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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Local Politics

Politics in Muskegon, Update

The “signs” of the time. Can’t miss em. Some may wish they could. I’m old school enough that I cut them some slack for their zeal. That zeal is what makes politics at this level work. Those signs are put out by ordinary people that think they can bring something important to the decision making process that we call politics in this free land.

Even from my limited time in “politics” I realize the vast amount of time these citizen politicians put into their efforts. They for the most part receive no money from the Party. Just their own or what they can raise from friends and fund raisers. Dave Schultz had a Wine Tasting last night to raise some money hope he did well. Karen Buie is having a golf outing. Mostly it seems a humbling experience just asking everyone for everything. Whether it’s money, or permission to put up a yard sign or a bigger sign, or begging donations, to setting up websites to opening up their house to strangers spending a few hundred of their own to hopefully make a hundred or more extra. Hoping you break even at least and spending a week of free time setting it up. Advertising is the big ticket here in local politics. Radio ads are usually the best these candidates can afford.

Once and awhile you’ll see a richer person with the billboards and some TV trying to buy their way into office, hey it happens I would rather it didn‘t but it is the reality. Only the voters can decide if it‘s an acceptable practice.

Think of $5.00 per yard sign (at least the corrugated core board type) and the time driving to each place, walking up and knocking on doors and asking permission to put it up. The odds for new comers probably is 10% to get a sign up. The nine out of 10 will say no in differing ways from the vulgar to the polite. Remember too that this is just for the primary. Within I think 10 days after the Aug. 5th primary the signs must all come down. If you’re lucky enough to win the primary then you’re lucky enough to put up the same signs all over again. I remember putting 250 signs together for Holly Hughes in the back room of her Headquarters while everyone else was eating hotdogs at the fundraiser. I just realized that those represented a large amount of money she had to spend. At the State level the process becomes more professional, more money is available.

To go through all that money, time effort and humble pie there must be a driving force to see them through. Hopefully a desire to do good backed up by a strong conviction in the right of what they want to do. I’ll vote for that if the ego is controlled.

You know me though I’m rooting for the little guy, the first timer who works another job, yet still wants to donate all his free time to campaigning so they can have a chance to make a difference. At this level the pay is rotten, luckily the work is part time. But the campaigning is full time while it lasts, if the candidate lasts.

When I see a sign now I smile to myself and a little of the “Better you than me” creeps in.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS Help me get the "Energy Freedom March" off the ground, This Tues 7/22 8:30am-5:30 pm at the county building see top of my side bar about it.

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