Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crushed at the polls

It was my first foray into electoral endeavor as a candidate, and I got killed.

I was up for the board on my very favorite of my professional development associations, and I came in dead last.

I don't want to blab the exact stats, in case that's breaking association ranks. But I was 20 votes away from the guy who got the fewest tallies yet still hopped on-board - and the top vote-getter nearly doubled my voter support.

No worries, as a new New Zealander mate in San Diego said.

I was running on a conservative platform. I think the association should keep doing what it's doing, because it's working. When this association throws a conference, you get everybody from the superstar governor of California breaking national news with his health plan (which died), to a powerful federal official (who blogs) unveiling a new online comparative tool for the first time, to Appalachian reporters presenting how they nurtured their complex, nuanced enterprise packages - alongside the sources they relied upon to tell their stories.

At the top of my slate were all the incumbents, with my road dog Ivan Oransky at the tip top of the ticket. All the incumbents, including Ivan the diligent and commonsensical, kept their posts. So I am happy. I lost, but we won. I count that a win.

In fact, almost everyone on my slate made the people's cut, except for me, and each voter was allowed to pick six candidates. The weakest ballot-mate on my slate, in fact - as my fellow voters evidently agreed - was me.

I only express regrets to my heretofore undisclosed running mate Luis Fabregas, who got six more votes than I did - the six votes that kept him out of the cellar, which is mine uniquely - yet also did not break onto the board.

An association executive, a straightshooter among straightshooters, sent me a sensitive and strategic note of regret.

"Sorry to report that you didn’t take a board seat," the sensitive executive emailed to me.

"I was impressed that you cared enough to run and am hoping you will stay involved. Perhaps we can get you to join a committee that keeps you connected – and raises your profile at the same time."

How can you beat that?

Maybe with this:

"If they only knew..." (email subject line) (continued in the email body) "...about your passion, drive, and talent, the voting members of AHCJ would have elected you!"

Brother Bryan Thompson of Kansas Public Radio is the kind person propping me up here. Bryan was my fellow fellow in an inaugural fellowship class provided by the association. Bryan, like all my fellow fellows, is an old soul and good sport.

In my concession speech, I would like to acknowledge the excellence of the incumbents and the importance of their retention on the board. These guys make the hard stuff look easy, and the easy stuff look fun. What it was about Luis and me that kept us un-board, I am confident, reflects more upon the strength of the competition rather than any weakness on our part(s).

My evidence for this (my concession speech continues) is that the weakest candidate on my slate (= me) pulled in a staggering 48 votes without asking for any, and that includes not campaigning on the Midwest Fellows list-serv, which would have been just flatout tacky.

In conclusion, I am here to serve (in any board-less capacity) The Association of Health Care Journalists. Them's smart, and nice.

1 comment:

Roy said...

Hey Chris. Your blog is turning out to be one of the best in the STL Blogosphere. And that's not damning with faint praise.

One thing: I would resist the urge to publish a post and then edit and republish. Do this only when you absolutely have to, as if someone is using an RSS reader, they may get three or four different versions of the same post--which is what happened to me with this one.