Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lt. Governor wanna-be's, wonk quotient and more

Confession time...  the other day I pointed out that few know who the candidates are for Lt. Governor.   Turns out I didn't have much clue who was running either. I doubt I am alone. With the latest polling showing the undecided vote for governor near 60%, the undecided vote for Lt. Gov must be nearly unanimous. Real scary part is that it will probably be undecided for Lt Gov as most voters enter, and even when they exit, the polling station.

Anyway, I was shocked when I looked at the official list of candidates.  There are NINE relatively unknown folks running on the Republican side and a slightly saner 3 folks on the Democratic side..  Not that any of them have much to speak of when it comes to statewide profiles; not much time to build one now that we are just days before the election. 

Republicans first.  Seriously, is there polling out there in the public domain to see how any of the nine are doing?  Would it matter?  I see the ads have started on tv.  One fellow is claming to be Corbett's running mate which ought to be worth a lot, though I can't remember which one it was.  Of course Metcalfe has clearly won the earned media game of late which all has to boost his numbers. Russ Diamond was the guy behind a lot of the Harrisburg pay raise backlash and owns a big inflatable pig, the swiss army knife MOAB* of campaign tchotchke. Then there is one dude named "John Kennedy" running; gotta be worth a few votes in the name alone. I remember some guy running for office in town named Richard Caliguiri, after the late mayor had passed away.  It's all just silly isn't it?  With so many candidates in one election, let alone one with such little coverage, is the result anything more than just Gaussian noise? It all sounds quaint and democratic, but when you have such a split field I suspect the vote is impacted mostly by the position your name gets on the ballot.  In fact candidate Kennedy has a video where at the end he points out specifically he is the "7th name on the ballot".. that's actually pretty useful information since it reminds you not to get distracted and pick one of the first 6 names you read if you want to support him.  I'd rather be the last name listed, being buried in the middle must be the worst.

On the Democratic side there are at least only 3 candidates on the ballot, but I have seen virtually no coverage of the race, nor any ads yet.... If there have been ads running they have not registered with me and I am probably a shade above average in terms of political awareness. They should all demand refunds from their marketing gurus if they have actually made any significant media buys as yet, but I don't think they have.  I just don't know much about 2 of the candidates, but if there is a wonk vote I would say former Philly controller Jonathan Saidal would get it.  So call that a pseodo-endorsement fwiw.  While he was controller some good stuff came out of the controller's office there pushing government transparency among other things. Worth scaling up I would say, but he would be an ideal candidate for auditor general someday if it didn't pan out.  

On a side note... our past little wiki-wars were always pretty childish compared to some of the big wiki wars you hear about.  I have no idea what lead to this but was just checking and it looks like Saidal's wikipedia page is completely locked down by the wiki gnomes with virtually no content. Wonder what lead to that? Which means that the 16-year Philly controller and now Lt. Gov candidate has a far shorter wikipedia page than say Kevin Acklin, briefly a one-time independent mayoral candidate in 2nd Class City of Pittsburgh. Looks like it needs to be updated btw. Actually, looks like Pittsburgh's uber Wikipedia editor Blargh29 has nominated the Acklin entry for deletion to whomever decides such things. I still may create a Les Ludwig page.

* The swiss army knife of campaign tchotchke in Pennsylvania would of course be the bingo dauber.


Anonymous MH said...

What surprised me is that one of Lt. Gov. candidates had enough money to disturb my evening with a robo-call. I think it was Johnson. I also got called by Luksik, who apparently thinks there is a huge group of people who think Pat Toomey is a light-weight.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:09:00 AM  
Blogger JenEngland said...

Also for what its worth, Saidel is a funny guy. I'll vote for him for that reason alone! Also his progressive cred seems pretty solid.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:08:00 PM  

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