"We are the people our parents warned us about!"
What have we become? I know Florida is a keystone state for the Presidential election and recent history, the last twenty years or so, have meant presidential politics is negative politics. But why the local races?
The worst by far is the State Senate race between Aaron Bean, the local boy made good, versus Mike Weinstein. I have known both for more years than any of us would care to admit. Away from political races they are both nice guys, people you would not mind spending time with at a party, barbecue or special event. Watching their ads on TV turns my stomach though! I don't want either of them representing me in Tallahassee if this is the way they have to get the job. If even half of the ads are true neither should be allowed to hold office and both should probably be investigated for the allegations that are being made against them.
Other local races are equally troublesome. The judicial race for Judge Brian Davis' seat. Truly a gentleman, scholar and well qualified member of the judiciary. However, the audacity of seeking a federal appointment, for which he is well qualified, has opened him to an attack of epic proportions. Three or four lawyers are running against him and, but for the federal issue, would never consider taking him on in an election.
County Commission candidates. Come on, where is the necessity to stoop to low bred behavior to serve on our commission? Ronnie Stoots, a relative newcomer with enough of a traveling history that he should be banned from calling himself a resident of any community, conveniently prints signs that show him as a County Commissioner and not a candidate for that office. Seems trivial but it is against Florida law and it is misleading and it is deceptive at a level that smells. The handwritten "for", so small and in such thin pen strokes that it is not visible from the roadway is more of a joke than his claim to being a spokesman for the taxpayers. A search of the property appraiser's website shows no properties owned by anyone named Stoots in Nassau County. There was a time that people had to be landholders to vote. They should at least be required to tell the truth about their tax paying status to run for office. But, Mr. Stoots has affiliated himself with a group in Nassau County that doesn't adhere to standards of common ethics or decency. That is a shame! It speaks volumes about him and the kind of person he is and representative he would be.
Jimmy Buffett had a song about being the people our parents warned us about. If the behavior of people seeking office in Northeast Florida is a reflection of us it seems we have become those we didn't want to be.
I long ago left the political parties because I was appalled at the behavior they not only tolerated it seemed to me they encouraged it. If all politics is indeed local then it is a terrible thing to peer into the mirror politics offers of us as a community. Someone needs to tell these people that scurrilous behavior is not going to be tolerated. The best way to do that is vote on Tuesday, August 14 and let everyone know that their course of action is not worthy of our trust.