This is not the content you are likely here for1, in that what follows is more of a “very special episode” of Martini with a Twist. This is the twist, I guess?
On Friday last, I thought today would be the day I revealed what most of my attention had been devoted to for the last three weeks. My plan was to announce a run for the New York State Assembly2 District 122.3 Life, however, makes other plans.
But before I can tell you what happened, you need a couple of other pieces of information:
In order to get on the ballot for November, you need to collect signatures in March. For an Assembly race, it’s 15004 signatures.
There is one democratic county committee in the new district that will make an endorsement in a primary race5 and help their chosen candidate collect signatures.
Their meeting to choose who they’d endorse this past weekend.
On Friday, I drove my Elder Teen back to college, a six-hour trip from here to northwestern PA. After getting her settled, I drove up to Erie for the night. On Saturday morning, I was going to take a slightly different way back home to answer questions at this county’s meeting.
That is not what happened.
Instead, an anonymous troll6 decided to go through everything I have ever put online, find something moderately dumb7 that I’ve done, and blow it all out of proportion. What then followed was my having to explain being a person who does the occasional dumb thing8 and who also swears on occasion, which I was informed is not something a candidate for Assembly should do.
Here’s another thing you should know: over the last two years, not a week goes by without an anti-vaxer/anti-masker popping into my county-related in-box hollering about government overreach or some such. My favorites are the ones who close with “I know where you live.”9
I thought I was okay, fundamentally, about processing all of that.10 My keel tends to be pretty even.
But it’s been a rough year, even when you take the pandemic out of the equation. Our family had a significant death in it. Our Younger Teen is going through a transition — and I don’t trust this toxic troll to not target her. Kids should be off-limits. But this person doesn’t seem to have boundaries right now11 — and if they didn’t do it, it’s not unlikely someone else would, given where our politics are.
And even that could be managed, expect for yet another thing: I discovered in that mid-priced hotel room at 4 a.m. my Well of Resilience was bone dry. There is nothing left. While I could keep pushing (and would have, even five years ago), it would be damaging to do so. The juice, as they say, was not worth the squeeze.
So I waited until a more reasonable hour and called/texted the people who needed to be called/texted. Rather than take the circuitous route home so that I could drop into a meeting, I drove directly back through some truly tedious winter weather and collapsed in my own bed so that I could lick my wounds — and plot a run in 2024, when at least some of this nonsense will be a distant memory. Or if not a distant memory, I will be better equipped to manage my response.
I still believe Somebody’s Gotta Do It, mind. Just right now? It needs to not be me.
I am assuming that you want to know my current faves in pop culture and/or about my dogs. So to fulfill that need, let me recommend Inventing Anna on Netflix. It is bananas and mostly true (including Julia Garner’s accent, which is double-bananas but a dead ringer for the actual Anna Delvey’s manner of speaking). It is perfect for late February, in that it is mostly style rather than substance and has great costumes.
The Assembly is New York’s version of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Usually, candidates announce these types of campaigns in December or January. Because New York was in a heated redistricting debate until early February and we had no idea what the new districts would look like, I thought it best to wait until I knew which towns/cities/villages would be where on the new maps.
On paper, it’s
1500 (Mr H. in the comment below offered a correction. He is totally right and I’ve updated the number) 500. Realistically, you should collect at least 1.5x the number needed in case there are legal challenges. So the true number is 2000 750 or more.
There will be a primary in this race. In addition to me (had things worked out), there was a candidate who has run and lost at least four times now and a 26-year old with no actual experience in politics, other than a degree in public policy (which is not nothing, mind, but not the same as being in the trenches of getting things done).
who isn’t as anonymous as they think they are
I’ve done far dumber things but this person didn’t think to capitalize on them
This newsletter installment might prove to be one of those really dumb things but, you know what? Anyone who opts to involve themselves in politics needs to know how the process works, even the petty, shitty parts.
I’m not really complaining, so much as explaining. I signed up for this county gig and worked hard for it. The pandemic years have not been easy, however. I don’t talk about it much because I firmly believe you get more of what you pay attention to - and I don’t want more of this.
and the fact that I sit next a guy on the Board who had publicly said that the Dems created the January 6th “protest” because we said mean things about the former president.
The last two years have damaged all of us.