Campaign Curiosities May 3, 2011Posted by Jamie Friedland in Politics.
Tags: 2012, Campaigns, Kalawao County, leprosy, Loving County, PACs, Paul Gosar, Political Action Committees, Politics, Rex Tillerson
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For the last few months, I’ve been working for a campaign consultant group. Others might find collecting and formatting electoral data boring, but I actually enjoy it. Every so often you come across a real gem or bizarre anecdote, and I finally have the time to share a few of these with you. Please forgive me for the following schizophrenic list:
The 2012 Republican candidate for Kentucky Attorney General is named Todd P’Pool [sic]. Evidently his family could not find a satisfactory Earth language to pick a name from.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), a dentist, took in about $631,000 of individual contributions to his 2010 campaign. More than half of those contributions were from other dentists. He also took the usual committee contributions, but fully 1/5 of his campaign was funded by dentists.
There are two different potential 2012 GOP senate candidates named Salmon – one in Vermont, another in Arizona.
Of the 100 current U.S. Senators, 9 of them were Eagle Scouts (3 D’s, 6 R’s). 2% of boy scouts become Eagles Scouts. Tangential side-note: the current president of the Boy Scouts of America is ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Ick.
While gathering historical election results from Massachusetts, I encountered numerous 3rd party candidates who did not earn a single vote; they didn’t even vote for themselves. Neither did their mothers, spouses, friends, or children…
Having scanned hundreds of FEC reports, it seems like every company has a political action committee (PAC) these days. The usual suspects you’d expect are all there, like defense contractors and oil companies and unions. But you’d be surprised by some. For example, Cracker Barrel has an active PAC that uses your breakfast money to support conservative politicians. I don’t find that particularly funny. I do, however, enjoy the Land O’Lakes Political Action Committee because it is abbreviated on some FEC filings to “LOL PAC”. There is also an ICE PAC, but it isn’t fun or even interesting in its longer form. Further, the Frat and Sorority PAC supports the ~160 current US senators and representatives who were Greek, ostensibly in hopes of earning their support for Greek life legislation should it ever arise? I don’t get it. But in case you were wondering, so far in this cycle, the brothers of the Kappa Alpha Order are contributing more than the rest of PanHel combined.
Finally, my favorite new piece of trivia: The state of Hawaii has five counties. Four of them are normal. The fifth, Kalawao County, is truly bizarre. It is located on the tiny Kalaupapa Peninsula on the northern coast of the island of Moloka’i. It is surrounded by high cliffs and the only land access to the entire county is a mule trail. But that’s not a big deal because the county is home to 90 residents. Why? Because it was a leper colony from the 1860s until 1969, when the disease was deemed treatable. Yet even once the quarantine was lifted, many of the patients chose to stay and they have been granted permission to live out their lives there (the 2000 census counted 147 residents). State law prohibits new people from moving there and children under 16 are forbidden to visit. The county is administered by the Hawaii Department of Health and has no county government except a sheriff who is appointed from among the residents. Kalawao is understandably the poorest county in the country (by median income). It is not, however, the least populous – that distinction belongs to Loving County Texas, with 82 residents. As I understand it they’re not lepers, they just live in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
So there you have it. Hopefully you found those mildly interesting.
For the last few months, I have not posted an original post here. When I have posted, it has linked a post at Change.org that I was not allowed to repost in its entirety. Lately I stopped even doing that. Today, I am happy to report that I am winding down my various commitments in advance of law school and, at least for the remainder of the summer, will be back to using this blog more frequently.