And celebrate they did, complete with lobbyists and fundraising and many prominent state Democrats in attendance. Headlining the event were Gov Bev Perdue and the head honchos of the State Senate, Marc Basnight and State House, Joe Hackney.
What it was, was the 2010 Legislative Reception at the headquarters of the N C Democrats, a mere block from the Capitol. For only $50 per person one could hobnob with he most powerful pols in the state. But, according to party executive director Andrew Whalen it was all above-board. The event is nothing more than a thank you from the party to the legislators for a job well done. Of course there were no Republican legislators present. Anyway, Whalen went on to say that the money raised would go pay basic party expenses which for some reason included the elevator repairman. Seems interesting to me for that to be included along with the water bill and the electric bill. perhaps it’s Democrat code for something, who knows.
Anyway, a number of Democrats seemed to be in the dark about who was actually there. Sen Linda Garrou, as she hurried inside, denied knowing that lobbyists were present. Oh, forgot to mention that, lobbyists were present but were enjoined to remember that no money raised could go to a candidate or the committee of a candidate. Another attendee was Rep Deborah Ross who also declined to answer questions before rushing inside. Secretary of State and U S Senate candidate Elaine Marshall admitted to knowing the event was a fundraiser but did not know who was on the invitation list. By the way, her office regulates lobbyists.
Speaker Hackney seemed offended by questions about the event and emphasized that it was the state party raising money and not him personally and that it was all legal and proper. The question asked of him was whether he thought voters would consider it wrong to raise money from lobbyists while the legislature was still officially in session.
Of course, everything was just as open and honest as the day is long. Besides it must take a lot of money to pay those elevator repairmen.
Several years ago, Billy Crystal starred in the movie, City Slickers. It was a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed for its comedy, Norman the calf, crusty old Jack Palance, as well the comic genius of Crystal himself. But it was much more than a comedy. Its premise of three friends in various stages of midlife crisis was really well done and thought-provoking as well. I am uncertain if I have had my mid- life crisis although I have definitely passed the mid-life part. Unlike Crystal and friends I have zero desire to go on a cattle drive .
There was a phrase spoken by one of the main characters which has begun to resonate with me of late, or rather its meaning has. For me, it goes something like this. What if you have already done the best you’re going to do, achieved your potential whatever it was, in life and career and relationships. And therefore, everything from here on out is a gradual downhill slide into mediocrity or even worse irrelevance? Maybe this says it better, you’ve done the best you’re going to ver do and it wasn’t all that good?
Sounds sorta morose does it not, which is exactly how Crystal and friends felt in the movie. But as often happens in the the c inematic world, there is not closure but rather a chance for redemption, another chance one might say.
Alas, life does not always imitate art and I am abit apprenhensive that it will not in my particular case. This would be a good time to be a politician, if there ever is. At the time when the careers of most are winding down, the career of the politician is just getting underway. Think otherwise, then look at the ages of our senators and representatives. And vying to join them from the Tar Heel State is 64-year-old Elaine Marshall. She is now our Secretary of State but running for the U S Senate. Seems that Ponce de Leon was off on the location of the Fountain of Youth by a few hundred miles. It is not in Florida, but 749 miles to the north in Washington, DC.
For the vast majority of us, we never find that fountain at all.
As one who against his wishes entered into a second career, I am somewhat familiar with the concept. But in the political realm, a second career is a different concept entirely. A case in point is the developing senatorial race in North Carolina. Republican incumbent Richard Burr is up for re-election. Apparently, the Democrats must think he is vulnerable since they are lining up to challenge.
The leading candidate for the Democrats is Secretary of State Elaine Marshall with former state senator Cal Cunningham probably her chief rival. Other candidates are Chapel Hill lawyer Ken Lewis and Lumberton lawyer Marcus Williams. There may be a lot of interesting things about this contest later. For now, one thing caught my attention.
Ms Marshall, also a former state senator, was elected Secretary of State in 1996 . She is starting her Senate campaign at the age of 64, which is fine. But what intrigues me is that at an age when many, if not most, people are looking to retire, already have retired or face a forced retirement, she is launching( potentially) a new and challenging career.
In politics age seems to be no barrier. There is no mandatory retirement age etc. I know , the voters decide, blah,blah. But when one looks at the hallowed roster of Congress, one sees many that have long passed the barrier that exists for most workers. And, once they are there for a bit, they usually stay as long as they wish.
I reiterate, should Congress have a maximum age. The Constitution provides a minimum age you know.
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