The next local election: if you don’t care, rest assured that someone else will

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The next local election: if you don't care, rest assured that someone else will

The urgency of national news some­times casts local pol­i­tics into the shade. Watch out for that. I spent the last elec­tion sea­son preach­ing “down­bal­lot” to any­one who would lis­ten. I have no regrets, in view of some of the issues com­ing up in my area at the state and local lev­els that are sure to be reflected in fed­eral pol­icy a few years down the road. Fur­ther­more, the can­di­dates suc­ceed­ing locally are apt to look to higher office sooner or later.

This came to mind as my Face­book feed kicked up a new ad, invit­ing me to “like” a Model Citizen’s new page. My inter­nal alarms went off. This MC ran last cycle for mayor of the largest city in the state, and lost by a whisker. She’s back for another crack at it.

Ms. Model Cit­i­zen was endorsed last time around by EMILY’s List, which was estab­lished for exactly one rea­son: to elect pro-​abortion women. Ms. MC down­played that in her last cam­paign. The EMILY’s List mate­r­ial pro­mot­ing her, know­ing that the unrestricted-​abortion line wouldn’t play well in the city, empha­sized her alder­manic expe­ri­ence. I’m bet­ting on the same game plan this time.

And when that hap­pens, it’ll be last time all over again: ask any ten likely vot­ers in that city if they’d sup­port a pro-​abortion can­di­date for mayor, and most would say no. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of EMILY’s List, and nine of them would go “huh?” But ask them if they’d sup­port the alder­man from ward X, and it’s a dif­fer­ent story.

The last time the mayor of the largest city in the state ran for higher office, he wound up in Con­gress. Local expe­ri­ence and name recog­ni­tion counted heavily.

It’s not just the prospect of upward mobil­ity that gives me pause; it’s the more imme­di­ate effect on local pol­icy. Who deter­mines local school poli­cies, as least as far the feds allow? Who lends cred­i­bil­ity to cer­tain groups by march­ing or vol­un­teer­ing with them? Who names vol­un­teers to local com­mit­tees? Who deter­mines the pri­or­i­ties in munic­i­pal budgets?

Yup: the locals. While Sean Spicer is brief­ing reporters about devel­op­ments in Wash­ing­ton, there’s plenty going on in your own town, with­out much publicity.

Watch those can­di­dates, when­ever your local elec­tions may be. Watch those cam­paign finance reports. Shine a light on stealth efforts, like EMILY’s List mail­ings that fail to men­tion abor­tion advo­cacy. Care now, because you can be sure there are inter­est groups who would be happy for you to leave the car­ing to them.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hamp­shire life-​issue pol­icy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks far­ther afield in ellenkolb​.com.

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The urgency of national news sometimes casts local politics into the shade. Watch out for that. I spent the last election season preaching “downballot” to anyone who would listen. I have no regrets, in view of some of the issues coming up in my area at the state and local levels that are sure to be reflected in federal policy a few years down the road. Furthermore, the candidates succeeding locally are apt to look to higher office sooner or later.

This came to mind as my Facebook feed kicked up a new ad, inviting me to “like” a Model Citizen’s new page. My internal alarms went off. This MC ran last cycle for mayor of the largest city in the state, and lost by a whisker. She’s back for another crack at it.

Ms. Model Citizen was endorsed last time around by EMILY’s List, which was established for exactly one reason: to elect pro-abortion women. Ms. MC downplayed that in her last campaign. The EMILY’s List material promoting her, knowing that the unrestricted-abortion line wouldn’t play well in the city, emphasized her aldermanic experience. I’m betting on the same game plan this time.

And when that happens, it’ll be last time all over again: ask any ten likely voters in that city if they’d support a pro-abortion candidate for mayor, and most would say no. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of EMILY’s List, and nine of them would go “huh?” But ask them if they’d support the alderman from ward X, and it’s a different story.

The last time the mayor of the largest city in the state ran for higher office, he wound up in Congress. Local experience and name recognition counted heavily.

It’s not just the prospect of upward mobility that gives me pause; it’s the more immediate effect on local policy. Who determines local school policies, as least as far the feds allow? Who lends credibility to certain groups by marching or volunteering with them? Who names volunteers to local committees? Who determines the priorities in municipal budgets?

Yup: the locals. While Sean Spicer is briefing reporters about developments in Washington, there’s plenty going on in your own town, without much publicity.

Watch those candidates, whenever your local elections may be. Watch those campaign finance reports. Shine a light on stealth efforts, like EMILY’s List mailings that fail to mention abortion advocacy. Care now, because you can be sure there are interest groups who would be happy for you to leave the caring to them.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

Strike a blow for independent journalism by subscribing to Da Blog!

if you like what you see from our full time twice a week writers like JD Rucker (Thursday Afternoons and Sunday Evenings) Fausta Rodriguez Wertz (Wednesday and Friday Afternoons) Baldilocks (Tuesday and Saturday Evenings) Our Weekly Writers like Zilla of the Resistance (Friday Evenings) RH (NG36B) Saturday Afternoon , John (Marathon Pundit) Ruberry (Sunday afternoons) Pat Austin (Monday Afternoons) and Christopher Harper (Tuesday Afternoons) Our part Time Writers Jerry Wilson (Most Thursdays), Michigan Mick (Twice a month on Mondays), Pastor Kelly (occasional Fridays), and our monthly/substitute writes Ellen Kolb, Tech Knight and Jon Fournier (Wednesday evenings) then please consider subscribing to help me pay them.


Choose a Subscription level



Your subscription pays the writes (except the two who won’t take pay) and helps me toward my goal of not just posting daily but doing this full time again. You will also get our podcasts directed mailed to you ahead of others.

Or If you want to help with the incidental bills (like the massive hospital bills coming or the cost of the used car I need) but don’t want a monthly commitment please consider hitting daTipJar




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And if you aren’t inclined or in a position to kick in financial