Friday, July 17, 2009

Glad I Packed a Lunch. Wished I'd Packed a Book.

It was a pleasant enough evening, I suppose. Yeah, there was a little bit of humidity but with rain clouds rolling in throughout the afternoon and into the early evening and storm clouds piling up, how could you be surprised. Could've done with more people, but then again, I have enough challenges with the ones I know now.

I'd mentioned Monday there was a reasonably important, admittedly inside-baseball, meeting tonight in Norwich's City Hall. It was a Campaign Finance-Training Seminar, held by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC), and you've already noticed the past tense of the verb (a literary device known as foreshadowing. Fiveshadowing is something posers use) so I'll bet you've guessed what happened next (sure wish you'd been here with all this good guessing, it would have saved me some time).

The SEEC sent an advisory on the training out across the state months ago to the two traditional political parties and their town committees, as well as to city clerks in the various municipalities, to encourage treasurers and other campaign officials to register for a training session at one of the four regional locations so that the presenters would have some idea of how many people they could expect in, for example, Waterbury, or perhaps later in the same week, in Norwich.

The incentive for attending the finance training is a rather severe fine and a stiff jail sentence if you goober up your candidate's campaign finance reports. This is the Land of Steady Habits, after all, and while we deplore cruelty and criminal mischief, our blood boils when we speak of crimes against property or involving money.

The word, such as it was, trickled rather than flowed in and through The Rose City (and elsewhere). Meanwhile back at the fort (Hartford), the SEEC, based on the spectacular lack of interest they thought was coming from this corner of New London County, among other places, canceled the seminar. Actually, not just here, but in ALL four of the planned-for locations across the Nutmeg State.

And they did as good a job of getting the cancellation word out, as the local municipal authorities had in spreading the word in the first place. As a matter of fact, the remaining session (no plural, but thanks for the thought) which will now be kind of snug since it's the only session, isn't until next month, in Middletown, which for those who like to ride or drive for distance is made to order, as it's equidistant (more or less) from all four of the towns originally slated to host the seminars.

Yeah, it will, with any luck, be a lot more moist and warm on August 10th, when the seminar, possibly, kicks off in Middletown, so dress lightly and use baby powder and dry not to step on anyone's toes or sit on someone else's lap, because quarters may get close. And complain only softly about how inconvenient this training has become. Make it a point to find a mirror somewhere in the municipal building so you can have a quick word with the person directly responsible for yet another yawn in the great sleepwalking exercise we too often call American democracy.
-bill kenny

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