I Can Listen, I’m a Grandma

Once upon a time I lived in Florida. I had a husband, two kids and a home business. We lived in a mostly Republican district that was represented by a Democrat, Bill Nelson. You may have heard of him, he went up in the space shuttle. it was a beautiful night launch that framed the full moon right after we moved to Florida. The very next shuttle launch was the Challenger and I watched it from my doorstep…but I digress…

How would a Democrat get elected in a heavily Republican district you might ask? The first time it just may have been a fluke…he was already in office when we moved in. Soon after we moved in we got a small welcome packet from his office with information on the area, businesses and government stuff we might need and hurricane information and evacuation routes as well. A few months later when our daughter was born we got another packet with more information and cool stuff from businesses (like coupons for formula, diapers and baby food) that we might find useful So our first impression was that he may be using our taxes to buy votes. We were wrong. He worked with local businesses to help a highly transient population (such as we have here in Arizona) who may not be familiar with the area (swamps, snakes, gators and storms) to more easily acclimate and feel welcome.

It didn’t take us long to figure out that the key to his success was that whenever there was an issue we cared about and wanted to make sure he voted our way we’d contact his office, usually with a call. He listened and often changed his vote to reflect the wishes of his constituency. If an issue was particularly contentious, or if we just wanted to know, he would explain his reasons for voting a certain way.

As a voter I appreciated that and as a candidate I can assure you that I’ve learned from the experience. If elected, as a representative I won’t forget to listen. Besides, I’m a grandma so I’ve had lots of experience listening.

Published in: on October 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What Elections Are For

Elections aren’t about winning and losing. They’re not for candidates at all. Elections are for giving the voters a choice of peers to choose from so we can participate in running our society. Keep in mind that candidates are voters, too.

Some people quote complicated campaign theory about how to get elected and complain about third-party candidates stealing votes. Some even suggest that third parties should bow out and support ‘the big boys’. I am of the opinion that these people are rather lacking in ethics, don’t really believe in the democratic process, certainly don’t respect voters right to choose and may even feel voters aren’t intelligent enough to decide for themselves. That just might be me, though.

Welcome to Election 2014!

I haven’t posted since the last election cycle in 2012, mostly because I try to only use this during elections, but I expect that if I get elected I’ll post here between elections, too. I do have a life outside of politics, so I’ve been attending to more urgent matters in my life, but as the election heats up (usually after the primary) and more issues arise to be commented on I will surely be posting more often. I leave my older posts to show my stances on earlier questions and issues as well as consistency and occasionally my ability to grow and change my mind if need be. Hope to hear from you during the election, don’t forget to vote and good luck to all candidates.

Early Voting

Yes, I have my early voting packet. No, I haven’t voted yet. Yes, I’ll be dropping it off on election day. No, I won’t tell you how I voted (although you might guess with varying degrees of certainty, depending on how well you actually know me). Yes, I am waiting til the last minute to fill it out, but in the comfort of my own home, thank you. No, I don’t think this is a contradiction of intent or purpose of early/absentee voting.

While not the norm, it has happened that things occur in the last days of an election. Candidates die, get indicted, withdraw for other reasons or additional information comes out at the last minute. I don’t want to vote early (if I don’t have to) and then, before election day, find out that something’s changed that would make me want to change my vote and regret that I voted early.

I also like knowing that my vote actually got there. When mailing in my ballot I’m sure it got delivered, but did it get there in time in good condition to get counted? They have to be received by election day, no matter when it was postmarked. It’s rare that I get mangled mail, but it’s happened enough that I want to hand deliver my ballot whenever possible. If I cast my ballot at my polling place on the day of the election I know it got there, whether I got a fresh one and filled it out there or simply dropped off my early ballot.

Voting isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. Our employers must allow us time off to vote under certain circumstances (call your local elections office for details). If you make a mistake while filling out your ballot you have a right to ask for a new one. I’ve done this. My own little kids under foot can be a bit distracting, especially when filling out butterfly ballots in FL.

If you get to the polling place and find that some sort of irregularity gets in your way you do have the right to cast a provisional ballot. If you find yourself in this position don’t be shy, just be firm and follow through both on election day while casting a provisional ballot and in the days after in following up with the elections officers to make sure your provisional ballot is counted.

