Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Will We Be Hearing from Sen. Dictor?

His Q&A was confirmed on Wednesay, questions sent on Friday. An email sent a couple days later to gauge his progress went unanswered. O&B Party Chairman Joe Trimboli has gone on record to demand any evidence the Prog' Leader has on him, to be put out to the general public. Is Dictor going to stay silent until 2009? What is "the Challenger" up to exactly?

As of late my contact has been limited to one of Dictor's most trusted lieutenants and a member of his inner circle, Justin Wooten. Through facebook and phone conversations, Wooten (who's allowed himself to be named) insists that Dictor will prevail against The Officials, most notably by winning SDS and delivering even greater numbers of the Gainesville Left than in Fall 2008. Wooten insists that Dictor will not only surpass McShera, but will be very capable of defeating Jordan Jonnson, even with an active McShera> faction still in the mix.

For this miracle play to work out, Dictor must drain 'the Left' of every conceivable vote, networking in the student ghetto would have to be pulled off without a hitch. More than vote tallies, the real question rests with discipline. Prog lieutenants eagerly offer their loyalty to "The Challenger", but will they be able to bring in numerous new columns into an SG campaign, maintain critical discipline, hold off McShera, and then defeat Jordan Johnson & Gator?

Seems to be a tall order, but just how powerful is the Gainesville Left? We really don't know. And how much of Fall 2008 is directly because of the Progs? We don't know, but they seem to think it was THEIR ace in the hole.


Anonymous said...

C'mon Duque, this is laughable. SDS won't endorse either candidate, that's not how the organization operates. However, a majority of the members will support McShera.

Anonymous said...

You should ask some former Students for Obama higher ups about SDS and "the Left". They certainly have some stories about their organizing abilities and their work ethic.

In other news, Justin Wooten has never run any sort of campaign and is delusional.

Here's how it goes down:
First Ballot:
JJ: 45 ($15,000)
MM: 35 ($8,000)
BD: 20 ($1,000)

Full Gator Sweep of All Senate Seats

Second Ballot:
JJ: 60 ($3,000)
MM: 40 ($1,500)

Here's How It Could Go:
JJ: 48 ($20,000)
MM: 52 ($11,000)

O&B Sweeps CLAS & Engineering, cherry picks Grad, and grabs a few others.

Ben Dictor couldn't care less about making a difference for students. Ben Dictor is all about Ben Dictor and if he cannot have his way than nobody gets theirs. He's a child.

What Ben Dictor doesn't understand and Wooten lacks a grasp of is winning, how to do it and the importance of it and also when to recognize when it won't happen (i.e. knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em). They have lost the internal battle for the nomination. Now the only question is whether or not they are bitter enough to burn the whole house down.

Anonymous said...

Mitchell Tannenbaum is crazier than even Justin Wooten. Dictor's "inner circle" are there because they will paint the picture most favorable to their leader.

The Progs are committing to a hopeless campaign that will only hurt O&B at the polls. These lunatics that you've dubbed lieutenants are nothing more than fanatics of a megalomaniac.

Christian Duque said...

See that's what I just don't understand. Why can't someone just be a Dictor supporter? Why must they be 'fanatics' or 'lunatics?'

Anonymous said...


Because Dictor's "supporters" aren't running around doing every single possible thing to get him to split from O&B and run on his own. We're just waiting to debate it reasonably instead of boycotting meetings and being delusional about his chances. I would prefer Dictor over McShera, but I know that neither would be able to defeat Johnson if both ran. Only Dictor's "fanatics" and "lunatics" are capable of believing things like that are possible.

francisco said...

Is Justin a student at UF? I am not sure if I have met him... I certainly don't remember him from the fall, then again I spent most of my time helping on West Side campaigning.

Christian, still waiting to do this recording :-).

Anonymous said...

12:29 PM

Mitch is not in Dictor's "inner circle"... he may be a supporter, but that is totally different.

