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Politics Games

'World of Warcraft' Candidate For Maine State Senate Wins Election 220

Teancum writes "Colleen Lachowicz, candidate for the State Senate District 25 of Maine, won the election yesterday against her opponent Thomas Martin. This race was notable in part because her World of Warcraft character that was mentioned earlier on Slashdot, where the Maine Republican Party turned her game playing into a significant issue. It is also notable that she was able to raise a total of $6,300 in campaign contributions from gamers who came to her defense in her successful campaign. The Maine GOP even tried to block these contributions where Lachowicz was cleared of any wrong doing and the investigation was dropped."
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'World of Warcraft' Candidate For Maine State Senate Wins Election

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  • by FacePlant ( 19134 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:24PM (#41910021)

    Where are my moderator points when I need them!?!

  • Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:25PM (#41910029) Journal
    Fortunately she is very well qualified. It actually sets a nice precedent. Video game playing, as a hobby, should not reflect poorly on someones character or ability to hold a position of public office. From now on everyone will remember how this tactic backfired. Thank you Ms.Lachowicz.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:28PM (#41910047)

    Apparently you can run the state of Maine from your parents basement.

    Better this than running the state of Maine from your lobbyist's basement or worse. ^_^

  • Getting stupid... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <mariet@nOSpAM.got.net> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:30PM (#41910071) Journal

    Change that... gotten stupid. In the mad rush to distinguish themselves and demonize the opponent, campaigning in this country has just gotten ridiculous. One of the reasons that Romney lost was that he kept saying things about Obama that simply weren't true. The problem supporting Romney became trying to figure out what was correct and what was just flaming bat guano. He destroyed his own credibility (well his campaign manager did it, but Romney let him.) Of course in past elections, the bull pucky would have stood, but so many people have ways of validating claims now and there were so many independent fact checkers this election that BS on both sides got shot down in record time.

    We live a diverse and interesting society. The fact that Conservatives want desperately to take the nation back to 40s is interesting but more than a little brain dead. By the way I distinguish social conservatives from fiscal conservatives. I'm talking about mostly Fundies, folks from smaller more agriculturally based communities, you know pretty much the entire middle of the country outside of big cities. If you look at the red and blue distribution, it should be clear. Maybe in a generation, the impact of technology will have stomped so hard on "Traditional Values" that it'l stop being the source of so much mischief in our society.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:35PM (#41910129)

    As a gamer, I entirely agree. Although... there is being a gamer, and then there is the person who has a gaming command center in their parents' basement with the delivery tube for the Mountain Dew and Cheetos. I might consider an extreme amount of time playing to be a detriment.

    On the other hand, if she has enough social skills to become a candidate, she's probably okay.

    I'm guessing she's probably a tiny bit more on the casual side.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:40PM (#41910191)

    I would consider golfing 8 hours a day to be a detriment too. Or weight lifting. Or knitting. Or pretty much any other hobby that takes up more time than a full time job. It's not about gaming, it's about priorities and the time sink.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chilenexus ( 2660641 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:43PM (#41910219)
    don't forget shooting your lawyer friend in the face with a shotgun - and convincing him to apologize to you for it. That's a hobby that we really need politicians to do less of.
  • by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:44PM (#41910227)

    careful slinging the guano around yourself... you get dirty too.

    As an independent I find that people like yourself are too busy talking trash about the other side than to notice the trash you and your side are spewing.

    Everyone should go and read George Washington's farewell address, he predicted the Civil War and our current state of affairs because people like you are to busy being what you are...

    Blind and Hypocritical.

    Both Sides lie, and 1 side is busy fooling you!

    If you voted Red or Blue then you are a part of the problem, not the solution.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:44PM (#41910231)

    Good example, no politician has yet been reprimanded for playing golf (I'm sure a lot of them do), I think this whole scenario reflects on how acceptable social norms are shifting. There was a time that PC gaming automatically labeled you a nerd with no social skills or chance of acquiring them. Golf has always been accepted, especially by rich white men.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:46PM (#41910269)
    Well I think her character hadn't been updated in a while. Perhaps she had RL issues (like running for office) that interfered with her time to play the game after the last expansion.
  • by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:49PM (#41910301)

    I for one actually like the idea of a game player making it into office, regardless of their political affiliation.

    People seem to forget that most people running for office are too busy to be down to earth or able to understand the common person. Once you get rich and powerful reality does not hang around for long unless you make a concious effort to keep it there.

  • Re:FOR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pulski ( 126566 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:10PM (#41910597)

    Lok'tar ogar!

  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:15PM (#41910685) Homepage Journal

    Or maybe she's one of the few who plays for fun, and not for gear?

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:56PM (#41911115) Homepage

    The 50's were, assuming you were a white male of at least the "skilled working class" level of society, a great time. By feat of chance there was a conjunction of postwar prosperity, an entrepreneurial boom, and a government willing to invest in big things. It was a time when a man could, with a high school education, get a good job and support a family with a single income. For a good chunk of America it was a real golden age. It was also a time of tremendous racism, Cold War, and overt sexism, but those parts don't bother a lot of the more outer fringe of the right wing. There's several problems with trying to return to the 50's though.

