I’ve learned something new every time I’ve run for office- mostly about my flaws. Mind you, it’s not been from the other candidates in the race, but from either the “Political party” faithful or the Dayton Daily News editorial board.
I’ve also learned a lot about voters- the gullible folks who accept the lines of BS that pass for political discourse in America today.
Former Dayton City Commissioner Dick Zimmer, used to start off his 3 minute presentation with “I was born and raised in Dayton, and have 9 kids and 13 grandkids”- he would mention he was retired from Ohio Bell, and that he was an endorsed Dem and an incumbent- that was it. I used to wonder if being able to procreate was a required qualification for office- and that your parents had and raised you here is something you can claim as personal achievement.
I also learned that people don’t vote for critics- or people they perceive as negative. In fact, the less of a character you are the better. We want the equivalent of Wonder Bread in elected office. Thinking for yourself is almost instant disqualification.
Debate as practiced in days of old is totally gone. A candidate shall NEVER ask another candidate a question directly. Confrontation is a no-no.
Literature should be brief, with a picture of candidate with family, short bio, and a tagline. Usually “endorsed by….”
But, before you even think about running- think about these things: without a political party machine you will not have access to voter databases, emails, phone numbers, group mailings, poll pogues who hand out “slate cards” and volunteers galore from organizations like unions or special interest groups.
You’ll be ridiculed for having the naivete to try to buck the well established system. Anything negative about you will be in the paper. You’ll give up countless unpaid hours going to candidates nights and campaigning, your business becomes everyone’s business.
So the editorial in the Dayton Daily News, suggesting that we have too many offices and not enough candidates this weekend was almost too funny. Did they get a sense of humor suddenly?
Meanwhile, people who are not satisfied with the kinds of people who are offering their services might consider offering themselves. If you’ve sometimes thought about doing that, but you’ve wondered how your qualifications might compare with other candidates, the best approach is not to assume anything. One can get in the fray and see how things turn out.
Let’s see- “get in the fray”- there is no fray. How things turn out? What, put yourself on the chopping block and hand the cleaver over to Martin Gottlieb for the quintessential hatchet job?
I’m sorry, but the irony of this is like the cat putting out cheese for mice. They are desperate for fodder to attack, since it’s easier to hit the gullible than the guilty. They propose regionalism, right after we’ve been assaulted with article after article about the Counties ineptitude when it comes to managing poverty money handed over to a man who has previously been convicted for welfare fraud. This was just following the Sheriff paying his sister to do foreclosure appraisals- at a higher than authorized rate (no investigation into culpability for that faux pas). Sure, everyone wants to risk their day job to run for office to work with corrupt people who were promoted for election by a secret cabal.
Besides the independently wealthy, only those who’ve got their day jobs covered by their friends: Dean Lovelace with his UD job, Bootsie Neal with Central State, Clay Dixon had the Dayton Public Schools, Nan Whaley had Karl Keith, Dan Foley had his Daddy and Tony Hall etc. etc. Yep, the talent pool comes from the same petri dish.
And if you need further proof that running for office requires people capable of checking off boxes- take a look at the kind of questionnaires candidates get- this one from National Right to Life for Congressional candidates: National Right To life Questionnaire for Congressional candidates Feb 2010 PDF
Please tell me how voters can have any real knowledge of candidates true positions any more? Even after week after week of balanced articles in the Sunday DDN- and running for office multiple times, there were still a lot of voters that had no clue who I was. Please tell the DDN that it’s come down to yard signs, name recognition and slate cards- not the caliber of the candidate.
The Dayton Grassroots Daily Show has a conversation about the DDN editorial, regional government and running for office- enjoy:
And if you want to know how I believe we should change the process- see this post: The Dayton Process