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Friday, September 14, 2012

Actions speak louder than platforms

Sometimes volunteering isn't all it's CRAC'd up to be.

Why judge just the cover when you can judge the whole book?

By Linda Felaco

Here in Charlestown, as we all know, we have a largely volunteer government. Which can be a wonderful thing. Not only does it save money, but it keeps people connected with what’s going on and ensures that town government is responsive to people’s needs and desires. We’re fortunate to have many dedicated, hard-working volunteers who devote a lot of time and energy into making Charlestown a better place to live for all of us.

But there can be a downside as well. When committees are not formed according to the rules and don’t follow proper procedures, the town can end up getting sued, like what happened with the YMCA land advisory committee. Or people may join commissions for the wrong reasons, such as because they oppose the work of the commission and want to sabotage it, or they have an ax to grind, or they seek to aggrandize themselves and foist their ideas on others without having to go to the risk and bother of actually running for elective office.

No, I’m not gonna name any names. I’m betting regular readers can put the proverbial two and two together.

For instance, the Charlestown Citizens Alliance has a certain logorrheic blogger who’s been pissing and moaning for months now because the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee is still hashing out the details of its platform.[1] He even went as far as to compare himself to John the Baptist in his quest, if you can believe that. This despite the fact that at the time the national parties hadn’t even held their nominating conventions yet, much less announced their platforms. And the state party hasn’t produced a platform yet either. “Get busy,” he peremptorily demands in his most recent Chamberpot.

Perhaps this is what Chambers
has in mind.
Now, is this person running for office himself and having to stick his own neck out putting together a platform? Most assuredly not. He couldn’t even be bothered to officially join the committee that he acted as a shadow member of, despite the fact that there was and still is a vacancy.

Not to mention the fact that until he disaffiliated, he could have joined the CDTC himself and put his considerable talents to work helping us whip our platform into shape.

He’s already declared himself for the CCA, so what does he care what anyone else’s platform is? Obviously, he’s champing at the bit to get hold of everyone else’s platforms so he can attempt to poke holes in them. I say “attempt” because I don’t foresee him being able to do much damage. But I’m sure he’ll try.

I on the other hand don’t give a fig what the CCA’s platform says, because in the end it’s not worth the proverbial paper it’s written on, as I detailed in a recent story. I think people should instead judge the CCA on their actions in office. I think those actions give us a much better prediction of what the CCA candidates will continue to do if allowed to keep their seats in November.

I was more interested in looking at CCA’s 2010 platform to see how well the winners had lived up to their promises. So I looked for it on the CCA website. And much to my surprise found that the 2010 campaign info had all been sent down the memory hole—even the bios of the current candidates who are running for reelection.

"Open" and "transparent" government,
CCA-style. The CCA platform:
"Vote for us; we'll stick it to the Narragansetts
every chance we get."
Now, as an avid recycler, the only paper documents I tend to hold on to are personal ones, especially when I know the document is available online, so it never occurred to me to hold on to the campaign literature after the last election to be able to make comparisons this time around. Note to self: Don’t recycle the CCA campaign literature this year.

In fact, when I eventually obtained a copy of the mailer that was sent out in 2010 from someone who had held on to it, I found that none of the online links printed in the mailer worked anymore. Not one.

Makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide, doesn’t it.

Seems to me that rather than worry about anyone else’s platform—it’s not as though anything they say is going to change his mind—Michael Chambers[2] ought to take a close look at how well his CCA friends have lived up to their own lofty promises.

That is, if he held on to that piece of mail from 2010.

(… to be continued.)

[1] Which reminds me, whatever happened to “Peyton Storm”? She hasn’t posted anything on “Regressive Charlestown” in a while. Perhaps she’s a summer resident who’s gone home for the winter.
[2] Yeah, I know, I’m naming names. Sorry, the CCA-style playing coy schtick just doesn’t work for me.