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Running for an elected office
Old 07-02-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Running for an elected office

Any of you ever have that desire? I ask because one of my neighbors is running for County Assessor and I can't imagine a worse fate! For me being FIRE means I am not beholden to anyone. Being elected in theory means you work for everyone. That is not for me I am afraid. I like only answering to myself.

Hopefully this thread won't devolve into political rants about one party or the other (please please please refrain..please!)

But I was curious if anyone here ever ran for office or is thinking of it. It just seems like such a thankless job. No matter what you do, you will piss someone off. All that campaigning, trying to convince people to vote for you, all that money spent, and in the end someone has to lose, and all that money is gone. I know my neighbor is putting a significant amount of his own money into his campaign. The couple that with all the time away from your family, sitting in boring meetings and town halls, etc. I can't imagine a worse fate.

I am grateful that there are people who want to do that job, and our society needs that, but it isn't for me. And maybe there is an upside I am not seeing.

How about you out there in ER land? Any future or former politicians?
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:06 AM   #2
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How about you out there in ER land? Any future or former politicians?
Being on the board of our HOA for a couple of years was bad enough, I can't imagine what it would be like to run for public office. Hell on earth.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:08 AM   #3
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I have known a few "professional politicians," even one in the U.S. Senate.

All have seemed to me as if they did it because they sincerely believed they could make a difference and improve everyone's lot.

Unfortunately, the way things are set up now, a first-term anything can't make nearly as much difference as he or she would like, so they kind of get trapped into the game of repeated re-elections.

Not for me, but I'm grateful that someone wants to do it.

Of course, I should mention that I've known a few dirtbags in public office as well, but the less said about them, the better.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #4
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Being on the board of our HOA for a couple of years was bad enough, I can't imagine what it would be like to run for public office. Hell on earth.
Oh yea I forgot I did that. That was NO fun either.

I would hate the intrusion and exposure of all those skeletons in my closet too! Yikes! Bad enough to keep those hidden without the full glare of the media on you
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:26 AM   #5
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had enough politicians working at Megacorp..
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:30 AM   #6
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I used to wonder about why people would spend money putting up campaign signs for elections to be a hospital board member in my small community. Then I learned that being a hospital board member paid $16K a month. And I don't think its even a full time job!!
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:35 AM   #7
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I would hate the intrusion and exposure of all those skeletons in my closet too! Yikes! Bad enough to keep those hidden without the full glare of the media on you
Well, that's the real problem isn't it?

Lots of well intentioned people can do that job just fine (God love 'em) despite the work load and "can't please anybody" aspect.

What turns off most people is that even if you're running for a small, part time job (school committee in a small town), you get someone who's going to dig up that back in 8th grade you stole some kid's lunch money or something.

Who needs that? Why put yourself and your family through that gauntlet? For some minor post?

As a result, what you get running are these clowns who've never had a speeding ticket, never ran a red light, never fudged on anything, never swore or got into an argument with anyone.

You have to be so squeaky clean that I'm not sure you can represent the average guy.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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Any of you ever have that desire?
No, for many reasons. For one thing, I hate the limelight and value my privacy too much.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Turned down a nomination for prez of our 200 home HOA because I had no interest and I think it is better for someone who wants the job. Unfortunatley many want the elected positions more for ego gratification than for the right reasons of wanting to serve and improve.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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I ran for the MN State House of Representatives in 1994. I had never even worked on a political campaign, but I received lots of help after the endorsement. I started in Mid-July, and finished in early September.

I was the endorsed candidate, but lost in the primary. It was a suicide mission for the General election, so just as well. I had the first day of a Grad school class the next day. Sort of a "What I did on my summer vacation" story.

I did meet a lot of interesting people, including the Governor. It also taught me that anyone can be the president of the USA, including someone with a non-rich background. Sure, it takes a bit, but you are not disqualified by where you are from. After I moved, I was asked to run in that districts race, but declined.

So, it is a lot of work, and I suspect the rewards would have beet great too. I really do not have any plans to do it again.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #11
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Turned down a nomination for prez of our 200 home HOA because I had no interest and I think it is better for someone who wants the job. Unfortunatley many want the elected positions more for ego gratification than for the right reasons of wanting to serve and improve.
I thought that the right reasons were to steal some, then steal some more. Please god, save me from improvers.

Ha
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:28 PM   #12
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I had a state level commission appointment back in the 1980's and 1990's. Very interesting and learned a lot about how the process works and that there is some good that can be accomplished.

In 1990 ran for county treasurer. The incumbent lost public money in the S&L scandal. It was so hard to convince people that the uninsured money would not be replaced (it was not). Lost the election.

I haven't been too involved in politics since. People have asked that now that I'm retired that I should get involved since it have the time.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:43 PM   #13
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In 1990 ran for county treasurer. The incumbent lost public money in the S&L scandal. It was so hard to convince people that the uninsured money would not be replaced (it was not). Lost the election.
In a primary it's almost impossible to unseat the incumbent even if they have been indicted. Open seats are usually the most interesting races and Texas has a brutal primary season for these positions. Runoffs are very common. Making it even more confusing is that people can't have one elected office and run for another one. That means we have special elections for state reps or state senators that resign to run for a higher office. These special elections are not held when the original primary is held so the ultimate candidate selected by the parties are put in the general election or elected outright by a very small fraction of the voters. The repub state senator was for my district was picked by about 5% of the electorate. There was no dem candidate so no general election is needed. In most areas, being the "red" or "blue" candidate usually trumps anything else.

