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Thu Dec 15, 2011, 09:18 PM

 

"Well, now you're all lying."

I sit on the Cumberland County Democratic Committee. And last night we had a meeting where we dissected our one loss from the last election. Unfortunately it was a big one.

If any of you remember a politician named Lou Magazzu who pulled the same boneheaded move that Anthony Weiner did this year, he was our County Chairman and a member of the Board of Freeholders in our county. The election we lost was the special election to fill his seat, which forced us to defend all four Democratic Freeholder seats at once in November. Our candidate in the special election lost by 480 votes, or about 2% of the vote.

There were a lot of charges of racism among voters, and the term "Bradley Effect" got thrown around a lot, because the candidate (an African-American minister) didn't poll as well as his ticket-mates in the two larger municipalities in our County. This led to a lot of discussion and a lot of denial about people voting in a bigoted manner.

That forced me to stand up.

"How many people in this room," I asked, "were members of this committee last year?" About half of them raised their hands (we had a large influx of new members right after the 2011 primary).

"Now, of those of you with your hands up, how many of you would vote to endorse a segregationist?" Every hand went down.

"Well, now you're all lying," I let them know, "because you did just that back in June."

In June, our committee voted nearly unanimously (I was the only dissenter) to endorse the State Senate and Assembly slate that led our ticket this year. These were candidates, registered Democrats mind you, who two years before not only voted down gay marriage in New Jersey they made robocalls bragging about how they were more anti-gay marriage than the Republicans were that year.

"If any of them had said such a thing about African American rights, would any of you allowed them to run on our ticket?"

I was met with silence.

"So don't tell me there's no racism, or bigotry, that affects our voting. God knows there's bigotry right here in this room and you just don't realize it yet."

Then I sat down.

One of the outgoing Freeholders took me to task privately for my statements, saying that while she understood my positions, that I was "a bit too blunt and aggressive."

"Sometimes," I told her, "you have to shock people out of their comfort zone to make them see what they don't want to see."

We'll see what happens next time, now that their comfort zone has been invaded.

On a related note, can someone put me in touch with the New Jersey branch of Stonewall Democrats? I think we need a branch down here in Cumberland County.

6 replies, 2012 views

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Reply "Well, now you're all lying." (Original post)
Pab Sungenis Dec 2011 OP
The Genealogist Dec 2011 #1
Pab Sungenis Dec 2011 #2
HillWilliam Dec 2011 #3
stevenleser Dec 2011 #4
stevenleser Dec 2011 #5
Zorra Dec 2011 #6

Response to Pab Sungenis (Original post)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 10:09 PM

1. Which Cumberland County is this?

And what is a Freeholder? Not familiar with what that position does in your jurisdiction.

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Response to The Genealogist (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 08:47 AM

2. Cumberland County, New Jersey.

 

And the Board of Freeholders are the County government.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 09:13 AM

3. Reminds me of a story my high school chorus teacher told

There was an old farmer who had a mule. He took the mule to a watering trough, but the mule refused to drink. He encouraged, demonstrated, preached, and cajoled, all to no avail. The mule refused to drink. In the meantime another farmer rode up on his horse who started watching the goings-on.

After a while, the first farmer, exasperated by the mule's unhealthy refusal to drink, finally picked up a crowbar and binged the mule on the head with it. The mule began to gulp down water with gusto.

The second farmer who had been watching exclaimed, "What was that for?!?"

The first farmer said, "You can lead a mule to water and get him to drink. You just have to get his attention."

Every once in a while, it takes a proverbial crowbar to get people down from the fence. But you can only move some of them, though; maybe enough to make a real difference. Those who remain, well, you can lead a conservative to the facts, but you can't make him think.

(Remember the other story? "Define horticulture." "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think." )

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 11:58 AM

4. Exactly why every county Democratic Party needs a Stonewall/Triangle caucus

 

Well done.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 01:58 PM

5. NJ Stonewall Democrats contact info

 

http://njstonewalldemocrats.org/

732-603-0514
info@njstonewalldemocrats.org

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 04:34 PM

6. Outstanding and most excellent!



Great tactic. That is so Occupy.

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