Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beyer Blames the Unions for Defeat (Updated)

District 18 Delegate candidate Dana Beyer posted the following statement on her website explaining her defeat in the primary.


September 15, 2010

I’d like to take this time to thank everyone who worked on my campaign, whether as adviser, volunteer, field or fundraising, for an exceptional job. You were all professional, focused and committed, and you made the experience a memorable one for me and a valuable one for our community.

It is not easy working to be the first at anything, and while I usually didn’t think about that there is no question that it played a role. We also now know that in the face of historically low turnout of 18%, a massive public employee union effort to get out their vote played a major role in my loss. One source quoting exit polls puts the percentage of union households as 44% of the total vote, and I could simply not overcome that, even with my 5000+ identified voters who did come out to vote for me.

The irony, of course, is that the major union player is the teachers union, which in its progressive myopia is continuing to support incumbents who have been in charge while the state and county struggle, and while the state is planning on transferring its teacher pension liabilities to the counties which can ill afford them. This added burden would decrease the already miniscule return Montgomery County receives for its contributions to the state. So instead of new thinking and leadership, the county has opted for more of the same, and the unions are taking pride in their punishment of those who were working to maintain long-term labor viability in the face of unprecedented economic hardships. The new bosses, often the same as the old bosses, will have to develop new strategies and display heretofore absent fortitude and spine to resolve these issues. I wish them luck, since they will surely need it.

Update: Beyer also blames the voters for her defeat, accusing them of lying to her canvassers. According to the Washington Blade, Beyer told her supporters on election night:

I think you all did a great job... This doesn’t reflect on you and it doesn’t reflect on me. The people we ID’ed just didn’t vote. It was the difference between the IDs and the votes. They said they were voting for us and they just didn’t. So that’s it. We just have to live with that. And as they say, people get the elected officials they deserve.
Beyer repeated the point to MetroWeekly, saying, "The people who said they were going to vote for me didn't vote for me, so I'm clueless as to what happened... But I had data, which I trusted, that told me I was going to win. Something went wrong."