Party in the country bi-partisan style

If you haven’t been waiting for this day since about mid-summer, I’ll have to assume you’re one of the four people on earth who love listening to campaign ads where music should be and staring at garish signs every .3 miles as you drive down the road.

You’re forgiven – at least you care about the election. 
The politicians get a bye too – at least they’re trying to court our vote rather than expecting it. 
But a part of that is up to us. Because the local election offers an advantage none of us will have with a federal or even state vote. 

We couldn’t walk into Barack Obama’s law firm to find out how he was to work with, shake John McCain’s hand and suss out what kind of man he was. 
We had to depend on their speeches, their ads and media reports. 
Not so in a local election. Granted – you have our reports here; and we’d like to think they’re vital – especially those of town board meetings, Sheriff’s office arrests and district attorney dealings. 
They give you context.
And it’s up to you to put the pieces together. So where do you find the rest of the puzzle?
Find out if your candidate owns a business – walk in and see how it runs. Ask an employee. Better yet, ask a former employee. 
Know someone who had a dealing with the cops? With the prosecutor’s office? Ask them how it went down. 
It’s too late to sit in on another town board meeting before the election; but it’s something you could have done, perhaps should have done before this whole thing was over. 
You could have seen how your incumbents are in action, whether your candidates bothered to show to brush up and be as informed as possible should they earn a place in office. 
One of the most resonant complaints I’ve heard from a campaigning candidate this election season was that political lines have played too strong a role. People he considered intelligent weren’t letting him in the door to talk policy, facts and figures because they looked only at the party that had given him their endorsement. 
In a local election, folks, political parties hardly matter. 
We aren’t deciding abortion, healthcare or any of the standard Republican/Democrat issues. We are deciding the mettle of a man – or woman – and how responsible they will be with the fabric of our every day lives. 
Do you want a Democrat who can’t add 2 and 2? A Republican who can hardly spell his name?
Does it matter their party if they’re inept? Does it matter their party if they’re intelligent, forthright and honest?
It’s often said that voting isn’t just a right, it’s a privilege. And walking the streets of Hortonville trick or treating on Saturday with a Canadian citizen and an Italian citizen, I was reminded how lucky I am to have that right. They live here, but they can’t vote here. 
You can. 
So do them proud – make it a good one. 
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