The above phrase is going to be seen a lot on my blog going forward. I stuck it at the end of my two static pages, and I’ll probably be putting it at the end of most, if not all, of my daily posts.
You may have noticed that for a highly active political season, I haven’t been making many comments about politics or the presidential primaries. It isn’t because I am uninterested in politics. I have an avid interest in the political concepts, though I’ve learned not to get lost in the showmanship of the current candidates — one can get lost in that chum.
It seems right out of my college days, back in Caton, NY, I got involved in politics as a Republican Committeeman representing the town in the Steuben County Republican Party. I didn’t last very long — not because of the politics, but because of my job. I took a job at The Leader, and a career in journalism had potential conflicts of interest with my role in politics.
I’ve always participated in the political process — taken my responsibility to vote. Back in the 2008 era, with the Tea Party emerging, I even did some political contributions to various causes. I haven’t within the last couple of years.
But it has been within the past year that my current job has generated a similar “conflict” to politics that the newspaper did. It seems I work in a customer service role that could conceivably influence people in politics, and since my current employer gains business from the public sector, we can’t be seen influencing anyone for the employer’s gain. One result of this is that I and members of my family cannot make political contributions, lest we be seen to influencing someone my employer might try to do business with.
So for the past several months I have been refraining from saying anything, muzzling myself, on issues political, until I could get a clear ruling about what I was allowed to say on my personal time — or as least as clear as lawyers can get about anything.
But now I find I can make comments. I just have to make sure everyone knows they are my private views, and not that of any group I am associated with. That is why I’ve created my disclaimer. I chose not to name any group in it, lest it suggest to someone that I might actually represent that group by my denial.
I also cannot participate in fundraising, solicitations, volunteering, hosting events, or other activities on behalf of any Public Official or Political Entity. But as long as my posts can’t be perceived as any of those activities, I am safe to make comments.
So my voice is now (partially) unmuzzled. And all in the name of and to further ethics.
(Note: The views expressed on this blog are mine, and are not to be seen as the views of any group or organization that I am associated with.)