Wednesday, November 03, 2010

MoCo: A Blue Island of Sanity in a World Gone Mad

Election results are in, and our little suburban county has clung to reason once again -- and not by a small margin. All the news about how "discouraged" Democrats were supposed to be seems not to have reached the outposts of Rockville and Silver Spring, Bethesda and Potomac, Damascus, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Darnestown, Olney, or any of the other far-flung villages of Montgomery County, Maryland. Voters here cheerfully picked reasonable candidates who will do a good job.

O'Malley beat Ehrlich for governor in our county by margin greater than two to one -- O'Malley got 67.78 percent of the county's vote to Ehrlich's 30.84. Statewide the percentages were closer to 55% for O'Malley and 43% for Ehrlich..

The County Council races offered little in the way of surprises. Marc Elrich has been very popular and came out on top of the at-large race. Nancy Floreen did better than some expected, coming in second, with George Leventhal and Hans Reimer following. The baseline for races between Democrats and Republicans was typically 70% to 30%, so an interesting race is one that deviates from that. For example, perennial candidate Robin Ficker lost to Craig Rice in County Council District 2 with 40.64% of the vote -- is that name recognition after years of seeing him running for office, or do people support his policies? Going the other way, Valerie Ervin beat Joseph Russek by a 81.28 to 18.55 percent margin, which is a whoopin' by any account. As usual, all the county's legislative races were won by Democrats.

Board of Eduction positions are nonpartisan, and we were watching one of those in particular. In candidate forums and interviews, it was clear that all the incumbents were better qualified, more sophisticated, better informed than any of the challengers. Challenger Karen Smith was the exception there, the lone competent challenger, but she was up against the very popular Pat O'Neill, who won with a 67.42% to 32.22% edge. It should be noted that the Parents Coalition hates Pat O'Neill since she referred to them at a board meeting as "pains in the ass," and the anti-LGBT Citizens for Responsible Government also campaigned against her, and against the other incumbents. The CRG was the group behind the "Rotten Apple Ballot" campaign whose signs you saw illegally placed all over the county. Apparently those groups are not so powerful when it comes to influencing voter choices.

By the way, even though the CRG really tried to get people to reject the MCEA's Apple Ballot, my eyeballing the lists seems to show that every Apple Ballot-endorsed candidate won. I think the best thing that can happen to a candidate in our county is to have the Citizens for Responsible Whatever come out against them.

Speaking of anti-LGBT groups, anti-gay activist Martha Schaerr did not do so well in the contest for District 5 school board, even against an opponent who seemed not to do any campaigning at all. I don't think I ever saw a Mike Durso sign, though Ms. Schaerr's were placed illegally in medians and easements across the county and in the lawns of people who did not support her and did not wish to promote her campaign. She also had a well-organized team of volunteers haunting the polling-places. Where I voted, the only person out front was a Schaerr volunteer -- the Democratic Party table had some flyers with a rock to hold them down in the wind. At another site, the volunteer was a student who said she was getting community service hours for her work and fell asleep with a sign in her hands.

Schaerr is an official with the Republican Party but that does not show on the ballot for school board. Therefore it is interesting to see that only 41.49 percent of county voters put the X next to her name, compared to 58.12% for the incumbent Durso. Stealth candidate Schaerr campaigned as a nice mom who wants to empower people, though both the Gazette and The Post published articles about her anti-gay efforts. Looks like people were paying attention this time.

County Question A, the one about ambulance fees, lost with 46.17% of the vote. That one surprised me. I figured people would support the firefighters, but I think that word "fees" makes people jumpy.

Nationally, Republicans took the majority in the House of Representatives -- hoo boy, imagine Speaker John Boehner! -- but not the Senate. Tea Party-backed Republicans Rand Paul in Kentucky (sorry, but for some reason I always picture Ru Paul when I hear that name) and Marco Rubio in Florida won their Senate races, though it looks like Harry Reid has beaten teabagger Sharron Angle in Nevada and Democrat Chris Coons was the projected winner over Republican nutcase Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

CNN projects that ten governorships will shift from Democratic to Republican when all the votes are counted. Looks like Cuomo beat Paladino for governor of New York. Jerry Brown won as governor of California, but the marijuana initiative lost by a pretty big margin.

Montgomery County is a good place to live. We have all kinds of people here and we accept our diversity in the very best way. This is not a place where the haters will get a toe-hold, people here will debate the issues and in the end we will cast our votes in an orderly and reasonable way. Yesterday's election was a great example of that.

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A world gone mad. Really ?
I called Pelosi's office this morning, one final time, to say do you understand now that folks were really unhappy with the policies you jammed through ?

"Let me put you through to our comment line"

I tried again, no response, no acknowledgement, no discussion...


Just the "let me put you through to our comment line".

Which of course, the failure to listen to opposite views to their own or even consider them, is EXACTLY why they lost.

They didn't listen.
They will never listen.

I hope Boehner's office is more polite to Democrats when they call...

At least argue and defend your viewpoint.

