Friday, January 29, 2010

Bits and Pieces: Friday 29 January

J&J (no, not the Cleaners!)

A friend ran into this reporter whilst we were out on the beat today, covering the action at Big Top Deli, where the elite meet to greet and eat.  Occasionally, that is.

As we discussed the item posted yesterday about Joanne King, Town Council Chair, joining John Richardson’s campaign for the state’s highest office, the friend astutely recalled that we had just recently been lectured by a certain well-known local dignitary on the dangers of intermingling town and state politics. 

Hmmmm, I said, as I wiped the thousand island soaked sauerkraut from my tie and reporter’s notebook; good point!  I expressed confidence that the “lecturer,” a master of nuance in such situations, could explain things, but calls to his people have not been returned at press time.

Frostys’ 5 Day Streak

In what amounts to a modern era record, we understand from reputable sources that Frostys Donut Shop was open all five days this week, signaling a return to form for the venerable fryer of toroidal delicacies and other creative expressions of the bakery arts.

This report is filed with a certain degree of trepidation, lest it jinx the team as they prep for their scheduled home stand this coming Monday.  I’m thinking of calling Winner’s Circle Sports Bar to see if they’ve set an over/under on the shop being open Monday.

“Special Interests” or “Working People” – QED

A few weeks back, in this post, Other Side wrote:
That got me to thinking - just what is a "special interest?"  It's like "bipartisanship," clearly, an overused and always popular term to reflect badly on your opposition.

"Special interest," on the lips of a politician, virtually always means "my opposition's base."

For example, if you're a liberal left winger, "special interests" would encompass 2nd Amendment (gun rights) groups; pro-lifers; traditional marriage supporters; personal property rights advocates; right to work zealots; and various constitutionalist/limited government believers. 

If you're a conservative right winger, "special interests" would encompass gun control groups; abortion rights organizations; gay rights/marriage supporters; common good promoters and environmentalists; unions; and "living constitution" social & economic justice believers.

In a manner of speaking, there are only two types of constituents in our political landscape; those who are members of special interest groups, and those who aren't.  And the latter, if you think about it, are a special interest group all to themselves.
Other Side hereby thanks John Richardson, candidate for Governor, for illustrating our point in practice.  In a recent release highlighting his new campaign video, Richardson spoke as follows:
Our campaign continues to build momentum. I am excited to announce that the Maine Association of Police (MAP), with 51 local municipal associations and over 1000 members in the state of Maine, and the Maine State Troopers Association have all joined the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 716 by endorsing my candidacy for Governor.
The working men and women in Maine clearly understand that growing Maine’s economy is as good for them as it is for the entrepreneurs and business owners who will create new jobs.
Note the not so subtle juxtaposition in that last sentence of “working men and women” and “entrepreneurs and business owners.”  Note as well that the new endorsements are by public sector employee unions, not private sector groups.

Richardson continues:
Mainers across the state know that I put people ahead of politics, working for them, and not the special interests…
which clarifies that to him, unions are not “special interests.”  I guess that means that the MSEA/SEIU, the MEA, and similar groups aren’t either.

The protagonist rests, your honor.

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