Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fire that second shot

Last year at this time I posted my recommendation to bullet vote for Select board candidate Alisa Brewer; she blew away incumbent Robie Hubley, husband of former-Czar but still Select Board member Anne Awad, by 2-1 and even outpaced His Lordship Gerry Weiss who, unfortunately, finished second.

Considering the other two alternatives, it was an easy call to suggest voting for only Brewer (although she has done little to nothing over the past year.)

When I first ran for Select Board 15 years ago against two establishment candidates (where two seats were available so each voter had two votes) I openly suggested to my supporters to bullet vote with sniper like precision for only one candidate: me. I lost—but not by a lot—and even the ultra-crusty Bulletin noted a large number of bullet votes were cast.

Because if you use that second vote you could give it to the other candidate who defeats the one you are strongly supporting by only one vote.

So I really don’t see anything wrong with telling your supporters to withhold that second vote. But I do think it’s obnoxious that candidates don’t have the guts to come out and say it publicly and instead, keep it under the radar by using whispers, phone calls and email.

And—most important--I do see it as a cracking in the coalition of Stein and O’Keeffe, the (less than) Dynamic Duo endorsed by the Bulletin’s 'Amherst Center' columnists and creators of the website 'sustainableamherst' that made such a difference last year but has already become marginalized (both the website and Column).

So apparently now, it’s every man—or woman—for themselves. As for me, I’m voting Greeney and Rhodes.

To: Editor of Hampshire Gazette
From: Irv Rhodes, Candidate for Amherst Select Board
RE: Letter To Editor

It has come to my attention that there are supporters of some Candidates for Amherst Select Board who are recommending that voters vote for only one candidate (the one they want to win) and no other candidates, even though the voter can vote for two candidates of their choice. The perverse reason for this is that by voting for only one candidate and not another candidate you therefore deny another candidate a vote and therefore eliminate the chance of splitting votes away from your candidate of choice. This is reprehensible, unethical and immoral and I will not be a part of it. Amherst voters are supposed to be electing the two best people to the Select Board and thus casting their ballots for the two best candidates. This strategy thwarts this and instead diverts votes away from another worthy candidate. It has another effect, it continues the divisiveness that has been in Amherst for sometime and perpetuates and gives strength to the perception that Amherst is not governed by its best people, but by special interest groups that have the groups interest as their priority rather then Amherst interest as their priority. It is my sincere desire that the other candidates copied on this email urged their supporters to refrain from taking part in this voting scheme and instead urge their supporters to vote for the two best candidates on April 1.

Irv Rhodes


O'Reilly said...

Looks like Irv thinks he's not a top choice but a runner-up and he just cemented that in the minds of the voters with his letter, whoops.

LarryK4 said...

I’m sitting here in my living room at this moment (1:50 pm) reading this week’s Amherst Bulletin (dated 3/28 but available in certain locations by 11:00 this morning).

And in all of my 25 years of involvement with communication, journalism and yes, advertising-- I have never seen such treachery.

Mark said...

Reprehensible? Immoral?

I will vote any strategy I want. If you want your 1st choice to win a close election then why vote your 2nd choice. Based on yard signs, letters and being an incumbent I think Greeney will win leaving the rest to fight it out. I was planning only to vote for Irv Rhodes figuring that my 2nd choice might beat him out.

Of course, I could use my 2nd vote for a write-in which would be the same as just voting for 1 candidate.

LarryK4 said...

A vote for Irv is a vote well expended.

With a Select Board of 5 you have two seats up 2 out of 3 years. So in the past 25 years or so that I have been politically active I can honestly say this will be the first election (out of about the last 15 times) where I will use both votes.

Gavin Andresen said...

But if you only vote for one candidate this year, you can save up your extra and for TWO next year. Right?

(For the humor impaired or terminally clueless: yes, I'm joking)

LarryK4 said...

Just another good reason to support the (coming soon) Mayor/Council Charter change.

One person in charge--completely accountable, and if they screw up you use your one vote to throw their sorry ass out.

Keith said...

I may believe that Ralph Nader would make a better president than either the Democratic or the Republican nominee. But I won't waste my vote on him because I know he'll lose, and I'd rather put my second choice in the White House.

Does that make me immoral?