Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Candidate Posts - Part I

Note: I have indeed filed for the position of Alderman of South Padre Island, Postion #4

How I Got Here

So there I am, minding my own business enjoying the enchiladas and a (Blue Moon) draft at Dorados with Nancy Marsden and Lori Wells when the call comes in from a prefers-to-be-anonymous friend in city hall. The time for filing is running out and the voters’ options are looking mighty limited. Would I consider tossing my pith helmet into the ring?

What a funny thought.

Another Blue Moon with the Brain Trust (that would be Lori & Nancy, with a few words of wisdom from our hostess, Leah) and the thought is growing less funny and more interesting. Calls are made. It appears that Candidate A is running unopposed. No wait. It appears that candidate A has in fact filed for candidate B’s position, ostensibly to enable candidate C to run unopposed in candidate A’s former position.

We swing by city hall to pick up a filing packet -- just for grins. Candidate D is hangin’ in the lobby and turns a whiter shade of pale upon learning of my possible candidacy. And suddenly the latest word is that candidate A is rushing back from the airport to change filing positions again due to a silly mistake having to do with not knowing which position said candidate is currently the incumbent of. Or so it is explained to me by Candidate D, with what is obviously a mighty attempt at a straight face. (Candidate D is a lousy liar -- which is maybe a good trait for an elected official to possess, no?)

So the brain trust (“Champagne Manager” and “Keeper of the Booty” soon joined by Diane “Vender Queen” Hofmeister) and I are filling out forms and discussing platforms and issues and bumper stickers and foot-shaped cookies as the phones ring on and it turns out that Candidate A has made it back from the airport in time to successfully change filing positions; candidate C has also pulled the expected switcheroo and candidate E is waiting in the wings to ride in on a white charger at the last possible moment -- so as not to tip the old hand too soon, one might assume.

If this story doesn’t make your head spin then it is because you are already well inoculated to politics as usual on South Padre Island -- this new “places” twist to the aldermen race has just added to the intrigue. The town is divided and the candidates are already employing deception and subterfuge while busily gaming the system to get their shot at this dollar a year position. In the meantime, plenty of voters are feeling that at least some of their elected officials don’t listen or - even worse - are only listening to people who have money and/or who are part of some powerful inner circle.

So how do we break out of the “SPI politics as usual” mindset? Is it possible? Or even desirable?

I don’t know. But I do have some ideas that I would like to present for your consideration, if you will bear with me.

Update 3/13: I have been assured by "Candidate D" that the candidate switcheroo detailed in the above narrative was in fact attributable to an honest mistake, and I am willing to concede this as a possibility. The place system is brand shiny new and it does not seem unreasonable that confusion could reign. The timing of all of it still seems a bit suspicious, but I am willing to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt and report that it could very well have all happened just the way Candidate D said it did.


Next: Who I am and What I Want

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2 Comments:

Blogger islandboy said...

...not to sound like a naive out-of-towner....even though, i am still...given i haven't made my way south just yet

what is an alderman?
kinda like city council?

well regardless...good luck!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Lucinda -- I'm glad to have been a part in the decision making!! Blue Moon can do wonders! You are like a breath of fresh air because I do know that whatever you say, you believe. And I appreciate that!

6:11 PM  

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