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Artur Davis vs. The ADC

by: Dardango

Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 19:29:37 PM CDT

Artur Davis- Joe Reed

It would be easy to look at yesterday's defeat for Artur Davis as simply a case of Joe Reed's ADC (Alabama Democratic Conference) having its way, but it would be as wrong to assume that, as it was to assume that black voters would automatically vote FOR Davis because he is black.

The fact is, that after punching the ADC in the mouth, which I'm glad he did, Davis didn't seem to have a real plan for connecting with black voters, which was still possible, despite the rift with the ADC. Believe it or not, there's no overwhelming love for Mr. Reed or the ADC in the black community, of which I'm aware.

The fact is, Davis never really did connect with many voters, black or white, on an emotional level, something Emory professor Drew Westen implores Democrats to emphasize as much as their intellectual firepower or logical "ten-point plans". 

Just last week, a family member saw Davis speak at the Jeff Davis High School graduation and she told me that he just never reached the predominantly black audience at the ceremony. He only spoke about ten minutes, but she told me the audience was more captivated by one of the student speakers. Even though he actually went to the high school he was speaking at, the crowd, she said, never seemed to feel like he was one of them.

Whether it's true or not, I always had a gut feeling that there was a sense on the part of the Davis camp that he would get the black vote automatically. I'm also glad that mythology was put to rest yesterday, though I'm not celebrating in any way Davis' loss.

In fact, despite my own serious issues with Davis' votes on the "bankruptcy bill", net neutrality and the healthcare bill, I voted for him, not because of his race, but simply because I thought he had the better of two less-than-stimulating Democratic campaigns. 

Yeah, the ADC snub didn't help, but in my opinion it wasn't a fatal blow that a candidate with more personal appeal could not have overcome. Perhaps, one day, a different candidate will kick open the door that Davis knocked on with his candidacy.


Dardango :: Artur Davis vs. The ADC
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We did a "post-game" interview (4.00 / 1)

with Congressman Davis this afternoon.  Mooncat has the audio and will be posting it in detail later, so I won't go into detail except to say that he didn't blame any staffers for what did or did not happen (refreshing change).  He took responsibility for being unable to make his case to the voters in the best manner possible.

A class act from the beginning to the end.  It's a terrible loss for the state that we won't recover from for quite a while, I'm afraid.

It's hard to be optimistic and take the long view when such a once-in-a-lifetime chance (or so it seems now) has slipped away.  But of course, things always look the worst right after the disappointment.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

Artur Davis is definitely a class act (4.00 / 1)

"The buck stops here."  That's exactly the kind of person I want to support for public office  And I would support him again in a heartbeat, although I doubt there will ever be another opportunity.

Here's what I think:  Ron Sparks has a one word platform - gambling.  Davis had a big picture view of how this state could be transformed, but he never got it down to a 12 word elevator pitch.  In the face of what I suspect was a very strong whisper campaign, supporters didn't have a succinct counter-argument for Davis.  Result: voters stayed home or went for Sparks.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
I agree... (4.00 / 2)

He gave a very classy departing speech last night.  There was a finality to his words that made me wonder whether he will ever run for office again.





"This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. This is about the whole system being against us." - an Occupy protester at Obama's Des Moines office.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for finding my words (4.00 / 2)

I have been troubled lately by the ADC, New South and especially Joe Reed.  Artur was damned if he did, and damned if he didn't by courting either of them!  And like you, I thought it took guts to say "I don't need you to tell me that I'm Black, care about Blacks" but instead, his campaign said, "I am like you and this is 2010 and I care about all Alabamians. I care about a better Health Care Bill."

 My signature says it all.  I am not prejudice, but the very committees that I used to hold dear are sounding prejudiced to me, and I don't like that, am not afraid to say it, and am not afraid to withold my contributions from them.

 Artur has my utmost respect and is a brilliant man.  He wasn't perfect, but in his position, who could be in Sweet Home Alabama as the first Black Man (deservedly so) to win the gubernatorial nomination.  The ADC and New South will reap what they sow.  I saw some of their handouts from yesterday's election, and Artur wasn't Black enough, didn't consult African Americans, blah blah blah.  I'm done with them.  



