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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Halftime for elections



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August 15, 2012 - The campaign season is over, but only for the moment.

Unlike 2008, the August primary didn't settle things completely. In that race, all the candidates in Independence and Springfield townships were Republican, so the primary election was pretty much it – the winners ran unopposed in November.

This year, three Democrats are in the race for Independence Township trustee, providing a choice in November.

Future candidates should take note of what the primary candidates said about their campaigns. The positive approach seemed to work better than the negative, extremely negative, and negative/conspiratorial ones. And I like the idea of Barb Pallotta's political signs making a difference because they were pink.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum stopped by the area for a speaking engagement last week, and I covered it. Now there's a man who was brutalized by negative campaigning.

His political opponents have destroyed his name, not his "good name," but his actual name, on the internet. It's an impressive display of online power, but I don't see it as persuasive to anyone who doesn't share their views.

Clarkston's School board seats are also up for a vote in November. I can think of 35,000 reasons why people should pay attention to that race.

Each reason is a dollar, as in the $35,000 in taxpayers' money the Board of Education spent to try to convince taxpayers to let them spend $20 million more in taxpayers' money.

We'll be bringing that up in our coverage of that race. What did incumbents learn from the school bond drive, what would challengers do differently, that sort of thing.

The traffic signals on Sashabaw Road aren't up for a vote, but they should be. The road commission's reasons for not activating the crossing signs at Bow Pointe, listed in last week's paper, were strange.

Drivers wouldn't be able to handle the light being active at some times and flashing at others? They think we're that mindless? The new township board should look into that.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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