The Poky Little Pundit

Progressing towards a goal


I gotta say, even at the risk of sounding bombastic, I am FIRED UP after hearing President Obama’s inauguration speech. One phrase in particular popped out at me: “Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” ACTION! So why is it that simply declaring an interest in improvement via our country’s political process seems to get people all hot under the collar? Why does it feel audacious to even say I am considering it?

President Barack Obama: I just love this guy.  Photo: REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza

President Barack Obama: I just love this guy! 
Photo: REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza

I spent this past Saturday at a training day for Progressive Majority, a group that helps prepare potential candidates wishing to run for office. Just getting there was half the battle: I had to rely on two grandmas to take care of 3-year-old George and my husband, who recently had ACL surgery. I could have gone skiing. I could have just sat in a cafe and read a book. But no. Sometimes I wonder what it is inside me that is never able to just settle and rest. And sometimes I wish I could just cut that part out.

So thirty other individuals like myself also spent a whole Saturday in a cold Carpenter’s Hall in Renton in order to understand how one goes from caring about issues to legislating them. And what made me laugh as soon as I arrived is that they all looked like teachers: politely and earnestly dressed, mainly middle-aged, diverse in both gender and ethnicity. And it was a lot like a typical staff meeting: lots of acronyms, an assumed knowledge base and low quality of snacks. I mention snacks because it is the main reason why I am jealous of my friends who work in corporate America. I love good snacks. And I have never worked in a job where snacks are subsidized. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time thinking about how much better teaching would be if we only had good snacks.

progressive majority pic 2

A fine-looking group of political hopefuls (I’m at the front right with the ginger hair).
Photo: Noel Frame

I was actually really excited to meet one of the day’s speakers, Noel Frame. She ran this past November for the 36th District, and despite securing the vote of the PLP early on, she lost. I know – shocking. She is an active proponent for quality education for all WA state children. She primarily spoke about the necessity and art of fundraising, which made me want to throw a toddler-style tantrum.

Anyone who has ever even thought about going into politics knows it is all about fundraising. Like, ALL about fundraising. And as a person who identifies with wallflowers and was known for bringing books to frat parties in college, the idea of approaching anyone – much less strangers – for money makes me literally shudder. It brings out this deep-seated, youngest-child rebellious feeling in me, like I am going to be different. I’ll be the first candidate ever to win without spending money. It physically pains me that America wastes such a vast quantity of money on elections.

But I have to think about it in a different way. I have to think about the fact that someone is going to raise that money, and possibly further an agenda that I do not believe is the right course for our state or country. And if it isn’t me, who is it? To whom am I entrusting with my child’s future?

To some extent, I am putting the cart before the horse – because I still have no idea what I should run for. I think there should be an app where someone could take their primary interest and skill set (say, me and education), show what they are qualified for and what’s available when, and then how you actually get there. My generation loves apps. Our government needs to get on the app bandwagon. If any of my charming readers happen to know where I could find this information, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll end by quoting our president one more time: “It is our generation’s task to carry on what [our] pioneers began.”

C’mon everyone! Get fired up!


14 thoughts on “Progressing towards a goal

  1. Kristina – I think you are amazing! So many people are great at complaining…very few are willing to put their time into actually making a change! way to go!

    • Thanks, Erika! I don’t know that I have really made a big change yet…but I like to think that HOPING to is a step in the right direction. 🙂

  2. A-MEN SISTA:)!!
    I agree that campaign finance needs some serious and major reform – like a prohibition! There are quite a few groups working on minor changes, but I doubt any of us interested in public service through holding an office and shaping the legislative and political future will get there without some dough. Keep us informed on what you run for…I’m sticking with Department of Natural Resources Parks and Wildlife Commission for now (check me out:)
    Miss you!

    • You totally inspire me! Who knew all of us ex-gymnasts would be the type? Let me know if you run across any positions that seem right for me.

  3. Has any other pundit ever quoted how much actually is spent on elections? I mean just the parts from fundraising?? Hmmm….then they want to raise the debt ceiling. That’s always made me nuts.

    • Basically, a post-primary candidate running for the state legislature needs to raise $200,000. And if they lose, that is four kids’ college tuitions down the toilet. So maddening!

  4. You should do a grassroots kickstarter campaign!

  5. You can thank the Supreme Court for our shitty system of political fundraising (, but I will happily contribute towards your campaign!

    • It is so shocking to me that it is a recent decision as well. Why don’t we learn from our mistakes?? Thanks for your vote of confidence! I will contribute towards yours when you run as well….

