Friday, February 27, 2009

hardman throws hat into district 4 race as democrat

Thomas Hardman at a candidates' forum last year.

. . .bringing the total to eight candidates, including (deep breath) Democrats Steve Kanstoroom, Ben Kramer, Cary Lamari, Nancy Navarro and Chris Paladino and Republicans Lou August and Robin Ficker. As you may remember, Thomas Hardman ran as a Republican in last year's election before switching parties last fall.

So far, I've met Lamari and Paladino (more on that week), but now have six more to go, three of whom I had the great pleasure of interviewing last year. As always, there is no shortage of excitement in a District 4 County Council Special Election.

You can read Hardman's announcement of candidacy on his blog, MoCo MoJo.


Thomas Hardman said...

OMG do I look like a stuffed Suit. ;)

But "in real life", nothing could be farther from the truth. I'm a jeans-and-sneakers kind of person in any situation that allows relaxed attire, and since I do server administration and system development from home, jeans and sneakers is "the real me".

Some people, no doubt, will prefer a candidate who's a mover and a shaker in the corporate world, or in the world of hobnobbing and schmoozing at politically oriented meetings.

Some people are more of "people persons" but I'm more like the mechanic who fixes your car. It's not that the mechanic doesn't like you, but he's going to tell you to please go away so that you don't distract him from the work that has be be done with total attention to complete precision. If he actually didn't like you, he might let you sit there and distract him while he did an unsafe job, and you'd leave the shop feeling all warm and fuzzy while driving to your doom.

I think this summarizes my approach to planning and governance: I'm not here to talk, I'm here to fix things. We can talk once I'm off for the day.

perrik said...

The District 4 race has just gotten a lot more interesting. After years of automatically marking the ballot for Marilyn, now I'll have to actually study the candidates' positions. Darn it, democracy is a lot of work!

I'd always pictured Thomas Hardman as looking like a coherent version of Ozzy Osbourne. I must admit to disappointment to see that despite his musical background and geeky tendencies, he looks like a middle school social studies teacher.

(FYI, my new job is in the little office building next to the shopping center with the Aspen Hill Rite-Aid, which as promised, makes any randomly-selected CVS seem efficient and customer-oriented by comparison)

Thomas Hardman said...

At one point in time, I had a friend who could do an excellent job of imitating Ozzy's cognitive style, and here's a picture of him explaining the health benefits of a Peanut-Butter Diet. Taken about 4:00AM in the aftermath of a party somewhere in DC, about 20 years ago. I am the person mocking the Peanut Butter Dieter. So much for being the Civics teacher. ;)

As to Rite-Aid, um yeah. Careful you don't seem anything other than utterly pleased with their stellar performance. Their approach to public relations is about the same as that of the Italian Fascists in WWII. You know, if you say that you heard that actually the trains do not run on time, someone will whip out a notebook and a badge and start demanding to know who it is who says that the trains do not run on time, they need a visit from the secret police. It's not you who says that the trains don't run on time, is it? Show me some ID...

By contrast, the very new Dunkin' Donuts has good "eats" and coffee and the service is generally fairly good, though if you sit there for more than about 10 minutes they'll crank up the volume on the muzak to try to make you leave, or to at least make it impossible to talk. The last time they tried that on me, since the music was an extended version of "Whole Lotta Love" it only made me stick around until the song was over. I love that place, a donut shop that kicks out the jams at high volume! Woohoo! the longer you sit, the louder it gets! More coffee please!

Okay, this is probably not recommending me to the fine voters of MoCo blogspace. After all, they probably can't consider voting for someone who both knows how to party downtown and doesn't need a spellchecker much.

However, I do have online cred for at least being able to dialog on Urban Planning issues. The "Smarter Growth" people might or might not think all that highly of me because I'd rather do no growth than smarter growth, though if there has to be growth and development, I have to say "yech" to McMansions and "yes" to Bus Rapid Transit and building near transit hubs.

As for all of this infrastructure upgrade stuff, not to mention the consequences of REAL ID and ubiquitous computing and internet on your cellphone, I was all over all of that in 1996 in one of the most unread online SF novels of all time. My point is, I've been thinking about these issues for a long long time, long enough that I copyrighted a novel mostly centered around dealing with that topic a dozen years ago.

I've also been thinking for a long long about the inevitability of overloaded systems getting frayed around the edges and having those rough edges bloom fractally inward towards cascade failures; that's a novel where Things Fall Apart. Maryland in general, and Montgomery in particular have been failing to keep the edges nice and polished and it is a lot like the phenomenon of rust on a classy Cadillac. Rust never sleeps and it doesn't matter how much you shine the chrome if you've got a rusted out crossmember that's the only thing holding the wheels on as you drive. Sorry for the mixed metaphor but the budget problems here are structural deficits and the Stimulus Package can only do so much, and it's a one-shot deal. The basis of revenue collections here is deriviative in the same way that the wealth of AIG was deriviative. As long as the leverage is getting pushed one way, it's immensely profitable (and you can fund a gajillion programs), but if the leverage gets pushed the other way, it's immensely destructive and the only defense against that destruction is to get out of the way and decouple the leverage. Think of it as a car on a hill toppling off of jacks in an earthquake. All you can reasonably hope to do is to get wheel chocks placed so that it doesn't roll downhill into traffic. Anyone trying to get under it and tinker with it to make the engine run right is being either stupid or suicidal. In any case, you can't expect it to be driving right tomorrow.

Allegorically, that's where we're at, and people are (again, allegorically) playing with the budget thinking that they can finish their tune-up in the middle of an earthquake, when what they need to do is to get out from under.

Well, enough of what my English teachers used to call "imagery".

MD_Lawyer said...

You are forgetting about the candidacy of prominent attorney Robert Goldman. He is well qualified to carry on the good work of the Praisners.

Thomas Hardman said...

No doubt he is.

But does he have "blog cred"? Enough to post under his real name?

And, may I ask, how does the Praisner family feel about you claiming to don the mantle of their dear and recently departed?

Further, does this County, does this District, really need another Lawyer sitting on the Council?

Or could it use someone more in tune with our well-educated but not-very-rich Working Class?

Hey, isn't Robin Ficker also a lawyer?