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October 23, 2012 - John Stack
I’ve been blogging for the ADE for over 4 years now. But, the oddest thing happened to me just recently. I wrote a post about local voting. The Karen Bisso contingent lost it in responding to this post. Now, disagreeing with me about my opinion on topics is one thing, I get that every blog I write. If I write saying I support ObamaCare, half the people may agree and the other half often suggests I get deported to Russia. That’s OK. We all have opinions, and often strong ones. NO, the oddity was that these Bisso supporters actual said ‘It very sad that you, Mr Stack, have the ability to air your personal feelings to the public in the guise of an expert….. Why don't you try to be fair and unbiased in your blogs’. Really? My blog is titled ‘Left of Center’ – what do you suppose its about? If you read my blog, it should come as no surprise what opinion I will have on a number of matters. It the OPINION section of the newspaper for crying out loud!
This person, as well as others said I should go and listen to Karen, rather than ‘listen to what others have to say’. From exactly what Karen Bisso said in interviews, and I’m sure she would not claim she was misunderstood or misquoted, I am against her candidacy. When she says that if the State buys land, it comes off the tax rolls, well, I know that my local property taxes are low mostly because the State DOES pay taxes on the land it owns around here. I say that to blindly listen to what a candidate says is the worst form of public participation in the political process. Should I have taken her at her word about the taxable status of state owned lands?
I do like when new candidates come out with ideas that are outside the mainstream, thinking outside the box so to speak. If for no other reason, this is a reason not to vote for Matt Doheny. His ads and his statements sound like he’s been in Congress already 10 years. Who wants to vote for a candidate who implicitly says ‘I am going to just go along with everything the GOP tells me to’? Bisso may have her own thoughts, but although fresh, not any that I can agree with.
Bisso comes from an educational background, yet seems to get so much wrong. She calls the DASA law, which has the primary purpose to combat bullying in schools. She doesn’t see bullying as a problem? How many suicides and poor educational outcomes do we have to go through to actually see that bullying and lack of respect is as big a factor in learning as any other? At least she didn’t come out and actually agree with her party-mate Kimmel that the DASA is some liberal vehicle to actually discriminate against Catholics.
Then Bisso goes on a tangent about the 10th amendment. The tenth amendment is a very short one, saying ‘"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." She claims the 10th amendment is being violated by the federal government giving states educational money if they follow certain rules. She says this is the government overstepping its bounds. Even though the USSC has ruled again and again that mechanisms such as this are wholly constitutional. A very similar one would be how the federal government basically got a drinking age of 21 to be followed. The US government said they would withhold federal highway funds if states didn’t raise their drinking age. The USSC found this eminently constitutional. But states don’t need to apply for the money. Nothing punitive is done to states not following the federal rules. In fact, its much more safe from 10 amendment scrutiny because they aren’t withholding anything from states that they would have given them otherwise. Then she doubles down and puts herself as far from the mainstream as possible “….a soon-to-be-unfunded mandate by the federal government in an attempt to nationalize our education system." An idea that has fewer believers than those that believe that Marilyn Monroe and Elvis are still alive and live on a commune with Jim Morrison.
Then, her supporters made a bunch of statements about why I should vote for her. She’s smart, involved, on top of issues, dedicated to her community, wants an open line of communication with her constituents, blah blah blah. Oh yeah. And so does virtually every candidate running for any office in the US from dogcatcher to President. Also, voting for someone solely because they are a good person is not enough of a reason. The people I wrote about in my prior blog, I would vote for them locally because I truly believe they are interested in the common good of our local people. They don’t set state or federal agendas on things like gays rights, funding of Planned Parenthood or taxing millionaires. They are more about making sure our local schools are run well, helping those less fortunate in our town, making sure our streets are safe and drivable. Locally (town/county/village), the D or R in front of a name means much less than it does at higher levels.
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