I thought I would begin my log by looking back at the last election , 2010. It seems appropriate although the fun and games that will culminate in November 2012 have already begun. I am sure in the future they will inspire additions to this Blog . I would, for now, like to look briefly at some of the last elections more notable moments.
Here in Florida we had a chance to elect a former CEO of a company that was forced to return one and a half billion dollars that it had taken improperly from Medicare. The candidate of course claimed he either didn't know anything about it and tjat after all it was only a billion and a half dollars He also pointed out that he had not been convicted of anything. He did have trouble explaining why he took the fifth amendment (the one where you say I can't answer that question because that might incriminate me) seventy five (75) times during a deposition and refused to release that or other depositions. Giving him the benefit of the doubt he simply failed to notice that his employees were billing for and his company was receiving all that money. In other word he wasn't a crook just incompetent. His opponent in the primary pointed all this out and refused to endorse him. His opponent in the general election was a bright, well educated former bank president who had served as State Treasurer for the last four years. It seemed like an obvious choice but in America particularly in Florida the incompetents or the crooks usually win
.I would like to turn to Kentucky and it's hero of the Tea Party Rand Paul. Mr. Paul doesn't like Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits or other programs created during the past 60 years He apparently also doesn't like the Civil Rights act announcing right after his primary victory that he wouldn't have voted for it. When pressed he said it wasn't necessary because you could trust business not to discriminate based on race. He Is too young to remember the lunch counter sit ins and that time Denny's refused to serve five FBI agents because they were black but you would think somebody would have told him about it. He also missed Bull Connor chasing black children with dogs and water cannons through the streets of Birmingham. Doctors should be required to take a history course and everyone should be required to study the civil rights movement. After starting out so well he closed his campaign when two of his thugs pushed a young girl down while a third stomped on her head. His campaigns finest hour was when the stomper suggested that the young lady should apologize
It is necessary to mention Tea Party favorite Dan Maes of Colorado. Mr Maes paid a $17500 fine for election law violations. He advised Colorado that Denver's bike sharing program was part of a plot by the UN to take over the country He also lied about his work as an undercover agent in Liberal Kansas. admitting to the lie shortly after he won the primary. The voters rewarded him with 11% of the vote which a lot of people felt was a lot more than he deserved.
That brings us to Alvin Greene. With little education, suspect mental capabilities no money and a charge of obscenity hanging over him he marched through the South Carolina Senate primary without campaigning to defeat a known democrat who did campaign. Mr. Greene with almost no money, no help, and without one ad or one speech garnered 28% of the vote. Over 350000 South Carolinian's voted for him. A larger number and a larger percentage than Mr Maes receiver in Colorado. The "winner" Senator Jim (lets repeal health care) DeMint was thrilled with his victory. You would think he might be humbled by those 350000 really unhappy or really ignorant South Carolinian's but he wasn't.
We will next look at California where the voters proved that just because you were hired to run huge and successful companies didn't mean you would be hired to run a state even a failed one. Meg Whitman (E=Bay) spent 175 million of her own money and Carly Fiorina(HP) 5.5 million. Both were badly beaten each receiving only a little more than 40% of the vote. I think almost anyone could have lost these races for a lot less money. This is not the first time candidates have had trouble turning money into votes In 2004 Blair Hull spent 24 million of his own money while losing an Illinois Senate race to them little known Barack Obama.
I of course can't forget Christine O'Donnell. Ms O"Donnell a Tea Party candidate and Sarah Palin favorite defeated the Republican establishment candidate in the primary. She opened her campaign by running an add in which she advised voters that "I am not a witch" She had previously admitted that she had dabbled in witchcraft. On the O;Reilly factor she said that scientist had crossed mice and men resulting in mice with fully functioning human brains That sounded more like witchcraft than science to Delawares voters On the same program she announced that the Chinese had a secret plan to invade the U.S/ She later claimed that she learned this because she had a top secret clearance which must have been higher than President Bush's who had not heard of it She closed her campaign by, during a debate, advising her audience that the constitution did not provide for separation of church and state Unfortunately her audience consisted of law students and their professors who reacted to this with gasps, moans and laughter. She was of course badly beaten but despite all of this she received over 100000 votes Who are these people?
Next we turn to Sharron Angle who was selected by the Tea Party to run against Senate majority leader Harry Reid. While not quite as strange as O'Donnell she runs a close second. She started by advising the press that if they would just ask the right questions she would be able to give them good answers. She said on a radio program that if her opponent won the people would have to "take Harry Reid out" That coupled with her strong support for peoples right to carry a gun anywhere and any place should cause Senator Reid to increase security. During an Hispanic Union event she advised her audience that they looked more Asian than Hispanic. At the same meeting she said we need to be more concerned about our border with Canada than our border with Mexico because that's where the 9/11 terrorists entered our country. In answer to a question about foreign affairs she answered "you know the two wars were in that's exactly where we are at" She also told a group of supporters that Sharia law had taken over Dearborn Michigan and Frankford Texas.She on numerous occasions said she wanted to phase out social security. While the pundits predicted a win or at least a close race she was only able to obtain 45% of the vote. No wonder Senator Reid was grateful to the Tea Parties effort on her behalf
I will close with my favorite election of 2010, the race for Governor of Minnesota. Target gave a 150000 contribution to homophobic gay bashing Tom Emmer. That immediately resulted in a boycott by the gay community and Move on .Org. which in turn made Emmer and Target the target of millions of negative comments on face book and twitter and other outlets for the social media. It also cost Emmer the election. Thanks to the Supreme Court and a couple of Corporate (they are people you know) Minnesota has its first Democratic governor in over 20 years. I doubt that this will stop Corporations from contributing to candidates but it should force them to be much sneakier when doing it.
A couple of final observations Three Republican candidates spent almost 250 million of there own money, Scott in Fl,Whitman in California and McMahon in Connecticut. Only Scott won but barely.
If the Tea Party had not won the primaries in Delaware. Nevada, Colorado and World wrestling CEO Linda McMahon of Connecticut had lost to mainstream Republicans would the Republicans have taken control of the Senate? Its possible the democrats owe a vote of appreciation to the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.
I should take a moment to discuss the tea Party candidates for the House but there was so many of them. I am sure that they collectively and individually will give me plenty to write about in the future.
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