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Tim Myers: Tempted to bullet-vote for Harrison Katz

Posted: December 19, 2009 2:35 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
This year I started watching the new Fox comedy/musical "Glee" to possess something to talk about with my college freshman daughter.

I found myself strangely obsessed with the show, which produces one of the most accurate portrayals of high school life through the trials and troubles of the McKinley High School Glee Club "New Directions" since the outstanding Judd Apatow TV show "Freaks and Geeks." (Filmed at Hart High School, for Santa Clarita Valley patriots.)

In the last original episode this year, "New Directions" finally found its way to the sectional competition where the team needed to defeat a school for the deaf and a reform school for girls to advance to the regionals on a torturous quest for the Ohio state championship.

Fans of the show will remember the machinations, internal politics and sabotage that led to the eventual victory, but in one of the most seminal scenes perhaps in television history, the producers of the show revealed the arbitrary nature of the win.

This scene revealed three judges deciding the fate of our protagonists: A fifth runner-up in the 2005 Miss Ohio pageant (with a Sarah Palin updo), a horny, middle-aged television anchor and a bitter state vice comptroller angry about her boss' order to judge the competition because the comptroller scored tickets for NASCAR.

While the "New Directions" members never knew the truth, thinking their stirring performances secured the victory, the audience knew Miss almost-Ohio liked their "energy." The horny news anchor went along to score points with the former pageant hopeful and the cynical state employee voted for our heroes because she "hated them the least."

Life imitates art in the case of our Santa Clarita Valley elections, where candidates and their partisans struggle, scheme, plot and work, when the fact remains the inclusion of "incumbent" by their name or the lack of that designation will determine the margin of victory in nearly any local election.

Now, some accuse me of favoring incumbents by constantly restating this fact.

Not true.

In fact, unless I believe a candidate shows signs of insanity, I pretty much believe that any earnest candidate for local office will perform credibly if elected, so I suffer little heartbreak when incumbents continue to win and the quasi-incumbents who ran unsuccessfully finally secure a seat when an incumbent steps down.

Many, particularly the passionate partisans of a particular candidate, believe this constitutes apostasy.

How can I not realize the terrible condition of the municipality existing under the incumbents' "reign of terror?"

Can I not see the messianic traits of the challengers who will lead us to a utopian future?

Within three weeks, the city of Santa Clarita will fix its ballot for the 2010 City Council elections in April.

We know the names of six candidates: The three incumbents, Canyon Theatre Guild executive director TimBen Boydston, insurance agent and former mortgage broker David Gauny and earnest College of the Canyons student Harrison Katz.

Generally, the three-seat elections bring lots of earnest yet marginal candidates out of the woodwork, so we will see if they materialize.

For the next three months, these candidates will engage in a Kabuki dance of moves, counter-moves, secret cabals and unholy triumvirates to gain an advantage, when the most salient factor remains the status of incumbency that influences the mildly informed electorate.

Due to the lack of real campaign money to conduct accurate polling, incumbents do not believe in their own invulnerability, and so they and their operatives will hopefully perform dirty tricks against the "serious" challengers to give me something to write about and provide the local blogosphere with a handful of adherents something to argue about.

But for my personal vote, I possess a temptation.

The incumbents don't need my vote to win because of the tremendous number of voters who, like Pavlov's dog, salivate automatically when they see the word "incumbent."

I would find a vote cast for Gauny or Boydston overwhelmed by these same nameless people. Therefore, I might use my vote to make a statement.

Consider the case of Katz, COC student and earnest but longshot (and I mean distance to Mars long) candidate.

I met Katz on election night recently and could see no visible piercings or tattoos, plus, he impresses me hugely as a 19-year-old by even being aware there is an upcoming local election.

So I might (might) just bullet-vote for Harrison Katz.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. His column represents his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Myers' Musings" appears Sundays in The Signal.

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