Monday, September 10, 2007

Sam will love this

In the comment section of an earlier post Sam Talarico commented that he was surprised that the News-Sentinel published my analysis of the recent Zogby poll and the unpopularity of the Harrison Square project and how this could affect the next election.

The original editorial is here:

Sam will be glad to learn that the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly ran the editorial as well... You can read it here:

I think that this is a larger topic to the voters in this town then Sam may think...

I think we are going to have some new City Council members and I think this will also influnece the Mayor's race.

Mike Sylvester


Anonymous said...


Sam can certainly speak for himself but let me chime in on this. Sam's point was not that the information in your editorial was not useful or interesting, it was just merely a compliation of information that is already out in the public domain and has been reported on and blogged about ad nauseum. It offered no new meaningful analysis.

Anonymous said...


I think the point Mike was trying to reinforce is that the majority of the people in this city do not like Harrison Square. Yes this has been mentioned before, but it should be. People should not forget how the current city council approved an unpopular project that most people consider to be a waste of money.

Anonymous said...


It surprises me that as a young libertarian that holds many "minority" views, you would like government to simply poll every single issue.

Robert Enders said...

You'll see people say the same stuff over and over again on the editorial page. The purpose of the editorial page is not to report new facts, but to express opinion. Mike needed to cite the statistics in his opinion, so the Sentinel gave him a guest column.

When I talk to people while canvassing, a lot of them will state their disapproval of a particular policy, shrug, then say "There isn't anything I can do about it." I mention that the whole point of my visit is to get them to do something about it.

No matter what the issue is or how unpopular it is, there is a persistent fatalistic mentality among the public that they cannot influence the government. The purpose of the column was to have an impact on voter efficacy

Robert Enders said...

Anon 11:09
Kody did not say that at all. On most issues, a representative can be expected to vote against public wishes if he or she truely believes it's the right thing to do.
To give an extreme example, if I were a Congressman and 90% of my constituents wanted me to bring back the draft, I would still vote against any bill that proposed it. In that case, I would rather lose an election than go against my conscience.
In the case of Harrison Square, its unpopularity is one more reason to kill or modify the project. The success of a commercial enterprise is highly dependent on public relations. If this project had 60% support, many would be saying that it was further proof that the project is going to be a success.

Now there appears to be a cascade effect. As more HS supporters realize that this project cannot acheived the desired results in the face of all that opposition, they will conclude that HS was a nice idea, but it cannot work.

Anonymous said...

Bob and Kody and the rest of the Sylvester groupies,

I think Mike's editorial was most helpful in explaining that the difference between 40 and 29 was indeed 11. Only a CPA could decipher this gem.

Sam T. said...

OK Mike. Some new council members...

1st District: Tom Smith (anti H. Square) and he will win his race.

2nd District: Don Schmidt (anti H. Square) and he will win his race against K. Goldner

3rd District: Tom Didier (Pro H. Square) and he will win his race.

4th District: New Council member by default

5th District: Pape (Pro H. Square) will win this race with 60% or more of the vote.

6th District: Hines (Pro H. Square) will win this race with 70% or more of the vote

At Large: You will have one new councilmember by default. You can pick the three winners from this group of 4 (Bender, Brown, Crawford, Shoaff). The first three are pro h. Square.

Where are all your new members coming from? Atleast 2 of 3 at-large members will be pro H. Square just like now.

If Shoaff finishes first, it will be a tell tale sign of how strongly people voted on this ONE issue, but your prediction of new members is going to be off the mark.

As for the Mayor's race, if Kelty wins, H. Square will be one of the deciding factors obviously.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for clarifying my comment for that Anonymous poster. I would also like to add that I mentioned nothing about the government polling anything in my comment. I am not sure where Anonymous got the idea that I was in favor of that. If you are going to misquote me or say I said something I didn't then take responsiblity for your words and don't post anonymously.


You make a good point. The two major parties aren't offering up much variation in the candidates they are running for City Council. If one is to really promote changes in how things are being run in this city their smartest decision would be to vote for Libertarians. Unfortunately the people in this town are too apathetic and the people that actually do vote seem to base their decisions on name recognition and numbers of yard signs.

jon said...

Sam is right... the at large race may see some change. I think Shoaf will win, I think Bender will win... that puts Crawford on the bubble, but he is an excellent campaigner and well funded and I think he will win. The Mayor's appears to be a toss up, but Henry's campaign appears weak. The HS issue might push Kelty over the top despite his other problems.

Phil Marx said...

On July 24, City Council passed the bonding of H.S. On August 2, Hardball Capital held a public forum to showcase their plans. Over 300 people attended, and most were in support of H.S. The papers spinned this to imply that this showed strong public support for the project.

