When The Phone Doesn’t Ring…

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.

Three years on San Fernando Road, and counting…

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.

10 thoughts on “When The Phone Doesn’t Ring…”

  1. was wondering if Imelda padilla is related to senator alex padilla??? If so..i guess it’s politics as usual..a family matter.

  2. If I lived in District 6 I would have voted for you – not because I thought you could transform Van Nuys, but because I would have enjoyed watching you try. I have a friend here in San Francisco who shares your sentiments. I quote, “We’re not getting good value for our tax money.” She’s an industrious, successful, compassionate person who looks for pragmatic solutions. I love her can-do spirit. But she would be crushed by the sheer weight of the institutional blah, blah, blah. Things will change. Eventually. But the change will arrive in the form of external shocks, not earnest negotiations. And the results won’t look like anyone expects.

    1. There is much overdue intellectual cross-pollination now, post-Trump. Substack, Podcasts and YouTube have been a boon for independent media and clear-eyed thinking. A grand pragmatic left-right handshake, if you will, abetted by cord cutting from cable news. But the institutions grind on, as though we were still living in 2019, so I agree with you “external shocks” are in our near future.

  3. “Working men and women should not be asked to carry the additional burden of providing for a segment of society capable of caring for itself but which prefers making welfare a way of life, freeloading at the expense of these more conscientious citizens,” – Ronald Reagan

    Many, if not most, of the issues facing California are not that different from 1967 when RR was elected governor. I think the political control of California by one party is the biggest difference today. Reagan’s thinking and philosophy reflected that of a large swath of voters regardless of political affiliation.

    You could definitely have won that election.

      1. I’m encouraging you to start preparing now for the next election cycle. Self governance depends on good people involving themselves in the process. I’m on the planning commission in the town that I live in and sometimes I think I don’t really have time for it, but on the other hand we all have an obligation to civic duty. I’m putting in my time.

  4. Wow, low turnout in a Special Election. This doesn’t look good for the candidates! I wonder if it’s because people are too busy for voting or if it’s just not easy to vote.

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