This is the political season – in case you don't already know – when guys (and gals) who call themselves public relations experts come out from under rocks and put words in the mouths of politicians to make them sound good.
I'm not saying that everyone who runs for office has one or more on their staff to gild the lily, but some of them do.
They write the speeches, tell them what to wear, straighten ties and otherwise rule their lives like a shrewish wife. And I've got to admit I was one of them – but not anymore!
I had to get out of a city where I was getting a reputation for being a political hack.
I was a freelance writer who didn't work for anyone, so I was right for a short-term job – and the "powers that be" knew it.
So I succumbed to the Almighty Dollar and joined the fray. I wrote things which some of them could hardly pronounce, planned their schedule, told them what to say – and to whom.
I had some successes and some failures, but I got paid – Win or Lose! I was a king-maker; I was a political prostitute!
I had to get out of there because I was starting to believe my own stuff. I worked for both sides of the aisle on the West Coast. I didn't know what I was or what I believed, for that matter. I wrote for congressmen, a senatorial candidate, a governor, a county commissioner, etc.
I hated both words, liberal and conservative so I refused to use them – though I wrote for each party. I carried water on both shoulders, so to speak.
Oh, I did other stuff, too; but it was the political larceny which drove me out of there. I knew most every advertising and public relations agency in town. And they knew where they could find me when they needed someone who would work for a short time.
So for my own personal reason, we came "home" to South Dakota where I could use my typewriter and whatever talent that I had for some other purpose – like this column, for instance. Or the biographies of Harvey Dunn, Joe Floyd, Coach Carl Youngworth and Bishop Martin Marty.
So don't believe everything you hear or read for the next several months. It might be the work of a political back and not the candidates themselves.
I know because I've been there, done that!
© 2008 Robert F. Karolevitz