I am feeling very optimistic despite the recent political shenanigans taking place in Bethlehem.
I am optimistic despite the actions of a once-Chair of the Bethlehem Democratic Committee (BDC) who is willing to do anything to avenge his ouster. In his most recent attempt to sabotage the current BDC, he noticed a minor technical mistake regarding the placement of signatures on a piece of paper. He chose not to point it out so that it could be corrected, but rather contacted members of his good-old-boy network, informing them of the technicality and suggesting they could sue. This underhanded move took away the function of the BDC to choose the party’s slate of candidates and it took away the right of Democratic voters to have a primary.
I am optimistic despite the fact that two individuals who the BDC, voted overwhelmingly several times to not support, are now running on the Democrat line in November.
I am optimistic despite the emergence of a scary Bannon-esque character who left the Republican Committee in a dark shadow of controversy to don sheep’s clothing in order to work against the BDC. He runs a very misleading Facebook page which attempts to look like an official Town of Bethlehem site but which spews hatred, lies, and fake news. He has waged a “lock her up” crusade, falsely accusing a BDC member of forgery. He even posted an inappropriate photo of the under-aged daughter of a perceived “enemy” that was offensive enough to be taken down by Facebook. He is actively supporting the two candidates mentioned above.
So why am I optimistic? I am optimistic because in spite of these efforts, progressive, qualified, good people are still on the ballot. I know that Bethlehem is still the place where good neighbors live together and want what’s best for our town. I know that we want candidates who are qualified and accessible and who want to work for all of us, not divide us. I believe we want people who care about serving our community and don’t view the election as simply a chance to grab power. I believe that we are informed and smart enough to vote for the best candidates despite party line.
The candidates I am supporting are progressive, extremely well qualified and are on the right side of the issues I care about such as the preservation of open space, reducing our use of fossil fuels and promoting a tolerant and welcoming community. I am also supporting them because I know them to be genuinely caring individuals who really listen. If you have the opportunity to engage them in conversation I know you will agree! I encourage all voters in Bethlehem to mark your ballot for the progressive slate which includes David VanLuven for Town Supervisor and Maureen Cunningham for Town Board on the Democrat line and Dan Coffey for Town Board and Giles Wagoner for Superintendant of Highways on the Working Family Party line