Your elected representatives

Please go read Playground Politics. The specifics don’t catch my attention, but those first two paragraphs? Make sure you read them twice.

Elected folks are by and large very different from the rest of us. There’s a reason I didn’t last long.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cindy. in all due respect I do not agree with the unknown writer’s gripes. as you know it takes guts to run for public office and to accept the expected abuse that goes with it. the fault is really with the non-candidates, the non-campaign workers and the non-voters who are too lazy to expend their time and energy. as you also know I have been there, subjected to unfounded rumors and and false accusations. would I change my mind and do a do-over just to please some people. NO. we both have the talent to be good public servants, if they so choose. so be it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    he foregoing remarks are from me,Dick Steinberg. thought is was an auto when you are already registered. BN changed and I never kew about it. did you ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    excuse the typos. sometimes it happens .

  4. Dick, you know I think the world of you, but really? It takes a certain sense of self to stay in the game. Maybe there is a legitimate division between local office and the state or national version, but it’s a rare elected official who doesn’t have a few issues of their own.

  5. BrkfldDad says:

    Playground Politics hits the nail on the head. I have a number of good friends that are in elected positions or are deeply politically connected and I have to admit most are out of touch. Maybe someday I can share my personal Sensenbrenner/Kanavas episode that is the epitome of the self-absorbed reference.

  6. I have come to observe there are two flavors of politicians. One type of person that is attracted by public office is actually serving their pathetic self interest (need?) of constant stroking of their inflated ego, of their need to be perceived as popular and powerful, and exhibit little or no empathy for fellow members of humanity, other than how they can be utilized to further their own ambition.
    The other personality type truly sees political office as service, an expression of Patriotism and love of their country, and have a strong confidence in a calling to serve and fix ‘the problem’.

    This latter political profile sometimes morphs into the former, I think. Career politicians are at more of a risk of arrogance, elitist behaviors and a disconnect with constituents.

    My guess is the most ethical politicians have a hard time sustaining their standards in that arena so they go in and get out. Those that embrace the culture love living that life. A generalization, for sure- there are exceptions-but that is how I categorize the politicians I know.

  7. Dick, I have so many stories I could tell you from my time in the legislature that would change your mind. There are some good apples, to be sure, but there are a lot of bad apples. There are most certainly more bad apples and incompetent apples than there are good apples.

    The funny thing is that public perception and private reality are often so different. In my four-year stint in the Assembly, I worked for two different legislators. Rep. A had a reputation for sometimes being a difficult colleague in caucus, but as a boss was the nicest person you could ever hope to work for. Rep. B had a reputation as being a somewhat milquetoast team player, but was the nightmare boss from hell. Most people on the periphery would say “how can you work for Rep. A? That must be crazy.” They couldn’t have been further from the truth. Meanwhile, Rep. B was the Jekyll and Hyde of the Assembly. (Terri McCormick was just Hyde – she was crazy 100% of the time and made no effort to hide it.)

    On a very basic level, Rep. B just had no idea how to treat his staff like human beings. Keeping us in the office until 9:30 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving when the legislature wasn’t even in session, then demanding we be back in the office on Friday (that’s okay, I didn’t want to see my family anyway). Calling Human Resources to complain that I didn’t have to get his permission to use sick leave (hey, I’m home throwing up. You really want me in the office?). The aforementioned font story. Pushing all of our constituent work off on state agencies because he thought it was more important to respond with a meaningless letter the next day than actually take the time to fix people’s problems. His crazy insistence that all scheduling be done on a particular shade of yellow paper (“goldenrod”) even though he never used the forms, then hand copied in pencil into an old-school agenda in his desk (seriously, I can’t just give you a printout from Outlook like every other office does?). His ridiculous lists of legislative priorities which would number into the 60’s and seemingly change without notice at the drop of a hat. And then when I left for Rep. A on two days notice, he was all like “oh, why are you leaving? I really love having you in my office.” Really? Then why do you treat me like garbage?

    People like that have no business calling themselves human beings, let alone representing them. If only staff were a bit more empowered to speak freely in public without losing their jobs, you’d all get to know your legislators a HECK of a lot better, and I assure you, most of it would not be pretty.

  8. Recess Sup. You just described several people that I have worked for in the private sector at the executive level, sans legislative lingo.

    Maybe politicians aren’t really so different from the rest of the population?

  9. Anonymous says:

    for those who are disgruntled with the pols , how do you seek to make a change ? i fully understand that politics can be brutal but if ALL pols are that bad why don’t people like yourselves do something about it, like campaigning, voting and/or running for office? it used to be have more lawyers in office, then it was oust the lawyers from office and now it is oust them all. is there a light at the end of the think tank tunnel ? i also understand that some people are mad cause they got burned. after all this is the American system, the best one in the world.

  10. Hey, Anon. I tried. They generally like their jobs a whole lot and will do anything to keep them. At least that’s what I found out.

  11. DICK STEINBERG says:

    anom is me. i will never master this machine. maybe there is some sort of security with elected jobs such as pension, medical care and fringe benefits to hang onto. for some it may be lack of job offers elsewhere. for others it is public service.