Friday, November 10, 2006

Claiming victory in the face of defeat

Critics of toll roads have been very vocal and very passionate about making sure those roads never get built in San Antonio. As I've said before:
In short, Ms. [Terri] Hall and the San Antonio Toll Party seem to be low on reason and acumen and high on raw passion and invective. The debate is heated (check this link to Pat Driscoll's blog to see some of the arguments on both sides), but Ms. Hall's approach is blowtorch hot. I don't see her winning over many undecided citizens with that approach, but I don't think that's her ultimate goal. She just wants zero toll roads, no matter what anyone else may think.
With the recent election, though, many of the people the toll road critics supported for their anti-toll stances were defeated. Yet, the San Antonio Toll Party is still claiming victory. Here's their press release on the topic, and Ms. Halls direct words: “Our preferred candidates may not have won, but their opponents, with the exception of Perry who didn’t win a majority, said they were anti-toll.”

So, their candidates lost, but the Toll Party still won.

And here's Pat Driscoll's take on it.

It also helps to not count a list of "good guys/gals" as endorsements — a distinction the Texas Toll Party didn't make — which cuts the local endorsements by half. Of eight left, four won, which doesn't sound so bad.

Then, let's see, assume that all the people who voted for Kinky Friedman would have voted for the Toll Party's horse in the governor's race, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, had Friedman not run. Though Strayhorn still would have lost by a large margin statewide, she would have carried Bexar County, a "major accomplishment."

The Toll Party is going to great lengths to make it seem like they had a big impact on the election in Texas, when it seems that their influence was negligible at best. It's strange to think your cause prevailed at the polls when the candidates you supported didn't get enough votes to win.

But, it's important to remember the Toll Party seems intent on doing whatever they can to prevent the construction of toll roads, no matter what form they might take or where they might be built. Now that the election is over, it will be interesting to see what the Toll Party does next.

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