A mere nine thousand people voted in the Special Election…as of yesterday at 10:29 pm. There is low turnout, and then there is lowwww turnout. Holy mackerel, this is what a walkaway campaign conducted by the voters looks like.
Keep in mind these are mail-in ballots. All you had to do was bubble in one name, stick it in the envelope and leave it by the door for the mailman. Ease of voting doesn’t get any lazier than this.
Less than 800 people went to the polls.
Approximately 280,000 reside in Council District 6, 118K are registered. 7.67% of that number partook.
To quote George Jones: when your phone doesn’t ring, it’ll be me.
Imelda Padilla spent in excess of $100 a vote. Marisa Alcaraz nearly that much. Marco Santana, whose IG feed was filled with astroturf images of him “campaigning” with his dog, spent $158 per ballot. Oof.
Let us not forget also the shadowy world of last-minute mailers, where campaign finance laws go to die.
Endorsements didn’t matter. Santana obtained the Times seal of approval, as well as the Stonewall Democratic Club and the League of Conservation Voters. Nithya Raman, progressive queen bee, endorsed. Jane Fonda herself recorded a personal message. In short, people who had nothing to do with District 6.
Doug Sierra was endorsed by the Daily News. He appeared on local TV news twice. I thought he might prove a sleeper candidate, but 245 votes is 245 votes.
Rose Grigoryan was the sleeper. The Armenian bloc showed up for her. She may yet edge Alcaraz for the run off. The lower the turnout, the more tribal politics are forefronted.
Another thing that didn’t matter: panderfest forums (non-debate “debates”) hosted by advocacy organizations where everyone agrees to agree the Overton window should remain right where progressives are pointing.
So what’s going on here? I’ll translate: the peasantry of the San Fernando Valley have an annoying habit of preferring order over chaos. Of wanting dedicated sales taxes to maintain roadways used for that purpose. Of not wanting to inhale meth pipe fumes on the Red Line on the commute to work. They tire of watching thieves walk out of stores with armloads of merchandise and no consequences. They tire of fixable problems being declared off-limits for discussion by rich assholes on the Westside. They have little patience for alternatives to incarceration. Their portion of the urban pie may be modest and come with rough edges, but they invest between 120-160 hours per week, per household, to maintain the finger hold they have in the city. They would prefer not seeing the equity they built at the mercy of the Pig Trough Professionals downtown. They are compassionate people, not idiots, this Silent Tribe.
Aspiring politicians who do not speak to these needs, requirements of civilization if you will -the basics- are going to be ignored. One righteously aggrieved homeowner with a megaphone could have changed this election. Seven people were fighting over the progressive lane and the rest of the playing field was wide open. Homer Simpson could have bagged 2000 votes.
Which begs the question, why didn’t I run? That’s what I’m asking myself today.