More analysis of the election — from the right

by David Safier

This is the first time I'm quoting Emil Franzi, who writes a conservative-leaning column in The Explorer, where I write a liberal-leaning column. But when both of us are thinking more-or-less the same thing on an issue or two and he brings in knowledge I don't have, he's worth quoting.

Franzi is writing about Prop 200 which looked like it had legs then went down huge, 70-30. He says the idea for the proposition was cooked up by "a Phoenix political consultant" to help elect Republican city council candidates.

The advice, apparently based on rudimentary polling data, was to drop a bundle not on a direct assault but on an oblique move based on a public safety initiative that was supposed to draw out voters more inclined to elect council candidates who supported it. This became the now infamous Prop. 200, ultimately defeated 70-30.

I was one of many Democrats who said the same thing about Prop 200. It's good to get confirmation from someone on the other side. I hadn't heard the idea came from a Phoenix consultant. Unless I learn differently, I'll assume Franzi got that right.

Clearly, Franzi thinks the strategy was a boneheaded idea. Here is Franzi's take on political consultants, from the final paragraph.

. . . it should be clear that there are some overpaid consultants who deserve to be recognized and humiliated along with the rubes who pay them with other people's money. 

Like Franzi, I wonder about the high paid consultant strategy for winning elections. It doesn't seem to have served Arizona Dems too well lately. Republicans can ask their own questions, they don't need any help from me, but I think Dems need to ask themselves whether political consultants, who often, like generals, are fighting the last war, should be given so much power over the way current or hopeful public officials conduct their campaigns.

0 responses to “More analysis of the election — from the right

  1. Former Mayor Miller said as much at the LWV forum on the propositions — that Prop. 200 was created to get Republicans on the East side to turn out to vote, to defeat Trasoff and Uhlich on the Council.
    But there’s been a lot of talk after the election about Ward 6’s lax constituent service, so that may explain Nina’s loss as well.

  2. You have a whole party full of activists who know their neighborhood, have probably been through a number of elections (including local elections,) understand the issues and the candidates, but you have to HIRE an outside CONSULTANT?

    I won’t name any of the campaigns but I’ve seen way too many of them bring in some 25 year old with a new degree in political science from some big out of state university to run their campaign and the 25 year old goes right to work deconstructing everything that works and replacing it with some system they learned about in college and won’t work at all in Arizona. The local people who know what they are doing and how to get votes in their communities, they either ignore or overrule.

    Why not just spell it out, and tell all your volunteers they should just shut up and go sit down in the back room and stuff envelopes until you call them?

  3. Not only are political consultants usually fighting the last war, listening to them makes politicians often look like bigger phonies than they already are.
    For a bunch of Republicans to run and pretend they aren’t just into giving each other tax cuts and backdoor business deals just makes everyone shake their heads and laugh.
    These are people who wouldn’t think twice about taking a deal where they were offered a 1% tax cut for every cop or firefighter they personally fired.