Monday, May 13, 2013

CCR 05-13-13: Waiting for Wit

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

          Tickets on Sale for the 1st Annual David & Goliath MMA Mud Slinging and Kazoo Fest

     Well, the city election results were pretty much what many predicted.  And that leads voters to the real decision making process -- who you gonna’ pick for the run-offs?

     Realizing that Irving voters are even more apathetic with single member districts than they are with a ballot containing all at-large choices, the CCR decided to boil down the run-off elections for the two city council slots needing a presence.  (And still, some will tout single member districts as being the panacea for providing good representation?)

PLACE 1  (single member district...must live in the district to vote) 

    This will be a text book, political clash between: A sea-foam green Jaguar-driving, portly, limousine liberal lawyer who has previously served on the city council (Danish) VS. (Byers) a grandfatherly looking, retired from something, staunch fiscal conservative with political blogging experience.  Maybe someone had this type of run-off election in mind when the “Alpha and the Omega” phrase was first coined.  It will be difficult for Danish to escape his wanton spending of other folks bucks (Read: tax dollars) for championing so-called “little people” projects and entitlements, just as it will be tough for Byers to espouse more than a shallow party line of wanting to be a conservative watchdog of your tax bucks in an ethics-driven manner by flashing a genuine smile of “Please Vote for Me.”

     In the general election, Danish garnered 293 votes (49%) to Byers 189 votes (32%).  With only 593 total votes cast in Place 1, wouldn’t it be cheaper for each candidate to take the bucks they will spend on signs, brochures and other election cost and just pay folks directly to go vote for them in the run-off?  

     It is really eye-opening and despairing to see how single member districts have created voter apathy of this magnitude.  And do you need to be reminded that Danish and Benavidez (who lost another school board race in his single member district on Saturday) were two of the major pushers for single member districts in the city and for the school board?

Your Pick:   Danish…….Byers

PLACE 2   (at-large...anyone can vote for this council seat)

     The descriptions for candidates in this run-off race are nearly a duplication of the Place 1 contest.  This race features: a former council member who was aligned with ex-mayor Gears and key LCG personnel (Billy Bob/Charles Cotton), with a dismal past council record that might make Mother Teresa blush and who can spout scripted talking points for special interest group concerns with unabashed ease (Meagher) VS. (Stewart) an arch conservative who is not fearful of asking all the right questions, pinpointing fiscal inconsistencies and is not beholden to special interest groups.  In politics, the key phrase has generally been: Follow the money.  And in this race, campaign donations and spending (at least all that has officially been reported at this time) could provide a clue as to where Meagher’s allegiances lay.  Stewart’s campaign funding is probably less weighted towards those with pecuniary interest in city issues.

     Voters in the general election cast 1,799 (39%) votes for Meagher, while Stewart collected 1,328 (28%) of the grand total.  Again, with only 4,684 votes cast in at-large Place 2 out of a possible registered voter list of 70,111+, it is sad and really pathetic to see that more folks are twitter followers of Hollywood bad-child Lindsay Lohan than care about how their money is lifted from their wallets through local taxes to fund items, in some cases, not even related to governance. (Think: The hundreds of thousands of tax bucks already spent on the Ruth Paine “Oswald Slept Here” house in Irving that is going to be a tourist attraction?  Sure!)

Your Pick:  Meagher…...Stewart

     Seriously, only 7% of the registered voters in Irving cared enough to make their voices heard in this past local election.  However, there is a workable solution for the problem.  Put an alcohol measure, any alcohol measure (Imagine: beer vending machines on high school campuses for starters), on all city ballots in the future and watch the voting percentage increase dramatically.  Who knows?  Voter turn out might even spike at 65% when you provide an issue that hits closer to home for voters...especially those with kids. 

     Buy your tickets now for the upcoming run-off election Fest.  Early voting starts June 3rd and runs to June 11th.  Election day is June 15th.

     While the CCR staff muddles over this lackluster slate, it would be interesting to see what is on the minds of readers...a majority of whom follow local events with some even taking the time and effort to actually go vote.  So, click the Reply key on this e-mail and let us know your picks for the run-off winners.

(All responses, like protecting our bcc: mailing list, will be kept confidential.  Only the raw number totals will be reflected in a report prior to the run-off election.  Note: we are proud of the fact that the CCR has not burned or divulge a source of info since its inception in 1984.)

………………………..Mark Holbrook