Things that are awesome #2

You know what’s awesome? Local Politics.

Because it’s small enough that you can actually care about people.

My sister wrote a comment on yesterday about the IL-05 Special Election and her take on the candidates after we attended the candidate forum at DePaul a few weeks back. Although we don’t agree on the candidates completely (I like Sara F. more than she does, although I’m still wary that a) she’s been in politics in IL for 14 years and that normally means bad things, and b) she’s raised the most money in the shortest time which always makes me wary), one of the things we agreed on is that while we really want to like Tom G. because of all the fantastic things we’ve read, we both found him a bit lackluster at the forum.

After writing something on the aforementioned blog to the effect of “I want to like Tom G. but am not completely won over by him,” she received the following email:

I noticed your recent comment on FiveThirtyEight, where you said you were undecided as to whom to vote for in IL-05 but were considering Tom Geoghegan. I’m a volunteer for the Geoghegan for Congress campaign, and I wanted to know if you were interested in talking to Tom personally. The campaign can set up a time for him to call you, and he’d be happy to answer any of your questions, and to tell you why he wants to represent the Fifth.

Are you interested in speaking to him? Please let me know. If so, I’ll forward your email to the appropriate person on the campaign, and they can take it from there.

In the meantime, please visit our website, I’d like especially to draw your attention to this video:
It’s Tom’s interview with Mark Bazer, and it gives you a good sense of what Tom, and the campaign, is all about.


DUDE.  This is why local politics is SO BAD ASSED.  Especially in a 12-way race for a hotly contested seat with 4 or 5 legitimate contenders and low voter turnout probability. The candidates actually have to give a shit about what people think and say.


So. in terms of IL politics doing good things we’ve got Barack and the IL-05 special election.

Huh.  So… that’s, what? Good things: 2, IL Politicorruption as usual:1,342,394 ?

Still bad assed.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Craig Berger said,

    I love the new energy for local politics the last couple years. New people are running in my community, and I can’t help but think that has something to do with Obama’s leadership and call for improved civic responsibility.

    Nice blog!

  2. 2

    wanderingsemantically said,

    I hope there really is an excitement brewing about politics in general, and it’s not just my own wishful thinking. I feel like people became so disheartened with Bush’s regime of fear (sigh, now I sound conspiracy theorist) that everyone just ducked out of political participation. Government “knew best” so why even care? Then everything from local to federal participation just dissolved.

    Oooh civic responsibility. What a lovely notion you are.

  3. 3

    Craig Berger said,

    I do see an excitement about politics. I work in Residence Life at a college as a live-in supervisor to RAs on campus. And several times I’ve walked through the lobby, and there are students watching the TV — they’re not watching MTV or ESPN, though. They have on CNN or MSNBC. And we had Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Ted Kennedy on campus last spring in the same week — people were fired up.

    I think the big thing obviously is keeping this momentum going into the governing process. But I like what Obama’s done so far with making the government tech-savvy and more transparent than we’ve known it to be.

  4. 4

    wanderingsemantically said,

    I agree. The fact that there’s an incredible flood of information that has become available (well, maybe publicized is a better word) is admirable, and I think the administration’s been fairly smart about it. The new websites (esp. the ones promoted like the white house’s and are similarly web designed to the campaign websites, making them user friendly and less daunting, which is always good. Allows for a less frightening transition to someone not used to visiting sites like that.

    Sigh. My college campus had a hard time getting anyone to come to any events, other than the 10 people who planned it. Then again, this was pre-Obama era, so maybe now it’s more motivated. I can hope at least..

  5. 5

    Kathy G. said,

    Wanderingsemantically, I’m the person who emailed your sister and asked her if she wanted to talk to Tom Geoghegan. Since you, too, seem to be undecided, but considering Tom, I want to extend the same offer to you — do you want to speak to Tom personally? Email me at and I’ll put you in touch with someone who can arrange it.

    The DePaul forum was early in the campaign, and I think that Tom has gotten a lot better at doing those kinds of events. I urge you to check out Tom’s interview with Mark Bazer, which can be found here:

    And also Tom’s interview with Jeff Berkowitz, here:

  6. 6

    Craig Berger said,

    Do you Twitter by chance?

  7. 7

    […] example of what a civic-minded campaign can do for local civic engagement from another WP blog, wanderingsemantically. My sister wrote a comment on yesterday about the IL-05 Special Election and […]

  8. 8

    wanderingsemantically said,

    Nope, sadly no twittering (tweeting? whatever). Me + short writing = not good.

  9. 9

    Craig Berger said,

    Alright, just making sure. I’ll be sure to add you on my RSS feed.

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