This meeting was only a celebration event for H.S. supporters, and the lack of opposition there implied nothing.

Mikes letter was appropriate because it pointed out that a majority of F.W residents oppose the Harrison Squander project and that opposition has grown. It was necessary because both the J.G and N.S have failed to accurately portray the situation.

Anonymous said...


I will add that I was at the HS event at the Grand Wayne Center. I am against the project and spoke with several other people that were as well.

John B. Kalb said...

Phil Marx - City Council may have
"passed" the bonding(actually a lease/bond proposal) but the Department of Local Government Finance commissioner Musgrave has not yet responded to the city's request for "property tax back-up" for this lease. Contact with her leads us to believe that she will not approve this- at least not before the "first Tuesday after the first Monday in November". Because of this, the redevelopment commission has requested that City Council approve a "temporary $18 million bond issue". So, it's back to council, again. In the mean time, the Indiana Attorney General's office has written me to say "they are awaiting the release of the controller's audit" of Pat Roller's books for 2006 by the State Board of Accounts before they take legal action.
Stay tuned! John B. Kalb

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

To the council member who is posting, Mr. Talarico, with all respect due, you are failing to recognize there are 8 Libertarian Candidates for City Council running as well.

We have the potential of clearing a minimum of four of the eight seats that we are running for.

Mr. Pape does not have 60% of the vote that I can garuntee and what votes he does have he is about to loose by some of his condescending remarks in the press. So it is between the twinkle and charm of Fuller and the name recognition of Buskirk.

As far as the other Districts go it is an even 3 way toss up however with the exception of the 4th District and Dr. Crawford, because he will be getting the boot on election day. The voters attach his name and face with three things Harrison Square, The Smoking Ban, and everything else going wrong in the City. Even out in public he is a prude and I say that with disgust. When you cant even return a hello when a constituent says it first and addressed you by both titles (Council Member and Doctor)that just smacks in the face of the small town hospitality we still boast about in Fort Wayne.

Finally you are forgetting that within every district but the fourth people will have four options to vote for (3 at large and one in district) at that point it is just a game of chance and draw.

"enie minnie miny no, catch an incumbent by the toe if he whines throw em home enie minnie miny no!"



Fr. Fozy Bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Marx said...


Most people myself included) are not as informed about this issue as you are. When the bond issue passed on July 24, I assumed that was the end of it. It was only later that I heard about the letter writing campaign (to Musgrave). By the time I learned of this however, I thought that it had already been approved by DLGF (see Aug 23 posting on this site).

I'll be honest and say that I would be willing to put my time and energy into stopping this project, I just don't know what my options are. I think there are a lot of other people in this same position.

If you have a plan that could still possibly stop this project, please let me know what I can do to help.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Fozy Bear,

I did not forget about the libertarian candidates, however, ironically, they make my predictions all that more likely.

Mr. Fozy (or Mr. Bear whichever you prefer), You obviously lack the knowledge of the district breakdown. Tim Pape is going to win in a huge landslide partly because the 5th District is OVERWHELMINGLY democrat. Harrison Square may knock him from 70% down to 62%.

Mr. Crawford will be hurt by H. Square but HELPED by the Smoking Ban which is favored by a large majority of the public, so wrong again Foz. Given how hard John Crawford works, I certainly would not pick against him being in the top 3. Crawford is ALWAYS much stronger in the General election than the primary. Almost certainly, ATLEAST 2 out of 3 winners in the at-large race will be pro Harrison Square even if JOhn Crawford were upset in the general election.

The libertarians will mostly get what amounts to pure protest votes and it will simply take votes away from the challengers.

After November election, there will be 5 Harrison Square supporters on the council, 4 opponents (if you assume that Mitch Harper will win which is also almost a certainty given the party breakdown in the 4th district.

Sorry Bear, your analysis is a little Fozzy.

Sam T.

Anonymous said...

Father Fozy,

While I too think it would be great to see some Libertarians in City Council it is difficult to really get people to pay attention to the real views and stances of the local politicians. This fact can only work to the advantage of incumbents, candidates with a lot of money, and candidates that live in districts where most people vote soley on political party.

Anonymous said...

Fozy, I am so sorry. I missed your prediction of 4 seats in your post.

We will need to have an actuary (or possibly a CPA.. are you listening Mike?) run some actual probability calculations, but, in 100% honesty, I would have to say that the odds of the libertarians taking 4 seats on city council would have to be just slightly lower than the odds of me being crowned Mr. Universe 2007.

Sam T.

jon said...

