And the NO VOTE has it!!

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Misty, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Where were you? The Kids Before Politics Campaign was excellent. The message was loud and clear in our community with positive messages all the way around. Lots of discussion online, including here but on many other places on fb and local news sites. Letters to editors. Billboard, mail out, and the YES team took their message to several public meetings to provide information and answer questions.

    The campaign was extrememely positive, supported by teachers, supported by good people from all sides, as it was not a political left v. right issue ... it didn't use fear or patriotism or twist any of the facts. Straight up honest and excellent info, the way I would love to see all campaigns!
     
  2. Leader of the Banned

    Leader of the Banned Beach Fanatic

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    It's easy to blame everyone but one's self when your tactics fail miserably. The whole rationale behind this was "If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand". Plenty of preaching to the choir. That's no way to win.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  3. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    What you need to think about is that the organizers and active members of "yes" were not many in number, campaign naive, without deep pockets and not able to devote 24/7 to the effort due to work, etc.

    I was involved and can honestly say that the only way this thing would have turned out differently, and by differently I mean a closer contest, would have been to literally press the flesh of hundreds of people, flip their no vote to yes and then motivate them to go vote. That kind of manpower simply didn't exist (too bad you didn't volunteer to help!).

    'No' had a huge advantage in that all they really had to do to win this referendum was to let the north county voters know that 'yes' was a liberal scheme meant to take away their voting rights. Boy, did that strategy strike paydirt! Believe it or not, we did make an effort to participate in some forums in Defuniak, but the reception was so hostile it became obvious that it was a waste of time. I guess a fair comparison would be a GOP presidential nominee attending the NAACP convention to win votes...just not going to happen. In fact, we made the decision to not participate in the Liberty and Red Bay events the weekend prior to the election. Considering the rhetoric we heard was being thrown around up there in our abscence, combined with a Saddam Husseinesque vote margin in the Liberty precincts of 90.3% voting 'no', we probably made a reasonable call.

    Our strategy was to try to get the vote out heavy south of the bay and communicate the message of why folks should be voting Yes, dominate SOWAL, break even in Freeport and were just hoping to preserve body and soul in the north end on election day and pray to get about 40% of the vote up there.

    We can always second guess what we did, but given the limited media (and apparent lack of interest in said media to report on the topic), money and warm bodies, it was a huge challenge. I'm not sure anyone could have done much different to change the outcome considering the fact that Yes got stomped in early voting then saw 3900 voters show up in NORWAL on election day compared to 2113 in SOWAL.

    And while we did get demolished in total votes, I will take some solace in that we probably did have a large role in getting a 20.7% primary turnout in SOWAL compared to 11% in 2012. I will also assure you, despite being so very short on experience and money, we scared the poo out of some of the usual suspect good ol' boys. One fellow I know that is a big landowner and in the inner sanctum of the "machine" confided in me a king GOB personally called him and told him he needed to "get 30 friends to go vote for a certain BCC candidate and No on the referendum". I'm pretty sure this was the same guy who dropped a $10k donation into the Small Business Association PAC to fund the defense of the elected superintendent. Despite that, we still basically dueled them to a draw in the only part of the county that was contested (SOWAL), with that crew nosing us out by 3.6% of the vote, and we did win Rosemary's precinct and played a big part in getting the voters out to the location with the most ballots cast countywide (Santa Rosa Beach).


    So we lost this election. Life goes on. Looking back on it, and having actually been present to see how this board was set up, I can honestly tell you we were in a chess position of having a pawn and king left while the other side had a queen, bishops, rooks and knights intact. But we got many people paying attention, and that is what really matters in the grand scheme of things. I think many folks in SOWAL, including those who voted no may be surprised and frankly disturbed to see the level of contempt our end of the county is held in by our northern neighbors. The numbers don't lie, neither do all the letters to the editor of the Defuniak paper regarding 'outsiders' moving here and screwing up the county values and such other backwards thinking.

    I'm optimistic for our county's future, even if our school system lags behind the times. Stay tuned:wave:
     
  4. Leader of the Banned

    Leader of the Banned Beach Fanatic

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    You would have done much better if you had articulated a clear message about why an appointed superintendent would be superior. I'll bet a lot of people don't really even know what a superintendent's duties are. You ought to address that first, get people really up to speed. Too many assumptions were made about people's depth of knowledge on this subject, but it's a "no-brainer" right? Then when you have major mouthpieces calling people ignorant and stupid (or implying) for not knowing these things, voters are not going to be too eager to ask a whole lot of questions. That doesn't help the cause at all.
     
  5. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    The point of the Yes vote was made and heard loud and clear!

    Turtle wins race...
     
  6. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    I read your posts regularly. They are almost always well reasoned and thoughtful. I wish you had signed on to share your political wisdom with the group during the early stages of this effort . No doubt we could have used it. Posting your strategy now just looks like Monday morning quarterbacking. You are much better than that.
     
  7. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    And when you have special interests, people with personal agendas, and fringy conservatives whipping up the base with scare tactics and wrapping the flag around the issue (that was brilliant, I will give them that!), there wasn't much we could do short of calling people unpatriotic if they didn't vote yes, or have Jesus himself send a sign. It does make me happy that at least 25% of the population here understands the issue, and that number is certainly going to grow.

