Out of ideas? Ask the kid and the felon

While gubernatorial races hogged election-day press coverage, a couple of local races in Michigan and California have raised eyebrows. In the Great Lakes State, 18-year-old Michael Sessions is making a case for "hands-on" learning. Why study civics? Just do it! He won the Hillsdale mayoral race, as a write-in candidate, by two votes. Sessions campaigned on a platform of stimulating Hillsdale's economic development. In a town with an unemployment rate hovering around 6 percent, and where more than 10 percent of the population lives in poverty, Sessions's foci hit home. Until he graduates from high school in May, though, he'll fulfill his mayoral duties after school. An equally interesting display of democracy occurred in California where Randy Hale, an inmate of the California Institution for Men in Chino, was elected to the Romoland school board. A political science professor at UC Riverside thinks Hale may have won "because he was at the top of the ballot." Remember that the next time you hear the National School Boards Association celebrating the genius of "local control." Hale's release is scheduled for February 15th. Until then, he'll have plenty of free time in which to craft a revolutionary plan for the revitalization of Romoland's district schools. First action item: School uniforms (orange, of course).

"High School Kid by Day, Mr. Mayor by Night," by P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2005

"Prisoner elected to Calif. school board," Fox News, November 10, 2005