I am Libertarian at heart, but the Libertarian's have about as much chance of picking up a counsel set as does Alf the Alien. As much as I respect Mike and Doug and Robert, and even consider myself a libertarian you can not be a minority third party and run in as many races as they have candidates and win. John Crawford, in my opinion has moved away from ( some) Republican party views; however he will still get the strait ticket voters as will all Republicans. Additionally, John is one of the best, most aggressive campaigners in the race. Marty Bender always seems to run well when he campaigns and John Shoaf will actually get much of the protest vote from conservative Republicans who see him as a like minded Democrat. Don Schmidt, Tim Pape, and Tom Smith are not vulnerable because of the makeup of their district or simply weaker campaigns against them. .....And trust me... Sam will not be crowed Mr. Universe despite is reputable physique!

Jon O

Robert Enders said...

This is the first time in 12 years that Libertarians have competed in a Fort Wayne municipal election. People like to make predictions about elections because they hate uncertainty. They make predictions for the same reason people download spoiler scripts from the internet, or read the last chapter of a book before they start the first page.
Two party elections are easier to predict because we know in advance who won't vote Democrat and who won't vote Republican. But this year, people can vote for someone they like instead of against someone they hate.

Robert Enders said...

Sam T.
Did you also predict that Harrison Square was going to be this popular?

jon said...


The current problem with Libertarians winning a seat is that 25-30% of the electorate is a single ticket voter. Thus 1 in 4 votes is not available to the Libertarian regardless of platform, funding, or any other variable. Even most landslide victories are only won by 10-20% of the vote (60% to 40%) and in an at large race when a winner may have 22% of the total vote it is even tougher.

The libertarian party would be better served with one candidate, in one race. Pour all your money into one seat in chosen by it's vulnerability and you may win. When enough of the public sees real Libertarians in office they may begin to elect more.


Fr. Fozy Bear said...

To clarify a pointe I made, I said, "We have the potential of clearing a minimum of four of the eight seats that we are running for." I never said that it would necessarily be done by Libertarians even if it means distorting the vote between the oppositional parties. (Reference: "So it is between the twinkle and charm of Fuller and the name recognition of Buskirk.")

Second, Mr. Talarico, I gave you respect of your title and office I would expect the same in return irregardless of opinion and thought! My apologies for not putting the abbreviation of Honorable in front of the Mister.



Anonymous said...

Actually NO Bob. I never did predict that H. Square would be that popular. I did not realize that I was only allowed to support popular items. Gee Bob, is that the platform of the libertarian party? Make everybody happy so you can be popular. Thats a recipe for doing nothing.


Robert Enders said...

I never said that you or anyone else should only do what's popular. I'm merely pointing out that you cannot accurately predict the outcomes of local races in this election.

Jeff Pruitt said...

The Libertarians will not win more than 5% of the vote in ANY race. If they do - consider it a moral victory. I'm just being realistic...

Robert Enders said...

On what basis do you make your prediction?

Anonymous said...

Bob, I predict that I can predict the outcome. I am very familiar with local election outcomes going back to 1971. It really is not all that difficult to figure out. You are really living in the twilight zone if you truly believe that a third party candidate can win or even come remotely close. I am not saying this is good or bad. I am just point out reality.

The D/R breakdown in each district really means that there is exactly one district that is even potentially in play (the 3rd distric) and considering that until last week I could not name the person running against Tom Didier, I would not give his opponent that much of a chance.

There is also 1 at large seat in play.

So, all of this talk about massive "throw the bums" out type of result just is not going to materialize. This is actually more likely to occur in the primaries (See County Council RAce 2002).

Sam T.

Robert Enders said...

The reason why you know the D/R breakdown in each district is because people have to declare a D/R party preference in order to vote in a primary. Since FWCS has its school board elections in the fall, that makes it harder to determine the number of independents, Libertarians, and other minor ideological labels. Your prediction seems to require a lot of straight ticket voting, that a lot of people are going to vote for both Kelty AND Crawford. I think that with what is at stake here, ideas are going to matter more than party affiliation.

Anonymous said...

OK. Bob we will agree to disagree. It is clear that you are counting on an anamoly of epic proportions to occur. No matter how controversial you believe H. Square and the Smoking Ordinance is, you can rest assured that there have been equally controversial issues for every city election since 1971 so I just do not think that this election will trend any differently than elections of the last 35 years. Contrary to convential blog wisdom, this is NOT the first time voters have been angry about an issue when election time rolled around. I will never forget 1991 election when everybody said that ALL incumbents were finished because the vast numbers in St. Joe township were so upset about the extremely controversial St. Joe annexation. End result, one incumbent defeated in the at-large position and Helmke won big.

Robert Enders said...

People typically vote their interests. Usually only those who have been recently annexed would be driven to vote against an incumbent mayor. This is why annexations occur in stages. You have to wait until most of the angry voters in the old annexation move out or calm down before you annex the next area.

