|Not me but it's such a great photo I had to use it.|
My campaign efforts have amounted to setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account and writing letters to the local fish-wrap. But I seem to be ruffling a few feathers as I dig deeper into the local's bidnez. As most of us here I take an interest in politics that is top down orientated. Ask me an opinion on a national issue and I'll drone on for hours (especially if I'm drunk). State politics? What Ronnie Van Zant said about love applies to what I know about state government "I know a little... and baby I can guess the rest". MAYBE I would add.
But LOCAL politics? I know NUTHING! I am learning though. You actually wouldn't believe it, well you might. I always knew the locals were gaming the system. I knew it but I figured it's small potatoes compared to the majors. But if you multiply this times a thousand, or more like a hundred thousand and well, one comes to realize that the majors ain't the majors. These local grifters are doing as much or even more damage that the big boys in DC.
Just by way of example, the amount of money some of these farmers get for doing jack-shit is really incredible. Around here there are a handful of big landowners and if you look at the USDA database they get get 80-90% of the farm handouts from the feds. Look back over twenty years and all the names are much the same. Look at the names and then look at the local politicians and they're all the same families. It's like the European aristocracy of old: oldest son gets the estate, middle son joins the military or goes into politics, youngest son goes in the clergy. Talk about establishment? Their tentacles are everywhere. Peel back the layers and start putting the puzzle pieces together and it's a little disconcerting no matter how cynical you may be.
Also another huge avenue for corruption is "economic incentives". We just had a situation where a European drug company got $150-$200 million dollars in tax relief and cash, and the deal was negotiated by the local "economic development board" and get this, the State Economic Developers Association. Two North Carolina entities were cutting deals with each other for the benefit of a Danish multinational. As the end of the day all sides were grinning like a mule eating briars. Somebody, everybody got a nice payday courtesy of the local tax base. The losers in this rigged game? The taxpayers of the State of North Carolina and the citizens of the county who will have higher taxes to make up for it all.
As you might imagine, putting me together with entrenched, bucktoothed knots-heads intent on keeping the cash flowing has turned into a somewhat volatile situation. But I am quickly becoming an underground celebrity. Here's an email I received today from an anonymous source.
You do realize the piece in the paper today by XXXXXX is a reflection of who XXXXXXX really is. XXXXXXX is as big of yellow dog Democrat as there is in the county. XXXXXXX continually affiliated himself with them all the time because he was a big D until it was politically smart to be a Republican in the county. All the Democrat mayors are for him as well. Keep pounding as the Panthers say. XXXXXX is bad news and you nailed him with the truth. Good luck and I will be voting for you.
There is stuff like this, so I'm not giving up. Plus I live for all this. I love going toe to toe with an arrogant dickhead. I love being underestimated. I LOVE it when some jerk who thinks I'm a bug on the wall gets his ass handed to him by little ole me! I adore it! It's like Ali standing over Sonny Liston or Namath running off the field holding up #1. It's a bunch of kids beating the Red Army team in 1980. It's the thrill, the rush, it's what Patton talked about "loving so" (at least in the movie). I'm having a lot of fun regardless of what happens.
However, if I go missing or am killed by a robber in the parking lot of Wally World (or ABC Store) or struck by lightening, you'll know the reason why. For the record, CW I leave you my books and I leave your brother Jimbo my LP collection. Everybody needs a good copy of Second Helping.