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Trying to stay sane during election campaigns

Trying to stay sane during election campaigns

Posted By Sunny Lockwood

Only nine more days until the election.

Are you saying, "I can’t wait until this election is over"?  If not, you haven’t been watching TV or listening to the radio.

The advertising airwaves overload now pours into our mailbox. Every day it’s crammed with fliers and brochures declaring what’s right or wrong with some candidate.

And our phone is ringing with pre-recorded messages for or against some proposition on the ballot.

The endless campaigning is driving me nuts.

On the other hand, I’m sort of amused by the local races.

It’s like this at our house: Sweetheart Al and I are registered to vote in two different counties. I vote in the sparsely populated Gold Rush foothills county of Calaveras where we’ve lived for more than a decade. He votes in the northern San Francisco Bay Area County of Sonoma, where we have a cottage.

This arrangement keeps us from arguing too strenuously over local campaigns. It also gives us a close-up view of candidates in rural Calaveras and more urban Sonoma. What a comparison!

Calaveras has two candidates running for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors: the incumbent and a challenger. The challenger sees conspiracies against him everywhere. He’s even threatened to sue a local newspaper for publishing letters to the editor from voters asking him questions he does not want to answer.

Recently a debate organized by the County Chamber of Commerce came to a screeching stop 14 minutes after it started because he refused to answer questions written by audience members. Both candidates had agreed to the written-question format in advance. But at the event, he insisted that questions be asked verbally, and only by people in the district for which he was running.

According to one newspaper account, "Boos and shouted criticism erupted from the audience."

The next day’s newspaper headline read: Debate sparks heated session.

At about the same time, a forum in Sonoma County with five city council candidates, and organized by the League of Women Voters, rumbled on quite placidly.

The local newspaper reported: "Two mild attempts to generate controversy were heard…But (no one) responded to the baited hook…. Closing statements raised no eyebrows in the audience."

The headline on that event: Drama lacking in debate

So there you have it.

Calaveras: Debate sparks heated session.

Sonoma: Drama lacking in debate.

Which county would you like to vote in?

Despite the frenzied campaigning by state and national candidates, I find some humor in the local races. And that helps a little.

Let’s all vote as intelligently as we can this time around.


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