Anatomy of an (authentic) American political campaign

Follow the 96-day evolution of a grass roots political campaign as an All-American rural community fights back against the political manipulation of their town board's election.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Day Seventy Three

A morning filled with creating press releases and palm cards for other candidates who are also friends.

An afternoon walking door to door.

An evening at a fundraiser for the incumbent Erie County Sheriff.

Door to door went well---at least the people part. However, at one particular home, as I got out of the car my attention was captured by a full-sized, exotically colored parrot, sitting in a picture window. Since I was looking at the parrot and not at the concrete driveway on which I was walking I didn’t see that one section of the drive was substantially higher than the rest. As a result I lost my balance and took a hard, rolling tumble.

As I recovered and assessed that my body was still in one piece, my immediate thought was that someone was surely standing at the picture window next to the parrot, witnessing my embarrassing, uncoordinated fall to earth. The pain of that thought outstripped any pain I felt from the fall and so I immediately jumped up (kinda) as if nothing had happened. To my relief, not a person was in sight. Further, the parrot seemed pretty disinterested in my tumbling routine. So I put a, “Sorry I missed you” card in the door and limpingly moved on.

By the time I arrived at the fundraiser it was well underway. There was a good crowd in attendance and great food being served up by a woman who is well known in town for her tasty culinary skills. The Sheriff was welcoming to everyone as he worked the room from end to end. When he spoke he acknowledged that he was pleased to see those gathered, as many were personal family members and friends, along with political allies and law enforcement officers.

At one point I ran into a Democratic Party supporter who I once worked with during my time on the downtown Legislative staff. He is an intelligent and savvy young man who will make a great government official one day. Note that I did not use the word, “politician” because while this person is dead center in the world of politics, he somehow manages to maintain real ethics and ideals in his professional life.

Earlier in the fall he threw his hat into the legislative ring but within a few weeks, he withdrew. This was my first chance to talk with him about his change of heart. Basically he explained that it was just one of those political deals that had a crummy ending. But that was not as disturbing to him as the fact that no one involved in the race respected his real reason for wanting to run for legislative office. He thinks he could make a difference---make life better here in Erie County. And for that he was pretty much ridiculed and forced aside.

The good news is that he’s the epitome of the saying “you can’t keep a good man down” and he is already talking about running for higher office. I hope he does.

As the party wound down, a hale and hearty crew of Eden’s finest remained to the end, my husband included. I decided to leave so that I could stop by the Republican Town Council Candidate’s pizzeria. He also attended the fundraiser, but had to leave early to return to work.

We chit chatted about the fundraiser, his first. We also talked about the lack of clear and direct communication between he and the town Republican Party. It seems that they are using e-mail to contact him. However, he is not a creature who lives by the Internet. So party and candidate have not been connecting, as evidenced by the fact that he had no knowledge about tonight’s fundraiser until earlier in the day. And that info came in the form of a chastisement pointedly telling him that he needed to attend such functions as the endorsed Republican candidate.

No doubt, my friend’s political learning curve is a steep one, with little time to loose. But a good teacher can make a situation like this much more manageable then the town party bosses are doing.
 
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