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.”
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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!