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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Carpetbagging Politicians


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Sometimes politicians are called carpetbaggers if they haven't lived in the area they seek to represent.

Sometimes politicians are called carpetbaggers if they haven't lived in the area they seek to represent.

A new law has been proposed:

MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes (UTJ) submitted a bill that would require potential mayoral candidates to live in the city in which he wants to run for mayor for a minimum of 6 months prior to officially joining the electoral race (i.e. a minimum of 7 months total).

I think it’s  a very good idea. I never liked the British law which allows someone to run for Parliament to represent a district they may never have had even visited before deciding to campaign. I was also very disgusted with the Clintons for moving to New York, an area to which they had no connection, just so that Hillary could run for the Senate from there. Carpetbagger* or not, she won the race.

Sports at Safra Square, the Jerusalem Municipality

The position of Mayor is very local. It’s not just an administrative job. To do it best, one should intimately know the town or city. And the most reliable way of knowing a place is to live there. That’s how you really know if the garbage is picked up and at which hour of the day or night, if the schools are good, public transportation is convenient, infrastructure kept in repair and the community centers and parks have a suitable variety of facilities.

There was a time when it was permitted for Israelis who held dual or multiple citizenships to be Knesset Members, but now the first step for a candidate, even before election day, is to renounce all foreign citizenship. It’s part of the loyalty one needs to be in high national office.

One can say that in such national positions, multi-citizenship is like polygamy, right?

*Carpetbagger: 1. a Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War to profit from the unsettled conditions. 2. any person, esp. a politician, who takes up residence in a place opportunistically.

Hat-tip Rafi’s Life in Israel

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

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About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


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One Response to “Carpetbagging Politicians”

  1. Les Le Gear says:

    Bobby Kennedy was a carpetbagger. He went to New York to become a senator. He had no connection to the state.

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