Anyway, if you're so smart, why do you let everybody else vote?

Anonymous said...

Bob, your the Mensa member not me. I dont hold myself out as being "so smart" but I have just been around a lot of city elections and I am kind of a local election nerd. It doesnt take much "smarts" to look at what has occurred in the past, look at party breakdown, look at the name recognition of the current candidates, and make a pretty damn good guess.

Robert Enders said...

I do anticipate getting more votes than Hines' 2003 GOP opponent.

jon said...

Take a close look at the voting the next time we have a recount. You will see that 30% of the absentee votes are in fact strait ticket. To a little under 1/3 of the registered voters the only issue in question is (R) VS (D) and many have been voting like that since Wilson was in office. Occasionally there is a surprise in a race (Peters vs. Kelty), but in most cases it is in the primary. One at large seat is always in play for the Democrats (if they have a strong single candidate and are well organized) The 1st, and 2nd are solidly Republican, the 3rd is numerically up for grabs, the fourth is now solidly (R) and the 5th and 6th are solidly (D). The last general election upset that I can remember is Dede Hall winning the 5th (only after Mark GiaQuinta bowed out after a controversy).

The only race in play this fall is the Mayors race and one at large seat.

Robert Enders said...

The only reason Wilson got elected in the first place was because Republicans were split between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

Taft went down in history as a incumbent Republican President who came in third in his bid for re-election. If it can happen on the national level, it can happen in a local race.

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to mobilizing the poll hawkers.

"A vote for "X" is a vote for HS!" from Libertarian opposition could convert a lot of voters in the 11th hour.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Enders, Let me get this straight. Are you comparing Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party to the current local Libertarian party?

jon said...

Excellent point Bob. Roosevelt was the third party. Wilson was the (D). You've proven my point... The only thing the libertarian candidate (or any third party candidate) can do is affect which of the two majority parties wins.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Robert, even if Teddy Roosevelt was on your libertarian ticket he would lose, so it does not bold well for Bartels, Peters and Enders.

militia23 said...

Not to campaign on the blog; however, I must address this issue personally.

I have gone door to door talking with my constiuents, and from what has been shared with me: the people with in this district are tired of current city council members ignoring the issues within the district and worrying more about a bloated redevelopment project for downtown.

From everything shared with the constituents in the fifth district my incumbent opponent is in for a rude awakening come November 6th. So even though your polling data might have been acurate for a two party race the facts are simply this, there is a third candidate and he has a bark that sounds off for the people!

This is not an issue of starting a campaign after Labor Day either I have been walking my district since early July and have had the greatest of experiences talking with my neighbors about what is bothering them and what can be done to change the status quo of how this City is run.


Mr. Robert Fuller,
Libertarian Candidate,
5th District,
City Council of Fort Wayne

Robert Enders said...

Anonymous 2:28
No. I am establishing what a third party can do on the national level.

I am optimistic about the at large race, because
1. At large races are unpredictable
2. There are prizes for 2nd and 3rd place

Now, about the district races:
Libertarians have won city council seats in this state before. This is our first attempt in Fort Wayne. You and Sam point to precedent and say that what we are attempted cannot be done. We will not know if it is impossible unless and untill we try.

Yes, the same thing can be said about HS, the key difference is that we're not using public funds in our endevours.

jon said...

Don't get me wrong I would be voting for Robert Fuller if I lived in the 5th, but the 5th is 70% old school Democrat. As someone who has personally run in local elections for fifteen years I can tell you that when you go door to door everyone tells you their going to vote for you.. If you hit 100% of the voters in your district you will be guaranteed 100% of the vote.. The dirty little secret is the vast majority are lying :)

As for the at-large race this city would be well served with Libertarian council members, but this race is very predictable (I’ve run in it) Shoaf, a Democrat who has acquitted himself like a Regan Republican is not vulnerable. Sam bowed out, but Bender is a well known name and a big vote getter.. His only weakness is that last time he ran as an incumbent he was lazy and did not campaign hard. If he works hard this time he's in...That leaves one seat up for grabs...Crawford is one of the best campaigners in town with an endless bucket of money...Brown really hasn’t established herself on issues and picked the one race her connection with the medical community will not help... I would bet on Crawford....

jon said...


The libertarian party further hurt itself by fielding three candidates in the at large race. Would have been a better strategy to field one and have a bullet vote campaign...

Robert Enders said...

I believe that voters lie almost as much as politicians do. That can lead one to doubt the accuracy of polls, as well as the party preferences that they state before the primary. So I will repeat the old cliche: the only poll that really counts is the one on Election Day.

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