Meridian Star

Letters

May 19, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

MERIDIAN — Change your

vote - please

    

    I thought I had seen everything living in the D.C. area for 30 years, where politics is the industry, lying — "it's just politics" and "spin"  — is an art form, and being good at believable misrepresentation is a resume enhancement. Our professional politicians at their best.

    Now it appears three members of our good ole southern Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors and board attorney Rick Barry have found a way to one up them.

    If you thought the obvious intimidation of listing the names of gun owners in Westchester County, New York by The Journal News newspaper serving that area was bad, how about this trick … First you get the clerk to list petitioners' names on-line so you can identify (and expose) everybody that opposed you.

    Kinda like posting how you voted. Could this really be legal? After that, you then give them the right to take their name off the petition. How about that! Just "change your vote, please" and we'll forgive you. "Pretty please!"

    Of course with two weeks to do it after the polls closed you might be able to whittle the 1,554 names that would take it to a countywide vote, down to 1,499, which would allow the $14 million dollar bond issue to stand.

    But then to top that off even further-you don't allow any new petitioners against your issue to be counted. Nope — not legal, polls have closed. Sorry about that. See ya later.

    So what we have here is three county board members getting together along

with the board's attorney, Rick Barry under the cover (of darkness) of the Easter weekend; putting a $14 million bond issue on the agenda, no previous public announcement of intent, or open workshop to discuss; then springing it on the other two board members and voting it through on Easter Monday. Four insider connivers win against about 1,500 engaged citizens. I believe our boys could teach those D.C. pros a thing or two.

    But is this the kind of back room politics, intimidation, and unethical rules we want our representatives to play by down here? "If you aren't winning by the rules, change the rules."

    Or at least find some obscure 100-year-old statute, or whatever you can hang your hat on, that might give you enough cover to try, no matter how unseemly it is. Looks like desperation to me. Smells bad too — like there's a lot more to this than meets the eye for them to be willing to put themselves so far out there — just to avoid a referendum whereby the public could decide

    Growing up here, I remember being very competitive and trying my best to beat Stevenson, Southside, Poplar Springs, Oakland Heights or any school we Marion Parkers were playing. I also remember being taught "cheaters never win" and "it's not so much that I win or lose but how I play the game".

    Ha — what are we teaching the kids now?

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