Nov 5, 2014

The Death Of Democracy In The Lehigh Valley

This death report might be somewhat exaggerated, because I'm not sure that democracy was ever alive in the Lehigh Valley. Out of eleven state house races, six of the candidates were unopposed. By now all my readers probably know that I failed in my attempt to be the first independent or third party candidate in the state house since the 1930's. Someone once told me that if an independent does nothings, he still gets 3% of the vote in a three way race, but if he does everything, he only gets 5%. Last night, according to news sources, I got 9%. Ms. Harhart received 60% and the Democrat got 30%. On my campaign facebook page, Mr. Molovinsky Goes To Harrisburg, I tried to pump up the residents of Northampton and Slatington by asserting that they have the moxie to vote for an independent, apparently they didn't. However, in fairness to my fellow citizens of the 183rd, I must confess that I only managed to man 4 districts with poll workers. Here in lies  another advantage of the party machines. The Democrat, with no qualifications what-so-ever, manned the district with party faithful and received 30% of the vote. Although they will celebrate Tom Wolf's victory, that willingness to blindly support any D candidate on the local level (same for R's) is most unimpressive. It makes me proud to be an independent.


Anonymous said...

"The Democrat, with no qualifications what-so-ever ..."

And just what exactly were your qualifications? I heard Gunther give you a chance to list them on the radio yesterday but all you did was stammer and create more dead air.

michael molovinsky said...

blog mentor@6:48, thank you for your 24th insult and threat this morning. btw, we know who will never be on gunther again

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky:

You should be congratulated for your run and for achieving the amount of votes you did, with very little allocated resources.

Unfortunately, you were not in my district otherwise i would have voted for you.

We really do need a stronger 3rd party, more independent voice in politics today and maybe your efforts and successes would inspire others out there.

Anonymous said...


I congratulate your effort. Engaging the political process is very often an exercise in futility.However, failure to do so is to be part of the problem. This non-involvement explains the sorry state of affairs, locally, statewide and nationally. You have provided a worthy example of civic involvement over time that is worthy of praise and respect.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

@8:03, yesterday some woman told me that she wanted to vote for me, but was afraid that voting for an independent was wasting her vote. i told her that voting for her second choice was wasting her vote.

scott@8:04, thank you

Marc Grammes said...

Mike, Thank you for your efforts. Quite honestly, you deserved better. I admire you for having the strength of character to work for a better solution to what has become a "follow the leader" Harrisburg. And I thank you for coming to Slatington and seeing the problems our local business owners like Darla's face. I did note that you managed to do well in Washington Eastern..where you bested the Democrat by 134 to 92. In the end it comes down to name recognition and money. Ideas and energy all too often take a back seat. Plus the district is drawn up that there is a distinct advantage to incumbents. You are a good man and a great civic servant Mike. I am sure we will cross paths sometime in the future. If that doesn't happen I am a better man for having met you.

michael molovinsky said...

marc@8:45, thank you, and i'm sure we will cross paths. i will remain engaged in issues throughout the district. although this blog is named "molovinsky on allentown", the entire lehigh valley is scrutinized. i welcome all my new friends from the "north country" to chime in. the comments do not appear until which time i get an opportunity to first review them, but all sincere opinion will be printed.

Anonymous said...

I agree that you should be congratulated for your effort and involvement, but I don't think it's fair to blame the parties or the voters for the result.

An independent candidate admittedly has an uphill climb to win an election. However, I think part of the difficulty is that by the nature of independents, the voters don't know where the candidate stands on the issues that are important to them.

I don't think that it's enough (for any candidate) to say Harrisburg is broken, and imply that by voting for a single independent candidate either party would get the message. I think any independent candidate has to make the case for how they'll help fix Harrisburg, which party they'd caucus with, and how they'd vote on the myriad of specific issues that they will likely be facing.

I'm not sure that happened in this race. While perhaps not ideal, voters considering either of the affiliated candidates at least have an idea of where those candidates stand on issues.

