Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Your Governor in 2022 is Already Decided For You Unless .....

A lot of us haven't even given much thought to the 2018 election yet, especially the down-ballot races and ballot issues. But there are a few who never stop thinking about it because it's their profession. Politicians can maneuver and scheme to position themselves years in advance to get to higher office. And some of them are very good at it and connected to the right people to make it happen.

The idea that the Governor's race in 2022 could already be virtually decided unless you do something right now seems strange to most Arkansans, but it's a very reasonable claim. The Republican party now dominates state politics. With the condition the Democrat party is in, its not likely to be credible opposition. So unless some new political force emerges, whoever wins the GOP nomination is on track to be the next Governor.

Therefore if the GOP nomination becomes a "shoe-in" then the race for Governor is all but decided. Right now Lt. Governor Tim Griffin is close to maneuvering himself into position to be a shoe-in for the Republican nomination for Governor. He operates like the Karl Rove trained politician that he is, staying out of most controversies but telling activists what they want to hear at more private venues. At the same time, when something good happens, he displays an uncanny ability to hop in front of the parade and garner credit regardless of how little his efforts contributed to whatever good thing is going on. The media frequently seeks him with out for quotes to softball questions even if his office has little or no impact on what is discussed and there were dozens of other political figures they could have asked.

In other words, the media seems to be covering for him. It's like he has something on them. Come to think of it, his former Chief of Staff when he was in Congress, Carl Vogelpohl is known for keeping files on people. I don't know what's in them or if any dots connect, but I've noticed over the years that my hunches are at least as accurate as the establishment media's narratives.

Vogelpohl is now running the campaign in support of Issue One, the so-called "tort-reform" measure that would limit punitive damages so that giant out of state corporations could write off killing your mother as a cost of doing business. It is straight out of that scene on the airplane in "Fight Club" where the Edward Norton character confesses to his fellow passenger that he works for a big car company whose products often kill people if they don't do recalls. His job was to calculate the cost of a recall, then calculate the cost of the damages they would have to pay for killing people if they didn't do the recall. If the cost of the recall was higher, they didn't do the recall. Issue one would help companies like that keep the cost of killing people low and known.

Tim Griffin has come out hard in favor of Issue One even though as I have said his SOP is to remain motionless and quiet while controversial issues are raging, emerging only once things have settled down and there is credit to be harvested for some good news. I think this indicates the hold and influence that his former Chief of Staff, Vogelpohl, has with him.

Look, we saw how hard it was for an outsider to challenge a sitting governor in a Republican primary. Griffin won't be an incumbent Governor in 2022, but he will be close and he won't have a trial of tough decisions that could open him up to criticism like Asa Hutchinson had. Griffin has maneuvered his way to the doorstep of the Governor's mansion without ever really being tested in a difficult race. David Meeks was steered away from competing against him when he ran for Congress in the primary. He faced Joyce Elliot in the general election. She is a formidable state legislator, but lacked the crossover appeal with moderate voters needed to make that a real contest. His Democratic opponent last time was not someone that the Democrats wanted to run, they guy decided to file on his own. If his job as a Chippendale dancer in his youth didn't torpedo his chances (something from the files?) his more recent behavior did. Griffin has managed to get as far as he has never having faced a serious and difficult opponent.

The truth is these issues are often decided years in advance and if you don't think ahead years in advance you are going to be frustrated because by the time you get to make your "choice" your choice has been made for you. And its about to happen again and the only way you can stop it is to think as far ahead as they do and vote accordingly. Look, if you are OK with the election for Governor in 2020 being virtually decided for Tim Griffin right now, then go ahead and vote for him for Lt. Governor this Fall. A landslide in that race will just about put him in position to lock up the nomination without a serious challenge. But if you'd like to see someone else get a shot at it, then I suggest you vote for the nominal Libertarian Candidate and former Mayor of Tull Frank Gilbert. If Griffin gets a much lower amount of the vote than expected, it could trip up his coronation parade and open up the field for Governor in 2020, giving you the real choice you may have wished in times past.


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