Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo is asking around about Not Running Again (NRA) and we realize (no surprise) that I am not the only woman who thinks NRA is kind of a jerk

Primo: I talked to [former superintendent of the school board].

Me: Have I met her?

[I am discovering this is a Big Problem in politics. I am The Spouse. Like it or not, Primo is judged somewhat based on what people think about me. When I am with him, I need to be ultra charming and lovely and supportive and my house needs to be clean or else I am A Bitch Who Won't Bake Cookies or Keep a Clean House.

The only thing worse than A Bitch Who Won't Bake Cookies or Keep a Clean House?

A Bitch Who Won't Bake Cookies or Keep a Clean House and Who Does Not Remember My Name.

I have a really hard time remembering the names of all the political people I meet, especially because at almost any political event I attend, I am counting the minutes until I can leave.]

Primo: I don't know. Anyhow, I asked her about Not Running Again (NRA).

Me: And?

Primo: You know that little art festival in September?

Me: Yes.

Primo: She was volunteering at the ticket table and NRA walked up. He said, "I'm Not."

Me: That's all?

Primo: Yes. Just his first name. As if she should know who he is.

Me: Would she even have known him if he had given his full name?

Primo: I doubt it. She doesn't live in his district and the festival is in another district.

Me: What a jerk.

Primo: He was really annoyed that she didn't know who he is.

Me: He is a city councilman. In a small city. Even the people in his district don't know who he is!


Monday, May 21, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo goes on the offensive but I am not a Good Supportive Candidate's Wife so sue me

Primo: I called Not Running Again (NRA) to talk to him about his possibly running, but he didn't answer. 

Me: I know.

Primo: So I talked to people about it last night at the Party Prom. They suggested I have a neighborhood blitz next week to collect nominating signatures.

Me: OK.

Primo: You're not going to like this.

Me: What?

Primo: I'm going to have people come here.

Me: What?!

Primo: I am going to have them come here to get the clipboards and the sheets.

Me: Oh. Lord.

Primo: And then I thought I might grill some hot dogs.

Me: Which means you will need plates and condiments and people will be in the house. 

Primo: Not necessarily! Hot dogs are finger food!

Me: Not. Really.

Primo: They are!

Me: I am not going to be a part of this.

Primo: But---!

Me: Do what you want. But I will not be visible. I am not a part of this. This is not how I want to spend my Sunday afternoon and I don't want to play hostess. I don't care if you do this, but I am not a part of it.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo talks to Campaign Manager and some other people about a possible primary challenge and is not as despondent as he was

Me: I'm sorry this is so stressful.

Primo: I feel better now. I talked to Campaign Manager and to [someone else with influence whose role I cannot remember]. They reminded me that the County Mayor* might not be so eager to fund a campaign against me - I already have endorsements from nine pretty prominent, powerful legislators.

Me: That's true!

Primo: And several unions.

Me: exACTLY!

Primo: He's not going to go against that. And Not Running Again (NRA) - he can primary me if he wants, but he is not going to get party support because I already have it. Plus he is not known outside of his district.

Me: AND he's a jerk!

Primo: I feel better.

Me: BAM!

Primo: I have to get to that dinner** early so I can ask [other prominent union leaders, politicians, and people of influence] for their endorsements.

Me: You have A PLAN!!!

Primo: Yes. Normally, you wait until after the filing deadline**** to ask for endorsements, but CM suggested I ask for them now.

Me: Great idea!

Primo: If NRA wants to run, go ahead. But it won't change my strategy. It might mean I campaign harder a little earlier----

Me: But it won't be wasted effort.

Primo: Nope.

Me: Knock 'em dead.






* The County Mayor has funded several campaigns against incumbents he doesn't like. He is trying to get a lot of power, which I totally get - that is how humans can be sometimes, but I don't agree with how he wants to use his power. He wants to develop EVERYTHING. Also - he is a rich kid who has never had to work for his own money. He had thousands of dollars in parking tickets a few years ago - all from the same location - because it was worth $36 a shot to park where he wanted to park. He's That Guy.

** I call it the "X Party Prom." Because it is. It's a prom for grownups.

*** No, I am not going. Why do you ask? Why on earth would I torture myself by spending a Saturday evening hanging out with politicians? Please.

**** The deadline for turning in the nominating petitions. For Primo's race, the deadline is early June, so he is asking (April, May) over two months ahead of time.

The Candidate's Wife: Primo and I reminisce about what a jerk Not Running Again is

Primo: Remember when NRA emailed that woman who wrote to him about the development and said, "I appreciate how much courage it must have taken for you to cut and paste from a form letter?"

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo is despondent because there is gossip that Party Insiders want to primary him but he doesn't know who or what

But he does think he knows why. I have made some reference, I believe, to the development issues facing our city. We live in an older neighborhood - a first-ring suburb of houses built around the wars close to downtown. Our city has great public schools, really nice houses, and great services. It's a nice place to live.

The developers want to put high-density housing in the middle of neighborhoods of single-family homes. They want to build five-story buildings next to single-family homes.

I am not hearing any support for from people who actually live near the proposed development. Primo and I did not support the building of a 66-unit apartment building on the church parking lot two blocks from our house. We do not support development on the grounds of some really nice parkland in our city.

But there are people who want this development to happen. The people who would make money from it, of course. People who are much richer than we are and live in much fancier neighborhoods where this sort of thing would never be allowed to happen.

He has been told - but nobody will give him actual names - that the Establishment wants to run someone against him.

Primo: They aren't even doing me the courtesy of letting me know! That's how it's supposed to work.

Me: It's kind of as if during WWII, after we had started fighting the Germans, the Russians, and the Japanese, Illinois had also decided to fight against us.

Primo: This is not how it's done!

Me: It must feel like you have been betrayed.

Primo: I'm the one who ran in this district when nobody thought it was winnable. I have run three times! I'm the one who has put in the work. I'm the one with the name recognition. They should be supporting me, not fighting me.

Me: Except - they know you are not a Big Money Guy. That you're not a sellout. That you would not support big development deals.

Primo: I wouldn't!

Me: I didn't think your party was officially about Big Money and Developers.

Primo: They're not supposed to be!

Me: So as long as they say the right things about the social issues, it's OK for them to screw the little people over on anything to do with money?

Primo: Maybe.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo gets a cryptic message from the city council candidate who ran against the woman who won

Remember how Not Running Again City Councilman (NRA) tried to intimidate a candidate for his seat into not running?

Primo stepped into that fray and supported the woman who was running. He also had a beer with the other candidate, whom we shall call Candidate B.

I met Candidate B. Nice guy. Nothing wrong with him. But Woman Candidate was very clear and strong in her message of Let's Stop This Crazy Re-Zoning Required Development.

After Woman Candidate won, Primo sent a message to Candidate B, saying he ran a good race and Primo's support of Woman Candidate was not personal against Candidate B. He suggested Candidate B and he get together for another beer.

Candidate B did not answer the beer question, but wrote back that Primo had not "seen the last of [Candidate B]."

Which Primo takes to suggest that Candidate B might primary Primo for the State House.

To which I said, "But he couldn't even win the City Council seat!"

To which Primo answered, "But he would get the developer money behind him for this race."

We both sighed.

Developers. Big Money. Must money always win in politics?