Thursday, November 09, 2006

post-election edition

Well, obviously the big news is that my "endorsees" did a lot better than they did in the May primary, where I didn't pick a single freakin' winner. So clearly the general public learned their lesson and heeded my advice this time. I'm sure that must be it.

Ok, let me qualify that. Three of my high-profile picks were obvious protest votes. I came out against Ted, and David Wu, and Leslie Roberts, even though I was sure all three were a lock to win. If either Ted or Wu had been within a couple percentage points of their Republican opponents in the last polls, I would have at least considered voting for 'em, even though I'm no fan of either guy, just to keep the Rethuglicans from winning. So being able to vote for third-party candidates this year was an enjoyable luxury. And the Leslie Roberts thing, well, a write-in candidacy is always an uphill battle. Charles Henderson grabbing a quarter of the vote in a write-in campaign is huge, almost unheard-of in this state. With any luck, Roberts will get the voters' message and approach the job with at least a vestigial amount of humility, compassion, and professionalism. You're a judge of the Oregon Circuit Court, 4th District, position #37. You aren't Queen of the Universe. Deal.

I didn't mention my local state legislative race in my "endorsements" post, since the R's didn't even bother to nominate anyone this time around. Geez. I'm not actually going to vote Republican in any conceivable situation, but I'd at least like to have them on the ballot. If there aren't any wild-eyed wingnuts to vote against, it takes a lot of the fun out of voting. So anyway, my state rep won. And the D's won the House back. So hopefully they can demonstrate they're a bunch of responsible adults, and we haven't just traded one gang of crazed ideological nutjobs for another.

The voters took my advice most of the time on this year's crop of ballot measures, at any rate. Measure 42, the insurance & credit score measure, didn't pass. It's kind of too bad, but I'm not exactly surprised. The insurance industry ran an effective "no" campaign, and the measure probably lost 10-15% of the electorate just because Bill Sizemore was behind it. Still, a decent measure failing is less bad than a bad measure passing, and no bad measures passed this time around. The thing I'm really confused about is Measure 46. Measures 46 and 47 were a conjoined-twin pair of proposals: 47 was a campaign finance law, and 46 was a constitutional amendment to make campaign finance laws possible in this state. 47 passed, but 46 didn't. WTF?! There's some debate about whether some of the provisions in 47 can take effect without 46 in place, but it's still a peculiar result. Isaac Laquedem, who endorsed 46 and said no to 47, wonders whether the voters didn't understand the two measures. I, too, am surprised that at least 14% of the electorate voted in such a seemingly pathological way. I can think of at least three explanations:
1. The voters are much more sophisticated than they get credit for, and they read M. 47 carefully and decided they wanted only those reforms within it which didn't require a constitutional amendment. That would be suggesting that 50+% of the voters are more sophisticated than I am, since I didn't do that. So I firmly reject that suggestion.
2. The voters want campaign finance reform in the abstract, but not this particular reform, so by deliberately voting yes on 47 and no on 46 they were trying to cast a purely symbolic vote in favor of the general notion of reform, just to "send a message". I doubt this because this kind of behavior is usually media-driven, and I haven't seen or heard of a single media outlet anywhere statewide encouraging people to vote this way.
3. The voters are smoking crack. Lots and lots of crack. And meth, too. And sniffing glue. And slamming down Everclear jello shots, with OxyContin chasers. And maybe licking a toad or two, while they're at it. Plus they're just plain stupid.

I'm leaning toward explanation #3, but hey, I've always been a cynic.

In the ultra-obscure West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District races, I did better than I thought. I figured that for anything as low-profile as this, a vote for anyone other than the incumbent would be the longest of longshots. But in the sole contested race, the challenger (who I endorsed) won. So I really hope Mr. Goode wasn't the good-ol-boy-network candidate, challenging an "outsider" incumbent. There was really just no way at all to find that out one way or the other. The district's "permanent rate limit" measure passed, although I came out against it. I'm not heartbroken about that, and anyway I figured that anything with the word "conservation" in the name was a guaranteed winner in this neck of the woods. The good ol' boys who got re-elected will probably waste the money on pet projects, or just swipe it, or whatever, but really it isn't a lot of money, all things considered. So no biggie, I guess. It'd take the entire annual budget of 60+ soil-n-water districts to pay for a single aerial tram, to put things in perspective.

In mildly related news, the tram is finally up and running, kinda sorta. So I expect to have pics and/or video of the new beastie here in the near future, when I get around to it.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Well, you are not queen/king of political analysis. Mostly, you depend on the news media to make your form your opinion and go with the negative and are emotional rather than rational in your decisions. Glad you are not in an elected position.

atul666 said...

Wow, I've just been insulted by an anonymous drive-by troll. Whatever.

You somehow forgot to specify what you're so freaked out about, but since you arrived via a Google search for "leslie roberts judge", I imagine that's probably it, or part of it. Your candidate won, ok? Staying sore about it close to a month later is kind of... excessive, don't you think?

And no, I don't depend on the news media to make decisions. Whatever gave you that idea? I have nothing but contempt for the news media.