This is a long way of saying that I have at least a plausible excuse for waiting so long to post an election recap. With the possible exception of Measure B (more on that later), the local elections finally appear set. Based on results posted as of 11:00 a.m. Monday morning, it seems safe to say that all incumbents won. But why stop there? This is local politics, after all, and therefore calls for some snide analysis.
Los Altos Hills "Town" Council: Beating John Vidovich
|Complete Precincts 9 of 9|
|JEAN (JOHN) H. MORDO||19.91%||2,354|
|TONI C. CASEY||13.18%||1,558|
Three-time mayor Casey, whom some observers have compared Saruman, returned to the local political scene (over the polite objection of the Town Crier) to complete her downfall. The strict property rights, anti-Barn (but, she stressed, pro-Little League) agenda on which she and Abraham ran carried the endorsement of the Palo Alto Daily News but not, to its credit, the Town Crier. She called for an unenforceable moratorium on campaign signs, as they are out of keeping with the city's character. (That character, the Town Crier immediately reminded readers, is "pleasant"). She also claimed the endorsement of both a deceased resident and, less impressively, the organization of which she is president. And, as the Town Crier accurately predicted, her organization attacked Mayor Mordo with last-minute mailers that wrongly accused him of breaking the law and labeled him as arrogant after he publicly apologized for false statements he had made.
She finished behind every other candidate except for Vidovich, who didn't spend a dime on his campaign despite the million dollars in unwanted federal subsidies he had lying around. It's refreshing to see not even Los Altos Hills is conservative enough that affiliation with the Bush Administration is a winning platform. Perhaps the town is becoming an ideopolis.
Mountain View City Council: Read NOE, win a seat
|Completed Precincts 43 of 43|
|JOHN R. MCALISTER||10.21%||7,666|
Maybe it's an infinitesimally small sample size (I'm still waiting for new correspondent Happy to run the appropriate regression analysis), but if there's one trend that jumped out at me from the Mountain View returns, it's that the winners tend to read NOE, at least occasionally. The Professor, a regular commenter, and Macias, who once called this post "smarmy" (which I still choose to take as a compliment), cruised to reelection. Kasperzak finished third, returning to the council as a Democrat. I don't have any evidence that fourth-place finisher John Inks is a NOE reader, but I also don't have any evidence that he isn't.
The surprise, according to both the Voice's analysis and this theory, is that Miz Crank did not fare better. This is somewhat of a shame for the city. Perhaps her emphasis on public safety resonated less as economic shocks and other big news made the six homicides earlier this year fade from the collective conscience. As it happens, it's beginning to look like that spike in the murder rate was more statistical noise than some kind of violent crime wave. I can't say I'm sorry about that, but it might have been better for Miz Crank's campaign had that not been the case.
Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District Board: Forgiving Phil Fallaice
|Completed Precincts 76 of 76|
Sweeley ran away with the board's first contested election in years, overcoming an unfortunate paraphrasing about the achievement gap in a Voice profile. I'd like to think that the difference in support between Sweeley and fellow incumbent Faillace is a result of people remembering the latter's effort to ruin the science curriculum at the high school back in 1997 (an effort which in turn forced me to give a speech to the student body in protest, taking off my shirt only when the closing lines didn't go over as well as I had hoped). I think a much more likely explanation is that the district has 6,000 voters who vote like my mom.
Santa Clara County Measure B: Not forgiving BART-to-San-Jose
|Completed Precincts 1,142 of 1,142|
BART-to-San-Jose looks headed to defeat, again, no thanks to the local papers. The most mystifying twist this election was that so many of them finally caved in and endorsed this misguided project. It seemed almost like they were sick of having to argue against it. Or perhaps they were adhering to Koland's stance on high-speed rail: 'We waste billions of dollars on a lot of these, and we usually don't get anything cool in return.'
The only thing about this proposal that has changed since local papers and county voters rejected it in 2006 is that BART boosters had the decency not to hold hospitals and social services hostage this time. It's not as if tunneling under downtown San Jose to pick up a small fraction of riders at a huge portion of the cost suddenly became a good idea. Of course, defeat at the polls hasn't stopped the project before, and it probably won't stop the project this time. But that's no reason to endorse it.