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All People Matter

Non-Profit Community-Owned Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl—Vince Lombardi Was A Democrat

The Green Bay Packers, who just won the Super Bowl, are the only community-owned non-profit team in American major league sports.

(Above–Citizen-owners at the Packers game. Photo by yunggunn2k3.)

From the Georgetown University newspaper The Hoya

“Unlike the 31 other professional football teams, or any other sports team for that matter, the Packers are not owned by some wealthy individual (or group of individuals) seeking a profit. Instead, they’re owned and managed by 111,968 devoted fans. In that lies their power….Green Bay fans themselves vote on and serve as part of the board of directors, which appoints the pivotal managerial and coaching staff of the Packers. Unlike most other teams across the nation, when Packers fans are frustrated, they don’t have to suck it up. They have the ability to enact change through shareholder votes and air their grievances directly with Packer management.Socialism has worked pretty well in this case.”

Socialism seems to work pretty well for the Packers.

Not only that, legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is named, was a loyal Democrat.

Coach Lombardi was close friends with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Here is a great quote from Coach Lombardi—

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Congratulations to the citizen-owners of the Green Bay Packers.

Building on a foundation of teamwork provided in good part by the enduring example of the visionary Vince Lombardi, a true people’s championship has been won at Super Bowl XLV.

(Below—Coach Vince Lombardi–A Great American.)


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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

History Of California Presidential Primary

Texas Liberal live blogging of Super Tuesday  results is up and running. 

The California Presidential nominating primary, which will be held for 2008 on February 5, has a history that goes back to the Progressive Era. The first California primary was held in 1912.

The Presidential nominating primary, however regressive it may seem at times today, was a Progressive reform. It was step away from the smoke-filled rooms.

California was a big part of the Progressive Era. Progressive Bull Moose candidate Teddy Roosevelt carried California in the 1912 general election and the great Progressive Hiram Johnson was Governor of California from 1911 until 1917 and Senator from 1917 until his death in 1945.  Johnson was Teddy Roosevelt’s running mate in  1912.

(Here is an article from USA Today about the 2008 primary.)

(Here are some basic demographic facts about California.  )

Over 36 million people live in California. John Kerry won California 54%-44% in 2004.

In that first 1912 primary, Roosevelt defeated incumbent President William Howard Taft of Ohio among Republicans by a 2-1 margin. That gives you a sense of where the Republican electorate of California stood at that point in time.

For Democrats, House Speaker Champ Clark of Missouri beat Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey 72%-28%.

1912 was long before primaries had the decisive role they do today. It would be 1972 and the years after 1972 that primaries took on the role they play today.

In 1920, California Senator Johnson took the Republican primary over Herbert Hoover.  Hoover also has California connections as a Stanford graduate. Senator Johnson objected to Hoover’s position in favor of U.S. entry into the League of Nations and worked hard to deny Hoover the nomination.

Senator Warren Harding of Ohio won the 1920 nomination at a deadlocked Republican convention.

Senator Johnson was asked to be Harding’s running mate. He said no. Harding died in 1923 and Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts became President.

Incumbent President Coolidge beat Senator Johnson in the California republican primary of 1924.

The Democratic primary of 1932 was of some note. Reflecting the Southern origins of many California Democrats, House Speaker John Nance Garner of Texas won the primary over New Yorker’s Al Smith, the 1928 Democratic nominee and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Very different from the results you would get today.

Roosevelt selected Garner as his first of his three Vice Presidents.

In 1936, Democratic voters gave the novelist Upton Sinclair 11% of the vote against FDR. Mr. Sinclair had run a left-wing campaign for governor in 1934 and almost won.

Mr. Sinclair is most famous for writing The Jungle.

(San Diego is closely contested between the two parties.)

In 1936, 1948 and 1952, Earl Warren was the winner of the California Republican primary.

Try to imagine Mr. Warren as  a Republican today!

The future liberal Chief Justice was Governor of California from 1943 until 1953, He was also the running mate of Thomas E. Dewey of New York in 1948.

Warren never won the Republican nomination. Though arguably he got the only job better than President.

For all this time and beyond—from 1912 until 1992— the California primary was held late in the process. Often favorite son candidates, such as Mr. Warren, were the winners.

A favorite son candidate is a  statewide figure who runs in the primary and then passes on his delegates at the convention in exchange for an office or for influence.

The 1964 Republican primary brought a clear test of ideological strength within the party. Much like in 1912.

