Kieschnick: Low Nominations Mean High Satisfaction (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 24th, 2010 Post by

Down is up, low is high, in President Kieschnick’s world. At least when it comes to nomination numbers. Low nominations mean high satisfaction.

That’s the gist of President Kieschnick’s explanation for the nomination totals, according to a new story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In an article published today, “Synod’s conservatives send message in coming election,” Kieschnick is asked to explain the nomination numbers. Those numbers show Kieschnick receiving only 755 nominations, the lowest ever for an incumbent, while Matt Harrison received 1,332, the most ever for a non-incumbent. A total of 2,007 congregational nominating ballots for president were submitted. So here are the last two paragraphs of the article, in which Kieschnick offers his explanation:

“The fact that so few churches cast ballots, he [Kieschnick] said, means that people are largely satisfied with the job he’s done, and out of that sense of satisfaction, they simply figure not voting will ensure the status quo.

“‘I’ve been a part of this church long enough to know that if someone in office is doing a very poor job, we’d have more than 30 percent of them weighing in,’ he said. ‘Call it apathy or satisfaction, but they see no need to make a change.’”

That seems to be a strange interpretation on President Kieschnick’s part, given the facts. When you compare the numbers from last time, 2007, to this time, 2010–and both times Kieschnick is running as the incumbent–here is what you find:

Last time, the total number of nominating ballots for president was 2,075. This time, the number of nominating ballots is 2,007, a slight decline of only 3%.

Last time, Kieschnick received 1,055 nominations. This time, Kieschnick received 755 nominations, a major decline of 28%.

Last time, the main alternative to Kieschnick received 607 nominations. This time, the main alternative to Kieschnick received 1,332 nominations, an extraordinary increase of 119%.

I’d say those numbers do *not* indicate satisfaction with President Kieschnick’s performance.

Some of you may remember the old advertising slogan, “L.S./M.F.T. – Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.” I guess now–if we follow President Kieschnick’s logic–we should say, “L.N./M.H.S. – Low Nominations Mean High Satisfaction.”

- – - – - – - – - -

The Convention Workbook is now online (print copies soon to follow), and the full list of nominations is now known. When the five names on the presidential ballot were announced, and the large gap in nomination totals between nominees 3 and 4 was noted (from 503 to 5), we said in our column here that there must have been an unusual number of declinations, clearing the field for what is essentially a two-man race between Kieschnick and Harrison. The numbers just released bear that out. Look at all the declinations (D):

Matthew Harrison 1,332
Gerald Kieschnick 755
Herbert Mueller Jr. 503

Wallace Schulz 188 (D)
William Diekelman 185 (D)
John Wohlrabe Jr. 79 (D)
Daniel Preus 31 (D)
Dale Meyer 23 (D)
Paul Maier 16 (D)
Dean Nadasdy 12 (D)
David Buegler 9 (D)
Dean Wenthe 8 (D)
C. William Hoesman 6 (D)
Carl Fickenscher II 5
Robert Newton 4 (D)
Daniel Gard 3

And to think, I was only three nominations away from being on the ballot!






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  1. April 24th, 2010 at 09:52 | #1

    “‘I’ve been a part of this church long enough to know that if someone in office is doing a very poor job, we’d have more than 30 percent of them weighing in,’ he said. ‘Call it apathy or satisfaction, but they see no need to make a change.’”

    The low numbers for participation could also mean that congregations are divesting themselves from synod politics. You know, “What’s the use? Our vote will not make a difference.” There can be several reasons for apathy, but satisfaction being one of them? Ok… possible… but I don’t buy it.

  2. Conv. Delegate
    April 24th, 2010 at 10:08 | #2

    Especially since it has been widely known for some time that Matt Harrison would be running and there was encouragement to nominate him. If one supported Pres. K. I think they would have been more motivated than ever to ensure that he received a great number of nominations.

  3. The Rev. BT Ball
    April 24th, 2010 at 10:21 | #3

    Congrats on the nominations Charlie. I was proud to see that I received 1 nomination for Synodical VP 2-5!

    President K’s take on the numbers, as Mollie stated in the other post, is quite humorous. Almost as funny as you being SP or me being a VP.

    Ball

  4. April 24th, 2010 at 10:30 | #4

    Technically the decline in churches nominating only dropped by 1% .. 68 fewer churches submitting nominations over 6000 congregations. Last convention, 34% of churches submitted nominations; this convention, 33% did so. You are correct though that of those nominations submitted, there is a 3% decline between the two conventions.

