So, Lt. Gov. Mark Darr dropped out of the Fourth Congressional District race this morning, just over a week after the first tales of his questionable campaign spending broke on someone’s “personal blog.”1 Given that his campaign lasted all of seventeen days,2 I was not planning to write another Darr-related post. I figured I’d leave it up to the people and the media to discuss the whole departure.
But then I saw his comments to Roby Brock regarding the departure, and my plans changed slightly.
When you see somebody make a mistake, there’s a difference between bringing it to the public’s attention and hopefully getting it fixed, regardless of who that person is, or rejoicing in a person’s misery. I actually feel sorry for those people. I think the more things like this that happen that drive normal people away from politics, the closer Little Rock is going to get to Washington, D.C.
“Things like this”? You mean people pointing out that you (or any candidate) ignored campaign-finance rules, billed your campaign and the state for various improper expenditures, and just generally acted like someone who was either too ignorant or too unconcerned with the rules to bother to see if what you were doing was legal? Those “things”? Because, I’m going to be honest with you: the type of “normal people” who would be driven away from politics because they couldn’t get away with flouting the rules and fleecing donors/taxpayers are not the kind of people that I want involved politics to begin with.
As for “rejoicing in [his] misery,” that’s absurd. Whatever Schadenfreude people might have felt likely wasn’t because he was personally miserable; it was because seeing campaign-finance violations from the guy whose one achievement in office was pushing for more transparency in government spending is some delicious irony.
Speaking of irony, this whole attempt to play the “regular guy” who fears politics in Little Rock becoming like D.C. and doesn’t rejoice in the failures of others is pretty hilarious coming from Darr.
We had bad news from Washington …but Democrats have had a very bad night and I promise they’re going to have a horrible four years.
-Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, November 6, 2012
I love Brummy, so I am only needling him on this because “personal blog” sounds like I wrote the Darr stories in between posting pictures of cat memes and writing about my kids.↩
For reference, here are some random things that lasted longer than his campaign: Cop Rock (TV show) (70 days), The Falklands War (42 days), William Henry Harrison’s tenure as President (32 days).↩