Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some Post-Election Observations…

Perhaps the most famous post-election quote is, “The people have spoken… The bastards.” I don’t know who said it, but it must be on the lips of a lot of soon to be former Republican officeholders around the country.

However, another truism we may want to also consider is, “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.”

This election was a referendum on George Bush and the Iraq war. And it needed to be. I rarely agree with Ted Kennedy, but he was right on the money when he stated in the beginning that Iraq would become George Bush’s Vietnam. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have created a huge mess that is draining our country’s resources, and has cost us the respect of most of the rest of the world, all in the name of stopping terrorism. What they have also accompIished is creating a whole lot more potential terrorists than the world had before. And I know I personally just feel so much safer standing in endless airport security lines taking off my shoes, and I’m glad to no longer be paranoid there might be toothpaste of shampoo in someone’s carry-on luggage.

What Bush has also given us is Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Personally, I find her past record of bi-partisan compromise and cooperation very comforting reassurance that she’ll use all her considerable people skills to work across party lines to make America a better place. Yeah right…

We now have a Democratic-dominated Congress. That will mean more spending on programs of questionable value, and increased taxes to pay for it. At least they’ll have to answer to us in another two years. Let’s see how they manage the war on terror, and what happens in Iraq. Since they now control everything, there will be no Republicans to blame anything on.

The Democratic tide, fueled by America’s anger over the war flowed right down to the smallest of local elections all across the country — and George Bush, in his arrogance, was completely clueless about it. He must have been the only one who didn’t see it coming. You have to wonder how it would have turned out had Bush fired Donald Rumsfeld a week before the election — instead of the day after.

With that in mind, was anyone really surprised at the local outcome? I know I wasn’t. I’m not particularly happy about some of it — or the poor choices we were forced to endure because both political parties don’t believe voters have the intelligence or integrity to elect competent candidates in an open primary — but it is what it is.

Was Jack Hamilton the best candidate to lead us into the future? Hardly. Is 25-year old Josh Brown? Absolutely not. The problem is, because of the primary system, our choices were so poor that we were forced to pick between these two extremists.

The choice of Brown has made Chris Endresen the single most powerful person in Kitsap County, and with her new lap dog in place, look for things to shift decidedly leftward. It’s certainly going to be interesting to watch Brown in action. Because of what I saw of him on the stump, I don’t trust his statement that he’s going to act as a moderate in the Patty Lent mold for even one second. He’ll do whatever Chris Endresen tells him to — and he’ll hop to it like a good little lackey.

Say goodbye to meaningful and timely economic development, non-government jobs, and of course, any semblance of property rights. Say hello to higher taxes, higher housing prices, $10,000 impact fees, increased regulations, surrendering to more heavy-handed state control, even longer permitting times, and the continuing revolving door at DCD.

I really tried hard to like Brown, But sincerely, in my view, with the blatant help of the Kitsap Sun, Brown ran what I thought was a basically dishonest campaign. In candidate forums I personally moderated and participated in as a questioner, I regularly watched Brown talk out of both sides of his mouth on the environment and economic development issues. He told the enviromental community he was absolutely opposed to NASCAR and it wouldn’t happen on his watch. Period. He told the business community he was very open to the economic possibilities NASCAR offered, but thought we could cut a better deal. So which is it?

It will be whatever Endresen says it is.

The Kitsap Sun refused to question Brown’s ethics, his residency, or his qualifications after his duplicity was brought to its attention. I believe our daily newspaper has done our community a major disservice by continually slanting the content of its reporting to heavily favor Brown, and making Hamilton look bad at every opportunity.

In one forum, I asked Josh Brown to detail his qualifications to be county commissioner. He answered that Norm Dicks and the four Democratic mayors in the county had endorsed him. Did I miss something there? Was there a bona fide qualification outlined in that answer?

The bottom line is this: We have handed an unemployed, unqualified, 25-year old an apprenticeship paying $87,243 a year to manage our $307+ million budget and make decisions that will impact our lives, our businesses, and our children’s future — and we’re stuck with him for the next four years. Let’s hope he’s really the quick study he promised — and that promise isn’t as hollow as the opposing ones he’s made to the environmental and business communities.

Welcome to the real world, Josh. You’re not in Berkeley anymore.


  1. From your Oct 26th Post: "The race between Pat Lantz and Beckie Krantz is too close to call in my view. I think Lantz is vulnerable, especially considering how close Matt Rice came to upsetting her two years ago without really working too hard at it. Krantz on the other hand is working hard, but does not have a lot of community involvement to speak for her candidacy, and her campaign seemingly lacks direction and focus. I do believe that Krantz, who is quite personable, can upset Lantz if she can get in front of enough voters. The question is, will she be able to? Many people — including a significant number of Democrats I have talked with — feel Lantz should have retired instead of seeking another term."