So, no matter how the election turns out, good luck to all the candidates and happy voting to all of us. No matter who we vote for we vote for the person we hope will make our world better.

Who I Represent

As an elected representative I would be duty-bound to represent everyone in my district. Not just those who voted for me. Not just those who agree with me. Not just the people I know or like or who agree with me… Everyone. Catholic, Mormon, Protestant, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Pagan, Buddhist, Atheist, Animist, Agnostic, practicing, non-practicing, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Independent, voter, non-voter, professional, laborer, unemployed, underemployed, self-employed, artist, retired, students, adults, children…everyone, even those I haven’t listed.

Published in: on November 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm  Comments Off  
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Ballot 2012

Sample ballot LD26 2012

Sample ballot LD26 2012

I just got my sample ballot for the general election on November 6th. It’s rather exciting seeing your name on the ballot. It’s also fun, scary, amazing, gratifying (wow, I really made it this far!), humbling and actually, you should try this running for office thing some time. It’s quite an experience meeting people who vehemently disagree with you and others who agree when you didn’t expect them to and still others who want you to just explain things to them and then you get to meet your opponents who always turn out to be much less scary than you expected. Anyway, I just wanted to show off here. I won’t tell you who to vote for (I do believe in the democratic process and free will) but I’d really like it if enough of you voted for me to let me work for you and represent you in the AZ House of Representatives. Don’t forget that you get 2 votes in this race, so use both of them. All my opponents are lovely people who I would love to serve with, I just think I’d be  the best. Thanks for considering me and watch for me on election day.

Still Learning

This is the 3rd time I’ve run for office. Each time I learn a little more about politics, people and myself. The 1st time I had a campaign manager who was more experienced in politics than I was. He had worked on Jean Chretien’s campaign for Prime Minister in Canada. I had definite ideas about what I wanted to accomplish, project out to the world and why. I wasn’t always right and both George and I learned a lot. The 2nd time I ran on my own with help from random friends. I did better than the first time around and not as good as I’d hoped, since I still needed to find a job. Oh, did I forget to mention that running for office in 2010 was part of my job search after being downsized? Well, we do what we need to in this economy. This time, the 3rd time, I’m running with a campaign manager again. Now I’m the one with (some) experience and she’s the one new to politics, but she’s brilliant and catches details and nuances I miss. The cool thing is that we’re both still new enough to enjoy it, be excited at meeting new people and try to remind each other to just have fun when we get tired, frustrated or discouraged. At least if I don’t get elected this time I still have a job, albeit part-time. So, if I get elected Amanda will have something to add to her résumé, some experience if she decides to run for office, and I’ll have a full-time job for 2 years serving the people in AZ Legislative District 26. If I don’t get elected Amanda will still have something to add to her résumé and I’ll try again next time. No matter what, it’s an interesting experience and I keep meeting great people. You should try it some time! And when you pick up your ballot, if you see my name please vote for me and let me work for you.

Second Friday

Had a marvelous time at Second Friday on Main Street in Mesa. You should check it out one of these months when you’re in the area. Amanda and I got a very positive reception. Handed out over 100 pencils and a pile of color-it-yourself posters. There were lots of great artists, musicians, tons of people, many even in zombie and Steampunk clothing and I even met some people from the local Society for Creative Anachronism. I would have posted this about 2 hours ago, but I came home to a lovely redecorating job, courtesy Belle-dog. She LOVES playing in the trash can. Unfortunately, there was a bottle of Spray And Wash that broke, so I hosed off her feet, cleaned up the mess and now I have a clean spot on the floor behind my kitchen Table. Then I had to fight with my computer while the connection decided whether it was going to connect or not. Thank you internet service provider who shall remain nameless. While that was sorting itself out I grabbed some home-made tepenade, toast and wine then sat down to write about my evening. Now to find the map to the SRP picnic tomorrow.  If you want to find out more about Second Friday:

http://www.2ndfridaynightout.com/

Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 12:47 am  Comments Off  
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Window Posters

