A pre-election checklist for political candidates

By Cliff McCollum
Posted 8/11/16

Since municipal election season is already upon us and with possible runoff elections on the horizon in some towns and cities, the Coalition Against Campaign Aberrations (CACA) wanted to make a …

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A pre-election checklist for political candidates


Since municipal election season is already upon us and with possible runoff elections on the horizon in some towns and cities, the Coalition Against Campaign Aberrations (CACA) wanted to make a checklist of must-dos for all of our candidates.

This is to make sure that we, as part of the voting public, get everything we’ve come to expect out of election season.

I may not be an expert at this, but I have been voting for several years now, mostly legally.

(I may have illegally voted for Bob Dole in 1996, but I’m not sure that going to vote with my mother and marking her choices on the ballot technically constitutes voter fraud – and I hope the statute of limitations would have expired if it did.)

I don’t claim this is a complete list for you to work with, but this should help get you candidates on the right track for winning over most of the voting populace.

- Photo op with your immediate family. (Pets are optional, but dogs are preferred over cats. Hamsters are out, although rats might be thematically appropriate.)

- Photo op with schoolchildren, preferably of various colors and creeds. (How one can ascertain the “creeds” of 8-year-olds, we choose not to ask. Polling has shown that “pizza parties” with limited, meat-based non-anchovial toppings are very popular with this demographic.)

- Photo op on a working assembly line with actual “blue collar” workers. (Gives you the common touch; just stay away from hairnets and take your makeup bib off first.)

- Photo op with a farmer, preferable near a tractor or ripening crops. (Farmers are the good, wholesome backbone of America; you standing next to them tags you as an “agriculture” candidate, even if you don’t know manure about farming.)

- Optional photo op with extended family. (Helps further bring home the “family values” vote but could lead to controversy if the extended family is filled with ne’er-do-well relatives with a penchant for legal troubles. This option is especially helpful if you don’t have an immediate family and don’t want anyone to know.)

- Mention “Family,” “Faith” and “Values” in all campaign literature and in as many speeches and public forums as possible. (Be sure to use them in that order; voters expect local politicians to use clichés the way they’ve been used here for generations, darn it.)

- Mention every possible post you’ve ever held in any secular organization or group for your resume. (Because being third grade hall monitor shows the public you’re tough on crime … and line breakers.)

- Mention every possible way you’re affiliated with your chosen place of worship. (Even though church attendance doesn’t necessarily guarantee the “fruits of the Spirit.” Also, don’t pass out campaign materials at said place of worship – it’s downright tacky.)

- Park the foreign import in the garage until Election Day and dig up the American-made, pre-1984 Ford pickup truck with “three on the tree.” (If you don’t know what “three on the tree” means, you are already out of touch with your constituents. Get thee to a barber shop.)

- Be sure to mention your war record as a part of your campaign narrative. (Even if it was a fourth grade slap fight with Susie Derkins … and she won, but only because she was tall for her age and got held back a year. Never forget.)

- Have a legally valid copy of your birth certificate, driver’s license and Social Security card ready if asked for it. (Your AARP, NRA, AAA, Diner’s Club or library card may be needed for further verification purposes at a later time. Contact the Department of Homeland Security for further interrogation.)

And finally, and most importantly (Candidates, if you read nothing else, read this):

- American flags, everywhere. (If there’s no flag, how we will be able to tell you aren’t an illegal immigrant, freedom-hating, terror-supporting friend of ISIS communist? A candidate’s proximity to the flag is in direct proportion to their love of America.)

Cliff McCollum is managing editor of Gulf Coast Media. He can be reached at cliff@gulfcoastmedia.com.