By Marilyn Rodgers
I’ve got a few questions for you based on this Buffalo News article:
· Has your committee member; whether of the Democrat, Republican, or Independence parties; ever contacted you for your opinion or vote beyond petitioning?
· Have they sent you any literature on various candidates being considered as the chosen representative for the party you belong to?
· Have you ever received any communication from them soliciting your opinion of various candidates?
· Have you ever seen them on the street, in your neighborhood?
Believe me; I know most of the answers to these questions. I’ve talked to so many individuals over the years and collectively, the answer is “no” from them. However, I want to be fair and find out the answers from a wider audience, so I’m posting here.
I was a Democratic Committee Member a few years back and found the task to be so unnecessary. The only times I was called to perform anything was for the petition process or to be forced into voting similar to what occurred with the Ellicott District. These petitions held names of people I wasn’t even aware of. I had no feedback with which to vote for a candidate of choice from the voters in Ellicott 22. I was never called to do anything else or to become educated on the candidate’s platform (unless, of course, it was a fundraiser that was strongly suggested I attend). I declined having my name on the petition for committee member after having experienced this.
Elections are bad enough with their half-truths and lack of full disclosure and communication. You would think there would be training sessions – at the very least – so the committee members as well as the voting public would understand who they are working and signing for during the petitioning.
Then we have the Dem Debacle with Ellicott. No Democrat Committee Member came to my door or my neighbor’s doors or in a public forum, or provided e-mailings or snail mailings, or phone calls or any type of communication with the constituency to see who they wanted in the seat.
So, who really votes and vets? I have searched public records for the list of Erie County Democratic Committee Members – zero, zilch, nada. I was told I could find out who they were by:
1. Asking my committee member (um, remember why I called in the first place?)
2. Sending a letter to Democratic HQ requesting the information
3. Asking someone else on the committee for the name (see parenthesized note on Number 1)
Sure, we’re asked to elect the committee members for each of the parties depending on our affiliation, but what happens then? And, do we really know who we are voting for or is it just a popularity contest with friends and family promotion of those on the ballot?
And, here’s the final question – With the current system, how can the various parties say that these votes they cast are from the voters in their districts?
It would seem the will of the People has been reduced to the will of the very few.