What happens in Jacksonville, stays in Jacksonville…

One thing is clear: Mike Hogan was an extremely flawed candidate. He was afraid of his own shadow, was not highly accessible during the campaign, and refused all but one debate. Hogan was also something of a, shall we say, wing-nut.

…or does it?

The blame game is running fast and furious in Jacksonville over who is responsible for Democrat Alvin Brown’s win over Republican Mike Hogan.

One thing is clear: Mike Hogan was an extremely flawed candidate. He was afraid of his own shadow, was not highly accessible during the campaign, and refused all but one debate. Hogan was also something of a, shall we say, wing-nut.

On the subject of abortion, Hogan showed how much of an extremist he is. In February, the Florida Times Union reported, “Hogan added that the only thing he wouldn’t do was bomb an abortion clinic, then the law-and-order advocate added, with a laugh, ‘but it may cross my mind.’”

It doesn’t take a PhD in politics to realize that kind of comment is enough to drive turnout for the left and suppress turnout on the right – at least among country club Republicans. In fact, such a statement may actually drive turnout among Republicans – to vote for the Democrat.

A fish rots from the head down and the reason Mike Hogan lost is because his head was rotten and stinky.

But recognizing the obvious isn’t the forte of the Jacksonville-area tea party groups – at least one of its leaders who is pointing fingers at the GOP. In a widely distributed e-mail, Billie Tucker, the head of the First Coast Tea Party ripped Republican Party efforts with a childish rant.

Tucker claimed GOP lawyers “couldn’t figure it out” when called upon to consider Hogan’s options for a recount.

She went on to say, “The left plays dirty and they are smarter than us.  Period.”  In the next sentence she added, “The right needs to understand how to play like they do.”

Just play dirtier than your opponent, now that’s the American way the tea party can be proud of!

Don't tell her, but Billie Tucker's (pictured) party was over before it started.

Tucker then claims how many more foot soldiers (or as she refers to them as “boots on the ground”) the tea party has. She further laments, “The tea party…[has] no money…” She then suggests the GOP has the money, prestige and power, but all they did was make phone calls, walk neighborhoods, and “hold a few sings.” Sounds good to me. But I guess I’ve only been in this business about twenty years and I don’t really know anything.

But here is what I do know Ms. Tucker: you don’t have any money because you’re a whiny little whack-job who thinks she knows something, but who in reality doesn’t know squat. In fact, about all you’re good at doing is writing e-mails that confirm what everybody already thinks about you.

You want to know why you don’t have any money lady? It’s because no one with an ounce of grey matter stuck between their ears thinks you know what you’re doing. If you were the last political operative in the galaxy, I wouldn’t give you five bucks to buy a bag of red, white, and blue balloons.

You want to win the presidency in 2012? Here’s what you better recognize: if you continue to nominate candidates like Mike Hogan – say Sarah Palin in the presidential race, be prepared to lose. Because no amount of “boots on the ground” are going to keep people who have both oars in the water from rejecting her candidacy. Myself and others who are concerned about spending and deficits, and the direction of this country included — you and yours don’t own those concerns madam.

In conclusion, it’s important to recognize that Mike Hogan lost because of Mike Hogan, not because of what the GOP did or didn’t do.

Facts are stubborn things. Consider these:

1) The state Republican Party spent a record amount of party money for a Florida mayoral race.  These resources were on top of the thousands of hours of time GOP volunteers logged making phone calls, knocking on doors, waving sings, and doing other campaign-related matters on Hogan’s behalf.

2) Republican city council candidate Robin Lumb received 100,398 in his successful campaign. Mike Hogan only received 97,271 in his loss. Clearly this was not an issue of turnout the local GOP should be blamed for — the Republicans voted, they just didn’t vote for Hogan. The number of votes Republican Lumb received would have made the difference to Republican Hogan in his race against Democrat Brown. But Hogan was flawed, and that’s why he lost.

