The Sayre for Senate campaign was different than any campaign I've ever worked. It was local and against a Republican incumbent ... and so it literally fell upon all of us to shoulder the load. The easy path as Republican leadership would have been to fall in line with the incumbent ... pound a few signs and it would pretty much have been over. Voila! Easy campaign season.
But I've never taken the easy route just because it's the easy route. I follow my principles and the beliefs I have in government. That's why I got involved in politics in the first place ... why complain if not willing to work for change?
What puzzles me, however, is the piling-on of the local USA Today/Gannett-owned newspaper. Their editorial after the election was over the top, a sad representation of an information conduit that should be unbiased in its reporting but, instead, uses its power in a less-than-professional way.
Instead of recognizing and applauding that citizens were willing to participate in the democratic process, they mocked and called names of local volunteers who exercised their freedom and right to back a candidate of their choice.
Who did they mock? Unpaid volunteers from the community who represented a cross-section of the citizens living in the 24th District ... union truck drivers, insurance salesmen, retail employees, housewives, teachers, real estate marketers, pastors, high school and college students, and many others.
Volunteers were treated by the media in the same manner the media treats elected public servants. The difference this time was they attacked the volunteers and lined up with the public servants, even the electeds they had scorned and attacked on their pages in the past, most recently George Allen in last fall's election.
This does a disservice to citizens who may want to become involved. The newspaper can disagree with the position or the candidate ... but to go after those citizen volunteers who back a candidate the newspaper does not agree with in such a vicious manner deters folks in the community from wanting to participate in the political process.