Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Map Endorsement By Moss

As I previously reported, John Moss endorsed the NAACP's positions on both a ward system as well as their original proposed map for redrawing Virginia Beach's City Council districts. Moss' argument centered on economic lines, that the map did the best job (of the then-four) of putting similar neighborhoods together.

Moss' rationale hits at a fundamental point: Virginia Beach is no longer the homogeneous suburb that some on the fringe right (including insane Reid Greenmun) pretend it is. The only way you could start to get to the fringe right's "great suburban utopia" is to go wild with a Redevelopment Authority and level thousands of multifamily dwelling units, replacing them with single family detached homes. Not only does the fringe right staunchly oppose a Redevelopment Authority, but Virginia's current eminent domain law leaves such a strategy virtually impossible. The fringe right's only electoral hope then is to district off Virginia Beach's distinctly suburban areas, conceding the others. Moss apparently has figured that out.

Status quoers have a similar problem, but not quite as big. There are sectors of voters they shouldn't be able to win. They cling to the arcane at-large voting system, believing they can win a majority of the whole if they throw enough money at it. That won't necessarily work, as last year's Council At-Large field results show. (Bill DeSteph came in 2nd, with John Moss 3rd.)

The only way to accurately reflect the growing variety in voting patterns is to change our electoral system. What alternative you go to will also have significant policy implications in outlying years.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but your analysis on the At Large race is wrong.

Rita came in first with 44,000 votes, Desteph came in second with 40,000 votes and Moss came in third with 27,000 votes.

The big issue was the lack of money in the campaigns. I think most, if not all of the winners ran campaigns around $120,000 or less - in a November election.

Compare that to the May elections with Reeve, Schmidt, Kilmer, Lea, Maddox, etc. who were running much larger campaigns targeting a lot fewer voters.

The special election in November will be quite similar to a May campaign. Intuitively, we know that Moss will raise very little money, but the big question is will the big money get behind Sherrod?

Avenging Archangel said...

I corrected the point on the finish.

You can win with money - or an army of volunteers. The Hampton Roads TEA Party was manning the polls last November for DeSteph/Moss/Hedrick. Might have helped, but you need volunteers in the weeks prior, too.

Bob Dyer won in 2004 despite getting outspent about 3.5:1. Bob and Team Dyer were everywhere.

Which brings me to Sherrod. The big question is who else gets in the race? We could have a situation similar to the 2000 At-Large race, where a who's who lined up behind Rosemary Wilson because the thought of Robert Dean back on Council again terrified them. If we end up with a field where Moss has a serious chance of winning (i.e. no serious third candidate), Sherrod will be deluged with checks.

Anonymous said...

You can't compare Dyer's 2004 election to Moss in any election.

Dyer was running against Eure, one of the most unpopular ever. And Dyer comes across as a genuinely likable, nice guy.

Moss never comes across as a likable person. He is smug, superior and I felt like I was back in a lecture hall at my civic league's forum last year.

The Tea Party's major problem is aligning itself with losers like Moss and Dean. They need real leadership, not just a group of VBTA-ers with delusions of grandeur.