Politician

October 30, 2008

Far too often I have heard School Board members say “I’m not a politician”. That’s bullshit.
If your name is on a ballot you are a politician. That’s kinda the definition of a politician. 

So, you can imagine what I thought when I read about Tina Smith at The Free Press Online, a weekly student–run newspaper serving the University of Southern Maine.

“I’m not a politician, I’m a community organizer,” says City Council candidate Tina Smith, as fellow candidates and voters shuffle past her on a rainy Wednesday evening, after wrapping up a lively election forum at the North Star cafe in downtown Portland.

“I’m never going to be a politician.”

Tina, if you are never going to be a politician, you will never get anything accomplished if elected.

In order to succeed in politics at any level, you have to think like a politician every waking moment. If you don’t you will fail to accomplish any goals you set out for yourself. Because if you don’t think and act like a politician, you will be run over by someone who does.

Trust me.


Campaign Promises

October 29, 2008

When running for local office most candidates really don’t have a platform they run on. Let’s face it, with two thirds of local elections being uncontested who needs to have a platform. For that reason I was impressed when I read Buckeye RHINO who wrote about Nick Brusky who is running for Lorain County Commissioner in Ohio. Nick Brusky actually has a outlined what he wants to change in Lorain County government.
On the first day I take office I will immediately propose the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of County Residents in their government:

• First. No general fund tax increases.

• Second. All agencies seeking an additional or renewal countywide property tax levies will be required to undergo an independent performance audit before being placed on the ballot. If the audit finds that we can propose a lower millage than requested, then the lower millage will go before the voters.

• Third. Select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of the County for waste, fraud or abuse.

• Fourth. Increase fiscal prudence by limiting year to year budget increases to a maximum percentage accommodating for the change inflation plus population growth only.

• Fifth. Let the people see how the County Commissioners spend their tax dollars by posting an “Online Checkbook” every month that lists each and every expenditure and its purpose.

• Sixth. The use of Solid Waste money for billboards, handouts, and other advertising is wasteful and will be discontinued. Use Solid Waste money to fully fund recycling programs of Municipalities and Townships first. Any remaining money leftover will be given to the taxpayers in the form of rebates for purchasing items that will help them “go green.”

• Seventh. Increase public participation by having our regular meetings at 7:00 pm, and televised live. Increase co-operation with more municipal and township officials by hosting Lorain County Community Alliance Meetings at night.

Respecting the judgment of my fellow citizens as I seek their mandate for reform, I hereby pledge my name to this Contract with Lorain County.

Sincerely,

Nicholas W. Brusky

As a new County Commissioner I doubt he will have much influence on his “first day”, but I give the guy credit for his moxie if he wins and wish him good luck! Let this also be an outline for other potential candidates for local office.

List what you want to do, then after elections follow through even if you fail at first … try, try again.


What If?

October 28, 2008

What if I hung Barak Obama in my front lawn. 
In Los Angeles it wasn’t Barak Obama who was hung in the front lawn … it was Sara Palin.
What if I hung Barak Obama in my front lawn. 

In Los Angeles it wasn’t Barak Obama who was hung in the front lawn … it was Sara Palin.

CBS.Com reported …                                                                                                                                           
A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others.

Drawing giggles?

If it was Barak Obama swinging in the wind would they report it was “drawing giggles” from some people?

Chad Michael Morisette, who lives in the house, told CBS 2 News that drivers and bus passengers have been stopping to snap pictures of the macabre scene.

“Bus passengers have been stopping to snap pictures?”

What if it were Barak Obama?


Term Limits

October 27, 2008
I am not a fan of term limits. That is what elections are for.
However, I also believe in the “will of the people. In New York City that means term limits. Until now.

Newsday.Com gave a very good report of the vote of the New York City Council when they voted on abolishing the referendum imposed term limit on the Mayor.

After the City Council voted 29-22 yesterday to extend the limit on city offices from two terms to three, Bloomberg was targeted with charges and cursing by enraged hecklers who called him “liar” and “sellout” as he was escorted by police to his car parked outside City Hall.

