Sunday, May 10, 2009
Time bomb 2010?
by Larry Geller
(Hey, if the NSA is monitoring this website, don’t worry, it’s just a figure of speech.)
I was putting together the votes from last week’s floor session, and testing whether I can create a blog post in the future on last week’s civil union votes. I can. I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but I don’t know the best way to make it meaningful. Maybe readers can help suggest. Many of you have blogs of your own, or are involved in advocacy of some kind.
It’s said that voters have short memories. I think that may be generally true, but on the other hand, who takes notes, and the newspapers won’t remind us. When election time comes around in 2010, will anyone remember (or care) who voted for the Superferry and who against? Will voters remember exactly who voted for civil unions and who against? Will anyone remember which legislator wanted to raise the corporate campaign limit to $50,000 and which wanted a zero limit?
The newspapers don’t raise these issues, except that an alternative weekly might. And who knows if there will be daily newspapers at all in 2010. Forget TV. This leaves the Internet, but it doesn’t reach so many people. Certainly, one little blog doesn’t.
So look, the Hawaii primary election will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2010. Would it be cool if an information bomb exploded, say, two weeks before the primary? Information on how the incumbents voted on issues we care about, widely available to voters. Bad news maybe for some incumbent legislators, but heck, they cast their votes.
So I can rig a blog post to appear at about that time, but how can we get info out to the voting public so as to refresh their memory and perhaps bring back a little of the outrage that some are feeling right now?
There’s also the danger that holding a legislator accountable for votes on one hot-button issue might contribute to placing someone worse in that seat.
Is the answer not to do anything? Should incumbents not be held accountable for their voting records? That’s no good either.
What to do.
Larry, This sounds like a great idea. And you're right: By the time elections come around, too many folks have forgotten which legislators let us down and which ones spoke up for us. So if there is a way to do a recap of how legislators voted on hot-button issues, that would be great. However, I wouldn't wait for two weeks out. Maybe start from about a month or so out; that way the word can spread to more people.