To the Editor:
Those of us who, for the past six years, have harped on the lame-duck City Council in 2009 for moving city elections to November might well take an object lesson from last month’s results. City Council was the only contest on the ballot in most of the city, yet turnout was huge. Perhaps the election of two Republicans in the last-ever May election in 2009 had more to do with the Democrats presenting a slate for at-large positions … all white with only one woman. With Mayor Euille unopposed, black Democrats had no compelling cause to turn out and women had no good reason to ticket split. Two blacks and two women seem to be the political “equilibrium.” In the two succeeding elections which they swept, the Democrats scrupulously avoided making that mistake again.
Philosophy and party have become increasingly aligned. It is hard nowadays to find a liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat. The base in each party will not stand for it. What we might deride as “crony capitalism” is today what the Democrat Party practices and most of its voters prefer. Development deals are a local-level example of that phenomenon. Republicans here should understand that’s the hand they’ve been dealt. And independents, like me, have to work to get better deals than the crummy ones our “get-to-yes” at any cost City Council has been giving us lately.
Only a minority of Democrats in the wider electorate seems willing to hold out for better deals and say “no” to bad ones, but with the right Democrat candidates and enough independent and Republican crossover votes in the Democratic Primary next time, we can make sure Mayor Allison Silberberg isn’t the only Democrat willing to say “no” to bad development deals.