Saturday, August 4, 2007


I had a really interesting evening conversation last night. I was having the usual Friday beer with the political junkies at Mogollon, and ended up having a chat with Democratic congressional candidate Howard Shanker He was out with several members of his staff for a casual beer, not a campaign stop. I really wasn't familiar with Howard before our conversation, other than his statement announcing his candidacy.
I must say I came away impressed. We talked about a wide variety of topics, from energy to Iraq to economics, and Mr. Shanker has definitely done his homework. I've been around a lot of politicians over the decades, and usually they make sweeping policy statements that sound good but lack substance. Not Howard. He got into specific "nuts and bolts" plans and ideas. He also seemed to really enjoy our raucous give and take debates that are the typical Friday at Mogollon. He was perfectly willing to express his opinions and listen to ours. We're a pretty diverse group politically, so he was taking a bit of a risk wading into such a group of potential supporters and openly disagreeing with some on some issues. Most candidates would have carefully parsed their words, trying to pander to all. Not Howard. He seemed perfectly comfortable expressing his views, even when some disagreed (for the record, I agreed with him on most, but not all issues).
So far, there are 3 announced Democratic candidates for our district, and it's really looking like Mr. corruption Rick Renzi won't be running, so this could be a house pickup for the dems.
Also running are State Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick,, who has a good track record in the legislature, and Mary Kim Titla, who I know very little about. While it's early in the campaign season, I'm seriously considering volunteering for Mr. Shanker's campaign (I had been leaning toward Kirkpatrick prior to meeting Howard).
As I've stated previously, I don't look for a candidate "you'd like to have a beer with", but I may have to make an exception.


Becky C. said...

I have not yet gotten up to Flagstaff--but stick around and I will take you up on the offer--and forgo my usual Coca Cola for a micro-brew:)

I must admit to being a little disappointed in the dying libertarian spirit in Arizona, like everywhere else it seems to rapidly be morphing into the Tedious State, as well as a bit of Neo-Con meanness.

Thanx for stopping by:)


pygalgia said...

Thank you for stopping by, too. Yeah, the politics in this state has lost a lot of it's wild west maverick streak, but I hope we'll change that.