Published Writing

Politico: Florida catching up with once-mighty N.Y.

April 16, 2008

The era of the Empire State’s reign over America has come to an end, and a new dawn of political power, in the hands of the Sunshine State, is upon us. After the 2010 Census, New York will lose two congressional seats and Florida will gain two. It will put both states’ delegations at 27 seats and mark the first time that Florida has caught up with once-mighty New York.

It’s a remarkable milestone, considering that a couple of generations ago Florida was a swampy backwater and New York loomed large as America’s dominant state. In the 1930s, for example, Florida sent only five representatives to the House, while the Empire State commanded 45 seats and New Yorker Franklin D. Roosevelt controlled the White House. Since that decade, however, New York has lost —and Florida has gained — seats in seven straight congressional reapportionments.

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National Journal: Is North Carolina the New Virginia?

August 11, 2007

ANYONE looking for a meal in Wake County, N.C., will get a taste of how quickly the community is changing. In western Raleigh, a joint called Ole Time serves traditional Carolina-style barbecue, made with what proprietor Jerry Hart calls the two most important ingredients: “time and patience.” Ole Time is a symbol of what Wake used to be. Five miles away, in Cary, is a symbol of what Wake is becoming: California-based grocery chain Trader Joe’s sells sushi and organic snacks to the throngs of new Wake residents who have neither the time nor the taste for slow Southern cooking.

Wake is a county in transition. In the past 20 years, it has evolved from a sleepy bedroom community to a national biotech hub and a magnet for health research. Across the county, farms are being replaced by clusters of town houses, and woods are being cleared for office parks. Wake’s current population of 755,000 is expected to grow 50 percent in the next 15 years, according to Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Public Life at the University of North Carolina’s Center for the Study of the American South.

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National Journal/MSNBC.com: Hunting the Hook and Bullet Vote

Effort could mean difference between thousands and millions of voters

March 15, 2007

WASHINGTON – If hunters want to bag a goose, they set the right decoys and make the right calls. If anglers want to catch a rockfish, they pick the right fly and use the right cast. And if political campaigns want to win the vote of a sportsman, they present a candidate that a sportsman can be proud of back at the lodge.

Each election cycle, campaigns from Big Sky, Mont., to Big Cypress, Fla., organize sportsmen coalitions to win over the votes of Americans who hunt and fish. Some of these efforts are well-planned and aggressive, such as canvassing backwoods turkey shoots with campaign literature and hunter-orange bumper stickers. Others are mere facades of grassroots coalitions that simply buy Field & Stream subscription lists and barrage readers with direct mail.

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National Journal/MSNBC.com: A Proliferation of Political Spoof Sites

October 11, 2006

WASHINGTON – In early September, the Republican National Committee launched AmericaWeakly.com to take a humorous jab at what Congress would look like if the Democrats gained control. Mocking the minority party, the site features funny snapshots of notorious liberal legislators and satirical accounts of what their agenda might resemble. It’s like the Onion — but an Onion in which every joke is on the Democrats.

And Democrats aren’t the only party being ribbed online. AmericaWeakly was a kind of counterpoint to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s FudgeReport.net, a site modeled after the Drudge Report that skewers Republicans.

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