Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Blog: All Politics are Local except when they are Not

All Politics are Local except when they are Not
Part of a series of articles on Political Events in Connecticut by Tim D. Enchanter

For many months, I have been walking the streets of my neighborhood as part of a health regimen. Once in a while, one or two of my neighbors will stop by and compliment me on both my resolve and the obvious weight loss. During one of these little talks, I received a little insight which inspired this series of articles.
During another chance meeting, Karen and Rick Patrick gave me permission to use their names and one of their business cards. They run a landscaping company named Garden Keeper. As a believer in Free Market Capitalism and in gratitude for the inspiration, I will give them a little free advertising here by giving you their website:
     The inspiration came when we were discussing the Connecticut race for United States Senate and how Linda McMahon seems to be leading in the 2nd Congressional District. Rick asked me a question which got my mental gears running: “Wouldn't  it be interesting if Mitt Romney won this state on Linda McMahon’s coattails?”
     For those of you not familiar with political terminology, this refers to a candidate at the top of the ticket helping candidates further down the ticket. Imagine a formal gathering where the men are wearing tuxedos. The men’s coats are split in the back. Cartoons often draw analogies between tuxedos and penguins because of the similarity in appearance.
     Now imagine a political cartoon where an important man is entering an important event. His coattails are so long that they drag on the ground behind him. Sitting on those coattails are a couple of less important men who are riding into this event on the coattails of the more important man. Everyone is so happy to see the more important man that the lesser men benefit from his popularity and gain entrance as an afterthought.
Now look at the 2008 Presidential Election. The idea of voting for the First Black President gave Barack      Obama the kind of coattails the Democrats have been dreaming of for decades. People who normally would not vote came to vote for history. Because these people were not familiar with other races, they would just vote for all the other candidates on the same line of the same political party. That is what politicians refer to as coattails. People show up to vote for one candidate and vote for the entire political party. Those who cannot get people to come and vote for them hope to ride into office on someone else’s coattails.
     Those of us running that year as Republicans knew we were all running against Obama. Some of us hoped Sarah Palin would give us the coattails of the First Woman Republican Vice President. Eventually, it seemed that the National Race provided competing coattails that dragged so far along the ground as to affect every race down to the State General Assembly.
      To me, this became evident in Connecticut’s 13th State Senate District, involving the towns and cities of Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, and Rockfall. Two seats in the General Assembly, the 100th and 103rd Districts, demonstrated this effect as two popular State Representatives lost to challengers benefitting from Obama’s coattails. Ray Kalinowski and Al Adinolfi lost their seats to challengers Matt Lesser and Elizabeth Esty.
     The temporary effect of these coattails became evident when Adinolfi won back his Assembly seat in 2010. The voters in the 103rd District remembered the Representative who always cares about their welfare and the vacuum left by Obama’s absent coattails dragged Esty down in defeat.
     Esty is now the Democrat running for the 5th Congressional District, hoping that Obama’s Presidential coattails will help her enter the House of Representatives. Lesser, on the other hand, was able to solidify his power. He did this so well that I feel he deserves his own article. Read my opinions here and form your own:

Published in the Middletown Insider: Guest Blog: The Lesser Man
     For the purpose of this article, the point is that local politics can become perverted by national interests to the detriment of the local residents. But also mentioned is the obvious answer for the people of Connecticut.
In 2009, Middletown Republican Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and Meriden Republican Town Council Candidate Dan Brunet each got the endorsement of the unions by being honest with them. Regardless of the mayoral upset in Middletown in 2011, the salient point is that people will vote for what is best for them.
At the beginning of this month, I was at the annual street fair called “Celebrate Wallingford” in Wallingford, CT. I helped distribute balloons, tote bags, and campaign literature for Greg Bachand, Republican Candidate for State Representative for the 85th District. It was a joy at the end of the day to watch a grandfather handing out red balloons to children “of all ages”.
      I witnessed the brilliance of giving out big red balloons as each child’s face lit up as if it was Christmas. Every mother pushing a stroller or herding children had a look of relief when she saw the free tote bag. Amazingly, many people came up and just asked for the campaign literature because they actually wanted to know more. Once in a while, I’d hear someone ask something such as “Is he running against that Socialist?” or “Republican, right? I see red. Republican? Good.” You know you don’t have to worry about those votes.
Here in East Haddam, the Republicans swept the local elections in 2011 by removing any mention of political party and simply talking to their neighbors about what they would do to help the community. Current state candidates this year have a similar approach. Art Linares, Republican Candidate for State Senate for the 33rd District is the Connecticut version of Marco Rubio. He actually worked for Senator Rubio in DC.
     Melissa Ziobron, Republican Candidate for State Representative for the 34th District has a wonderful message on her Facebook page “… because it’s your money”. Far too often, those elected see all tax dollars as belonging to them, which is why they think tax cuts are a gift that needs to be paid for. Melissa’s approach of knowing who she works for is refreshing.
     Another example of this attitude was highlighted at the 2012 Republican National Convention where speech after speech demonstrated why the speakers believe in America. Each one talked about his or her experiences in life which are shared by most Americans. These are local leaders who rose in stature serving their constituents because they understand their concerns and can relate to them. They are worth watching when you have the time. (
     Of special note regarding the point I am making is the video by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. She and her husband were lifelong Democrats until they had a talk with some Republicans. She said that political party did not come up once. All they talked about was issues that matter such as finances, spending, policies, and everything people are concerned with on a local level. When they got back in their car, she looked at her husband and said, “Well, I’ll be damned. We’re Republicans.”
     This is the point I am making here. Local issues matter to people and all politics are therefore local … except when they are not. Sometimes politicians can make national politics so important that people can be led to vote without regard to their own well being. When they find out that their well being is being sacrificed, they don’t feel well.
     For years, hyper-partisan politics have divided and blinded voters to the point where they finally stopped paying attention to issues and elected the First American Idol President. Two years later, when the outrage of Patriots swept the Nation, the resulting wave of change seemed to crash onto a political firewall that surrounded the State of Connecticut.
     The resulting economic conditions of over-spending and over-taxing have caused people to become parochial. Instead of focusing on national issues, many cities and towns started voting for what is best for them. Only campaign mob bosses have been able to survive the resulting change that is rising from the grass roots.
      It is that change that must be seized upon. The biggest advances Republicans make is where they talk about things they will and will not do on a local level which matter to voters. The Democrats seem to have certain talking points that are shared by all, no matter what the situation. That will be discussed in my next article, “Tag Team Debating” so I will return to the point here.
     The people are waking up to the needs of the people and voting in their best interests. It is one thing to show the effects of national policies on their lives, but in Connecticut we need to do things differently. People’s lives matter, especially when they are hurting. They will vote their interests when given the chance and those interests can overwhelm larger issues of political party.
     To answer my neighbors, it may be possible that Linda McMahon may win the State of Connecticut. Whether Romney wins on her coattails will be determined by how closely he can follow them.
“I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness and I know you can hear me but will you listen?”

---Tim D. Enchanter, Lone Wolf Patriot

1 comment:

  1. I think it is somewhat likely that McMahon will win a senate seat and rather unlikely that Romney will carry Connecticut. If Romney somehow carries Connecticut that would indicate a Republican sweep of historic proportions, his coat tails providing victory for many other Republican candidates, McMahon included.


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