Tag Archives: elections

Elections and Choices

by G. Terry Madonna & Michael L. Young, Politically Uncorrected, May 15, 2014

Many Republicans who show up on May 20 to vote in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary will confront a familiar situation in American politics: they don’t have any choices.

Apparently, a few counties will have political GOP gadfly Bob Guzzardi on the ballot because a Supreme Court decision barring him from running came too late. But let’s not kid ourselves. There is no competition in the Republican Party for governor.

And that’s really too bad because as polls and other anecdotal evidence suggests, many Republicans would have preferred choices this year.

That some 3 million Pennsylvania Republicans have no primary choice this year for governor isn’t the worst of it; electoral choices are disappearing across the American political landscape, from state legislatures to Congress and beyond. More and more, Americans have fewer and fewer electoral choices at all levels of politics.

In fact, what passes for competition these days are the spasmodic shock waves that now convulse our politics from time to time, such as the 2010 tea party uprising or the infamous 2005 midnight pay raise in Pennsylvania. The lack of normal political competition has made the system particularly vulnerable to these electoral tsunamis.

Political competition constitutes a fundamental American value. It spurs the accountability of elected officials while ensuring the political system works to produce sound public policy. Yet, American politicians regularly exploit opportunities to limit it further.

For example, the Corbett campaign this year strenuously worked to keep his possible opponent off the ballot by using judicial challenges, a tactic employed by incumbents in both parties. These “ballot access challenges” are only one of an arsenal of tools politicians now regularly employ to limit competition. …

continue reading at Politically Uncorrected


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Filed under 2014 election, Election rights and laws, Voting rights

Now what do I do with yesterday’s political signs?

Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, November 6, 2013

‘Tis the season when winners exult, losers lament, and all of us wonder what do do with our growing collection of political signs and their metal supports (AKA wickets).

Yesterday they were so important to sway voters’ minds… and now??

If your candidate might ever run again for the same office, save the sign in garage or basement. A little rust won’t hurt; in fact, it makes them more secure in the ground.

And be sure to keep a sign as a memento of any campaign of historic importance… like this week’s bipartisan team victory in the West Chester Area School Board race.


The paper or plastic part of signs makes a good paint drop cloth. Add more signs to cover more area. Or cut the plastic signs at the sides; they fold out to twice as large.

The metal part is excellent for propping up floppy bushes and flowers.

For lower plants, cut or bend the supports.

The collapsible type of wickets, whose two legs come off, are a terrible pain in political use (because the legs keep falling off), but the components are great for individual plant supports (with ties or string).

Here’s a remedy for those hangers that dry cleaners send back pants hanging on, and whose sticky cardboard crosspiece always sags: cut a piece of wicket to the right length and insert it inside the cardboard. That one won’t ever sag again!

Garden netting to keep off birds and rodents: To stitch together segments, whether vertically or horizontally, straighten out a wicket (they are surprisingly long in a straight line) and threat through the two adjoining segments.

How to cut, bend, or straighten? Use gloves! By brute hand strength, or use pliers. Bend repeatedly to cut. Hack saws take too long; this is tough metal!

The type of wicket that looks like a ladder or football goalpost with two prongs extending up into a corrugated sign are great for plants but not much else.

How about campaign buttons (pins)? Save them for future use or collect them. Yes, buttons are collectibles. Just think of the value if one of your candidates ever becomes president! You can get most presidential pins for a few dollars on Ebay (search “vintage political pins” but wouldn’t the future president for, say, town supervisor be worth a lot? Has anyone ever seen a “Coolidge for Mayor of Northampton Mass.” button?

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Filed under 2013 election, Nathaniel Smith