22 June 2017

A Coda to the Ossoff Loss

When people talk about how Jon Ossoff outperformed the previous candidate in GA-6, though (as I have previously noted, he did poorly to relative to Hillary Clinton in that election), they noted that he picked up about 20 points on the prior Democratic candidate for Congress.

The interesting thing here is that even though Jon Ossoff ran a generally empty campaign, he actually existed, while the candidate in November, one Rodney Stooksbury, may actually not exist:

As far as I know, Rodney Stooksbury is an actual living human being. I have even spoken with someone who has spoken with someone who swears he exists.

Certain people, however, are convinced that Rodney Stooksbury does not exist. This is because, even though Rodney Stooksbury was the 2016 Democratic congressional candidate in Georgia’s 6th District, nobody could ever actually seem to find a photograph of the guy. Or a campaign website. Or any campaign material. Or anyone who has actually met Rodney Stooksbury. News outlets tried to track down Stooksbury, to no avail. According to one investigation, “when reporters went to his town house in Sandy Springs, no one answered the door. When they inquired with the neighbors, no one had heard of him. He apparently had run no campaign, and had raised no money.” Stooksbury, if not a literal ghost, might as well have been one. In November, shortly before leaving to become Donald Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Republican incumbent Tom Price was re-elected with approximately 62% of the vote. Rodney Stooksbury, whoever he was, came second. He received 38% of the vote.

This week, the special election to replace Price was held. Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff, 52 to 48, in the most expensive House race in the history of the United States. Over $56 million was spent in total, enough to prevent nearly 17,000 children from dying of malaria. Because Ossoff had positioned himself as a centrist, running mainly on a platform of reducing government spending, a lot of heated debate is now occurring among Democrats. What does this mean for the party? Should it heed the Berniecrats and appeal to the progressive base? If throwing money at a race won’t win it, what will? Might having actual principles and policies do the trick?
Mr. Stooksbury, if indeed that is his name, literally spent no money at all in the election.

Zero ……… Zip ……… Nada.

He was never seen in public ……… No campaigning at all.

Think about the status of party infrastructure after a few years of that.

We really need to go back to the 50 state strategy, if just because the national DNC is so f%$#ing incompetent.


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