gave each other an embrace after learning the election results.
Democratic Headquarters, Nov. 6, 2007. photo by ctblogger.
Oh man, I'm I tired.
Here's the deal. It was next to impossible to get any information last night at the Democratic Headquarters. I was mainly on the phone calling sources and attempting to crunch numbers (the final numbers didn't come in until well after midnight), which is why things soundsd so frantic on the live stream. Hell, it was only an experiment and for the most part, it worked well. Next year, we'll have things more ironed out.
Now, THE RESULTS.
Yes, Mayor Mark won. Yes Helena lost...but there is more to Mark's victory than meets the eye.
I'm really exhausted so I won't go into any detail about the results but it isn't as bad as it seems.
Think about it:
• None of the Common Council Ward representatives lost their seat.
• If Lynn Taborsak stayed at-large, she probably would have been re-elected…and don’t think you seen the last of her.
• If illegal immigration is SUCH an issue, why did Pauline Basso lose 10 percent of her vote from 2005 (in '05, Pauline received 6414 votes, '07, she received 5806 votes)?
• If illegal immigration is SUCH a big issue, why didn't the Republicans GAIN seats in the wards and get rid of those so-called pesky illegal immigrant-loving Democrats?
• If the Republicans were SO strong, why did Pudgie Delohery get LESS votes than '05 Town Clerk candidate Joseph L. Scozzafava (in 05, Scozzafava received 5821 votes, in 07, Delohery received 5776).
Republican domination…whatever. It’s more like a mayor with a long coat tail in a city where people are generally happy with the status-quo.
This election really comes down to a few factors:
1. People generally don't boot out incumbents unless they REALLY screw up.
NOW you better believe that over the last four weeks, the alarm bells were sounding in Mark's head. The email fiasco and Galante were a MAJOR bump in the last honest man's road, which was evident by Boughton's robo-call Sunday (something we've never see Mark do with days before an election in prior years). In the end, it all comes down to how much the city is taking out of your wallet and if your overall happy with the state of the city. In that case, OVERALL most voters were okay with the status-quo and elected everyone back in office.
2. The Democrats MUST (and I repeat MUST) analyze this race carefully and learn from it.
It's about your MESSAGE reaching the public and you can't do that without MONEY. Helena is a great person but her message didn't reach enough people in enough time. Her campaign made a blowout race look VERY interesting in the last few weeks but ultimately, it's about getting the message out there early and often...and there lies the problem. When you face someone who has the advantage of the bully pulpit, you have to come out the gates like gangbusters and that simply didn't happen in Helena's campaign.
Helena's a great person with a great message but it simply didn't reach enough people...especially the people who are okay with the city as is, which is evident because everything is basically the same as it was before the election.
There are great candidates in the party, who have a great future if they choose to pursue public service. A newcomer in Ken Gucker received 50 less votes than the top Democrat who ran in the second ward in 05. If Mayor Boughton wants to make a difference and appoint someone to a land-use commission (such as planning...cough, get rid of Urice, cough), I can't think of a better person for the job than Gucker as he really cares about the development of the city.
3. If you want to make a difference, you need to reach people and get them to come out and vote.
If you have a low turnout, Dems lose. If you can get a high turnout, Dems have a better chance. GOTV is critical in any election and this one is no different.
4. Again, most people are such so-so with the city and GENERALLY like things the way they are.
Now, that doesn't mean that they're not PISSED OFF over a seven-year tax break to BRT (they're very pissed about that), or elected-officials who forward stupid emails (they were PISSED OFF ABOUT THAT), it's just that Danbury is the kind of place where you can get up in the morning, drive out of the area to your job, come back home and the place is GENERALLY in one piece.
FINALLY, a big round of thanks goes out to Rev. Ivon Pitts, the NAACP, and the countless amount of outraged voters who sent a message to Pauline Basso (you know, that person who gave an arrogant VICTORY SPEECH on WLAD last night) and Joel "cowboy" Urice. Remember, Pauline REPKO Basso, an individual who's been on the council for a LONG TIME, and someone who received the THRID highest votes among at-large candidates in 05, was just shown the door in a big way by losing about 10 percent of your vote form 05 to 07.
Hell, the fact that she jump on the radio and started babbling about her victory, while TOTALLY ignoring the fact that she PISSED off 10 percent of her voters who ripped up her lawn signs and bailed on her speaks volumes about her TRUE character.
On the other hand, Joel Urice is just a joke and deserved everything he got. The people rejected his nonsense when he ran for the 6th ward in 05 and they showed him the door in 07. Happy trails! Look on the bright side, now Urice and Basso have al the time in the world to attend the Elise "deer in headlights" whack pack show down at the American Legion Wednesday nights. Heck, now, they can be the opening act and tell old stories about their hey day like Jake LaMotta did in the closing moments of Ragin' Bull.
The effectiveness of the NAACP and the religious leaders, who took a stance against Basso's outrageous behavior, were vindicated with last night’s booting of Basso and this administration better respond to this wake-up call. If elected-officials keep buddying up to the like of Elise Marciano and mirror her sick mentality, they could be the next who receive a pink slip from the public.
People want less rhetoric and more results (e.g., closing the shops on Main Street that provide phony documents to illegal immigrants, addressing the day labor situation on Kennedy and moving it to a new location, being level with the residents of Danbury, not just hyping illegal immigration up during the election season).
Blah. blah, blah, I could go on and on but I'm really tired and there is more work to be done. Those who really know inside political baseball who I talk to last night took a look at these numbers and generally come to the same conclusion as I outlined.
Trust me, no one (besides maybe the mayor) is really doing a happy dance over last night. One side got rid of Taborsak while the other got rid of Basso. In other words, it’s a wash and no one gained or lost anything. Things are still the same and neither party gained a political advantage…in fact, quite the contrary…the people who spoke out in force against Basso sent a CLEAR message to the status-quo…there is a limit to the anti-immigrant madness and people DON’T like seeing Danbury portrayed as the armpit of Connecticut.
For those who voted, thanks. For those who didn't vote, you have nothing to bitch about for the next two years.
Hold your elected-officials accountable for every move they make and keep them in check. Remember, Danbury is YOUR city...and now, I'm going to find MY bed. YES, I still have one more parting shot for the mayor...but that's for later. Now, I need to switch gears and get back to other issues facing this city. The job is never over and there are many things that are flying under the radar.
The story never stops and someone needs to fill in the blanks left by the local media; therefore, HatCityBLOG (and the soon-to-be birth of HatCityMedia) will keep going, and going, and going...