Complain to those you elected

All politicians should have three hats – one to throw into the ring, one to talk through, and one to pull rabbits out of if elected.


– Carl Sandburg


I hesitate to remind you but this is an election year. That means we’ll soon be going to the polls and deciding who to hire to do the government things most of us don’t care to do.

But …

Do you know who your elected representatives are now?

It’s a simple question that I don’t think most people can answer.

Here are the four most useful.

Can you name your congressman?

Your state representative?

Your local district commissioner?

Your school board representative?

Those are the four that somebody (hopefully you) voted for the last time to handle your complaints when things go wrong.

Some of you might have a city council representative, but not all, so I left that out. I left out senators, too. (You can add them if you want.)

The reason I don’t think most of you can name these four is that readers call us all the time asking us who they are. Or they demand we fix something government or school or the county is doing with their lives. Usually they want us to write a story that makes somebody they don’t like look bad.

And usually we will share the good news that there is a person already in place to handle complaints about their child’s teacher, a school bus route, their Social Security benefits or a questionable neighborhood rezoning -- an elected representative who can get some minor public servant on the carpet and bark at them.

Unfortunately, this revelation is often met with silence.

“Do you know who your commissioner (school board member, congressman ...) is?” we might ask to make sure they’re still on the line.

“No,” they say ... or even worse. “Oh, I don’t vote.”

Well, you should.

And you should be able to name at least these four representatives.

Can you?


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.


TODAY’S JOKE: Charlie Williams shares this one.

When a newborn son was taken to the pediatrician for his first checkup, the doctor said, “You have a cute baby.”

Smiling, the dad said, “I’ll bet you say that to all the new parents.”

“No,” he replied, “just to those whose babies are really good-looking.”

“So what do you say to the others?” the new dad asked.

“I say,” the doctor added, “‘He looks just like you.’”