stands on the 2nd Amendment, and increasing taxes. After $14 million in advertising, 3 debates, multiple appearances on talk news radio and being present at his public events, can anyone answer where he stands?
Future for 2019 and beyond
Now I have focused on the negatives as a result of the 2018 election. Let me note that there is no apparent positive to speak about. There is no benefit at the local, State, or national level to tout. A more socialist State, a deadlock in Congress, unending investigations into the President and Supreme Court Justice on issues without substance, are not positives. Increases in debt, rewarding the violation of law, the dehumanizing of political opponents, and the suppression of free speech never lead to a better day or nation.
The only thing that potentially will change these outcomes is an informed and active electorate. Mere numbers, compelled by commercials, social guilt, and educational indoctrination will never improve the nation. More people will vote in New York State than previously, which is good. But the fact that they are voting without knowledge, and that knowledge is suppressed, should chill us all.