Justin Wooten said...

lol, what a surprise I was in for when I saw my old picture on TheRadikal! I don't really recall giving my permission to be named as a source, but I suppose I don't mind.

Nor do I really care what some people may say about me on this blog. I'll admit, I've posted some anonymous things on this blog, but nothing I would be ashamed to admit to, and I never tried to maliciously attack anyone. I think if we were all forced to use our real names, this whole thing could have probably played out differently than it has, and led to some sort of political agreement, rather than what it is currently leading to.

Frank, in the Fall I did all my campaigning on the two voting days in the Plaza of the Americas, talking to hundreds of people all day long. I got a pretty bad sun burn on the back of my neck the first day, though I think it was worth it.

Tannenbaum is also an awesome guy. I think we got his help right towards the end of the second day, and he was talking to dozens of people in the last hours the polls were open, while most of us (including myself) were too tired to do much except stand behind the tables in Turlington and use those signs to cover ourselves from the rain.

I still remember the first time I met Tannenbaum. He was arguing with one of those Turlington preachers for like an hour. I had to go to class, and when I came back, he was still arguing with him. Tannenbaum has an unbelievable will to struggle for something he believes in, and I think he would be a great asset to any organization. I don't even think he is taking sides on this question, so for people to attempt to slander him speaks for more of their character than it does his.

As far as what I do or do not know about winning, I don't think I've discussed my views with too many people on this topic, but the general consensus of everyone on the Left is that O&B is nowhere without the progressive community. Our extensive participation in the so-called "Independent Movement" coincides with what little electoral success O&B has had. As Travis Pillow wrote on Facebook, without us O&B is the Pants Party.

In real American politics, who gets elected and who doesn't has to do with things like which campaign has the most memorable slogan, and who has the most money. People are generally apathetic, and don't understand the often minute distinctions in policy promoted by the Democratic and Republican parties. This isn't just the judgment of radical Leftists, but the people whose job it is to get candidates in office. To quote from an article in the New Yorker, titled "The Unpolitical Animal: How Political Science Understands Voters":

"If you look to the political professionals, the people whose job it is to know what makes the fish bite, it is clear that, in their view, political philosophy is not the fattest worm. “Winning Elections: Political Campaign Management, Strategy & Tactics” (M. Evans; $49.95) is a collection of articles drawn from the pages of Campaigns & Elections: The Magazine for People in Politics. The advice to the political professionals is: Don’t assume that your candidate’s positions are going to make the difference. “In a competitive political climate,” as one article explains, “informed citizens may vote for a candidate based on issues. However, uninformed or undecided voters will often choose the candidate whose name and packaging are most memorable. To make sure your candidate has that ‘top-of-mind’ voter awareness, a powerful logo is the best place to start.”'

This is a reflection of the general apolitical nature of the majority of Americans. Again, to quote the article:

“Skepticism about the competence of the masses to govern themselves is as old as mass self-government. Even so, when that competence began to be measured statistically, around the end of the Second World War, the numbers startled almost everyone. The data were interpreted most powerfully by the political scientist Philip Converse, in an article on “The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics,” published in 1964. Forty years later, Converse’s conclusions are still the bones at which the science of voting behavior picks.

Converse claimed that only around ten per cent of the public has what can be called, even generously, a political belief system. He named these people “ideologues,” by which he meant not that they are fanatics but that they have a reasonable grasp of “what goes with what”—of how a set of opinions adds up to a coherent political philosophy. Non-ideologues may use terms like “liberal” and “conservative,” but Converse thought that they basically don’t know what they’re talking about, and that their beliefs are characterized by what he termed a lack of “constraint”: they can’t see how one opinion (that taxes should be lower, for example) logically ought to rule out other opinions (such as the belief that there should be more government programs). About forty-two per cent of voters, according to Converse’s interpretation of surveys of the 1956 electorate, vote on the basis not of ideology but of perceived self-interest. The rest form political preferences either from their sense of whether times are good or bad (about twenty-five per cent) or from factors that have no discernible “issue content” whatever. Converse put twenty-two per cent of the electorate in this last category. In other words, about twice as many people have no political views as have a coherent political belief system.”

