Whoever Speaks First Loses

I’m instituting a new rule this political season.

Remember a couple of years ago when I got all those calls from Alex Sink? I’ve decided that if I get any political calls this season, I will vote for the opposite candidate. If both sides call me, I’ll vote against whoever called me first.

It’s more of a protest against the system as opposed to a protest against any given candidate. I don’t remember giving the Pinellas County voting registrars permission to give my phone number to candidates and to pollsters. If I did, there should be a way to “opt out” of receiving these calls that is easily accessible.

The irony of the 2014 race and now is that the David Jolly people are calling me for their vote. Former Florida governor Charlie Crist (a former Republican, too) is his opponent, and will likely be the first Democrat to represent our district in decades.

Looking forward to voting him in.

Slices From 2014

According to WordPress, here were the 10 most viewed blog entries I posted during this year:

1. RIP Dave Wagenvoord: My first boss in the radio biz passed away on April 21st.

2. The “Howie Sucks” Banner: Unearthing footage of a Thursday night NFL game in Tampa from 1980 that involved Howard Cosell and some banner trickeration.

3. Proof Of A Former Life: My first show as a board op for Stan Major at the Sun Radio Network is unearthed and archived.

4. Thanksgiving, Shortwave, and Uncle Neil: On Thanksgiving Eve, I board op another Stan Major show.  This one was picked up on WWCR, the Nashville shortwave station, which gets called from England and Canada.  A famous Miami talk show host calls me after the show who the Tampa area would get to know a few months down the road.

5. Bubba To Beasley, And Why It Won’t Work: Rumors swirl that Bubba the Love Sponge will return to the Tampa Bay airwaves in 2015, but it was my opinion back on December 3rd that Bubba and Beasley will not get along.

6. And There Goes My High School: My alma mater of Largo High School in Largo, Florida gets torn down, to eventually be replaced by a high-tech version to open in a couple of years.

7. My 2014 Predictions: Predictions I made at the start of 2014 for the coming year.  Nailed the Super Bowl prediction cold!

8. The Land Of Gerrymandering: A look at the local House of Representatives special election in March, won by David Jolly, heavily contested by Democrat Alex Sink.

9. Brutality And Its Glorification: Thoughts on how the news has desensitized us to terrorism and the brutality of the present day world.

10. Flashback Friday: “Poor Man’s Son” by Survivor: A look at Survivor’s first top 40 hit in 1981 after the passing of Jimi Jamison.

Hoping 2015 will be just as good…

A Small Act Of Sabotage

Tomorrow’s election day for most of us, but as some of you know, I’m one of those wackos who votes by mail about a month before everyone else does. I just find it easier to do things this way and avoid the rush.

The last time I voted was eight months ago in the special election to fill a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that David Jolly won. As you might remember, I got bombarded by calls the day before and on the day on the election, wanting my vote for Alex Sink, While this went on, I promised myself that while I couldn’t do anything about all those annoying calls this time, but when the November elections came around, I’d do something about it.

So I did.

But there was a problem: the Democrats didn’t have the guts to run someone against David Jolly in the regular elections, so I couldn’t retaliate directly in that race, since Jolly is only running against a Libertarian and Independent who’ll likely split the opposition vote.

I picked a couple of important local races, and voted Republican.

If the Democrats call me excessively in the next couple of days, I’ll just have to remember it the next time, too.  Fair warning. If you’re product is so good, it advertises itself.

Would You Like To Try For 15?

The Democratic Party is really starting to annoy this blogger.

Remember back on March 11th, when I was talking about how Alex Sink and her menagerie of phone numbers kept calling my home?

Well, I’ve been blessed to have gotten a 14th call from them since March 10th yesterday afternoon. Earlier in the morning, I went through the voice mail and deleted six messages from various numbers on Alex’s behalf, three each from two separate numbers, so later that day, they have the temerity to call again under the guise of some poll.

It was a recorded voice mail call, so I knew it didn’t make sense to yell at the people at the other end of the phone. But, after being reminded of how rude the Sink people were being last month, I went into William Shatner “KHAAANNN!!!” mode:

“IT JUST NEVER ENDS WITH YOU PEOPLE, DOES IT?”

The pre-recorded voice failed to respond, naturally. Maybe I need to vote Libertarian this fall, or God forbid, Republican. David Jolly has to defend his newly won seat in November, and if Alex Sink is indeed the Democratic finalist, perhaps I need to remind people of what happened in March.

That is, if I’m still here in Florida.

