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Friday, July 23, 2021
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Hey challengers, show me the money!

Editor’s Notebook: Hey challengers, show me the money!

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The most recent campaign-finance data for the Arlington County Board race appeared last week, and none of the four contenders is exactly raking in the moolah at a record pace.

That’s not really a problem for incumbent Takis Karantonis, who has the muscle of the Arlington County Democratic Committee behind him. But it is a problem for the three challengers – Audrey Clement, Michael Cantwell and Adam Theo – if they aim to be taken seriously once campaign season starts in earnest.

Kindly Uncle Scotty has said it for years and years: If you’re going to rage against the Democratic machine in Arlington and make a bid for office, be prepared to raise, at a minimum, $100,000, and preferably twice that.

Doesn’t mean you are going to win, necessarily, but it will prove that you have some backing in the community, local residents willing to put ducats into your campaign coffers. Without money, the fall political season will just be a series of debates with a pre-ordained outcome.

(One could, if one wished to tinkle away cash, self-fund to a five-figure or six-figure amount. That would solve the problem of having enough money to get your message out, but would still leave open the question of whether any actual voters are resonating enough to your campaign to make a donation. And flushing that much money into a campaign would decidedly call into question your mental stability. As Mel Brooks said of financing Broadway productions: Never put your own money into the show.)

We’ll see if the candidates spend the summer months seeking out donors to help fill their coffers. Time will tell.

MORE LOCKDOWNS ON THE WAY? The curmudgeon (which is a combination of a crank mixed with age and experience) in me believes it’s just a matter of time that the powers-that-be start rescind the relative freedom they have given us in the past few months, re-imposing COVID lockdowns even for the fully vaccinated.

After all, what government official (since Cincinnatus, at least) has ever willingly given up power that fell into his/her lap?

Hoping that is not going to be the case, but we have been at this rodeo before – the mainstream media whips things into a frenzy with its selective interpretation of health data and 24/7 fearmongering, panic sets in, then the gub’mint at all levels sweeps in to “do something.” And then, as the front-page headline of the Bezos Bulletin today says: “Masks are Back.”

The only thing that might prevent Virginia going the way of California (which is starting to see more restrictions again, at the local level at least) is there’s a big election on the horizon here in the Old Dominion. Democrats presently running the ship of state would be taking a huge political gamble with lockdowns, mandates and a new state of emergency, which may prevent them from pulling the trigger. But don’t be surprised if they do.

And don’t be surprised if the promise of 5-day-a-week in-class public-school instruction doesn’t quite materialize this fall in Northern Virginia. If so, you heard it here first.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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