Abysmal Turnout

One word that won’t be used to describe the voter turnout Tuesday in Wisconsin is abysmal.  However that’s how the turnout this past weekend for elections in a town in Massachusetts this past weekend was described.

It’s a right that people all across the world have died fighting for.

But in Billerica, only 13 percent of approximately 24,660 registered voters exercised that right last Saturday.

“Abysmal” was the word Town Clerk Shirley Schult used yesterday to describe the voter turnout on town Election Day.

Schult said she spent part of Monday researching yearly voting records. According to town voting statistics dating to 1969, there has never been an election where less than 14 percent of registered voters exercised their right to hit the polls.

Until this past Saturday.

“You say to yourself after something like this, ‘What are we running this for?” Schult said.

While people throughout Wisconsin were well aware there was an election, that wasn’t the case in Billerica.

Volunteers working for the candidates told her that a lot of calls placed last week reminding people to vote were met with befuddlement.

“People were telling the volunteers that they had no idea there was an election going on,” Schult said.

Former state Rep. Bill Greene, a Billerica Democrat, said he can’t remember the last time so few voters showed up at the polls. He added that he “wished he had a solution” for the apathy.

“The biggest interaction people have is with their local government,” he said. “They all show up for the federal elections and the state elections but then they don’t show up for the town election. I just don’t know why.”

To be fair there wasn’t a polarizing race on the ballot in Billerica but the low turnout does raise concerns.  Concerns that likely would have been echoed in Wisconsin if it wasn’t for the State Supreme Court race.

Former Selectman Kathy Matos offered a few explanations for the low turnout and agreed with Greene’s view that local elections have the biggest direct impact on residents.

“But I think we’re seeing a disassociation with government on a local level,” she said. “People think nothing will change and that it doesn’t matter which way they vote.”

Matos added that another factor is the tough economy.

“Instead of people focusing on government, they’re working in 14 directions at once, thinking about their own mortgages and their own bills,” she said. “But there was a big element of apathy and that’s a shame.”

UMass-Lowell political science professor Frank Talty picked a stronger word than apathy when he heard about the turnout in Billerica.

“It’s not as much apathy as it is despair,” he said. “It means more and more people are deciding to disengage in what’s going on. It worries me a little bit to think that people are giving up.”

Talty added that one reason for low voter turnout is the amount of elections Americans experience each year.

“We do vote a lot but we vote so often and for so many offices that we don’t see it as significant in terms of participation,” he said. “In other countries you can go years without having a significant election.”

The high turnout in Wisconsin Tuesday shows that every office or issue on the ballot should be seen as significant.   Hopefully that’s a lesson people across the country can learn.

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Memo to the GOP

That group that helped return you to the majority in the House, you know the Tea Party, is getting a little irritated with your actions lately.

It’s this simple, the House Republican leaders have no plan to cut real federal spending or to repeal ObamaCare. Repealing or defunding ObamaCare was the ONE priority Americans sent the Republicans to do when they were returned to power in the House. I began to sense how things would be when Republicans pledged to cut spending by only $100 billion. $100 billion? Wow. Veni, vidi, durmi! I came, I saw, I yawned! We have a $1.65 TRILLION deficit this year alone! And, of course, Republican leadership has already retreated from the $100 billion to a measly $51 billion. You have to hand it to Republicans, they never fail to disappoint!

Republicans like Boehner and Cantor are making a very grave mistake counting on the continued support of the tea party. The Texas Congressman I met with told me “Republican leadership takes the tea party vote for granted because they believe the tea party will never vote for a Democrat.” That is true in most cases. However, the tea party will vote for more conservative Republicans in the primary! Boehner, Cantor and the rest of Republican leadership needs to face primary challengers back home. Republicans were not returned to power to be Democrat-Lite! Or RINO Republicans. One would think 63 new freshmen Congressmen who were supported by the tea party movement might wake up a few RINOs in Washington.
But you’d be wrong!

The RINOs in Congress tell us “You don’t understand. You don’t know how it works up here.” You’re right, we don’t know how it works but have pretty much figured out how it doesn’t work! And it doesn’t work with the clutch of lifetime, bureaucrats we are currently stuck with who cannot find it within themselves to cut any more than $51 billion from a $1.65 TRILLION deficit! Boehner, Cantor and the rest of their cronies should understand the tea party is not loyal to the Republican Party! The tea party is loyal to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual freedom and responsibility, and national sovereignty! Right now, all of those are being trampled on by politicians and the negative effects are becoming more evident each day!

At the end of the day it’s simple.  Politics as usual won’t cut it.  Compromise isn’t an option when it comes to the basic principles.  It’s something that not only Republican leadership in the House needs to understand.  It’s something that House members elected last November need to understand as well, if they want to be more than a one-term Representative.

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State Senator Holperin Recall

Things are moving when it comes to the effort to recall 12th District Senator Jim Holperin. From WBAY:

“I can hardly talk to you right now because the phone keeps ringing, the emails are full, we’ve got a group of people here today to help me field all the phone calls, the emails, and how we’re logistically going to cover contacting all the people who have contacted us,” Kim Simac, who’s leading the recall effort, said.

Simac says — and the GAB confirms — she filed the necessary recall paperwork. She says Saturday more than 200 people will start traveling the district to collect signatures.

“The goal is 20,000 signatures and to replace Senator Holperin,” Simac said. “We need someone to represent us with dignity, and simply getting up and running out of the state when the going gets tough is very embarrassing for us people up here in the district.”

If you live in the 12th Senate district you can get information on the recall effort and signature forms at Northwoods Patriots.

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What’s the matter with America?

Great analysis by Andrew Klavan regarding the reaction of “The Elites” to the mid-term election results.

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