The bailout vote was defeated today in Congress, and it got me fired up. My call mattered! (Well, when added to thousands of others...) Turns out that the calls made to Congress today were 9 to 1 AGAINST the bailout. How does that make you feel about the responsiveness of your Representatives?
Congressman Mike Ross voted FOR the bailout. He won't be getting my vote in November. Unfortunately, as I did some checking, he's running unopposed! What?! The more checking I did, the more my heart sunk.
Apparently for the people of south Arkansas, we are content with business as usual. 99% of candidates for Drew County and our region will be running unopposed this November. I have no room to gripe. My name is not on any ballot either.
I did, however, attempt to run for city council, but was told by County Clerk Lyna Gulledge that as a write-in candidate, I would not be allowed to run. The Secretary of State's office told me differently. Lyna was supposed to call me back and let me know about some obscure ordinance that the city of Monticello had passed to prevent write-in candidates from running, but she never did. To my shame, I never followed up.
I think it's sad that getting involved in local affairs is made so difficult. I asked several folks over the last few months if they had any idea how to "get involved," and none knew. I would think that our city, country, state, and nation would want more people to get more involved. Wedesperatelyneed a grassroots movement in this country of common-sense folks. Unfortunately, it's not well-publicized how to get involved. (I wonder if this is because the folks already involved realize that your involvement would mean their loss of a job...)
So how am I to note vote for Mike Ross? By simply not voting for him. I wish I had a choice. I wish your name was on the ballot. I wish my name was on the ballot. Anyone but his. He has voted with his party 94% of the time. That's too much for true bipartisan effort and well-balanced leadership.
But as I looked further, I was stunned to realize that in county and city elections, 99% of incumbents are running unopposed. I have no room to gripe. Neither do you. But maybe we'll learn from this and begin working now to make a difference later.
Check out this link for 2008 Drew County Elections.
Here for 2008 Arkansas House elections. Eddie Cheatham is running unopposed.
Arkansas State Senate Races. Jimmy Jeffress is running unopposed.
Arkansas U.S. Senator Mark Pryor has no Republican opponent (read here); only a Green Party candidate, Rebekah Kennedy is running against him, and an Independent, Donald Lee Hamrick is also on the ballot. Hmmm.
While I don't agree with his politics, the Daily Kos ran this article in 2005 about the shame of allowing unopposed races in elections. It's worth thinking about.