Committee People For Open Primary Come on Down!

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carla's picture
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(Update see P.8 for REAL photo of Need Flake http://www.democratslmn.org/forms/newsletter2009-03.pdf )

Got an e-mail forwarded to me that was sent from - was glad to see people didn't all agree with the Choice Slayer, Super D, Need Flake.
( Need Flake, Choice Slayer Live and in action! Super "D", Ms. Need Flake,The Choice Slayer)

So here kids, happy Sunday, read this:

From: Democratic Committee People for an Open Primary
To: Democratic Committee People for an Open Primary
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 5:33 PM
Subject: March 31st Democratic Committee Plenary Meeting

Dear Democratic Committee Person: You may have received this letter in today's mail. When several of us who signed the letter got it, we noticed that two lines inadvertently were cut off the first page when it was copied! Therefore, we are sending it again via e-mail. Since mailing the letter, another committee person stepped up and asked to be included as a signer. We are glad to have the opportunity to send it again, with his name included, and with the very important lines that were omitted ("Additionally, as you may recall at our last plenary meeting, it was argued that a unified slate is critical to suppressing voter turnout so that Republican Jenny Brown,") when we mailed it!

See you on March 31st at our plenary meeting. And thanks for considering our request that you, too, support an Open Primary!

Committee People for an Open Primary
Dear Fellow Democratic Committee Person:

You recently may have received e-mails or phone calls from a group of Democrats who favor endorsing two incumbent Republicans and one incumbent Democrat in the Democratic Primary for Lower Merion School Board (“LMSB”) saying that doing so would create a “unified slate.” Four of the nine LMSB seats are up for reelection this year. Currently, there are six Democrats and three Republicans serving on the school board. These Democrats for the unified slate (among them Lisa Pliskin, Bruce Reed, Larry Rosenwald and Naheed Flake) offer several arguments to justify their position. We believe their arguments, as described below, collapse under scrutiny. For this reason, we, the undersigned Democratic Committee People, support an Open Primary in the school board race and hope that you will do the same at our plenary meeting on March 31, 2009.

In an e-mail sent out by Naheed Flake, a Democratic committee person in the 11th Ward, on February 16, 2009, the supporters of the unified slate first argue that Democrats must support Republicans because of bi-partisanship. While we believe bi-partisanship to be a worthy goal, it doesn’t mean we ought to put Republicans on a Democratic ticket, especially when we have excellent Democratic candidates in the race who are eager to serve. We also don’t think it’s the job of Democratic committee people to help Republicans get elected. The two incumbent Republicans in question have filed on the Republican ballot. Let them take their case to the voters. If their ideas and campaigns are good, they will win. And if they win, they and the Democrats who are elected can work on the school board in a bi-partisan way. If the tables were turned, the Republicans – as they have proven in the past when they were in the majority and Democrats were in the minority – would never be as generous to us. One look at the national scene, where not one House Republican supported President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, reveals what the Republican Party really thinks about bi-partisanship.

The unified slate supporters next argue that having Republicans on the School Board slate will help the Lower Merion School District in Harrisburg. We disagree. We are fortunate to have an excellent Democratic delegation in the State House consisting of State Representatives Mike Gerber, Tim Briggs and Kathy Manderino. The State House is controlled by Democrats. The presence of Republicans on the School Board slate, therefore, is not relevant to how Lower Merion is viewed in the State House. The unified slate supporters make the same argument with respect to the State Senate. There, where Democrats are in the minority, we are fortunate to have State Senator Daylin Leach as our representative. In the words of our own Nora Winkelman, former counsel to Governor Rendell, and now general counsel for the State House Democratic Caucus, whatever work is to be done on behalf of school districts in the state senate is not done by individual school districts. Rather, that work is carried out by the lobbying body for school districts. Here too, the presence of Republicans on the School Board is not relevant.

The unified slate supporters also argue that if their slate is not endorsed, the “Republicans will run their own slate…[and] will have a hey-day with sound bytes, editorials, repeating every insult and angry letter for many more months, destroying the unity and meaning of our party after the historic election.” (See Naheed Flake’s above-referenced e-mail of February 16, 2009) Two points jump out about this assertion. First, the Republicans have fielded only two candidates – their incumbents, the same two who are members of the unified slate – because they were not able to find four people who wanted to run for school board. Thus, the assertion they will run their own slate and attack all the time is just wrong. Second, if the Republicans have such deep feelings about the school board and want to attack Democrats, is it likely that the unified slate will stop them? Won’t die-hard Republicans view the two Republicans who have been endorsed by Democrats as traitors, worthy of attack?

