YOU may be sick of campaign ads and speechifying, but it's about to get worse.
Debate season is upon us.
You can always flip the channel or turn to another page in the newspaper, and I do that myself sometimes. It can get tiresome.
However, political campaigns are important.
The Daily Mail editorial board is in the midst of weeks of meetings with local candidates.
Setting these up is a chore in itself. Editorial Page Editor Johanna Maurice sets the schedule. Office Manager Tina Taylor sends out letters of invitation and tracks the responses.
These are time-consuming tasks before the meetings even begin, and then several more of us get involved.
This fall, with a major election coming up, the meetings will span five weeks.
Each day we make the trek to our conference room in the parking building next to the newspaper building. By "we," I mean four key editors, a reporter and a photographer.
We try to hold the sessions to 60 minutes, but that still adds up to a lot of precious man-hours. The same is true for candidates.
It's well worth the effort.
Most of the candidates show up, and we thank them most sincerely for their time. Some travel long distances, and most have to arrange to miss work.
They often are nervous as they sit on one side of a table facing us. We try not to look fierce.
But there's reason to be anxious. We're about to hurl a bunch of questions at them, and their answers will help determine whether or not we endorse them.
While that's an important reason for the meetings, it's not the only one.
As I often tell the candidates, editors don't get out much. We consume a lot of news, but we are generally confined to the newsroom.
This is a chance for us to attach names to faces. Knowing the actual people enhances our ability to shape our coverage going forward.
We learn from the candidates. They tell us what they're hearing from voters as they campaign, and they bring up subjects that may be new to us.
Did you know that part of a county assessor's pay is based on how much dog tax they collect? And that they receive another small commission for taxing sheep to fund predator control.