    First, the circumstances that created the incredible boom were not exactly pleasant. A good chunk of the reason for the insatiable consumer demand of the time was that the preceding decade and half had been dominated by war and depression... Eight years of not being able to afford anything followed by six years of not being able to get anything leaves people in the mood to spend. On top of that, the War had resulted in the creation or refinement of all kinds of new technology that people wanted to buy. People had money, both because they'd been saving during the War (when there was nothing to spend on), and because the boom created tons of jobs for them to come home to. It was a perfect storm of incredible pent up demand coinciding with equally incredible new products.

    Second, and this is a real pisser, the government was a huge driver of the economy with spending in the 50's. Conservatives recall the social conservatism of the era, but for get the fact that government was a lot less afraid to spend money. Things like the Apollo project and the Interstate Highway project were hugely expensive government programs that employed tens or hundreds of thousands and pumped tons of money into suppliers and ancillary businesses. Sure, these were primarily Cold War defense or prestige projects, not "entitlement spending", but they were huge wealth redistribution engines regardless. They put a lot of money in the hands of working people.

    We can't policy our way back to the 50's, they were a unique time with a unique set of very advantageous circumstances. Certainly we can't let our blinders tell us that all we gotta do is throw the women back in the kitchen, the gays back in the closet, and blacks back in the ghetto to bring them back. Those were the downsides of the 50's not the cause of the upsides. We can, perhaps, try to bring back some of the big government projects that helped drive the economy, but we'll need more tax revenue to do it (taxes were considerably higher by percentage in the 50's), and even with that we won't be able to manufacture the kind of boom caused by postwar euphoria and pent up demand. Looking to the past for inspiration to solve problems is one thing, but you can't ever bring it back.

  • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @04:08PM (#41911225) Homepage

    No, she gets recognition because she won her election after her opponent tried to use her WoW playing against her. Given that most of us here have played games at one point or another, it annoys us when some tries to imply that doing so is disqualification for "important" jobs. It's vindicating that the voters did not agree. It's true that her playing WoW doesn't make her a better person of a better politician, but it the point is that it doesn't inherently make her a worse person or politician.

  • by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @04:57PM (#41911725)
    As a leader to my post, I voted for Obama yesterday.

    I live in a smaller, partial agriculturally based community that happens to be sort of in the middle of the country (Ohio) where the vote was about 65% Romney yesterday.

    Have you ever stopped to think why people in smaller communities tend to vote Republican over and over? Instead of thumbing your nose, which is what I took the last portion of your post as, as those of us in fly-over country maybe you should stop and walk a few miles in our shoes.

    Cost of living is cheap so it does not take large salaries to live out a decent life. People are typically respectful of others and helpful to those in need. The % of people who continuously rely on the gov't to help them out is much smaller than in larger cities. Life is simple and people enjoy that.

    Despite what the Republican party has said or done recently, the people in these communities have always been against big gov't. We'd rather do it ourselves.

    So spare us the lecture on what YOU think drives the people in this region. Sure, some of it is silly to me but a lot is rooted in the "just let me live my life" mode of thinking. And are "Traditional Values" always a bad thing?
  • Re:Precedent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:40PM (#41912177) Journal

    The difference between the two is that Obama has not, so far, given any indication that his political positions are strongly guided by his religious views. Romney, on the other hand, seems to have that fanatical streak in him (but then Mormons tend to have more of it on average). I'm fine with a religious politician, even if I would prefer an atheist; I'm not fine with a zealot.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@NOSpAm.yahoo.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:46PM (#41912229) Homepage Journal

    People aren't stupid. You don't becomes a species that builds rockets, goes to the moon, and send probes outside our Solar System by being a race mostly of stupid people.

    Distracted? yes. Under-educated? Yes. Manipulated through wide spread media manipulation? Yes.

    Not stupid. Those problems can be addressed and leveled, stupid can not.

  • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:48PM (#41912253)
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/12/us/entitlement-map.html?ref=us [nytimes.com]

    I've seen a few maps that show that there are considerably higher number of government aid recipients in areas that tend to lean red.

    Further, I take offense to the idea that these people would rather "do it themselves". It sounds a lot more like "I got mine, so don't tax me to get yours". Those people got public education. Many went to colleges that received up to 70-80% of their operating funds from the state (most now receive closer to 15%). Public infrastructure was built in a very short time. Many of these individuals are receiving social security and medicare, something "they paid into and deserve" but they don't want to take any cuts or pay any higher taxes to make sure these programs remain solvent for the next generation who are also paying into it. They got to take advantage of the fact that hospitals would treat them even if they couldn't afford the bill, something the state picks up the cost for.

    I understand trying to make sure these programs are run efficiently. But, the debate in the last 1-2 years has been a lot more about cutting than reforming. And a lot more about making sure our historically low taxes are never raised to pay for the things the baby boomers have already taken advantage of.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan