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Monday, May 21, 2012

Updated: Mark your calendars

UPDATED: Important election dates are coming up
By Will Collette

This is the final week to register to vote, if you haven’t already, if you have any intention of running for office this year. The deadline is Friday, May 25 to make sure you are on the voting rolls if you want to be a candidate.

In June, it’s crunch time for people who want to run for office – any office, including town office. If you intend to run for office, the time to officially file your declaration of candidacy is June 25 through June 27.

On June 28, town and District party committees will file their candidate endorsements.

Reps. Donna Walsh and Larry Valencia
Because of redistricting, Charlestown's election map for state Senator and Representative has changed greatly. Formerly, Charlestown was represented by two terrific Representatives, Donna Walsh and Larry Valencia. Under the new District 36 lines, Donna will represent all of Charlestown

Prior to redistricting, Charlestown was represented by two Republican Senators, Dennis Algiere in the southern half of town and Frank Maher in the northern end. Under redistricting, Maher's share of Charlestown was greatly expanded at Dennis Algiere's expense. 

Maher is expected to face an opponent in the Republican primary and a strong opponent in November. He is considered very vulnerable due to health and his lackluster legislative record.

Republican Clayton Johnson, owner of a Richmond pre-school, has publicly stated his intent to challenge Larry Valencia. Larry won in 2010 by a narrow margin, with a strong showing in Charlestown making the difference. However, in his first term, he has distinguished himself on the House Finance Committee and as a champion of fair taxation. Even with a re-drawn district, Larry will be hard to beat.

As of this date, there have been no signs of a primary or general election challenger to either Rep. Donna Walsh or Sen. Dennis Algiere. Both are formidable campaigners. Algiere often runs unopposed. Donna usually crushes her opponents. In 2010, Donna carried every precinct in all four of the towns in her District. 

If you plan to vote in the September 11 primary and want to cross-over to vote in a different party – for example, if you are a registered Republican, but you want to vote as a Democrat in the September 11 primary, you have until June 13 to disaffiliate as a Republican.

Even casual readers of Progressive Charlestown know there are lots of serious issues in town that have caused a lot of concern among residents, whether it's Y-Gate, tax breaks for residents or a host of others..

Charlestown’s town government has been controlled by the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) for the past four years and their candidates for office will have to answer for, if not defend, their records before the voters on November 6.

The CCA’s elected officials have made their positions clear on a host of issues and have also been clear that they represent interests other than those of most Charlestown residents.

If you want to run as a CCA candidate,
leave a note in a bottle outside their
secret clubhouse
It will be fun to see how they will spin their positions to try to repair the damage. They're already running their strange Ninigret Park campaign and the Y-Gate scandal through the spin cycle. From all the wild stuff he has been blogging on "Regressive Charlestown" (the CCA website), it looks like Mike Chambers would like to make a run as the CCA standard-bearer.

Chambers' might have a problem the CCA's lack of a procedure for adding new members - they don't allow them. Apparently, the CCA use the organizational model of the Shakers, the religious sect where members vowed themselves to celibacy, and pretty much doomed themselves to extinction as their members grew old and died.

And as I noted here, the "new" CCA Steering Committee for 2012 looks a lot like the old CCA Steering Committee, minus members who have left. Donna and Mick Chambers didn't make the cut to get a CCA slot and neither did Maureen and Ron Areglado.

Despite all the work they did for the CCA cause over the past year. That's gratitude for you.

Meanwhile, it is time for Charlestown residents who want to see an end to the CCA’s tyranny to get focused on the task at hand.

Earlier this week, I noted that town Democrats are collecting goods to sell at tag sales – at least one, probably two and maybe three – this summer to raise money for the campaign. The date for the first sale has been announced - July 7. You can also donate directly to the town Party by clicking here.

Town Democrats know they will need to raise lots of money to counter the anticipated influx of out-of-state money from non-resident vacation home owners and Charlestown's elite.

If you are interested in running as a Democrat, let the town party know via e-mail (click here).