Editor, The Spotlight:
There are times when I am just plain proud of people. That is the way I feel about the 13 Bethlehem residents that joined me to run for an Independence Party Committee seat.
New York State election law allows a person to run for a political committee position by collecting signatures, and getting on the ballot for the voters in that election district to select their representatives. The process worked, resulting in 11 of the 14 persons who ran becoming Independence Party Committee representatives.
We all believe that the Bethlehem Independence Party can be a positive force, a standard bearer, for good politics and good government. Bethlehem’s Independence Party can also have a greater impact on election outcomes. There are 1,490 registered Independence Party members in Bethlehem. There are also 5,570 enrolled voters not affiliated with a political Party, some of whom might choose to join the Independence Party - if they saw something that appealed to their hearts and minds about what politics and political Parties should stand for.
First and foremost we should stand for the principle of being independent.
The Independence Party’s New York State platform contains values that should be the foundation of a new Bethlehem Independence Party platform. Examples of those values follow, and a visit to the website (http//ipny.org/platform.html) will provide more information.
• Increase the power of voters
• Enhance the power for voter participation
• Improve ballot access to people or groups seeking office
• Reduce the advantages of incumbency and grant challengers relatively equal ability to compete for office
• Improve dramatically the ethical standards and conduct of candidates and office holders
• Improve opportunities for citizen-legislators
• Restore fiscal solvency and budgetary sanity
• Improve the quality of government services
Second, our Party needs to stand more on its own. That means not being beholden to any other political Party as a way to gain political power. Cross endorsements for top-notch candidates are fine, but let us first be the Independence Party, rather than having cross endorsements be the default choice. We need to actively attract, endorse and support candidates from our own Party that are outstanding in terms of their experience, ability, integrity and vision.