The 2017 election’s good news a post mortem and a caution or two

A week ago I wanted to begin a post by writing that my defeat for School Board was a small price to pay for the successes of the Democrats in many regional elections. I attribute my defeat mostly to President Trump and the outrage he has caused and continues to cause as President. I anticipated that I could have a very difficult time with the election after I participated in the woman’s march early in the year simply because I was a man. That proved not to be the case as Josh Gorham won handily enough so it was something else that drove the numbers. (One woman’s organization did pester me)

Angry Democrats just would not give up.

They marched in droves early in the year with Women, People of Color and Scientists. They came out in massive numbers for the DFL endorsing convention in May for off year election nominations. They made their presence felt in the primary and they showed up in even larger numbers for the General election when, in other off years, they would have been swallowed up by a much less partisan electorate. I didn’t get that endorsement (the first time I’ve ever asked it of the DFL) and my name wasn’t on any of the dozen mailers they sent out or on the lips of their callers urging people to vote. My fate was sealed by Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t other contributing factors. At church on Sunday a friend consoled me, if that’s the right word for it, by telling me he never voted for incumbents. I took his point. When there are bountiful problems those in charge take the blame and our schools have bountiful problems. Although the past two years on the Board have been tranquil the District’s finances are dismal and, frankly, my first two years back on the Board were ruled by a majority determined not to probe how the District got where it was even to the point of waging a civil war.

I also think my call for honesty wore a little thin as did my defense of Art Johnston, for which I am very proud. That chapter in School Board history served to alienate me from the folks who bought the baseless charges thrown at Art for over a year in front page headlines.

As I indicated in the preceding post I am in no need of condolences although several have been tendered. I am just short of giddy at the thought that I can turn my back on the School Board. There is a caveat to this, however. I will continue to make observations about the Board on the blog and I will keep my dimished stash of lawnsigns. What once was a city’s worth is now only a District’s worth. I will also keep my campaign bank account open with just enough in it to avoid monthly service charges. My expectations are ridiculously modest. I expect that this most inexperienced of School Boards (with just ten years worth of total service among the seven members) not gang up on the most insightful School Board member in my memory, Alanna Oswald.

The best news of the night was the Democratic party’s gains. It suggested that if Donald Trump continues to embarrass America the 2018 mid term elections could be a turning point reducing the Republicans to their rightful representation instead of the grossly inflated power their election tampering has led to. But here is my second caution (the first having been directed at our new school board) – Republicans have so rigged the system that even a massive Democratic turn out might not reduce the Republicans very much. If they hold as many legislatures when the census is complete in 2020 they may adopt even more draconian election laws to extend their rule another decade past their sell-by date.

After reading this I hope you find it ironic that Rosie Loeffler-Kemp was busy warning her constituents that I’m a Republican. I offered her my congratulations yesterday. A win is a win.

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