The Journeys of Adam Graham
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
I received encouraging words from my boss who said he would have voted for me if he'd lived in my district and a co-worker as well.
I got to take a look at the Precinct by Precinct totals and it turns out that I only won 1 precinct, but boy did I win it. Precinct 26, which is the first precinct I visited, I beat Tom LeClaire 68-32%.
Thanks for all the people who voted for me. I proudly submitted my first (of many hundreds) post-election Letters to the Editor to the Statesman.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
I just went down to the Doubletree Inn to congratulate Tom LeClaire. By the time I arrived, it looks like a lot of the party had died down. We had a brief conversation. I congratulated him and I wished him good luck against Margaret Henbest. He said either one of us would have had an uphill battle against her, which is certainly true.
I left and returned home.
Tom LeClaire: 928-62.53%
Adam Graham: 556-37.47%
I wish Tom all the best in his campaign against Margaret Henbest in the fall.
I must observe (not to diminish Tom's victory), that the turnout for this election has been sadly pathetic. The total turnout looks to be around 1600 votes for everything and that has to be around 5% of the district's population.
I'm still determined to make a difference for Idaho, I just won't be able to do it in the Fall Campaign. I will work for "Keep the Commandments" on the Citizen's iniatative and may help one of the candidates for the legislature (probably Clinton Milner).
I can look at this positively. In 2002, Tom lost his race against Steve Smiley by a margin of 76-24% and came back to win this race. I think that given this was my first time running for office in Boise, I've done a good job and will have a future in strengthening Idaho.
I will not come back to run again until such time as I can secure at least $5,000 to run a serious campaign. I'll return now to doing what I love: writing and spending time with my wife. In the next couple of weeks I'll get back into the swing of the baseball scene as I write for Fanstop.com and I'll be writing actively for Americandaily.com. In addition, the Statesman with it's support of Tom has sentenced itself to Two Full years (at least) of me writing letters to the editor, responding to the left-wingers who so dominate our editorial page. I think they'll have wished me in the legislature by the time 2006 rolls around. :)
It looks like it's over unless Precincts 13 and 55 come in for me in droves. Ryan Davidson defeated for the precincts committee positions and he'll do well on that.
Well, 9 precincts reporting and the results now are:
Which adds up to a 61-39% margin. It's tightening up towards the end.
7 precincts reporting now and the results are as follows;
Tom LeClaire: 557-Adam Graham 302, LeClaire now up 65-35%, now we're closing the gap a bit.
Forget recount, it looks like Dave Bauman's gonna pull it out. He's up by 63 votes with only 2 precincts left. Meanwhile, I've moved slightly closer to Tom LeClaire, from 66.67 to 33.38. Need a little bit more movement here to catch up.
11:00 p.m. and the results are still the same in Garden City, 9 precincts not reporting.
In Idaho's 14th District, I'm saddened to see the loss of Henry Kulcyzck who is a great man and will still be active in the future of this state.
In District 18, Dave Bauman is ahead by a scant 9 votes. If it ends up this close, there will have to be a recount.
In District 20's Senate Seat, Gerry Sweet seems to narrowly be holding off Joe Borton. So, it's definitely a mixed night. Kulcyzck's defeat is a huge blow to Idaho's Conservative movement, but Sweet being ahead for re-election is good news and Bauman can make a huge difference if he manages to poll this out.
I've confirmed that of the 5 precincts counted, 3 are in the West Portion of the District (32, 56, and 57) which I hit hard towards the end of the campaign. The only other West Boise District yet to report is Precinct 55. Garden City has yet to speak so the current vote total reflect LeClaire's base precincts, not the Garden City precincts that I worked so hard in through March, April, and May.
These poll results are coming in at a snail's pace. I wonder if this is part of preparing people for the task of legislating.
Results as of 10:05 PM EDT, 5 precincts reporting
Tom LeClaire 438-67%
Adam Graham 219-33%
Still not ready to concede. I expected about 3000 votes casts in this primary
and right now we've only seen 657 and I don't think we've heard from most of Garden City yet.
1 Precinct Reporting:
Tom LeClaire: 77-60%
Adam Graham: 51-40%
Not too worried right now. This precinct wherever it is seems to be a bit of an oddball, it gave Michael Gollaher more votes than Graham Patterson which certainly won't be the result at the end of the night.
Monday, May 24, 2004
On my final stop, I knocked on the door and as has happened several times, the owner's barking dog threatened to charge out of the house if they opened the door.
The lady who answered the door said, "How about I not open the door and let the dog out." She apologized that she couldn't open the door. I said it was okay and left it on her door so she could read it later. (I think that I should have become an animal trainer, I'd make a fortune in this town with an obedience school.) :)
I went back to my car and turned on the engine, the clock read 8:18 p.m. I'd been planning on campaigning until 8:30, but didn't have time to start another street. So, thus ended my primary campaign. I've knocked on my last door until at least mid-August, when I'll resume the practice in the general election.
