The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who is voting for whom?

An examination of the recent municipal election results will tell you a lot about who is voting for whom.

The precinct by precinct results show that incumbent mayor Alan Hanks won just five of the city's 25 precincts – all of them in Ward 3, (Precincts 3-2 through 3-6) and all of them include some of Rapid City's wealthiest citizens.

Sam Kooiker won virtually all other precincts, in addition to two in Ward 3 (Precincts 3-1 and 3-7). Precinct 3-7, probably represents the lowest income level in the ward and includes the avenues and tiny streets north of Jackson Blvd. to Canyon Lake Dr.  Precinct 3-1 includes the Mountainview area and the area to the north of Canyon Lake Dr. running east of Sheridan Lake Rd. – modest homes, generally owned by wage-earners.

Three of the six precincts with more than 800 people voting were in Ward 3 (3-3 [871], 3-4 [909], 3-5 [1022]), all of which were won by Hanks. Kooiker won the other three: (1-3  [1263], 1-1 [944], 5-3 [1002]).

More study could reasonably lend credibility to Mr. Kooiker's claim that Mr. Hanks is backed by the good ol' boy network, since many of the good ol' boys live in the very few, but very rich neighborhoods that Mr. Hanks won, including Carriage Hills, Chapel Valley, Whispering Pines, Wildwood, Fairway Hills, Springbrook Acres, Country Club Dr., Parkridge, etc.

The only wealthy precincts Kooiker won were 1-1 and 5-4 (Highland Park area and the West Boulevard area.) But those neighborhoods also have a relatively high number of middle-class homes (especially the West Blvd. area where Hanks' strongest (and wealthiest) supporter, Stan Adelstein calls home.)

Mr. Hanks won by his biggest percentage in precinct 3-2 with 60 percent of the 268 total voters who live in that very exclusive, albeit chopped up precinct.

Hmmmmm. So what could it mean?

I think I know what some of it means. Does it mean that because Mayor Hanks is favored by the rich that he, in turn, favors the rich? That may be part of it. So Forumpians, what do you think it means?


Wayne Gilbert said...

That is a ridiculous innunendo. What the hell, specifically, do you mean by your musings (intended to imply sagacity I imagine) that Hanks "favors the rich?" That simply does not even approach political observation and dialogue. I expect that you will confess to embarassment about this silliass comment.

curious said...

I enjoy your reporting/analysis very much.

Michael Sanborn said...

Wayne, It is clear that the rich favor Hanks. I simply asked Forumpians if they think voters could conclude from the precinct numbers that Hanks favors the rich.

Do Forumpians believe that the fact that Hanks only won wealthy precincts, that that information will be used by either candidate in their runoff plans and if so, how?

If you were the manager of the Hanks campaign, would the voter numbers be valuable as you try to make up a 10 point deficit in the runoff?

Likewise, are the numbers valuable to the Kooiker campaign?

Additionally, going forward into a runoff, how does either candidate use the knowledge that voter turnout in Ward 3 appears to be better than elsewhere in Rapid City.

Certainly voter turnout will be an important component in the runoff.

I'm NOT trying to imply that Hanks favors the wealthy. I simply asked readers if they think so. But it is clearly a fact that in the general election, the rich favored Hanks.

I think the information is important. I'm curious how readers here think it could be used by either side.

BF said...

Mike must think that Sam's rich supporters aren't really rich, I guess Wayne.

Wayne Gilbert said...

Hanks being favored by the rich is, of course, debatable. My strident reaction was to the suggestion that he favors the rich, which is I think an inexcusable accusation in this campaign. In my opinion, Mr. Kooiker's campaign is built on such innuendo, e.g. "Chicago politics."

Michael Sanborn said...

I think the "Chicago Politics" thing comes from the connection between Mr. Adelstein and Mr. Hanks, and the fact that Mr. Adelstein is very well known for his penchant for trying to influence elections with money.

There is a perception that Mr. Adelstein expects something more from the politicians he supports other than that they "do their best to do their duty."

Alan had an early fund-raiser that was hosted by the who's who of Rapid City's elite and the movers and shakers who have a business stake in city politics.

Those same supporters seem to always be the low bidders on city projects.

That's what I think he's talking about with the "Chicago Politics" remarks. At least that's what I get from it.

Mr. Kooiker doesn't have that many "rich" supporters. His money so far has come mostly from $5 to $100 donors, while Alan's has come from Adelstein and his PACs.

