It’s turkey day!
No, not Thanksgiving. Actually, turkey day was a coupla weeks ago. Contrary to what you might believe. November sixth, twenty eighteen was the day the turkeys revealed themselves here in the Swamp. Yup, it was Election Day. And the turkeys were all aflutter.
Here’s the list of the Election Day turkeys, in no particular order.
Mark Wagoner. We didn’t slap on the honorific, because he hasn’t earned it. Nope. He might be called “Lucas County GOP Chair” in certain circles, but you can’t prove it by us.
Wagoner came into power, ousting erstwhile former Chair Jon Stainbrook, to great clarion soundings of trumpets and horns. The Great Mark Wagoner! Former State Senator, with incredible fundraising prowess and limitless brainy elections strategizing!
Dems, and their Party Chair Kurt Young, was a-shakin’ in their booties. The Wagoner-led GOP would be formidable indeed, raising oodles of cash and fielding winning candidates, all the while mustering every Republican vote across the land!
The Great and Powerful Wagoner pulled off an October Surprise, convincing R-endorsed candidate Sandy Bashaw to drop out of the Commish race, endorsing “Independent” Sandy Spang, and delivering the death knell to Dem Gary Byers!
Except it was too little, too late. And Wagoner didn’t raise sufficient funds to provide any significant support to Spang’s campaign.
In another giant whiff, Wagoner also proved unable to get any traction on the “unfit to serve” mantle he tried to thrust on Treasurer Lindsay Webb. The best he could do was a teeny weeny little website, arfing harmlessly into the void. Webb won by double digits over R-endorsed Laurie Brodie.
Wagoner has yet to prove himself unable to find viable GOP candidates in Blue Lucas County, but we’re sure he’ll be able to do so. Prove himself unable to do so, that is. The proof is in the next turkey, Sandy Spang. We’ve already spent some column inches in previous installments touting the odds of Spang getting elected. Just last column, written before the election, we predicted she wouldn’t overcome Byers.
We had no idea she’d lose by thirty percentage points, though. Holy blowout, Batman!
No cash, no traction, no strategy, silly expenditure on billboards, Bashaw’s endorsement too late, no real help from, although promised by, Wagoner, and limited accomplishments in nearly six years on Toledo City Council. Turkey Day indeed.
Well, except for Commish Pete Gerken. The bond issue to build a new County jail, Issue 10, went down in flames. This after the County Commissioners were slammed for proposing a site that no one except them wanted.
Then came Issue 10, with Gerken’s bright, shiny name on it. New site. A bit of opposition, but nothing like the first foul up. But no real plan, just some nebulous mumblings about “wraparound services” and “campus-like setting” and “state-of-the-art” rigamarole.
Gerken owned it, even though it was Commish Carol Contrada who had led the criminal justice reform charge. He threw his weight around, and found out what a lightweight he actually is. The voters said, “not so fast.” Back to the drawing board, Pete.
Speaking of the Lucas County Voters, they come in as our final turkey of turkey day. Not as featherbrained as the above, but turkeys nonetheless.
How can this be, you ask? Voter turnout was yuuge for a midterm, you say? The voters chose well, jettisoning Spang and making other wise and sane choices, you aver? Okay, fine. All true. But you know what nips our knickers?
Voter dropoff. Here’s the fax.
Nearly one hundred fifty thousand ballots were cast in Lucas County. Yet, inexplicably, forty thousand of those voters didn’t bother to cast a vote in the race for county commissioner. Fifty-five thousand who were at their voting booth didn’t vote in the races for certain judgeships. Nearly thirty thousand folks who showed up at the polls didn’t bother to cast a ballot in the contested race between Joe Mac and Josh Lanziger for County Court of Common Pleas.
It’s hard enough to get folks to the polls. That happened in large numbers this year. Once there, it shouldn’t be this hard to get them to weigh in on all races. C’mon, folks. You gotta do better than this.
There you have it. Enjoy your green bean casserole and strawberry jello with bananas.