Last week, while preparing for my four day all-day campaign tour, Ecclesiastes 9:10 came to my mind, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..." I've done that and now it's in the hands of God and the people. If I lose tomorrow, it won't be because I didn't try.
And as I finish this, I go back to the words of my friend a few weeks ago, "Duty is ours, results are His."
One of the last houses I visited on Bond Street, a woman answered the door. She asked me a lot of questions. (Finally a candidate forum.) She asked me where I stood on abortion, what I thought about taxes and education.
The woman then got on the topic of the American revolution. She talked about one of her ancestors Elijah Clarke. She was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and very proud of her heritage. Clarke's main claim to fame was successfully retaking Augusta from the British in 1781, though she had him playing a far more pivotal role in the war than history resources indicated.
Elijah Clarke and a lot of Revolutionary heroes have been sadly forgotten. Thankfuly, Mel Gibson's The Patriot brought some of their legends back to life. Here's some information on the exploits of Colonel Clarke as well as a link to the Elijah Clarke Daughters of the American Revolution. The kind lady definitely has a heritage to be proud of.
She thanked me for my literature and said that she hoped I voted the way I talked. I told her I would.
I try to be considerate of people. When I interrupt peoples' dinners, it's not on purpose. If I see them eating through the window, I'll leave my information on the door. (Though if I see them, odds are they'll see me and come to the door anyway).
On Plymouth Street, yesterday, I was trying to find a way to a door where there was a large party going on the front lawn. I found that there was a stone path that led to the front door in front of a parked mini-van. I was careful not to step on the grass, inched pass the minivan and up the path. The man of the house spotted me and asked what I was doing there. I explained and asked him was the occassion was. He said that it was his son's High School graduation. I wished him well and gave him a flier.
I then went back to the street and saw him walk over to one of his neighbors who was there. I heard him say, "This guy's running for the legislature."
Well, somebody picked it up. Tonight, when I was campaigning, I was going down Cruzen and the person informed me that their neighbor had already given them one of my fliers.
In the Statesman's Voter's Guide yesterday it didn't include my picture. This actually wasn't tghe Statesman's fault. I remembered that while doing a story for Treasure Valley Christian News, the editor advised me to make sure my pictures were at the highest resolution, so that they would show up in print. All the Statesman had was my website picture which is a much lower resolution than you need for a newspaper.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
A man asked me to talk about my platform and I began to talk about Medicaid reform as a priority. One of my emphasises on that will be to help people move into jobs that offer health insurance and off of medicaid. Too often, our system of government benefits because a hand out that deprives people of their dignity rather than giving them help out in an emergency situation.
Some have mentioned the issue of Annabelle Green's surgery as something that would need to be cut. The real problem is the long term dependency. If we make it a priority to help people move to jobs that provide health insurance, while making recepients pay some of the costs for the services they use, then we'll have come a long way in reforming the system.
When I knocked on the door a man asked me an unanswerable question, "How's the campaign been going?" The truth as I've said before is that I honestly didn't know. All I know for sure is that I've been to around 2,000 homes. He was impressed by this and I told him I story I'd told several times before about when I was campaigning on April 1st. I knocked on a lady's door and introduced myself as a Candidate for the State House. She said, "Already?"
I told him that I would campaign a little more today and then go home. I would then spend two hours tomorrow, and if I win the primary, I'd give everybody about 2 1/2 months off and not pick up the door to door campaigning until August. He said it was a good plan as the rest would do me good as well as the voters. :)
He said he would count on me for November.
One disturbing sign for our politics came when I knocked on a man's door and shook his hand. I'd put my material in his door before he'd opened it. He handed it back angrily. He said that, "He wasn't interested." I asked if he was registered to vote. He said he was, but that he gathered his own information.
I offered, "This is just one other piece of information." The man responsed, "Will you respect my wishes? I didn't invite you here!" He then grabbed a piece of literature left by Jana Kemp and grumbled, "Another piece of junk I didn't ask for."
I was quite frankly astonished by this. What was this man's source of information? Would he simply vote for who the Statesman told him to vote for? Why listen to someone telling you what they think the candidates say or mean, rather than listening to the candidates themselves?
Another had a more serious problem. I knocked on her door and told her I was running for the legislature. She grabbed my literature and read through it. She pointed at Margaret Henbest's name and said that she'd voted for her last time.
The woman explained that she'd had two heart attacks in recent months and didn't know what was going on in politics. I told her how Senator Cecil Ingram (R) had retired and that David Langhorst was leaving his House Seat to run for Senate. She liked the information I gave her. She said she'd stopped taking the newspaper as she relied on the Television for all of her news. She said she would get a copy of the newspaper.
