Sunday, April 5, 2009

Light posting -OR- Sucked into the vortex of local politics

I've conscripted myself to a GOTV effort ahead of Tuesday's local elections here.
I wish I had time to scrawl out the X's and O's on a telestrator for you.
Needless to say, I'm backing the underdogs against a formidable machine.

Mission Improbable.
The publisher of a local weekly responded to an endorsement inquiry by saying:

"The paper does not endorse in these races. We just don't feel we understand the dynamics of it well enough to wade in."

This is a paper that regularly editorializes about dismal voter turnout, abandonment of civic duty and lack of concern on the part of its readers.
Which came first? the paper's abdication of watchdogging or the citizens' apathy?

The paper has no editorial spine. Granted it's a small-town paper and the doings in the larger governmental territories involved are a daunting task, but the vacuum created allows for all manner of strange interpretation of the public good.

I can say that a citizen seeking information gets dismissed and demoralized when trying to get a response. If persistent, there can be resources brought to bear to demonize and discourage asking questions. Strident voices have been harassed and hounded by functionaries just following orders.

One has to wonder what an official press inquiry would net.
But ponder the difference. They blow ME off and I can rant here or locally whereas a non-response or double-talk to a working member of the fourth estate is a story that fills column inches.

In all my years, -some dozen, attempting to provide some editorial bite- I don't recall the publisher actively soliticing submissions about the activities of either county or township officials. In fact I was told that I was writing above the readers' heads. No, I responded, I'm writing where their heads need to be. It's not rocket science, we're being abused and neglected.

And granted this is Cook Crook County, Proviso Township, Illinois politics territory and there would be a river to cross in order to actually be IN the township proper. So here we are, a severed extremity of an insidiously corrupt arranged marriage negotiated back in the 19th Century. A deal that siphons off $25-30 Million in taxes for little to nothing in return. I can't tell you how proud that makes me. I can tell you that all the laws and statutes are configured to make petition for redress of grievance an incomprehensible maze to any challenger.

So if I'm scarce around this place for a couple days, you could just cut me a bit of slack okay?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So krazy