I have noted a certain irony in the fact that the attempted Omaha recall of Mayor Jim Suttle has failed. (Keep in mind, at least one article reports that some mail in ballots remain to be counted, though it is apparently not expected to change the current outcome.) Of course, I want to say right off the bat that I formed no particular opinion on this point. I am wary of recalls, but I don’t live in Omaha anymore. I just didn’t research enough to decide one way or another.
Particularly, I was unsure what to think about this recall election since I found that I had friends on both sides of the issue. Now, very few friends that I talked to were ambivelent or apathetic about this. Almost everyone I talked to back in Omaha had strong feelings, whether for the recall or against. Perhaps not strangely, though it broadcast warning signs to me, which side someone was going to be strongly for could almost entirely be predicted by their policital party. If my friends were Republicans, they were almost certainly strongly for recalling Suttle. If my friends were Democrats, they were almost certainly strongly against recalling Suttle. I don’t know the full situation, but that suggests to me a partisan battle that I wouldn’t have wanted to get involved with anyway. Had I still lived in Omaha, though, I would have had to find out if that was the case or if I really thought Suttle was mismanaging the city so bad that he needed to be recalled. As I said, I didn’t have to decie and so I didn’t.
And Suttle hung on by the skin of his teeth too. The results? 37,233 voted against the recall, 35,786 for the recall. That’s 1447 people who decided to keep Suttle, though I still think for a town Omaha’s size that there should have been much more total votes for a city the size of Omaha. I mean, that’s a large auditorium or a very small concert hall. Not very many people at all. (A more updated article lists Suttle as 1652 votes ahead with 2000 absentee ballots remaining to be accounted for.)
And the irony? I should probably get to that. The irony is that the pro-recall Suttle people were upset with how much Suttle was costing the city (raised taxes, claimed excessive spending on various issues, and so on). However, the recall, which failed, apparently cost $900,000. That means the people who were upset about Suttle wasting money have just wasted close to a million dollars. Are they happier now? Admittedly, they tried to do something they thought was necessary and came damn, damn close. Still, I’ve got to think this is doubly upsetting for them since they were pissed about wasted tax dollars before and another million has just been flushed down the drain. Little pot and kettle action going on there in just how the situation played out, though not in the intentions.
Regardless of the irony, though, I think Suttle should take stock for a minute. Even if the election result is caused by a highly polarized partisan situation, he’s still got half the voters who are so mad at him they are willing to take him out. Maybe he may want to back off a little, unless of course that makes the other half want to take him out. That 1447 may not be much, but I’d think you’d want to be on the winning side of that 1447 difference.