Monday, September 26, 2005

Political Notebook Notebook

This week's Political Notebook (which included the correction I mentioned last week but failed to identify the actual person in the photo) had a few interesting items worth noting.
The Allen County Republican Party will intensify its efforts to register new voters, adding radio commercials and a live radio remote to its voter registration booths at large events and door-to-door efforts by Young Republicans.

[...]Critics would say that the people the party is registering are more likely to have photo identification, anyway: The Young Republicans' door-to-door efforts are targeting new subdivisions, which are more affluent and tend to vote Republican. Shine said those areas were chosen because they are filled with house after house of people who have recently moved and need to register.

But poor, urban areas are also filled with people who move a lot. School officials often complain that students from poor families change schools four and five times a year because they move so often.
Pardon me for not being outraged that the Republican Party's registration drive is aimed at signing up people who are likely to -- gasp! -- vote Republican. I wouldn't expect the Democratic Party to go out looking to sign up voters in heavily Republican enclaves, either. It's not discrimination -- just politics.

Another item:
Fort Wayne City Councilman Tim Pape, D-5th, used to be a standard-bearer for the Democratic minority on the nine-member panel – especially during the 2003 election. But ever since he stormed out of a meeting a year ago in a largely partisan debate, he has not only mellowed but taken positions traditionally held by the Republican majority, such as pushing for pay-for-performance raises instead of across-the-board increases – even for union members.

On Tuesday, even the Republicans took note of Pape’s move to the right.

When discussing the oft-proposed but never accomplished merger of city and county emergency 911 dispatch operations, Pape borrowed a phrase from President Reagan.

“Why not just tear down the wall and start working together now?” Pape asked.

“You sound like my favorite president,” responded Don Schmidt, R-2nd.

When Police Chief Rusty York said the city needed to ensure any deal protects the city’s interest, Pape took up the flag again.

“It isn’t about city government or county government,” he scolded. “It’s the citizens.”
It's too bad that Pape's sensible positions -- pay-for-performance raises instead of across-the-board increases, frustration over lack of cooperation between city and county government, and that those governments exist first to serve the citizens -- are somehow viewed as a betrayal of his party.

I realize that political parties have a place in politics, but, to paraphrase Pape himself, it shouldn't be about Democrats or Republicans. It's about their constituents.

Or at least it ought to be.



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