Good to be King

Additionally, as you may recall at our last plenary meeting, it was argued that a unified slate is critical to suppressing voter turnout so that Republican Jenny Brown, the Lower Merion Township Commissioner for Ward 2, can be defeated. It was stated that by having no real school board race, so that voter turnout is suppressed, Ms. Brown could be defeated by the Independent who intends to run against her. This line of thinking is absolutely misplaced. It ignores the fact that – for the first time in recent history – there will be very hotly contested judicial races for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, a court where no Democrat has been elected for more than 30 years. Democrats have endorsed an excellent slate for these races (including our own Jeff Lindy and Lois Murphy). We believe it critical, for our party – if that slate is to win – that Democratic turnout be increased this year – not decreased or suppressed.

The unified slate supporters falsely argue that the only reason three of the five new Democratic candidates (Melissa Gilbert, Ivan Haskell and Peter Lee) have entered the race is because of the recently passed redistricting plan for the two new high schools. We have heard that unified slate supporters are calling Gilbert, Haskell and Lee “stealth Republicans who are only interested in reopening the redistricting decision.” To the contrary, Gilbert, Haskell and Lee are Democrats who were moved to become active in civic life because of the “historic election” of Barack Obama, they met at LMSB redistricting meetings, and they decided to work together to bring the kind of change they wanted to see in Lower Merion to assure their children would receive the best education. They have fresh perspectives, are innovators, care greatly about curriculum and are well organized. They have moved past the redistricting decision and have taken a public pledge that it will not be reopened. They deserve the opportunity to take their case to the voters.

Finally, another charge being made is that Gilbert, Haskell and Lee will only represent Narberth and Ardmore, two communities currently not represented on the school board and that they will not take their “at-large” duties seriously. Really? Currently, Merion has two representatives – Lisa Pliskin and Susan Guthrie. Penn Wynne has two representatives – Lyn Kugel and Gary Friedlander. Villanova has two – Linda Doucette-Ashman and Diane DiBonaventuro. Bala Cynwyd has one – Jerry Novick. Penn Valley has one – Ted Lorenz and Bryn Mawr has one – David Ebby. Neither Ardmore nor Narberth have any. We are certain Pliskin and Guthrie, Friedlander and Kugel, Doucette-Ashman and DiBonaventuro and the others take their at-large responsibilities seriously. So would Gilbert, Haskell and Lee, if they were fortunate enough to be elected.

We ask that you support an open and democratic process and an open primary on March 31, 2009. Please attend that meeting, or if you cannot, please send a proxy. Too many issues regarding our great public schools, and our party, are at stake. Let the candidates take their positions to the voters, and let the voters decide. And may the best people win. Thanks!

Joanne Behm N-3

Christine Boylan N-1

David Broida 10-1

Miriam Camitta 5-1

Paula Cramer 12-1

JoAnn Erfer 7-2

Susan Furey 13-2

Andy Haakenson N-2

Jon Kligerman 12-2

Julie Levitt 3-1

Casey O’Bannon 13-2

Nina Rosenthal 6-2

Teri Simon 5-1

Leigh Ann Smith 10-2

Anne Umbrecht 6-2

Hank Wilson 10- 3

So I have to ask: is Bruce Reed so desperate to rid Lower Merion of Jenny Brown as a commissioner and to have things his way that this is the reason this has all gotten out of control? And what of Naheed Flake, AKA Need Flake The Choice Slayer? All very curious. And FYI on Ward 4 Liberi Watch, no feedback as of yet from this candidate and have to wonder at this point if he is a real candidate or a place holder?

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xf14ae's picture
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So I hear the Dems voted to endorse Lyn Kugel, the incumbent Democratic candidate, only. I haven't heard yet what the Republicans decided - their plenary endorsement meeting was last night too.

I understand Lisa Fair-Pliskin got up and spoke glowingly of the Unified Slate, saying they were the BEST candidates EVER. Then she got rather teary and said what a hard week it's been. She's all broken up because "the blogosphere had not been kind" to her.