While Student Government politics isn't a perfect reflection of American politics in general, there are a lot of similarities. Most notably is the general lack of concern about real political differences between O&B and Gator among the majority of student voters. To the undecided student, a lot of it has to do with which side talks to them first, or which side has a better pitch. This is the important of having people on the ground willing to talk to complete strangers. They are truly those that decide the outcome of our political contests with the Gator Party.

The other factor is the campus ideologues; those that vote a certain way based on ideological concerns. I would go so far as to say that anyone who is the least bit political and understands anything about SG politics votes against the Gator Party, regardless if they are Libertarians, conservatives, liberals, or radicals. It's just that obvious how corrupt they are, and how they don't stand for anything. They are basically the voice of the Administration and little else, and I don't think there is much more to say about this group other than they compose a small fraction of votes individually, though they are the ones willing to actually do political work and often have access to a large social network they can persuade to vote a certain way.

A major component are the social networks on campus. This is obviously where the Gator Party seriously outshines us, because they have the entire Greek community behind them. However, they are not the only student communities out there, and clearly when the “Indy Movement” aligned itself with the Left, they brought in the support of community of the various elements on campus. Even the leadership of the Gator Party itself realizes this, hence why they put “sports kiosks” in their platform. It was an attempt to win over the “Plaza of the Americas” crowd, as they put it.

That's how the majority of votes that are not completely-undecided work. You tell your friends who to vote for, and they trust you and do it. The Greeks will never win over this support because they don't form relationships with the “Plaza” crowd, not like the Left does. We don't shun those who like to wear black, have piercings, don't eat meat, or listen to certain types of music. We are them and we welcome them, and they in turn trust us when we talk to them about Student Government. They often don't need much reason to reject the Gator Party other than knowing that they are the Greek party.

Part of a real winning strategy for the O&B would be to strengthen and solidify this support, while also trying to fracture the support of the Gator Party where it is weakest, namely with the BSU and the HSA. However, at this time, there are those in the O&B that take the support of their base for granted, and are not making any real attempts at a political solution for our current crisis. There are those that don't understand, or don't care, that personally smearing dedicated individuals in the party is political suicide. It is people like Dictor and Steiger that have brought out that social network that lead to the outstanding success of O&B in the Spring and the Fall.

The “Officials” are going to have to realize they are the ones responsible for what is going to happen, because they have pushed Dictor, and by extension, the social network behind him, from the party. Their political failure in the Spring is going to be their own fault, because they are too proud to acknowledge any wrong-doing on their part, and their refusal to do anything to avert this crisis. I would be more than happy to work with the O&B again in the Spring, if the “Officials” were really concerned about unity and respected the community that got them where they are now. That doesn't appear to be the case, however.

Justin Wooten said...

I probably should have edited that better, my apologizes if it is difficult to understand in some places.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that you are pushing dictor for the same supposed ideological reasons that voters don't give a damn about right? Why don't you leave the political strategy to the professionals, all this crying that dictor was cheated when he won't allow a vote and refuses to stay in our party unless he's the nominee is getting old, so hurry up and start a third party and doom us all already I'm tired of dealing with u

Anonymous said...

If people had signed their names, Ben Dictor would have had so much more to worry about than SG politics.

Anonymity saved him. The only thing that is the cure to accusations of defamation of character is... *everyone now in unison* THE TRUTH!!!

He should thank his lucky stars that he is able to write off some of the things that were said about him as just anonymous commentators.

Let me tell everybody here a little story. In the programs for Gator Growl there are always little blurbs about the directors and the producers. Well, in the 90's there was a little problem. One of the blurbs insinuated that one of the directors/producers was a slut. She and her parents were furious. They claimed defamation of character and were threatening to sue. But what happened next was even more amazing... all of these guys stepped forward, lots of them, and admitted to having hooked up with her and it became clear that well perhaps the program was not the best forum to call this girl promiscuous, the charge was not without merit.