  5. Anonymous Delegate
    April 24th, 2010 at 10:40 | #5

    We can only charitably call those statements “spin.” I assume he honestly believes these statements, but that is political “spin.”

  6. April 24th, 2010 at 10:41 | #6

    You know, I was just thinking: President Kieschnick is saying his low nominations mean that people support him for president. Well, since I received even fewer nominations, i.e., zero, that must mean that I should be president! My supporters are so confident, they didn’t even bother to nominate!

  7. The Rev. BT Ball
    April 24th, 2010 at 11:21 | #7

    Exactly Charlie-
    that is what your supporters certainly believe, you would be so good that there is no need to nominate you. With such knowledge, you can nominate yourself from the floor of the convention hall, and I bet there would be an immediate vote of acclamation; or maybe not.

  8. Deacon Brian Hughes
    April 24th, 2010 at 11:56 | #8

    Double speak:News speak= George Orwell anyone.

    Living that kind of life must be suffocating.

  9. Alex
    April 24th, 2010 at 13:31 | #9

    This reminds me of the logic the BRTFSSG used by repeatedly claiming that the proposals had a “congregational bias”.

  10. Dennis Peskey
    April 24th, 2010 at 13:57 | #10

    With a spin story like this our synodical president should take up liturgical dancing (with the stars).

  11. jim_claybourn
    April 24th, 2010 at 14:14 | #11
  12. boogie
    April 24th, 2010 at 14:29 | #12

    Politician to the core.

  13. Helen
    April 24th, 2010 at 20:12 | #13

    “If one supported Pres. K. I think they would have been more motivated than ever to ensure that he received a great number of nominations.” –conv delegate

    If he thinks he’s got a lock on 50.1% of the “conv. delegates”,
    what do nominations matter to him?

    [Those last two probably would have declined as well, but there had to be five on the ballot.]

  14. April 24th, 2010 at 20:27 | #14

    If he thinks he’s got a lock on 50.1% of the “conv. delegates”, what do nominations matter to him?

    I really don’t see how Kieschnick could think he has a “lock” on a majority of delegates. Besides, “lock” and “50.1%” don’t belong in the same sentence.

    Don’t you think the same people who were motivated to nominate Harrison were also motivated to go to the circuit forums and get delegates elected? And isn’t it likely that if so few people cared enough to nominate Kieschnick–that his supporters probably did not do a very good job of getting delegates elected, either? I’m thinking there’s probably at least some degree of correlation between nominations and delegates.

    And since at the last three conventions Kieschnick has gotten only 51%, 53%, and 52%, I don’t see any realistic possibility of a Kieschnick “lock.”

  15. Kenneth Schmidt
    April 24th, 2010 at 21:29 | #15

    I would not count Kieschnick out for a minute. He could give Machiavelli pointers.

  16. Eric
    April 25th, 2010 at 10:38 | #16

    I have heard from very reliable JF insiders that a copy of Pr. Harrison’s old pinup photo in the “Seminary Men” calendar will be handed out at convention. JF believes this will turn the votes in JK’s favor.

  17. Anonymous Delegate
    April 25th, 2010 at 15:52 | #17

    @Charles Henrickson #14

    Yes. That is the case in my circuit. I have never attended nor desired to attend a convention. I am this year and I won’t be voting for Pres. K.

  18. Helen
    April 25th, 2010 at 18:04 | #18

    @Charles Henrickson #14
    “Don’t you think the same people who were motivated to nominate Harrison were also motivated to go to the circuit forums and get delegates elected?”

    I’d like it to be that way, Charles, but one congregation in a circuit is a bit outnumbered.
    (It’s quite possible that 2/3 of the congregations did not nominate because the 50.1% were controlling their circuits, and they knew it.)

  19. Helen
    April 25th, 2010 at 18:06 | #19

    I hope I’m wrong and there are lots of “anonymous delegates”!!!

  20. Rev. Allen Bergstrazer
    April 26th, 2010 at 15:53 | #20

    @Charles Henrickson #6
    Yes indeed. One can only hope this is spin on the part of President Kieshnick, a far worse thought is that this sophistry is his normal way of considering the facts that are staring him in the face.

  21. Helen
    April 29th, 2010 at 11:08 | #21

    @Eric #16
    Pr. Harrison’s old pinup photo in the “Seminary Men” calendar…

    A Harrison pinup might be a popular item. How many women on the floor of the convention this year? ;)

  22. Anon 332
    April 29th, 2010 at 12:31 | #22

    @Helen #21

    A quick scan through the delegate list, based on first names, it appears that there are 90 women in the 1220 some delegates to the 2010 convention.

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