Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Republican race for Fort Wayne City Council "at-large"

Sam Talarico and I had a friendly bet about this race.

Before I get into our predictions and the results I want to say that this race is about as depressing as the Mayor's race was encouraging for me.

I agree with Sam Talarico that the six Republican candidates were all strong candidates and that each of the six candidates could have won many of the previous "at-large" races.

This contest proves to me beyond "the shadow of a doubt" that the voters choose which candidates to vote for based on "name recognition" more often then not.

One of most contentious issues in this race was Harrison Square. I think everyone agrees that a majority of Republican voters opposed the Harrison Square Project as proposed. Sam Talarico has admitted this several times and he is one of the project's staunchest supporters. Brown, Bender, and Crawford all supported Harrison Square. I would have thought that this would have hurt them. This shows you that I do not have a career as a "pundit." The three losing candidates either opposed the project or were "on the fence."

Another contentious issue is the smoking ban. Bar owners are upset (And they SHOULD be) that Fort Wayne City Council is getting into their affairs and trying to put them out of business. Bender supports making the smoking ban less restrictive. Brown and Crawford support the ban as is.

I looked at their campaign finance reports a couple of weeks ago, so my numbers are not current; however, I believe that they spent money as follows: Crawford spent the most by a lot, then Mildred, then Gutman, then Brown, then Morris, then Bender.

I truly think that people often vote based on name recognition. Marty Bender is well known due to his previous time on City Council and his current position in the Fort Wayne police department. Liz Brown has some name recognicition due to her recent campaign for School Board and may have got same name recognition due to the recent Bill Brown campaign. Doctor Crawford has a lot of name recognition as well.

I voted for the three candidates who came in 4th, 5th, and 6th. I RARELY seem to vote for the candidates who win elections. In fact, in yesterdays Republican primary Matt Kelty is the only candidate I voted for who won, the rest lost.

Back to my freindly bet with Sam Talarico. The bet was close, with neither of us doing particularly well; however, Sam Talarico won the bet, lunch is on me.

If you look at the percentages of votes each candidate received Sam was off by 14.3% and I was off by 14.5%. Sam picked Brown and Crawford to win and I picked Crawford to win. So Sam won!

Just let me know a couple of days that work Sam and we will get together and lunch is on me!

Mike Sylvester


Anonymous said...

Mike, Name recognition is huge in an at-large race, but dont entirely discount other factors.

1. Crawford took a huge hit from H. Square and Smoking to knock him down to third.

2. Liz Brown is a tireless volunteer within the parochial school system. She is very well known in the catholic community and she ran a nice campaign. She received both newspaper endorsements and she had volunteers at the polls. Liz is wonderful candidate and she seperated from the other newcomers.

3. I think the "anti smoking ordinance" people knew that Bender would try and overturn the ordinance and they gave Bender a few hundred extra votes.

4. From a purely political standpoint, Morris may have been a little foolish to endorse Kelty. As an at-large candidate, you want Kelty AND Peters supporters to support you. He had to have lost a several hundred votes from Peters supporters.

Just some thoughts. We can meet at the Dash In downtown some time this month.


Tim Zank said...

Mike, sorry you lost, but that doesn't mean you can take Sam T. to McDonalds now....It's gotta be at least Subway right??

Hey you take him to the palace..oh.

Anonymous said...

The smoking ban puts bar owners out of business? I've never seen data or first hand accounts to support that.Bars are still packed in Bloomington IN, NYC, and Washington DC just to name a few places I've been that have a ban. I frequent bars and many of my friends that go to the bars are smokers. Not one of them has a problem with smoking bans.

Sorry to veer off topic.

Enjoy the lunch, fellas.

Tim Zank said...

The smoking ban doesn't put nightclubs out of business, young people will give up smoking for an hour or so to chase some tail and get a buzz.

The ones it hurts are the neighborhood taverns, the mom and pop places, the legions and VFW's that rely on regulars. Politicians don't think much about them, they're just "small" business people, not important enough to worry about.

Robert Enders said...

Anonymous- Bloomington is a college town, so the bars are packed with college students. NYC and DC have large populations. Ted Kennedy drinks so much by himself that all DC area bars are consistently in the black.

The nice folks at Pierre's showed me a long list of bars and restaurants that closed due to new smoking ordinances. The ban supporters say that it won't hurt business, the bar owners say that it will. Since the bar owners are the ones who stand to lose the most in this, shouldn't they get to decide whether or not its a good idea?

Karen Goldner said...

Another thing the three winners had in common: they were the first three on the ballot because the candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Didn't Gutman finish fourth? And he was next on the list.

I'm not commenting on how the election went, because I agree with Mike and Sam that all 6 candidates were high quality candidates (for Republicans, that is - ha ha, just joking). If I had been voting in the R primary, I would have voted for a couple of the candidates who won the nomination. However, I find it interesting that the vote turned out as it did.

I think that Indiana should follow the lead of other states and rotate the position of names on ballots to avoid the inevitable benefit that the first name/s on the list will receive.

Anonymous said...

I am not buying this "alpha" argument. The results in 2003 and 1999 did not follow in alpha order. In fact, Bender finished in 4th place out of 5 in 1999 and in 5th place was a candidate named Armstrong. In 2003, Olinger finished in last place behind a T and an R.

These results were driven by other things. I cannot imagine that there are many people who press the first 3 buttons just because they are the first 3!

In the "Olden" days this was more of an issue, because if your name was late in the alphabet you would end up in the second row of levers which was a bigger problem.


Anonymous said...

Also, apparently only Republicans are foolish enough to vote in alpha order since the same theory obviously did not apply to the Dem At-Large results.

Anonymous said...

Never seen any evidence that smoking bans hurt business? You must have limited your review to Crawford's propoganda.

WLNS - Lansing,MI,USA

DETROIT Casino Windsor is laying off nearly 300 union workers and immediately terminating 32 salaried employees due to declining revenues caused by Ontario's smoking ban.

Montreal Gazette - Montreal,Quebec,Canada

The 1,500 bar owners who responded to the survey reported a 30-per-cent drop in revenues from alcohol sales, video-poker terminals, pool tables and food since the no-smoking rules went into effect May 31, Sergakis said.

At least 478 full- and part-time jobs have been cut, he added.

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

And speaking of taking people to a meal...I remember something said about having a (blogger) meet at YOUR place after the primaries.....anyone else recall that???



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