Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Government Way

Coeur d'Alene city council elections are coming up. All the incumbents have filed for re-election. Some I would like to see re-elected, to others I'm indifferent. Since I don't live in the city, I can't vote anyway but I still follow the proceedings because what happens in Coeur d'Alene affects all the surrounding areas in one way or another.

The Press is now running bios of the candidates. The one today, on a man I've met but once, captured my interest. Would that all politicians be as forth right as this man when it comes to political speak. He made a comment that is as plain as the nose on your face. "You have no idea what government is like until you're there." Truism number one.

He went on to say, and this is an important point, "It has it's own language, it has it's own money system which sometimes doesn't seem like it reflects everyday life." Boy. Speaking about truisms! Think about how the feds figure the cost of living index while excluding two minor items - food and gas!

"I learned that government can still be strange but I've learned how to move around in it and get people's ideas and go back and rework and re-evaluate those ideas and try to make things happen for the long term good." Isn't this how it's supposed to work? That a politician not forget the people he represents?

"It's about getting good ideas out there and compromise." Are you listening Washington? Every Representative and Senator should have this interview as required reading!

"You meet other people and hear their ideas and think," 'Hey, I never thought of that. Let's give that a try' ". When have you ever heard a Congressman admit there's an idea he had never thought of?

This man has it down pat. An understanding that things inside the system work differently than those outside and, more importantly, that the constituents' best interests come first. Too bad he's not interested in higher office. He'd be a refreshing change.

On the other hand Coeur d'Alene is fortunate to have him. Although he's one of those much maligned Californians who maintains his surfer boy image, he's been in these parts long enough for that to have been forgiven. He, along with his brother, run a popular local eatery where he easily accessible. Imagine that! You can actually talk to the man!

Maybe it's his lack of political ambition that makes him so attractive a candidate to me. He just likes what he's doing for the community in which he lives. He's one of us and he hasn't forgotten it.

It makes me wonder, though, about the would be challengers who do little but nip pick about the process during the off years. Should one of them get elected they may find themselves compromised when they're on the inside looking out. I wonder how they would handle that!

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