    And From Nov 8: "With that in mind, was anyone really surprised at the local outcome? I know I wasn’t."

    Hmmm...hindsight is 20/20, isn't it? 58% isn't exactly too close to call.

    So who exactly were these "significant number of Democrats" that so badly wanted Lantz out of office? And more importantly why didn't they vote?

  2. Kate,

    To answer your questions...

    A week or so before the election, I saw some independent polling that said Krantz could win under the circumstances I had outlined. So a couple of things obviously happened.

    1) Pat Lantz benefitted from the nationwide and state Democratic steamroller of Nov. 7 - as did some other marginal candidates who might not have won under "normal" conditions.

    2) Krantz obviously didn't get to talk to nearly enough people in person. She is quite engaging as an individual, and is pretty effective one-on-one. But she needed to talk to a LOT more folks than she did. Also, her campaign wasn't very focused, she needed more education on the issues and she was seriously underfinanced.

    As for the Democrats who expressed the sentiment to me that Pat should have retired... Am I being asked to name names or what? You should know better than that. And considering the circumstances she won under, I wouldn't expect many of them to publicly admit what they told me in private. But some of them, if I could name names, might truly surprise you. And that's all I'll say about that.

  3. I'm not asking you to name names, just asking a rhetorical question, that if so many people wanted Lantz out, why the poor support for her opponent? Independent Polling? Please. Maybe you should have looked at the PDC and seen that Krantz had been outfundraised by over 150,000. Or that a week before the election, Krantz had yet to put out one piece of direct mail (and in fact never did). Or the fact that the House Republicans hadn't donated more than 5,000 to Krantz's campaign, while they gave 15,000 to Boehme. Get real Larry, you predicted a placeholder would beat a ten year incumbant, which shows that either you are out of touch with politics in the 26th or you have a personal vendetta against Lantz. So which is it?

  4. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Lary, I have to disagree with several of your points of analysis concerning the local 26LD races – particularly regarding Lantz v Krantz…

    First, I don’t think any of our local races were determined by the national issues or mood to the extent that you seem to believe. As a very active local Democrat who spoke to hundreds of voters first-hand – and as someone who supervised the efforts of hundreds of volunteers – I cannot recall the national issues coming up very often, if at all. This campaign was almost completely defined by the Republican candidates very early on as one about sex offenders, property and estate taxes, and the size of government in general (plus the issue of faith on Ron Boehme’s part…)

    On your second point, you are quite simply wrong when you say that “Krantz obviously didn't get to talk to nearly enough people in person.” Beckie had the exact same opportunity to talk to people that Pat Lantz and every other candidate had. She and Jim Hines, in particular, openly bragged – and exaggerated – about how many “citizens” (read “Republican supporters”) attended their community forums on property taxes – I know, because I attended virtually every political event of both parties during this election season.

    You admit that “her campaign wasn't very focused, she needed more education on the issues and she was seriously underfinanced” – all of which was true at the time of your October 26th posting. Setting up your initial premise that Beckie Krantz could win “if she can get in front of enough voters” was a pretty lame caveat to begin with, and to hide behind it now is simply pathetic.

    Finally, regarding your claim that the Kitsap Sun refused to sell Jack Hamilton ad space the weekend before the election…

    If true, you are absolutely correct – it should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law. But surely your “outrage” should be tempered by the fact that Jack Hamilton had nearly a half-dozen ads in every other issue of the Kitsap Sun for weeks before the election, and that most mail-in-only ballots in Kitsap County would have been cast long before the final weekend of the campaign. Beside, any disadvantage to Hamilton by not having ads in one or two issues of the Kitsap Sun were more than offset by the blatantly biased editorials and selection of letters-to-the-editor printed in the Port Orchard Independent.


    Steve Breaux

  5. To both posters, let me say this...

    First off, please understand it's my job to play devil's advocate. That said, as far as Lantz goes, obviously, I was wrong about the margin of victory. Nothing more to be said about it.

    However, I do believe that the Democratic sweep did have some local impact. It wasn't the difference, but I believe it added significantly to the total. Perhaps it was the GOTV effort on the part of the Ds, coupled with anger about the war. I don't know.

    Not that Krantz was a stellar candidate - she clearly wasn't. Her campaign was unfocused, she was underfunded, and she didn't have a good grasp of the issues. Lantz was clearly the better candidate in this instance. Krantz is a nice lady when you talk to her - very engaging. But that doesn't always translate into votes, and clearly didn't here.

