Monday, May 16, 2011

Alan North, Man of Mystery

The big question surrounding the Richardson City Council election -- who would win and how big a victory would it be -- is now settled. Congratulations to the winners and all who worked to achieve their electoral success.

But there's a minor mystery that persisted through the entire campaign that has never been solved. Just who was that Alan North guy? He filed to run in Place 7 (eventually won by Amir Omar), attended none of the forums, responded to none of the questionnaires, reported no political fund-raising or expenditures, placed no campaign signs, pounded no pavement, kissed no babies, etc., etc.

After the jump, a mystery story.

One early theory was that Alan North was absent from Richardson because he received an invitation to the royal wedding, but early rising television watchers diligently searching the Westminster Abbey audience reported no sign of North, although a couple of watchers did see hats that would look awesome at a Richardson candidate forum. There were others who thought they saw North in the background of that famous photograph of the President's national security team in the White House Situation Room during the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout, but close analysis of the official photo indicates only a murky shadow where North was thought to have been. Another theory was that he was one of those unknowns in the first GOP Presidential candidates' debate in South Carolina, but no, it turns out the former governor of New Mexico really is someone named Gary Johnson. One final theory, raised by Destiny DeLaRosa, is that North did in fact appear at the Richardson candidate forums, only "he's just a wee little man" and the LWV has a rule against phone books/booster seats, so unfortunately he couldn't be seen above the table top.

It turns out the story behind the mystery does not involve international intrigue. Alan North is a real person and he really did file to run for City Council. According to a reliable source, his candidacy was a spur of the moment decision made out of curiosity to see how the political process in Richardson worked. Originally, he did plan to raise a significant amount of money to run a serious campaign and to hire a professional political consulting group. Due to his late start and unexpected demands on his time by his business, his plans for his campaign never materialized. It's said that he thinks the threat of his own campaign might have spurred Amir Omar to campaign that much harder. That and the knowledge he gained of Omar as the campaign went on led him ultimately to be happy with Omar's re-election.

One final postscript. Although Alan North received less than 400 votes, he spent nothing on his campaign, giving him far and away the best votes-received per dollar-spent ratio of any candidate. Well done, Alan North.

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