Jan 26, 2009

The Field Guide to Winning Elections

(2009 revised edition)

Hometown hero Jim ‘Point Guard’ Tedisco has long referred to himself as Mr. Schenectady, champion of the people of his beloved and native Electric City in the NYS Assembly throughout his political career. But he now wants to get promoted, with his eyes on Kirsten Gillibrand’s former seat representing the 20th Congressional District.

There’s only one technicality here: Schenectady is not part of the 20th Congressional District. Instead, he is lifelong resident of the currently configured 21st.

“Not to worry,” might go Assemblyman T’s counter argument. “My new wife still has her name listed as the owner of a home up there in Saratoga -- for now at least -- so that makes it all good.”

The fact that Mr. Tedisco chose not to take a shot at the vacant 21st seat in last November’s election would have seemed the more appropriate contest to enter, of course. But there’s an ‘enrollment’ problem within those boundaries. Simply put: there are too many of those darned Democrats in the 21st District, forcing a Republican such as Point Guard really needing work it if he wants to punch that ticket to DC. The neighboring 20th, however– with its large Republican advantage – should be the easier fish to fry.

Incumbents have long been castigated for their dirty little trick of re-drawing district boundaries in such a way to tilt the deck (i.e., their individual re-election prospects) in their favor; a process called gerrymandering. Tedisco has a better idea: let’s just look at the state map as it now exists and find a race somewhere that I can waltz through.

Let’s think how I might apply this logic to my advantage: my very own hubby is in the not-so-proud possession of a two-week timeshare unit, which gives him (and me, I would hope) access to over 300 temporary living quarters scattered in various communities and resorts all over the world. I guess I need to start researching each one, to see where I can go run for some local office and collect an extra paycheck. Better yet: four or five of them at once! Why not?

H’mmmm: maybe I can be a councilwoman in Vail; a county legislator in Maui; the coroner in Miami Beach (nah; scratch that none); the mayor of Steamboat Springs; the commissioner of deeds in some little town in the Outer Banks ….


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