Orange Gearle

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

plan 2

In my experiences, progressives/liberals/democrats are empathetic, they care about fairness and equality for all, they want every vote to be counted, every person to be represented even if it means losing elections. We are free thinkers. We are advocates for the underdog. We are just plain good people.

It is because of all this that I am stuck with a bit of a dilemma. Stick with me as I explain...

One thing that Republicans are very good at doing is sticking together, no matter what it takes. They support the party, verbally, monetarily and at the polls, no matter what. They don't "one issue vote" they vote for the party. Here is a perfect illustration of what I am getting at....this example is taken from Crashing the Gate (a book that everyone should read)...I added the links within the quote, of course....

"Back in 1994, Newt Gingrich was putting the finishing touches on his ten-point Contract with America, a document to be sprung in the closing weeks of the midterm elections that would present the nation with a tangible, governing blueprint for the conservative agenda.

Ralph Reed, then president of the Christian Coalition, demanded that Gingrich turn over one of the ten points to him, allowing the Contract to also address those "moral values" voters the Christian Coalition was motivating and turning out for Republican candidates nationwide. Gingrich refused, saying, in so many words, "Look Ralph, don't worry about it. You sell this to your flock and when we take over Congress, we'll take care of your issues." The rest, of course, is history. Gingrich helped sweep out the long-entrenched Democratic majority in the House.

Reed didn't just give Gingrich tacit approval. The Christian Coalition spent over $1 million promoting the Contract, and added untold hours of volunteer work for Republican candidates."


"Gingrich eventually repaid Reed's favor by publicly backing the Christian Coalition's Contract with the American Family, which included the usual antiabortion, antigay, anti-arts, and antiscience laundry list. Plus tax cuts."

They take care of each other.

On Tuesday, there is a special election in Linn County. This special election will determine how we will elect future County Supervisors. The gist of each plan can be found here (along with a recent Gazette Poll)...a quote from link below...

"Voters will have to pick one from the three choices below:
• Plan One: At Large; all board members would be elected by the entire county. They may live anywhere in Linn County. This is the system the county has now.
• Plan Two: At large by District; all board members would be elected by the entire county, but the board member must live within the district they represent.
• Plan Three: District by District; board members must live in the district they represent and only those voters within the district may vote for those board members."

Plan 1 is just dumb, so I won't even discuss it.

The dilemma lies between Plan Two and Plan Three.

Looking at this, you would think that any good Democrat would vote for Plan Three. After all, it is the most "fair" -- each district in the county represented by a member of the district and elected by their "peers" -- their neighbors, the ones that know them best. But, Republicans are backing Plan Three, not democrats. Why? Because the small, rural communities of this county notoriously vote Republican....even if the county as a whole leans left. If Plan Three is selected, it is almost guaranteed that more Republican board members will be elected.

Plan Two is better for the Democratic Party and here is why.....Each district will still be represented on the board by a local resident, but because it's "At Large (by District)" I get to help pick each representative, regardless of where I reside within the county (me and the other more Democrat-rich parts of the county). In theory then, Dems will have an better opportunity to maintain the majority on the board. So, I am going to learn a bit from the Republican Machine and forget about the "fairness" factor, and vote for the Dems...really it's just thinking big picture. In the end, more Dems elected is better for the county (in my opinion, of course).

I will be helping take care of the Democrats by voting for Plan 2 in the upcoming special election...and I encourage all Linn County Democrats to do the same. (Republicans can too, I don't mind).

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