The Land of Gerrymandering

FL-13
A map of the 13th Congressional District of Florida.

A footnote to last night’s elections, if you will allow me.

I had a discussion last night about how congressional districts are drawn up while the Alex Sink and David Jolly vote was being tallied last night, and how the district I reside in includes Pinellas County almost totally, but with two notable exceptions.

North of Dunedin is part of another district, as is the areas of southeastern St. Petersburg.

I represented last night that if you included southeast St. Petersburg in the FL-13 district, Alex Sink would have clearly been the victor by a narrow margin, or at least in my hypothetical argument.

The person I was discussing this last night was telling me it was discrimination how the the congressional districts are drawn up to favor one party or the other. I countered by saying that these districts are redrawn every decade when the new census is taken in the “0” year of each decade, and that I could remember a time back in the 1980’s when the district I’ve traditionally been in had West Bay/East Bay Drive running thru Bellair Bluffs and Largo.

There’s horse trading that goes on with these districts, too.  Look at the map that includes that little sliver of St. Petersburg:

The map of the 14th congressional district, which I found on govtrack.us
The map of the 14th congressional district, which I found on govtrack.us.

That little fragment of St. Petersburg is represented in the 14th congressional district that includes all of the city of Tampa proper, plus some of the northern suburbs.  As opposed to our district which has been controlled by Republicans for what seems to be time and memorial, the 14th district is represented currently by Kathy Castor, a Democrat.

Is it fair? Doesn’t seem so, does it? But this is the way or bureaucrats want it. The problem is giving them control of what size “the ring” is to begin with.  I would love to see a system were one town was represented in one district with its neighbors, with the exception of the larger US cities that would need several congressmen/congresswomen to be represented.

But again, you’re asking the generally corrupt to clean their own house, and that’s the wall that must be climbed here.

Guess Who Won The Pony?

The voting sign at my polling pace, March 11, 2014.  Actually, I voted by mail several weeks prior to this.
The voting sign at my polling pace, March 11, 2014. Actually, I voted by mail several weeks prior to this.

David Jolly is our newest congressman to represent out district, only the second such person to represent my district in my lifetime.  He fills the vacancy created after the death of C.W. Bill Young, who passed away last fall.

Mr. Jolly narrowly defeated Alex Sink, who only lost by less than a couple of percentage points in one of the finest showings by a Democrat in our district in decades.  A good turnout at the polls and outstanding weather for March in Pinellas County (a nearly 80 degree day with sunny weather) tremendously helped her cause.

However, I wonder if Sink’s ship was sunk by all the robocalling done in her behalf in the last two days.

Some tweets of mine on the afternoon of March 11, 2014.
Some tweets of mine on the afternoon of March 11, 2014.

On Twitter, I kept track of the voluminous number of calls I got from the Alex Sink campaign on March 10th and then the 11th, election day.  Full disclosure here: I am a registered independent and have been since late 2012, after being a Republican during most of 2012 so that I could vote for Ron Paul in the primaries.

In a two day span, I received 13 calls.  Five on the 10th, eight on the 11th.  That’s eight in between the hours 10am to just past 6pm from four different numbers, three of which I mentioned on Twitter today. The lion’s share of the calls were of the pre-recorded.  I work at home doing transcriptions, so needless to say this was a thorn in my side all day long.  And no, I don’t believe in just letting the phone ring and not answering.  As I’ve explained in the past, that process does no good, because most of the people who call you from out of nowhere will simply call again. I give them the options of either defecating, or getting off the pot.  If they play games, I usually play back at them until THEY quit.

During one stretch on Monday, I vowed to yell if I got another call from Alex Sink in rapid succession when I heard the phone. So sure enough, I yelled at the pre-recorded voice of Jon “Bowzer” Bauman.

And no, his hosting of the ill-fated Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour back in 1983 and 1984 had nothing to do with it, thank you very much, train wreck of a game show that was.

I don’t really blame Alex Sink and her merry band of robocallers for this.  The people didn’t mess up that allowed these cannonade of calls to get to me. The system did, because they pass on the numbers of voters over to the respective parties. If there is an opt-out process in which callers could respectively decline such calls, that system needs to reach more ears and fingers.

But did the robocalling cost Sink the election? Well, Alex Sink and David Jolly might have another chance to prove who the better candidate is in November if Sink runs again and gets through another round of primaries.

The Democrats had a great chance, probably the best chance they will see in a while, and yet it’s another GOP candidate who rules this area at the congressional level.