November 9, 2013

White conservative male wins in an "overwhelmingly black" district after running a campaign that implied that he was black.

KHOU Houston reports:
His fliers were decorated with photographs of smiling African-American faces -- which he readily admits he just lifted off websites -- and captioned with the words "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson."

One of his mailers said he was "Endorsed by Ron Wilson," which longtime Houston voters might easily interpret as a statement of support from a former state representative of the same name who's also African-American. Fine print beneath the headline says "Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins," a reference to one of Wilson's relatives living in Iowa.

69 comments:

Sayyid said...

A bunch of racists hoisted by their own petard. This should be done more often. Make dumb racist voters unable to tell which race they might be voting for so they have to actually look at positions on the issues instead.

The Godfather said...

In the mid-60's I was involved in a similar operation with the opposite slant. A Boston neighborhood was in the process of changing from Jewish to Black (or Negro, as we said in those days). Some Republican operatives wanted to get the jump on the ethnic change by getting Blacks elected to the Ward Committee. So they put together a ticket of Black candidates with Jewish-sounding names -- Freeman, Goldman, etc. The candidates campaigned in person only in the Black part of the ward; surrogates campaigned in the Jewish part (the surrogates were mostly college kids like me, and most of us weren't Jewish, but we certainly weren't Black). The Black ticket won a majority of the seats. Because of the changing racial make-up of the ward, there was no concern about a backlash at the next election.

Sorun said...

"His razor thin margin of victory, only 26 votes, was almost certainly influenced by his racially tinged campaign."

I'd say he un-raced the campaign instead. What if we didn't know the sex, race or religion of candidates. For starters, Obama wouldn't be President.

Quasimodo said...

low information voters get what they get

Renee said...

This makes me uncomfortable.

Inga said...

Fraud. So what else is new in Texas and the Republican party? We saw fraud here in WI by Republican operatives also during the period in which signatures were being collected for the recall.

n.n said...

Sorun:

That is precisely what he accomplished. This is further evidence that skin color and principles are either independent or exhibit low correlation when the bias is removed.

Now, if the Republicans remain true to their principles, and loyal to their constituents, then this could herald a new day for America. They should begin with removing the commodity label affixed to human life, which has extensive, if not always obvious, consequences for survivors.

Skyler said...

The election of Obama already proved to those still in deni that blacks are the real racists.

Inga said...

What does it say about the Party that touts Family Values? So fraud is ethical now if Republicans can get themselves into office? Desperate men do desperate things I suppose.

Unknown said...

Inga, please explain how this is fraud. Define terms and all that.

Oso Negro said...

Oh, no! What if they like his representation? There goes the neighborhood!

Scott M said...

Sayyid said it best.

n.n said...

Skyler:

It may be inherent, but it may also be the product of careful cultivation. Black Americans are certainly tribal; but, so are all people, if perhaps not with such conspicuous uniformity. There is a certain comfort in common things. The question is if their tribalism can be recharacterized around principles. Wilson has demonstrated that we have more in common when the bias is removed.

YoungHegelian said...

@Inga,

Did Wilson lie about his stand on the issues (e.g did he claim to want to increase some type of government assistance that he intends to try to cut back)? Did he hide & never talk to the press so no one knew he was white?

He won by 26 votes, so he didn't seem to fool very many people, but clearly enough.

But, really, are we supposed to sympathize with black low-information voters who wanted to vote on race and got hoodwinked? What would I say if white conservative low-information voters voted for a black guy because they wanted to vote for a white guy above all? I'd say "fuck 'em, the racist bastards", that's what.

Sorun said...

It's not apparent that he actually lied about anything. Unlike Obama.

fivewheels said...

It's a hilarious prank, on the order of getting deliberately silly gibberish published in a snooty poetry magazine or the Sokal Hoax.

But that article is terrible. Does it ever actually make clear what office this was an election for? Freakin' "journalists."

Broomhandle said...

Certainly not fraud by any definition. Certainly hilarious.

Michael K said...

How many remember the movie Soul Man ? I'll bet Inga really hated that fraudulent movie ! All the lefties did.

Rocco said...

Wilson must have been inspired by watching old Disney movies starring Eddie Murphy: The Distinguished Gentleman

alan markus said...

Inga said:

So fraud is ethical now if Republicans can get themselves into office?

What the hell does this have to do with Republicans? This was an election for a nonpartisan Board of Trustees position for the Houston Community College System.

Renee said...

It makes me uncomfortable on several levels. One a candidate who hides his face. Two low-info voters.

Out city council is nonpartisan. No letters next to any candidates name. We rely on patronage instead, I guess. But face recognition is big, some campaign really was just a face and a name.

Not one voter Googled the guy? Not one reporter in local news covered his campaign techniques?

How is this different the voting straight down the party line. My views can land me in both a D or an R, but if I ran as a D it would be a 'fraud' based on my views on abortion and marriage.

Sorun said...

