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Election days can be as dizzying as a three-ring circus with all three acts going at once.
In the center ring of this month’s balloting circus was the New York City mayoral race, which spotlighted the dazzling, high-wire performance of Bill de Blasio. This progressive populist was practically unknown at the start, but his grassroots campaign, innovative policies, and loose style captivated voters and shocked the city’s establishment with a landslide victory.
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Then came the lion tamers of Coralville, Iowa. Oddly, the beastly Koch brothers got involved in this small town’s elections, roaring in with money and right-wing swagger. Americans for Prosperity, the chief political arm of the multibillionaire extremists, ran a high-dollar campaign to defeat Coralville’s mayor and two city council members. But the people rose up on election day and kicked the Koch boys’ kiesters! Voters sent the rich out-of-towners scampering away, voting overwhelmingly to return all three incumbents to office.
Next was a very strange clown act that took place in (where else?) Texas, where a right-wing, white Republican won a seat on the Houston community college board of trustees. Curiously, he won in a district that’s predominantly African-American. How did Dave Wilson do that? By pretending to be black. In his fliers (which had no photos of him, but plenty of smiling African-American faces he took from the internet), Dave claimed to be endorsed by Ron Wilson – a popular black political leader. Actually, though, it was not the black Ron Wilson from Houston who’d endorsed the white Republican. Rather, it was Dave’s own cousin Ron, who’s also white and lives in Iowa.
After he “won,” Dave was unapologetic about his fakery, vacuously asserting that all politicians are “out there deceiving voters.” What a clown.