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Monday, January 28, 2013

10 Reasons Why I Have No Interest In Ever Running for Public Office in Scranton

Liz Randol's candidacy for Mayor of Scranton has already reminded me of why I have no interest in running for office.  Here's my list, in no particular order...
  1. Anonymous Dirt-bags.  In Scranton all manner of anonymous morons will assassinate your character, your significant other's character and blame you for anything and everything, no matter how little sense the charges make.  Just ask Chris Doherty:  among other things, he was accused of causing a suicide, the death of children in a fire, of stealing public money and countless other ridiculous charges that have proven to be not just wrong, but ridiculously wrong.  To the best of my knowledge, the man hasn't gotten so much as a parking ticket over the years.  Whether Chris Doherty was an effective Mayor is very much open to debate, but how he was treated by a bunch of Internet weasels isn't.
  2. Pay-Cut.  Despite what most Scranton residents think, you actually can make more money working in the private sector than you can in the public sector.  As for me, I have no desire to take the pay cut.  Now would I ever work in the public sector?  Maybe, but that would be to specifically trade compensation for something else of value, such as security, a pension or work experience.
  3. Daughters.  I have three daughters.  See point #1.  I have no desire to have them dragged into the gutter by a bunch of anonymous Internet weasels who shame the First Amendment at every opportunity.
  4. Religion.  I was raised Roman Catholic, but I don't consider myself to be a member of the Church any more.  That's a pretty big strike in these here parts.  Heresy anyone?  Even worse?  I don't especially care what religion other people are...or...bite my tongue...if others have no religious beliefs at all.  Hell, the vast majority of the Atheists I've met over the years are far more moral than some of the religious I've known.
  5. Privacy.  As in I am fond of my own.  More like fond of selective my own terms.  Having my life open to such scrutiny just isn't something I desire.
  6. Honesty.  I have something of a fondness for it.  I claim no higher moral standard than anyone else, but I also don't claim to be able to keep my mouth shut all the time either.  That's no good in the political arena.
  7. Partisan.  I'm not a political partisan, and as a result I find many Democrats to be as equally slimy as many Republicans.  I'd neither want nor ever get a political party endorsement, and sadly that actually matters in NEPA.
  8. Unions.  While I am a registered Democrat, I will not suck up to labor unions and their leaders.  Mind you I don't really care of a bunch of people want to join a union...just don't demand that I do so, as I can speak for my own performance, thank you very much.  In many instances, labor unions seem to be create as many problems as they solve.  This would make me none-too-popular in the closed reality ecosystem that is Scranton.
  9. Media.  While I respect the role that the media plays in our society, I don't think that they should be beyond criticism.  In Scranton, there really isn't an effective alternative to the Scranton Times, which means that they are basically above scrutiny in their dealings.  While their endorsement doesn't mean much in terms of election success or failure, they can do a decent job of bolstering the incompetent or roasting the incompetent...their (obvious) choice.  Yet another playing field that is far from level in Scranton and yet another reason why seeking public office is a losing proposition.
  10. Money. As a general rule, I don't like to contribute to political campaigns, so raising money for my own would be somewhat problematic.  The only exception I have ever made is when someone I know is running for office, which I view as more "helping a friend" than "supporting a candidate".
Who knows?  Maybe when I am older, retired and wiser I'll change my mind.  By then Scranton will be long bankrupt and probably purchased via a lease-back by the Chinese.
(Bonus points to anyone who can translate)


Mike Sporer said...

Agreed on all counts! I don't always agree with Chris Doherty, but I know his integrity is above board. He had an Irish Mom who would whack him upside the head for dishonesty. Yet, people make unfounded claims that have zero basis in fact.

My Dad spent 12 years on the Scranton School Board. That generation had thick skin...but being slammed is not for me! I would hear from my friends how "crooked" my Dad was, and I would laugh. None of my friends ever tried to tell him a lie. I only did that once! He had no tolerance for dishonesty...........

Stephen Albert said...

Mike...thanks for the posting and I apologize for taking so long to reply. I've and some blog issues of late, mainly dealing with content being taken without credit. Still trying to sort that one out.

I've met the Mayor on a few occasions (we both had daughters who played basketball for St Joe's girls league) and I always found him to be a decent, stand-up, hard-working guy. He made mistakes as Mayor, but that's a job that one one could do perfectly. While I can disagree with some of his governance, I will not ever question his integrity.

By the way, kudos to your dad for his service. That's another job I'd never want.

- Steve