I’ve already mentioned that I don’t like the campaign signs at every corner and scattered in odd places around town. I still won’t put up signs for my campaign, mostly since I can’t afford them, but also since they clutter up our town and don’t look good for our visitors who come here on business or holiday. What will I do? Put a sign in my car and my front window at home and offer 2 versions of the same for anyone who wants to download them, colour and display them to offer support. This can be a fun activity for your kids as you talk about voting and politics in general. I trust my fans and future constituents will have fun with this and not do anything offensive. I also trust my opponents and their fans will be classy and won’t do anything tasteless and derogatory with these. Have fun with this and please post them in your car windows, home window, business window and anywhere you think is appropriate. Of course, you will want to take them down after the election. If you want to show off your artwork (or your kid’s artwork) you can post that on my campaign Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/VoteforChrisWill

This is the 8 1/2 x 11 poster we are handing out on the campaign trail:

Campaign Window Poster #1

And this is the poster that’s only available here:

Campaign Window Poster #2 Post Script: I’d appreciate it if you didn’t draw a mustache on me, but if you do make it epic!

Post Post Script: If you see an epic mustache on one of these, it’s just understandable artistic license since I am often mistaken for ‘that Mr. Chris Will guy’ until people meet me.

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm  Comments Off  
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My Facebook

Chris Will

Chris Will

I also have a Facebook page for less formal quick updates on what’s going on in my campaign. It’s easier to share information on events I’ll be attending and (generally) short comments on things. Take a look, please ‘Like’ it and share it too. While the URL says VoteforChrisWill you can also find it under Chris Will, Adventures in Politics, which is the title that you’ll see when you click on the link. Thanks for looking me up!

https://www.facebook.com/VoteforChrisWill

Voting

Normally I would not presume to tell anyone who to vote for, but since I’m running in this election I will ask you to vote for me…if I’m on your ballot. If you don’t know which Legislative District you live in don’t worry, just watch for:

STATE REPRESENTATIVE

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 26

If you are in district 26 you will see my name and can vote for me and one of my other (very nice, actually) opponents. If you are in another district then thank you kindly for thinking of me and looking, but you’ll have to pick 2 other people. In this picture from the 2010 election I used a crayon because this is a sample ballot and I’m a mommy and the crayon was handy, but if you wait to do it in a booth on Nov. 2nd you’ll want to use the marker in the booth and if you do it at home on an early ballot you’ll want to follow the directions that come with the early ballot.

No, I won’t tell you who I’m voting for. I have met all the Libertarian candidates that appear on my ballot and I think they would all do fine jobs if elected, in case you were wondering about them. In races where Libertarians aren’t running I’ll consider who will work the hardest to preserve individual rights and liberties. You, of course, will have your own criteria. The important thing is that you do vote. The only vote you throw away is the one you don’t cast, so get out there  and celebrate your right to choose who represents you as a part of this Republic.

What Were You Thinking!?

First, let me say, I’m going to blame the kids. I’m not saying it’s their fault, just that I blame them. And I’m teasing, but it is connected. Four years ago before I ran for office the first time I found myself complaining about things that seemed very important at the time, but I was just moaning over cocktails. Someone who’s known me long enough to know how I raised my kids called me on it, threw a virtual mirror at me and said “What would your kids think?” Or “What have you always told your kids?” Or something of the kind. Anyway, they were right. You can’t raise your kids one way and then wimp out when it matters. I realized that in any elected position the candidates are drawn from the general population, not just professional politicians, or at least should be. I found the right office, asked for information, and the ladies behind the counter were extremely pleasant and more than willing to explain the process and the information in the packet they supplied to me free of charge (having been paid for by our tax dollars). That’s a good thing, by the way. One function of government is to be open and available to the people, all people. I went home, read it over, thought about it, and went to work and on with my life. Various issues came up over coffee later on that week. A lovely lady artist commented that I couldn’t run for anything, that I didn’t have any money and no one’s ever heard of me. Before I could open my mouth the folk singer behind me said “Oh, now you’ve done it! Don’t tell her she can’t do something, she’ll go and do it.” So there I was learning about running for office, figuring out how my party works (up till now I’ve just voted this way, now I really had to start attending meetings regularly) putting together a team, campaigning, press releases, working computers, all that jazz. I really came from behind very late in the game but I was still in the game and that’s what counts. I didn’t give up, and that should count for something. And about blaming the kids, if it weren’t for them and their friends I wouldn’t have some of the experience I’ve gained that made me opinionated enough to complain, find out how and then run and that friend wouldn’t have had the leverage to push, and I might not have cared about the future enough to try to make a change. My daughter Catherine was the first person to sign my petition. My son Sean signed as soon as he could. Even though I didn’t win I know my kids are proud that I tried. How often in life do you get an opportunity to find out that your kids believe in you? That alone made this worth the effort. Win or lose, I’ve already won.

