As much as I post about Maplewood, MN, I don’t live there. I just got caught up in the interesting whirlwind of local politics and personalities. I live nearby on Saint Paul’s luxurious East Side. Today, the oft-berated East Side Review landed on my step. And I congratulate them on a really nice set of pages devoted to the upcoming mid-term elections, featuring each of the candidates, and their responses to some questions which are pertinent to the particular offices.
And the Republicans running out here should be ashamed of themselves.
I’ll quote the paper:
– Lori Windels (R) did not respond to the Review’s questionnaire or a reminder phone call by deadline.
– Richard “Rick” Mulkern (R) did not respond to the Review’s questionnaire or a reminder phone call by deadline.
– David Buehler (R) did not respond to the Review’s questionnaire or a reminder email by deadline. (Ed: Buehler? Buehler?)
And the answer from Debi Makidon (R) provided for each of her three questions? “Please contact the candidate directly.”
Are you kidding me? **This** is how they intend to win? Hello, [Republican Party of Minnesota](http://www.mngop.com/)? Anyone working over there these last few months? What kind of ship are you running?
Oh, I know… I’m a crazy idealist. I think that if someone wants to participate in the public arena, they might want to, well, participate in the public arena. Sure the East Side is wildly democratic. I know. Maybe you wouldn’t win. But you could at least start a conversation so someone later *could*.
C’mon. It’s a questionnaire. If you’re too busy to fill it out a questionnaire, what hope does anyone have that you’ll be able to handle political office? If you’re too afraid to answer some questions, what does that say about how you feel about the strength of your positions?
In fact, that what offends me most. Some of their positions are probably like some of mine. And these would-be leaders can’t spend a moment to develop a decent polemic to defend what I could in my sleep. Is that because I’m so cool? No. (Though, plainly, I’m pretty cool.) No, it’s because I’ve thought out why I hold a position, and I’m willing to put it to the test.
And so their weakness or laziness or fear or defeatism or inability to apply a stamp to an envelope casts aspersions on perfectly legitimate positions.
Some credit is due [Obi Sium (R)](http://www.siumforcongress.com/) who is running for the U.S. House District 4 seat. Though I can’t for the life of me understand why I’ve never even heard of this guy running for Betty McCollum’s seat. He at least answered the questions. He answered pretty well.
Also, kudos to Warren Anderson (R) who did a good job, too. No website, though. Hmph. I guess the internets is too dern complicated. (Again, hello MNGOP? Dynamic template sites? CMS?)
State House District 67B candidate [Greg Le May (R)](http://www.citizensforlemay.org/) seems like someone who would actually **like** to win. It seems like he’s got an ad in every issue of the East Side Review. All year. Often a new ad. He’s got signs *everywhere*. Last weekend I even saw him standing on the corner of a local street-highway intersection with his campaign signs over him as a [sandwich board](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_board). And he actually argues his point.
And if [Sheldon Johnson](http://www.ourcampaigns.com/images/candidates/Candidate24376.jpg) doesn’t look quite like a particular dear friend of mine, I’ll eat my hat.
And yes, that’s this website’s use number two of the phrase “casting aspersions.” :)