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home : opinion : columns April 29, 2016

4/15/2014 6:00:00 AM
Column: The Silly Season is upon us

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

The Silly Season officially begins April 28 when candidates for political office can formally declare their intentions with the appropriate government office.

Silly Season begins in the heat of summer in off election years. It is the time of year when journalists report on the frivolous and treat it as real news. But in election years, Silly Season begins in the spring and lasts until the middle of November. Silly Season during presidential elections lasts for two years - and that's become a problem for me.

I'm a bit burned out on elections, mainly because the political class and its groupies on the cable "news" networks don't let us take a single breath between them. The 2016 presidential campaign began less than a microsecond after President Barack Obama won a second term.

Hillary Clinton appears to be the runaway choice for Democrats. The waters are decidedly murkier for Republicans.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seemed to be the frontrunner before he was laid low by scandal. Sen. Ted Cruz certainly has his fans, but enough to win the White House? Doubtful.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush might join the hunt and Sen. Rand Paul is starting to sound a lot like a man who wants to change his address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There's even talk Mitt Romney might make a third run at the presidency.

I covered the wide-open 2008 presidential campaign and interviewed every candidate, both Republican and Democrat, with the exception of Clinton, and that's because Clinton and Obama came to town at the same time on the same day and I had to choose.

I remember thinking how exciting it was to meet most of them, and I admit my job has never been more satisfying than it was that year, but I also remember thinking that the important politicians aren't the ones who spend multiple millions of dollars to become leader of the free world.

The races that matter and have higher stakes are the local ones.

In Kingman, we already know Mayor Janet Watson is nearing the end of her time in public service. She will fade from the spotlight when her term ends at the end of the year, at which time she will greet 2015 by embarking on a well-deserved life of her own.

Two of her colleagues - Councilman Richard Anderson and Councilwoman Erin Cochran - intend to stay in the game and have already announced their intent to run for mayor.

Who else might run? Is there someone out there with the charisma to get elected and the skill set to effectively lead once he or she gets there?

The Great Recession took a toll on Kingman, as it did on all of us, and it will take a savvy operator to lead us into the future.

Policy in Washington, D.C., can certainly affect our lives, but the real impacts - good and bad - will be the result of electing local people and living with the decisions they make.

The moral of the story? Do your homework before you go to the polls. Candidates who rage against the feds but can't tell you jack about the city should be dismissed with prejudice. Anyone who runs exclusively on a Second Amendment platform, or a Legalize Pot platform, or any number of single-issue platforms that have nothing to do with the city of Kingman and its needs should be similarly dismissed.

The candidate who knows how to fix the roads and keep them maintained deserves our attention. The candidate who can do that and also figure out how to pay for all that roadwork without breaking the bank deserves even more of our focus.

The candidate who has a vision for Kingman's near and far future should be heard. The candidate who has a vision that is attainable and sustainable is even more worthy of our ears.

The deadline to file is 5 p.m. May 28. Here's hoping for honorable and talented candidates, robust debate, well-informed voters and 90 percent turnout.

Actually, we'll settle for honest candidates, rational debate, somewhat informed voters and 50 percent turnout.

That would be a huge improvement over 2012, when less than 20 percent of voters cast a ballot in the city election. That's pathetic.

I suspect there's a reason we call it the Silly Season.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

I'll tell you what's silly Doug. Its that you think we can get a competent major for a part time job that pays 15k. and that you expect them to fix all the streets and get the city out of debt while they are at it.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Harris

What an excellent column. This one is well written. Your assertion that the voter need to get to the polls in higher numbers than before is correct. Much of that task is going to fall on the Miner's shoulders. I also appreciate your advice about candidates for council need to run on issues that face our town and not the other nonsense so many here like to preach.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: janice palmer

well, I am in the running for the city council . JANICE L. PALMER

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Dems in white house for next 50 years

Mohave County is so far extreme right that the Tea Party is evening saying those people are crazy. It’s probably the only place in the country that actually thinks a Republican will win in 2016 and see nothing wrong with the GOP. Meanwhile a majority of the country thinks the GOP is crazy and will hand the 2016 election to Hillary.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

I didn't know you did standup. Where are you appearing next?
"Here's hoping for honorable and talented candidates, robust debate, well-informed voters and 90 percent turnout."

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Bob Moore

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seemed to be the frontrunner before he was laid low by scandal.”

I disagree, Doug. I felt that Chris (What Bridge?) Christie was toast until he was cheered at the CPAC where – once again – the GOP’ers and TEA-you knows confirmed their support for the lowest sleaze in the pile. I predicted in 2010 that Willard would be the GOP’er nominee in 2012 and I hold with Christie for 2016.

“Sen. Ted Cruz certainly has his fans…”

Something that is surprising considering many of Canada Ted’s backers are birthers. For more than six years we have listened as birther’s came up with utter nonsense about the birth and parentage of our president, and now support someone who actually was born in a foreign country (as proven by his birth certificate) and holds citizenship in THREE (count ‘em, THREE) countries. Of course the rational individual understands Canada Ted is eligible to run for the presidency, but it is still puzzling how birthers can accept him.

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