She was not happy with her current lack of information. She said she'd lobbied in the legislature before. I don't whether she'll vote for me or not, but I'm glad was able to get her started and back into the swing of what's going on in politics.
I received an unusual complaint from someone. As an elderly lady was reading my literature, she announced, "I don't like your appearance."
Her complaint was that she believed men should be clean-shaven. I patiently listened to her go on at length about this. Of course, this seems like a far less important issue than say Medicaid Reform or Education (but maybe this is just me). Abraham Lincoln had a beard, and we went 32 years between unbearded presidents at one point (between the end of the facial hair free Presidency of Andrew Johnson to the baby faced McKinley Presidency). After McKinely, America then went on to elect two Mustached Presidents (Roosevelt and Taft). In more recent times, Reps. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), Bob Dornan (R-CA), Vern Elhers (R-MI), and David Bonior (D-MI) have all worn facial hair. Our neighboring district is represented by the mustached Steve Smylie (R). The battle for bearded rights has been won! :)
She said she'd read my material and see what she could do. As I walked away, she said, "By the way, I like your skirt." (referring to my kilt). I generally explain that I'm wearing a kilt, in this case, I simply said, "Thank you" and moved on.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Yesterday, I visited the 57th precinct and achieved a personal goal for this campaign (besides winning) of visiting every precinct in the district. It symbolizes the fact that I'll be Representing all 14 precincts, not just West Boise or Garden City, but the whole district.
I met a woman on West Bond Street and we had a very interesting conversation. She was a retired teacher and a former precinct committeeperson. She expressed concern first of all that the state had no licensing requirements for daycare, and that all requirements are city based. I told her I'd look into the issue if I was elected, as that seems odd to me, as does the situation with the county Coroners that I discussed back in April, but this will be an issue I'll definitely want to take a look at.
At one point, the lady began to express her concerns about homeschooling. She didn't believe that mothers should madke the choice to stay at home because it ruined them for retirement, should their husbands leave them in their 40s for other women.
I said, "I actually was homeschooled." She then began to press me, "How did you deal with college?" I told her I did fine and that I graduated with a 3.88 GPA with my AA degree in Journalism. She was impressed that I'd studied journalism. She asked what I'd gotten my four year degree in. I told her that I hadn't gotten a 4-year degree. She didn't have anything to say on that, but said that the journalism background would serve me well in politics.
I don't know if I gained a vote, but she did appreciate me coming by. I also think I handled her concern about homeschooling better than I would have when I was a younger. I was in training for a job a few years ago and during a time when our computers were down, the instructor was making small talk. She talked about how homeschoolers were so backwards and shy. She said, "I have a homeschooled girl who sits next to me and she's such a hermit." The rest of the class chimed in in agreement. This began to annoy and anger me as the statement was so ill-informed.
The instructor then went around the room asking everyone where they went to school. I responded without hesitation. "I didn't go to school, I was a homeschooled hermit." There was a silence for several seconds and the instructor turned red. Thankfully, I've grown a little since then.
Yesterday, while doing my morning reading, I noticed that Henry Kulcyzk had responded to his opponent. This took me entirely by surprise. The Statesman had informed me when I'd submitted an opinion piece that they wouldn't publish anything by candidates up until the election.
I realized that if I was going to get a chance to respond to the Statesman's endorsement of LeClaire, I needed to type quickly. I started writing at 8:15 a.m. and finished the piece at 8:40. This article wasn't too bad considering I wrote it in 25 minutes, so that I could get to work on time. If I'd had an additional hour, I could have written better. Still, it's far better than the Statesman attack on me as "heavy handed" being the only thing voters have to consider when they go to vote.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
The same man said that Rep. Henbest was a good person, but a bad legislator because she was too "politically correct". Another woman said that Henbest had been a friend of her family for four years (and I got the impression that I wasn't likely to get the woman's vote.)
One thing one has to be clear on in this campaign is that this challenge won't be about Henbest as a person. It will be about her record as a legislator. We're not electing a family nurse, but a State legislator and the question is not what kind of person/neighbor/nurse she is, but what kind of legislator/politician she's been. The issues are seperate and we must understand the distinction or the race will become a mere question of personality.
I talked to a man in the 56th precinct who was very concerned about how politicians had been messing things up in Boise.
One problem I pointed out is that most incumbents in the legislature are at the mercy of all the Special Interest groups for campaign funding. If I get into the legislature, I'd like to build a base of small donors ($20 or $40 each) who can be counted on to support the campaigns, so that I don't have this worry. It is a mess up there.
As I spoke, the man nodded and said that he and his wife would vote for me. It's after conversations like that, that I feel better about my chances on Tuesday and also in the Fall.