This time though, the right-wing won.

Conservative Senator  Barry Goldwater of Arizona defeated Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York. Rockefeller was a liberal Republican and the party was badly split in the early 60’s between these competing wings of the party.

The future was with the conservatives as the 1966 election of Ronald Reagan as Governor of California established.

It was on the night of his California 1968 Democratic primary win that Senator Robert Kennedy of New York was assassinated.

The 1972 California democratic primary was significant. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota defeated former Vice President Humbert Humphrey by 44%-39%. Mr. McGovern’s win gained him delegates and momentum that made a difference in taking the nomination.

(The Sacramento area is inclined towards Democrats.)

In 1976, home state candidate Ronald Reagan won a big victory over President Gerald Ford. But the 65%-35% win was not enough for Reagan to win the nomination.

California Democrats in 1980 voted for a slate of delegates committed to liberal Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts over incumbent President Jimmy Carter of Georgia. This provided a sense of what ideological tint held sway among California Democrats.

In 1992, California was the only one of 7 states voting on June 2 that came close to rejecting Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Former California Governor Jerry Brown, fighting to the end, lost 45%–40%. Mr Clinton had pretty much wrapped up the nomination before California.

In 1996, California finally moved its’ primary up to March. ( Please click here for a Texas Liberal history of Super Tuesday Primary Day.) Though all voters did was ratify the foregone conclusions of Bob Dole of Kansas and President Clinton.

California moved up its primary to March 7 for 2000 and March 2 in 2004.

In neither case did the California result make a difference.

(Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008. Please click here for much more. Thanks for reading the blog! )

(No voting in Death Valley)

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Elections, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Man Has Places In His Heart Which Do Not Yet Exist…

Last night I began reading Graham Greene’s The End Of The Affair. On the title page is the following written by a French author named Leon Bloy

“Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering in order that they may have existence.”

This reminded me of Robert Kennedy’s words after the assassination of Martin Luther King—

“My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

January 18, 2008 Posted by | Books | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Day I Met Ethel Kennedy At The Kennedy Compound

File:Kennedy bros.jpg

( Update 8/26/09—Here are links to help recall the life of Ted Kennedy and to help look forward to the battles still to be won.)  

I once met Ethel Kennedy and her son former Congressman Joe Kennedy. This was in 1992 and took place at the Kennedy Compound  (Click the Kennedy Compound link for some info about the place from the National Park Service) in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Mrs. Kennedy is the widow of the late Senator Robert Kennedy who was assassinated in 1968.

I got into the Kennedy compound by paying $250. The event was a fundraiser for Joe Kennedy.

Congressman Kennedy won 83% of the vote in 1992 and did not need my $250. I had a friend who was a fan of the Kennedys who wanted to go and it seemed that it would be interesting to go to the Kennedy Compound.

And so it was.

We flew from Cincinnati , where I lived at the time, to Boston and then rented a car for the drive to Cape Cod.

We were brought into the compound on a yellow school bus.

Once inside, the first thing I saw were some people who looked like regulars in the Kennedy Compound. They appeared to be laughing at the people in the bus.

We were driven past some houses that were identified as the homes of Ted Kennedy, Robert and Ethel, and President Kennedy.

I saw the private beach space where some of those grainy color images of the Kennedys’ playing touch football must have been filmed.

The theme of the fundraiser was the 500th Anniversary of Columbus. It’s a bit hazy now, but some people, including the Congressman, were dressed up as Ferdinand and Isabella and other figures of the time.

That did not seem overly friendly to the Native American populations of New England.

(Please click here for a previous post on Ferdinand and Isabella in Texas Liberal.)

We were fed hot dogs, beans, soda and beer. I guess lobster ran more than a $250 donation.

We were asked to look up to a window in one of the houses and wave to Rose Kennedy. We did as we were told.

An announcement was made that a car was blocking the driveway of Mrs. Onassis. Was she home? I’ll never know.

As for Ethel Kennedy, her glance at my name tag , while perceptible, was practiced and slight. She smiled and said—And I’ll never forget this—“Hello Neil. Thanks for coming.”   

 I said–“Yes ma’am.”

Mrs. Kennedy and I shook hands while we spoke.

When the fundraiser was over we were bused out and the gates were locked behind us.

It was worth my $250 to see the Kennedy home. Though the $6 fee to take the National Park Service bus tour of the LBJ ranch is the more accessible and affordable deal.

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Political History, Politics, Things I've Done, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments