Not a Party Girl
The title of this entry is not a reference to my admittedly dull lifestyle, but to party affiliation. For all of the time I’ve lived in Pennsylvania I’ve been a registered Democrat, except for six months when I changed parties to volunteer for an extraordinary Republican. My reasons for being a Democrat will be the subject of a future entry. Other than voter registration and general voting behavior there is little that will identify me as a D, although some relatives and friends will be quick to note that I am easily spotted as an ass, the next best thing to being a donkey. I don’t go to party meetings. I no longer contribute to the state party. I often don’t vote a straight ticket. I even signed off the local D email list.
Why? Well, the parties seem to demand absolute loyalty without offering much in response. I used to send the state party a little money whenever they called. Then they sent out some mailings against a local Republican officeholder that were fairly quickly identified as being complete fabrications. When confronted state party officials said it was the result of bad research. Horse puckey. It wasn’t bad research; it was flat out lying. I wrote the party a letter about this and said I would no longer be sending them any money, but supporting individual candidates instead, people I could check out myself. The party still calls and asks me to support them and help elect D’s statewide. I picture Bill Rieger and John Lawless and say no and explain why. That the party could still support Bill Rieger after the articles appeared outlining his financial shenanigans, such as having his district office in someone’s basement and paying them more in rent than their mortgage, and his adventures in ghost voting, is an affront to the people of his district. Someone should have taken him aside and told him it was time to go. But, no, he was supported and other D’s helped derail the primary campaigns of some very promising young candidates. So much for getting new blood into the party. As for Lawless, one day he’s evil incarnate, and the next, when he has switched parties, he’s our new best friend. I’m too logical to grasp that one. If he was a louse when he had an R next to his name, he’s still a louse with a D.
These are not the actions of an organization with integrity or any sense of accountability to the rank and file. On October 2003, the AP reported that both party leaders spent an average of $5000 a month on lunches, or $60,000 in 12 months. That’s more than the average Pennsylvanian makes in a year! Honestly, how can party leaders think it is okay to call and ask for money without even making an effort to use it well? I don’t want one red cent from my pocket going to print and mail out known untruths or to pay for expensive meals. I’d be a lot happier and a lot more willing to give if the party sent around pictures of Bill DeWeese eating a brown bag lunch.
If a group is known by its actions and its leaders, both parties are in trouble. However, I’m focusing on my party, going with the premise that you should have your own house in order before picking on someone else’s. What am I doing to clean things up? Well, I try to support independent thinking, honest candidates, and hope that they will keep those qualities as they work and move up the political landscape. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Using my modest resources I try to aid those officials, of either party, who have shown integrity and concern with constituents. It’s not much but it’s what I’ve got to offer. I’ve asked about being a local committeewoman and was told that one of the rules was to speak no ill of any D. That’s not a promise I can make. So, while I am registered with a party, I’m in no way a party girl.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Not a Party Girl