All you need to know about Tuesday's high-stakes, low-information mini-election in Santa Barbara emerges from the comments below Edhat’s morning post about this singular exercise in local representative democracy:
“What election?” barked one of a number of readers in the dark about the balloting for contested city council races on the Eastside and the Mesa.
“Where are the ballots? Is this some kind of joke? I love how this is posted on Nov. 4 w/ info about Nov. 1 and 2.”
To the surprise of some citizens who apparently are not huge fans of Newsmakers TV, the last chance for neighborhood voters in Districts 1 and 2 to weigh in on who they want representing them at City Hall for the next four years (or in Jason Dominguez’s case, the next almost-a-year) ends at 8 p.m. tonight.
That’s when the final unmailed, meant-for-mail ballots will be rounded up at three drop-off centers and, in the most bizarre ballot counting process since Florida invented hanging chads, dispatched by truck to Norwalk, where bureaucrats from the L.A. County registrar will use all their fingers and many of their toes to compute the tally of SB”s winners and losers, the better to inform us folks up here in the provinces who our newest rulers are, by Friday at the latest, probably.
No, we're not making it up. Check out Brooke Holland's opus over at Noozhawk for the most complete explanation about the end-game of this baffling election season.
Democracy Overshadowed? The 8 p.m. political witching hour also marks the final, final, no-more-fooling-around cut-off time to submit your entry to qualify for exciting prizes in The Newsmakers’ Great District 2 Election Pool.
Thousands of poll workers from our very own Department of Psephological Abacus Operations and Free Stuff Giveaways are standing by to process last minute email entries from readers brave enough to forecast the correct order of finish in the year’s most head-scratching campaign – the five-way civic cage match over an open council seat in the Mesa’s District 2.
The first, second and third place contest winners will choose, in order, from three prizes:
A signed copy of the 2019 edition of the matchless “Hike Santa Barbara” guide to local trails, by John McKinney, aka “The Trailmaster.”
A behind-the-scenes visit to TVSB, for you and a friend, to watch the production of a future episode of “Newsmakers TV,” with special studio or control room seating – plus portions of the same cheap beer and pizza shared by cast and crew!
An all-expenses paid lunch at the fabulous Paradise Café with Newsmakers TV co-producers Jerry Roberts and Hap Freund, including at least a 50-50 chance that owner and council member Randy Rowse drops by the table to complain about something we wrote or said.
All you have to do is send an email (email@example.com) predicting:
A) The order of finish for District 2 candidates Tavis Boise, Brian Campbell, Luis Esparza, Mike Jordan and Teri Jory;
B) The total number of votes that will be cast in the race, which we’ll use as a tie-breaker if more than one entrant gets the final 1-5 sequence right.
We’ll announce the contest winners on Friday. Or whenever L.A. gets around to letting us know what happened.
P.S. If Teri Jory wins or loses by a few votes, in her bid to capture the District 2 council seat, look for a round of Monday morning quarterbacking among the cognoscenti about her decision to launch a late negative mailer that landed on the Mesa over the weekend.
In the piece, Teri contrasts her own, self-regarding resume-at-a-glance individually with those of her four opponents, sniping in particular at chief rival Mike Jordan with some not-exactly objective characterizations:
While Jory is a "committed environmentalist" Jordan is a "self-described insider."; while she's made "Cliff Drive safer with more crosswalks and pedestrian-bike paths," it seems, he's spent "10 years sitting on the 'obstructionist' planning commission"; as Teri worked on the "District Attorney Human Trafficking Task Force fighting sex and labor trafficking," Mike was a "Downtown Santa Barbara Board Member during State Street's decline" who "promises more of the same." Sheesh.
It seems an incongruous tactic to start bashing the opposition in the final days, for a candidate who otherwise ran an upbeat, idealistic, feel-good campaign. But hey, what do we know - were we smart, we'd be political consultants.
Images: Don't Forget to Vote; Just win, baby; Teri Jory mailer.