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2018 Mayoral Election
Wednesday, March 07, 2018
Miro Weinberger (D) * 5809 48.92%
Carina Driscoll (I) 4155 34.99%
Infinite Culcleasure (I) 1910 16.09%

I had a fortuitous encounter and nice chat with Bob Kiss in Battery Park after voting today.  Well technically yesterday since it's after midnight.  He mentioned that Francis Cain is still with us, which is kind of neat.  When I was in high school I helped clean out the bomb shelter under city hall and there were these old reel-to-reel audio tapes of mayor Cain that I suppose were to have been played in the event there was a nuclear war *and* he was incapacitated.  I don't know.  There were also many metal tins filled with rotten saltine crackers.  Let's face it.  It would be better to die quickly in a nuclear war than live a few more pitiful days in the radioactive hellscape that came next.  This was around the time the wall came down in Berlin.  I think the wall came down and we threw out the reel-to-reel tapes and the saltines the next day.  Something like that.

So you can see the totals from the election.  It's extremely significant that Miro Weinberger won with less than 50% of the vote because it allows us to argue that in either an instant runoff voting, or two-person race scenario, we'd be talking about mayor-elect Driscoll right now. 

I tweeted an embarrassing false projection that Miro had won a city-wide majority before Wards 2 and 4 were counted and had to apologize for it.  Again, I'm sorry.

48.92% is agonizingly close to that majority mandate every politician wants, especially for a mayor who won with 68.27% last time.  Carina hurt him.  She cut him like Rocky cut Drago in Rocky IV.  "You see?!  He's not a machine!! He's a man!!"

Miro can argue that his support actually went up from 5241 votes in 2015 to 5809 votes in 2018, but higher voter turnout in 2018 has turned him into a plurality mayor.   What could he have done differently that would have maintained the majority's support?  He knows what I found disqualifying in his second term.

We can speculate about whether Carina's 'testing the waters' period before announcing a firm decision to run swayed Infinite Culcleasure's decision to officially enter the race before she did.  If she had jumped in with both feet immediately, would Infinite have deferred to her candidacy and stayed out?  The results seem to indicate that a 2-way race would have been a squeaker with an uncertain outcome.

Like Judge Judy says, shoulda coulda woulda.

Majorities, mandates and legitimacy are the gossamer threads that hold leaders up spiritually and give them power.  I have personally never voted for Miro Weinberger.  In the 2012 Democratic nominating caucus when (in theory) I could have thrown the then-tied vote to either Tim Ashe or Miro Weinberger, I abstained from voting at all.  I will always find the outcome of that caucus questionable.  On the first day of voting at Memorial Auditorium when I attended, they started checking people in by computer.  Then the computers crashed and they moved to checking people in with paper lists.  Nothing would have precluded someone who had checked in by computer and received a ballot, from checking in again on paper and receiving a second ballot once the computer crashed.  That's what I remember.  I also remember hearing rumors of shenanigans in the vote counting the day the caucus reconvened to break the tie.  Nonetheless there have now been three city elections since to validate Weinberger, in which I have voted for Wanda Hines, Greg Guma and Carina Driscoll respectively. 

Congratulations to mayor Weinberger on winning a third three-year term.  Nine years will be one more year than Bernie Sanders got and three more years than Bob Kiss got.  Bob and I agreed in the park that if Carina lost today, she can still run again and win down the road.  We talked about Burlington Telecom a little too.  We agreed it's too bad the city won't own the asset, but that it will still be of great benefit.  Bob took a calculated risk to build that network for us, and I told him he did a good job.  In the end we did not lose money on it, and the city has a great fiber optic network.  That's the reality of Bob Kiss's legacy as mayor regardless of the "failed policies of the recent past" rhetoric Miro ran against Carina with.

The city will look much different three years from now when it's time for the next mayoral election.  49% will give Miro the time to build his tall buildings and knock down the Moran plant.  We shall see how things go.

