Wednesday, 7-31-2002

I Can't Die or its Curtains for my Paperwork

Dear Political Diary,

Claudia has told me in no uncertain terms that when I die she's going to put a construction site dumpster by the side of the house and throw out everything I've ever accumulated. I tell her that I'll simply have to outlive her.

Periodically I allow papers to accumulate to a horrific degree. I have several file folders in the basement in my office and in the attic but when I fall behind stacks of paper build up like miniature pagodas. The more I fall behind the more magnetic force they exert on me until I soon find myself unable to attend to them. Its like letting the grass grow all summer without mowing it.  I can never be certain if some crucial letter is hiding underneath and the longer I go between mowings - or filings - the more the unknown takes on the aspect of a venomous snake. It just seems better to let it lie their undisturbed lest I get a heart attack upon finding it.

Unfortuntely, I also have another habit other than procrastination but its related. I fool myself into thinking that other important tasks must wait until I finish the filing but since the filing isn't done I postpone those other tasks as well. A very few tasks can not be avoided like doing the taxes, at least until April 15th but most other tasks especially home repair can be postponed with a relatively clean conscientious. (for me anyway)

So I'm embarked on a tall mission to win a legislative seat against an incumbent and without my own party's endorsement. I can not wait until all the pagodas are leveled to commence. No indeed. In fact, I've already sent out my first fund raising letter and gotten back close to $2,000. This means I must file campaign finance forms. I must load the finance software. I must prepare my next fundraising letter, political literature and begin answering the twenty questionnaires sent me by various special interest groups. And don't forget lawnsigns. I've got to get them taken care of.  

Well, so far I haven't let anything prevent me from doing any of these things but the pagodas still exert their magnetic pull and threaten to bring me to a halt. As Sachel Paige said: "Don't look back they may be gaining on you."

So for the past two days I have spent eighteen hour days sorting all the pagodas and have them whittled down. I've filled up a bin of papers for next Friday's recycling. The worst projects all related to Campaign Finance forms. I have two or three campaign committees with old forms which suffer from mistakes. I've put off dealing with them until this week. 

For starters I never  brought the Mary Cameron Campaign to a close. I disbursed the last of its funds a couple months ago but never finished the final report. Today I completed the forms and organized a three inch stack of papers related to Mary's school board campaign last year. That was the easy one as it was only time consuming. Next I had to finish my own campaign forms for my 2000 Senate race. I discovered that I had to set up a new committee for this year's house race and since I still hadn't closed the old account I had to get that done before starting new.

Well, typical of me I never quite got around to closing out the old account. I still didn't have the stomach to do it today so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Meanwhile today I reorganized three years worth of Welty campaign materials about five inches worth into new sensible file folders some of which represent the 2000 race and some this race. They were all commingled together which, of course, made finding things quickly and efficiently a small problem.  A small problem over and over and over every time I needed to do something.

So I got it all sorted. It took me all day between half a dozen other errands by the end of the day my Augean stables was mostly cleaned out. I still face another day of correcting the old and new campaign forms but that will be fun. Just like recalculating last year's taxes in the face of an audit.

And to think I don't even wear shoes in my stable. At least after tomorrow I won't have to.