Near the end of my time in West Boise's 55th precinct, I met a home schooled mom who asked me if I was the home schooled candidate and I told her I was.
Home Schooling really was key in my formative years. Public Schools force kids into the mode of 8 hours a day spent in classes that may or may not be relevant to their goals in life. As a home schooler, I was free to work through the material at my own pace and dedicate additional time to research topics I love such as America and its politics.
I loved homeschooling and wouldn't have switched to anything else for the world.
Today marked the end of my four days of all day campaigning. I spent my time in Precincts 55 and 56, the 12th and 13th precincts I've visited in the district. I'll spend the rest of the campaign in Precinct 57 ahead of Tuesday's primary.
No one can say for sure what will happen in this race. There are so many question marks. What will the effect of my door to door campaiging be? What about LeClaire's direct mail hit?
The campaign is entirely shrouded in the fog of war. I could win by 20 points or lose by 20 points. (I think the former is a bigger possibility), that's why it's so important that everyone show up at the polls. Your vote could make a huge difference.
I received the following note yesterday via e-mail:
My wife just called to tell me that a large man in a Scottish outfit knocked on our door. I guess you made an impression :).
I checked out your website. I'll be voting for you.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Going door down Mountain View drive, a lady who answered the door asked me where some unbiased information could be found on the opinions of political candidates. I referred her to http://www.idahovoterguide.com and The Idaho Statesman Voter Guide at http://www.idahostatesman.com/elections2004 (unfortunately I didn't have the exact address on hand.
She said she'd read an article on the paper on the races in district 16, but that it seemed biased. It was, of course biased as it was an opinion piece endorsing Jana Kemp and Tom LeClaire.
I'd say one of the most disappointing things to occur this election cycle is the lack of voter education. Like this voter in West Boise, people want to know who they're voting for. While the Statesman voter guide is a noble effort, it's an online effort and a good 50% of Treasure Valley voters don't have access to the Internet.
The Statesman chose to have it's reporters give coverage to selected races it believed to be important such as the Miller-Bauman race in District 18, while leaving many races for the Statesman to print excerpts from the online guide on and to later make their endorsements.
I can't just blame the Statesman. No Civic groups have brought about candidate forums for all of Treasure Valley's numerous candidates and it would really be in the best interests of both the groups and the people to have candidates answering questions about issues that matter. We deserve candidate forums, and in-depth unbiased information on candidates made readily available to people (whether they have an Internet connection or not).
The only questions that are asked of candidates are those thought up by special interest groups or the news media. I hope that the Fall will bring more opportunities for the people to address the candidates and vice versa.
Going through the Mountain View Drive in the 32nd precinct, I found some Tom LeClaire literature and that LeClaire had been there before me. Still, I found people very receptive.
While, there's a lot I could comment on in in Tom LeClaire's literature. One could reasonably ask if "not raising taxes" is a priority why he didn't join me in signing "The Pledge" not to raise taxes from Americans for Tax Reform for example, but I've written pretty extensively about the difference between the two of us on the tax issue and believe there's no use beating a dead horse.
As I see it, there are two major issue differences between us, Taxes and Gambling. While, we'd both like to see the 6% sales tax go away, LeClaire's goal of getting rid of it is conditioned on improving economic numbers which may or may not materialize. On Gambling, having come from a State that had legalized gambling by the bucket load, I know that a Casino on every corner is a recipe for disaster, while LeClaire is uncertain.
There's stylistic concerns as well. While he views his experience as an advantage, I look at it as a liability in the Fall. He's very closely aligned with political establishment figures. I don't believe that our district will elect a Republican who can be painted as a mere "rubber stamp" on anything that comes down from the Governor or the House leadership.
Having said that, there are many similarities that LeClaire and I have on the issues. We probably line up about 90% of the time on the issues. We both have a common interest in political matters, both have raised under $1,000 for the campaign, both have patient wives who've agreed/volunteered to be our Treasurers. We both work in call center environments and our active in our churches.
I think that I've said all that needs to be said, and win or lose I wish him well, and whoever wins this primary will be a far legislator than Margaret Henbest.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
It was a relatively uneventful day on my 2nd of 4 full days campaigning door to door. I have to say that the planning on East 34-37th Street is totally bizaree. Businesses were right next to residences in an odd hodpodge with no rhyme or reason. On 38-40th Streets, the first few buildings are businesses and then beyond a certain point, everything else is residential.
Only one truly interesting story. While going down Adams, I heard a lady playing the Irish Pogues song, "The Unicorn". I shook hands with the owner who was outside barbecuing. I gave her some information on the election, where to vote and how to do same day registration.
