Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wild Speculation on District 18 Outcome

I'm still waiting to hear what happened from our man-on-the-ground Kevin Gillogly. Here are some quick thoughts on the outcome.

The open ballot mainly provided transparency only in the sense that the outcome was publicly recorded for each central committee member. Indeed, the open ballot may have provided more pressure to have an arranged outcome ahead of time to avoid potentially embarrassing splits (e.g. all Latinos voting for a Latino candidate, all whites voting for a white candidate and so forth).

I suspect that once it became clear that Al was going to win that some of Roz's supporters may have moved over to support Al to make it a first-ballot victory and to rally around the victor. One suspects that the strong support of Central Committee Chair Karen Britto and State Senator Rich Madaleno were critical to Al Carr's victory. As someone commented to me earlier, it is rare for a candidate favored by the sitting senator to lose.

I've heard that Rick Kessler built some relationships with central committee members before the vacancy and has likely benefited from these connections. Most prominently, he worked hard to support Vic Weissberg who narrowly lost the last vacancy filled by the MCDCC. Rick conducted an insider campaign--he was the only one of the three to get votes who did not have a single letter of support sent to this blog. It didn't seem to hurt him terribly. One is tempted to say that it indicates a ceiling of support. On the other hand, the Central Committee is welcome to appoint whomever it likes so why bother courting the public?

Calls for reform may continue even though the candidate favored by most District 18 activists was ultimately selected.