Pesky thing, those bloggers. Won't just let you do whatever without accountability. Sometimes freedom of speech can be SUCH a pain, can't it?

www.lmvue.org

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"I hope it will be said we taught them to stand tall & proud, even in the face of history & the future was made new & whole for us all, one child at a time." - Brian Andreas

carla's picture
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What? I haven't even done a parody of her yet! Anyone have a photo? Pity party of one, your mocking is ready

___________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

LexoTime5's picture
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Pliskin photo available at

http://www.lmsdvote.org/bios.htm#Lisa%20Fair%20Pliskin

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carla's picture
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wahhhhhhhh

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

zman's picture
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zman's picture
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would the dirrct quote make a better tshirt?

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catotheyoungerlmt's picture
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Thanks for publishing- the local papers should be as dedicated to an election scandal on their beat.

Sad and chilling to see Lower Merion Democrat leadership trying to suppress voter turnout. What else are they up to? Kudos to those Democrat signers who were willing to blow the whistle on the election manipulation. When politicians lack ideas and a vision to meet challenges they often turn to cynical mischief to cling to power. Fortunatly, those responsible (Lisa Pliskin, Bruce Reed, Larry Rosenwald and Naheed Flake) for the voter suppression scheme are clearly out of touch with rank and file Democrats.

Liberi seems like a solid citizen (impressive credentials, service to community and experience) and we need change on the BOC. His opponent, Jane Delheim has rubber stamped every spending increase the Township has asked for, voted for every tax hike placed before her, voted for secret budget meetings and showed no leadership ability when her constituents needed it most, in the re-districting battle. Liberi has a low threshold to improve upon.

Let the voters decide.

Tis not in mortals to command success, But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it. - Joseph Addison's Cato

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**********
Tis not in mortals to command success, but we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it. - Joseph Addison's Cato

xf14ae's picture
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I thought Dominick Liberi was running in Ward 4 against Steve Lindner? Jane's Ward 8, her Republican opponent is Regina Balinsky. Smiling

www.lmvue.org

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"I hope it will be said we taught them to stand tall & proud, even in the face of history & the future was made new & whole for us all, one child at a time." - Brian Andreas

catotheyoungerlmt's picture
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That is right. Liberi vs, Lindner and Balinsky vs, Delheim. Balinsky is a needed fresh face and is enthusiastic and accomplished. She will do very well against Delheim.

Tis not in mortals to command success, But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it. - Joseph Addison's Cato

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Tis not in mortals to command success, but we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it. - Joseph Addison's Cato

politeia's picture
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You are right about Dellheim. Moving her out with anybody in her place - and I don't care which party, would be a major improvement.

Dellheim and several other commissioners are mentioned in this "Objects to citizens being ejected from public meetings" letter-to-the-editor in Main Line Times this past week.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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politeia's picture
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Vote for each individual based upon what each candidate brings to the table.

The concept of this rigged "unified slate" is wrong for so many reasons that go beyond the selfish desires of the Democrats and Republicans who are trying to fix the school board election.

You ask me, the Democrats running against this "unified slate" should remain individuals, but run on similar principles. I don't know what the laws are on how you elect school board members, but even if the Lower Merion School Board itself cannot set-up geographical boundaries within the township with each geographical area having candidates for the school board just like they do with commissioners, I am sure there is some legal or legislative process to have this made a reality.

That would prevent areas such as Narberth and Ardmore from having no representation and would make things much more fair for all the children of Lower Merion when redistricting occurs.

Might be a point the good candidates on the "democratic slate" might want to make against the candidates on the "unified slate" - to work to make school board elections more fair by having school board members represent geographical areas so no one area is packed with several school board members who can selfishly benefit the children in their neighborhood. Fiscal responsibility and reigning in ever increasing property taxes from the school district would also be a nice issue for the "democratic slate". Equal opportunity for ALL students would be another.

Also, why are Democrats in the above email, which I mostly agree with, talking about defeating Republican Commissioner Jenny Brown with an Independent who is actually a Republican who supported Rudy Giuliani? One thing I like about Jenny Brown is her position on fiscal responsibility. With school board spending out of control, why would you want to defeat a fiscally responsible commissioner regardless of your political party?

Is the Democratic party in Lower Merion now the party of the rich people in Lower Merion who have no concern about ever increasing property taxes that will drive any diversity out of Lower Merion as the ones who will be pushed out when they can't afford to live in Lower Merion are the less affluent and minorities in Narberth and Ardmore?

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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The Photoshops you guys are posting are cracking me up!

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