I thought it was bad enough that the 23rd Congressional District of New York State, in essence, elected Nancy Pelosi to the vacant John M. McHugh congressional seat by 49% to 46%. I couldn't help but ask myself, "What were they thinking?" Or better still, “What were they doing?” Given the choice between an independent conservative Doug Hoffman and the hand-picked candidate of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Bill Owens) they voted for the latter.
In one of the most important election periods in our nation’s history 126,000 citizens voted, 62,000 of those cast for their candidate who will undoubtedly vote in step with, his sponsor, Speaker Pelosi. Below you’ll find the turnouts for the previous four congressional elections in that same district.
According to Wikipedia former Congressman John M. McHugh ran unopposed in the mid-term 2002 U.S. Congressional race and won with 125,000 votes. One thousand fewer votes were cast in this election than the special election of 2009.
In the 2004 general election he ran against Democratic opponent Robert J. Johnson garnering 169,000 votes to his opponents 66,000. The turnout for that election was 227,000. I'm using numbers rounded to the nearest thousand, just in case you were wondering. 101,000 more votes were cast in this election than the 2009 special election.
The 2006 mid-term election McHugh gathered up 107,000 votes while his familiar opponent Robert J. Johnson came in a distant second with 62,000 votes. Turnout for the 2006 election was 169,000. The electorate cast 43,000 votes more in this election than in the 2009 contest.
The 2008 general election had 130,000 votes for the incumbent and 69,000 for his new challenger Michael P. Oot. This turnout improved to 199,000 -- 73,000 more than the special election of 2009.
The November 3, 2009 special election drew an anemic turnout of 126,000 voters. That is only 1,000 more votes than John M. McHugh received in his unopposed 2002 run. In the previous four elections only one had fewer votes cast in it and that election was uncontested.
It's true that special elections, in general, draw fewer voters than national elections but just look at those numbers.
In a day of out of control spending, dizzying debt and the threat looming of even greater fiscal irresponsibility the voters of New York's 23rd District choose to:
- Vote for Nancy Pelosi and her disregard for our country's economic stability.
- Vote in a lack luster effort to elect a fiscally responsible Certified Public Accountant.
- Or simple stayed home in droves.
Our mathematically challenged House of Representatives could have used his expertise in accounting and economics.
But the voters chose for themselves and for our country to keep spending, taxing, borrowing and printing our way into economic oblivion. That wouldn't have been my choice.
The days of electing "your" representatives are over. "Your" choices have a direct effect on us all. No longer can we allow a Congressperson to bring home the bacon while disregarding the best interest of the country as a whole.
Start thinking outside "your" political ideological box and start thinking about how the whole country can be harmed or benefitted by each and every vote and non-vote.
The future is "your" hands. Will you drop this privilege and duty and thus allow it to shatter upon the ground or will you preserve it for the generations yet to come.
It's up to you, which will it be?