9 weeks down 2 to go – Poltergeist watch

After laying off my feet for a couple of days my gimp has gotten better. Maybe its numbness that keeps me going door to door but I expect to have put my campaign in front of every door in the Duluth School District one way or the other by November 7th. I have been on fire with a single thought for those nine weeks – Campaign as hard as you can and you will never have to live with a guilty conscience for having slacked off in what has proven to be your life’s most fundamental objective (aside from family): Keeping the Duluth Schools in good order.

Sometimes campaigning is a slog and as annoying as poltergeists are they keep things interesting. For instance, After passing out campaign lit on E 3rd and 2nd streets yesterday I got a message that the Post Office had found 15 of my lit pieces in mail boxes. IN MAIL BOXES!

As far back as 56 years ago passing out flyers for my Boy Scout troop I was taught to keep non mail out of mail boxes. As a candidate I got by that by sliding my literature behind them for years but about eight weeks ago I was called by the PO and told that even TOUCHING a mailbox was not permitted. I vowed not to do it again and with only a handful of exceptions have held to that this campaign. Slipping them through slots in doors onto the floors of a home or porch are exceptions.

But 15 pieces! No way. I thought that perhaps some other campaign was pulling them out of screen doors because they were making it hard for new lit to be placed in them but when I went back to check that wasn’t the case. Someone was following me and putting my lit in mailboxes for the fun of it. I figure they saw the magnetic “Welty” sign on the back of my car and deduced a lit drop was in progress.

Then today on a Facebook Page called the “Western Duluth Lens” its authors expressed shock that my yard signs were springing up all over western Duluth because I had recently said Western Duluth was “gangrene.” To my delight a supporter had discovered this accusation ten hours earlier and showed it to be phony. My defender must have looked up “gangrene” on my blog and immediately found the context for my usage of the word four years ago when I was elected. And what I wrote four years ago has been borne out by the outrage all across Western Duluth about the state of their schools.

And yesterday I got an inkling of what may be yet another attack on me and an ironic one at that – the accusation that I will raise taxes if I get elected.
Dana Krivogorsky just called and wondered what was going on because after her column in yesterday’s paper she got five calls asking her about my wanting to raise taxes. I asked her to find out from the next person who calls her about it where this orchestrated message is coming from. If its from the “other side’s” supporters that would be ironic because its their candidates who will be most open to raising taxes, not me. They’ve got the union endorsements from folks who always think we should pay public servants more.

I ran accross a taxophobic fellow myself on 3rd Street yesterday. He told me he had planned to send me a donation until he found out I thought taxes were a necessary part of the solution to my school board predecessors dumping 200 teachers in the devil’s bargain over new schools. We had a long talk and he agreed that I would likely be a far more conservative tax voice than Sally or Josh would be but he didn’t write my campaign a check while we talked.

And yesterday one of Art Johnston’s critics, who is tied to his challenger, began a full fledged Facebook war calling me a moneybags and saying one of my fund raising letters was “illegal.”

The end of a campaign is stressful and I’ve seen more than one shoe-in candidate lose the election because of panic. I’m not in a panic. As I said at the beginning of this post I plan to work my tush off campaigning so as not to be angry with myself should I lose. But there is something equally important to me. I must win this election on the merits of my campaign. As I wrote to another candidate recently: “I would rather lose honorably than win dishonorably.”

I am a school board member looking out for the interests of our children, not a poltergeist out to win at any cost.