Perpetual campaigning shortchanges voters

Imagine working in either a blue- or white-collar employment field and approaching your boss to ask for time to seek other employment opportunities. You tell your boss that you will be away from your job for 50 to 75 percent of the time, but want to ensure that your salary and benefits remain intact. Further, if you fail at locating another position, you will want to retain your current employment.

I believe that most employers, once they stop laughing, would take the appropriate steps to remove such an employee.

Yet we, the citizens of this great country, tolerate this exact same behavior from our elected officials on an annual basis. We permit mayors, governors, and members of Congress to spend months and years campaigning for another job while either ignoring their current elected status or dumping their duties on deputies or subordinate staffers.

If an elected official did not want the job in the first place, they should not have wasted their time and money campaigning for it.

As a citizen and voter, I look for and respect candidates who not only desire the job they are seeking, but will fulfill the roles and responsibilities of the office for the betterment of the people and the country. Playing career hopscotch on the public dime is just plain wrong.

Public service means having the integrity to serve and complete your obligations to the public. No politician should be permitted to campaign for any office until they have completed their current elected employment and then be judged accordingly on their merit.

Charles Huthmaker


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