Not meeting the mayoral candidates
I have friends on both sides of the upcoming Tulsa mayoral election who have asked me if I'd be willing to meet with their respective candidate, a private meeting where I could voice my concerns and the candidate would make his or her case for my support.
It's not that I command masses of voters, but I do have some influence, and one of a candidate's jobs is to win over influencers. In a close election, anyone with any size following could make the difference between winning and losing.
A friend called yesterday to set up just such a meeting. I told my friend what I had decided, but had not yet announced: I won't be meeting with either candidate.
Here's what usually happens in these meetings: The candidate butters up his guest, telling him how valuable he is to the community, even if the candidate reviles him. The candidate encourages his guest to talk about his concerns. If all goes well and the guest is talkative, the candidate can just sit and nod sympathetically. If the guest has pointed questions, the candidate may have to find ways to avoid answering the questions while sounding like he's given a definitive answer. There may be a hint of a promise of an appointment to a commission or an initiative to address one of the guest's concerns. Of course, such promises are unenforceable, and only a sucker would believe them. Indeed, anything a candidate says in a private meeting is written on water.
What would be the point of a private meeting?
The candidates know I don't trust either one of them. I've compiled long lists of the foolish and evil things they've each done in office. I've voiced my concerns with each of them publicly and at length.
I've also been very public and vocal about what Tulsa isn't doing but should be, and vice versa.
If they want to win my support, they can speak and act publicly to address my concerns, and I'll take those public commitments and actions into consideration.
Life is busy. I have three growing kids who need and deserve increasing amounts of my attention. I live with a certain amount of guilt for all the hours I spent writing about city politics rather than playing board games and reading books. My day job is going well -- plenty of work and plenty of new projects coming in the door. I have plenty of projects around the house and yard that need my attention.
Why should I waste any of my precious time arranging a meeting with a politician so he or she can tell me sweet little lies?
NOTICE: Any phone call to me from a mayoral candidate or his/her representative will be recorded and may be published in whole or in part here on BatesLine. Likewise, any email or other written communication from a mayoral candidate or his/her representative is on the record and may be published in whole or in part here on BatesLine.
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