Thursday, January 26, 2006

Moron Mail

I think if we extrapolated this guy's observation to its logical conclusion, nobody would meet the qualifications to be governor:

Jeffers' motivation

Now I see that outspoken bar owner Sue Jeffers wants to run for governor ("Bar owner, smoking-ban critic is planning to run for governor," Jan. 20). It is very clear to me that the only reason she wants the position is to get rid of a smoking ban that has hurt her business.

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

GARCIA VEGA, PLYMOUTH.

Let's check the Minnesota Constitution to see if Jeffers is disqualified:

Art. 5, sec. 2:

TERM OF GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR; QUALIFICATIONS. The term of office for the governor and lieutenant governor is four years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. Each shall have attained the age of 25 years and, shall have been a bona fide resident of the state for one year next preceding his election, and shall be a citizen of the United States.

Furthermore, because the purpose of the govenment of the great state of Minnesota is to dictate to its citizens what is and is not acceptable, eschewing the idea of "participatory democracy," no candidate for the office of governor shall espouse any pet issue that everybody knows might benefit the candidate
. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit Independent School District 196 from repeatedly butt-raping its taxpayers.

Well I'll be damned. Garcia is right!

Or rather he would be if I hadn't made that second paragraph up.

Sure most conflicts of interest are verboten. However, there are certain conflicts that are acceptable if disclosed.

The genius of a democratic system is not only that government officials are accountable directly to their constituents via the ballot, but also that there are few legal barriers preventing folks to run themselves. Jeffers' candidacy is refreshing because it is a throwback to the citizen (as opposed to the carreer) politician. She sees the need for an effective advocate on a certain issue. She offers to fill that need.

How eeeeevil!

What really pushes this letter into the "Moron Mail" category is the almost palpable selective indignation inherent in it. Would Garcia here feel the same way if Jeffers decided to run for mayor because the city condemned her house to make way for a more tax-revenue intensive use?

No. Then she'd be a "hero".

But if we applied this dimbulb's "logic" uniformly, then nobody remotely connected with the American Lung Association should be able to run for office either. After all, they'd be able to save all that money they spend on lobbying, ads and public outreach by passing one draconian law. Where would all that extra money go?

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

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