November 03, 2010 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, it's no surprise that MC is very liberal and the teacher union machine is a big part of that

one interesting thing, however, is that the support of the gay agenda doesn't really apply

TTFers are fond of saying that when BOE or County Council members who vote for the gay agenda win, that means the gay agenda has wide public support

but consider that, of all the candidates who support the gay agenda, none has been as visible as Dana and Duchy

and they both lost in the primary

furthermore, Duchy is the only incumbent on the County Council rejected by the voters

then, there's Martha Schaerr

obviously one can't win in MC without the Apple Ballot endorsement, for now

but, of all the candidates for the BOE not on the Apple Ballot, Schaerr had the most votes, by far

all of which is to say, yes MC is a liberal bastion but the support for the gay agenda is not very deep or widespread

btw, the whole angle about the illegal signs is pathetic-

are you claiming that doesn't happen with all candidates?

November 03, 2010 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think most people don't know anything about the people running for school board and if your name is first on the list, that is who they vote for.

November 03, 2010 12:43 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

TTFers are fond of saying that when BOE or County Council members who vote for the gay agenda win, that means the gay agenda has wide public support

Anon, please show us any example of anyone in TTF ever saying this.

JimK

November 03, 2010 1:43 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anon,

A few things. First, the Apple Ballot has never guaranteed victory in a BOE election. Sharon Cox won without being endorsed on the Apple. And the late the late Steve Abrams was elected several times -- and never got the Apple endorsement. It may or may not be a coincidence that when he finally lost in 2008, it was after he got into a public argument with the Superintendent, in which Steve attacked a positive addition to the Respecting Differences in Human Sexuality units.

Yes, Duchy and Dana lost, but the candidates who came out ahead in the multi-candidate races (4 at-large County Council seats, and three District 18 House of Delegates seats) were all strong supporters of gay and transgender rights. So it is clear that Duchy and Dana's support of human rights had nothing to do with their losses.

As for your last statement, "I think most people don't know anything about the people running for school board and if your name is first on the list, that is who they vote for," shows an incredible contempt for the voters of Montgomery County. Of course, it also doesn't explain how, for example, Nancy Navarro beat Phil Kauffman for the District 5 seat -- the one that Martha Schaerr ran for and lost this week -- in 2006; or how Laura Berthiaume beat Steve Abrams in 2008.

Yes, Martha received 41% as compared to the 37%, 30%, and 32% received by the others who lost. Given that she had the resources to put up signs all over the County (I saw no signs for Lloyd, Ibanez, or Smith) and had the largest presence at the polls of campaign workers of any candidate, winners or losers, and that Mike Durso had hardly any signs at all, this should not be surprising. Indeed, if the Post and the Gazette had not published articles noting her anti-gay history (articles, I must note, which gave her ample opportunity to give her side of the story), maybe she would have won. But since the voters had the opportunity to hear the facts, she lost by a substantial margin.

November 03, 2010 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim said:

Martha Schaerr lost "...even against an opponent who seemed not to do any campaigning at all..."

Gee, I wonder what Durso had going for him if he didn't campaign?

Oh yeah. He had the Apple Ballot endorsement.

November 03, 2010 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Durso didn't campaign very much but he did attend several candidate forums, where he presented himself as a knowledgeable and level-headed individual, well qualified for the job, while Martha Schaerr sounded like a complainer with talking points and no insight into the complexity of the MCPS bureaucracy. Also, Durso is on the board already, so people who are paying attention know who he is.

The main thing Mike Durso had going for him was that he was not Martha Schaerr.

November 03, 2010 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

You anti-human bigots just keep on losing, Anon. Get over it... we are a VERY blue county and that will not change. Reason rules over hate: all the time.

November 03, 2010 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So ALL of the red counties in the US are hateful by your analogy Derrick...

Guess what, these days, if you are going to pick a red county or a blue county to live in, you have a LOT more choices if you are looking for red.....

November 04, 2010 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I have a question for all the TTF'rs...

Do you think it is appropriate for Obama to rent the ENTIRE Taj Mahal hotel and travel with 3000 people at a cost of 200 million per day, and a total trip cost of 3 BILLION, given the national economy that he already added what, 3.5 Trillion of debt to ?

Don't you think that is a little over the top....

Bea of course will defend him regardless....

So let's hear it Bea, why is this appropriate ? Find any other trip that compares by any other president....

November 04, 2010 1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when Obama was elected President, he was thought was, obviously, "this is a chance for me to do a lot of travelling"

November 04, 2010 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did Obama get elected ?

actually unfortunately, though most of us would think - I am simply not qualified to have the weight of the world on me - I am not sure if I could ever make the correct decisions - could I balance everything ? could I time manage everything - could I choose the right cabinet and do I have enough experience to qualify good advisors or should I try to hire someone to do that for me....

How would I hire a great cabinet ?


Can I do this ?

Wow - really hard problem. I probably can't do this perfectly. I will fail, I will make mistakes.


No, I am not sure whether the last anon was sarcastic or not, but I believe our current President didn't consider at all his ability to govern or weight of the task he was undertaking. Not one bit. I don't think he asked himself any of the prior questions.

You need a brilliant and dedicated person. And one that isn't going to completely freak out over the responsiblity they have just taken... but at the same time one that recognizes the responsibilty they have just taken.