I'm glad to hear your going to remain involved in issues facing the district, and I hope you run again in two years. Voters will be more familiar with you and you can build on this year's campaign.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:32, i couldn't disagree more. collecting signatures to be on the ballot, i spoke with partisans who said that they will support the dem candidate without knowing anything about her, as long as she adheres to" dem principles." most of those principles have nothing to do with harrisburg, and are not in the purview of state government. had they been really interested in the issues you mention, they could have monitored the debate or my campaign facebook page, where i answered all questions on any subject. instead they supported someone who just moved here a couple years ago from california, exaggerates her bio, and had out of state poll workers yesterday. i have no respect for that mindless partisanship. i could have worked harder and spent more, but i don't think it would have effected the end result that much. there's a reason there's no independents in harrisburg, unless one won yesterday.

Dreaming of Justice said...

I for one am glad you ran for office. As another commenter noted, the EXAMPLE of a citizen trying to DO something about the intractable partisan gridlock in the state capital is itself a statement and achievement. True, more money could have been thrown around, but isn't that part of the problem? Face Book was a great communication tool, and I saw you successfully engage many hundreds of would-be supporters. The incumbent did not utilize Face Book, she had one of her staffers post bland statehouse updates. God forbid any actual personal opinions or content make it out to Joe and Jane Public for consumption. Politics itself is inherently a ridiculous public gamesmanship. Trying to change the community's fortunes for the better is heroic.

Good on you!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I congratulate your effort, and you did better than you should have done.

I know you wanted to get your message out there, but I believe it was a mistake to have appeared on the same station with the same person who hosted the Blog Mentor.

I also believe this race could have been won. Seven mailers, knocking on doors, etc. You decided against running full time. I don't blame you, but you basically hurt yourself by not doping some of the "politics as usual" by at least going door to door.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie@11:16, i'm not so sure that it could be done by an independent. the democrat did supposedly knock on many doors, had party affiliation and still only got 30%. had i been in a district like 132, which is essentially just a few block on either side of tilghman street in allentown, i would have knocked on doors. try knocking on doors from slatedale to bath, from rt. 22 to the blue mountain. 7 mailers would have cost $30,000. what you're suggesting is walk as far as johnny appleseed, and spend almost a year's salary for many people. truth be told the voters of the 183rd are seemingly conditioned to think that constituency service alone is good representation, and that julie is their favorite aunt.

Dreaming of Justice said...

Bernie is a knowledgeable person, but on this point, he is incorrect. Mike's voter turnout was almost twice the "expected" result for an independent candidate. Let's look at a historical example: Ross Perot, the 13th wealthiest man in the United States. Perot ran for the Presidency in 1992, who campaigned in 16 states and spent and spent an estimated $12.3 million of his own money.Perot employed the innovative strategy of purchasing half-hour blocks of time on major networks for infomercial-type campaign advertisements; this advertising garnered more viewership than many sitcoms, with one Friday night program in October attracting 10.5 million viewers. Perot selected a decorated former Vietnam POW (David Stockdale) as his VP running mate. At one point in the polls, Perot actually led over Clinton and Bush with 39%.
Perot denounced the inaction in Congress and Senate and in general, partisan politics, saying:

"This city has become a town filled with sound bites, shell games, handlers, media stuntmen who posture, create images, talk, shoot off Roman candles, but don't ever accomplish anything. We need deeds, not words, in this city."

When the media- local media, bloggers, columnists, TV opinion-heads, and others declare that independent candidates "have no chance" that adds to the problem. The entire deck is stacked and re-stacked. In the end, Perot only managed to bring in 18.9% of the popular vote. THAT'S HOW DIFFICULT RUNNING AS AN INDEPENDENT ACTUALLY IS.

When the guy who sent in a rescue team for his kidnapped employees made up of ex-special forces officers, who has billions to spend, who buys a copy of the Magna Carta because he is that enamoured of the concept of Law can't pull off a win, I think the difficulty level speaks loudly for a corrupt and irretrievably broken system.

Dreaming of Justice said...

Correction: The VP was James Stockdale. If I have this incorrectly listed, please correct it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, I applaud you effort and you never know unless you try.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

While I often disagree with your cynical tone and viewpoints, I truly applaud your efforts as well. Your passion and willingness to compete against the odds is most admirable. Many people talk the talk. You walked the walk.

I am disappointed, however, that you can't be a little more gracious in defeat.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:32, f.y.i. i had sent ms. harhart my congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Well done,sir.
I salute you.