I’ve gotten a few angry emails over the last couple days, and I can certainly understand if some of you Green Party members and supporters mistakenly believe I’m just some Democratic Party hack. But local writer and activist Geov Parrish has impeccable progressive credentials, so perhaps you’ll accept his take on the Dixon fiasco as unbiased.
Writing in Eat The State (”Shame on the Greens and Aaron Dixon“,) Parrish berates the Greens for failing to vet their candidate.
David Goldstein and his readers at HorsesAss.org have been on a tear the last two days, destroying Dixon’s Senate bid and perhaps, along the way, permanently ensuring that nobody politically credible in town will ever take the Greens seriously again.
It pains me to write that. I like the Greens, in the same way, I guess, that fans root for the Chicago Cubs. Except the Cubs have winning seasons pretty often. And I like and respect Dixon, too. But the particularly painful thing about this is that it was all entirely preventable.
Parrish then goes on to summarize what has been gleaned from the public records thus far:
1) Eighteen criminal charges in the last 17 years, most (but not all) for traffic violations and unpaid traffic fines.
2) Massive debts from dozens of unpaid fines in both Seattle Municipal Court and King County District Court. A number are for driving without insurance (and yes, he can afford it.)
3) Dixon claims on his web site that the woman he currently lives with (and who is his campaign media contact) is his wife. She isn’t, and she’d better not be. He’s still in the process of divorcing his last wife.
4) And he owes thousands in unpaid child support to yet another ex.
5) Not only has Dixon not voted since registering in 1998 (which was reported Thursday), but he’s never voted before that, either. In other words, he’s never voted in King County. Ever, over an adult life spanning nearly 40 years. And his inactive voter registration lists a now-invalid address.
There’s probably more; the dailies will likely be all over Dixon now, starting this morning. And this is not to say Dixon is a bad guy; he wouldn’t be the first community activist whose personal life is a mess. But the point is, this is Campaign 101. You vet your own candidates, and you conduct opposition research, just like you know your opponents (if they take you seriously) will on you. Did the Greens expect not to be taken seriously, or are they just stunningly ignorant about how this “campaign” thing works?
Hmm. I’m guessing a bit of both. I don’t believe the Greens did take this campaign seriously… at least, not in the sense that they ever really believed that Dixon could win. So perhaps they just thought the media would play along with a wink and nod, giving their rhetoric a little ink as a fuck you to the incumbent?
I mean, let’s be honest, the media’s never taken the Greens seriously before… never bothered to scrutinize Green candidates the way they do real ones… so why should this race be any different? Because this ain’t your daddy’s media, folks.
It is stunning that such a supposedly progressive “party” has such an ass-backwards, 20th Century view of how the media works. For those of you who have criticized me for targeting Dixon… where have you been the past few years?! This is what I do! Dixon had muck in his past, and if I didn’t rake it, some other blogger would have.
Don’t blame me… blame the Greens. As Parrish points out, they recruited Dixon. They approached him because of his stature in the black community.
The Greens could and should have covered all this before ever talking with Dixon, and nobody would have been the wiser. And they could have found some other, more appropriate black community activist to run for U.S. Senate instead. They had no business not vetting Dixon.
Now, a good man is being publicly humiliated, his campaign badly damaged, and the Greens are a laughingstock. Ugly. Really ugly. And completely, absolutely unnecessary.
Once again, when it comes to learning the ins and outs of electoral politics, the upstart Green Party has proven to be an awfully green party.