Four Tenths Of One Percent

So many losses. So much head scratching.

Why do so many people vote against their own best interests? Our economy has always been strongest when labor was strong and weakest when corporatists ruled.

I am in denial today. It was a horrendous election for those of my political orientation.

So many losses. So much head scratching.

Why do so many people vote against their own best interests? Our economy has always been strongest when labor was strong and weakest when corporatists ruled.

Hey–my side lost. Sucks to be me.

My Cousin Melissa lost last night in a nail biter. The top two were elected to Irvine’s city council..

General Election 2014

Four tenths of one percent. Are you kidding me?

Melissa and her family contorted their lives around this campaign. And now, in an instant, poof.

There was nothing more she could do. It’s a shame. Her ideas on local issues were sound. She would have gotten my vote even if we weren’t related.

Local campaigns get dirty. People lied in campaign literature. Mud was flung. Despicable.

Since it worked it will surely be back next time.

A future blog entry on that.

I Didn’t Bring The Envelope!

voting machine

It’s voting day in California.

We have open primaries here. I can vote for candidates from either party. We also have California’s election laws which add complexity… and lots of words. It was a long ballot.

I am a beneficiary of California’s motor voter law. My driver license came with voter registration.

Our polling place is in the clubhouse at a nearby apartment complex. I walked in with my mail-in ballot and puppy dog look! In front of me was a table with forms in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean.

“This is my first time voting in California. I’m going to need some help.”

Four poll watchers looked up and smiled. One asked, “Do you have the envelope?”

Do I have the envelope? Of course not. That would be too easy.

He was referring to the envelope for mailing my ballot in. An extra form to fill. I had to surrender the papers I brought in. My ballot is officially ‘provisional.’

Another poll watcher escorted me to the voting machine and gave me a quick lesson. “It’s not touchscreen.”

Glad she told me. It looks like a touchscreen, but there’s a wheel with thumb hole used to select everything. In 2014 this is a bad human/machine interface.

I spun my way through all the candidates and three ballot questions. One authorized money for subsidized housing for vets. Isn’t that a no brainer, especially after what we’ve seen the last few months?

A few more clicks and a printed ballot with bar code moved through a window. My last chance to check my work.

“Here’s your receipt.”

Really. You get a receipt for voting? I think it had to do with my provisional status.

“Can I return it in 30 days if I don’t like who got elected,” I asked?

The poll watchers smiled. Slow day.

I don’t believe I’ve missed an election day since 1972.

The Campaign Is Underway

Election season is underway. I just saw an article talking about sniping TV ads from the presidential candidates. We will see few of those in Connecticut.

Nobody loves us!

Connecticut will go Democratic. Both campaigns believe this. Neither feels the outcome can be changed. Why piss away your bankroll?

Where there is a contest the ads will be gonzo! Not only will the candidates be buying spots, so will non-aligned Super PACs. Viewers in Ohio and other states up-for-grabs won’t see many commercials for local businesses. Pols will dominate the airwaves.

There is no other product sold (and politicians are certainly being sold in TV ads) that uses as much negative advertising! Being the lesser of the evils seems to be the technique of choice. Much of the scorched Earth rhetoric heard and read from partisans on both sides is fueled by that negative advertising.

The whole system is ridiculous and ill suited for 2012. Don’t expect it to change.

Those who exert an disproportional amount of power will never give it up.

I Hate Robocalls

Here’s the problem. These calls are against the law! They’re going to my cellphone.

I got a call from my mayor today. He wants my vote tomorrow. He only calls when he wants something. Isn’t that why I have a child?

During the current campaign I’ve gotten two calls from the mayor and another from a state rep on the mayor’s behalf.

I suspect my number was obtained from the local registrar. This is not the purpose for which I surrendered my number.

Here’s the real problem. These calls are against the law! They’re going to my cellphone.

From Wikipedia: [R]obocalls from or on behalf of political organizations are permitted under the FTC rules however they are prohibited by FCC rules that prohibit all robocalls (including charity and political calls) when made to cell phones and certain other numbers, without express consent or an emergency purpose.

For the nerdier it’s covered in 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1).

I have voted in every election since I first became eligible and squandered my vote on George McGovern. I will vote tomorrow. I will not view this call favorably.

If you’re trying to win over voters why would you do something that so obviously pisses so many off?

How I Got Hooked On Watching Elections

This was as exciting as any Bourne movie!

I plan on watching the election results tonight. I’ll watch them closely. I’m hooked because of what happened the first time I watched.

I was born in 1950 and grew up a precocious kid. I remember discussing politics with my grandfather before I was 10&#185.

November 8th, 1960 I sat in front of the TV to watch Huntley and Brinkley and see who would win. No fancy graphics. No satellite live shots (no satellites). Lots of older, white, male, talking heads and numbers written with grease pencils. I was mesmerized.

Through the evening the numbers were tight. I went to bed not knowing who won.

By Wednesday morning nothing had changed! The election was still up in-the-air. It wasn’t until Illinois reported that the election was won.

Kennedy won Illinois by less than 9,000 votes out of 4.75 million cast, or a margin of two-tenths of one percent. However, Nixon carried 92 of the state’s 101 counties, and Kennedy’s victory in Illinois came from the city of Chicago, where Mayor Richard J. Daley held back much of Chicago’s vote until the late morning hours of November 9. The efforts of Daley and the powerful Chicago Democratic organization gave Kennedy an extraordinary Cook County victory margin of 450,000 votes—more than 10% of Chicago’s 1960 population of 3.55 million—thus barely overcoming the heavy Republican vote in the rest of Illinois. Earl Mazo, a reporter for the pro-Nixon New York Herald Tribune, investigated the voting in Chicago and claimed to have discovered sufficient evidence of vote fraud to prove that the state was stolen for Kennedy. – Wikipedia

This was as exciting as any Bourne movie!

I came back in 1964 thinking excitement was an integral part of elections. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Barry Goldwater took only six states. Johnson won in a romp. It was over early.

There’s something about the finality of elections that attract me still. There are few other things in life that have such well defined conclusions.

No matter what the result I’ll be watching the numbers tonight. There might not be as much excitement as 1960 but there will be a whole lot more data to sift through.

&#185 – One of the big issues of the 1960 election was the conflict between Mainland China and Taiwan over the islands Quemoy and Matsu and how the U.S. would respond. Please don’t ask how I remember… I just do. As far as I know this conflict has not been resolved fifty years later!