Don’t vote for me; just give me the cash

Published 12:54 am Sunday, June 8, 2008

That’s it. I’m officially throwing my hat in the 2012 political ring.

It’s me and you, Jake Middleton, (assuming you opt to run again in four years).

Sure, I know, it’s a conflict of interest, having me run for mayor while leading the newspaper, too. It’s OK; we’ll work out the details of how to avoid conflicts later.

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Before you ask, I have not suddenly felt a higher calling to move into public service.

Nor have I lost my mind and decided to jump into politics with eyes eventually on the White House, though some of the presidential perks are obviously more appealing than those of the mayor’s office.

I have no burning desire to provide vision to the city or work hard to bring jobs here. That sounds too much like work to me.

My sole motivation for running is simple: Cash.

After thumbing through the most recent campaign finance reports from the city races that ended last week, I starting thinking about running. But on Saturday when I read that candidates could keep unused campaign contributions, I became convinced there’s money to be made just by running.

And the longer you run, as Hillary and Obama have shown, the more buzz you can generate. And buzz equals cash.

Since I’ve officially declared, I’m just waiting for the donations to start rolling into the bank.

My plan is simple.

I’ll tell you whatever you want to hear so long as you contribute to the Committee to Elect Kevin Cooper for Natchez Mayor, 2012.

Are you a fan of annexation? Fantastic. So am I. We must annex or the city will continue to dwindle.

Oh, you think annexing county residents is bad? Me too. Who on earth would think of such a thing? Yes, cash is fine.

What Natchez needs most is a recreation complex, something state-of-the-art that will bring in economic development as we host tournaments. Yes, two “Os” in “Cooper.”

I agree with you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with our recreation facilities. If those ballparks were good enough for us, then they’re good enough for today’s children. Yes, my Web site allows credit card payments 24-7.

I figure if I start now, campaigning and pushing for funds, my “war chest” will be amazingly full by the time Middleton even starts thinking about his re-election in 2012.

One thing I should note. And I’ll tell you this if you can keep a secret: I have no intention of actually being elected.

I’m just in this for the dough.

A few weeks before the first primary my plan is simple: Bow out gracefully and explain to my throngs of suckers, I mean, supporters that I’ve simply had a change of heart.

It’ll be a well-orchestrated endeavor. Tears (of joy) will flow as I tell the check writers that it’s been a long, hard-fought battle, but it’s time to give up.

Suddenly, I’ll invite Mayor Middleton onto the stage, and firmly grasp his hand in an exaggerated shake. Then, as the cameras click, I’ll pull him into a hug and break down as I throw my support to him.

I can’t win, have no desire to do so, but having some extra cash would be great.

Besides, the campaign slogan “Kevin ’12” doesn’t have nearly the ring that “Jake ’08” had. But that doesn’t mean the cash register can’t ring a bit in the meantime.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or