Friday, October 9, 2009

Elections and Postal Rates

Is Gwen Mason going to be toasted?^

I ran into a colleague at the Post Office a little while ago and got into a revealing chat about the upcoming elections. My colleague, who has worked as a manager on Democrats' campaigns in the past (and has one race this cycle) predicts an overwhelming Republican victory at the upper end of the state ticket and in just about every race in this region.

Any exceptions? I asked. Maybe one or two, he said, but nothing noteworthy. Complete sweep of the top three state offices and even Gwen Mason, the Roanoke City Councilwoman of whom much is expected, will lose by a substantial margin, my colleague predicts. He says Mason's district was gerrymandered a few elections back in a way that won't do her any good at all and with a distinctly conservative turnback in Virginia since Obama's election, she's toast. "Besides," he said, "who in Roanoke County would vote for a Roanoke City Council member?" Probably nobody, I thought.

Carter Turner's run at Morgan Griffith in Salem never had much of a chance, my colleague says, and the lack of a truly aggressive campaign seals the fate. I have had quite a bit of hope for this one because Carter's a breath of intellectual fresh air, but guys like him--people who deserve to be in positions of influence--rarely get there because the electorate's ... well ... the electorate. How else to explain George Bush and Morgan Griffith?

(By the way, my favorite candidate of them all is Carole Pratt down in the New River Valley. Carole's a dandy: a smart, good woman who belongs in the General Assembly. Vote for her if you're in her district. Oh, hell, vote twice for her.)

And while we have your attention, let's dish a bit about postal rates. I've become a bit of a seller on e-Bay (a very little bit of a seller) and I'm looking at prices to mail small parcels with increasingly widened and disbelieving eyes. Last week I sold a shirt, charged $3.99 to mail it (thinking that'd be plenty) and found out it cost $5.75 (the shirt sold for $9.99). I took a shirt almost exactly like it in a very similar envelope to mail today and it rung up at $8.40 for the same category of mail.

The clerk said the package came at 1 pound, .1 ounce and it bumped up to the next level of cost. I asked him for the package and some scissors and tape. I snipped off part of the end of the package and resealed it, bringing the price down to $4.95. That's nearly $3.50 for a tenth of a freakin' ounce on a package that's grossly overpriced even at $4.95. No wonder you can't really sell used stuff on e-Bay any more. On this item, shipping was half what I got for the shirt (a vintage Pendleton, by the way).

1 comment:

  1. Mason in not a very astute political strategist. To think you could win as a LIBERAL in a district that is very conservative is a bit of a mis-calculation.