July 2, 2005

So much for the poll

This poll is junk. Thanks to some joker who thought it would be cute if they sent a candidates numbers through the roof to an absurd amount. Whoever is responsible is one f*cked up individual. It looks suspiciuosly as if some petty person, in a child-like fit of spite, decided that if they couldn't have fun, no one else would either. Too bad they couldn't just take their ball and go home without blowing it for everyone else.

Hope they enjoyed themselves, because the poll is completely bogus now. Not worth a damn. Sorry about that. So without further ado.... I'm yanking the poll.

O'Brien's numbers had been coming in at a legitimate rate up until this happened, as far as I can tell. Darrows numbers were strong, and had a few surges, but nothing outrageous.

Rather, I think it's someone who was cheating themselves, and when it was apparent they were not going to win, decided to make a point by giving O'Brian about 270 votes within a short period, thus making it obvious that someone was cheating. Nice, huh?

Shortly after noticing that the poll was vote bombed, I got around to checking my mail. I had a message from a viewer who infomed me how he'd stumbled across a method which allowed them to vote more than once. I'd suspected as much, but whomever was able to do this was not talking. But this confirmed what I already knew was happening.

This sort of crap makes me want to grab someone by the neck and scream "GROW UP!!" Whoever did this isn't a serious person in the slightest and ought to re-consider their meddling in politics at all.

I am not pointing fingers, as I have no proof of who was behind this. But I do have my suspicions. I imagine it will all come out eventually. (Oh joy!)

It was a very close and exciting race until some goon who was so proud of themselves for figuring out a way to vote multiple times then decided to do it about 300 times. Nothing like a good sense of restraint, eh? (Plus, what sort of moron would sit at their computer going through the steps to vote over and over again for hours??!! They really need to get a life.)

Guess I'll have to find a more secure poll, if possible. I could use a poll service that charges a fee, which would probably be more fool-proof. But unfortunately, the readers of this blog aren't the giving type, and only one regular has been appreciative enough to send a donation my way. No one else has even bothered to send a buck or two. Hell, they can't even bother to click on the ads and make a contribution with someone else's money. So that's probably out the window as well.

As first suggested by Rich Miller, I should find a way to charge people to vote. That would solve two problems at once.

If I sound surly and pissed, it's because I am. But I'll get over it.

But this episode as well as many others in the past leave me truly questioning whether we even have any adults among those that profess to be party activists. Or candidates or even elected officials, for that matter. The lack of seriousness is appalling, as is the complete willingness to cheat, weasel, spy, smear, and lie. (I know not everyone acts like this, just an unfortunate few.) It's worse than high school!

The stupidity, pettiness, and grasping behavior by some has truly been an ugly thing to witness.

Now I'll go back to my happy-go-lucky self again. Screw this. I need a drink.


At 7/03/2005 2:53 AM, Blogger Tom Benson said...

I am pissed off with you dope. I spent several hours over the course of a couple days to contact people and see what kind of numbers I could generate. Then after directing dozens of my friends and family and other new people to this site, only to have them read a bunch of crap and personal attacks directed towards me.

The early numbers looked good, but I saw no reason to keep working beyond my first couple of rounds of contacts to have people read this crap. So I quit working the poll. As you pointed out, I probably benefitted from some voting irregularities as well, and up until the end who knows what the two other "successful" candidates were doing to GOTV.

In the end we are talking about a mere possibility of what might happen in 4-6 years which is a political lifetime or two.

Thanks for running the poll, it at least has created a discussion amongst my friends and family and made them aware that I may have future political ambitions. But before this scenario plays out I hope to have helped re-elect our Governor and put a Democrat in the White House.

Have a great day and I may offer to guest blog under my given name and not hide behind an alter ego.

I also suggest that you ask the question in two parts and include a poll to vote for the incumbent n a contested primary. I think it is good for the Democratic party to have a contested primary every now and then. Clarence M. Darrow is to be commended for his guts to take on the incumbent and it reinvigorated many factions of our local party organizations. He fared amazingly well in that race against a funding deficit and the hard work done by dozens of very committed and passionate volunteers to give Pat a comfortable margin of victory.

Unfortunately, many supporters on both sides have not closed the ranks and taken advantage of an opportunity to grow our party. I worked FOR Pat Verschoore and not AGAINST Clarence M. Darrow in that primary. Pat campaigned as hard as any candidate I have ever known and his wife Char, was unbelievable and the list of dedicated and truly passionate volunteers who worked for Pat was amazing.

We need to learn a few things from the Republican political playbook, which they stole from us and we have forgotten how to do, such as not personally atacking and tearing down our fellow Democrats and then closing the ranks and working together to victory in the General election. And even when they resort to that tactic, as they did with Sen. John McCain, can you explain how he ever could have stood next to George Bush after Rove painted him as a raving lunatic too unstable to be President after his heroic service to our country in Vietnam?

And our good Democrats believed the lies they told about another veteran, who served honorably in Vietnam, John Kerry, who would be President today if Howard Dean would have closed the ranks after the primary or if John McCain would have thrown his support to Kerry.

