|… ran a brilliant campaign. [break in the recording] A candidate is the voters — they want quality positions, not on fear, and smear, and manipulation, and innuendo.
I am asking, I am asking those corporate and plutocratic interests, a very, a small number of people to stand down and remove yourself from the election process – the Chesapeakes, the Devons, the Audrey McLendons, the Larry Nichols – those – I don’t mean to call people out by name except for them but I … [laughter interrupts]
Leave us alone. We are capable of making informed, intelligent decisions with our neighborhood associations, with our forums. Do not insult our intelligence with cartoons and falsehoods and insult us and ridicule us. Let us make our own decisions. [applause]
I want to applaud the firefighters. [applause] The firefighters have noticed this kind of outside interference, and they fought and they spoke up before, and I think now that everybody has kinda scratched their head and noticed that something’s not right with these hundreds and hundreds of thousands — now we can look back and [inaudible] say maybe these firefighters have a story to tell. [applause] Now, they led example, and they stood down in the runoff. They had the financial wherewithal to join the fight and they wanted to because they understood that one candidate was independent and wanted open and transparent government. They decided that this is not healthy for the city and they did not spend money in the runoff and I think that is, that is … sets an example for all the other interests who want to influence [inaudible].
This will be a test case for citizenry [?] – the impact of Citizens United at the municipal level. It will replicate itself across the country, and that’s why it was so important to win tonight. [applause]
Did you catch the key word, “plutocratic?” Plutocratic is the adjective form of the noun, “plutocracy.” See dictionary.com, for example, which says that the word means,
- the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy.
- a government or state in which the wealthy class rules
- a class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth.
Them’s strong words, Maynard, and it would seem that we may have some interesting times ahead.
Here’s the Ward 2 vote, in the March 1 primary and in the April 5 runoff election:
It is important, I think, to note the appallingly small numbers of those who voted. In the primary, 11% of registered voters voted, and in the runoff (general) election, 13% did. See this article by Oklahoman writer Michael Baker. If those facts aren’t appalling to you, I have no ability to comprehend why they aren’t. Of the approximately 40,000 registered ward 2 voters, Shadid received 3,134, 62.4% of those who voted. But 3,134 is only 8% of registered ward 2 voters, meaning that 8% of ward 2 voters determined the outcome.
A Reflections Upon What Can Be Learned From This Campaign. I’ve already offered my thoughts about the big-money shadow super-PAC, Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum, and I’d say the same about any other super-PAC which is not required to disclose the names of its contributors or the amounts of their contributions, so no need exists to be repetitive. On reflection, I’ll just conclude by saying that it, and Momentum’s deceitful campaign tactics, suck, and, in the future, just say no. Don’t do it again. The public will be much more aware the next time around. I’ve already given the reasons why I supported Dr. Shadid in the Ward 2 race and, again, no need exists to be redundant. And, last, for news about the primary elections and Ward 2 runoff, go here.
But, reflecting upon our low voter turnout in municipal elections, upon the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum, and upon plutocracy, I have one last thing to add and I’ll close my discussion of the Ward 2 election upon a more somber point, but a point which I hope may find a constructive home, that being my intent.
|My only criticism of Dr. Shadid, as revealed during this campaign, is that he did not vote in recent city government elections. In a democracy, it is precisely that type of a political environment — one in which only a small percentage of the electorate is motivated to vote — that enables a plutocracy to exist in the first place. If a handful of very affluent citizens — for purposes of illustration, let’s say that the number is 10, which would be 1/4 of 1% (0.025%) of the ward 2 electorate — has the potential of backing their candidate to victory by an unbridled outpouring of money into a shadow campaign (as occurred in 3 of the 4 ward elections and not knowing if the successful candidates wouldn’t have won, anyway), plutocrats have an easier thing to accomplish if voter apathy is high. Such a result would presumably be much less likely if, for example, votes cast were 30,000 (75%) instead of 5,022 (13%) of the electorate.
Hopefully, candidate, now council member, Shadid, will take this to heart and learn that, generally, no good reason exists not to exercise both the right and the obligation to vote, even if one feels disenfranchised, and, perhaps, then most especially. In not doing so, he and around 85-89% of all registered votes defaulted in their responsibility as voters, assuming that all such voters favored the democratic form of government. Now, having learned what can be done with a campaign based upon issues that resonate with the voters, perhaps Dr. Shadid will now teach his followers and other citizens to learn from his earlier mistakes in that regard.
In a democracy, every vote counts and, unless we the voters allow it differently, each vote has only a value of one.
End of speech. I’m personally looking forward to the next four years to see how things go at city council. It could be an exciting thing to watch.