Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lessons From the Raleigh City Elections

Gary Pearce, on Talking Politics, offers analysis of the anti-growth results in last Tuesday's election in the village of Raleigh:
The real estate folks may be brilliant business people. But they're dumb politicians .... The developers -- and businesses generally -- don't understand how politics has changed. Just giving candidates money isn't enough. You should use your money to influence public opinion, not just influence candidates. The ultimate source of political power is not money. It's votes.

We don't know the $$ figures from Raleigh, but the tsunami of cash that Team Templeton threw into the Boone Town Council races produced less than expected. The CFC PAC certainly influenced public opinion. One might suggest they stirred up about equal animosity toward Town Council incumbents and toward themselves. But anyway, according to Jeff Templeton, they didn't really care about the mayor's seat, since it's a "figurehead" position. That'll come as comfort to Tim Wilson. And the one Town Council member they may have helped elect outright (depending on next Tuesday's canvass) was voted in partially on his success at convincing town progressives that he's a liberal Democrat. Was that the message CFC intended to send?

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