Published in: on October 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm  Comments Off  
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Diversity

Who is sitting in power right now? What is the general political makeup of our local, state and federal government? Pretty much Democrat/Republican. Is it any wonder why we have divisive racial and diversity issues splitting our society? Here’s an idea…promote diversity in government by voting diversity into government. Give the Libertarians, Greens, Independents and any others you see on the ballot that you feel might be worthy a chance. Vote out of the box. Personally, I’m most likely to vote Libertarian, but some Greens, an Independent and even a Democrat and Republican have impressed me. The worst thing you can do is decide not to vote your true opinion and vote with the crowd because you don’t want to vote for a ‘loser’. No, that’s wrong…the worst thing you can do is take one candidate’s advice and only vote for 1 candidate (in his race you get 2 votes, choosing 2 of the candidates on the ballot). The only vote you throw away or waste is the one you don’t cast. Make a decision, even if you have to flip a coin. Whoever wins, the winner represents you and you have a right to make your opinions known to them whether you voted for them or not (especially if you didn’t vote for them). Make this the country and government what it was meant to be: representative. Vote for diversity. And while you’re at it, vote for me!

They’re Getting It!

Well, I knew all along there were a lot of people out there who are turned off by attack ads, mudslinging and dirty campaigns. How do I know this? Because I’m one of the voters who has felt this way (and voted accordingly) for a long time. During the last election I saw a commercial showing regular people criticizing politicians bickering and name-calling, admonishing them to grow up and deal with the issues. It was followed by a political attack ad. I thought that was pretty funny. I don’t see attack ads as productive. They have been very successful in the past, but I think people are starting to realize that a good press agent can spin almost anything into something sordid.

Most Moms tell their kids at some point “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Voters are starting to realize that if a candidate has nothing good to say about themselves they’ll say something nasty about their opponent. So far this meant they usually won. We’ll see if enough voters have figured out what’s really behind this tactic and vote accordingly.

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 2:39 am  Comments Off  
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On ‘Obamacare’

If you want to reform the insurance industry, then reform the insurance industry.

If you want to provide health care, open clinics.

Political Polls

I got a call today. Another political poll. They didn’t ask if I was a candidate. They did ask if was a Democrat or Republican. I said Libertarian. Then they asked if I would be more likely to vote for the Democrat or the Republican candidate. I asked them “Isn’t there a Libertarian running?” They said “Why yes, there is!” And I informed them that’s who I would be likely to vote for.  After that they included a third option in the rest of their questions, but I don’t think that would have been the case if I hadn’t pressed the point. If you decide to answer and would prefer a third option let them know you don’t want ‘apple’ or ‘orange’, you want a ‘banana’, ‘kumquat’ or some other fruit. Just don’t let them dictate your taste or manipulate the outcome of their poll with limited choices.

Important Point

Chris Will and Carrie

Chris Will

I’m Chris Will and I’m running for state representative in AZ Legislative District 26. While I do want to win in this election and would greatly appreciate your vote, the most important point I want to make is that winning isn’t the point-participating is. Yes, participating is more important than winning. Part of the reason I ran for Sheriff of Maricopa County in 2008 was that I wanted to set an example and show that we can take part, have a voice and make a difference. Even if we don’t win we do make a difference just by trying. I always told my kids that you need to vote, and if there’s no one to vote for, run. An old friend called me on this point during a conversation when I was complaining about a law enforcement situation in our county and the choices on the ballot. Later a co-worker stated “You can’t run, you don’t have any money and nobody knows you!” The next day I was a candidate.

This is our government and if we don’t take part we are not only giving it away but paying a great price to have it taken from us bit by bit. How horrible the world is, how treacherous and dark, someone must make it safe for us…no matter the cost. Someone ought to… It’s nice to think that some stranger has our best interest at heart. Some stranger knows better than ourselves. Over and over we see the proof that they don’t. Fear sells. As long as we are too timid to take part in the government the government will continue to do what it does best: throw our money at problems through someone else (not me or you). Who benefits from this? Not me and usually not you.

