Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Night 2009 - Live

Last year, I did a bit of live blogging for the Toledo Free Press on election night. They have chosen not to do this again this year (or at least have chosen not to ask me to participate) so I thought that I would do this on a reduced scale on my own this evening. I will be posting throughout the evening on any random thoughts (usually the only kind that occur to me) as the night progresses. Please feel free to join in with me and comment as we go along ...  

The pundits on Fox Toledo debated the influence of Jon Stainbrook on this most recent election. I am looking at this from the outside, being neither Republican nor Democrat; but it appear to me that Mr. Stainbrook has been all but invisible lately. Quite frankly, his endorsement, as well as that of his mentor at the Blade appear to be the kiss of death. Maggie Thurber has talked about the influence of the Blade recently in Thurber's Thoughts, and the discussion is well worth reading. Fox Toledo has signed off for the night on election coverage, and I believe that I will as well, it being well past my bedtime. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all that participated in the process.  

Two of the three candidates that I hoped would shake things up (one dropped out for personal reasons) are currently all but tied for "Nah". It's not that I mind being wrong, I'm used to that. It's that I feel that I am so out of step with my fellow citizens in Toledo that I have to wonder. I have loved my time in this, my latest home; but have to wonder if the feeling is mutual.  

Bell continues to lead, but this one is so close that it is likely that a recount will be required almost automatic. No matter what we know this evening, it will be some time before we know who is actually mayor. As for City Council, it looks like more of the same. For Issues 1-4, all seem to be passing with easy margins.  

10:35 Bell just jumped into the lead, for the first time in the evening ...  

10:30 Is it just me, or does it seem fitting to anyone else that Mike Bell is celebrating at a public restaurant and Keith Willkowski is at a UAW hall?  

10:00 The margin on the Mayor's race is closing. This is a good thing, as it proves that the cumulative IQ of the city is not on the decline. This is not to say that the two candidates were dramatically different, but there has to be more to life in Toledo than standing in lockstep behind an endorsed Democratic candidate. Interestingly enough, the NY 23rd district race is closer than I expected and the race for Mayor in NYC has the two candidates in a virtual tie.\  

Well the results are beginning to dribble in, and the Mayor's race is probably too close to call this early, though it looks like a Democrat won (actually, one would have either way). City Council appears to be one more chance for "more of the same".  

The numbers coming in seem to tell us what we already knew. The voters of Toledo, Lucas County, and Ohio seem to have no concept of money, the dire situation that this city, county, and state are in, and anything about a candidate except the familiarity of a name. It does not bode well for the future of any of these entities.  

Both Kevin Milliken and Terry Shanklin are running behind in the voting on Council races in favor of a Gerkin who has little going for her other than her name. I had hoped that if at least one them had reached office that there was hope for some kind of change, but it appears that Toledo is still in the death grip of mediocrity.  

It appears that we do love our Issues here in Ohio. Currently all are ahead by healthy margins. It appear that not only have the fear tactics worked with the voters, but that few understand the concept and restrictions of a State Constitutional Amendment. I am convinced that Ohio voters believe that all of these promises are being made with OPM (Other People's Money), not realizing that the state has no money. Can such ignorance really be possible? It brings to mind the old theme song from M.A.S.H., "Suicide is Painless".  

Perhaps we know now why the president's press secretary tried to distance the administration from the local elections today. It's easy to say that they are not a commentary on the direction that the country is taking, but it appears obvious that the voters out there are feeling different. The only one that I have seen no news on is the NY 23rd District, where the Republican candidate dropped out of the race and supported the Democratic candidate rather than the conservative. If this triumvirate should happen, there is a good chance that Cap and Trade and the Health Care legislation could be derailed. I am watching the CNN coverage (in the spirit of bi-partisanship LOL). I watch it with the sound turned down however, as the pundits are too annoying for words.  

CNN is calling the election in Virginia a sweep for the Republicans. Governor, Lt. Governor, and Atty. General will all be from the party that the president is not part of by a fairly significant margin. Just saw the NJ numbers, and the Republican Christie has a significant lead there as well.  

