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Workplace morality...exercise #6

by fredo
on 11/4/2009 @ 8:03pm
You've just been elected to an office for a four year term. It turns out there is another office you would like add to your resume and the election for that office is coming up in just two years. If you run for that office and win you will have to give up the position you were just elected to. The seat will then be given to an appointee. You neglected to inform the voters in your district that you did not intend to serve your entire term.

Do you serve out the term you were originally elected to or do you run for the second office and give the voters in your district the finger?

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2009 @ 8:07pm
go rogue. quit your job but in a press conference say "as a lame duck official it wasn't fair to the tax payers to waste their money"
try to cash in on book and speaker money.

by L.S.Erhardt on 11/4/2009 @ 8:23pm
Personally, I'd serve out my term. I strongly believe that a person holding office X cannot serve their constituents while campaigning for office Y. Such recent examples include a senator from Illinois and a governor from Alaska. Neither of them did their job while running for the White House. I feel that to run for a different or higher office while serving in another one is a conflict of interests, and that you should wait or resign before running for something else.

So, while I would wait out my term, we all know that I'm not a politician either. I still have a soul and a sense of responsibility...

by fredo on 11/5/2009 @ 7:49am
Nachos-those Alaskans are a curious bunch. I would like to note that voters did not reward Palin with the higher office that she sought.

Here are two elected officials who held one office then were awarded a second office by the voters before they had even finished their terms: Barack Obama and Julie Anderson. If either candidate had warned voters that they aspired to higher offices and didn't intend to serve out their terms they might not have been elected in the first place.

by panachronic on 11/5/2009 @ 10:18am
Thorax makes a great point. Let's bar Obama from running for reelection.

by thriceallamerican on 11/5/2009 @ 10:36am

I don't think that Barack Obama was planning to run for POTUS in 2008 when he ran for the Senate in 2004, but the opportunity felt right at the time. (Also: Clinton and McCain were in the middle of their Senate terms during the 2008 race, though admittedly not their first terms.)

Regarding Julie Anderson, when she ran for re-election in 2008, it was nowhere even close to a foregone conclusion that Pat McCarthy would win the County Executive race, and as such Anderson was not planning to run for that office at the time. Again, as with Obama (though for different reasons), an opportunity presented itself and she decided to go for it.

In both cases, the candidates took advantage of unique opportunities that came up. In Obama's case, it was the cultural Zeitgeist of the post-Bush national mood and his own rising star. In Anderson's case, it was merely a higher office that she felt she could manage with excellence.

And also in both cases, the voters didn't seem to mind. Obama swept his home state, and Anderson very nearly won an RCV election in the first round.

This is the way the real world works. I may take a new job today, but if another, better opportunity comes up in two months, would you begrudge me taking it? (I realize this is a sort of weak argument, since you didn't vote for me to get either of these jobs, but regardless, I have no problems with people aspiring towards bigger things.)

Moreover, Barack Obama still represents the people of Illinois (though as their President rather than more directly as their Senator), and Julie Anderson still represents the people of Tacoma (just in a different capacity). I don't think anyone gave anyone the finger, and the vote counts appear to agree with me.

by fredo on 11/5/2009 @ 11:09am
Nobody including myself would begrudge Anderson the opportunity to aspire to a higher office. The problem is she didn't warn the voters that she was type of person who was a quitter and that she only had a marginal interest in the office she was running for. The voters who put her on the city council have been disenfranchised. They no longer have any say regarding who represents them. Julie Anderson is shameful opportunist, there's no getting around it.

by thriceallamerican on 11/5/2009 @ 11:21am
Knowing that politicians run for higher offices is part of the game, and voters know that. This wasn't Julie's first term on city council or anything, she served a full term before the 2008 elections and may well have finished out this term before running for higher office had the Auditors position not been open.

So here's my hypothetical for you: You are elected to City Council because you believe you can provide a good voice for the citizens both on the council and in other positions that you serve as a representative of the city. Meanwhile, shortly after you are elected, another elected office becomes open (due to someone getting elected to a higher office or a death). You feel that your past experience and credentials make you eminently qualified for this position and believe that you can do the job better than anyone else. You initially planned to serve out your City Council term before investigating other offices, but the opportunity is before you now without having to run against an elected incumbent, meaning this may be your best chance ever. You're telling me that you'd stay on City Council instead of running? Even when you feel your talents would actually better serve the public in this new position?

