While it has been somewhat gratifying to watch Clark County’s new ‘paper of record’ supplant the old one in terms of readership and standing in the community, it appears that the Establishment win-at-all-costs mentality is still well-represented in print. To wit, the Reflector’s Ken Vance has elected to weigh in on the Liz Pike write-in campaign, and he does not look favorably upon the humble efforts of the Republican PCOs. While everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, it seemed like a few misconceptions needed to be cleared up. Vance writes:
I want to ask the members of the Clark County Republican Party something. How important is winning to you when it comes to the race for the county chair position? Because, you may disagree with this, but I think the outcome of the chair race in the Nov. 3 General Election will be decided by the county Republicans, even though there isn’t a member of that party on the ballot…The thinking which I subscribe to, is that Dalesandro would primarily receive votes from only Democrats. Whereas, Boldt, a former Republican, would receive most of the Republican votes and also steal away a significant amount of Democrats from the far less experienced Dalesandro. I believe it would be a double-digit (percentage) win for Boldt.
Well, Ken, since you asked, there is a reason we have elections instead of just collectively deciding to elect our government based on ‘The Thinking’. ‘The Thinking’ is what got us into this mess in the first place. The people that you got your ‘Thinking’ from also thought that it was a great idea for Jeanne Stewart to enter the race at the last minute and split the Republican vote three ways instead of two, thereby guaranteeing that the two least popular candidates are now the only ones on the general election ballot. ‘The Thinking’ also appears to ignore the fact that Boldt has a well-established record of raising taxes and promoting insane public works projects like the CRC that would take hundreds of millions of dollars from everyday commuters and give it to the infrastructure-related companies that have been Boldt’s top campaign donors. I know it runs afoul of ‘The Thinking’, but there are quite a lot of people who approach politics with specific goals: small, less-intrusive government, low taxes, deferring to voters on major transportation projects, etc. and Marc Boldt doesn’t advance any of those goals. What do they win in that case, Ken?
So with apologies to ‘The Thinking’, Boldt really isn’t an option for a lot of people. It was their demand for an alternative that gave rise to the write-in campaign.
Two weeks ago, the Republican Precinct Committee officers voted to endorse the Write-In Liz Pike For County Chair campaign rather than endorse one of the two candidates on the ballot. Things were contentious at the meeting. A significant number of Republicans wanted to endorse Boldt and were unhappy when the write-in effort was approved.
I have no problem with the Republicans being split between Boldt and the Pike write-in campaign. Every voice should be heard and every vote should be counted and there are a lot of principles at play. But, after that has taken place, don’t you then want to unite around one goal, knowing that if you don’t, everyone in the party is going to be unhappy on the evening of Nov. 3?
Now, I may have missed him, but I don’t think Ken was actually at the meeting, so let me clear something up. The vote on whether or not to endorse Boldt failed 25-49. The vote to endorse the write-in campaign passed 47-12. I understand that the phrase ‘significant number’ is kind of subjective, but most casual observers would find those votes pretty decisive. In terms of a choice between Boldt and Pike, the will of the PCO body was pretty darn clear.
Ken speaks about ‘uniting around one goal’, but fails to define the goal in question. This is really the sticky point for most activists in the party. How can electing a man whose philosophy of government completely contradicts my own be considered ‘winning’? The problem that Boldt supporters are having is that the superficial ‘winning’ argument provides zero incentive for thinking, goal-oriented activists. It boggles my mind that Vance can spend paragraph after paragraph writing about how we should support Boldt without ever once addressing specific goals that electing Boldt would accomplish.
Consider that if I, and other prognosticators are right, and Dalesandro does get 40 percent, either Boldt or the Pike write-in campaign would need at least two thirds of the remaining votes to win. If the Democrats really stick together and Dalesandro gets 45 percent of the vote, then either Boldt or the Pike write-in campaign would need 82 percent of the remaining votes.
So, back to my question to Clark County Republicans. Do you want to stand stubbornly on what you think was the best direction for the party to go in this race? Or, do you want to compromise and join together and win? You already blew the Primary by splitting the vote between three candidates. Are you going to throw away the General as well?
Do you know what this argument sounds like to people running a campaign? “If The Thinking and I are right that your efforts won’t make any headway and you are not successful at all in appealing to voters, then you should just give up and ‘compromise’ by voting for our favorite candidate instead of yours”. I’m just curious, Ken, where were you when Jeanne Stewart jumped into the race at the last minute? We could have used you then, Bud. Given that your arguments are almost verbatim what I have seen from former Stewart supporters who are now demanding that we all vote for Boldt, I would say that the people in your ear are probably much more likely to have contributed to ‘blowing the Primary’ than the CCRP, who had nothing to do with it.
Allow me to present an alternative, with apologies, once again, to The Thinking. In 2012, a Democrat, Roman Battan, and two Republicans, Marc Boldt (who apparently didn’t object to running a partisan campaign back then) and David Madore, all drew around 30% of the vote in the primary, such that first and third were separated by less than 1000 votes. Once again, in the 2015 primary, the vote between the top three candidates was nearly even, with an even slimmer margin between the top vote-getter and the third-place finisher. So what does this tell us? That Boldt is supported in large part by Democrats, and that Dalesandro’s total is likely to be quite a bit less than the 40% that ‘The Thinking’ assumes he will get. What do you base your “surefire 40 percent for the Democrat” on? Historical races with one Republican and one Democrat? In case you haven’t noticed, that isn’t what is going on here.
In any case, I believe Liz Pike is far and away the best candidate of the three, and I like voting for the best candidate. Maybe Ken should ‘compromise’ and vote for her too.