Saturday, November 03, 2007

Endorsements, contributions, and Sammy Two-fingers

(Too) many politicians make a big deal of their endorsements and lists of contributors. Before running for office something always bothered me about politicians so willing to seek the endorsements of special interest groups then prostitute those endorsements on their campaign literature as though they were the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval.

I always thought it better to elect a candidate because I thought they were the right person for the job, not because someone else thought they were right. I don't know what their motivations are, I don't know if they're trying to guard something, I don't know if endorsements were horse-traded or coerced, and recently I've discovered not all endorsements are true.

So what does it say about a candidate for whom seeking and publicizing endorsements is a cornerstone of their campaign? What does it say about a candidate when for a non-partisan position they keep parading their partisan colors?

I rarely think those candidates are trying to appeal to me, which is why I've not found them appealing. That is why I'm not big on endorsements.

What have I learned about political contributions?

The most important lesson came several weeks ago when I learned not to bother looking for local business' support. Many of my luncheon meetings reminded me a scene from a mobster movie.
Sammy Two-fingers reached across the table and pinched Tommy's cheek. Not letting go he pulled Tommy close to him so only he could hear.

"Tommy, I like you. You're a good kid and you'll do great things for the city. But if Glitter wins and finds out we backed you.. well.. it's.. it's.. nothing personal. It's business."

Two-fingers let go of Tommy and smiled as they both sat back into the booth.

"So I can count on you for my re-election?"

I would never have thought such a concern was justified until last Sunday when my opponent made
much ado about nothing concerning our finance statement then accused a supporter of being a shill at a council meeting a few weeks back. The first shot, it turns out, was self-inflicted.

Suddenly it made sense. It is business. It's the business of dirty politics. But that shouldn't be a local business Ferndale should endorse or encourage. Maybe that's the experience my opponent thinks I'm missing.

That's the kind of experience Ferndale can do without.


  1. Good luck on Tuesday. I hope you beat the socks off him! Thanks so much for not being negative and handling the mud slinging like a gentlemen.

  2. "Everyone takes their turn being an idiot" is self-evident in its poor grammar.

  3. Astute observation TL. I'd prefer a mayor who uses proper subject-pronoun agreement. Come on Mr. Gagne! Ferndale residents demand proper grammar!