Pragmatic Political Pundit

capitol building close upAs a newspaperman over a period of decades, I reported the activities of politicians, including the coverage of election campaigns, and social upheaval.

I found excitement in such events as trying to chase down Vice President Spiro Agnew at a hotel in Chicago.

Reporting on social phenomena such as race riots in Joliet and Chicago, and rioting by the Students for a Democratic Society in the Windy City, stimulated adrenaline rushes.

But nothing was as much fun as attending a meeting of the Kissimmee (Florida) Chamber of Commerce while then-U.S. Rep. Louis (Skip) Bafalis, who was running for re-election, and his aide listened with feigned, intent interest as members of the peanut and popcorn committees reported on proceeds collected at school athletic events.

In Tampa, I dived into an investigation of a home-owner’s complaint that a construction company was eroding the banks of a creek where a building project was under way. Soil was spilling into the stream, narrowing it in front of her residence. Obtaining the site plan, I called the construction superintendent and asked him a few questions. Then I drove to his office next to the creek and pointed out how he had contradicted himself. He looked at me and said, while rocking on his heels, “Oh, you tricked me, huh?” Divining that he was about to shove me through the glass door, I mumbled something about needing to get back to the office, and made a hasty retreat – opening the door first. At a county commission meeting I attended two months later, the subject of the construction project and its superintendent arose. The commission chairman dismissed the issue, saying, “He died.” I suspect the superintendent’s bosses were involved in organized crime, which proliferated in Tampa at the time, and were unhappy with the negative publicity the project was engendering.

As editor of an underfunded and short-lived magazine in Palm Beach County called The Insider, I regularly wrote a political commentary column.

An avid follower of political and social issues, I have become increasingly appalled by the ideological stonewalling of practical solutions to a myriad of problems that our country faces, and by the lying and deceiving that woo gullible people into voting for politicians who work against the interests of all but a tiny minority of moneyed constituents. I invite you to read my blog as I try to set the record straight on such diabolical behavior. If you are itching to vent your own opinions and feelings, leave a comment. It might be something that would interest other readers of the blog.

 

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