Fun and Games at the Polls
It will be interesting to see what shenanigans go down this year at the Wilde Lake Village election for CA Board. Last year, there were a couple of notable incidents.
First, candidate for CA Board Phil Kirsch actually worked at the site of the polling center where his name was on the ballot on Election Day.* **
Second, Liz Bobo was also there in support of Kirsch, hovering over people while they were casting their votes – doing a little something we call “electioneering.” She left after she was informed that this inappropriate interference was not appreciated.
Phil Kirsch and “intimidating” don’t belong in the same sentence, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and just call his presence at the polling place on Election Day highly, highly inappropriate. Maybe he was merely acting in good faith on orders from the top.
Liz, on the other hand, is smarter than that. Is this long-time lawyer and politician that ignorant, or is she that arrogant? In past years, she has made a number of efforts supporting Kirsch, including sending e-mails (some from her official legislative e-mail account on a state computer, resulting in an ethics complaint), leaving campaigning notes at houses in Wilde Lake, running a phone bank out of her house (located in a non-lien assessed outparcel in Harpers Choice), and hanging out at Slayton House on Election Day.
What is her great interest in this area where she and her husband do not live? Oh, right, it’s their rental property investment business (Property 1; Property 2; Property 3; and Property 4, which she neglected to include in her ethics financial disclosure to the House of Delegates). Not that we’d ever criticize someone for trying to boost their bottom line, but its seems using state resources to pursue private commercial interests in the name of an elected office is – well, again, let’s just call it highly, highly inappropriate.
Let’s hope CA steps up this year to draw some clear ethical lines at Slayton House on Saturday. This election is too important to be treated so cavalierly by these entrenched incumbents. CA may be “just” a homeowners’ association, but maybe if these elections weren’t treated like a joke, the seats themselves wouldn’t be treated that way.
The CA Board has the potential to be the vibrant, progressive, unifying force it once was for all of Columbia. Let’s not take it, in its current weakened state, for granted. Let’s elect responsible candidates who treat the office responsibly.
* We are not posting the 2009 Volunteer Schedule on which Phil Kirsch’s name appears, because it contains presumably private contact information for him and for other workers.
** UPDATE: From someone else who was present, we hear that Phil just helped to set up a tent at the election, and was not necessarily inside talking to voters.