Back in the Mid 1980's, I served in the United States Army. My home of record, that I never seemed to spend much time at, was Kelley barracks, in Darmstadt West Germany. We don't get a lot of days off in the Army, but there was a way to earn one. Every year, the officers did their best to make sure that every member in our unit was registered to vote, and cast an absentee ballot. In November of 1984, Our Engineer Company of about 150 men accomplished just that. The entire unit got a Monday off, giving us a three day weekend. It was the year Reagan ran for reelection as President, and the only time in my Three Novembers in Europe that we earned the privilege.
So it is very exasperating for me when my neighbors and many of my fellow community members show very little enthusiasm towards voting. I know that a day off would likely mean little to them, but I wish more common Americans appreciated the privilege that generations of their fellow citizens put so much effort into attaining.
I have spent every spare moment the last ten days calling registered Democratic voters in the five precincts that consist of Upper Macungie Township. A Community where over 3800 of the just over 5000 registered Democrats voted in November 2012, a turnout of over 75%. But this year? Turnout by Democrats will be lucky to hit 1000 voters. to make 25% we need at least 1250 to come out. And that's a shame, because I believe Republican turnout will be close to 30% in Upper Macungie at a minimum. That is about 1750 voters. Party loyalty being what it is, Democratic candidates have a tough road to win out in the suburbs. The thing is, the registration numbers in suburbia have changed in the last 8 years. There is still that fat 25,000 registration cushion in Allentown, (42kD to 17kR), but the overall county registration is 109K D's to 74K R's, or a margin of 35,000 voters. So even outside of Allentown, Democrats have a voter registration edge of over 10,000 in the rest of Lehigh County.
Yet the Republicans, and their far right ultra conservative bloc, control the county agenda. Not thru redistricting, but thru Democratic voter apathy.
On November 5th, it comes down to this in Lehigh County, and even out in the Townships and boroughs it is the same issue:
If Democrats don't want Lehigh County to be a mirror image of our dysfunctional Congress, they need to get their constituents to the polls on election day. The incumbents that are running, in boroughs, townships, and on the County Board of Commissioners, they are the ones responsible for the existing conditions. The piper is coming to collect in the very near future, and just as Upper Macungie doubled the millage a few years back, now Lower Macungie is approaching their own Taxaggeddon. Republican Write in Supervisor Candidate Earley laughably lauds how he has held the line on taxes the last two years, ignoring that he proposed and voted for the double millage hike in 2011.
So does that make him a tax and spend Republican? I think so.
And then there is Scott Ott , Couny Executive candidate and ounty Commissioner's reform team leader. Him and his gang of four lackeys promised a repeal of a 16% tax hike and to cut taxes. Instead we got a reassessment, and a 3% increase. They hid it last year by using reserve fund money. This year they didn't. I don't know about anyone else, but if you are paying 3% more, I consider that a tax increase.
I am sorry, but if you are spending more money, and collecting more in taxes than ever before, I don't know how you call that frugality.
AND REMEMBER: The Republicans, whether they want to admit it or not, ARE IN THE MAJORITY. IT IS THEIR BUDGET!
The Democratic Party has the majority of the voters in Lehigh County. If they want to govern, they need to get their people to the polls. If they don't, they have only themselves to blame.
Don't bitch about the Tea Party. Don't bitch about Republican Supervisor boards that ignore the regular residents. Do something about it. VOTE.
It shouldn't take the offer a paid day off to encourage people to do their civic duty. What should urge them on is the prospect of a government that doesn't listen to them. Something that those who preceded us fought to avoid. Yet that is exactly what we are likely to get.
But in Ott's world, that is spun as saving taxpayers money by keeping the increases to a minimum.