What if a black candidate "implied" that he was white to ... you know, fool all of those white racists who won't vote for a black person. If he won, he'd be a civil rights hero.

But let's not hold whites and blacks to similar standards.

Renee said...

Sorun...

Remember when anyone with the last name of Kennedy 50 years ago ran for local office....

fivewheels said...

It is the perfect scam. Because any purported victim has to stand up and say, "The only I reason I voted for him was because I just blindly vote for black guys!" There's no other basis for "fraud." Hence no moral basis for objection, because by any measure a racist vote is worse than an informational sin of omission.

Honestly, in addition to being funny, this is wonderful. It shines a light on something awful, exposing a genuine problem in society.

fivewheels said...

And Renee, a racist vote is much worse than a party-line vote, though the impulse largely comes from the same place. At least political parties are defined by what we're supposed to be voting on: the issues. Just going by race (or voting for a Kennedy, or Hillary because she's a woman) is just sick.

Eric said...

For those that can't find humor in this, get bent.

Lyle said...

Ha. Smart man.

RecChief said...

hahahahahahaha

The Godfather said...

The video says that the election was for a six-year term on the Houston Community College Board. This may explain why no one paid enough attention to the election to spot the misdirection.

I still can't figure out the 2012 presidential election.

Rusty said...

Using democrat tactics against democrats.
Priceless.


You might want to stop digging now Inga.

eddie willers said...

Remember when anyone with the last name of Kennedy 50 years ago ran for local office...

There was an appliance chain many moons ago named Kennedy & Cohen.

There was no Kennedy and there was no Cohen...they just thought they'd do better with the idea of an Irish and Jewish partnership. Plus it made their jingle a no brainer: "You should be goin' to Kennedy and Cohen".

And then you have Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad.

An Irish guy that felt he do better business if people thought their lawyer was a member of the tribe.

"Better Call Saul!"

Clyde said...

They just voted for a man they thought was a brother, then they found out that he was just from the family of man. It will be interesting to find out if they get better representation from him than they would have from someone who shared their same pigmentation, say this Obama chap.

TML said...

Greatest politics story ever in the history of the world.

Smilin' Jack said...

Hee--this what Romney should have done. I bet it would have worked.

Michael said...

Inga. If you like what you won with your lie you get to keep what you won. Period.

Cedarford said...

Hilarious. Now I hope the pack of dumb black racists that voted only because they thought he was black start hollerin and protesting.
Then you can feed them sympathy and tell them that is exactly how Southern "crackas" would have felt if they unwittingly voted for a black guy who was passing for white.

Big Mike said...

So fraud is ethical now if Republicans can get themselves into office?

@Inga, I think you meant to write "fraud is only ethical if it gets a Democrat elected."

Michael K said...

"There was an appliance chain many moons ago named Kennedy & Cohen."

When I was in high school, I worked for a drugstore named "Kennedy Drug Store." I was the only Kennedy associated with it.

EDH said...

If voters thought both candidates were black, and they voted for Wilson, they clearly wanted a change.

And so did Wilson.

Maybe he'll do a good job shaking things up for the betterment of his constituents.

tim in vermont said...

It wouldn't have been a lie if he had said "If you like my skin color, you can keep my skin the same color... period."

Wayworn Wanderer said...

Too bad, liberal whiners. You can't say we don't have a sense of humor here in Texas.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Clyde,

They just voted for a man they thought was a brother, then they found out that he was just from the family of man.

Amen to that. Well said.

Inga, I don't see how this is "fraud." I'd agree that "Endorsed by Ron Wilson" is underhanded, the fine print notwithstanding. But the man made his positions known; it's not as though there were no ways to figure out what he stood for. Apparently the "fraud" was that Black people thought he was Black. Fraud!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Bear in mind the legendary candidacy of Alvin Greene for a US Senate seat in South Carolina in 2010. Allegedly, a substantial number of primary voters thought he was soul singer Al Green. Whoever his supporters actually were, they were enough to win him the Democratic nomination for a Senate seat, despite his having neither campaigned nor indeed done anything about the race beyond getting his name on the ballot.

Sayyid said...

Interesting that Inga uses the word "fraud." To be fraudulent, among other things, something needs to be a misrepresentation of a material fact. "Material" in the legal sense means, basically, significant in a way that could change a reasonable person's mind.

In other words, to complain that this was fraud one must first contend that to you, skin color alone is something that would change your vote.

Conclusion: Inga, stop being a racist.

David said...

95+ percent of blacks voted for Obama, twice.
If that's not racism, nothing is.

eric said...

I need to write my book: Why are black people racist?

With the subtitle, "And why do white people allow it?"

It practically writes itself.

Aarradin said...

Just a few years ago, Rich Whitney ran for office in Chicago, on the South Side.

They 'accidentally' misspelled his name on the ballot:

Rich Whitey

Guess how he did?

jeff said...