I don't object to PAC money. And, I think Mr. Kooiker received modest amounts from two or three of them. He may receive more. But, the vast majority of his donations have come from small donors.

Anonymous said...

From his comments u would think Alan had hired Gilbert to do work for the city.

BF said...

I'm seeing more "rich" people supporting Sam than Alan, Mike. And what do you suppose that "Brock Greenfield" contribution is all about? Is he from Rapid City?

Bob Newland said...

I am puzzled by Wayne Gilbert's and Bill Fleming's apparent endorsement of Alan Hanks. Or maybe it is simply an "anyone but Kooiker" sentiment. In either case, I don't get it.

I'm not particularly opposed to Hanks nor a proponent of Kooiker, except that I think Hanks should have opposed Kooiker's censure, and that Kooiker did the right thing in exposing the landfill scam.

BF said...

That's just it. Bob. Suppose there WAS no "landfill scam"? NO ONE has been found guilty of doing ANYTHING illegal as yet. There are blanket accusations of "fraud" and "obstruction of justice" and "Chicago politics" etc. and so far, not a lick of legal proof.

Ask yourself, "who benefits from these accusations?" Who has a vested interest in keeping everyone confused about this?

Did you read Patrick Duffy's comment on Blogmore about all this? If not, please do. Here it is in part:

"I look forward to cross-examining Sam Kooiker, who will relish it even less if he dares show his face in a court of law. My client Cliff Fish has been unfairly and recklessly maligned by cruel politicians who used him as a political football to serve their own ambition. They are schoolyard bullies, and my client has been picked on enough."

BF said...

Also, from the same thread, here's what Kevin Woster has to say about it all. Mike and Bob take not. This is how REAL reporters do it:

"A friend of mine with a pretty good legal mind studied the Meidinger case closely and concluded: “Meidinger wasn’t just not guilty. He was innocent.” Based on what I’ve read and conversations I’ve had with others following the case, I tend to agree. We’ll see what comes next as the Fish employees and owners have their days in court. Meanwhile, the only Journal headlines I can find in a admittedly superficial check that use “fraud” refer to the “garbage fraud case,” which is probably accurate and perhaps almost fair, since the case or cases involve charges of fraud. The reporters – Emilie and Andrea – use “alleged fraud” and “alleged plot” consistently in their reporting. Not even the headlines claim that anybody actually committed fraud, only that a fraud case has been brought. They merely label the cases for what they are. (Perhaps you’ll find one that says what you and others say we’ve said, but I can’t …) And the reporters are very careful not even to imply anything beyond allegations. Whether it’s a comment by Hanks or a string of allegations and advertisement by Kooiker, we seem to jump to “fraud” a bit quickly, as if we know it occurred. I don’t, and I’ve read everything you have, I’m pretty sure. Our tendency to rush to judgment is particularly useful when there’s a political motivation..." — Kevin Woster, Mt. Blogmore

BF said...

As you guys know, I tend to think the Kooiker censure was justified. I think he's a loose cannon and a troublemaker. Plus, right now I see Rapid City moving in a positive direction I've been waiting to see all my like. One that celebrates Rapid City culture, the arts, the diversity of it's citizens and that recognises the significant economic development opportunity we have to turn ourselves into the next West/Midwest/Great Plains cultural mecca. I don't think Kooiker has a vision for Rapid City that even remotely resembles that. If he does, I've certainly not seen it in any of his campaign materials. All I see him doing is digging up—and dishing out— dirt on people, and exploiting our sad natural tendency to believe the worst about each other.

If you want to know why I support Hanks and not Kooiker, that's it in a nutshell. Hanks is building the city I want to live in. Not just talking about it... doing it. And Kooiker seems to be fighting him every step of the way.

Michael Sanborn said...

When it was demonstrated that the city (Robert Ellis and Jason Green) had padded the supposed Niagara of "harassing" emails Kooiker had sent, and when it was demonstrated that none of them were harassing in nature, Ward 3 alderman Bill Waugh moved to remove all references to emails in the censure complaint. In other words, they removed ALL evidence against Mr. Kooiker, and then voted to censure him anyway.

People are angry about it. And anyone accusing anyone of bullying should take a long look at what was attempted to bully Kooiker into silence.

There are trials left to take place. One of the city employee defendants is now dead and can neither be found not guilty nor innocent.

Nobody found Meidinger innocent. The jury determined that the prosecution did not present enough evidence to get a conviction. How is that Kooiker's fault for bringing what he believed to be a crime to the attention of those who prosecute criminals? Failure to do so would have been misprision.