She then noticed what I was wearing. She said she'd vote for me based just on what I was wearing. She said that I'd chosen the perfect time to come by and that with the Irish music playing and me coming over in a kilt that it was a "sign". She said she would probably call a friend and tell him to vote for me as well.
Monday, May 17, 2004
I knocked on the door of a man who greeted me warmly. He scanned my literature and he said, "I think Margaret Henbest is a little better looking than you." He said he would read through my literature as he didn't vote for people based on looks. Thankfully, this campaign isn't a beauty contest. :)
In the same complex, I met a man whose first question was where I stood on the abortion issue. I told him I was pro-life. He asked me where I stood on homosexual marriage, and I told him I was against it.
He was pleased by these responses. His wife came in and he introduced me as a "Republican pro-life candidate". His wife frowned and informed me that they only voted for Democrats. The man said he struggled with his party's positions on abortion and homosexuality, as they were Christians.
I told him about my uncle who was a Democratic Candidate for State Senate in 1976 and a delegate to the 1980 Democratic Convention. He left the party in 1984 over the moral Stances the Democrats took.
His wife pointed out that they'd be out of town during the primary anyway. The man said, "I guess that settles that."
I mentioned early voting was allowed in the primaries. This didn't make either happy. The great conflict that pro-life Democrats have is not easily resolved by inconvenient elections. As the National Democratic Party becomes more radical, it remains an open question whether voters of moral principle can remain in a party that attacks those principles.
I knocked on the door of a townhouse. A lady opened the door and I began to introduce myself. She said, "I think someone's already been by."
I was befuddled. I'd heard Tom LeClaire had been going out campaigining. I asked, "Was he bald?"
She said, "No, it was a woman."
"Oh, Jana Kemp. She and I aren't running for the same seat."
Just then, a friend piped up, "Those were Jehovah's Witneses."
The woman at the door said, "Oh, are you a Jehovah's Witness?"
I responded no and provided her my campaign literature. As soon as the door was closed, I left the scene laughing.
I had an interesting talk with a gentleman who'd moved from New York to Idaho. He considered our system quite befuddling. The voting system was entirely different to what he was used to. In New York, the city he lived in was divided into wards and each ward had two districts and this was used for the purpose of apportioning legislators.
He said that what confused him was that the 16th district only had one Represenative on the Boise City Council. I explained that part of the district was in Boise and another part in Garden City and so part of the district elected City Council members for Garden City. This explanation didn't help matters. The apportionment of the City Council and the legislative district aren't tied together.
I've heard some other misconceptions on the trail in recent days. Jana Kemp has been running a strong campaign and some of her supporters have told me that they're voting for Jana Kemp.
The key thing to note is that while both Kemp and I are running for the State House, we're not running for the same seat. In Idaho, each legislative district gets a State Senator and two State represenatives. Tom LeClaire and I are running for Seat A and Jana Kemp, Michael Gollaher, and Graham Patterson are running for Seat B. You can vote for me in Seat A and anyone you like in Seat B.
Another misconception I've heard is that in order to vote in the Republican Primary, you have to register as a Republican. This is not true. Idaho does not have party registration and offers a Wide Open primary where any citizen can vote.
Today, I begin the final swing of my campaign. Monday-Thursday, I will spend all day campaigning. I'm not posting a schedule as it would take too long to do so. Your prayers are appreciated.
This campaign will be an uphill battle for whoever gets the Republican nomination. I was reminded of that when I knocked on the door of a yellow house on Saxton.
The gentleman who answered the door read over my literature. He asked if I was Democrat or Republican. I informed him I was a Republican and he said that I didn't "look like a Republican". He then added, "A Republican. Good luck." He read further on, "You're running against Margaret?" I nodded. He replied, "Good luck."
The man reminded me of how much of a challenge it will be to beat Margaret Henbest. The same old type of campaign won't do it. It's going to take reaching out to voters across the political spectrum. It's going to require a campaign that's different, because Henbest will be loaded with cash as always. One problem with Tom LeClaire is that there are probably 25-30 districts in Idaho where he could win a General election. This isn't one of them. Beating Margaret Henbest will require the Independence to take on party leadership and the ability to communicate ideas to people one on one. I believe the only candidate who can do what it takes to beat Henbest and that's why I'm in this race.
Had a couple interesting conversations on a street off of Saxton. One Gentleman and I talked about land use issues. He was an off-road 4-wheeler enthusiasts who was disturbed by reason government action in the Owyhee. I think we both agreed that outside environmental groups meddling in the affairs of local residents was wrong. I pointed out that many of this outside groups come from places that environmentally devestated like California and New York and they have the gall to tell Idaho, Montana, and other beautiful Western states how to manage their natural resources? It's ridiculous.
Before I left, the man saw that I was sweating and offered me a bottle of cool water which I readily accepted. It was much appreciated.
