Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

August 19th, 2006:

Is Wallace still in?

The most interesting thing in this story about how hard it will be for Shelley Sekula-Gibbs to win as a write-in candidate is this bit here:

Sekula-Gibbs may not be the lone Republican write-in candidate. Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, who earlier said he would run as a write-in candidate even if the party endorsed someone else, is “considering his options,” said Fort Bend County Republican Chairman Gary Gillen.

Wallace did not return calls.

“Considering his options”? That’s quite a change for the guy who announced his candidacy before the Thursday meeting of the Benkiser Gang. He’s acted like a candidate – like the One True Candidate – from the beginning. Now he’s “considering his options”?

I could spend a few hours doing dime-store psychology on Wallace’s motives and actions throughout this process. Bottom line is that if he thought running to the front of the class at every opportunity would bring rewards, he was sorely mistaken. I guess the question now is what he has to lose if he presses on in the face of threats of retailiation from the Republican hierarchy, and what could he have to gain by sublimating his desire to be a good team player. Is this Congressional seat all he wants, or is there something else that could satisfy him enough to make him go away? Will he look like a bigger fool if he folds his tent now, or if he sticks it out and risks a fourth-place, single-digit-percentage finish?

Heck if I know. I don’t believe his presence or absence in the race affects Sekula-Gibbs’ prospects very much. I want him to run if only to foment maximum discord in the district, but it probably doesn’t matter. Chris Elam thinks he’ll drop out on Monday (so as to maximize coverage of it). while Juanita thinks Wallace is being gently pressured to keeping considering those options of his. She also discusses the four sucessful write-in candidacies for Congress in the 20th century.

One last thing:

The 2004 Democratic candidate in the 22nd District, Richard Morrison, received about 67,000 votes, [Harris County Tax Assessor Paul] Bettencourt said, and Lampson probably will get that many Nov. 7.

Huh? Morrison got 112,034 votes in 2004, compared to DeLay’s 150,386, according to the Secretary of State. I have no idea where Bettencourt got that figure from. If you assume turnout is about 2/3 in a non-Presidential year as it is in a Presidential, then there will be about 170,000 to 180,000 ballots cast this year (in 2002 in the old CD22 there were 159,000 votes, with DeLay getting 100,000 and Dem Tim Riley collecting almost 56,000), and if you assume Lampson gets the same share as Morrison did, he’d be in the 70,000-75,000 vote range. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Lampson, with five times Morrison’s cash and operating in a more favorable environment overall, beats that pretty easily. I’d also expect Bob Smither to get at least 20,000 votes. That means Sekula-Gibbs has to get at least 80%, maybe 90% of the at most 100,000 remaining voters to write her name in, and that’s assuming that Lampson hasn’t already claimed a majority share of the electorate. What do you think the odds are of that?

Death to caps lock!

Dwight reports on the mostly laudable effort to ban the CAPS LOCK key. I say “mostly” because as some of Dwight’s commenters point out there are still some legitimate uses for the accursed thing. As the need to educate people about why typing in ALL CAPS is rude seems to have been effective in reducing the number of people who continue to do that, I’m not as passionate about this as I might have been a few years ago.

I actually think a better idea might be to relocate the CAPS LOCK key. I use the thing purposefully maybe a couple of times a year, but hit it by accident way more often than that, usually when I’m groping for the Shift key. I’d love to have a keyboard that had CAPS LOCK someplace where I’d never hit it by mistake, like maybe over where the Pause/Break key is now. (Does anyone even know what that key is used for nowadays? I can’t ever recall hitting it.) Make the Shift key bigger to fill the void left by CAPS LOCK, and I’d be happy.

What do you think? Keep CAPS LOCK where it is, kill it, or move it someplace else? Leave a comment and let me know.

“Like a giant iPod”

HouStoned makes fun of the local classic rocker’s new slogan, which is “Like a giant iPod filled with classic rock: 93.7 the Arrow.”

Don’t get me wrong: I love classic rock. Nothing quite lends itself to air guitar like a monster riff jammed out in 4/4 time on a Stratocaster. But what gets me, and I admittedly am not alone in this sentiment, is that the programming geniuses at Clear Channel have decided that there are only five Zeppelin songs worth playing, that there are only three Allman Brothers songs that have stood the test of time, and that you’d better love “Dust in the Wind” because we’re going to shove it down your throat.

I’ve been saying stuff like this about the limitedness of what I call “demographically appropriate radio stations” for awhile now, so I wholeheartedly agree here. Frankly, if the Arrow took all of the CDs that contain the songs from their stingy playlist, ripped them to an iPod and put it on Shuffle, that would make for an awesome format. Really, it’s okay to play those other songs, like “Love Ain’t For Keeping” or “Sister Morphine” or “Misty Mountain Hop”, once in awhile. The world will keep spinning on its axis, and regular listeners might actually experience a pleasant surprise.

Yeah, I know. It’ll never happen.