The People Speak

Although most of the nation’s attention tonight was focused on the speech given in Washington by the most powerful man in the Western world, a few more average citizens of these United States were doing some speaking out of their own. I’m talking about the rally that was held by Citizens for Honest Government, with support from Americans for Prosperity. The rally was to protest the Board’s decision to change its budget for the current fiscal year to allow for down payments and initial work on tracts adjacent to school property in Strasburg and Woodstock. Below are some photos.

Now, as usual, the fix was in before even a single word of public comment was even uttered. Both sides came out, but it became very clear through the course of the evening that those who favored the purchase outnumbered those opposed. However, this was not the only issue that brought out those who were protesting the decision. You see, those involved in Citizens for Honest Government stayed through the entire meeting. They are interested in the entire process. Do they have an agenda? Of course–anyone involved in politics should. Tonight, however, was a key example of special interest politics as work. 

When the meeting truly got underway with Sheriff Tim Carter’s speech on the state of the department, the crowd shrank to nearly a quarter in size. The reason? Those interested in the school land purchase knew it was a done deal–they had put on their theatrical production, citing “it’s for the children” all the time, never considering the debt load that the children will bear nor the fact that, perhaps, fine buildings do not an academic make. 

Who stayed? CHG. Earlier in the evening Ben Marchi, the representative from Americans for Prosperity, was accused of being used as a pawn in local politics. That is not the nature of the game. Does this board member not understand coalition politics? You go with those who are supporting your issue, and in this case, AFP was supporting the side of fiscal prudence. Certainly the current board members have their gripes with CHG, as CHG has its own problems with the board. I will grant that there is a great deal of backstory that goes into the history of CHG, some of which I don’t agree with. What I do agree with, however, is their attitude towards fiscal responsibility and open government, no matter who the players are.

I understand that the Board members may pride themselves on being “independent.” Perhaps it is lost of them that they were elected as Republicans, not independents. I understand that they believe they have the county’s best interests in mind, no matter if those best interests are really a select few. However, is it truly too much to ask that when our politicians make promises, or stand on a party label with a specific platform, that they at least give a nod towards the stances of that party? I hate to say it, but I am becoming convinced that there is no longer a true fiscal conservative on the Board of Supervisors.

AFP will step away from the stage now, but CHG will remain, active and ready to fight for honest government as we head into the November elections. It was noted several times that the rally wasn’t really about the decision being made. 

It was about the decision makers being changed. 

This will be a very interesting cycle indeed–more video and commentary as I can get it up.

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