Here in Texas it's been years since a dem has been elected to a state-wide office. Most state rep and senate districts are effectively "owned" by one party or the other. The "opponents" for these seats are almost always token candidates and generally aren't serious candidates.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:56 PM   #14
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Seriously considered running for the local school board in 2013. The then current board was extremely incompetent. Had set in motion the building of a $90 million new high school, even borrowed $20 million in a bond issue, but then an auditor's report showed that the school district had been running a deficit for the previous three years, and the school board was not even aware of the deficit, had blindly believed the hired school administrator who suddenly left for health reasons. Total incompetence.
Decided not to run as it would take serious time away from family and my two boys, which was the primary reason I retired for. Maybe the next cycle of elections as they will almost be out of the school district's reach.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:56 PM   #15
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I had started a thread here a few months ago about being on a co-op board. We had some unexpected open seats due to some last-minute resignations and I considered throwing my name into the hat. I already serve as the elections commissioner so I am on good terms with both the board and managing agent. But, I don't really want the grief which comes with the position. As long as I have the board's ear when it comes to major (and minor) issues and they are doing what I want them to do, why should I join that crowd even if I would get along with everyone? My apartment sits above the meeting room the board meets in, and I get to hear some the heated discussions through my floor, a unique perspective to say the least.

I'll stay out of the fray but continue to help out in my annual role as elections commissioner at our annual meeting.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:08 PM   #16
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I didn't know HOA presidents were elected officials, I know they are voted in, but it's usually a position taken by the one who draws the short straw. I have also been on the Airport Relations Committee, which directly serves the City Council of my town. It is an appointed position.

I am the HOA president in the area where most of my rental property is. I would not have it any other way. I enforce the rules very rigorously, and have added several (maybe $50K+) in property values since I took over.

We have a complex that is 95% rental property. Many absentee owners. I started without any rules, just the declarations. I, along with the Board, created rules and enforce them. After I started, we foreclosed on one owner/landlord almost immediately. We assessed fines to others. We recently started foreclosure proceedings on another owner, and she paid over $5K to reimburse us for legal fees to and stop the foreclosure.

In the end, I took a class D complex and turned it into a Class B. Crime incidents are down 90%+ since 2003.

The world is run by those who show up. It can be great, if you are on board with the cause. If not, let someone else that is run the show.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:14 PM   #17
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The thought of running for public office has crossed my mind, but I enjoy both my free time (as little as I have working), as well as the level of compensation I receive in my current position. Even if I were ER'd, I still wouldn't run - not because I don't have an interest in politics and/or could make a difference - but because ER is the act of reclaiming your time. Why give your time away again, and even worse, to people who are perpetually ungrateful? Having a substantial "pile" with which one could make strategic charitable (and perhaps political) donations would likely achieve far more than running for office.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:44 PM   #18
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I didn't know HOA presidents were elected officials, I know they are voted in, but it's usually a position taken by the one who draws the short straw. I have also been on the Airport Relations Committee, which directly serves the City Council of my town. It is an appointed position.

I am the HOA president in the area where most of my rental property is. I would not have it any other way. I enforce the rules very rigorously, and have added several (maybe $50K+) in property values since I took over.

We have a complex that is 95% rental property. Many absentee owners. I started without any rules, just the declarations. I, along with the Board, created rules and enforce them. After I started, we foreclosed on one owner/landlord almost immediately. We assessed fines to others. We recently started foreclosure proceedings on another owner, and she paid over $5K to reimburse us for legal fees to and stop the foreclosure.

In the end, I took a class D complex and turned it into a Class B. Crime incidents are down 90%+ since 2003.

The world is run by those who show up. It can be great, if you are on board with the cause. If not, let someone else that is run the show.
I agree and good for you. I live in a very nice subdivision of mostly young professionals with a few kids or old retired geezers. Our biggest problems seem to be the landscaping at the front entrance of the subdivision or getting a few cantankerous old fart boat owners to get their boats/RVs/Jet skis, etc. out of the neighborhood. In the overall scheme of things I would rather expend my energy on lowering my golf handicap or improving my motorcycle riding skills. BTW, although I am 63 years old and last night I whipped a young whippersnapper of 32 in a game of one on one basketball. He asked me what we were playing to and I told him until the EMS showed up or I had a coronary. Been retired for nine years and still think I'm 25.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:57 PM   #19
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When I first got out of law school, I was appointed by the Governor to an elected office which was County Attorney of a rural county. I was "selected" by the County Commissioners after an interview process. The existing County Attorney had run over and been reelected in November then resigned effective of when the new term would start (he was going into private practice and wanted to give the Commissioners the opportunity to find his successor).

I was told at the interview that I would be appointed by the governor but that when the office came up for re-election in 22 months I would have to run for the office if I wanted to stay.

So, I got this nice pretty commission from the Governor appointing me which I had on my wall for years.

The actual job was not very well paid (I was allowed to do outside legal work with some restrictions). And, within a few months, I knew I hated it. So, I left well before the 22 months was up.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:00 PM   #20
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The world is run by those who show up. It can be great, if you are on board with the cause. If not, let someone else that is run the show.
The closest I ever came to politics was being on the board three years and president one year of a radio control model airplane club with about 200-250 members year to year. That's when I found out that 90% of the work is done by 10% of the members, and usually the same 10%.

What was most annoying was the griping by those who never lifted a finger to do anything about whatever it was they were griping about.

And that's the closest I ever want to get to politics.
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