Ms. Tucker, you need to take your blinders off lady. The fat lady has sung, and your day on stage is over.

Enjoy your tea.

(Click here to read the entire e-mail Tucker wrote.)

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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11 thoughts on “What happens in Jacksonville, stays in Jacksonville…”

  1. The Tea Partiers plan rallies and make a lot of noise. They don’t bother to do the bread-and-butter kind of work that actually gets candidates elected. Miss Tucker is clearly clueless. “Only” knocking on doors and making phone calls are how these races are won.


  2. Loved this one. Vintage Ingram!
    “If you were the last political operative in the galaxy, I wouldn’t give you five bucks to buy a bag of red, white, and blue balloons.”



  3. Sorry Chris, way off on this one especially using Lumb as an example. Lumb ran against a convicted felon who ran NPA, if anything Lumb underperformed.

    The mayors race is also fairly simple to understand if one is willing to do their homework before making a statement. In the traditionally African American precincts, there was a 40% turnout. The rest of the city had 31% turnout.

    Had the party just boosted turnout among Republicans by 1%, Hogan would have won not matter how flawed he may or not be.


  4. Reply to Austin:

    In taking your points into consideration (particularly P1), you have proven my point: if the Republicans had nominated a candidate that wasn’t flawed, they would have won.

    Re: black turn-out, the blacks turned-out and so did the Rs. Problem is, many Rs voter for the D, because the R candidate sucked. So, in the mayor’s race, the D won. In the CC race, the R won — they didn’t break ranks. Big under-vote too in that one.

    Re: party turn-out, you can always say “if”. But the fact is, the R lost because Hogan was a toolbox and he ran a lousy campaign.

    Get over it.

    Chris Ingram


  5. Eight years ago a popular African-American Democrat who had already won two county-wide races ran for Mayor. Someone spraypainted racial slurs on his campaign office just ahead of Election Day. You think that would fire up the base, and it did.

    And Nat Glover lost by 18 points.


  6. Here is what we had eight years ago under Chairman Slade that we did not have this time:

    1) A unity rally to bring all of the opposing camps together behind one candidate.

    2) Discipline to those high level donors who were thinking about jumping to Glover.

    3) An active Vice Chairman tasked specifically with turning out Republican voters.


  7. This time we had none of those and in fact had a County Chair who was afraid to stop the flow of high level donors to Brown, a defeated candidate (Moran) who turned over her data-base, contacts and polling to Brown (as well as her Sr. staff) and a Vice Chair who was running for office himself in Lumb.

    What a mess the Duval REC has created for itself as had they done their job we would never be having this conversation.


  8. Reply to Austin (who is a coward using a fake name and e-mail account for whatever reason, but nonetheless here we go):

    As someone with all the answers, you should know that anytime a candidate starts talking –even if just jokingly– about bombing abortion clinics, you’re on the losing side of the message war. Hogan was a clown, that’s why he lost.

    Re: an active vice chairman, not sure who you are talking about here (Curry or Lumb?), but from all I have seen and been told about both of their efforts, they were nothing short of textbook perfect.

    As for Duval Chairman Curry not stopping the flow of high-level donors, the last time I checked, this is still America, and donors are entitled to give to whomever they want. The party chairman be damned.

    The Duval REC worked hard to help a loser (Hogan) win. They couldn’t save him from himself. That is not their fault.

    As for Audrey Moran, whatever she did was her call. The fingers you point should be at Hogan. Why don’t you ask Mr. Hogan why the Republican (albeit liberal one) Moran did not support him?

    Regarding Lumb, since when is it not okay for a person in party leadership to not run for office?

    Your cowardly attack on the Duval REC lacks facts and evidence, reason, logic, and common sense.

    In short, you come off as a whiny little man who lacks the backbone to disclose who you really are. It certainly makes me wonder what your agenda is and who you’re in bed with.

    I’ve got some ideas on that one.

    Chris Ingram


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