I plan to vote for Rich Lee for City Council despite disagreeing with him on most questions of public policy. Allow me to explain. Given my oddball political values (libertarian) and given that all of our candidates come from a fairly narrow slice of the political spectrum, I disagree with them all in roughly equal amounts.
For me, then, choosing a candidate has to be on some basis other than ideological compatibility.
I find three reasons to support Rich not based in political values:
1. Though Rich supports a substantially bigger role for government than I do, I believe that he will be a fierce watchdog for cost-effectiveness for the things the city decides to do. I think he has an aversion to spending more than is necessary to achieve an objective. Sadly, for many politicians, spending other people’s money means that they don’t care much about bang for the buck. I believe Rich to be an exception.
2. I have been impressed by the breadth and depth of his knowledge of and involvement with nearly every facet of our city’s civic life and governance for the entire four years that I have lived here. He is not a Johnny-come-lately to this stuff.
3. I believe that he is a person of reason and will listen to other reasonable people — including those like me with whom he disagrees — and will be open to modifying his views if facts and logic suggest a better alternative. This is, in my experience, a rare quality among politicians. Even if I can’t get my views to prevail, I believe that with Rich in office, they would at least get a fair, open-minded hearing. That matters a lot to me.
So why would I support a politician with whom I disagree so consistently? Frugality, passion and open-mindedness.
— Robert J. Woolley