Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nothing is Settled (Thursday LINKS)

No matter how we may try to avoid it, it is impossible not to make predictions based off of Tuesday's primary results.  Here in Howard County, that is a little boring.  All we really have to ponder is Board of Education.  With all the respect in the world for those who choose to spend their summer running up against the Cardins, Cummings, and Sarbanes of the world, Sisyphus has a rock he would like to sell you.

But as we learned from 2010, the Primary is really only good at showing us one thing about the Board of Education -- who is in the General Election.  While the results may not always reflect it, the Primary is also good at showing us who has the organization to win.

Have no doubt that grassroots people power will be deciding the top three spots on the General Election ballot.  Not robo-calls.  Not obscure PAC endorsements.  Not even money.  I predict that whomever can build and execute the largest and most dedicated volunteer base will win, which puts the General in stark contrast to the Primary.

By my review, the Primary results had three components leading to their tally:
1) The incumbents -- Siddiqui and Giles;
2) The HCEA Endorsements -- DeLacy; Scott; Gertler;
3) GOP pick -- Bob Ballinger.

The influence of the latter two is going to dilute in the General and we have already seen a number of voters come to resent the HCEA and their tactics in the Primary.  I think we can expect a big turnout in 2012 with what I expect to be a close Presidential race (really, I do) and at least two motivating ballot initiatives with the DREAM Act and same-sex marriage.  Those in the know say that the referenda will kick up the GOP vote, but it is yet to be seen what that will do in Howard County.  It takes yet another presumption to say that this will necessarily favor Bob Ballinger, since his affiliation as a Republican is mostly word of mouth and will not be identified on the ballot itself.

So the combination of an expectantly large turnout with a consistently obscure race, what can we expect?  Name recognition should win out.  (Um, duh, why do I read this blog again?)  What I mean is that the "motivated constituencies" that may have helped Ann Delacy reach second place cannot be expected to have the same influence on the results come November.  That's not to say that Ann won't be successful (she comes into the race as a favorite to win), but I think we should not look to see those results carry through to the General without some significant ramping up of the campaign between now and then.

In the meantime, read up on your favorite candidate.  They are going to need your help to win in November.


I feel a little goofy posting this, but there was a very nice article written about me in the Business Monthly that mentions this blog.  I mention this enough, but quite often I find myself shaking my head at just how crazy this trip has been.  You have all played a role and I am sincerely thankful.

Sara Toth has a great piece about the primary election with some quotes from the man everyone wants to hear from on this chilly Thursday morning -- Allen Dyer.

Meanwhile, Brandie Jefferson has an article in Ellicott City Patch wherein Mr. Dyer says his impeachment was the "highlight of his career."  His second best day was when his lunch bag exploded in his briefcase, ruining the pleadings he was to file later that day.

Joe Burris notes that the Board will continue with their impeachment charges against Mr. Dyer, despite the newly placed expiration date on his term of office.  I know many people disagree with me on this, but I think this is unfortunate.  Stand on the righteousness of the voter.  You are soiling the Board and its members by continuing down this path, for which Mr. Dyer has already indicated he will use as a soap-box to malign the incumbent candidates.

Proving that Senate President Mike Miller is nothing more than a pouting bully, the Sun reports that Miller has requested to see successful primary challenger John Delaney's tax returns.  He wants them presented in a knighting ceremony, during which Delaney will be asked to kneel and ask forgiveness, while presenting the tax returns in a bow.

Maryland had its lowest turnout in over 30 years with less than 25% of registered voters turning in a ballot.  I haven't seen numbers on Howard County, but the last I saw, we had about 19% of registered voters counted.  When you don't vote, the special interests count twice. (I think I want to make that into a T-shirt).

Featured Blog Post of the Day: WB offers some election day observations.  With regard to the trouble viewing the BoE returns, at one point it was like standing next to a radio waiting to hear the baseball score.  The print was so small that only I could read it.  The yeehaws (ok, maybe no yeehaws) and gasps were retained to our side of the bar.  Everyone else was watching golf.

That is all for today.  Have a great Thursday doing what you love!