We especialy need to prepare our party for a looming fight to keep our Congressional seat Democratic in the 17th District, re-elect Gov Rod Blagojevich and take back the White House in 2008.

I guess this is long enough to serve as my first guest post. I blame the NyQuil and the late hour and this flu bug I have had for three days for any misguided comments.

Congratulations to Mr. Darrow and Mr. O'Brien for their efforts in generating votes in this poll and in their recent elections. Both generated credible numbers and with a little luck we could have called them Mayor and Representative, respectively.

At 7/03/2005 6:27 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks Tom, for that pertinent and thought provoking post.

Send me an e-mail sometime so I'll know how to contact you for a guest post.

I'm very pleased with the response so far.

As to the poll, I think I've made my disgust at how it was gamed pretty clear.

I was very discouraged to see it fall apart literally within the last couple hours of the poll.

The fact is that the poll had no winner, though it did show that at least three of the listed potential candidates actually look at the blog and realized there was a poll running.

As to why you're pissed, I guess I'd be pissed too. But the fact remains that I simply noted that I'd seen your voting pattern behave in a way which clearly indicated that someone was loading up the numbers.

I also noticed that after that post, you recieved almost no further votes.

I suppose you'd argue that no one wanted to vote after that, but that seems odd. You'd made this big effort to get out the vote, wouldn't it follow that at least a few would straggle in after I called mischief?

It's all a moot point anyway, as some person or persons made the poll as phony as Bush's concern for our servicemen.

Amen on the unity thing. But God bless the Democrats. The only remaining party that actually allows discussion and argument among themselves. It's indisputable that the Republicans have benefited from their Stepford wife-like lockstep robotic party discipline, but I hope the Dems don't end up that way.

Your points about pulling together is very important. But if there's a time to hash things out amongst Dems, I suppose now is the time.
Once a candidate is picked however, there is literally no excuse for not working one's ass off for the nominee, no matter what personal grudge you may harbor.

The fact of life remains that not everyone can win, and people often do very nasty and underhanded things to win. It can't be easy, but I suppose you have to try to accept that as a fact of life, and keep in mind the saying, "Nothing personal, just politics" and try to support the nominee even if you got bruised in the process.

After all, politics IS a contact sport.

And for someone on Nyquil, you don't do bad.

At 7/03/2005 8:31 AM, Blogger illinoisone said...

Dope, I am sorry to see the poll failed. I agree maybe you should change the blog poll method to a more secure one if people can vote more than once with this current poll engine.

I suspect the other poll that you did was likely tainted as well with the same methods being used. If I were you, I'd yank the results from both off your blog in fairness to all the potential candidates now that you know.

Another problem with these polls is that you really have no way of knowing if the votes coming in are actually from the district the elected would represent. Heck you don't know if they are coming from California or timbuktu. So the results are always going to be skewed unless our techology is changed.

Who knows what the future will hold on that subject? We could have thumprint ID on touch screens in the future. That would solve it all.....

At 7/03/2005 8:44 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah, it's a real disappointment, that's for sure.
I've now found out how people were getting around the one computer, one vote rule, and will try to find a poll that guards against that method, though whether there is one out there is another matter.

As far as voters being from outside the district, I think that's less of a concern, as these polls essentially boil down to a contest as to which candidates can get out the most votes. Whether they all come from the area is almost secondary, as there is no way to do a poll in this manner and get results that even approximate the true level of support for a candidate.

I am however, working on devising a method for voting in which a person would have to pay to vote. This would discourage multiple voting and perhaps i could monitor the IP address of each voter to prevent multiple votes from a single computer.

I'll brainstorm on this and see if I can come up with a workable system.

At 7/03/2005 9:17 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Dope you are to be comended for your efforts.

Keep up the good work and keep trying. IT's been entertaining.

Tom Benson, good luck to you. YOu have learned a hard lesson that you have virtually no name ID compared to the other candidates in the poll since you have never actually run yourself for anything. To run for any office takes guts and tons of hard work and it's a lot harder than running someone's campaign as hard as that may be.

IT is a tough world out there so if you jump be sure your skin is tough enough-- and from what I have seen by your reactions to this situation I don't think you are ready yet. You got some training to do if you get your feelings hurt this easily.

Politics in bigger offices is a game for the big leaguers so try the minors like some small elections first to test your mettle - like a small office - trustee, alderman or something first to see if you can really do it.

As for closing ranks - yes that is good. But John McCain was NEVER going to help John Kerry. I can't believe you even thought that could happen for one New York minute Tom.

At 7/03/2005 5:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Tom and MS... In thinking of the calls for unity and not criticizing fellow Democrats, I must share one observation.

The fact remains that this blog also serves as a sort of "suggestion box."

What I mean by that is that because commenters are completely anonymous here, this is a place they can voice their concerns, express their gripes, voice their opinions of fellow Dems, and generally vent on matters within the party.

I don't have a particular problem with that, as it does serve a purpose.

But to those who bemoan the fact that the comments are often negative towards other Dems, just bear in mind that what you see here is simply a reflexion of people's feelings.

The people complaining or harping about fellow Dems will likely be willing to pitch in and help whatever Dem emerges, even if they use this forum as the equivelent of writing on the company bathroom wall.


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