Written by Roberta Biros
The internet is a wonderful thing. It has provided us with an endless database of digital information including articles, photos, and videos that are accessible with great ease. I found a presentation on YouTube the other day and it is fascinating. The piece was produced by Titan Radio News in December of 2008 as a tool to highlight the long and wonderful career of State Senator Bob Robbins. In the interview, you get an opportunity to find out exactly how Senator Robbins found his way into the State Government. I invite you to listen to the interview (or click below) and hear (in Senator Robbin’s own voice) as he admits his “accidental fall into” government after the political re-districting of the area.
Senator Robbins says “you’d rather be lucky than good”
To quote Senator Robbins:
“By the time they got done with drawing the new districts I was setting in the middle of a brand new district that didn’t have a Representative. So, within 6 months I got to run again, basically for a house seat. As it worked out as I tell a lot of people . . . ‘sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good . . . other times is that you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time’.”
Never does Senator Robbins say that he deserved the seat in the House of Representatives because of his dedication to the needs of the people, and he never stated that he was selected because he was the best candidate for the job. Instead, Senator Robbins admits that he was “lucky” and he was “in the right place at the right time”. If it weren’t so sad, it would almost be funny.
The Back Door Politics Continue
The most bothersome part of his statement is that it defines politics of the past in our area. If the “sliding through the back door” approach to public office seems familiar, you know your stuff. In 2006 a similar back door approach allowed Representative Michele Brooks to fall into her spot in the same district (the 17th) when she was selected to replace former State Representative Rod Wilt as the Republican nominee. Again, it was another example of “it was better to be lucky than good”, and Ms. Brooks seemed to be “in the right place at the right time”. It makes you wonder if the trend is as accidental as it appears.
Knowing what we know about “business as usual in area politics” and realizing how the good ol’ boys (and girls) prefer to control “who gets lucky”, it is interesting to think through the thought process of political strategy in our area. Let us use this year as an example as we examine a possibility . . .
Is 2010 another Back Door Deal year?
If the Mercer GOP and their political friends were to use the “better to be lucky than good” strategy again, what sort of conservations would they be having in 2010.
As many of you know, at the beginning of 2010 it looked as though State Senator Robbins and State Representative Brooks would be running unopposed through the General Election in November. Unfortunately for the Senator, an Independent candidate* has stepped up to challenge Senator Robbins and the fate of Representative Brooks is still unknown. The Senator was probably hoping to rebound from his close race of 2006 (where he LOST his home county of Mercer by the way), and was planning on going out on a high note. At the point that he realized that he will now have an opponent, and that opponent will most probably expose all of the ugly truths about the Senator and his past, has the Senator started to consider ways to avoid an ugly loss? Could he be looking for ways to slide out on a “high”? Is it possible that a hand-off is in the works for 2010? Could Senator Robbins be planning to step down (before the dirt from his past begins to resurface) and allow Representative Brooks to step up and access the Senate seat through another backdoor deal?
This past weekend, Representative Brooks was spotted promoting herself at a local TEA Party [read the story HERE] including the distribution of yard signs (of all things), but Senator Robbins was no where to be seen? Who exactly is Representative Brooks running against that she feels a need to distribute yard signs? Why was it so necessary for her to bully her way onto the stage at Saturday’s event? Who is her opponent this year? Is it possible that her opponent is going to be an Independent* that is running for State Senate? Hmmmmm. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
Is it possible that Senator Robbins knows that the political climate in 2010 will make it extremely difficult (if not impossible) for him to win re-election in November. Is he fearful of going down in flames . . . and thus tarnishing his long career forever? Would he prefer to leave on a high note and pass the challenge onto his young enough and smart enough protégé? Is Representative Brooks desperate enough to take on the challenge? Is she willing to take yet another backroom deal in an effort to slide into higher office?
* – For those of you that are not aware of the details, the “Independent Candidate” is me, Roberta Biros, political analyst and editor of Mercer County Conservatives.
Brooks vs. Biros?
I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the conversations that have already transpired in the past several weeks. Time will tell, and I can’t wait to see the results. While “the Independent candidate for State Senate” (Roberta Biros) had no intention of taking on Representative Brooks head on, I know that the same “Independent candidate” has no intention of backing off from the challenge if Ms. Brooks decides to offer it.
If Representative Brooks takes “the deal”, she will again demonstrate that she is not part of the solution . . . but is very clearly part of the problem in area politics. I look forward to accepting that challenge any day of the week.
It would be the perfect opportunity to prove Robbins and Brooks wrong and to demonstrate that some of us believe that “It is better to be good than to be lucky!”.
As always, just my opinion (but if it happens, realize that you heard it here first).
~Mercer County Conservatives