One of the frustrations in any local campaign is the limited opportunity to appear on the same stage as your opponent. Such appearances help to draw clear contrasts between the candidates, and if conducted well, and great opportunities for the voters to understand the choices in front of them.
We had one of those rare chances yesterday at Windsor Gardens Political Day. I’ll post the video of the whole thing later today, but what struck me most was my opponent’s claim that she votes how her constituents would vote on a given issue. In fact, her priorities seem to be far more arcane and abstruse than the concerns I’ve heard people talking about, and had she held more than three town hall meetings in the last two years, Rep. Court might have known that. When I knock on people’s doors, we talk about the budget, the economy, jobs, and education. Rep. Court’s priorities are public financing of campaigns.
It’s also telling that she touted not her infrequent town halls, but her equally infrequent Civics for Citizens lectures. While a more educated electorate is in everyone’s interest, a town hall implies listening, whereas in a lecture, the communication is from the lectern to the audience. Nobody of any political persuasion wants a representative who decides how to vote by putting a finger up to the wind, but still less do they want who who tries to divine what they would do on important issues without the benefit of meeting with them.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve spent so much time knocking on doors this election year, and the reason that I’ll continue to do so even after I’m elected. And it’s the main reason that I’ve committed to bi-weekly town halls during the legislative session. It’s something that many of Lois’s colleagues do, and it’s really the least that we owe the voters who elected us.