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 2:23 AM  
  • At March 07, 2018 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Haik,

    Interesting article but I have to point out that but its incorrect to say we did not lose money on the Burlington Telecom deal. We recovered less than half of the 17 million still owed to the City of Burlington from the improper transfer of tax money to prop up BT. BT did turn out to be a profitable entity is what you probably meant but per the deal with Bluewater and Citibank we were obliged to sell it. If we end up retaining a share which is an option, maybe we could recoup the remainder of the money owed.


  • At March 20, 2018 12:30 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Hey Mickey. Joan Shannon said the same thing on Twitter. I dunno. If someone offered to wire the whole city with fiber for under 10 mil we'd be psyched, so even if we don't keep a share, which I don't know why we wouldn't, it can be argued the economic benefit to the city from just having the network will eventually result in enough additional revenue to make up the difference. So I'll stick with the contention that money wasn't lost. It was invested.

  • At April 02, 2018 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Haik, Mickey Again

    Well, I don't think that's the classical business school idea of invested but what the heck, I’ll let it slide. Your article was interesting Haik, but I’m not sure if hits the mark entirely. For one, I think there were some serious Infinite or bust votes out there that wouldn’t have gotten off the couch for Carina so had he not run, Miro would probably have won by a sliver of votes but it would still have been a majority. Also I think the left in general really doesn’t understand what’s really happening in Burlington. They can’t get past the idea that idealism trumps financial reality and that local tax payers are maxed out when it comes to major initiatives(like BT) that would require a sizeable tax revenue source to keep it from potentially failing or rescuing it again. They have no legitimate answer to Miro’s highly competent management style which was what the Democrats have in spades compared to the progressives they just needed to win the mayorship to prove it and Kiss left that door wide open for them. In fact Burlington Telecom continued to be the gift that kept on giving as it exposed the Progressives as pie in the sky. Exhibit A being the shit show of an offer Keep Burlington Telecom put forward with the deadbeat 14% interest rate and lawsuits that would be triggered had it gone forward. Miro knows financial and legal reality matters and. the rhetoric of “failed policies of the recent past” does hold water as you could easily point to the BT telecom fiasco, the airport garage construction funded by high interest short term loan fiasco, and the pension plan fiasco which was over 45 million in the hole which collectively caused our city credit to be downgraded to one grade above junk and the airport to have one of the lowest credit ratings in the country.. All of these financial shit shows involved Clavelle or Kiss so yes it is fair for Weinberger to paint the progressives with this broad stroke. He deserves to as he cleaned up all of these financial fiascos essentially in two terms and has the city running surpluses. What answer have the progressives come up with to counter this? The progressives have ironically taken the title of being the party of No that the Democrats took 30 years to shed. They do this by opposing everything the mayor does and nickel and diming his initiatives when they should be coming up with better ideas of how to run the city. This is why they will probably continue to lose in the near future.
    The progressives oppose Weinberger even when his ideas are better such as supporting Tucows over Ting after being all gung ho for the coop. Tucows was a forward thinking Canadian company that had a way better rate structure and customer satisfaction rates than the Schurz turd which has much higher rates than BT, fought internet neutrality and has lower customer satisfaction rates than Tucows. Knodell and Wright will regret pushing this buillshit forward in five years when they get to set their own rules and rates and Miro will be vindicated. Have you noticed that the Progressives have had the nerve to blame Miro for the BT sale even though it was owned by Bluewater Holdings and the council essentially had all the power to sell it and it was all set up by Knodell and Writh? Knodell and Wright did not have Burlington’s best interests in mind when they shoehorned this deal in the dead of night. God I’m ranting now and I should stop. Anywhoo, have you been reading Charles Winkleman’s blog, he’s put up some decent stuff and while I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, the facts he lays out are interesting?

  • At May 08, 2018 8:41 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    No but it looks super interesting. I'll check it out!

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