BY BECKY FENGER | aUGUST 15, 2012
Campaign capers and quirks
Ahhhh, the vagaries of the campaign trail. Along with the jejune flyers and speeches are the bits of humor, intentional or not, that lighten our path.
Certainly titter worthy is the invitation that came in my mail to a "Women for Parker" fundraiser. Those of you who remember my "Class vs. Crass" column on Congressional District 9 candidate Vernon Parker and his wife Lisa, delineating Vernon's predatory bar habits, will get a kick out of my being solicited to give money to this man.
Sweeter still is the featured guest at the (pardon the expression) affair at the posh Sanctuary Resort overlooking some of Parker's stomping grounds: Debbie Gaby, president of Sleep America, Arizona's largest mattress retailer. (You can't make this stuff up, folks.)
Another source of entertainment is the Citizens Clean Elections Commission's thick Statewide and Legislative Candidate Statement Pamphlet. Candidates are forewarned that the written statements which they submit will be published verbatim, warts and all. This should be enough to encourage vigilant proofreading.
Nevertheless, Legislative District 26 candidate for State Representative Buckley Merrill wrote: "That is why I confidently say, 'I will protect your Life, Liberty and Poverty better than anybody else.'" Well, most voters would rather have their Property protected than their privation.
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Darn. Now my refrigerator is loaded with Palermo's and Kirkland frozen pizzas, with me on the Atkins Diet. It was a reaction to a workers' protest outside of Costco last weekend. A union thing. With all the towns declaring bankruptcy largely due to unfunded union pensions and perks, that was enough to make me pile my cart high with cartons of carbs. Now I'll live with the consequences.
As a supporter of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, I'm getting fed up with union thuggery. Who could not be upset with the brutally honest statement of the late American Federation of Teachers union boss Al Shanker: "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of schoolchildren." Disgusting as that is, the truth is that union bosses still feel the same way.
NRTW's Mark Mix wrote in the National Examiner: "The fact is that teachers union officials, armed with monopoly-bargaining privileges, often fail to represent the interests of many talented and hardworking teachers as well as the interests of schoolchildren."
There are two recent examples that Mix gives. The New York teacher-union bosses teamed up with Governor Andrew Cuomo in order to prevent the implementation of teacher evaluations. Also, the South Dakota Education Association union poobahs are working to repeal that state's new merit pay law. Mustn't have any of that good stuff.
I think I can honestly say that, in filling out my ballot, I wouldn't vote for a candidate who has union support. Unfailingly, it comes with strings. So there.
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Note: If any voter in Congressional District 1 doesn't vote for the eminently super human being Jonathan Paton, he or she is missing the boat on a more than worthy challenger (in several languages) to the elusive Ann Kirkpatrick. The way Kirkpatrick runs from her constituents, public forums, and any sort of conflict makes one wonder how women ever got the right to serve in the military.
Hypocrisy 101: Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is fond of attacking presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for his former holdings in Swiss bank accounts. The Weekly Standard points out that disclosure forms reveal that in 2010 Wasserman Schultz held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India.
"A similarity between politics and pro wrestling is the absence of honest passion."
– Journalist Murray Kempton