Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics" Concerning the Addison County Election Results for 2012

"Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to  (Benjamin) Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"Mark Twain - 1906
The quote above is one that comes to mind whenever I hear pols and their would be brethren, spin election results.  After the brief post preceding this one, which was put up primarily to be the first (and likely the last) to chronicle the never-ever-gonna-be Senator Robert "Needed Killin' " Wagner's latest loss in his bid to unseat Addison County's real Sen. Claire Ayer (D), I thought a little light needed to be shed on his assertions about the Addison County election results in 2012.

The Vermont secession movement candidate, Robert Wagner, is now pointing to his having finished dead last as, well, I should let him explain it to you from his testy concession post that he grandiosely titled Great Accomplishments in 2012,
"Thanks to you I have shot up to 18%, with no money spent. Vote count has tripled to 4273 (from 1278) two years ago. My home town, Ripton cast 30% of its votes for me."
Here's the weakness in Wagner's self-serving analysis: Republicans didn't
 field any candidates for the two Addison County senate seats, one of which was an open seat.  As I pointed out months ago, Wagner stood to benefit from the absence of any Republican candidate for the county senate seats, and the numbers bear that fact out.

It's no secret that there are many, Republicans and Democrats, that can't vote ever for someone in the other party.  That seems to have been borne out in by the return he cited for his present hometown, Ripton, VT - official results have yet to be posted at the Vermont Secretary of State's website so let's just assume for the moment there's some truth to what he says in this instance and that his thumb isn't on the scale.  What Wagner doesn't tell you is that in 2010 the percentage of people in Ripton, VT who didn't vote for a Democrat was virtually identical to this year.

Wagner has an ongoing relationship with the Republican fringe over at the Ron Paultard inspired Liberty Candidates, Teabagger website here and his results around Addison County would seem to confirm his Republican affiliated ties.

Wagner announced early on that he was targeting the Addison County senate seat of incumbent Democrat Claire Ayer, which reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how the county legislative electoral process works on his part.  In short, Sen. Ayer soundly kicked his ass in every town in Addison County, ultimately crushing her putative opponent (at least in his mind) by 30% points.  Similar to the Ripton results, the Wagner vote count in the other towns generally mirrored past Republican results.  So as Wagner himself has asked in his own post on his stunning defeat despite the field of candidates have been clear of opposition from the Republican quarter,
"Cui bono? Who benefits? Draw your own conclusions."
we can adduce, "Che ha beneficiato della mancanza di un candidato Repubblicano a Addison County" or who benefits from the absence of Republican candidates in Addison County (that is, besides the Democrats).  It's safe to conclude that was the non-Dem in the senate race, Robert Wagner.

The problem for Wagner is that Republicans aren't likely to continue to concede the field to the Democrats and nor are they going to feel inclined to endorse a purported independent candidate who has vowed to take Vermont out of the Union.

Speaking of which, one of Wagner's announced plans from way back in 2010 was to field a slate of secessionist candidates for every Senate seat in Vermont's General Assembly that he said not a word about in his Great Accomplishments in 2012 post, a group he called "The Thirty." Early on he even went so far as to lie repeatedly about how many he'd already "recruited" in June of 2011, saying that he had 6 seceshers ready to go (here and here).  As it turned out, only two others - perennial flake Peter Moss in Franklin County and Terry Jeroloman in Chittenden County - longtime secesher supporters, as in Kool-Aid drinkers, made Wagner's anti-American cut.  Like Wagner each came in dead last in their respective races - Moss with 4% and Jeroloman with 1%.  Truly sad, the whole, small lot of them.  "The only way is up," huh, guys?

As the election season disastrously closed for this year's tiny crew of Vermont secesher office seekers, their baas, the Dixie singin' founder of the moribund Second Vermont Republic whose failed utterly in his plan to take Vermont out of the Union, Thomas H. Naylor, has announced that he's expanding his horizon beyond that unachieved object to now, get this,

"SVR has broadened its mission to include a commitment to... the peaceful breakup of meganations such as the United States, China, and Russia"
Sure, Tom. Get right on that. No doubt the U.S., China, Russia and whoever else you've got in your cross hairs are preparing to capitulate given your stunning lack of success here in Vermont.  More likely not.  Certainly President Obama wasn't specifically referring to Vermont's "small community of secessionists" (as one founder of SVR, Ian Baldwin, refers to them) when he gave his victory speech in the wee hours of November 7 but Naylor, Baldwin, Wagner and the remainder of the dwindling Vermont secesher movement should pay heed to his closing words:

"We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United (emphasis, the President's) States of America."
Meanwhile, in another matter related to Wagner's conflicting positions, there's been no word yet about whether Wagner will be returning the $288.30 Federal subsidy he received while flying out of the airport in Rutland, VT, which is exactly the kind of Federal subsidy that he "is strongly opposed to" and has argued harms Vermonters that I revealed he'd hypocritically availed himself of (as in sticking his snout in the federal money trough) here. Wagner must publicly give back that subsidy money or he'll be exposed for the hypocritical fraud that many of us Vermonters now know him to be.

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