Benjamin Hodge Blames Money Not Meltdown for His Defeat
In an email sent after losing the election for Johnson County Community College trustee, Benjamin Hodge blamed the other candidates, voters, and even the election process.
Facing his second consecutive defeat for a seat on the JCCC Board of Trustees, Hodge blasted the winning candidates who had the audacity to spend money — money that wasn’t contributed to his campaign. Hodge doesn’t seem to understand that employed candidates have money to contribute to their own campaigns as do their employed supporters.
“If I merely had spent 1/5 the money (rather than 1/10) of my opponents,” he wrote, “we would have won.”
Hodge lashed out at JCCC’s board saying it consists of “seven far-left representatives.” Yet according to the Johnson County Election office, five of the seven trustees are Republicans and that ratio remains unaltered after the election.
- Melody Rayl – Democrat
- Don Weiss – Democrat (re-elected)
- Bob Drummond – Republican
- Stephanie Sharp – Republican
- Jon Stewart – Republican (re-elected)
- Jerry Cook – Republican
- Lynn Mitchelson* – Republican (did not seek re-election)
*Greg Musil – Republican (elected, replaces Mitchelson)
Hodge’s Blame Game didn’t stop there. He went on to pin his defeat on evil unions and lazy voters — or is it lazy unions and evil voters?
“But most voters didn’t vote,” Hodge told his supporters while accusing them of not working hard enough on his behalf. “If we had 20% turnout, instead of 9.7% turnout, and if a wider range of citizens had participated in this election, the end result would have been different.”
Finally, Hodge turned on the election process itself by pointing accusatory fingers at the structure of the county-wide race and the spring elections process that once worked in his favor.
The only person Benjamin Hodge hasn’t blame for losing the election is himself.
Read Hodge’s email below:
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Kansas Representative, 2006-’08
Trustee, Johnson County Community College, 2005-’09
Kansas Republican Party delegate, 2009-’10
Hodge thanks supporters and offers encouragement
No, we didn’t win this election. But we narrowly lost by one place, our opponents outspent us literally 10x over, and this 9.7% voter turnout election is the final catalyst for the Legislature to move spring elections to the Fall
In all honesty, the next best thing to winning, is losing with the peace and confident that you did everything that you could. Friends and supporters, here’s a run-down of why the news of this election is actually quite positive:
- I’ve seen our campaign’s polling numbers, compared to the other candidates. Our message was what most voters wanted. My favorability percentages were quite strong. But most voters didn’t vote. If we had 20% turnout, instead of 9.7% turnout, and if a wider range of citizens had participated in this election, the end result would have been different.
- My campaign raised and spent about $6,000.
- We came in fourth, out of nine candidates. We needed to get into the top three finishers.
- The first-place finisher spent about $60,000.
- The second-place finisher spent about $60,000.
- The third-place finisher was a union-endorsed Democratic incumbent.
- The voter turn-out was once again very, very low: 9.71%. Public employee unions have an enormous influence over these elections, making it hard for fiscal conservatives like myself to win.
- To compare, in 2005 when I received first place out of four candidates, the voter turn-out was 30%.
- It wasn’t just my campaign that didn’t win. Fiscal conservative candidates all around Johnson County lost.
- The three liberal establishment winners received merely 52% of the vote. The six other candidates received 48% of the vote. This was in NO way a vote of confidence for the incumbents.
- Early on, the best that some of my opponents could come up with was that I “can’t win.” That’s quite clearly not the case. If I merely had spent 1/5 the money (rather than 1/10) of my opponents, or if this was in ANY way a normal election with a wide assortment of voters, we would have won.
What I’m quite confident of:
- The Kansas Legislature is getting fed up, knowing that the state legislators, themselves, are relatively representative (in their views) of the general public, but while the local governments everywhere are dominated by big-government liberals. State legislators know that it is not at all healthy to our democratic republic, when we have a 2008 and 2012 elections with 75% turnout, when we have 2006 and 2012 elections with 50% turnout — but when April after April, we only see 9-11% of voters go to vote. I am confident that this will change soon. Indeed, a bill passed the Kansas House just this year, moving Spring elections to the Fall.
- The JCCC Board will soon move to districts. Right now, we have seven far-left representatives on the JCCC Board. They are all elected in an at-large fashion. Once we move to districts (six districts and one at-large chair), this will lower the influence of big-dollar candidates, and it will enable fiscally conservative candidates to walk door-to-door, meeting voters face-to-face.
If you didn’t see the results, you can view them here at the County Election Office’s Web page.
Keep up the good work. Thank you so much for your support.
Thank you for your time, as always.