Your elec­tion year score­card

The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY - David Car­roll

the giant scis­sors in the rib­bon­cut­ting photo for the new school that he voted against.

Ms. “I’m only here for the food.” She’s the city coun­cilper­son or school board mem­ber who never asks ques­tions, and rarely of­fers any ideas or so­lu­tions. She does, how­ever, en­joy the free catered lunches, and will never miss an out-of-town con­fer­ence to ex­pen­sive ho­tels and restau­rants.

Mr. “I’m not a politi­cian.” He al­ways in­sists he’s only a good ol’ boy, just one of us. He once helped coach a lit­tle league team, so he lists him­self on the elec­tion bal­lot as “John (Coach) Doe.” He doesn’t re­ally keep up with the is­sues, but he pats ev­ery­body on the back, vol­un­teers at the con­ces­sion stand, and will pay for your lunch. He has never lost an elec­tion.

Mr. “Doesn’t stand a chance.” No­body ever sees or hears from him. We’re not sure if he lives in the district, or even in the state. But as sure as day­light be­comes dark, each elec­tion year, he shows up and runs for some­thing. He’s usu­ally at­tempt­ing to set­tle a score, like when the sher­iff locked him up for DUI on a lawn­mower. He’s never got­ten more than thir­teen votes, but he sure loves to see his name on the bal­lot.

Mr. “Let’s Make a Deal.” He’s part of that grand po­lit­i­cal tra­di­tion: What’s in it for me? Af­ter be­ing on the city coun­cil or county com­mis­sion for a few years, peo­ple be­gin to no­tice. He has a nice home, a new car, and he wears fine clothes. What he doesn’t have, is a job. Some­one once made the ac­cu­sa­tion that he could be “bought.” He took of­fense, say­ing, “That is ou­tra­geous! I can­not be bought!” Af­ter a short pause, he said, “But I CAN be rented for a few days…”

Ms. “Now you see me, now you don’t.” Dur­ing cam­paign sea­son, she’s on full dis­play. Her signs are ev­ery­where, and she ac­cepts ev­ery in­vi­ta­tion to speak. But when a con­tro­ver­sial tax in­crease is be­ing de­bated, she is sud­denly very busy. She dodges re­porters with the skills of an NFL run­ning back. When it’s time for the big de­ci­sion, she votes “Yes,” and then qui­etly ex­cuses her­self, leav­ing early through the back door. But just like birds that mi­grate north each spring, she’ll be back in time for the next elec­tion cam­paign.

Mr. “I was con­fused.” He votes against a com­pli­cated pro­posal, and when there are un­pop­u­lar reper­cus­sions, he pleads con­fu­sion. “I thought I was vot­ing FOR it,” he ex­plains, de­mand­ing a re-vote. Oh yes, he will be re-elected.

Fi­nally, Mr. “No Com­ment.” The most frus­trat­ing one of all. De­spite the fact he was elected by, and is paid by the peo­ple, he will refuse to an­swer ques­tions from re­porters, or even his con­stituents. Try that with your boss, and see how far you get. “Ex­cuse me, did I just see you tak­ing money out of the cash reg­is­ter?” “Uh…no com­ment!” Good­bye job, hello, un­em­ploy­ment line.

All this po­lit­i­cal talk re­minds me of a story. A con­gress­man was on the cam­paign trail, giv­ing his stump speech. He closed by say­ing, “So go out and vote for me on Tues­day!” An el­derly man jumped up from his seat, and yelled, “Not me! Not me! I wouldn’t vote for you if you were St. Peter him­self!” The con­gress­man looked him right in the eye and replied, “No sir, you wouldn’t. Be­cause if I was St. Peter, you wouldn’t be liv­ing in my district!”

David Car­roll, a Chat­tanooga news an­chor, is the au­thor of “Chat­tanooga Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion,” and “Vol­un­teer Bama Dawg,” avail­able for $23 each on his web­site, Chat­tanoogaRa­, or by mail. You may con­tact him at 900 White­hall Road, Chat­tanooga, TN 37405 or 3dc@

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