(Editor’s note: Bobby Zoeller is the Democratic nominee for the Louisville Metro Council, District 22 seat currently held by Republican Robin Engel, who is running for his fourth term. All candidates are welcome to contribute posts about their platforms.)
By Bobby Zoeller
When I went down to the studios of WLKY32 the other day on Mellwood Avenue for a taped interview – scheduled to be broadcast sometime starting in October as a run-up to the fall election – one question the producer asked me was this:
“What accomplishment are you most proud of?”
When we talked on the telephone the day before, he mentioned the short list of questions I would likely be asked on camera, and that was one of them.
I thought it over for awhile. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to answer it. But on the drive down there from my place of employment I came up with my answer. Here’s what I told him:
The thing I am most proud of, at least when it comes to this political race, is the fact I have not asked the first individual or group for a cent.
I have not asked anyone to donate anything to my campaign. Why?
Because when I win this race, I do not intend to be bought and paid for the day I take office like so many other elected officials.
I do not want any special interests groups or organizations running me like they do so many others simply because they helped to finance my victory.
You see, to date I have spent less then $100 of my own money on this entire campaign.
My campaign is a grass roots effort. I spend my hours after work walking various neighborhoods throughout my district knocking on people’s doors and talking to them face-to-face.
All people really want is to be treated like human beings. They want to know that you care enough not only to meet with them, but to explain yourself to them and tell them the truth.
Even if they disagree with your positions, they respect you for showing them the common courtesy that you think enough about them to stop and talk to them for five minutes.
People know all too well when politicians are out to bullshit them, and take it from me, that is normally what they get. But my campaign is different.
It’s not based on getting what I can out of the public, stealing the taxpayers’ money to pay for my own little pet projects, or even getting elected so I can run for an even higher political office.
My campaign is based upon being accountable for using the tax payers’ money in a responsible fashion, looking out for those who, to date, have had no political input, because they lack the money and the influence to be viewed as credible voters, and to end the waste and abuse that has become so relevant down at Metro Council over the past decade or so.
And, with that in mind, the accomplishment I am most proud of is the fact that I can do all of that without selling my soul to the highest bidder.
My message and my campaign will either win or lose by the manner in which the voters view me.
But, they will not be able to say they didn’t have a choice in the situation. In the end, the only people I will be accountable to are the people in my district who thought enough of me to cast their votes in my favor. Because it is their office.
I will merely be the temporary occupant.