The Price of Fickleness
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how much it costs to hold a statewide election? What does it cost to get the ballots printed, how many man-hours are spent? What does each election cost the taxpayers?
I’m asking this simply because I’ve seen a dramatic increase in elected officials leave office lately in the middle of their terms, Republican Trent Lott being the latest.
Since 1940 there have been 35 senators who have quit in the middle of their term, but only two quit for reasons other than seeking another office, a judicial or diplomatic appointment, ill health, scandal or joining the military. One of those two took a position as a university president, and the other quit to take the job as Baseball Commissioner (he was quite blunt, too — stating that he made $10,000 a year as Senator, but he could make $50,000 a year as baseball commissioner). But this is changing. Senators (as well as Representatives) seem to be quitting in droves these days.
Senator Lott is in his first year of a six-year term. He was just elected last year, and now he wants to quit. Why? Well, he can make millions and millions of dollars working for a friend of his who just started a lobbying company in Washington, D.C.
This is fine ‘n dandy. I have no problems with people leaving a job they don’t like. But with elected officials it is rather different… We elect our officials, putting them under social contract to fulfill their obligations for a set period of time. If they leave before that time is up, the taxpayer has to shell out more moolah to hold another election… It’s not like we can just put an ad in the paper and hire the first qualified candidate to walk in the door.
It costs money. The only numbers I could find in my extensive three-minute Google search were of a couple Florida counties that had to pay $200,000 each to elect someone to replace Republican Representative Bob Allen. That’s nearly half a million dollars spent in just two counties…
Talk about cut and run tactics.
Think we should make a law that if a Senator or Representative leaves before his term is up to enter the private sector they should have to pay for the resultant election?
Climate Change? Real? Doesn’t Matter
Hey, watch this video…
My Vunderful Vife
Not only did she refrain from kneeing me in the groinal crotchy region for posting the funny picture of her a few days ago, but she laughed at it… I am therefore unscathed from the incident. No bruising at all!
Democrat Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania has introduced a bill guaranteeing soldiers get their full enlistment bonuses even if the soldier is injured while on duty. A person might ask why such legislation might be necessary… Turns out the Pentagon is demanding that 23-year-old Jordan Fox, who was blinded in his right eye and has back injuries from being hit with a roadside bomb in Iraq pay back part of his $10,000 enlistment bonus because he can’t finish his term of enlistment. Normally I’m a big proponent of fulfilling one’s obligation (as mentioned above in my rant about Republican Trent Lott quitting his job in mid-term), but it seems to me that getting hit by a bomb is a fairly good reason why one can’t. Give the injured soldier his money back. Kudos to those standing up for Mr. Fox.
Bill Richardson, Democratic presidential candidate, has been working with the Korean government to bring back the remains of U.S. soldiers lost in the Korean conflict. An Iowa soldier is being returned shortly. This has to mean a lot for the family of the missing soldier… I’m really pretty impressed by Governor Richardson. Of all the presidential candidates on the market today, he’s the one that really seems to be the most level-headed.
Teeny Tiny Little Bubbles
I’ve been enjoying the occasional Black and Blue (a combination of Guinness and Blue Moon) lately. I’ve always found Guinness to be a little bitter, and Blue Moon Belgian Ale to be a little too sweet, so when I discovered that you can put the two of them together I had to try it.
Deliciousness… Oh, the beer gods do smile!
This happy happenstance has led me to re-evaluate Guinness as it occurs solo. Somehow I’d never noticed that when I would order Guinness they invariably brought me a can of Guinness Extra Stout, and I invariably thought it was terrible, nasty, bitter beer and I’d hate it, but when I’d order a Black and Blue, they’d use Guinness Draught, and I liked it. For some reason it never occurred to me to simply order a Guinness Draught by itself instead of a bitter nasty Guinness Stout.
Turns out Guinness Draught is pretty good stuff!
The most fun part of drinking a glass of Guinness is watching the bubbles. Never seen anything like it. You can see what I’m talking about at www.guinness.com if you want. It’s as much fun to watch as it is to drink!