The Wild Turkey Party

Sure, Norm Coleman has had the database snafu, which is bad enough on it’s own terms.  But the most revealing part is his campaign’s laughable attempt to lay the blame for their error at someone else’s feet by claiming it was a “dirty tricks” campaign.  A parade of experts has made clear that Coleman’s camp not only ran an amateurish website and campaign finance operation, but they likely violated the law by not disclosing that they knew about the breach in January.

This reminds me of a story.  I once knew a man who ran for student body of a Big 12 school.  This man’s approach to the campaign was to mock the entire process and the people who took it seriously.  That said, he was a bright, large, charismatic guy, somewhat Keillor-esque, so he wasn’t viewed exclusively as a joke candidate; a lot of people knew him.  He ran on the Wild Turkey party because he found giant banners advertising Wild Turkey whiskey in a liquor store dumpster.  He then wrapped his mini-van in the banners and broadcast banjo music through a PA as he drove through campus.  At least, I want to remember it as banjo music.

His opposition, as a group, were Marmalard types who grew up on farms and had serious hard-ons for student government.  Election day comes and my friend wins by a slight margin.  Chaos spreads across campus as word gets out: the Wild Turkey Party has seized the machinery of student government!

But wait!  After two days, scandal erupts.  One of the polling places closed early.  Even worse, it was the one by the ag hall, which just happened to be a stronghold for the establishment party.  The campus newspaper devoted an entire issue to coverage of the election that hung in the balance and the decision to hold a new vote.  They also had extensive interviews with the losers of the first election, and the bitterness really flowed through the page.  Not only did they have some not nice things to say about their opponent, but they also predicted a handy victory in the next vote.  Well, the second vote came and they got their ass kicked by a much wider margin, because they really came off as jerks in the way they handled everything.

Now…I don’t know how my friend’s tenure turned out, because I left school.  It really may have been a disaster for student government.  Or, it could have been fun and productive, but gassy from too many cabinet meetings held at the Taco Slut.

But that’s not the point.  The point is that Norm Coleman reminds me of those guys who lost, and like them, Norm would get worked over much worse in his second–chance vote.

The fundraising’s probably not going so great right now, either.

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One Response to The Wild Turkey Party

  1. Stanton says:

    We had a bit of an election dust-up when I was at KU. Seems they have polling places all across campus, with the exception of Daisy Hill where all the big dorms are. Those dorms are like 70-80% freshmen. But Ku’s stats showed something like 20-30% of freshmen drop out during or after that first year. So the lack of polling places on The Hill was interpreted as an attempt to marginalize the impact of freshman voters.

    In hindsight, I’m sure that is exactly the reason – but I am more sympathetic to the idea that student government shouldn’t disproportionately represent underclassmen and dropouts.

    The other thing I remember about that election was interviewing candidates as a member of the student newspaper’s editorial board. One (frat) guy’s reason for running for student council was, literally, “Its not what you know, its who you know.” I think the board endorsed him.

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