Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Stumblewatch ’07: Dust-Settling Edition

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2007 at 12:47 PM

I'm a few hours late to the post-election analysis party today, because I was so sure about how everything was going to turn out that I spent the last week of Stumblewatch ’07 back in New York City. And then my flight home last night turned into a disaster, and I ended up in Phoenix instead of Tucson. Plus, hey, I caught some sort of NYC bug, so I'm not moving so fast this a.m.

Can someone bring me some chicken soup?

So: nearly final numbers. Prop 200 went down like the Hindenburg, with 72 percent of the voters rejecting John Kromko's wackadoodle scheme. That's a bit higher than supporters of Prop 200 predicted; remember Ross' comment yesterday that Prop 200 would be within 10 points in either direction?

Can't say I'm much surprised about the blowout. Kromko ran a lousy campaign, and even though the opposition came up with some goofy arguments of their own, they controlled the debate by spending somewhere around $800K. Supporters of the prop are going to whine about how the election was bought, which allows them to avoid admitting that Prop 200 was a collection of mostly lousy ideas. If nothing else, can we finally grow up and stop bitching about the trash fee?

Kromko told the morning daily that he now wants term limits for Tucson City Council members. Term limits have turned out to be a disaster at the Legislature and wouldn't be any good here (can someone tell us why is expertise considered a bad thing?), but John evidently needs a hobby and doesn't seem to care what he screws up these days.

Mayor Walkup steamrolled Green Party candidate Dave Croteau, who leveled the predictable complaint in the Star that Big Money won out over Big Ideas. The big problem with that analysis: Croteau didn't float any real Big Ideas. Or, more specifically, he didn't propose ways of using government to achieve his ideas of "relocalization." He also didn't bother to raise enough money to get any of his ideas to a mass audience, but that's one of those unseemly things that Greens are above. Which, by the way, is one of the reasons that they lose.

Democrat Rodney Glassman got more than 60 percent of the vote over Republican Lori Oien, while Democrat Shirley Scott got more than 65 percent of the vote over Republican Dan Spahr. That's mostly due to the current political environment, with Democrats coming on strong while Republicans are on the decline. Scott got a higher percentage because she's an incumbent with a weak opponent, but Glassman compensated for the lack of incumbency (and the accompanying name ID) by working his ass off on his campaign.

With roughly 26 percent of the voters casting a ballot, turnout was light. We hear there are votes left to be counted, so the overall number of people going to the polls will top out between 60,000 and 65,000.

As it turns out, the city sent out about 60,000 early ballots, but only about 36,000 were counted as of yesterday. (A few thousand still need verification.) That's still much higher than the 22,500 or so people who actually cast a vote on Election Day.

We'll have more in next week's Skinny!

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