"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels."

Dardango, you are so incredibly correct. (4.00 / 1)
Artur Davis is an incredibly intelligent man who attended Harvard Law School. His loss had nothing to do with the ADC. It is easier to connect with him on an intellectual level. I voted for him with no regrets. He still has much to give the state. His intelligence and long stays in the north may have made him overestimate those of us who occupy the south.

I respectfully disagree with you about (4.00 / 2)

the ADC and New South not making a difference in the Black Vote not voting for Artur....many of my Black friends simply did not cast a vote for governor, for they felt TOO GUILTY not following their heart but are so used to following the ADC and now New South.  

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels."

[ Parent ]
I would never say... (4.00 / 2)

the ADC didn't have any effect, but I think a lot of the loss was the result of things that had to do with the candidate himself and strategic choices.

I think it would have served Davis better to have built up a name for himself by running for AG or LG and then Governor at some point. People across the state would have been lot more familiar with him as a household name and that would have positioned him in much better stead as a gubernatorial candidate.

"This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. This is about the whole system being against us." - an Occupy protester at Obama's Des Moines office.

[ Parent ]
Wait his turn so to speak? n/t (4.00 / 1)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
He swings and he misses the point... (4.00 / 2)

It's about the plain fact of people, regardless of race, having some sense of who you are that's developed over some period of time, something you can't possibly foster in 30 second ads over a period of weeks.

When people are referring to you as "Arthur", when you're name is Artur, there's a lack of familiarity. For a statewide office, that familiarity is hugely important, that's what I'm saying. 

"This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. This is about the whole system being against us." - an Occupy protester at Obama's Des Moines office.

[ Parent ]
Endorsements (4.00 / 2)

Thank you guys for your endorsements.  Being new to Alabama, You all helped me better see the issues from a progressive view.  I'm sorry things didn't turn out the way we'd hoped.  We all just have to fasten our seatbelts and hope for the best as we go forward.

I have been on vacation and Left in Alabama has been great keeping me abreast of the issues/election.  Again, thanks to you all!

~Democrats~   Reasonable, Not Radical!

Thanks, Joanncrtt! (4.00 / 1)
For joining the conversation.  We're all smarter together than we are individually.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Speaking of ADC... (0.00 / 0)
no mention around here of Taze's fake ADC ballots yet?

Were they Taze's or were they someone else's (4.00 / 1)

How many different ADC ballots were floating around out there?

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams

[ Parent ]
I worked the polls Tuesday morning (4.00 / 1)
and the Shepard people I my polling place weren't handing out sample ballots.  But that's the only data point I have.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
I don't totally get the problem here (0.00 / 0)
Lots of candidates were handing out sample ballots -- the ballot is the same for all of them.  Is the problem that these were on blue (or is it yellow) paper like the ADC's?  Or that they had the name of some different organization (with the initals ADC) on them?  Those things don't seem to be either illegal or immoral to me.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
The organization they listed didn't exist (0.00 / 0)

They were printed on yellow ballots just like the ADC except where ADC says Alabama Democratic Conference, these said Alabama Democratic Committee (in the exact same font). The address listed was the state capital and there was no fine print listing who paid for them.

The only three names that were changed were Davis, Shepard, and a local judge.

I thought it was pretty classless, unethical, and, considering that some candidate possibly paid for them and the organization didn't exist, possibly illegal. You would have felt differently if someone had passed out fake ACCR (perhaps standing for Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Revision) literature endorsing Ron Sparks.

[ Parent ]
I'd think it was pretty low, but given the state of our laws ... (0.00 / 0)

Not necessarily illegal.  And you know, the Constitutional Revision PAC (or something like that) did give Ron Sparks a bundle of money.  And they don't support real CR any more than he does, but the names aren't required to be descriptive.

