Is why I get mail or phone calls from the Republican party. Today I received a phone that was an effort to get me to contribute to the Senate races this fall. Like I’ve done with all such calls in the past, I politely said no, even before the caller ended her script. I’ve never contributed a penny to candidates of either party.
So why is some Republican affiliated campaign fundraising organization calling me? I’m not even a registered Republican, but a Democrat. It was in 1979 that I first registered to vote. While I was in the Navy, I used the address of my parents as my residence for voting purposes. Mom and Dad moved in 1980, and Dad alone in 1989(7 months before I separated from the service). Afterwards I had to register to vote again, but always remained a Democrat.
I’ve never voted the party line. When I first voted, my congressman was Dan Mica(brother of current Republican congressman John Mica), Mica would be very conservative by Democrat standards today, he was pretty much a moderate when serving from 1978-88. I supported Mica, as I did Governor and later Senator Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles. After Mica ran unsuccessfully for the Senate, he was replaced by Harry Johnston. A somewhat more liberal politician but one I could vote for. After Johnston retired, the House seat was won by Robert Wexler. I don’t like Wexler, as can be seen by the three Knucklehead awards I’ve given him. Unfortunately the Florida 19th is heavily Democratic, and therefore Wexler has never had a serious Republican opponent. After redistricting in 2002, I found myself in the FL 22nd, represented by Republican Clay Shaw. I voted for Shaw in 02, 04, and 06. Shaw was defeated by Dem. Ron Klein in the last election and looks likely to win re-election this November.
Florida has a history of thoughtful progressive Democrats being elected to statewide office. These type of Democrats were elected Governor every 4 years with one exception from 1970 to 1998. I’ve rarely had trouble supporting them. From 1982 to 1998 I never once voted Republican for Governor. In 1998 I voted for Buddy Mckay but supported Jeb Bush in 2002. The first time I voted for a republican for Governor. In 2006 I voted for Charlie Crist against Cong. Jim Davis. If Rod Smith had won the Democratic nomination rather than Davis, I may well have supported him.
As for Senators, I’ve voted for Dems more than Republicans. Then the Democrats have had candidates like Graham, Chiles, Buddy McKay, Bill Nelson of the type of thoughtful Democrats I could support. On the other hand, the Republicans have often run nuts like Paula Hawkins and Katherine Harris neither of whom had any chance of getting my vote. If I had been a Wizbang contributor in 2006, readers here would have seen me writing on the stupidity of Katherine Harris and her campaign on an every other week basis. When is that book coming out where she names names that the former congresswoman said she was already writing? I was really hoping The Florida Masochist would be mentioned. James Joyner at OTB noting Harris and her book, wrote ‘Harris appears to be nuttier than the proverbial fruitcake.’ That didn’t keep several South Florida area Republican bloggers from supporting the fruitcake. Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I vote for them?
As for Republican Senate candidates I did support, there are two. In 1994 I voted for Connie Mack and in 2004 Mel Martinez.
Presidential wise I’ve supported John Anderson, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Ross Perot, Bill Clinton, George W Bush twice. I will vote for McCain in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee.
My voting record is clearly mixed. I don’t like candidates I consider extreme ideologues either on the left or right. Call me a conservative Democrat or a liberal Republican. Independent may best suit me politically.
Getting back to why I wrote this post, why do Republican fundraisers think I’m a person who may make a donation? There is only reason that makes sense, my long-time subscription to The National Review magazine.(Started by William F Buckley Jr in the mid-fifties, it has been the #1 conservative opinion journal ever since) I began subscribing to NR in 1980 or 1981, let my subscription lapse when I moved overseas in 1987, then began subscribing again in 1992-94 sometime. All during that same period of time, I subscribed to The New Republic also. A usually thoughtful liberal magazine. The letters from the Republicans began in the 80’s, so my NR subscription looks to be the answer.
During the last 25 years if I had to make an estimate, I’d say I got 3-4 times the amount of Republican mail compared to Democratic. It may be higher than that, I don’t really recall the last time I got something from the Democrats.
Something interesting happened on election day in 2004. Leonita, Nanay, and I voted early in the morning. When we exited the polls, someone approached us asking if we Democrats. I said I was. She wanted my name, and I said no thanks. The woman was persistent, saying they would call later, that if I told her now my name would be scratched off some list….blah blah blah. Never did get that phone call, which made me wonder who the hell that woman was that day.
At present, it is a little over a month to the Florida 2008 primary. I’m already not looking forward to the phone calls that are certain to start coming after August 1st. I always hang up on these calls that I find terribly annoying.
Update- My brain tumor filled head kept me from recalling a few other things. I got to meet Congressman Dan Mica in the mid-eighties. While visiting Boca Raton, I had dinner with a friend. Mica was at the same restaurant with a group of young people. My friend knew Mica, and was on a first name basis with him. Herman said hello to the Congressman, then introduced me, after this was done, Herman said something like “Nice to see you Dan with these young Republicans.” Or something like that. Herman had quite a sense of humor.
The Florida 16th was represented for 12 years by now disgraced Congressman Mark Foley. The wife and I liked Foley’s politics and would have supported him for higher office. We had heard the rumors he was gay, but that wasn’t a factor in whether he would have ever gotten our vote.
Leonita knew the Congressman’s parents, but neither she or I ever met Mark Foley. Mr. and Mrs. Foley were members of our parrish, and Eucharistic ministers at the Catholc Church my dear wife works at. When the scandal broke in 2006, we felt sorry for the Foley family. They were very nice people and well respected.
Where I currently live is almost at an interesection for four Florida congressional districts. The 16th(Now held by Tim Mahoney), the 19th(Wexler), the 22nd(Klein) and the 23rd(Alcee Hastings).