I write this with the latest available information from the Recorder’s Office. And the official information does not indicate how many precincts or votes remain to be counted. Believe me, there are a few races I describe below that I hope beyond hope will change by morning. I base this column on the best information I have available.
Pima County Supervisors
Boy, howdy, does the average voter in Pima County embrace the status quo. Ally Miller has retained her seat on the Board—thank God—but without the margin or the landslide win that she deserves. District 1, you’re not paying close enough attention! And that miserable John Winchester campaign during the primary? Clearly that left lasting scars. For shame.
It is fortuitous that Pima County kept Ally Miller, but the owner of every pothole in every road in Pima County, Sharon Bronson, has kept her seat by a meager 2,400 or so votes. That lead has narrowed over the past few hours, so it is my sincere prayer that DeMarco squeaks by and takes the seat. Ramon Valadez ran unopposed; Richard Elias and Steve Christy handily won their districts. Christy now replaces the ever-useless Ray Carroll as the county establishment’s token quasi-Republican rubber stamp. This, naturally, secures the position and malfeasance of Chuck Huckelberry, the nearly-half-a-million-dollar-a-year puppet of Diamond, Lopez, Click, Mehl, and the other members of the cabal that has this town by its short hairs. Did we mention that Christy is Huckelberry’s hand-picked surrogate for the District 4 seat? Oh, yeah, we did mention that, as we dug into the Pima County email scandals earlier this year. We revealed that Christy begged Bronson and Huckelberry for a position with the county, and they offered him up to the electorate like a pudding.
Bonds and Expenditures
Pima County voters, all together now, reach into your pockets, open your wallets, and repeat after me: “Help yourself!”
The electorate seems content to throw money at the various budget overrides and bond elections on the ballot. First off, Pima County gave minimum-wage Proposition 206 a beastly edge, sailing nearly 2-1 through the bank accounts of the independent business owners in this county who will have to cut jobs, raise prices, and/or fold up. Bonds and overrides were a mixed bag, especially in Sahuarita where voters issued new debt for Sahuarita Unified, but didn’t continue the school district’s existing override. That tally defies logic.
Barbara “I’ll Never Prosecute a Pedestrian Death by Vehicle” LaWall keeps her long-overstayed welcome. F. Ann Rodriguez easily remained in place—to her credit, she does not seem to have allowed any fraction freakiness in the vote. Beth Ford—unopposed—is still our Treasurer. Suzanne Droubie, the independent Assessor challenger, who faced tremendous headwind coming into the race when she did and without party backing, secured about a third of the vote. That is remarkable, all considered, but only proves that two-thirds of the voters in the county undervalue the importance of the Assessor. Margaret Burkholder couldn’t quite add up the votes to become Superintendent of Schools.
Pima County only narrowly fought the Mary Jane Monopoly by a 900-vote dissent against Proposition 205. And I’m just going to reiterate my disappointment in the taxocratic wage grab that is Prop 206.
One highlight of the evening is that Mark Stegeman will remain on the TUSD Board. Unfortunately, Kristel Foster kept her seat, and Betts Putnam-Hidalgo is in an exceedingly tight fight. Betts, you made a hell of a run, and I’m pulling for you! If there is one race that is so close it could change by morning, it is Betts climbing toward the third seat on the TUSD Board. You say a prayer and I’ll say a prayer, and where two or more are gathered…
I can’t believe Trump pulled it out. How embarrassing for me that I decried Fraction Ma—oh, wait a minute, the fractions were supposed to give the election to Hillary! Like I said, it would have taken an inconceivable amount of collusion to have stolen the Presidential election by manipulating votes into fractional votes instead of whole numbers. I don’t doubt that there are shenanigans—hey, if you don’t believe that the media is in the bag and is manipulating voters, just listen to the difference in tone of voice of the national commentators from the time the first polls closed in the east to the time that it became apparent Florida was going to give its electors to Trump—but both the fraction video and the election returns failed to prove the fraction theory. We have two years before the mid-term elections, nonetheless, to ensure that we build new protections into the election system to ensure that no fraud—fractions or otherwise—can creep into the system. Refer to my column last week suggesting we open-source the vote-counting systems for more detail and for an action plan.
You had better believe that the left will come back with both barrels blazing. With a Republican in the White House, a red Senate, and a red House, the politicking is going to get even uglier than it has been (and the media, punished at the polls, will participate actively). The Presidential race has firmly rebuked the legacy media, but we are a society of short memories. The media will claw back, insidiously and viciously, and the 2018 midterms are going to be painful. Expect the house to flip blue in two years; the Senate may well flip also. That means that Trump will have to make massive outreach to the entire population if he wants even a remote chance at a second term, and he will have to start that outreach the morning after the election.
And don’t forget what the Clinton Administration did to the White House when exiting, with damaged keyboards, messes everywhere, and a laundry list of sophomoric pranks awaiting George W. As much as the Clinton presidency stained the Oval Office, the Obama tenure has brought even more disgrace. If you think these people are going to make the transition pleasant for anyone with an “(R)” after his name, you’ve got another thing coming. Expect sore losers to disgrace the office further and bring even more shame to the country.
Lest you rest on your laurels, don’t think Pima County is immune to retribution. Huckelberry is going to get nasty in the next two years, and the only way to keep him in check is for the public to support Ally Miller and take the fight against malfeasance to Huckelberry. We, the knowledgeable minority in this county, have a duty and an obligation to get vocal, get active, and get to it immediately. The legacy media outlets in Pima County will also ramp up, and it will be crucial that we take the fight to them in kind.
We all have to work our tails off for the next two years to hang the county’s failures around the necks of Bronson, Valadez, Elias, and Huckelberry (and Christy, unless he surprises us). And we need to engage everyone we know from coast to coast to accomplish two herculean feats in the next 24 months: shift the narrative in the United States, even in the deepest blue inner cities, to something much more rational and gracious than the smear-fest we saw in this election; and protect the House and the Senate from flipping to the wrong side.
Trump is now the most unpopular candidate ever to become President-Elect. One of two things will happen: He will act like a Constitutional conservative, or he will fail this country. The onus is on us. If Trump leads well, it is our duty to support him and help win blue hearts and blue minds to conservatism. If he fails us, it is our duty to let him go and secure the House and Senate while the White House falls to a Democrat in four years.
The ballots are (almost all) counted, but the tremendous work for all of us begins today.