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Why Erik Seligman for State Representative?

It’s time for some change in Kansas State Representative district 83 .   Here are some of the key points that would drive my agenda if elect...

Monday, June 10, 2024

Keeping You Informed

As mentioned in my opening statement (the first entry in this blog), one key difference between me and professional politicians is:   I promise to keep you continually informed of the reasoning behind my votes.    In my blog, I will explain each major vote I make in detail, not keeping you guessing about hidden motivations or backroom deals.    You can see how this works based on my previous term in office, when I served on the board of one of Oregon’s largest school districts; that blog is still available at https://hillsboroerik.com .   As you will observe there,  I continually updated this blog over my four years on the board, covering every contentious vote that occurred.

But then I considered:   maybe this is not a differentiating issue.   Perhaps my opponent is just as open and communicative, and thus I shouldn’t emphasize this issue too much.   Maybe his website also does a great job of keeping constituents informed.   So with a bit of googling, I found his website (rephenryhelgerson.com).   It’s certainly a nice looking website, with graphical flair and animation.  Clearly reflective of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has raised for his various campaigns.   But then I went to look at the substance- the actual text provided there.

In a section marked “About Henry”, I was a bit confused by the mention of COVID-19 affecting this year’s session.   Is that still affecting our legislature this year?   But then when I went to the “News” page, things became a little clearer:    

Notice how each piece of “Latest News” is from 2020?   It looks like he has not updated his website in four years!    Apparently his major concern behind providing updates is to assist specific election campaigns, not keeping the public generally informed.    I guess since he didn’t have a challenger in 2022, he had no motivation for an update then.

Now to be fair, I’m sure he has newsletters, etc, that he sends out to supporters, and probably has done some of those more recently.     And he does have his official page on the KS legislature website, but that’s just a basic summary of his bills & responsibilities, with little detail about his reasoning or positions.     (Also, IMHO, it’s rather poor design that neither of these are linked or visible on his main page.).   In any case, I don’t think the existence of either of these is an excuse:  an officeholder’s web page is the first place people will look for information, and the one place you can get this kind of knowledge without having to sign up for a mailing list or give up any personal data.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, prodded by this post, he finally has his staff update his page.  But do you want to vote for a candidate who gives you information when forced by an upcoming election, or one who will be constantly keeping you informed?

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