Down the Street, I talked to a lady who read through my paper, particularly the part about taxes. She said that most of her money went to state and federal taxes, as well as health care insurance. I said that I would work to reduce the State's tax burden.
She commented that President Bush had been one of the worst about cutting taxes on the rich, which from she said hurt the poor. I responded, "I've never worked for a poor person."
She said, "You're a Republican?"
I told her that I was. She said that she didn't vote a straight party ticket, but only voted for the person. I said I did too, but somehow, I always ended up voting for the Republican. At this, she laughed.
Friday, I was campaigning down Gillis Street and two Scottish tarriers began to follow me around. I got to the owners house, which was a couple doors down. He joked that they were following me because the dogs were "Scottish".
Friday, May 14, 2004
My wife made a point regarding my comment last night about history proving whose concerns were more justified, mine or the lady on Gillis Road.
My wife is correct. We've had environmental alarmism for 40 years and the sky hasn't fallen. Britain didn't go through an ice age in the 1990s as many predicted. The population bomb didn't explode. On the other hand, countless societies have fallen through moral decline such as Rome and Greece. So, history has already provided it's answers.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
One gentleman and I had a brief discussion about my heritage, not many campaign issues discussed, but I think he appreciated the conversation. When I handed him the paper, he asked me if this piece of paper would tell him everything about me.
I answered yes. He paused and said, "Everything about you is on this piece of paper?" He was incredulous at the idea and he had me there. No, not everything about me is on a two sided piece of paper.
The sad fact is that most people don't have time or the inclination to read through "everything" about a candidate. Whole books have been written about President Bush and relatively few Americans have read them. The Open Letter gives more detail than most campaign materials do which tend to provide bullet points about the candidate rather than a clear picture of what they'll do if elected.
I had a conversation with a lady on Gillis. She asked me whether I was a liberal or conservative. I told her I was conservative. She told me that I was unlikely to get her vote.
She was very concerned about a whole series of national issues. Her main concern in regards to State issues was that Idaho was close to being a fascist state because she said we were a one party state. I pointed out that the reason Republicans dominated so much was because the majority of the state supported the Republican Party. She changed the topic.
While, she was very concerned about some issues that I didn't find that pressing, even on a national issue (like overpopulation), there were a few things we had in common. She thought that the idea that if there was a problem, there must be a government solution was wrong.
While I support the President and our troops in Iraq, I have concerns about the war on terror. I wonder sometimes when it can possibly end. Terrorism and evil can't be utterly defeated as can a national enemy. While I realize that we must stay the course in our war in Iraq, I pray for peace.
There were many key difference. She worries about Iraq destroying our Democracy and that we're undergoing a coup. I pointed out that I too was worried about Democracy, but saw judges making law as a greater threat which wasn't an issue that she ever addressed.
She seemed nice enough, but her concerns seemed somewhat misplaced. Even though we both had grave conerns about the country's future, hers were over Iraq, environmentalism, and overpopulation. My concern for the nation is on issues like moral decline and the lack of respect for human life, arrogant political leaders who won't even give people a hearing on issues that matter to them (yes, I'm talking about the Boise City Council), and a Judicial autocracy that threatens to supplant represenative government. I guess history will bear out whose concerns are more valid.
As I left after a good 15 minutes conversation, she asked me about my kilt and admitted that she hadn't noticed it until I started to walk away. I smiled and said, "A lot of people don't notice."
Continuing down Gillis Road, I met a man who was working in his garage, making a fishing pole. He said he couldn't stop in the middle and I said that was fine. His wife came in while we're talking and announced that their vacuum cleaner needed to go to the dump. I suggested that it could go on a double date with my vacuum cleaner. At this, she laughed and left.
I told the man about some of my issues. The man asked me what I would do to the old people. I responded that Social Security and Medicare are federal issues, and that Medicaid was the only issue that pertained to the States.
He said that he wanted it all. I was taken aback and said that there had to be some reforms, because of the cost. He responded that during his working life, Government never cared about what he could afford and that he'd take all the freebies he could get when he retired.
The opinion was justifiable. The problem with government, we agreed was that government had no idea that there's anything "we can't afford". It has picked the pocket of working people and spent it wastefully and without regard to the best interests of the people.
Though, it's not a State issue, the current Social Security System has made poor people out of those who otherwise could have invested their money and had a good retirement. In our state, our income tax serves as a roadblock to the middle class, hitting people who hardly earn anything with high taxes.
The man said that he believed all of the politicians were corrupt and untrustworthy and hoped that I didn't become corrupted. I told him I wouldn't. I'm not naive, I know that many legislators are not serving the best interests of the people. I also know enough to know there are good people up there who do want to do the right thing for Idaho.
