Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.

 Incumbents:  Political Note #387 Mark Kelly Arizona US Senate, Political Note #379 Raphael Warnock Georgia US Senate, Political Note #365 Catherine Cortez Masto US Senate Nevada, Political Note #359 Maggie Hassan US Senate New Hampshire,

 Challengers: Political Note #400 Val Demings Florida US Senate, Political Note #420 Thomas McDermott, Jr. Indiana US Senate, Political Note #408 Charles Booker Kentucky US Senate

Independent challenger:  Political Note #427 Evan McMullin Utah US Senate

November 17th , 2021                    Political Note #427 Evan McMullin Utah US Senate

2022                                                  General Election

Today’s Political Note is a risk.  I may drive a few of you away.  My overall purpose is to elect Democrats.  Democrats believe the government can be a useful tool for solving society’s problems.  Me, too.  Sadly, Republicans have moved past the conversation about the role of government.,  Instead, they have become the party of dangerous and corrupt anti-democratic beliefs.  The recent Pew analysis of Democrats and Republicans found that nearly all people in three of the four clumps of Republicans they identified believe the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. A substantial number would dismiss the importance of the January 6 insurrection.

Evan McMullin is no Democrat. He is not a Republican either.  He is a conservative running for the US Senate as an independent. He is an independent because of his disdain for the views and behavior of many of the Republican leaders – Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Utah Senator Mike Lee among them.  He’s running against Mike Lee in Utah.  I urge you to support his effort

Why should a mostly progressive New York City Democrat like me support Evan McMullin’s candidacy for the US Senate in Utah?  I don’t support many of Evan McMullin’s positions. Take a look.  Consider his views (mostly taken from his presidential campaign) and, in italics, my views.

He is anti-abortion, but seems to emphasize persuasion against abortion instead of legal prohibitions.

The fundamental problem with those who oppose abortions is their desire to legislate a tyrannical control over women’s bodies.

He is opposed to same sex marriage, but since the Supreme Court decision, is willing to move on.

That will do, though I’d prefer he welcome the idea of same sex marriage especially since his divorced mother is now married to a woman

He supported NAFTA and, in a way, more important, he supports the Trans Pacific Partnership, which was intended to serve as a bulwark against China.

The TPP was Obama’s pivot toward China that we should have pursued.

He supported tax reductions for individuals and corporations.

The Trump tax cuts were among the most wasteful legislative acts in American history.

He supported cutting and means testing social security.

Exactly the wrong direction. We should provide a safety net for us all.  Means testing programs diminishes their value.

He favored appointing “originalist” judges to the Supreme Court like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Unfortunately, “originalists” somehow consistently find their own personal views in their understanding of the origins of the Constitution.

He favored border security but opposed mass deportation.

With eleven million undocumented immigrants in the US, the idea of mass deportation is monstrous.

He supported the prohibition against insurance companies rejecting people because of preexisting conditions, but thought the US could do better than Obamacare.

The devil is in the details.  For instance, allowing increased premiums for people with preexisting conditions is just a different kind of prohibition.

He opposed the use of torture, but favored keeping the Guantanamo Prison in existence.

That’s one right out of two and what ought to be the easy one.  The Guantanamo Prison is a blot on America’s history.

He opposed the Iran nuclear deal, favored stronger sanctions and retaining the possibility of using the military against Iran.

The Iran nuclear deal, had Trump not withdrawn from it, would have temporarily stopped Iran’s nuclear development and moved Iran toward a more normal foreign policy

He criticized Trump’s criticisms of Muslims because they interfered with our ability to develop counterterrorism against ISIS

That was one good reason for criticizing Trump’s attitude toward Muslims. There are other better reasons.

He criticized Trump’s “allegiance” to Putin

Something seemed corrupt in Trump’s attitude toward Putin, but Evan McMullin seems to bring a cold war mentality to his foreign policy

He has acknowledged the climate crisis, the human role in creating that crisis, and the need to address the crisis.

Good for him.

My reasons for urging you to support Evan McMullin are broader than specific policies.  I have three reasons.

    1. Patriotism
      1. We need alternatives to the Republican Party. The Republicans are now Trumpists or followers of Mitch McConnell or both.  Trump was a dangerously anti-democratic President who corrupted his party and corrupted the government with countless lies.  Fortunately, Trump could never persuade a majority of Americans that he was governing in the best interests of the country.  Mitch McConnell said his proudest moment was blocking the appointment of Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court.  If this were his only bad act, it would have been enough to destroy the respect for ordinary processes and diverse views of Americans. Democracy depends on a reasonable level of honesty, ordinary processes, and respect for American diversity.
      2. Evan McMullin has expressed the view in his Presidential campaign and now in his Senate campaign that the polarization of American politics is central to the decline of America. His independent campaigns have been an effort to find reconciliation among Americans. Furthermore, few believe his efforts are motivated by anything other than love of country.
    2. Strategy
      1. Democrats can’t win a state wide race in Utah. That is especially true in 2022. None of the three Democrats running for the US Senate in Utah can hope to be elected.  Not 29 year old Allen Glines. He is a former social worker and activist whose focus is children’s rights, domestic violence victims, and people with disabilities.  Not 30 year old African-American adoptee and lapsed Mormon Nicholas Mitchell.  He describes himself as an innovative engineer developing a new tattoo ink that can be used more effectively for people with dark skin.  And not Andrew Yang follower and former musician Austin Searle.
      2. If he were elected to the US Senate, we know that Evan McMullin is too independent to be one of Mitch McConnell’s crew of Senators. A clue that he would caucus with the Democrats is that he endorsed Joe Biden for President in 2020.  Another clue is that Ben McAdams, the last Utah Democrat to be elected to the House of Representatives, has endorsed. him.  Think of Evan McMullin as a less obstreperous Joe Manchin.
    3.  Better than Mike Lee
      1. In the unlikely event that Evan McMullin were to caucus with the Republicans, he is preferable to Mike Lee, a two-time Samuel Alito clerk. That Mike Lee favored Ted Cruz over Donald Trump in 2016 should not make us fans of his, especially since he, as well as Ted Cruz, has fallen line with Trump.  In 2020, Lee evoked a Mormon saint-like figure to compare to Trump.  Lee suggested Trump should have a “do-over” of his January 6 speech encouraging the mob, though Lee never explained exactly how that do-over could happen.   Lee has been identified as the Senate’s most conservative member.

