All politics is local. And in Washington State you can't get any more local than Precinct Committee Officer for one of the major political parties.
Which is why in early June I fearlessly nominated myself for election to the prestigious office of Democratic Party Precinct Committee Officer for the precinct in which I live.
The primary ballots were mailed out last week, but because I was gone for most of the weekend, I didn't get a chance to see my name on a ballot until today.
But, when I went to the mailbox and found the official envelope from the county auditor, ripped it open and saw my name as a candidate for office, I did cartwheels all the way back to the house.
Well, okay, not really. After all, I am a disabled veteran on Social Security and Medicare... But nevertheless, there was something ... empowering ... seeing my name on the same ballot with such political superstars as mom-in-tennis-shoes US Senator Patty Murray.
But all of the news is not good. There are several hundred precincts in my county, and all but two of them have either no candidates for PCO, or else no opposition for the declared candidates.
Mine, unfortunately, is one of the two. I have an opponent in the race for Democratic Party Precinct Committee Officer.
Which means what I originally thought would be a slam-dunk election now has turned into a horse race.
But that's fine, and that's what democracy is all about. I managed to finagle the list of voters in my precinct from my local Democratic Party and went through it line by line. All of the voters who were listed as "strong Democrats" and who had voted in each of the last three primary and general elections (yes, they do know this about you...) received from me a personal appeal in the form of a postcard (no letters in envelopes -- they are too easy to toss away unopened) listing my qualifications and past record as a party stalwart:
- Lifelong Democrat, strongly dedicated to the enduring values of the Democratic Party, including Equal Rights for everyone
- County Resident 25 Yrs, 18 yrs in this precinct
- 30-year Member of AFSCME; retired state employee
- 2004 Washington State Veterans for Kerry Steering Committee member
- Delegate to County Democratic Conventions 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
- Delegate to Washington State Democratic Conventions 2008, 2010; pledged Barack Obama delegate 2008
- Disabled Vietnam veteran*
[* Details slightly edited to maintain my quasi-anonymity... It's easy enough for smart people -- i.e., liberals, to figure out who I really am, but the knuckledraggers just don't seem to have a clue...must be due to that commie-socialist public education that liberals got, as opposed to the home-schoolin' with which a lot of the opposition seems to have been burdened.]