Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Public Service

I'm not really sure when the political season starts, but there are signs it's underway. Herb Kohl has been running ads for months against an opponent that doesn't exist yet.

If you're running for County, state or federal office you can take out candidacy petitions and papers on June 1st. Some have already announced. Others are a little more and sometimes less subtle.

The proposal to close the Rolling Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was a podium opportunity last week. It's a chance for some to get their name in the press by jumping into an impassioned issue. Beware of those who take that kind of avenue to promote their own self interests. For me telling the County Board Chairperson that "He should be ashamed of himself" for allowing such a proposal to come up wasn't really helping those who are trying to save the facility.

Some people have all the right reasons for running for office. Others can't keep their eyes open during meetings and don't bother to read carefully prepared material to help them decide issues.

If you're ever urged by friends or family to run for office consider those who are doing the urging. I know a single father who was doing the best he could to raise his son. He felt that running for Mayor would help his son's image of him. Problem is those who did the urging were the people at the corner tavern he frequented too much and just wanted someone to make fun of him. He had a drinking problem. When the radio station I was working for asked him to come in for an interview he did.

He sobered up, dressed nicely and did his best to answer the questions he was asked. He was one of a number of candidates and barely registered a blip on the election radar screen. However he keeps running for the office and ran again this year. He may never win, but he runs because he believes he could do the job. I can respect any man who no matter what his problems is trying to give his son someone to be proud of.