    I think I am going to file to run for superintendent, and there are about 25 others who are going to do the same (I think one already has?). After all, we are all 18 and live in Walton County. This next election is going to be a 3 ring circus! Won't it be great to have a 5 page ballot? None of us are serious about running, we just want to play the silly Walton County politics game. Of course we will also have a list of basic qualifications that none of us will satisfy, but really, who cares as long as the Walton a County voters get to vote on....an administrator, instead of voting on policy makers, like everyone else does.
     
  8. Leader of the Banned

    Leader of the Banned Beach Fanatic

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    Isn't there also a problem at the state level? Is it true that Florida doesn't require certification for superintendent? If so, shouldn't that be addressed somehow?
     
  9. Leader of the Banned

    Leader of the Banned Beach Fanatic

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    Why? I didn't understand this issue very well then and I still don't. I'm one of the people I'm referring to. Some of it is finally starting to sink in. The only strategy I could have suggested then, and I'm suggesting it now, is stop being such a bunch of dicks.
     
  10. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    I stand corrected. I thought you were normally a class act. Clearly I was incorrect.
     
  11. 30A Television

    30A Television Beach Lover

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    Fancy Hands is a well respected personal assistant service ( we too are busy) look them up at www.Fancyhands.com

    What we asked for were a response to the questions, or a general statement, so you could have replied in any fashion you wished to. We did try to form them in a way that could have been answered regardless of stance.

    All responses were printed. We do not speak for any one individual or pac or group. We do our best to accommodate anyone who wants to come on camera. We do also accept political adverts in election season just like WGJH WMMB Fox 28 which helps us to cover our out of pocket cost of covering community events, as we have done since 2008. We did not however, run the No commercial that ran in other media outlets

    Here is what we sent:
    Please respond with your responses to all or some of the questions below or a with general statement
    Questions :
    What do you think would be the impact to Walton County if the School Superintendent was appointed versus elected
    Would appointed add a burden to the tax base if the cost of hiring and contracts negotiations increased
    Have you seen an increase in school standards in other counties where a change to appointed versus elected occurred.
    Could the change reduce/take away the voting power of the residents of the county?
    What is the biggest challenge facing the Walton County schools today ?

    ------------------------------------------
    Contact email is admin @ 30a.tv
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2014
  12. Cuff

    Cuff Beach Lover

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    I agree that it is difficult to find information about the candidates . I have lived here for 1 and 1/2 years and have yet to find a newspaper or tv station or web site that provides information about the candidates or other important civic issues.
    As a result I voted for no one. I did vote to appoint the superintendent because I think that job is too important to be at the whim of politics. That person should be a PHD with a clear understanding about how children learn and how teachers teach and should be able to manage finances . That person should be able to make sure kids are prepared . The problem is that I also want to know about the school board members who will hire the superintendent and set policy. Other than some strong opinions on this page I've no idea the qualifications or their position and vision for our children. So I voted for no one . Reminded of Mark Twain who said , " For practice God created school board members and then he created fools".
    Unions were born of necessity and will always be necessary.
    This is a beautiful and vibrant part of the world but it is also backward. Never ever would I have lived here when my daughter was of school age. Why would anyone want less for their kid?
     
  13. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Your nonpartisan stance would look much better if you weren't also a member of the group apposing the issue.
     
  14. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Hmmm, looks like pretty straight forward, easily answered questions to me. How the HELL-O someone could even remotely relate that to "porn spam" is beyond me but then again, I don't get any porn spam in my inbox.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  15. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Here's the original email:

    I'm curious when the other folks were notified of these questions and the time frame they were given to answer. Art Miller was interviewed days prior to that in front of Butler Elementary on the bike path.
     
  16. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I'm guessing the 3rd party service was used to avoid the complications that one member of a PAC communicating with a member of another PAC causes?
     
  17. 30A Television

    30A Television Beach Lover

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    The time frame began 3 weeks before Aug 26th to those contacted and jdarg were also offered an opportunity to come on camera when we talked at Vue.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2014
  18. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    You clearly have me confused with someone else.
     
  19. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    Great post!

    I agree with you about not really getting to know the candidates. This forum is free and open. Candidates can post information, links, photos, and respond to questions. It takes steel to run for office. This should be the first place candidates come to interface with voters. Fior every person who posts here I'm sure there are thousands who just read. Everyone refers everyone else here and it's the best source of real info. Put it all out there (here). Show us you are real. I'll vote for you.
     
  20. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    If I could figure out how to screen shot my inbox, it would show that the email request was from "Fancy Hands". That's all I saw until I had time to look at it closer, and then saw the request made in such a silly way. Why not just send a professional email? We also didn't think answering this request would make a difference either way, and the only people who seemed to see it received it via email, and that email list (I saw it), had people with minds already made up. Team Yes is making plans and moving on- stay tuned for news! Voter turnout in this election went up to 24%- an increase, but really pathetic . It's pretty safe to say you have the referendum to thank. Now I hope 9821 who made the effort to vote on the referendum, especially the NOs, now make the effort to find some real solutions for the problems of our school district.

    Regarding Fancy Hands being a well- respected service, maybe if I had known anyone else that had ever used it, or ever seen it in my in box, I wouldn't have been so suspicious and irritated in the silly method used to request information about something I and others took very seriously.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014

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