Up & Coming Weekly

February 23, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 17 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM FEBRUARY 24 - MARCH 2, 2021 UCW 17 Work horse or show horse by D.G. MARTIN LITERATURE D.G. MARTIN, Host of UNC's Book Watch. COMMENTS? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Distribution Driver Needed For Wednesday distribution route Must have vehicle, valid driver's license and insurance Email a brief work history & contact information to: laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTACT: Laurel Handforth Distribution Manager 910.484.6200 Do you want your congressional representative to be a "work horse" or a "show horse?" In the recently released fourth revised edition of his classic "e Congressional Experience: An Institu- tion Transformed," David Price writes about how the legendary speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sam Rayburn distinguished the "show horses" from the "work horses" who served in Congress. According to Price, Rayburn expressed his clear preference for the latter. Price has all the cre- dentials to write about Congress and who serves there, how they get things accomplished, what they have to do to get elected and then reelected, how they work with colleagues, constituents, outside groups, and their fellow representa- tives to get things done. Price, the representative from North Carolina's Fourth District, has served in Congress since 1987, with only a two-year break after losing an election in 1994. Before his first election to Congress, Price studied theology at Yale University, served as a political science professor at Duke University and chaired the state Democratic Party. In short, he brings a professional lifetime of dealing with the institu- tion of Congress that blends into his teaching and research a viewpoint influenced by a longstanding spiritual commitment. As the publisher's introduction points out, "Congressman David Price is uniquely qualified to guide readers through the labyrinth of rules, roles, and representatives that is Con- gress. As a trained political scientist, he connects the practical politics on the Hill with the theories of the dis- cipline. He is equally focused on the ethics of public service at a time when politics seem to have reached a new low. rough it all, he conveys a clear sense of the challenges, disappoint- ments, elations, and deep concerns implicit in serving as a member of Congress, especially at a time of na- tional and international fragility." Price begins his book with a chapter on campaigning. In 1984, as party chair he was disappointed that the Fourth District incumbent Ike Andrews was defeated by Bill Cobey, former UNC-Chapel Hill athletic director. "Deeply stung" by his party's defeat, Price decided to run for the seat. en came the hard parts. Run- ning against other attractive Demo- crats in the primary. Raising money. Organizing. Disappointments every day before finally winning. Anyone considering a Congressio- nal campaign should read this chapter before making a decision. Getting elected is hard. But the harder tasks, Price explains in a chapter titled "At Home in the House," might come after an election victory. "e immediate challenge," he writes, "is to secure a desirable committee assignment, a challenge heightened by both the knowledge that it can decisively shape one's subsequent career and uncertainty as to how the assignment decisions are going to be made. It is a rapid and jarring transition, from the electoral areas to the arena of house politics, equally political, equally challeng- ing, but often quite dissimilar in the skills it requires and the behavior it rewards." Jockeying for preferred assignments on and within committees such as Appropriations is a skill an ambitious "work horse" representative must master. Price did not get a chance for appointment to that committee until 1990 when there were four openings. e appointment leaders ranked Price second, ahead of Nancy Pelosi, who was third. Both were appointed. In a chapter titled "Our Broken Electoral System," Price chronicles his efforts to push for election reforms and funding for the states to acquire modern and accurate voting equip- ment. Although progress was disap- pointingly mixed, the ability of state election officers to demonstrate the validity of their results against power- ful challenges from the former presi- dent's campaign proved the value of Price's and his colleagues' work. "e Congressional Experience" should be required reading for any- one considering a run for Congress and for the rest of us who just want to try to understand how our govern- ment works. Whoever reads even a part of the book will be happy North Carolina has a work horse congressman.

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