Good morning! Before I get into today’s two topics, a note and an ask:
NOTE – Election Central is open! Go check it out on the site. I’ll do a general email blast about it later today, but you can go explore now – just get to it through the menu.
ASK – I’ve got some thought about Election Central in the Miscellanea section at the bottom. Please read those and reply if you’ve got ideas or thoughts.
On to today’s DT ...
As you’ll see when you look at Election Central, most candidates are going on all cylinders: they’re raising money, they’ve got a web site, they’re on lots of social media channels, and they’ve made sure the information about them and their campaign is easy to find and complete.
But you’ll also notice a strange phenomenon: ghost candidates, with no money raised, no web site, no social media connections. Or, they’ve got a web site that is only a shell, or they’re only on Facebook and the last post was in January.
Why? Why file to run, and then not run? Why pay the filing fee, and set up the KREF filing stuff, and then sit on your hands for months?
Perhaps, giving them the benefit of the doubt, they filed just so the Repub wouldn’t run unopposed. Their local party, or the KDP, asked them to run for that reason, and they agreed, but their heart wasn’t in it, or they never intended to do more than file. If that’s the case, then okay, I get it.
But the other possibility is that they filed just to see their name on the ballot. “Hey look, I’m on Ballotpedia! And my second cousin said they voted for me!” If that’s the case, it’s understandable, but it’s also damaging to our electoral system.
Ultimately, this issue comes back (like many things) to the local party. Most of our county parties do not have a bench (“what’s a bench?”), so when it’s time to file, they get whomever they can convince to run. They don’t work to line up people months or years in advance, which in my mind is one of the key responsibilities of local parties: finding, vetting, and training future candidates.
And, if you dig into the EC data, you’ll notice that the Repubs have very few ghost candidates. That could be because right now it’s easy to run as an R in this state. But I suspect it’s also because they are better organized.
Ghost candidates are both a problem and a symptom. Let’s hope that the Dem party takes the situation seriously, and works to change it.
The FBI raid at Mar-a-lago
This is all over the news this morning, so I don’t need to rehash it here. And as much as I want to take celebration laps over seeing the DOJ go after Trump directly, that can wait, as there’s one important aspect of this I want to point out.
Rumor is that the raid was over government documents that Trump had kept illegally. We know the National Archives folks already took 15 boxes of documents (!) back to DC from there some months ago. This raid supposedly concerns documents that Trump et al did not turn over at that time, and (again supposedly) some of them were marked Secret or Top Secret.
Here’s the deal: While we may all think that messing with document is the least thing he should be charged with, it’s actually a serious crime. It has prison time attached to it, but more importantly, it has this result:
Anyone who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies or destroys” official documents “shall be” disqualified — barred for life — from holding future federal office.
Yeah, that’s a pretty big deal. Couldn’t happen to a nicer former
- Election Central has sucked up all my time the past three or four days. Now that it's up, I'll be able to post more stories. So expect to see a burst of content today and tomorrow.
- Here's the thing I wanted your feedback on: Election Central is a service, a perk, for our paying members, both Patron and Partner. It's one of those things that people pay "cash money" for, as they say.
But, as noted, it has involved a lot of work, by both me and volunteers. So, is there a way to have that work be worth more by making the data available to more people?
I vacillate on it. On the one hand, the people who pay to keep the site going should get the benefit. On the other hand, lots of other people might want to use the data to be more informed, which is a Good Thing.
I've kicked around having a temporary membership offer just for EC. I've also thought about having some sort of Tip Jar that would give someone access to just that page. (Technically much harder.)
So, if you have thoughts about any of this, let me know. Thanks!
All for today. Thanks, as always, for reading – and for supporting the work.
The Daily Take is a newsletter containing observations and thoughts of publisher Bruce Maples, and is only available to Partners of Forward Kentucky. It is available via email, and is also available on the web site to logged-in Partners. The email version is sent to Partner members who have opted-in to receiving it via the Newsletters section of their profile.