Citizens need to do their homework
Original post made by News Guy, another community, on Oct 28, 2009
The real problem in government today is that the citizens don't care enough to make informed voting decisions.
Voters don't do their homework. A few years ago we had a candidate running for the Menlo Park Fire District board who had had his fire district credentials removed by court order due to abusive use (he had been seated for a previous term because no one else ran and there wasn't even an election). This individual still came within a few votes of getting elected to a later term due simply to the name recognition that resulted from the court action.
All of the independent, intelligent and careful evaluations of the six candidates for the fire board by local newspapers have resulted in the unanimous endorsement of the same three candidates James M. Harris, Rexford Ianson and Stephen Nachtsheim. None of these careful evaluations endorsed the three candidates endorsed by the union.
If the three union-endorsed candidates do get elected, which I hope does not happen, they clearly will owe their election to the union's massive campaign on their behalf. Will they feel some or any obligation to the union when the time comes to vote on a new labor contract? Or will they be totally committed to serving the best interests of the citizens?
Because of the voters' simplistic reliance on name recognition the big amounts of money and manpower being spent by the firefighters' union can overwhelm the non-endorsed candidates. Such a dominant role by the unions coupled with poor citizenship on the part of the voters in not doing their homework will make our elections a sham.