  6. Hi, I’m a conservative friend of your Mom. You write well and are very descriptive.

    My husband and I ran 2 campaigns in 2012. He lost in the primary on one and won the other during the general election. So, he’s a City Council member. You’re right fundraising is challenging. It got easier to fund raise. The more people who heard his message, the more $ he received. Both campaigns were grassroots and relied on volunteers. During the second campaign, we had people [individuals, not corporations or PAC,] giving larger and larger donations.

    I was fired up in a different way by Obama’s inaugral speech. To me he showed himself to be petty and an ungracious winner with his nasty attitude / words toward the Republicans, who, by the way, lost.

    The whole “class envy” and” give everybody everything” pushed vigorously by Obama undermines our national culture of self reliance and entrapenurism. By Obama adding to the national debt more than all the past presidents combined, our future and our children’s futures are in serious peril. Only for so long cam we heavily tax people [that somebody thinks are rich], before there’s no more money left for any reasonable or unreasonable government expenses.

    I’m working with others to study local issues / proposed actions by local legislators. Through educating ourselves on issues, we then can campaign, and challenge proposals contrary to our values or support what is relevant and matches our values. We are having successes in an arena [California] where progressives not only rule, but are incensed when anyone even asks questions to clarify the basis of their assumptions. All Hell breaks loose when we bring out evidence that refutes their faulty assumptions.

    I also oppose class envy and the false premise that people are helped by making them dependent on government. This country became the dynamic and powerful country that it is by the efforts of average people who were visionary; hard-working and self reliant.

    As you expand your political educatiom, you may want to seek out information from politically active people from many different political parties / positions. Also, rich resources are the words and writings of the founding fathers.

    While some may say that the Constitution is out dated, I never cease to be impressed with the thoughtful and insightful work of the founding fathers. They had fled European oppression by kings, dictators and regligous persecutors. Their history gave them the ideals to create a Constitution based on the rights of the people rather than on the rights of the government. We put ourselves in harms way when we accept the “new speak” that has its roots in turning the premise of the rights of the people around to allow the government dictating or promising to take care of us “cradle to grave”.

    Our constitution guarantees “equal opportunity” not “equal outcomes”. That is one key reason why I’m fired up when class envy generates the premise that the wealthy should be punished for their success. Most of the wealthy worked hard to acquire their wealth. They provide jobs to the working class and put money into the economy in ways that provide far more to those of us who have average income / financial resources than their higher taxes will ever make up through goverment spending. When government promises to take care of us, we must beware. Even a benevalent dictator is a dictator and can take away what he/she gives. If the rights of the people are primary, we have freedom of choice. Maybe we’re not at the stage of losing all our rights, but such loss is not far behind when we lose our freedoms.

    We may take for granted basic freedoms until they’re gone. For example the Mayor of New Your City decided that he could curb obesity by requiring that no business could sell large ounces of colas. [In my opinion, a rather arrogant assumption.] I’m not a cola drinker and 8 ounces of any beverage is more than enough for me. However, I am alarmed by this dictate. The NYC businesses are hurt [people can and will go elsewhere when they want a giant beverage] and the individual business owners have lost the freedom to sell a product in a measure of their choice. People will still make food / beverage choices that may or may not be healthy. AND worst of all, individuals who like to have a large size cola have lost a freedom. What freedom is next to be lost? Loss of freedom is incremental and all the more dangerous in that incremental erosion.

    I know that I “shot gunned” a lot of thoughts. I just get passionate when I see a sincere person get sucked into a vortex of progressive-ism. Take or leave anything I say for what it’s worth to you.

    Best wishes for you in your learning and writing about your journey of learning.


  7. Thank you so much for writing in. I do appreciate hearing a different perspective, though I am not so much getting ‘sucked in’ as I am choosing my own path given the knowledge I possess and the values I hold dear. I happen to agree with you about the whole coke thing – it seems like a waste of time to me – but I don’t understand your point about class envy. From my perspective – from both living abroad and being a teacher – a tax increase for wealthy people is simply one way to more fully fund our education system, and all of our other ailing systems which support disadvantaged citizens in our country. If I was very wealthy, I like to think I would be delighted to help support my fellow country people! I can’t imagine how someone sees this as a bad thing. Would you like to see teachers paid even less? If not, what is your solution?

  8. At last someone has identified a “Freedom” that has been lost since the lefties re-took the White House. The Newsroom couldn’t come up with one (, starting at minute 1:40) but at last we have it. Soda. There is, however, another lost “freedom” that has been overlooked. The freedom for schools to give our kids rubbish food. I can’t believe that the First Lady dared to do something about that – This is clearly a sign of the Democide being carried out by the US government. Let’s get some militia together and stock pile our guns as this administration takes our freedoms away one by one. I’m with Alex Jones – let’s deport the Brit (

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