VA Boys State: When Politicking Goes Wrong
I had to leave Boys State early to go on another trip, so I don't know exactly what happened, but from what I have gleaned, the comment left on my previous post about my city at 2011 Boys State is a fairly accurate presentation.
This year I personally and the citizens of Jackson found ourselves bamboozled by the Nimitz party chair people. In a series of deal makings they benignly refused to live up to their side of the bargain. But the end turn out great as in the end Nimitz were handed the Gator award, making them out to be the worse city of the 2011 boys state session . which they deserved;"Evil men do not propel in the League of justice".
There are a couple of errors, for instance, the "Gator Award" does not go to worst city, it is to the counselor of a city that had the most diffculties from a control sort of way. I am not sure why my city got it, but it was probably me leaving early.
Either way, this is what happened. On Tuesday and Wednesday of the Boys State week, the citizens are divided up to do their conventions, one for the Nationalists, one for the Federalists. At those Conventions, the boys elect their own party chair, and then candidates for Attorney General, Lt. Governor and Governor. Those 6 candidates (3 from each party) then run in the general election.
Apparently my boys decided on an Attorney General candidate, and went out to try to get the other 15 cities to support that candidate. In terms of horse-trading, all they had to offer was their votes for Lt. Governor and Governor at the convention. Apparently (again, wasn't there) they decided to offer their votes for Governor to about 7 different cities. When the time came, they voted for 1, leaving 6 very angry cities. They likely did the same thing on the Lt. Gov candidate.
I honestly have no idea why they would do that. The problem with selling your soul for the nomination is that you virtually guarantee you have no chance of winning in the General Election. Predictcably, our candidate got slaughtered in the election. To make matters worse, his speech allegedly began with "raise your hand if my city promised you something they didn't deliver" and half the arena raised their hands.
I had told the boys in the Convention strategy session that such things would occur. I told them that so they wouldn't bank on a vote for Governor until it came through, and that they would need to constantly keep checking in with other cities. I never thought it would be my city doing it, but so it goes. Hopefully they learned their lesson about how your word on such things will matter in the end, in a very practical, tangible way.
Compounding that was the fact we apparently took a collossal beating in sports on Thursday. We reached the Semi Finals in Basketball, Soccer, Football and Tennis, and got beat in all of them. And so.....no Best City for Nimitz.
We set up a Facebook page, and while I haven't had a chance to check it all out yet, the Citizens of Nimitz are already talking about a reunion, which speaks volumes about how much they enjoyed it, which is awesome. I can only hope they also took away from the week that in Politics, words and actions will have repercussions that one might not anticipate.
Even though my city did something I don't particularly approve of (ok, I loathe it) the kids themselves were great kids, who apparently got caught up in the slimier side of the equation. I'm planning on writing them recommendations for colleges for all that ask. Can't wait for next year, but already mentally redrafting my convention training seminar. Counselors need to be hands off with the kids on their scheming, but apparently I should have done a better job of explaining to them that if you anger 50% of the electorate, you won't be enjoying theperks of politcal appointments.