Fraud as in some voters ignored all issues other than the race. And since he is not black, to people like Inga, where race trumps all, this is fraud.

Unknown said...

Deceptive? Yes. Fraud? Hardly. It's an amusing situation and demonstrates just how much racism is out there in the black community. If you are claiming that deceiving people about their race is election fraud, then you admit that black voters are racists and won't vote for anyone who isn't black. And if they won't vote for anyone who isn't black, is that any better than a Klanner who won't vote for anyone who isn't white? If anything, this just demonstrates that voting along racial lines is still a very huge problem.

Danthemason said...

What came first, the casual, low info voter or the opportunistic politician?

Are LIV's entitled to burden the bureaucracy with chronically dumb ass representation?

The fault is not in our stars…...

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

OK, a 26 vote margin in election for a community college trustee. What was the total vote?

After a 20 minute internet search, including the Houston Chronicle and Houston Community College, the best I got was the percentages of 51.1% for Wilson and 49.9 for Austin.

If 26 votes is 2%, then total voter turnout was 1300.

And Wilson's 51.1%? It's the same percentage of popular vote as Obama's "mandate" in 2012.

Just sayin' - Hammond

jonreece said...

Leave aside, for a moment, questions of racism and low-information voters. Elections are, in theory, the opportunity for the public to "interview" candidates for employment.

During his "job interview", Mr. Wilson deliberately went out of his way to deceive the community. You can argue about the photos, but the endorsement of Ron Wilson clearly shows that he intended to deceive. It is not a blatant lie, but a lie of misdirection.

How would you feel if you found out that you had hired an employee based on deliberately tailoring a deceptive resume targeting your biases? Would you praise him for his cleverness, or fire him?

While showing that racial bias cuts more than one way is useful on some level, I am very worried about how our political system all the way around is becoming "grab what you can however you can." In the long run, this hurts all of us, regardless of our own politics.

TWM said...

He obviously got the idea from that Eddie Murphy movie, The Distinguished Gentleman. It's not fraud by the way. And they guy isn't a Republican.

What it is, is priceless!

mishu said...

Reminds me of the LaRouchies in Illinois in the 80s.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Would also be interesting to know if the voter turnout in recent past Houston Community College Trustee elections for that district.

Also if this and recent past HCC Trustee elections have been at same polling place and same ballot as other elections on the same date.

Previously in Texas elections for City, School District, Water District, etc. might have required voters to go to several different polling locations on the same voting day.

Recent laws have required these minor political subdivisions to use the dates and locations of major elections.

Notwithstanding that, our local Navigation District continued it's tradition of Stealth Elections in 2008 by having a ballot separate from the national-state-county combined ballot.

iowan2 said...

I haven't read all the comments, but the 1st thing to my mind is the Jr. Sen from Mass. Senator Fauxchahantus
Identifying as something she is not for personal gain.

That seemed to be ignored, at best celebrated at worst. And, celebrated in the Ivory towers of Acadamia for sure.

I-RIGHT-I said...

This is just too funny and too good! This race was for a seat on the Houston Community College School Board by the way. "The End Justifies the Means" is what I've heard over and over again by the Left. At least now there's someone on the board that will so something right for the majority Black and Hispanic student body in that system. That guy deserves a medal.

Richard Fagin said...

Now if we could just find someone else to pull off the same stunt next year and get Sheila Jackson Lee booted out of office........

moistwilly said...

Inga, are you really Graeme Zielinski?

The_Bad said...

"How would you feel if you found out that you had hired an employee based on deliberately tailoring a deceptive resume targeting your biases?"

One would think an employer would perform a modicum of due diligence prior to hiring. In this particular case, the diligence was simply to read all the text.

autothreads said...

Inga, since you're on the topic of fraud:

"If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.”

If Pres. Obama was an executive of a company and lied the way he's lied to the American people, Eric Holder's Justice Department would indict him for fraud.

alan markus said...

@ Iowan2

but the 1st thing to my mind is the Jr. Sen from Mass. Senator Fauxchahantus

Awesome - I didn't even think of that! The guy in Houston sounds like a political gadfly - bet he got his inspiration from Elizabeth Warren.

Renee said...

She isn't a Jr. Senator....

Kerry step down, so Markey is now the Jr.

Rseven Rocket said...

Renee said: "It makes me uncomfortable on several levels. One a candidate who hides his face. Two low-info voters. "

Low information voters exist, if you want to win, you must accept reality.

Archie said...

What a beautiful day!

CTimbo said...

In a democracy you get the government you deserve. In this case, these Lo Fo voters will be getting better than they deserve.

Bill said...

@ Quasimodo...

ALL voters are low information voters. If you lend your support to a clearly corrupt system, then you are as low on actul facts as one can be.

Ted Torgerson said...

He also accused his opponent of having a daughter who was a known thespian.

EMD said...

But, really, are we supposed to sympathize with black low-information voters who wanted to vote on race and got hoodwinked?

'Hoodwinked. I see what you did there.