The one thing he asked was that I made a difference if I got in there and that I believe that I can make a difference. I told him that I would.
I left and moved onto the next house. The promise I made, though not as explicit to every voter is one that I'll take seriously. If elected, my job is not just to get re-elected or to flatter my way to higher office, it is to make a difference for the people of the 16th district. It is a charge that I will keep by the Grace of God.
I had an interesting conversation with a lady. She had a valid reason for not voting. She said she was a Jehovah's Witness and didn't believe in earthly government. I respected that and left. The only problem I would have with her stance is if she complained about the government which she's done nothing to change.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Are some of our candidates geographically challenged? I have to conclude so. Going through my district, I've seen several signs for Dave Bauman, a candidate for House District 18. In addition, I see plenty of Jena Kemp signs up Orchard, although only a little bit of Orchard is in our district. My wife suggested that perhaps they're merely trying to reach constituents who might work outside the district. Maybe, but it seems like they're making their jobs a lot more difficult as citizens in the 16th district could easily work in any one of Ada County's legislative districts.
I will be at Settlers Park for the Treasure Valley Conservative Rally on Saturday at 4 p.m. and I hope you'll be there too!
Monday's campaigning was rained out and will be made up on Thursday, as I prepare for 4 days of all-day campaigning next week.
For those of you who are interested, my presence at the Day of Prayer was noted in the current (May 11th edition) of "Thrive". You can pick up a copy wherever it's found. The pictoral essay is not included in the online edition.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
I attended Thursday's National Day of Prayer at the Captiol Building. It was a wonderful service. The Liberty Quartet was awesome. I think the most moving part of the service was when Assistant Pastor Orville Stiles rose to speak.
He saw a nation in crisis, on the verge of falling apart, if there's not a revival and a spiritual renewal. The 91 year-old minister thanked God and prayed as he had for years to see a Spiritual revival, an awakening in our nation. He thanked God for the growing unity among Christians and despite the decay around us, he sees a glimmer of hope, if we return to following our motto, "In God We Trust".
After the prayer service, ended, I walked with a friend back to his car and he was going to drive me back to my car. As we travelled, I talked about my campaign and my concern about the results. When we got back to my car, he prayed with me. He prayed, "Lord, your Word tells us duty is ours, results are yours." The words stuck with me and comforted me. In the face of all that may happen, I know I'm doing all I can and the rest is in the Hands of God.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Sunday while campaigning down Prestcott Avenue, a boy who was playing in the street asked me if I knew Sean Connery. This has to have been the most interesting question I've been asked so far. :)
Friday on Whittaker Street, I met a young couple (around my age) and we talked briefly about my campaign. The wife said she thought it was good for someone so young to be running for office.
I told her that with all that was being done to mess up the future, someone from our generation needed to do something. Sadly, the current generation of political leadership is more focused on making sound bytes and winning the next election rather than really solving problems. The result is that our problems worsen, with band-aid solutions delaying the onset of crises not actually solving the underlying problems.
This is what is happening in Washington with Social Security and what's happening in the Capitol Building with Medicaid and Education. They're passing the buck onto our generation without regard for our future.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Campaigning down Gillis Street, I met a nice couple and we talked about various issues. The husband asked me to tell them where I stood on the issues so they wouldn't have to read my pamphlet.
I talked about my belief in lower taxes. The wife read along and we talked about the Grocery Tax Credit which was far too low for most Idahoans. The husband asked me about my religious beliefs and I told him I was a Christian.
He also asked about the kilt and whether I felt discriminated against at debates. I told him no, that people cared a lot more about the issues than what I was wearing.
I got more interest on this Street than I had anywhere else in regards to what I was wearing. Another lady asked about the kilt as well and said she was very surprised by it and laughed at first when she saw me at the other people's house because it was so surprising to see it in Idaho.
In some ways, I think the kilt should serve as a reminder to Americans. In 1746, the British government passed the Highland Dress Act, banning the wearing of the Kilt and all other Highland garments, on penalty of death. What before had been a proud symbol of a people's heritage was banned. In 1783, it was repealed thanks to the efforts of a Graham (the third Duke of Montrose). Still, the damage was done and the wearing of the kilt became less the norm in Scotland as many of the old tartan weaver had died taking many designs, patterns, and clothing secrets to their grave. Visitors to that land, often reported to their shock that they saw no one wearing the kilt. This remained the trend until a revival in recent decades.
The kilt should serve as a reminder of what can happen to a people when there is a coordinated attack on their culturure and heritage, and it should cause us to have firm resolve against those who would seek to destroy our American heritage, the truth of who we are as a people and where we come from.
I wonder if anyone else appreciates or has figured out how diverse the 16th district is. In the same district, you have ritzy neighborhoods with million dollar homes, countryside with cows and horses, mobile home parks, and apartment buildings. The job of the State Legislature is to represent it all and that presents a very unique challenge to everyone.
