Friday, March 25, 2011

CLUCK Opinion: Let's Blame the Chickens?

An article in SRQ daily quotes one source as attributing Commissioner Dick Clapp's recent defeat to the the chicken vote, and apparently the anti-chicken vote at that. That's classic pretzel logic because both Dick Clapp and his opponent, Paul Caraguilo, stood on the same side of the issue, standing with the vast majority of citizen email, editorial positions, and public testimony, which strongly favored backyard hens. When two candidates have similar positions on an issue, voters are forced to look elsewhere for means to distinguish between them.

Stranger still because Caraguilo had been a strong backyard chicken supporter from the outset while Clapp's support clearly emerged only at the end of the campaign. If the supposed "chicken vote" had any negative effect on Clapp's candidacy, it might of been because his support came so late. 

There are also rumors that a couple of Clapp's former supporters (strident anti-chicken, sky-is-falling types) lost interest in his campaign even though the measure would have passed without his vote. If so, their mingy political petulance may have cost Commissioner Clapp his seat. 

But Occam's razor suggests it wasn't the chickens at all but rather obvious factors such as the general and city-specific trend towards ditching incumbents, and Caraguilo's significant (nearly $10,000) edge in fundraising that made the difference. 

This City has some major issues to address -- Let's stop pretending chickens are one of them. 

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