You've seen this ballot and are outraged.  If I saw it (can you post a link or an image?) maybe I'd be outraged, too.  But even if it was intended to deceive, it sure failed spectacularly.  Voters just aren't that damned stupid.  It seems like whoever came up with this idea got what they deserve already.   

Maybe you can answer this question I asked in a different post: Are the ADC (real and fake ones, lol) and New South Coalition required to disclose their election related spending?  I've looked on the Sec. of State's website and can't find reports for them.  Do you know their PACronym?

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Just so we're clear (0.00 / 0)
Are you seriously arguing that that ballot was not a deliberate attempt to mislead voters that it was the ADC sample ballot?

[ Parent ]
I don't hear anyone arguing that. (0.00 / 0)
I hear a question about who was responsible.  And I hear a question as to whether Alabama's screwed up criminal code would even make it illegal.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
race (4.00 / 1)
Race is a monster issue and it was in the davis-sparks campaign. it was in the obama campaign but Obama took care of it in the Jeremiah wright speech. i thought artur should have brought it out in the open, challenged voters on it, talked about it and reed -- made reed his jeremiah wright.

Artur lost it with his Sparks race discrimination ads (0.00 / 0)
That really was the icing on the cake for his defeat. It turned off a lot of voters black and white that I talked with.

[ Parent ]
That was true though, and he had more than an average # of complaints (0.00 / 0)
Don't you think the Republicans will bring it up again in the fall?  Sexual discrimination in the workplace is a major turnoff to a large chunk of Democratic voters.  I would have a very hard time supporting an employer with discrimination complaints and I'd need a much more thorough explanation than "employees complain."

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
i think he could have stayed away from it (0.00 / 0)
not sure that it made a difference but it turned a lot of folks off.

I know it was a tough loss for the Davis supporters, but the campaign was doomed after the vote against health care. Artur's ambition blinded him. He was too calculating and I knew from the moment he voted the way he did that it was nothing but a political statement. He quit being a Congressman after Obama became President. He should have stepped down to run for Governor.

The voters of 7th CD have suffered from their lack of representation for the last year and a half.  

[ Parent ]
I think most people need more than... (0.00 / 0)
"complaints were filed" to turn against a candidate. If Davis had specific damning information about Sparks' behavior, it might have made sense to run the ad. As it was, the ads clearly turned off voters.

[ Parent ]
It wasn't JUST the ADC (0.00 / 0)
it was the miners union, the teachers union, etc. The additive effect of running towards a mythical center.

Website || Twitter

One interesting thing though (4.00 / 1)

The ADC made a huge blunder of its own by backing Herman Thomas's campaign.

If you look at the results in Mobile, you'll notice there is some overlap in black precincts between Sparks and Thomas performance and Figures and Davis performance. Its not an exact one because Thomas got whipped but Davis still got 60% in Mobile and he tended to run stronger in the stronger Figures precinct.

 The fact that Figures was able to trounce Thomas as she did and that her organization obviously helped negate the anti-Davis march saw in the rest of the state suggests that black politics in Mobile is becoming like white politics in Mobile, a matter in and of itself and less influenced by state organizations and that itself could have consequences for state politics, especially if Mobile's black vote becomes its own distinct entity apart from groups like the ADC and the NSC. (and the ADC was just embarassed by this one).

didn't know that ADC backed Thomas (4.00 / 1)
ADC backed Vivian when she ran for U.S. Senate.

What is the story on this one?

[ Parent ]
I don't have a link ,gradyw, but that's been the story down here. (4.00 / 1)
all along.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
It's simple really (4.00 / 1)

The minute John Tyson began investigating David Thomas the ADC put a target on his back. Vivian Figures never got involved with that. Herman Thomas spanks her son. She testifies against him and of course, publically sides with Tyson.

 That's what it was all about. The fact that they could go out and get the black vote in Mobile to exceed what Davis got everywhere else in the state tells me that Figures and Jones matter more for who gets what then any state organization. Given that the county can decide a primary thats big.

[ Parent ]



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