Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wylie Voter Apathy Is Learned From Leadership

Photo credit: http://www.developmentexcellence.com/awards/CLIDE2015/images/Wylie5.jpg
As the sun set yesterday, once again Wylieites proved to be incapable of, and/or unwilling to show any interest in their civic duty whatsoever. But then again, when the leadership of our town can't be bothered to show up and greet four candidates running for the congressional district in which we reside, why should anyone else care? It's not like it is a historic primary season or anything.

Indeed, there is nothing quite like letting the local blogger do your job for you by greeting the candidates, some of which was their first time ever visiting Wylie. Talk about feeling welcomed by city leaders, but I did my best Vanna White impersonation, despite the unprofessional city oversight.

There goes Wylie's stellar leadership setting an example for their voters. It's a wonder why we get 1-4% turnout at any particular election. With numbers like those and leadership like that, Wylie will be hard pressed to get any elected official to bother with them. Just look to Pete Sessions' multi-year lack of attention to Wylie, except when he wants to conveniently buy some votes during his campaign of course.

What a beautiful setting too, at our state of the art Smith Library where the League of Women Voters candidate forum was held last night. Too bad nobody from a city leadership role could bother themselves. You know, it's a sad day when I was the only person available from Wylie to greet the candidates and welcome them to the, uh, great city of Wylie.

Honestly, if our mayor couldn't be there, one would like to think at least one of the other 5 remaining council members (Culver is out sick at the moment) could have rallied themselves to represent the city they are supposed to, um, well, represent.

No worries though. I made sure to point out that not one city representative could bother being there to greet them, just so they could get a feel for the type of reception that they are sure to get from Wylie's leaders when one of them beats the pants off Pete Sessions.

It doesn't matter that this was an event sponsored by the LWV, these are four candidates who made the trek to Wylie and who collectively have a 4 in 5 chance of being our new representative come November. Certainly odds that should have brought someone, anyone, from the city out to greet them.

Sadly, the painfully awkward lack of representation by real, bonafide city officials did not go unnoticed by all four candidates and their supporters who tagged along. Nor did it go unnoticed by the handful of League of Women Voters representatives who took time out of their busy schedule to hold a candidate forum here. Honestly, I don't know why they bother when our city cannot back them up.

Still, all was not lost because those of us who attended got a real feel for each candidate, and it was a refreshing change from the usual Candyland rhetoric, or shall we say, the make believe DC world Pete Sessions lives in.

Instead of getting the cliff notes from the really stellar congressman that fantastically resides only in Sessions' wild imaginings, we got to see four down to earth people who actually care about voters, and obviously care enough about the district to bother attending the forum. Refreshing.

This is a far cry from Sessions, who couldn't even be bothered to send a message to be read to the audience because he is so uber important. Instead, he used some lame excuse for being unable to attend, but it is not much unlike past debates where he chickens out of attending because he knows he doesn't have a voting record to stand on. Or perhaps he has only knock-kneed chicken legs to stand on under those tailored trousers. I don't know, and quite frankly the image is making me spit up in my mouth a bit.

The fact remains that Sessions has refused to attend debates and forums for years now. Gee, just how busy are his people keeping him, especially when he started with only $670K in the coffers, a far cry from the cool $1.2M he had when Katrina Pierson ran against him, but then hey, that's when he had a lot of people in and out of the district snookered.

So where did all of Sessions' financial backers go? Could it be that they do not see him escaping the scrape he's gotten himself into, what with drawing four candidates that actually live in CD32 and all?

Even his "supporters" haven't shown up, as there aren't any Sessions yard signs to be found in Wylie other than the usual campaign dumping grounds. But support comes at a cost to our dear congressman, evidently. It seems the only support Sessions is getting from Wylie is that which he bought and paid for. People can be so cheap, you know. You can always find a handful around willing to dump principles they claimed to have held.

Still, what I saw last night were four people unwilling to sell themselves. I saw four people who stand on principle. I saw four people interested in Wylie's voters and Wylie's leadership, which never materialized to meet their interest back.

Seriously, where is the get out the vote response in Wylie? If we had city leaders who showed any sort of excitement over the elections, we might actually have citizens who are interested as well. Just a thought.

Despite the negativity reeling from me about last night's debacle, there were some highlights too.  I really enjoyed seeing Russ Ramsland and Paul Brown again, and I enjoyed meeting Cherie Roughneen and Ed Rankin immensely. Any one of them would be a far more ethical representative than Pete Sessions. But as long as Sessions is our Congressman in Wylie, we can expect the same shoddy response to visitors out of our leadership, that he gives us. The apple doesn't fall far, does it?