Nothing will change until we take part. It isn’t a perfect system, but it’s our system. Besides, perfection is an ideal, something to strive for, not necessarily attainable. All we can do it try. The only way to fail is to not try. I’m a regular person, with all kinds of distractions, so if I can run for office so can most people. I ran for Sheriff of Maricopa county against Dan Saban and Joe Arpaio. I ran on the $500 exemption, so my budget was $500, entirely funded by myself. I’ll let you consider the pros and cons yourself. Mr. Saban’s budget was over $100,000. Mr. Arpaio’s Budget was over $500,000. Mr. Arpaio won. But I did get nearly 3% of the vote, in one of the biggest counties in the country, against maybe the most famous (arguably the most popular) sheriff in the country. I was working full-time, had 2 volunteers, 1 website and lots of distractions.

Go ahead, check it out for yourself, see what tit takes to run for office. What do you have to loose (or gain)? If I could get this far in that race just think how far anyone else could get in a less hotly contested race for a more ‘normal’ position! The Founding Fathers were farmers, craftsmen, merchants and such. They were ordinary people. Only when we look back to what ended up to be history do we realize that those became extraordinary people in extraordinary times. Our country was set up to be governed by ourselves— “Of the People, By the People and For the People.” If we don’t take part we risk allowing it to perish from this Earth. Be a patriot. Take part in the system, even if all you ever do is just vote for the person you really want to win, but if you feel strongly enough about something, stand up and run or help someone else run. We can all use a good workout once in a while.

If you think you might want to run for office you can start by checking out these sites:

http://www.azsos.gov/election/

http://maricopa.gov/SiteMapDetail.aspx?dept=54.1

Fear Sells

We cannot have real security unless we feel safe and secure within ourselves. If we continue to depend on someone else (government, religion, police, alarm systems…) to provide security we will continue to be subject to the sales pitch of fear, we will continue to believe that someone has to do this for us, to keep us safe. Until we grow up and take responsibility for ourselves, our actions, and our environment within our home, circle of friends, roads, etc… we will continue to be subject to and driven by the advertising of both the political and business aspects of our society. This is completely backwards. They should be dependent upon us, our dollars and our votes (and they know this). We should not be dependent upon ‘them’ for information through advertising regarding what we should buy, think, eat, wear, do, feel, believe, etc… Grow up. Demand more clarity, transparency and accountability from all aspects of government and the business community. We also have to hold ourselves to the same standards we expect. Respect and accountability flows both ways. We can’t get away with demanding honesty from anyone before we are willing to set ourselves as an example. No, the  political system isn’t perfect. Neither are we. We’re only human, so we can all make honest mistakes, be mis-informed or change our minds, but we can also acknowledge this and get on with life and business. The world is constantly changing and we have to change with it, hopefully with the intent to make it better. If we refuse this challenge we have only ourselves to blame for the result in the media, religion, business, schools, government and all sectors of society.

Impossible Dream

Man of La Mancha was on TV this morning. I had it on in the background while doing housework, in spite of knowing it’s eventual effect (that I would stop cleaning and start watching). If a candidate does not hold to these ideals and is not moved to tears by this film then they do not deserve your vote. If you want to hear the song, copy and paste this:

Upon further consideration, I do believe there is truth in this rant from another part of the film. Cervantes’ rant on sanity and madness, too much sanity may be madness, to see life as it is and not as it should be. To watch that copy and paste this:

“I come in a world of iron to make a world of gold.”  So many wonderful quotes. I’ve tried to find a way to comment or to put this in my own words, but there is no way to say it any better than it appears in the film.

Sighns

You know all those signs cluttering up every corner? I don’t like them either. I’m not putting any out. Of course, that’s easy to say with a budget of $500, but I hope I’d make the same decision no matter what my budget was. Don’t we want to cut waste in government? Shouldn’t that start even before any of us are elected? Besides, if I’m going to prove that elections are open to anyone, I might as well stick to it and really make the point. Whether I win or lose in November, just getting this far is a victory, so I’ve already won. Conventional wisdom holds that exposure is essential. What good is exposure if it blends in with every other name as drivers speed past? I’m sure the voters are smart enough to remember my name and vote accordingly, no matter who they choose in the end.

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