Look, I realize it is lame to have people who we haven't had a chance to elect being appointed to vacancies. Maybe we need to accelerate the process for electing replacements so that we have special elections rather than waiting for the general election, minimizing the time that interim appointed people serve. Maybe we need to make everything align to the same term length and election year so that people changing offices are less likely to leave mid-term (probably not a good idea, but that's a different topic). But I absolutely don't find it immoral, not one bit, for someone to run for higher office midterm.

by fredo on 11/5/2009 @ 11:29am
I would honor my commitment to the voters. Honor trumps opportunity.

by thriceallamerican on 11/5/2009 @ 11:40am
I think it would be honorable to run for the office where you think your gifts would be best suited and most beneficial to the voters. Just my opinion.

by fredo on 11/5/2009 @ 11:51am
So if JA announces next year that she's giving up the Auditors job to run for higher office, you're OK with that, I assume.

by thriceallamerican on 11/5/2009 @ 11:56am
I might question her judgment and whether her frequency of office change was a good quality, but morally I'd have not problem with it.

by fredo on 11/5/2009 @ 12:03pm
I expect her to run for the Governor's office as soon as Gregoire quits or is run out of Olympia on a rail.

by thriceallamerican on 11/5/2009 @ 12:13pm
I expect Gregoire to serve out her term. In 2012, JA's term would be up too, so it's fair game.

by L.S.Erhardt on 11/5/2009 @ 4:53pm
Cat fight for the Governor's mansion...

Hey! It could be a Battle At the Boat #89
Only at the Emerald Queen Casino I-5 showroom!

by fredo on 11/5/2009 @ 7:40pm
Obama will soon be selecting Gregoire to join his Geithner/ Biden/ Sims brain trust.

by L.S.Erhardt on 11/5/2009 @ 9:34pm

This country is already f-cked up. Do we really need to make it worse?

by NineInchNachos on 11/5/2009 @ 11:48pm
talk talk talk

by fredo on 11/6/2009 @ 9:54am
"you ... believe you can do the job better than anyone else" Thrice hypothetical

When a person feels they are uniquely qualified and more capable of performing a particular job than any other living person they are probably suffering from an emotional or developmental disability.

by thriceallamerican on 11/6/2009 @ 10:18am
Why run for office if you don't think you'd be the best?

by fredo on 11/6/2009 @ 11:02am
People who always think they are the best may be suffering from a disorder referred to as NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). There are treatments for this condition. Step 1 is recognition.

by L.S.Erhardt on 11/6/2009 @ 11:19am
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder"

otherwise commonly known as "having a huge, overinflated ego". This personality issue is nearly ubiquitous in certain professions, including bankers, stock brokers, corporate executives, politics, professional athletes, television and film stars, radio talk show hosts, writers, artists, intellectuals and engineers. Only known cure is an epic slice of humble pie. However, some NPD sufferers are so bad that there just isn't enough humble pie in the world to bring them back to reality.

But don't worry! Help may be soon available! Due to the shortage of humble pie, drug manufacturers are racing to create a synthetic version. Right now, a drug under the brand name "Knowyourplaceitol" is nearing FDA approval.

by fredo on 11/6/2009 @ 11:48am
" ubiquitous in certain professions"

Correct Thorax. But should we enable these people by constantly placing them on boards, committees, and by electing them to multiple public offices? Or should we use an interventionist strategy, perhaps including the new drug you've described: knowyourplaceitol?

by thriceallamerican on 11/6/2009 @ 11:56am
Good luck finding non-politicians to run for office.

by fredo on 11/6/2009 @ 12:11pm
How about the founder's idea of a citizen government where people would serve a term or two, then return to their private lives? Or is our new system of NPD career politicians preferable?

by NineInchNachos on 11/6/2009 @ 12:35pm
please, let us not wallow in the syphilis infested wig-baked ideas of our founding fathers.

(this comment is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson's slaves)

by NineInchNachos on 11/6/2009 @ 12:37pm
I will be the first person to thrust a Japanese blade into his belly the day Thorax O'Tool lands in any position of power.