Acting Locally

From time to time, people who know how interested in politics I am ask me if I watch the Presidential debates.  I always reply: "No, I'm not interested," and try to change the subject. But why don't I want to watch?  There's plenty of drama.  Donald Trump talks about whatever comes into his head, without […]

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Politics Isn't a Dirty Word

As we prepare for the 2016 campaign season, it's time for another of my brief essays.   Consider the following conversation: "Where'll we go for dinner tonight?" "I don't know - where would you like to go? "Maybe sushi...or pizza." "I don't feel like pizza - let's do sushi." "Ok." Sound familiar, even banal?   How many […]

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Do Unto Others...

If we have a representative democracy in this country, that means, or should mean, that elected officials are the representatives of the people - they take our place, and represent our interests and well-being. One of the most pernicious ideas to gain currency in my lifetime is the notion that there is something inherently corrupting […]

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You've Got to Know the Territory

[See my earlier post on polling here] Candidates in down-ticket races have  a problem - they need professional help to run their campaigns, but, unless they are independently wealthy, they usually  can't afford the price of a professional political consultant.  For small cities (in my area of California, we have a number of incorporated cities […]

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Undecided Voters

In an earlier post,  I made the following statement: "Undecided voters are usually much more important to look at than those voters who have made up their minds,...but not always.  It's time to explain what I meant. Undecided voters are usually important, because the assumption is ( and studies have shown this) that once a […]

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A Poll is a Snapshot of the Electorate

In an earlier post,  I talked about how  I got into polling for local elections, and gave a ;ist of key points about polls that local candidates should know.   This is the first of several posts in which I will elaborate on that list.  (Note: In all my posts on polling, I assume that the […]

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Polling for Local Elections

When I was a political consultant, I spent a lot of time trying to provide the benefits of solid polling data to underfunded local campaigns like school board and city council elections.   I had studied statistics in Graduate School, and I was sure I had the necessary mathematical background to conduct a poll.   […]

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Accountability

Accountability is the fourth Principle of Political Life.  All officeholders are accountable, and should be held to be accountable by the voters. Unfortunately, once again there is a problem.  The average voter simply doesn't know enough about the purview and duties of public officeholders to properly call them to account.  See my post on Civics.  […]

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Objectivity

The third Principle of Political Life is Objectivity:  appointments and similar decisions should be made on the basis of merit. At first glance, this would appear too be the purest of principles: who would argue for appointments on any basis but merit?  Well, I would, sort of. Proposition 140, the second greatest mistake the voters […]

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Integrity

Integrity is the second principle of political life as discussed here.   No financial obligation should be accepted if it undermines the politician's position. Once again, the wording of the principle raises difficulties.  What does it mean, to undermine a politician's position?  In my view, the simple acceptance of a financial contribution says nothing about […]

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A blog about all the arts, including politics
"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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