Earlier in the week, my wife and I sat down and filled out primary ballots. She felt it was our 'civic duty' to properly research each candidate by reading their information packages on the Benton County election website. I was more than okay with this for the 'major' offices, but what started as our 'civic duty' quickly became a game, as we ended up reading the information for EVERYONE on the primary ballot. My wife's reasoning was today's State Insurance Commisioner or City Council Member is tomorrow's Senator.
I guess she has a point.
What struck me is the number of people who are obviously running because they have had enough. Enough of trying to work from outside the system, giving speeches and writing letters to elected officials, and have decided the only way they are going to get things done is by running for office. These folks were fairly easy to pick out based on what was usually a Single Issue Policy Statement, and fit pretty easily into two categories: Heart Breakingly Earnest, or Flat Out Hilarious, although it's uncertain if they meant to be hilarious.
One of the first ones that tickled our fancy was Mr. Dave Sumner, running for Lt. Governor, under the flag of the Neopopulist Party. First off, that gave my wife and I an excuse to learn about the Neopopulist Party. I'm just not sure I want an 'electro-goth and rap recording artist' to be my Lt. Governor.
Then there is Stephen Sharon, running for Commissioner of Public Lands. At least he has strong opinions:
'The following are destroying our natural resources: The federal government and
it's many agencies, multi-national corporations, lobbyists, and the politicians
who are overly influenced by them.'
Yeah...he's kind of a hippy, and wants to put a 'tree-tax' in effect, which wouldn't go over good in a state like Washington where logging is still a pretty major industry. He's kind of a text book example of how there might not be a candidate you want to vote FOR, but you can usually find one to vote AGAINST.
In the 'earnest' category, my wife really got behind Jamie Wheeler, running U.S. Congress in our district. She was very upfront about her professional experience: Domestic Engineer 15yrs., Homeschool Mom, Tri-Cities Homeschool Support Group
Coordinator for 10yrs. I also respect that she was upfront about her qualifications:
'Jamie Wheeler is not a ladder climbing politician, but rather an American boldly
exercising her Constitutional Right to run for office as the Founding Fathers
had intended. She is Constitutionally Qualified Article 1 Section 2 US of the US
She's also all about doing away with all income taxes and replacing them with a National Retail Consumption Tax, which I can kind of get behind. Being from the Ron Paul school, she wants to do away with the EPA, Department of Education, and Department of Energy. Oops...that ones tough for me to get behind, since DOE kind of pays the bills at Hanford.
Still I would have been willing to vote for her if she wasn't running against Doc Hastings, whose actually been doing a pretty good job in Congress. I know it kind of makes me a flat out hypocrite, but as long as there are still going to be politicians in Congress making sure their constituents get what they want, I want a good one their getting mine for me...and right now that's Doc Hastings, and not a house wife who means well...