Monday, July 2, 2012

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: Waiting on Wapner & Other Tidbits

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 24 2012

Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Obama’s health care reform Thursday, former Gov. Gary Johnson, now running for president of these United States on the Libertarian ticket, tweeted, “If [Mitt Romney] is elected, says he would give us [Supreme Court] Justices like John Roberts. I will give us Justices like @Judgenap.”

For those not fluent in Twitterese, @Judgenap is the Twitter handle of Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge who is a legal analyst for Fox News. Napolitano has strong libertarian views, describing himself as “the Ayn Rand of Fox News.” He hosted a show called Freedom Watch on Fox Business Network for a few years.

Personally, I’m waiting for the candidate who will give us Supreme Court justice like Judge Wapner.

Speaking of Johnson: The former Republican governor, who switched his party registration from Republican to Libertarian early this year, won’t be attending August’s GOP convention in Tampa this year. However, this week organizers of what is being called “The Ron Paul Festival” announced that Johnson will be speaking at the shindig, which takes place in Tampa right before the Republicans convene there. The man whom the festival is named for, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, also is speaking.

The event’s website says The Ron Paul Festival will feature “Music, Entertainment and Activism.” I have to admit, I’d never heard of any of the bands scheduled to play at the festival. But I do like their slogan: “Unite for Freedom and Party Like It’s 1976.”

Johnson spoke at a similar event for Paul and his supporters before the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota. But I can’t help but think this might be a little bittersweet for Johnson. Early last year he was hoping to be Paul’s heir as the Republican Party’s champion of libertarianism.

But that hope was crushed when Paul himself announced he was running for the Republican nomination just days after Johnson made his announcement that he was seeking the GOP nomination.

I doubt if Johnson is counting on Paul’s endorsement. But there will be thousands of Paul supporters there who could be receptive to Johnson’s message.

Conventional wisdom: So Johnson is going to Tampa next month, but Heather Wilson isn’t.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill made lots of headlines recently and got the chattering class chattering about the fact that she’s skipping the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina. And now Republican Senate candidate Heather Wilson has made the same choice for her party’s convention.

“Wilson spokesman Chris Sanchez said that the former congresswoman does not plan to attend the convention in August and will be campaigning in New Mexico at the time,” the National Journal reported Wednesday.

McCaskill is facing re-election in a state where President Barack Obama isn’t very popular. Wilson is running in New Mexico, where Obama is way ahead in the polls. Coincidence?

That’s why Wilson, who veered right in the primary, especially when Lt. Gov. John Sanchez was still in the race challenging her conservative credentials, currently is stressing her “independence” in her general election campaign.

New conservative website: Check out the new site called New Mexico WhoSaidYouSaid.

“We want to aggregate, promote and produce key video on New Mexico politics,” said Tom Intorcio of Denver, who was in New Mexico last week to announce the project and recruit videographers and writers for the site.

He’s with a Colorado version of WhoSaidYouSaid, which has been operating since 2009. The focus of that site is “fiscal responsibility and free enterprise,” Intorcio said. That’s the plan for New Mexico, too, though, at least as of the middle of the week, not all the stories on the site had an obvious partisan slant.

Intorcio was a field director for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign and has worked for the National Conference of State Legislatures.