Our previous best showing was a little over 4,000 hits in a 24 hour period, and came on the day we first posted Noah Green's unfortunate Facebook pictures. Something that, at the time, was quite a popular attraction in town.
These pictures, in my humble opinion, were the game changer in this election. It shattered the carefully planned election strategy of the Tax Me Party, and caused them to spend a lot of valuable time trying to convince people that the fault here lay not with the fellow who originally posted those embarrassing shots, but this blog for letting you know about them.
Which, of course, was a terrible waste of precious campaign time. First of all, "The Blog" (as it is called at City Hall), wasn't running for any elective offices. Attacking The Tattler is about as effective a campaign strategy as discussing city tax policy reform with a fire hydrant.
But it also distracted them from one of their chief aims this election season, which was surreptitiously smearing Denise Delmar. The Tax Me Party had sent out its usual 24/7 Creep Squad to whisper bizarre lies and slander about one of the most capable and intelligent individuals to run for office here in quite a while. And apparently The Tattler distracted them from their important work.
That is what they do, you know. Election after election. All while shamelessly proclaiming themselves to be some of the most civil and caring people imaginable.
When I was running for office in 2010 the fool that publishes The Mountain Views News proclaimed in an "editorial" that I had been reported to the police for going through resident trash cans. An absurd lie since trash has never excited me that much. And as the SMPD confirmed after the election (I actually had a lawyer inquire), no such complaints were ever filed. Besides, if it was garbage that I wanted, I could have gotten as much as I could ever use by reading her paper.
Payback is a beautiful thing. I can't even begin to tell you.
Even with Noah's strange selfie revelations, the fight for that third seat on the City Council was still a close one. With 293 provisional ballots left to be counted, Denise's lead over Noah is a fairly thin 1,223 to 1,114 votes. It is statistically almost impossible for Noah to overcome that lead, of course. Even Noah knows this as he has conceded defeat and congratulated the winners.
But if those pictures had not come out? If they hadn't been sent to me by an outraged Sierra Madre couple who cared enough about this community to alert us all to who exactly was about to be elected to our City Council? We'd be looking at a very different, and sadly retrograde, outcome today.
I was sent other things as well, by the way. Which I didn't use. But trust me, there was more.
The Tax Me Party almost pulled it off. Despite all of the stupid blunders and narcissistic unsolicited revelations. Their message, as dishonest as it always is, does have a strong appeal to many of the low information voters they almost exclusively target. And there are an awful lot of them in this town.
My advice is that you start thinking about 2016 now. They're wounded, angry, and out for revenge.
A passing fair election prediction
A reader calling himself The Dark Lord posted his election predictions on Monday. And now that the results are mostly in, we can see that his vision was pretty accurate. The numbers are a little high, but the predicted order of finish and the dynamics that drove it were nearly spot on. Here it is:
An election preview for the Tattlers:
Turnout will be approximately 10% below 2012’s turnout of 2,956 voters
predicted absentee voters = 1,200
predicted precinct voters = 1,450
1,007 people have already voted absentee through Monday.
20 more ballots will be received by the city clerk in the mail tomorrow and another 150 absentee and provisional ballots will be dropped off at the precincts tomorrow. These 150 ballots (containing a total of 400 votes for various candidates) will not be counted on election night but will instead be counted approximately a week later. These final 150 ballots will not change the election night results because they will be spread between all four candidates in the approximate proportion of their precinct vote. (Unless Delmar and Green are less than 20 votes apart on election night).
Of the approximately 2,650 ballots in this election, 450 people will bullet vote (vote for only 1 candidate) or cast votes for only 2 candidates instead of the 3 votes they could otherwise cast.
Thus, there will be a total of approximately 7,275 votes (cast on 2,650 ballots) spread among the 4 candidates when all is said and done.
Current models show the following election night results with 6,860 votes to be counted (cast on 2,500 ballots with up to 3 votes each...the remaining 400 votes cast by 150 voters who turn in their ballots at the polls will not be counted on election night):
based on observed quality of and quantity of campaigning (including Goss’ name recognition from 2 years ago) election night results are projected to be:
Arizmendi = 1,950
Goss = 1,825
Delmar = 1,600
Green = 1,485
Despite all the hand-wringing over hit mail last weekend, Green already had essentially ceased campaigning three weeks ago when he stopped sending mail.
When the absentee results are posted before 9 p.m. both Arizmendi and Goss will have very large leads over Delmar and Green.
As the precinct results are reported, Arizmendi and Goss will widen their leads over Delmar and Green but not by the percentage margins they will win the absentee vote.
Final conclusion: Noah largely threw his chance away to defeat Delmar because Noah stopped mailing. The revelations regarding Noah’s Facebook photos were a factor mostly because they apparently caused Noah’s supporters, and more importantly Noah himself, to lose faith in his campaign.
Elaine Aguilar can order the nameplates now.
Where we are at right now
There is a nicely laid out election results grid on the City of Sierra Madre website. For those of you who find that site difficult to use, I have cut and pasted it here.
We will post the certified final election results on this site just as soon as they are available next Tuesday, April 15. Which, ironically enough, is tax day. A fitting moment for one of the most regressive municipal utility tax rates anywhere to be sent howling into oblivion.
Oh, and one other thing. It is OK to feel good today. As a matter of fact, I recommend it. Step outside and breathe the air deeply. Nice, right? That beautiful smell is called freedom.