These last couple of weeks, my wife and I have had more election mail in our box every day than all other kinds combined. Organization newsletters, requests for charitable contributions, bills, magazines, and other miscellaneous stuff doesn’t come close to the volume of mud occupying our snail mail inbox.
There is no doubt about it. My family will have completely new representation in Sacramento and Washington D.C. at the start of 2013. But change doesn’t come easy in politics. Both major parties have a lot to be worried about in this election and -lucky us- we happen to live in one of the most hotly contested new districts in the nation. It is especially nasty this election season because we live in a newly created Congressional district…and State Senate district…and State Assembly district.
For the first time I can remember (and I’ve lived in this house for 28 years), a representative from the Democratic Party came to my house to encourage me, as a registered voter, to support them. She was walking the precinct and asking, “will you be supporting the Democratic Party this election?”
“No,” I replied. “I vote for people, not parties. That’s why my wife and I are ‘Decline to State’ on our registrations.”
California did something great a couple of years ago. As federal law requires, Congressional districts are re-drawn from the results of the Census. But in 2010, the voters of California took the power of drawing those lines away from the politicians and gave them to a committee of citizens: a combination of Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters who should be less likely to be biased, corrupt, and selfish. They had to look at communities and people instead of donors. They needed to make districts that looked somewhat normal instead of shaping them like a wriggling worm on a hook. The result has been great so far.
Back to the precinct walker. She was very polite, well trained, and wasn’t pushy about anything. But her presence showed just how much of an investment the Democrats are making here. They are playing to win. I would be shocked to see a Republican walking this precinct, but if someone did make an appearance, that would be even more telling of how contentious this area is.
I hope each of you will wade through the morass of name calling, party bashing, and lie spewing that these candidates force upon us during an election and learn about your choices. Go beyond the party listed next to their name and truly look for a candidate who you believe will do a fair and bipartisan job representing you. Prioritize America before you prioritize a party.