Monday, May 11, 2015

There’s no accounting for taste; why would people pay for political time?

I spend a lot of my work time associating with political-type people, what with trying to learn more about their ways so I can write more intelligently about them.

It doesn’t mean I necessarily want to associate with them on my free time. Which is why I find it confounding to think that certain people are willing to pay significant sums of their own money in order to be with them.

PERSONALLY, I’D JUST as soon keep my cash, or try to find some worthy charitable cause to donate to, rather than give it to a political person’s campaign fund.

Because that is what ultimately becomes of the money spent in ways such as reported on recently by the Washington Post. It seems that when singer Taylor Swift appears in concert in Washington in July, there are going to be several members of Congress in attendance.

Including Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., of our very own state’s delegation. Although she’s not a Chicago-area type, she’s from the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River.

What caught the Post’s attention, and later the Chicago Sun-Times’, is that those members of Congress have blocks of tickets that they’re selling to people who want to go to the concert with them.

I’M SURE CHERI Bustos is a nice person. But I can’t say that the idea of spending an evening with her at a concert with anyone is my idea of a thrilling experience.

Especially since the going rate seems to be $2,500 per ticket. That’s a lot of cash. There has to be more practical things the money could be used on.

Although the Post points out that Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, is offering tickets for $1,500 each, or $2,500 for a pair so you can bring a friend who can forevermore testify to the fact that you spent the night with Stivers while listening to Swift sing!

The very thought gives me some mental shivers. It’s not my idea of a good time. I just don’t comprehend the idea that we’re supposed to spend a lot of money so we can have a pretend personal experience with one of these political people.

WOULD THESE ELECTED officials even give us a second glance if we weren’t opening up our checkbooks (or offering up our credit card numbers) to make a donation to the funds that will pay for their re-election bids in the future?

I suppose they would if it were actually Election Day and they saw us within proximity of a polling place where we could go to actually cast a ballot on their behalf!

Otherwise, all of this just comes across to me as a phony attempt to create an experience.

If I were going to a Taylor Swift concert (and let it be known that I have never had any desire to do so), I think I’d rather go with people whom I really know and for whom a shared experience would mean something.

I JUST DON’T get the appeal of this event. It almost comes across as a bit too creepy, which is sort of how I remember a Chicago White Sox game I once attended more than a decade ago.

It was a mid-week day game on a day I had off from work, and I wound up discovering a large gathering of political people who had the same thought as I did. They were sitting one section away from me.

I still remember the site of a legislative chief of staff in a concessions stand line waiting to buy a round of beers for the group, and former Illinois Senate President Phil Rock wandering around the stands in mid-game. Then at game’s end while waiting in a restroom line to relieve myself, I happened to look up and see that I was sharing that experience with none other than the high-and-mighty powerful Speaker of the Illinois House himself.

If nothing else, I’d pay good money if I could forget that image!


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