Evan McMullin’s life is worth looking at.  His parents moved from Utah to the state of Washington when he was young. Captivated by the film “Three Days of the Condor,” and still in junior high school, he figured out how to call the CIA.  Told to call back when he was older, he waited two weeks, called again, and made a contact who fed his life-long ambition.  Evan McMullin graduated from high school in Washington, went to Brazil on his two-year Latter-Day Saints mission, and, after his return, signed up for a summer on a fishing boat that left Washington to work in Alaskan waters.  In the fall, starting Brigham Young University at 21, he joined a program that alternated semesters at the University and interning for academic credit at the CIA.  He also spent a year with the UN Commission on refugees – living and working in Israel and Jordan. Just maybe, he was following advice from his CIA contact to learn Arabic.  After graduation, he began formal training for the CIA.

Evan McMullin spent eleven years working in the CIA, starting shortly before the 9/11 attack.  He worked in the National Clandestine Service.  The NCS coordinated clandestine operations to minimize conflict among arms of the agency. As part of the CIA, Evan McMullin lived and worked in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. After leaving the Agency, he earned an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for Goldman Sachs for a year and a half.

Particularly interested in public life, Evan McMullin volunteered for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Based on his Romney experience, he was recruited to work for the House Foreign Affairs committee. By 2013, after serving as the Committee’s senior advisor, he became the chief policy director for the Republican Conference whose head was State of Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  Observing the presidential campaign from that role, he began to speak out against Trump.  Despairing of Donald Trump’s success, Evan McMullin resigned from his role with the Republican Conference and announced his own Independent Presidential campaign.

After the election, Evan McMullin transformed Stand Up Republic, which had begun as a Super PAC to support his 2016 presidential campaign, into an organization focused on the “defense of democratic norms, constitutionalism, and civic involvement.” Its Board and staff is composed of people who share Evan McMullin’s views, though the women in the group appear to be pro-choice rather than anti-abortion.  The leadership and staff all appear to support his Senate campaign.

Could Evan McMullin be elected to the US Senate in 2022?  In 2016, Donald Trump got 46% of the vote in Utah, defeating Hillary Clinton (27%) and Evan McMullin (22%). Evan McMullin could put together a majority to defeat Mike Lee.  Give Evan McMullin a shot at defeating Mike Lee.  Give us a shot at having a Senator from Utah who could caucus with the Democrats or rebel against the Republicans.  Early money will make a difference. Donate.

The Cook Report projects the following incumbent Democratic Senators as Lean Democrat for 2022 rather than Solidly Democratic. These are seats we have to defend. 

Incumbent Senators to support

Arizona                     Mark Kelly (Lean D)

Georgia                     Raphael Warnock (Lean D)

Nevada                      Catherine Cortez Masto (Lean D)  

New Hampshire      Maggie Hassan (Lean D)


Challengers to support

Florida                       Congresswoman Val Demings is targeting Marco Rubio (Lean R)

Indiana                      Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr is less probable than the others, but could surprise (Solid R)

Iowa                           Ex Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer is targeting Chuck Grassley, seeking his 8th term (Solid R – maybe)

Kentucky                  2020 Senate Candidate Charles Booker is targeting Rand Paul (Solid R – maybe)

Ohio                           Congressman Tim Ryan is targeting the open seat created because Rob Portman is retiring (Lean R)

Independent Challenger to Support

Utah                           Ex CIA Officer Evan McMullin is targeting Republican Senator Mike Lee

More challengers to come

Wisconsin                Republican Ron Johnson is a target (Toss Up) Nine Democrats are currently in the race; a few are still thinking about running.

North Carolina        Republican Richard Burr is retiring. (Toss Up) Former State Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley seems to be the Democratic front runner.  She has run and both won and lost in state-wide campaigns. 

Pennsylvania          Republican Pat Toomey is retiring. The seat is Open. (Toss Up) Democrats have been winning state-wide races recently. Five Democrats are currently in the race; John Fetterman is the likely Democratic nominee.

Missouri                    Republican Roy Blunt is retiring. (Solid R) All three Democratic candidates have a shot if Missouri Republicans nominate the wrong candidate.

Alabama                   Republican Richard Shelby is retiring. (Solid R) Is there a Democrat in Alabama who can create a Doug Jones-like surprise if the Republicans nominate the most offensive candidate?

Organizations to support

The Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA)

The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA)

The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State (DASS)

The Democratic (State) Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC)

Fair Fight Stacey Abrams organization to support fair elections

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