Wednesday, May 17, 2006

All The Fun Races Were In Someone Else's District!

Well, well, well. It looks like Pennsylvania voters adopted a "throw the bums out" mentality with a vengeance this year. It's one thing for a veteran officeholder to lose an election to an opponent from the other party; but it's quite another thing for him to lose the primary to a relative newcomer who banks everything on public outrage over one major issue. A lot of these clowns are very sorry this morning. See what happens when you're allowed to give yourself a pay raise?

The degree of anti-incumbent sentiment seems to differ between the two parties. The top Republicans in the PA Senate, Robert Jubilirer and David Brightbill, went down to defeat. In other words, they were fired for stealing a extra huge portion of taxpayer money. The top Democrat payjackers, meanwhile, managed to win despite challenges from within their party. When Republicans do bad things, they lose the support of their base and take their lumps (Bob Livingston, Duke Cunningham). Democrats who go wrong are rewarded because, in their view, morality is relative (Gerry Studds, Bill Clinton). That, more than anything else, distinguishes the two parties from one another. We want to be represented by people who are better than we are; they want to elect people they can relate to. I would never vote for myself, so why would I vote for someone who reminds me of me?

A few less prominent races in the area ratcheted the "Holy Cow!" factor up to an eleven. Over in Mount Lebanon, which (according to my site meter referral stats) seems to be the teenage horndog capital of the world, a ten-year incumbent who voted for the pay raise (before he was against it) lost a three way race to, of all things, a blogger. Or at least he was a blogger, before he got busy and entered the race. Can we start taking internet activism seriously, Mainstream Media? (By contrast, the third place finisher was the guy endorsed by the Moist-Towelette. Up yours, PG.)

In my district, incumbent Tom Petrone won the nomination against three other candidates, none of whom were named Mike Crossey. Petrone received slightly less than half of the votes cast by Democrats; it will be interesting to see if pay raise outrage leads the dissenters to cross party lines and vote for Bill "Nikita Koloff" Ogden in November. If voter turnout in the Fall is anything like it was yesterday, Ogden is going to need every anti-Petrone Democrat vote he can muster. The district is that lopsided.

Full vote totals for Allegheny County can be found here. What I find most interesting is the totals of write-in votes cast. I never really paid attention to them before, but I wouldn't be surprised if the number of write-ins increased due to the ease of casting them on the new machines. For instance, in the uncontested State Senate race, Republicans cast 358 write-ins. I voted for a young lady on our local committee, which will no doubt make her grimace if I tell her about it. I'd like to know exactly who was receiving these write in votes, but the county site does not tell us. Mickey Mouse might turn out to be a popular candidate this election cycle.

Pardon me for sounding racist, but I plan to limit my choices to human beings. Sorry, Mickey.

1 comment:

jipzeecab said...

Your point about Dems vs Republicans is excellent. Educated Dems at least tend to be valueless whereas Republicans actually believe in certain things.While a Republican won't put up the loss of trust the Dems just don't care.
Mr. Ogden's race will indeed be worth watching in November to see if there is any crossover.
The usual rule of thumb is that an incumbent needs at least 46 % in a three way race to insure reelection..a test which Mr. Petrone seems to have passed. And of course these districts have been gerrymandered so thoroughly that the Dem districts were super lopsidedly packed in with Dems to create more Republican opportunities seat wise.