The Germ of an Idea - Keep Hope Alive!by Kyle Michaelis
Moreover, as evidenced by this Lincoln Journal-Star article, it seems the Democratic Party's problems finding good candidates didn't stop at the state level. Here, for example, is a pretty good idea of what the Lancaster County ballot is going to look like in November:
Still, you know what, all hope is not lost. . . even for the 2006 elections discussed above. For example, see this article from the Iowa bureau of the Associated Press:
An Ames physician who has not sought public office before said he intends to seek the Democratic nomination in northern Iowa's 4th Congressional District.There's a man taking matters in his own hands and doing what's best for not only the Democratic Party but the voters of Iowa. And, you know what, we have the same opportunity to fix this mess here in Nebraska via the "candidate by petition" process.
Selden E. Spencer, 58, said he is circulating nominating petitions and expects to have enough signatures within two weeks to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Latham.
"A lot of people are not comfortable with what's going on in Washington," Spencer said. "People should have a choice. Right now people don't have a choice."
Spencer, a neurologist at an Ames clinic, said he hadn't planned to enter politics but got discouraged when no Democrats stepped forward to challenge Latham.
"I'm a doctor, I'm not a politician," he said. "The Republican Party seems to have a monopoly in Washington, D.C., and our country has clearly been headed in the wrong direction."
When a declared candidate must drop-out of the race, party leaders can actually appoint their own candidate to take his or her place. In these races where no Democratic candidates announced before the March 1st filing deadline, I don't believe that is an option. But, from my understanding of state election law, the petition process remains quite an easy way to correct this failure before the general election. The only cost is the original filing fee and the required number of signatures to get your name on the ballot appears to be no greater than those of 2000 registered Nebraka voters. That's easily doable if anyone else is similarly distressed and willing to make this commitment for the health of Nebraska's democratic process.
All I'm saying is that the door has not shut on these opportunities entirely. We shouldn't just resign ourselves to this failure when alternatives still exist. Of course, I'm still not calling for sacrificial lambs or ballot-fillers - if you're not qualified and not willing to run a serious campaign, don't embarrass yourself or the Democratic Party.
If you are qualified, though...if you do have the passion, the ideas, and the know-how to offer a reasonable alternative to this state's Republican water-carriers and sycophants...please, let's talk. Contact me at email@example.com or, better yet, get those folks at the Nebraska Democratic Party on the phone and tell them you're willing to do what it takes.
Yes, we can close the book, focus on the few races that have candidates, and look to the future, but - the thing is - we don't have to. We still have a choice. We still have an opportunity. We still have an obligation to at least try to fulfill our obligation to the voters of Nebraska and fo fulfill our promise of a better way.
Any takers? Speak now or forever hold your peace and our shame.