I think he is smart, with no sense of responsibilty.
He doesn't belong in the White House.

November 04, 2010 3:45 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“…the failure to listen to opposite views to their own or even consider them, is EXACTLY why they lost.

They didn't listen.
They will never listen.

I hope Boehner's office is more polite to Democrats when they call…”

---
"This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles," Boehner said…

Yep, he sounds like quite the listener.

November 04, 2010 4:20 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Do candidates on the Apple ballot do well because, perhaps, MoCo voters respect the opinions of their public educators?

Who, I'm sure, don't let students put anything they find on the internet in their papers, such as the President's trip costing 200 million per day. I suspect they also teach the students the hazards of believing only "facts" that support one's presuppositions.

rrjr

November 04, 2010 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh for heaven's sake Theresa, are you still spouting fear even after Tuesday's election? There's no reassuring a scaredy cat like you!

But you might want to try reading this SNOPES account of the upcoming Asian trip. SNOPES points out the fact that 3,000 people traveling at a rate of $200 million per day would come out to a travel cost of $66,666.67 per person per day! Do you believe that Theresa? Why that's almost as much at Karl Rove's secret donor fed 521 group spent on false advertising during this campaign season every day in the closing weeks.

SNOPES points out that the $200 million per day figure comes from "a single foreign news report which quotes an anonymous Indian official (who likely is not privy to all the cost and security details of the president's Asian trip).

Additionally, a White House media representative, in response to a query, said that the quoted numbers "have no basis in reality" and were "wildly inflated":

The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality. Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated.

November 04, 2010 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous"
The shear arogance and ignorance of your statement: "I called Pelosi's office this morning, one final time, to say do you understand now that folks were really unhappy with the policies you jammed through ?" explains a lot about the electorate in this election.

Tell us, exactly, who you think you are that you can call the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and expect to engage in a chatty conversation with her? Do we assume, however, that you left your "insightful" comment when directed to do so?

"I hope Boehner's office is more polite to Democrats when they call..."
Nothing he has done in his official capacity for the past two years gives any indication that he subscribes to politeness as a virtue. Do you expect that to change now that he will be so subservient to his Tea Bagger constituency?

November 04, 2010 12:37 PM  
Anonymous spelling bee king said...

"The shear arogance and ignorance of your statement: "I called Pelosi's office this morning, one final time, to say do you understand now that folks were really unhappy with the policies you jammed through ?" explains a lot about the electorate in this election."

yes, it does

it says that people wanted to let the Democrats know that this a democracy, not a land where an elite class passes enormous socialist legislation opposed by the voters and then tells them they'll learn to love it

we let them know who's boss

btw, your spelling says a lot about people who support TTF:

they don't know a lot of accurate F's

"shear" is something scissors do

the word you were looking for is "sheer"

November 05, 2010 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do candidates on the Apple ballot do well because, perhaps, MoCo voters respect the opinions of their public educators?"

no, that's not it

November 05, 2010 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damned, "Anonymous"...it really must be difficult to live up to your own self-identification as "Mr. Perfect"! Yuk, yuk, yuk!!!

Nice side-stepping of the main point of the post, though. Did you actually expect to speak to the Speaker of the House of Representatives?

November 05, 2010 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the Anon who called Pelosi's house but reading Anon's statement -- he or she didn't say that he/she tried to talk to Pelosi. It appears as if the Anon was commenting on Pelosi's staff.

Some companies and politicians have nice, polite staff members. Others do not. It appears, from this incident that Pelosi's staff is lacking in manners.

November 05, 2010 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! Meant to say "Pelosi's office" - not house. I had house speaker on my mind.

November 05, 2010 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy has announced she's going to run for the minority leader post

on hearing that, Republicans threw their second major celebration this week

Nancy Pelsosi: if you're a Republican, she's the gift that keeps right on giving!

November 06, 2010 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the election was not about blaming Obama for the economy

most voters don't think it's his fault, according to polls

the election was about whether the government or private business is better at creating jobs

government lost

on to 2012, where the Democrats apparently want to have the same coversation again

unfortunately for them, part of the American character is that we value freedom

songwriter Graham Nash, ironically a Brit, commenting after the sixties counter-culture unmasked the venality of the Democratic Party in Chicago 1968:

"if you believe in justice

it's dying

if you believe in freedom

it's dying

rules and regulations

who needs them

open up the door"

someone send a copy of the record to Nancy Pelosi

November 06, 2010 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I wasn't expecting to speak to Pelosi.
The staff was RUDE.
I called Van Hollen office as well and they were not rude.

November 07, 2010 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not the Anon who called Pelosi's house"
Well, then.."Anonymous" - how do you differentiate yourself from all of the other troll "Anonymi" who spend all of their time trying to pirate this blog site? I believe you are all the same person (I have no other evidence to tell me otherwise).
Dr. Hyde

November 07, 2010 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh well, you could just not worry about it

November 07, 2010 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, ha....an admission of truth on your part, "Anonymous"...you are all the same person!! Attempts at deception and lying fall flat.
Dr. Henry Jekyll

November 08, 2010 11:11 AM  

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