Investigators and prosecutors and the city, for that matter, all felt there was enough evidence to not only revoke Fish's permit to work in Rapid, charge them criminally and sue in civil court to collect damages.

And, Bill, you are one of the least qualified people in Rapid City to lecture me about journalism and reporting. This is a blog. Everything here is opinion touched by speculation (often on your part).

And, I think Mr. Woster would agree that what goes on on Blogmore is hardly reporting either.

Woster, Emilee and the rest at the Journal have done an excellent job reporting the fraud at the landfill.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that criminal activity has taken place at the landfill. Jerry Wright's memo clearly defines what he personally saw.

And, I can't help notice that you are not beating Weifenbach over the head with this nonsense, because he too was getting similar information for different sources and it was Weifenbach's and Kooiker's insistence that a proper investigation take place.

Your heartburn here is that your candidate messed up and you can't figure out how to get the voting public to forget that he did.

BF said...

Until such time as somebody is actually convicted of a crime, Mike, there should ALWAYS be doubt in our minds. Our system of justice is built on the presumption of innocence. If you instead want to be judge, jury and prosecutor and proclaim your verdict in this matter, nobody can stop you.

I'm just saying that I have an open mind about all this, because I think objectivity is the best way to proceed when you are trying to discover the truth.

Otherwise, like Ellis, you find yourself in the camp of "true believers" who will refuse to look at anything other than their own narrow set of predetermined ideas.

Michael Sanborn said...

Really Bill? I haven't said anywhere that anyone was guilty. What I said was says he Wright SAW criminal activity. Kooiker was told of suspicious activity and asked for an investigation, which led to indictments. All Kooiker did was bring it to the attention of investigators and pursue it. He hasn't said anyone was guilty of anything other than trying to sweep it under the alternative cover.

And, aren't you convicting Kooiker? Was he allowed to face his accuser? No. Did he have his day in court? No, he faced a hostile group of councilpersons, a mayor (acting like a quasi-judge) who did nothing about the landfill until forced, a city attorney with an axe to grind, and a public works director with egg on his face. Had they all done their jobs in the first place, there wouldn't be a landfill controversy. But they didn't.

Even going back to the Sagen thing, nobody ever got a straight answer about how much the discarded brochures cost. All anyone got was a third-party invoice from a printer to an ad agency for printing the brochures once.

Has anyone talked to Rich Sagen to see how he feels about it? No. He was prevented from being at Kooiker's censure specifically so he couldn't be asked questions by Kooiker's attorney.

Again, your candidate is the captain of the ship R.C. Folly, and it's about to hit an iceberg. You know it and you're trying to spin it around. At least the Titanic's captain owned his mistake and willingly went down with the ship. Your guy is still looking for a lifeboat he can push someone out of.

BF said...

I don't think was rither accused of or committing any criminal offense, Mike.

BF said...

Typed that wrong... it should read:

"I don't think Kooiker was ever accused of, or conviced of any criminal offense, Michael.

BF said...

p.s. the discarded brochures was indeed the issue that Kooiker was called on the carpet about. He kept insisting it represented $30,000 in waste, when it was clear to all (even Sam) that it was indeed much, much less than that, and in any case, necessary, because the routes were changed after the brochure was printed.

It was a classic case of Sam's habit of being a troublemaker and harassing people who are trying to get their work done. I don't think we need a mayor like that.

BF said...

The confusion of the brochure thing with the landfill thing is a case of three-card monty that Sam and guys like you and Frankenfeld have ginned up to confuse the public. One event had nothing to do with the other.

But the general public now has the two confused. Lot's of folks think Sam was censured for bringing up the Landfill concern. He wasn't he was disciplined because he was badgering a city employee about the Rapid Ride brochures.

BF said...

Okay, back to the topic...

Check out Cory's analysis of Mike's (weak, weak, weak) hypothesis about which income groups support which candidates:

Michael Sanborn said...

I don't think the hypothesis is weak at all, Bill. People in the city's wealthiest neighborhoods favored Hanks in the election. It's not even a hypothesis. It's an undeniable fact.

If you and Jody are using that kind of skewed thinking in advising Alan, then it's no wonder he's 10 points behind.

BF said... quote my friend Michael, "we shall see."

I don't think 47% of the 32% of registered voters who voted for Sam means anything, class-wise Mike, except perhaps that a lot of people didn't vote.

We shall see.