Why Waldo donated $100 to the RPV

Today is Independence Day… independence for $100 of Waldo’s money that is!


That’s right, baby!  Last November, Waldo Jaquith offered to wager $100 that then-RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick would not resign from the House of Delegates as promised.  After a healthy pause from the Virginia blogosphere, I took up the bet.

In good conscience, I can’t really say the bet was won… though Frederick did not file, it took until June 2009 — eight months after the bet was made — before either Waldo or I felt confident that Frederick would not run in the 52nd District.  When the filing deadline passed, the clock sorta ran out.  In the end, Jeff Frederick kept his word, and did not run for re-election to the House of Delegates.

Nevertheless, a crisp clean $100 (or a check) has been deposited in the safe hands of RPV.

As a good sport, Mr. Jaquith has cut the check, though admittedly charities might be a better idea for future bets, as Waldo points out:

What I did like about this process, though, is the effect of putting my money where my mouth was. $100 has a way of focusing the mind. I paid a lot of attention to Frederick’s actions in the past eight months, always considering how it might affect my wallet. This market-driven approach to political prognostication is healthy. Even if the quantity was just $10, it provides a value to place under consideration, a resolution to two differing views, and an opportunity for one party (me, on this occasion) to ‘fess up to having been wrong, and another party (Shaun) to say “I told you so.”

Rest assured, I was mentally prepared for the picture of a frowning me handing a check to thumbs-up of Waldo with “Shaun gave $100 to DPVA — won’t you match it?” in the inboxes of thousands of Virginia Democrats.  Whether it would have raised a dime, I haven’t the foggiest clue… but as a good sport it would have been fun to see that not all politics is cutthroat, and that a good natured gentlemen’s bet can still be shared.

Hopefully RPV will spend it on better social media outreach (or something to its effect).

Would I do this again?  Probably so, though like Waldo I might switch the beneficiaries to a charity.  I wouldn’t recommend this as a new fad (please — no mass “put your money where your mouth is” movements) but I certainly enjoyed the ebb and flow as Frederick leaned towards either not running or retaining the seat for the House GOP.  I’m not certain many would have blamed him for running for another term, especially after the April 2008 removal.

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