For Bloomberg, as well as for Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and her loyal majority, there was a chill fall wind not just in the tally but in the tone of the dissidents’ floor speeches.

In hoarse and angry tones, Tony Avella (D-Queens) struck the core of the issue when he explained his “no” vote.”

If those who support this bill think it is a really good-government thing, that we have three terms instead of two, why did they wait ’til now? They waited ’til now so it was too late to do a referendum, so it could only be done legislatively.”

Then he warned others in the council: “You’re not conning anybody. The public of this city knows the fix was in from the beginning. And you know something? When the time comes, hopefully – and I apologize to my colleagues – but you should all be voted out of office.”

How often do you hear that kind of statement in City Hall?

We are forgetting who we work for,” warned “no” voter Bill DeBlasio (D-Brooklyn). He called “Orwellian” the claim made by Bloomberg and Quinn that “by taking away the people’s right to decide this issue we are increasing their choices.”

Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) even cited the fact that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez – targeted as a left-wing tyrant by American leaders – held a referendum on his own term limits and accepted the verdict when the people said no.

All Hail Mayor Bloomberg! Being unfavorably compared to Hugo Chavez!
That is an accomplishment

 


Certain Death

October 24, 2008

It isn’t New Orleans, but the frustration is starting to come out of Galveston.

Seven hundred people turned out Wednesday for a town hall meeting in Galveston and voiced their frustration with how things are going after Hurricane Ike, KPRC Local 2 reported.

 

“I’ve been housed in a tent for 45 days,” said one resident.

 

“We are starting to feel like trash,” said another.

The meeting was supposed to be a chance for residents to ask questions and get some answers six weeks after Ike devastated this community.

 

At one point, City Manager Steve LeBlanc had to ask for help handling the crowd.

 

“We are here to help you tonight,” LeBlanc said. “We cannot help if you are not quiet. Officers, help me out here.”

 

It seemed that more than anything, people just wanted to be heard.

 

“I lost my home, I lost my job,” said one woman.

 

There were questions about the Federal Emergency Management Agency aid and many about housing, especially from the people who have been staying in what’s known as tent city, a temporary shelter set up by the Red Cross, that is closing in four days.

 

“Where do we go right now? Where do we go right now?” asked one man.

 

For the first time, the city revealed its plan.

 

“There will be a shelter run by the state,” said LeBlanc.

Correct me if I’m wrong…but didn’t the people who stayed … face “certain death?”


Going a bit too far

October 23, 2008

College campuses do have an alcohol problem. Always have … always will. I don’t expect anyone to ignore the problem but some solutions are just plain screwy. Case in point … the City of LaCrosse, WI.

This article in the LaCrosse Tribune caught my eye.

Reforming a city policy on alcohol in parks could be the La Crosse Alcohol Oversight Committee’s last action.

Members voted Tuesday to disband in favor of a second task force, which would review the committee’s progress since it convened in 2004.

The oversight committee is one of 19 recommendations an initial task force drafted to combat the drinking culture after University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Jared Dion drowned in the Mississippi River in 2004.

Chairwoman Dorothy Lenard said her committee successfully checked all but two of the 19 eliminating drink specials and establishing a detox center off the list. She said it will be up to the 15-person task force whether the oversight committee reassembles.

With one foot out the door, the committee gave tacit approval to a plan to regulate alcohol in parks.

Parks Director Steve Carlyon offered a revised plan to prohibit alcohol at city beaches, pools, school and neighborhood parks or within 1,000 feet of a play structure without a permit.

So, if I lived within three football fields (900 ft) of a city park with a “play structure”
I would not be allowed to have a beer in my own backyard without a permit?

Just how is that going to “combat the drinking culture” at UW-LaCrosse?


Two Weeks and Counting

October 22, 2008

In less than two weeks we will be going to the polls to vote. The lines may be long. The wait may become a nuisance. The election workers will be tested throughout the day with irritated voters.

Remember to thank the election workers. They are trying … they really are.