Civic Responsibility and Inconvenience

There’s a post on the Merc’s Roadshow claiming that 2 men on a bridge with a “large sign” and “flags in their pockets” were causing such a distraction as to cause a backup 45 minutes longer than the usual 15 minute back up.

I’m hard pressed to believe it.  I happen to have seen pictures from that day on Facebook and none of them show gridlock, never mind one that would exceed normal traffic for the time of day.

But let’s say someone did actually spend an extra 5 or 10 minutes on the road because of these two guys.  Let’s call that feasible (though still unlikely).  Even traveling across the county with amber alerts flashing on every CalTrans sign, my trip during rush hour is only extended maybe 10 minutes total… and that’s a lot of signs in a much more visible position.

So what?  Civic responsibility can be inconvenient.  Voting takes time, but hey, could you imagine the inconvenience of the people who had to go to war to get that vote for us?  Now that’s some inconvenience.  Putting up signs, standing in the public with signs or handing out information, precinct walking — all can be considered “inconvenient” to some people.  But it is how we get people’s attentions in elections.  It’s how people become aware — particularly when you have a media afraid to provide coverage — and start to do some research before they vote.  At least that’s what responsible voters do.

The author of the letter says she won’t vote for “this Kevin Jensen character.”  She makes this decision solely on the basis of a minor inconvenience intended to bring awareness of a campaign to the public.  I want to thank the author for introducing one of our electorate’s biggest problems — intellectual laziness.   I’m not singling her out, so please don’t get upset, it’s a widespread problem.

We wonder why we have so many problems in government, it’s not who we vote for, it’s who votes for them.  It’s us, the voters.  We want short cuts (term limits) so we don’t have to exert the effort of discerning good from bad – just throw them all out, baby with the bath water, that way we don’t have to keep up with what is going on.  We can’t find time to vote — despite the availability of early voting, absentee voting and going to the polls – an intolerable number of us can’t bother to be “inconvenienced.”  I posted the voting numbers for Santa Clara County the other day on our Facebook page.  Honestly, I’m really not worried about who the author says she will vote for because in all likelihood, she won’t be voting.  Odds are on that.

But let’s assume that our friend the letter writer does vote, and her only requirement is that she has never been inconvenienced by the civic actions of a candidates supporters — this is what she will get:

A sheriff that intimidates the media:  I was blocked for hours yesterday only unblocked after we engaged in a protest online against the Mercury for blocking me.

A sheriff who grossly mismanaged her own personal finances costing taxpayers millions doing who know what with $300+M of taxpayer money that she doesn’t have to account for.  There are people currently working to track money that they believe has disappeared from certain accounts.  Whomever wins, the public should demand a forensic accounting of the Sheriff’s office.

A sheriff who would engage in political manipulations and lies to the public, even blatantly on a ballot statement

A sheriff who continually allows her administrative staff to interfere in investigations to “save money” while costing victims and their families justice and the public their safety.

My saying is the electorate gets the candidate they deserve.  Do you think the county deserves more of this kind of leadership in public safety because you had to spend an extra 5 minutes in traffic?  It’s a sad day when a voter either believes this; or worse, doesn’t bother to find out what the impact of their ignorance would be.

With this said, are you registered to vote; if you are not, get registered to vote, you have until May 19th.  Then, make sure you cast your vote in this election.  Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

As a last note, in regards to that letter:  The men on the bridge were not committing an illegal act as the author tried to claim and the Mercury failed miserably to clarify.  It is illegal to permanently affix signage to overpasses, it is not illegal to hold the signs on an overpass.  If there is a significant issue with traffic caused by this, CHP can and should ask people to stop under their responsibility to “direct traffic” according to case law.  It’s a shame that the Mercury won’t even take the time to get this bit of information out to the public accurately in this sheriff’s race.

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Casey Thomas’ World is a group of writers, contributors and sources interested in bringing information to the electorate about the race for sheriff in Santa Clara County between Laurie Smith and Kevin Jensen.  We don’t care who you vote for, but we will inconvenience your intellectual laziness and try to get you to make an informed decision and actually go out and VOTE.

You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out more about what we have to say.

 

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3 thoughts on “Civic Responsibility and Inconvenience

  1. Brian I suggest you send this as written to Gary Richards’ email. He has always been quite supportive of law enforcement and is more than willing to print retractions or other view points as he did in today’s column.

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  2. See, if you ask the truth comes out. Too bad the Mercury News did not do it’s homework and actually check it’s sources. How many time have you sat in traffic only to come upon a parked CHP cruiser. I don’t read hater letters about that in the letters to the editor or roadshow. The Mercury News is not known for accurate reporting or fair journalism, that’s why I don’t read it. Vote Kevin Jensen.

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  3. I and Don Morrissey were the two people mentioned in the letter to Mr Roadshow, “Campaign sign bring Highway 85 to a halt.” I say RUBBISH to this baseless and false bit of information. I find it disturbing that the Mercury News elected to use a file photo from 2003 that makes the reader believe we did not follow the law. Don has reached out to Gary Richards (Mr Roadshow), who has not returned the phone call, to set the record straight. We followed Case Law and kept a constant watch for slowing traffic. Which, really did not matter as there was a crash somewhere well east of us that had stopped the highway. We did not affix any materials to the fencing/bridge/etc. We had the sign attached to two posts, which we held. I’m sure if Mr Roadshow had taken the time to do some research he would have been able to find records of the accident and be able to report that fact and the reason for the exceptionally slow traffic. Yes, several BRT’s drove past us and off to the east out of view. We researched the highways before deciding on using this location. Between the hours of 5pm and 6pm the traffic in this area is at a slow crawl at best. That is the reason for the selection as there would be no impact on traffic. While standing on the pedestrian bridge we had dozen of folks waving, even several unmarked police cars (as well as marked) give us an air horn and a wave. Not to mention the Motors that road by. I believe I did mention all the other folks that gave us the “thumbs up.” Yes, their thumb, not a single digit of their hand. I will be fair, yes, we did have one, let me repeat ONE, male who did yell an epitaph towards us. At no time did the traffic slow to less than 10 miles per hour. At exactly 6pm we packed up our gear and let the traffic stand still all by it’s self.

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