People have told me that I should only campaign in Republican precincts that voted Republican that voted last time. I reject the logic out of hand. First, Republicans don't just live in Republican precincts. They live in Democratic precincts. They live in all the places where people live.
The poor and middle class Republicans are hard working folks who believe in hope and opportunity as a key to a better life. In a great way, our Republican legislature has let them down and sold them for 30 pieces of silver to the interests of the Teacher's unions. Republicans and voters of all economic stripes need to hear from me, because this is important.
I believe that Conservative values work not just for the rich or the powerful (they have their accountants and will always find their tax loopholes no matter how bad the tax code is) but for the working man and the poor. I believe that the message of the Republican party platform, of limited government, and low taxes is for everyone who wants to get ahead. That's why I'm taking my message to every corner of this district.
On that Cul De Sac on Collister, I met a lady who apologized but said she voted straight Democrat because she wanted to see change in the state. I told her that our problems weren't Republican or Democrat and that I wasn't happy with the way the state leadership was behaving either. She took the Open letter.
Today, campaigning on Gillis Street, I met a lady who was one of the more interesting voters I met. I had actually given up on anyone coming to the door and was putting my flier on her door She opened the door and jumped back startled. I gave her the flier and she asked me if I was a Republican. I told her I was. She said she was a Democrat and shut the door in my face only to reopen it a second later laughing.
She said that her parents were Democrats, but she wasn't really anything. She said that she hadn't voted in a while because she wasn't up on where the candidates stood on the issues. I referred to the Idaho Statesman's website and reminded her that Idaho has same day voter registration. I told her if nothing else, she could show up to vote for me. She joked that she would do that as I looked like one of her cousins.
Another lady on Fairfax Avenue told me that she was very discouraged about politics, but still managed to vote. I told her I understood her discouragement. That's part of why I got in this race. She told me she was a Democrat and had only voted for a Republican once in her life. She said that she'd never regretted that vote. She said she'd read over my literature and make up her mind.
Our District's problems are bigger than Republican or Democrat as I've said time and time again. In 2003, both parties joined to give taxpayers a bipartisan stab in the back and we need a change in the Capitol.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Near the end of my time on Elmer Street, a man came to the door with a pipe in his mouth. As he read the paper, he said, "You're burning daylight, Adam." and also added that I was wasting my time. He said he was a Republican and had always voted Republican. I told him that I had to get past the primary to get into the General election. The man understood. He asked me who my opponent was and some other information.
He said, "You came to my door to ask my support and you have it. If you get yard signs out, you can put it in my yard. Don't even ask, you can do it."
While I'd intended his house to be the last on my tour for the day, as it was at the end of Elmer Street, I got so fired up that I did a Cul De Sac off of Collister on the way home.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Travelling down West Elmer Street on Monday night, I met a young man who'd seen me at some of the Ten Commandments monument. We discussed a variety of social issues. Foremost was public education and the teaching of history.
The young was a History major at BSU and he remarked, "People ask why don't we learn from the mistakes of history. The reason is that no one really knows what they were." I think he hit upon something profound. We have a generation of very liberal historians and constitutional "experts" who are changing our history books to make them say what they want them to, with true being irrelevant.
One can argue that the Founder's were wrong about religion in public life and that we need a seperation of Church and State that bars all religious influences and symbols from the public square. However, if one argues that the Founders believe in a Seperation of Church and State that is so strict and harsh that a Manger Scene or the Ten Commandments becomes a huge issue and a matter for our court systems one has gone about rewriting the past, rather than trying to change the future.
Monday, May 03, 2004
If you want a real nice walk, I'd strongly reccomend going down Maplewood Drive. The Street is lined with nice looking homes, although not quite like the really fancy homes down Aspen Glen Way. The tree-lined neighborhood is a thing of beauty. No great conversations occurred along the road, but the quiet trip on Sunday was a nice change of pace from North Street's numerous apartment buildings.
Campaigning on North North Street, I meant a man who asked where I stood on education. He explained his mother-in-law was a teacher and that he was always interested in who would look out for teachers and education.
While some others might have lied to him or simply smiled and walked away, I told him the truth. I explained that while I thought there were many good teachers in the State, I had strong disagreements with the teacher's union. I pointed out that if money could solve all of our state's educational problems, it would have done so by now as the Country is second in the world in education spending.
I stated my belief that if we have an education system that is so expensive that the taxes required to support that system destroy the economy so that graduating children can't find good jobs, then our schools have failed. He said, "That makes sense." Even though he was busy with his children, he took time to talk with me and also took my campaign literature. Maybe he'll vote for me. Maybe he wont, but at least we talked.