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Jerry Davich: Still time left for Election Day homework

Campaign signs abound during campaign season. The primary electiIndianis Tuesday May 6 2014. Jerry Davich~Sun-Times Media

Campaign signs abound during campaign season. The primary election in Indiana is Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Jerry Davich~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 6, 2014 6:07AM



You probably know that Tuesday is Election Day and you probably know who you’ll be voting for. But do you know why?

Are your chosen candidates the right person for that office? Did you come to this conclusion after doing your homework, talking with him or her, and digging a little deeper than a sidewalk handshake? Or did those candidates simply plant more campaign signs than their opponents, making your decision an easy one?

It’s impossible to miss all the signs sprouting like weeds in residents’ yards, along public roads and in vacant lots. The old adage is, “Yard signs don’t vote,” but of course name recognition matters. New candidates know this. Veteran candidates depend on this.

Undecided voters are seeking the slightest of insights to make their choice, and political candidates know this, even in the primary election. I’m convinced that signs are a tried and true branding gimmick to sway uneducated voters who elect a name over a policy issue, or a party over a platform.

Say what you will about the multitude of signs, billboards and brochures, but the best campaign strategy is still pounding the pavement, shaking voters’ hands and knocking on their doors while handing out promises. Meeting candidates face to face, even for a few minutes of driveway conversation, always sways me one way or the other. One look into their eyes says more to me than a hundred yard signs, a name I can recite in my sleep, and all the mud-slinging campaign literature.

Voters still have Monday and at least some of Tuesday to do more homework, visit candidates’ websites and possibly contact them directly. I guarantee they will want to talk to you, at least before you vote. Take advantage of this leverage. You won’t have it on Wednesday and possibly not again until November in the general election.

On Tuesday, as I do every Election Day, I will be cruising Northwest Indiana to talk with voters, precinct workers and political candidates. I’ll also see if “voter turnout” remains an oxymoron in this region, and I’ll conduct my usual “U.S. government pop quiz” to voters.

Hope to see out there and look for my findings in my Wednesday column.

Pet heaven? Really?

Do pets really go to heaven? All animals, too? I debated this issue on my radio show with Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski, who’s a huge pet lover and who believes all of his animals will be there waiting for him for eternity.

“Our dog Penny is nestled at God’s feet, our dog Copper is wandering heaven’s gate, and our beloved and departed cats are snuggled on our Lord’s shoulders,” he told me, also noting his 11 cats, three horses and two calves.

The majority of my readers also are 100 percent convinced this will happen, after hearing from dozens of them this past week.

“Yes!!! And I will meet them all!!!” said Pam J. “Mine will be a cat, parakeet and aquarium fish heaven. We’ll all float around silently and exist as wavelengths of light; kind of like sun dogs or winter rainbows. In my pet heaven, there’s no hunger or instinctual chasing.”

And, “God gave them life like He gave us life,” said Debbie M.

And, “Absolutely!” said Kelly B. “How could God bless us with one of the purest loves we know during this life that comes from our animals and not allow them to spend eternity with us. I will see them all when I get there.”

Even Teresa Caputo, of “Long Island Medium” TV show fame, said, “Animal souls go to heaven.” So it must be true.

After my trusty old toaster oven expired, I posted this on social media: “RIP Mr. Toaster Oven, my beloved appliance who, for so many years, not only warmed my leftovers but also warmed my heart. I’m sorry to see you pass on, but at least I’m comforted in knowing that you are now in Kitchen Appliance Heaven with all my other former appliances — Ms. Blender, Freddie the Fridge and Zapper the microwave — plugged back in and working fine once again for eternity.”

Pet owners were not amused.

Dear Samantha ...

The following is a letter from an atheist friend of mine to his daughter, along with the gift of a Bible. I thought you might enjoy it as much as I did.

“My Dear Samantha, I love you. And I want you to always know that I love YOU, the person that you actually are. I do not love some idea of a person I want you to be. There is a difference. People will tell you that you need to be this or that person. No. You only need to be yourself.

“My hope is that you read the bible and know it well. But do not let the bible close your mind to the truth. Above all else, worship the truth. And follow the truth wherever it leads you; not a pre-arranged truth, but the actual truth about this awesome and fascinating world. Know that wherever the truth leads you, I will be there for you, to be with you and to love you there.

“Always keep an open mind. The ability to change your mind when you find new and better information is a precious gift. Don’t ever lose that gift. If you do lose it, it’s never too late to find it again. Don’t just follow the crowd. Follow the truth and the crowd just might follow you.

“Always think for yourself and don’t allow yourself to be lead somewhere by an emotional leash. Be free. Be wise. Be yourself. And above all else, I love you.”

Peddling pedaling

On Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Crown Point Public Library there will be community forum regarding the Crown Point Safe Pathways and future trail routes in that city. For more info, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/227130410827657/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular.



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