Wednesday, September 10, 2014

special election

Could not believe the results of the SD28 election last night: Charles Perry 53%, Jodey Arrington 30%, Wortham (the Democrat) 13%, two more Republicans and a Libertarian, all under 2%.

Actually I could believe it, as I've come to believe lots of wild stuff, but I couldn't explain it. Republicans divide their vote four ways, and a Dem can't even come close? The hard right, which could be said to be, in large part, fundamentalists and/or tea party, apparently unites behind Perry? While the loyal mainstream Bush Republicans, represented by Arrington, gets less than a third?

From the Democratic perspective, I can say that clearly Democrats are voting for Republicans just so they can have some influence on the election. But, in that case, I would imagine they voted for Arrington, who is the more liberal of the two clear front-runners. And if they did, that says even less about the strength of the traditional Bush establishment Republicans. Or, the Dems just stay home, unless they have someone like Obama (or presumably Wendy Davis) on the ticket. Wortham doesn't have a chance, so they stay home?

Then I look at the 53/30 number again. OK, SD 28 covers 50 counties, most of it is ranch country (or cotton-growing? oil? I'm not sure) - and West Texas is very conservative. The whole area was roughly 70-30 for Romney, with some counties, like Lubbock, more like 68-32, others more like 74-26. Voting for Romney didn't show how truly conservative they were, but it's possible they've become more conservative, or they have some serious issue that they wanted to be represented with, in a more conservative way. But here are some more possibilities: that they really really liked Charles Perry. Or, that they really really distrusted Jodey Arrington, or policies he professed.

But here's another theory. There was a lot of outside money in this campaign, and most of it went to Perry. Where was it from? I have no idea. Presumably it was from in the state, but not in SD 28. Presumably it was from someone who would benefit greatly from a Charles Perry victory. And presumably, it worked. Perry bought television ads, sent lots of mail, poured the money in. A friend of mine received lots of mail with guns all over it, all pushing Perry. Did the NRA care about this election? The oil people? Or the chemical industry? Apparently the Senate is evenly divided, and it was an important race for the rest of the state. So who opens their wallet in this case?

Recently, upon hearing that Kliff Kingsbury would receive $3 million a year for many years, I remarked that he might be the richest guy in Lubbock. Not even close, somebody said; there's a lot of money here. So people are making more than three million a year? and they're doing what with the money?

I have no answers; I'm new here. If I'm wrong about any of this stuff, fill me in. At the moment, I feel somewhat tricked. I voted Democrat on the assumption that it would matter. As it turns out, it might not have mattered no matter who I voted for. I'd like to know why people do what they do; where this money is going, in the district, and why it matters so much who represents SD 28.

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