In a few days, Tucsonans will go to the polls ... no, wait, they'll stay away from the polls ... anyway, they'll help determine the course of their city government over the next few years.
The election next Tuesday, Nov. 8, will largely be conducted by mail-in ballot, meaning that we'll have no idea who actually voted; results will be skewed; and final tallies will take even longer to be posted than usual. This is called "progress," you see.
Those responsible for this particular decay of the democratic process will almost certainly benefit in the short-term, but it will probably come back to bite them at some time in the future. Meanwhile, here are the possible outcomes of the election:
• SCENARIO: Democrat Jonathan Rothschild benefits from a larger-than-usual vote count (I refuse to use the misleading term "turnout") to cruise to victory. And then what? If keeping potential political opponents off the ballot were a revenue-producer, Rothschild could have Tucson in the black in no time. But it isn't, so Rothschild is going to need a message, a vision and an ability to actually appear in public.
I swear I have no idea what this guy even looks like. His strategy of getting on the ballot, keeping others off the ballot, and then keeping his head down appears to be working. He reportedly had a 17-point lead in the polls over Republican Rick Grinnell.
In The Skinny, the Tucson Weekly recently noted that the white (Republican) folks on the city's eastside tend to vote at a higher percentage than the paper-sack-tan (Democratic) folks on the south and west sides. The vote-by-mail scam (I keep trying to type "scheme" there, but it self-corrects every time) that the majority of the City Council perpetrated on the public will likely boost the numbers for the Dems, giving Rothschild the win.
ODDS (that Rothschild wins): 1-2.
• SCENARIO: Republican mayoral candidate Rick Grinnell miraculously taps into a deep-seated resentment of the Democrat-controlled city government and pulls off a big upset. Grinnell has already pulled off one big political victory by getting his name on the ballot via a write-in campaign. But now that he's on the ballot and apparently has campaign money to spend, he's self-destructing before our very eyes.
He keeps talking about bringing baseball back to Tucson. What did we ever do to you, Rick? And why are you threatening us with baseball?
The political obscenity/physical monstrosity that is Kino Stadium will forever be the county's fault, and unadulterated greed prompted the Major League Baseball teams to bolt for the Valley of the Sun. We shouldn't spend one penny trying to lure them back. Screw 'em; I hope they all suffer from over-saturation of the Phoenix market. Last spring, the Dodgers were trying to sell spring-training tickets that were priced at $90! Rio Nuevo seems level-headed by comparison.
ODDS that Grinnell's bring-back-baseball pitch catches on and boosts him to victory: 12-1.
• SCENARIO: Tens of thousands of Tucsonans mistake their mail-in ballots for junk mail and toss them in the trash. The industrious Greens pretend that they're undertaking a door-to-door recycling effort, retrieve the discarded ballots, and use biodegradable hemp-based ink to vote for Mary DeCamp on all of them. During her inaugural address, DeCamp declares Tucson to be an illegal heat island and promptly resigns.
ODDS that Mary DeCamp wins: 100,000-1.
• SCENARIO: Republican Tyler Vogt upends long-time Councilmember Shirley Scott. This is not such a long shot. Vogt has shown some success in tying Scott to the toxic Rio Nuevo project, and he is running ads that say: "Shirley Scott: 16 years of raising taxes." This, of course, isn't true, but there are a whole lot of people out there who incorrectly believe that we're overtaxed.
ODDS that Vogt unseats Scott: 5-2.
• SCENARIO: Republican challenger Jennifer Rawson's drumbeat about Paul Cunningham being responsible for the 911 mess catches on, and Cunningham goes down to defeat. Rawson's chances aren't as good as Vogt's, but they've gotten better since her handlers stopped trying to push that God-awful "Awesome Rawson" nonsense.
You guys do realize that doesn't rhyme, don't you?
ODDS that Rawson beats Cunningham: 6-1.
• SCENARIO: Despite voter discontentment, the Democrats sweep to victory in all of the races, making current lone Republican Councilmember Steve Kozachik even lonelier than he is now with the five Democratic councilmembers and the neutral ectoplasm that goes by the name of Bob Walkup.
ODDS of a Democratic sweep: Even money.
• SCENARIO: Regina Romero, who would have been vulnerable in a city-wide race against any Republican with a pulse, gets booted from office after a well-orchestrated write-in campaign produces tens of thousands of votes for "Any-Freakin'-Body Else!"
ODDS that Romero loses to a write-in campaign: 1,000,000-1. But, as Lloyd Christmas would say, "So you're tellin' me there's a chance."