Friday, October 23, 2015

All Politics is Local

In a rare Sunday afternoon of solitude last week, I comfortably positioned myself on my couch in the family room and settled in to watch my New York Jets take on the Washington Redskins. It’s not often I get Sundays to myself, I’m usually fulfilling my spouse’s “honey do list” so you can imagine the level of my annoyance meter when someone knocked on the front door – repeatedly.

Peering through the glass pane, at first glance I thought it was a Jehovah Witness embarking on the long ago lost cause of inserting religion in my life, or at least selling me a subscription to Watchtower – the house organ for that group.

As it turns out, it was actually a candidate seeking election to the local town board and hoping to get my vote on November 3. At first I wanted to be upfront and enlighten him that interrupting a pivotal Jets game was not the way to go about it.

But I resisted. 

It was also interesting that the man revealed to me that he held both the CPA and JD designations, so naturally the conversation wafted over to the accounting profession. He recounted how he began his career in accounting with Arthur Young, the predecessor to what is now the Big Four audit firm E&Y. He then went off on his own for a number of years before eventually joining a law firm overseeing its tax department.

With politics commanding center stage particularly on a national level between the GOP and Democratic debates and Presidential hopeful Donald Trump uttering something more exponentially outrageous on a daily basis, sometimes we lose sight of what’s important locally.

Joe (not his real name) said that the mistake many voters make is to place far too much emphasis on the national races and ignore the ones that arguably affect them the most.

He mentioned the importance of issues such as local zoning regulations, overdevelopment judicial appointments, public works projects and homeowner assessment changes – nothing that the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would even remotely be involved with in our little bucolic hamlet.

So we spoke for another few minutes before he departed to the other houses in my neighborhood. I thought about it and decided that for his efforts and time the least I could do was to endorse him.

But I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I missed two Jets touchdowns during the course of our protracted conversation.

Thank God for DVR.

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