The Gantt Report
By Lucius Gantt
It’s 2022 and in every state in the United States voters will be going to the polls in November to select their leaders, their representatives and their public servants.
Do you know the politicians that represent you on the federal, state and local levels? I don’t know and I try to keep up with politics.
If you don’t know the men and women elected to serve you, you probably don’t know what kind of man or woman they are.
Today I’ll give you one way to evaluate a public official. Look at the people that work for your elected official.
It’s the staff stupid!
If you try to call or visit one of your elected officials, more than likely you’ll hear something like, “The Mayor is not available” or “The Senator is out of the office”.
That sounds reasonable but it could be a lie.
Political birds of a feather flock together. Politicians hire staff that they are comfortable with. They like employees with beliefs that are similar to their beliefs. If the office holder speaks in terms of false promises like, “If you vote for me, I’ll lower crime, reduce health care costs and make your rent more affordable”, if elected, his staff will parrot the same information.
But lying, in politics, is not really a big issue. Voters expect it, the media expects it and you expect it.
What concerns me more are politicians that are not smart.
Oftentimes, politicians have to make some very important decisions. Politicians are involved in hiring police chiefs, fire chiefs, housing directors, housing inspectors, government attorneys, airport directors, water managers, road builders, sanitation directors and so on.
If politicians use government jobs to pay off their friends, side pieces, designated hitters and campaign workers, mistakes can be deadly!
In the response to an active shooter, errors and mistakes were widespread during the recent murders of elementary school children in Texas.
Whoever made the decision that law enforcers should wait outside the school while ten-year-old girls and boys were being gunned down while trying to get an education, was hired by, supervised by or directed by someone close to Texas politicians.
If you don’t know, you don’t do the hiring but everybody that works for the government works for you. Everybody that voted for gun laws that allow teenagers to purchase weapons of war, body armor and hundreds of rounds of ammunition works for you also.
One day during my lobbying career, I had a conversation with one of my clients. He was a powerful legislator who could make powerful and important decisions.
I told him I knew some students that inquired if any of the legislators who had spent months away from their wives and significant others would like to have an occasional companion.
He looked at me and laughed. He told me if any legislator wants to share time and space with any woman, they give them a job in his office.
Think about that.
Metro Atlanta has more Black college graduates than any city in America, or so it seems.
But a college education, years of experience or a sheet-load of talent will not put you on a path to a career in politics.
You or your kids can get a government job but not too many Blacks will ever be hired in positions of purchasing transactions, sole command and control of law enforcers or positions of influence in a political office or in a political campaign.
Anyway, when you are evaluating who to cast your ballots for, look at the candidates but also peruse the candidate’s staff.
You can judge the political tree by the political fruit it bears or hires.
It’s the staffers stupid!