March 5, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities, and two Campaigns

Listen on VPR -- Mayor discusses IRV and voter rejection of the instant runoff. 


    The mayor calls for a re-vote, heating up the IRV debate in the more modest sections of the city.  We need to move on to BT and the pension fund.  IRV has become a distraction in the city, and it is divisive in a way that serves only the embattled Mayor/CAO, not the beleaguered City/Taxpayers.  It is being used to divert attention away from substantive issues, it has set Dems against Dems, it embarrasses Progs,  -- and now the mayor divides "Naysayers" in the North End from Downtown "Burlingtonians," refusing to accept the citywide vote to repeal IRV.  


    Burlington will reject this ploy. The so-called "new" north end is the site of the first homestead in Burlington. Mayors, governors and many old Burlington families have lived there, as well as  Burlington civic leaders today. It was a real 52% majority vote that eliminated IRV and returned the city to a minimum 40% plurality voting system. This system has served Burlington well for decades and in recent history we elected mayors from 4 different parties. Statewide, in legislative races, simple plurality is the rule.
Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss discusses the repeal of Instant Runoff voting.....


Instant Runoff Election Results - Bianca Slota, WCAX, election night


Joyce McCloy said...

I thought the mayor supported the "50% Matters" campaign.that advocated to keep IRV. :}

Doesn't 52% vote to repeal IRV matter?

Lea Terhune said...

Unequal distribution of voters in voting districts allows the mayor to say 5 of 7 wards supported IRV, which sounds like a big majority! In fact the voter distribution was 42% wards 4&7, and 58% wards 1,2,3,5. We need to either create wards 8, 9, 10, and 11 in the North End, or combine smaller wards in the city so that voter distribution is more balanced. We can manage council size by having one elected councilor per district.

The IRV election "contractor report," referred to by the mayor in the VPR interview, was done by a contractor who worked for FairVote and he had been paid by FairVote to manage the Burlington IRV campaign in 2005.

So FairVote ran and paid for the 2005 campaign that instituted IRV in Burlington, FairVote partners with the IRV voting software Burlington uses, and FairVote uses Burlington to sell IRV to other cities. Outside money in the 2010 campaign to keep IRV came from FairVote and VPIRG.

Fact checking continues, and Repeal IRV will follow the money when the financial reports are in. Stay tuned!