Friday, July 2, 2010

Embry nails it on Green Party...

Jason Embry clues in on something I wrote a blog about a while back (link). His editorial is one of the first in the msm to acknowledge that having a Green Party candidate on the ballot is more about redistricting and down ballot races where a small number of votes can more likely make the difference than about Rick and Bill White (link). Excerpt follows...

Conventional wisdom says a Green Party candidate takes more votes away from a Democrat than a Republican, so Toomey's effort appears aimed at helping Gov. Rick Perry beat Democratic challenger Bill White. After all, Toomey is Perry's close ally and former chief of staff.

But Toomey's interest in Texas politics extends beyond the governor's race. He is a key player in helping Republicans win more seats in the Legislature, and as this whole matter moves forward, we may learn that his real target was the battle for the Texas House, which is now split between 77 Republicans and 73 Democrats.

Libertarian candidates have appeared on Texas ballots much more frequently than the Greens in recent years, which appears to have helped Democratic House candidates.

Democrat Mark Strama of Austin won a seat in the House six years ago by beating Republican incumbent Jack Stick by 569 votes. Greg Knowles, the Libertarian candidate in that race, got 2,390 votes.

And Democratic former Rep. Robby Cook of Eagle Lake beat his 2006 Republican challenger by 415 votes while the Libertarian got 1,300.

The thing missed in much of this though is that Toomey's effort was "aborted." The signatures that got the Green Party on the ballot were not his that we know of... they were from an entirely different group. It was two different efforts. Toomey only half heartedly pushed this as far as we know... then abandoned it. Then later there was a second effort that was done in earnest.

Of all the ways to help Rick, getting the Green Party on the ballot is way way way down the list... this was clearly aimed at a long term down ballot strategy to torment Democrats and force them to move to the left in a state that is solidly to the right... it was clearly aimed at tormenting Democrats in the same way that Libertarian candidates torment Republicans in close House races...

For Bill White having the Green Party on the ballot doesn't help especially with his eager support for controversial Barnett Shale drilling procedures and off shore drilling... but as I have blogged before too many candidates on the ballot could also serve to dilute Rick's vote and keep him from being solidly over 50%...

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.