    As far as Hamilton goes... First off, let me say I didn't vote for him. I didn't vote for Josh either. Personally, I wrote in Jimmy Buffett.

    I'm angry that our forced primary system yielded two such spectacularly poor candidates. Hamilton is an intractable ideologue while Brown is totally unqualified and talked out of both sides of his mouth. I feel very strongly that he ran a blatantly dishonest campaign and that people like Norm Dicks compromised their integrity supporting him.

    I personally moderated 3 debates he was at with Hamilton and was a questioner of them in two forums, as well as sat in on 2 closed-door endorsement meetings. I probably saw more of him, in more situations than most Democrats - including Norm Dicks.

    Truth be told, I WANTED Josh to be someone I could support because I disagree with Hamilton on SO much. But it's Brown's basic dishonesty I have the most difficulty with. I wanted for him to stand up and say what he is FOR. Not hedge his bets depending on his audience. I didn't have to agree - I can accept and respect honest disagreement. But I believe he owed the voters honest answers - not the unadulterated, intellectually insulting, bullshit he dished out.

    No matter how you felt about Hamilton - you KNEW where he stood. I'll bet today, after the election, you still can't outline Brown's position on ANYTHING, because his answers were non-answers tailored not to offend whatever audience he was speaking to. And if you could tell me an actual stated position he took, I'm willing to bet I could cite you time and place where he said the opposite. THAT was the problem for me. I personally witnessed him do that - and all too often.

    I believe candidates should be FOR something, believe in something, and not be afraid to stand up and be proud of what it is. Win, lose or draw, Hamilton at least had the balls to do that. I lost any and all respect for Josh because he doesn't. The Ds should be ashamed they couldn't field a better candidate. We deserve better.

    As far as the business with the Sun... I agree about the timing of the votes, but I do know quite a few people who didn't vote until that final weekend. Would it have made the difference? Probably not.

    Here's what happened where the Sun was concerned. Our company did a Hamilton ad for one of our regular clients who had a PAC that was sponsoring the ad. The Sun, on the day ads were due, asked if Hamilton's ad, which had run previously and was basically a pickup ad, had any new information. It did - the required PDC info (who was sponsoring it, top 5 contributors, etc.) that they had left out of previous ads. No new content other than that. The Sun told us that since there was a change, the LAW (yes, she actually said that) said Brown's campaign had to review the ad for accuracy before it could run. We knew that was BS and immediately called our client and told him.

    Hamilton was not involved in any of this.

    Our client promptly called the PDC who confirmed it. Our client then called the Sun back, got the rep's VM, and she didn't return his call until after the ad submission deadline had passed. He also went down there before the deadland she refused to see him. Upon calling Sun management, all they said, was "Sorry, you missed the deadline." The only reason the deadline was missed was because their rep lied in the first place and then wouldn't return a call or see the client when he went down there personally.

    Is that illegal? Probably not. Was it blatantly unethical? Absolutely. Unfortunately, that isn't illegal.

    Oh well... It's going to be an interesting time.

  6. I've had a number of insulting comments to several posts here from someone who only Identifies himself as "John."

    Based on the comments, I was certain I knew who it was, and doing a backdoor trace of the email routing (See what I learned at Black Hat and Def Con) found I was correct.

    Sorry John. I'll be amending my AG complaint against you on Monday.

  7. I was extremely curious to see what types of comments could be posted in an Internet blog that would actually warrant an AG complaint. I mean, it's an Internet blog for Pete's sake!

    Alas, none were to be found so I can only guess that they must have been so damaging to society that a publisher, the bastion of free speech, would need to censor them.

    C'mon big boy, having a self-important publisher bark threats of an AG complaint for "insulting" comments in a moderated Internet blog is truly laughable.

    I just hope you don't "backdoor trace" my "e-mail routing" and send the Internet Police to come knock down my door! (Yikes, that sounds so technical and not made up that I'm shaking in my boots).

  8. Before you even begin to give me a hard time about free speech - or anything else for that matter - why not come out and sign your REAL name? Why hide behind the "anonymous" sign in? Could it be you're just a gutless wonder without the cojones to publicly admit to, and take credit for, the drivel you write?

    Until you're willing to sign your name to what you write, and to have it verified, you have zero credibility here and the remainder of your moronic comments will remain unpublished.

    But for those of you reading this, what the AG complaint was about had to do with email harassment under the CAN-SPAM law. It came after numerous specific written requests directly to the sender not to contact us any more, which were ignored. The issues that were the subject that complaint had nothing to do with this blog or the most recent election.