So let this be a warning to everybody who bitches and moans about things that are said about them under veil of anonymity on this blog; at least by anonymous comment you can brush them off, write them off, and ignore them.

It's when people start signing things problems arise...

Anonymous said...

Wooton, come out to an O&B primary meeting and actually see that Dictor is getting a fair shake. Don't believe everything you hear

Anonymous said...

To say that anyone "anyone who is the least bit political and understands anything about SG politics votes against the Gator Party, regardless if they are Libertarians, conservatives, liberals, or radicals," is simply not true. A lot fo what goes on in system politics is exactly like national, state, and local politics. Many who are deeply political and understand a great deal about SG politics are involved in the system. You re naive.

francisco said...

The Plaza, eh. The plaza is a fun place to campaign, lots of interesting people that actually want to talk. I spent most of my time there in Spring 2007 and a decent amount of there in Spring 2008. I also spent a load of time there during Fall 2007 doing voter registration every Friday for about 3 months also (CTV was the only program on campus doing registration regularly at the time :-( ). I also met Charlie Grapski and Dictor during the Don't Tase Me Bro protests (see: http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v1561/239/87/2063886/n2063886_52798115_3456.jpg :lol:).

Anyways, plenty of fun stuff in the plaza...lots of clubs are using it this year too, which is a change from the previous years.

Enough with my tagent rant

Yellow & Blue Nostalgia said...

The Officials symbolize power, The Progs symbolize ideology. This is a battle for the future of the Indie movement. In other words, if The Officials carry the day, it's not really an indie movement anymore...Be careful what you wish for kids.

Anonymous said...

The Officials seem to represent those that have put their money where their mouths are. They don't just hope for change, they fight to realize it.

Remember folks, Obama might have had vision and ideology but he also had one of the best oiled political machines in the history of politics humming behind that vision and message of his. Ideology without expertise is tilting at windmills.

It's also funny that the criticism of The Officials used to be that they were ideologues. Now it is that they lack ideology.

Justin Wooten said...

I'm not sure what happened to one of my responses, as I addressed 12:55. If you still have it, Duque, please post it.

To 11:12 AM, what I mean is ideologues who are more concerned about ideology as such, rather than people who are the future politicians of America. Yes, what goes on in SG does have many parallels to larger realms of politics, and is a training ground of sorts for Gator Party kids to get accustomed to how the American political system actually functions. While some of them may have a keen political mind, I don't see them as ideologues, so much as I see them as opportunists.

What I mean to say is, I don't believe anyone who takes their political ideology seriously could ever support the Gator Party on political principles. It is not to say all Gator Party kids are idiots who don't understand politics. I think it is obvious there are people in the Gator Party who have keen political minds and understand how to manipulate the political machine very well. That doesn't mean these people take their political beliefs seriously. Most mainstream politicians do not, which is why you see more atheists in Bush's administration than probably any other in history. The Republican and Democratic parties simply don't care about their base. They are about power and little else.

That isn't to say also there aren't a few Gator Party kids who have a real concern for their political ideals, but I think they would, and are, quickly discovering the Gator Party isn't concerned with anything like that, are represent potential defectors to our side.

NotAllThere said...

Justin Wooten should be dianosed with MPD. I've heard he has an imaginary friend named Toto and kills time waiting for the bus arguing with himself.

He just better stay away from Mark during the campaign.

Christian Duque said...

This is the fourth time I've erased your stupid post about Wooten. I'm going to allow it, simply b/c it just proves how much of a dunce you are.

Justin Wooten said...

lol, Toto. Why must you come on this blog and taunt me? Get out of my head!

But seriously, I guess I'll create a blogger account with this name to make sure no one impersonates me.