Important election update: The Public Policy Institute of
California (motto: “We don’t know what our name means, either”) ran
a poll recently showing California attorney general and governor
hopeful Jerry Brown a few points ahead of his closest rival, former
eBay CEO and royal highness, Meg Whitman.
Important election update: The Public Policy Institute of California (motto: “We don’t know what our name means, either”) ran a poll recently showing California attorney general and governor hopeful Jerry Brown a few points ahead of his closest rival, former eBay CEO and royal highness, Meg Whitman.
Steven Glazer, campaign manager for Jerry Brown, gleefully contends that Brown’s lead shows voters were unfazed by the “whore” statement made against Whitman by one of Brown’s staff members. Awesome.
Glazer also promises the Brown campaign will be “more than competitive” in the days winding down to the Nov. 2 election. Well. We can certainly rest easier about THAT!
This so-called competitiveness will be in the form of 10-15 million pieces of mail set to rain down on prospective voters in the final days before the election – at a cost of some $5 million. Of course that’s just a drop in the old campaign bucket compared to the $12 million Brown’s campaign has designated to be spent in these last two weeks of the race.
But Brown and company are mere paupers in keeping pace with the $140 million of Whitman’s own funds that she has plunked into the race so far. As Whitman’s spokesperson Andrea Rivera put it, “as far as the numbers go, we will be fully funded.” Wow. D’ya think?
It’s not just that campaign spending has reached ridiculous new heights. It’s not even the mud-slinging ads on TV, nor the forests and seas of political posters plastered in yards and along streets and highways from here to kingdom come. No. While those campaign tactics are annoying and tiresome, politicians reached new lows in my book when they began calling me at home.
Why, you’ll never guess who phoned me just this morning: Pat Boone. That’s right. Apparently Pat, my new BFF, called to chat about a candidate he’s endorsing in the next election. I really can’t elaborate beyond that because I slammed down the phone. Right in Pat’s clean-cut ear.
Yes, all those uninvited phone calls are making me behave badly. Because apparently some brain trust decided it was a stupendous stroke of genius to start pimping out honest-to-gosh celebrities to hawk their favorite candidates by calling innocent folks at home.
I, for one, would like to raise an objection. In fact, I raised such an objection the other day that I called back the number appearing on my caller I.D. and raged for several minutes at the recorded greeting that picked up my call.
“I will NEVER vote for your candidate!” I exploded. “I don’t care if your nominee is Mother Teresa incarnate – if you ever call me at home again I will personally …” Well, you get the idea. It wasn’t pretty, people.
All the despicable behavior in the name of political campaigning has turned into such a hot mess that I sometimes feel I don’t want to vote for ANYBODY on the ticket. I mean, if one candidate professes his or her opponent is basically slop on a stick and then THAT candidate insists his or her opponent is slop on a stick or worse, what does that tell us? That’s right: apparently ALL of the candidates are slop on a stick and have no business running anything beyond a game of craps.
So that’s why I was very heartened the other night upon learning about Jimmy McMillan. Now if that name is not familiar, let me fill you in on this New York original. Running for governor, elaborately mustachioed McMillan is the leader of the movingly named the “Rent is 2 Damn High” party. Stealing the mojo of more serious candidates such as Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino and, oh yeah, a former prostitute, McMillan participated in a televised debate wearing black gloves while firing off irrational non-sequiturs for reasons probably known only to him.
But Jimmy McMillan aside, let’s consider his choice of political party. Now here’s an upfront, focused platform if there ever was one. I mean, what do the names “Democrat” or “Republican” really mean, anyway? I think it’s about time to call a spade a spade, people. Let’s ditch these negative campaigns sponsored by mainstream political parties and concentrate on real issues such as who decided it’s OK to disturb regular people such as myself by phoning them at home to blather on about why we should vote for Jane or Joe Blow.
What we need are political parties that tell it like it is for a change. Something like the “No More Mud-Slinging Trash Talk and For Sure No More Freaking Phone Calls” Party. Yeah, that’s the ticket. In fact, even I would run for THAT party. With pride. Although it might be kind of hard to get all that on those little campaign pins.