Willkowski appears to have the early lead for Mayor. This is not much of a surprise since he is the endorsed Democratic candidate. As for Council, it appears that the same names and faces will be a part of it once more. I find it amazing in this city that everyone can complain about the "same old thing" leading to the financial hole that the city currently finds itself in, yet votes for little or no change in its government. Is it laziness, aggressive apathy or ignorance, or simply that there is so little interest that no one bothers to look behind the familiar? That we should have such an opportunity in this city and choose to waste it is almost beyond comprehension.  

I will not speak about the candidates that I voted for, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I will at least talk about my Issue votes. I voted no on all. While I believe that our service personnel deserve our support, I do not believe that they fought for this country for money. At a time when the state is in hock up to its personnel deserve our support, I do not believe that they fought for this country for money. I don't believe creating more is a good idea, no matter how noble the cause. Issue 2, as I have stated earlier, is a coward's amendment. The state legislature, rather than take up its responsibilities and ignore the threats of radical fringe groups, ducks its obligations and tries to put this on the voters without proper explanation or justification. Creating more bureaucracy is always wrong. Issue 3 is a mandated monopoly and I will never support such. Quite frankly the only thing worse than this proposed amendment is the behavior of groups on both sides in attempting to scare and intimidate voters. As a senior (well almost), certainly Issue 4 is of concern to me. I find however, that I would rather let voters keep their money rather than have the county redistribute it. I know that this may sound callous, and this money may be doing a lot of good, but voting on principle means just that. Government's place in such areas should be eliminated wherever possible. If however, they want to create a charity to fill the same role, I will be one of the first to step up and donate.  

I have to share my voting story with you first off. Traffic was light when I walked down to the polling place this morning. After I had completed my civic duty and was about to leave, a woman of similar age was leaving at the same time. As we walked towards the door she commented, "I don't know anything about all of these issues on the ballot. They were all so confusing, and I didn't know which way to vote. How about you?" I commented that I had written a couple of pieces on the issues for my blog and for the TFP, and therefore had done a fair bit of research on the subject. "Really" she replied. "I wish that I had spoken to you before I voted so that you could explain them to me." ... such is the state of the informed voter in Toledo today. 


Tricia said...

Well again and as expected, very sadly, we have once again decided we live in "Pleasantville" where all is fine. Those that have made decisions on behalf of our grand city shall keep their jobs. Making the tough calls here. Working for the good of all of those that live here....
Those that wish to hold values and outdated standards are once again left outside of the fold.
Those that do not work shall not eat was once said by someone I hold dear.
In this city and country for that matter, have decided once again that those that do not work shall eat and eat well.

Tim Higgins said...

Ah well, we should not be surprise that the tiger was reluctant to give up its stripes. An effort was made, and so was progress. We may not have won the battle, but we will yet win the war.

Tricia said...

Bell is now in the lead!!! Democrat lite takes the lead. Other than that : The song remains the same"....

Tim Higgins said...

Are you not reminded of the man falling from the top of a skyscraper saying, "So far, so good".

Tricia said...

Gerkin is now behind another democrat!!! Wow who would have thunk it!!!

Tim Higgins said...

Looks now like she is tied with another "generic" Democrat and council-person-in-waiting. A sad commentary on what qualifies in this city.

Tricia said...

Unions and democrats run this town. That is the way it has been and always (seemingly) will be. Look at the past names and see where they are now. Still around. Voting against the tax payers in favor for their union supporters.....

Tim Higgins said...


You have been here much longer than I (only 3-1/2 years), so I am guessing that you understand the dynamic better than I. That being said, I think far too many in this town vote the ballot supplied by union stewards, and that the unions are far better at getting out the vote.

It is a shame that 12% of the population seems to have such a large claim on the vote.

Tricia said...

12 % with a lot of money and power behind them sir.
It appears Mike Bell was the only vote of mine and my Son's that counted tonight.
Thank you for following this and bringing your thoughts to the fore front.
Per your voting encounter today, you should have been everywhere a few minutes sooner!
PS. regarding Jon Stainbrook...perhaps his little "incident" may have stifled his voice of late....

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


All things considered, locally more of the same old, same old, although Bell winning was a bright spot for me.

"... such is the state of the informed voter in Toledo today."

Sadly, this is all too common. . .

Tim Higgins said...


I have already said much the same in the column I worked up for the TFP.

Somehow, I take no consolation (nor do I fear that you do either) in the fact that we're getting mostly the same old thing as a result of the same old mindset.