My friend Ava called last night to discuss the recent Board of Education election in which she’d campaigned against four opponents for one of three open seats. Although she vowed never to run for office again, she appreciated the valuable lesson she’d learned. As she put it: “I think it’s fair to say parents don’t want drug-addicted tattletales making educational policies for their kids!”
Ava’s commentary on the cutthroat world of elections began: “I planted campaign signs all around town. Within a week, they’d been thrown down or taken away! Someone I know thought she saw one of the candidate’s kids drive off with the sign from her lawn, but I couldn’t prove it.”
The theft of her signs seemed a pittance compared to the next assault: “A few days after, I cut my finger putting up replacement signs and had to go to the emergency room for stitches. Later that day, someone I barely know posted on my Facebook Wall that he’d heard I’d been taken to the E.R. for an overdose! He prayed that the wake up call would make me seek help for my addiction! I spent hours denying I have a drug problem and thanking all the people who posted ‘get better soon’ comments!”
“The thing is,” Ava added, “when I was leaving the hospital, I ran into the husband of the bitch whose kid stole my signs. I think she put one of her friends up to the Facebook post. But once again, I couldn’t prove anything.”
“Anyway,” she went on, “I started to think I couldn’t win unless I got my hands dirty too, and my chance came at the Q&A session. It’s probably the most important part of the campaign. The Board hosts a town hall meeting, and people submit questions in advance for the candidates. At the meeting, a moderator chooses which ones to ask. The week before the event, a Board member I know told me another Board member had slipped all the questions to a friend of his who’s running. Although my friend wouldn’t say who, she told me I should be able to figure out the cheater easily enough.”
“She was right. At the Q&A session, one woman had note cards with answers on them. Every time the moderator asked her a question, she pulled out a card and read off it. At the first opportunity, I attacked! I said: ‘It’s bad enough we have cheating in our schools without having cheating in Board of Education campaigns too!’ Then I said: ‘Yet one of my opponents not only got copies of all your questions ahead of time but even wrote out the answers!'”
I asked Ava if the audience reacted.
“Yeah,” she replied, “them and also the woman with the note cards! She denied the charge, but I guess the parents didn’t believe her since she lost the election along with me. I feel bad about that now.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because, after the meeting, my friend on the Board told me I’d accused the wrong woman. The one who actually got the questions ahead of time, and who ended up winning a seat, was the same bitch who’d stolen my signs and arranged for the Facebook posts!”