EDITOR (OT): The June 8 primary election offers Democratic and Republican party voters the chance to think about our town and how we’ll be best served by those who would be our local representatives.
As in the general election this coming November, this should be an opportunity for voters to learn about the individual candidates, especially the ideas and plans these candidates are offering to help move us into a better future.
Unfortunately, in many of the letters in the Observer-Tribune we see the usual suspects spewing forth the same old same old. It seems that the entrenched local Republican operatives submit the same letters each year, changing only the names and a word here or there.
And it isn’t pretty. In this primary campaign, as we are bound to see this fall, these guys continue their M.O. Run on slogans, not thoughtful policy. Don’t debate your opponents. Throw mud. And most of all, boast about your fiscal responsibility and “conservative” leadership even though the plain facts of history prove otherwise.
But this is a primary election. The Democratic candidate, Richard Welch, a respected and accomplished attorney, is running unopposed so it’s the Republican primary that will garner the headlines.
I appreciate that as a Democrat I must leave it to local Republicans to squabble amongst themselves in choosing their candidates, with their vacuous slogans, flimsy claims of accomplishments, even the “heated” rhetoric.
However, as an American, I am compelled to speak out against unpardonable character assassination masquerading as political speech. I do not know David Kennedy. Never met him. I have no comment on his ideas. But the assertion that because of his decades of service as a top police official he would be unable to ably serve as a Township Committeeman is an unabashed insult to every man and woman in law enforcement, and is blatantly untrue.
Our Mayor, Ken Short, was an insurance broker. Is he unable to vote about township insurance contracts? Committeeman Bill Roehrich was a farmer. Is he unable to vote on farm preservation issues? No, this won’t do. Political speech, no matter how intemperate, is our birthright in America. Character assassination is not. This despicable tactic has to end, in the general election and in the primary as well.
The many years of short term, reactionary “leadership” by fill-in-the-blank old guard committeemen, foisting upon us buckets of wasteful spending, imprudent borrowing and the never ending march of tax increases must finally come to an end.
Even this year, township spending is going up about 3 percent more than the rate of inflation. In what has become a yearly nightmare, this year, again, local taxpayers will be paying more and getting less. A lot less. And somebody’s taking a bow for that?
I urge everyone to vote, both in the primary election and the all important general election in November. I also urge everyone to look past the slogans, look past the empty, unfulfilled promises and to speak out against intolerable campaign tactics.
Keep in mind that continuing to push forward when we’re heading in the wrong direction is not a formula for success. It’s time to let other people take the helm.