Smells

I’ve always loved the smell of a new book, especially a hard cover. The first thing I do when taking it off the shelf is open it to somewhere near the center, raise it to my face and, burying my nose in the fold, I breathe in deeply. Aw, what a nice smell. For me it’s better than the scent of a flower or the fresh aroma of a newly born baby.

New leather has a great smell, and, as I realized the other day roaming through Costco, so do new tires.

I think you know what doesn’t smell good, and in fact has quite a repulsive odor -- politics.

Last week I respected my opposition in the Bermuda race and thanked my supporters. I thought, end of story. Time to rest. After all I am not a politician, I’m a writer for a newspaper. But then...

Up pops the speculation, oh, I’ll lose the business Linda and I have worked, enjoyed and made our livelihood for the last 14 years. “One advertising client canceled a $20,000 contract – not a small sum for a small newspaper – and that retailer thinks other advertisers will be spending less...,” said Greg Pearson in a quasi editorial opinion in a Chesterfield County weekly (Nov. 16, 2011). Who is this one guy anyway? I know, and I know that our own Village News account managers do not work on contracts; they work on gentlemen’s agreements, which we’re told will not hold up in court as a contract. Besides, if we had gotten a commitment for $20,000, you would have seen the Village News fireworks from your house.

I know I sound whiny, but this is something that should have been over two weeks ago. But like a zombie in a horror thriller, deceptive undead continue to plague the town.

But in this case it is those who are alive and won the election who continue to complain. Most recently, in a letter to the editor of the Richmond Times Dispatch, Chester Republican Richard Jacobs questioned my motives and ethics after the editorial staff had written: “Fausz owns the newspaper and listed the ads as an in-kind contribution. In other words, he paid for them — either in his capacity as a candidate or in his capacity as the owner of the paper. That seems an exceedingly persnickety distinction to make a federal case — or, in this instance, a state case — out of... Campaign regulations are supposed to be a tool — not a weapon.” Ms. Jaeckle throughout the race for Bermuda supervisor seemed to run against the newspaper, not on her record.

Chesterfield’s registrar, who keeps the voting records among other things, said he would  “stand behind me” on my campaign disclosures. End of story.

I could be a sore loser, but I’m not. With the help of great and committed campaign supporters, we made our message loud and clear. You, Ms. Jaeckle, represent us, not your own group of cronies.

I think the thing that many politicians don’t realize is that when the polls close and they don’t win, the spotlight dims and goes out. To special interests you are no longer viable, but when you work for the people at least your legacy lives on. If you bring useful things to the community your legacy lives on. If you fight for what’s right your legacy lives on.

When former supervisors excelled in their job, and brought quality of life to the community, people remember them, see a park named after them or even a plaque installed inside a library or other public building. Not because they said they would support business, these other supervisors did that too, but they were respected for the job they did for everyone.

This is a sure sign of a poor winner who has surrogates continue to spread untruths. In this world one has only to listen to the bible as Matthew (7.2) said, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” In other words, what goes around comes around.

Really, how could someone continue to complain when my wife, publisher of the Village News, allowed preferred placement to Ms. Jaeckle and would not allow more ad space for me than the Jaeckle campaign. The ads equal one another to within a few column inches. Meanwhile the incumbent’s campaign had three times as much money, provided by the local GOP committee’s friends. Even our Commonwealth’s Attorney and county Sheriff wrote letters of support on county stationery with the Chesterfield County state seal to be mailed around the district. Is that ethical? I never reported it to the board of elections.

Meanwhile, I am on a rant and will close by saying, I don’t want to continue this back and forth and I wish to let sleeping dogs lie. I’ve never seen such sore winners and wish they would stop running their campaign after it’s over.

Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Well it’s over, get used to it.

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