Former GOP Committeeman Bares Soul, Opts For Change
The following is a Guest Blog as submitted to The Community Alliance. The writer's true identity has been changed and name withheld, at the author's request, to protect the writer from, as he put it, "the retribution of mob mentality."
My name is Robert M., and I am a Republican Committeeman. Actually, I am a former Republican Committeeman, but as they say, it is always in the blood.
I share in the core values of my chosen party, in its avowed commitment to fiscal and social conservatism, and in the vision so eloquently expressed by Ronald Reagan of that shining city on a hill.
I am a person of faith, and of political fervor. I revel in my party's successes, and feel sorrow when my party fails. I have, over the course of nearly twenty-five years, been a part of the good, and have borne witness to the bad and the ugly. I've paid my 1%, logged thousands of hours carrying Petitions and on the campaign trail, rallied the vote for the party line, and answered the call, all without regret.
I write today not to bash the GOP, nor, for that matter, to praise the Democrats. Politics is politics, and machine-driven politics spoils the stew wherever and whenever it consumes a party's best intentions and most hallowed beliefs. I offer my comments only to say that I have lost faith, not in the Republican Party, but in those who, with a smug self-righteousness and a loss of empathy for you and I, have led our party astray.
The Republican Party is the party of balanced budgets, of smaller government, and of fewer taxes. At least that's what they told me when I registered all those years ago.
We've gone from a record surplus to a federal deficit that is the largest in U.S. history. Here on Long Island, we have more taxing jurisdictions (aka Special Districts) with higher taxes than one could possibly fathom. In the Town of Hempstead, we have a system of government bursting at the seams with patronage, creating layer upon layer of unnecessary bureaucracy, and blinded by the ambitions of those who view self-promotion and party machine preservation as the end-game of their service to the public. We are a party, with rare exception, totally in control, and yet, we preside over a government hurling hopelessly out of control. This isn't the Republican Party I signed up for!
The issues and concerns we face at both County and Town cannot be said to be either Republican or Democratic - although there are many, from both sides of the aisle, who would have us see them that way. Beyond the gamesmanship of the Gary DelaRobbers and the Slick Willie television ads that bear little semblance to the truth, there are significant matters begging to be debated and addressed. Town Sanitary Districts run without fiscal restraint or financial oversight; illegal apartments riding roughshod over our tax base and jeopardizing lives; everyone and her brothers on payroll; paying more for garbage collection than for police protection - and we all know how much we pay in Nassau County for police protection. This is nothing short of government gone wild.
Now, I'm not advocating jumping ship and changing party. No sir, I am one of those "cloth coat Republicans" the authors of this blog frequently refer to with sometimes more than satirical derision. I am, however, advocating a change in course for our party, a redirection with a new way of thinking; a call for the next generation of leaders who willingly say, "Enough already. It is time to look to the future."
When I first became a Republican Committeeman, ours was the party of Al D'Amato, Joe Mondello and Greg Peterson. Today, notwithstanding a different and increasingly complex world, changing by the second, we remain, as if in some sci-fi time warp, the party of Al D'Amato, Joe Mondello and Greg Peterson. They would like us to go back to a time and a place they never left, and to look forward to a future that promises only to pay homage to a less than illustrious past.
Machines are the stuff that politics is made of. It is in the very nature of things. The Kings and the King-makers, assuring a long line of ascendency to the throne. Alas, even the most enduring of empires must crumble and fall, heralding a new era -- and, no doubt, yet another machine.
In Hempstead Town, the 100-year rule of the Republican empire is nearing an end. The D'Amatos, Mondellos and the Murrays are the last vestiges of the old guard, about to take their final curtain call -- all for the good of the party. In Nassau County, we are not quite ready for that new era of Republican stewardship to kick in, Greg Peterson representing yesterday's news, the remnants of a machine badly leaking oil and meshing gears.
The Republican Party - my Republican Party - is hurting. In many ways, we've summoned our own demons, created our own Frankenstein monster that now turns on the very people who gave it life. Some of my fellow Republicans will likely crash and burn this November, which may well be the best thing that could happen to our party. Out with the old. In with the new. The opportunity to rebuild, from the ground up, from the top down. And the Phoenix shall once again rise from the ashes, stronger, better, more in tune with the needs of the people and with the time-honored ideology of the Republican Party I knew and embraced.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Last call before the election for candidates to submit Guest Blogs to The Community Alliance for publication. Random thoughts. Specific proposals. Your best foot - both in and out of mouth - forward. All are welcome and encouraged!
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JOIN IN THE DEBATE IN THE RACE FOR NASSAU COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Tom Suozzi vs. Greg Peterson
Monday, October 24, 2005
Hofstra University's Monroe Hall
South Campus, California Avenue off of Hempstead Turnpike
Audience members will have an opportunity to ask the tough questions and, hopefully, get some straight answers. Be an informed voter. After all, its your tomorrow they're talking about!
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2006 BUDGET HEARING AT HEMPSTEAD TOWN HALL TONIGHT AT 7:00 PM
Town Board meetings are held in the Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion,adjacent to Hempstead Town Hall, One Washington Street, Hempstead.