Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Cynic's Tale

I am a cynic. I always have been. If you were to ask my friends for an adjective to describe me, cynic would be in the top five responses. I've been a political junkie for years. I ran and won for several offices in my college days, but nothing that I had done previously had properly prepared me for working for Bill Pierce.

When I first heard about Bill Pierce's bid for the United States Senate, I was a major skeptic. I said so at the time. Bill dropped by the site and asked if he could have the opportunity to change my mind. That is a day that showed me the power of the blogosphere and made me a believer again.

I arranged a meeting of what was then the fledgling Southern Ohio Blogger Alliance and Bill came out and managed to convince the lot of us that not only was Bill the real deal, but his candidacy was real. He was devoting himself to a full time run at a two-term incumbent. He had a compelling hook of a story to tell too. Here is a guy who has done battle with the federal government for most of his adult life. Rather than be part of the problem, Bill had decided to be a part of the solution; not just for himself, but for others like him.

For me, the idea of a citizen legislator had been a relic of ancient times. We've all seen the polished pitch of a smooth politico. The slick ads and the entourages. Bill represented none of those things for he expects to be a citizen legislator and not a career politican. I've never heard a politican tell me that he planned two terms and that was it where I actually believed it when I heard it.

Bill Pierce is a man of integrity. We had a meeting where the topic of the death penalty came up and a couple of us took exception to his position. Bill explained that his position was rooted in his pro-life philosophy and that got me thinking. Bill does that a lot. Here's the thing though, we told Bill that his position was not going to go over well in certain constituencies and that it might hurt his chances. He said he understood that, but he hasn't changed his position and he hasn't run from it either. In his interview with Bill Cunningham, the topic came up again and it was quite clear to the regular audience that Cunningham had a problem with Bill's position on this subject, but Bill held his own. It is that kind of conviction that only a citizen legislator can possess. The career politician will craft his message for his particular audience. He will test it, poll it, and make adjustments. Bill just tells you where he stands. Isn't that refreshing?

Ohio is at a crossroads. It can choose to be bold and advance a conservative agenda that will bring security and propsperity or it can select the option to maintain the status quo. The Ohio Republican Party establishment has been pulling for the latter. I know now, having met and worked with Bill, that the former is not only possible but doable with the right people.

Ohio has a clear choice. This reformed cynic has chosen Bill Pierce and I urge you to do the same.