Democrats Pledge a Clean Campaign and Why I Believe it is a Crock of Moldy Butter

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So, the local Democrat Party decided to run a clean campaign.  I just love an election year, don’t you?  First, let me say this, I don’t believe for a minute the local Democrat Party has any intention of running a clean campaign.  I do believe Dennis Tyler is “Imagining the possibilities of working together” with his local party loyalists, though.

Let’s taks a short trip down memory lane and look at some examples of “Working together”.

Shirey has the political misfortune to occupy a seat that has been targeted by commissioners and their Democratic advisers, current party Chairman Dennis Tyler and past Chairman Phil Nichols . While Shirey might see the trustee’s office as an opportunity to help people and to move the community forward, Democrats see it as a prime outlet for political patronage and a vote-buying attraction for poor-relief clients.

With that in mind, they took their first shot at Shirey during last month’s county fair. They publicly criticized him for putting trustee business cards on parked cars at the fairgrounds — during Republican Night at the fair. Shirey’s cards had nothing to do with encouraging votes, other than to suggest (with a nod toward the local scene) that people who fail to get involved in politics are destined to be ‘governed by their inferiors.’  August 2002 Star press

Oh, by the way, Dennis Tyler was the Democrat running in 2003 for mayor, and then like now, he is trying to play down partisian politics.  Always promising, and never producing.

Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman Dennis Tyler might distance himself from the Democratic Central Committee if he runs for mayor.

Tyler, a Muncie fire captain, said he might name a director of the central committee to play down partisanship with his campaign — if he runs for mayor.

Continuing on in the 2003 race for Muncie mayor, we find another interesting Democrat figure making a bid.  This is what was reported in the newspaper in February 2003.  You may find some similarities in this primary to other primaries if you look hard enough.

The all-important top of the ballot was claimed last week in the Democratic primary for Muncie mayor.

However, restaurant and bar owner Lewis Coulter does not believe he will hold the top spot for long.

Coulter, who ran for mayor in 1999, recalled how a truck driver named Bex also filed for the Democratic nomination for mayor that year. Bex bumped Coulter out of the top spot, and never campaigned.

 Coulter expected another candidate with a last name beginning with an A or B would show up on the ballot this week. The filing deadline for the May 6 primary election is noon Friday.

In 2011, the Democrats took a little different approach to alphabatizing the primary ballot.  This time, they placed one of their own, Nora Powell, at the top spot.   But, I digress.

Still, another candidate for mayor, Chuck Leonard, had some problems with his campaign, too.  It seems all of his campaign materials kept falling from the window of Democrat Headquarters.  Perhaps the headquarters should invest in tape with more sticking power.  Nevertheless, Chuck took all his campaign parphanelia and with his campain manager, Jerry Thornburg, headed down to visit, none other than Dennis Tyler.

‘I feel it is the responsibility of headquarters to make sure that all Democrats have a level playing field,’ Leonard said.

Tyler, who stepped down as county Democratic chairman to run for mayor, told Side Remarks he had nothing to do with Leonard’s signs falling down from the window.

Thornburg reminded Tyler that he had promised a level playing field when he became chairman after the 1999 city election.

Harold Mason running against Monte Murphy was denied election materials, including poll books.  Some barbs were thrown Mr. Mason’s way and his campaign manager said the Democrat party needed to be more inclusive.  The primary election netted 486 abstentee votes that year (neary 1/3 of the registered voters.  Mason lost by a mere 136 votes.  Murphy was later indicted and found guilty of voter fraud.   Absentee votes declined after the investigation began, probably just a coincidence.

Imagine the possibilities when we work together…..

2004 saw a decent campaign season.  Tracy Barton and Tom Bennington sparred a bit.  But this is what I found interesting in the race between John Brooke and Bob Wilson.  Civility and a gentelmanly campaign.  Here is what these two guys had to say.

‘I can’t speak for John, but I made a promise for myself I was going to stick to the issues, present a positive image and let the people decide,” Wilson said.

‘I don’t think either Bob or myself generally view politics as something you have to sling a lot of mud,” Brooke said. ‘Maybe the fact that we’re first-time candidates might also add to our naivety.”

Asked about the worst that could happen if Brooke was elected, Wilson replied, ‘With all the traveling that he does [representing clients as an attorney for the fireworks industry], I’m afraid that he might be an absentee commissioner, and this is not the time to have absentee commissioners with all the problems we have.”

In answering the same question about Wilson, Brooke said, ‘The worst that can happen is that both Republicans and Democrats continue to be polarized against each other and don’t want to work together to get something accomplished.”

John Brooke won that race.  We will read more about Mr. Brooke later.

2007 saw little action in the primaries.  So, let’s move on to 2008.

John Brooke, Democrat Commissioner elected in 2004, began to work accross party lines.    That was his down fall in the eyes of the Democrat party.  So, party leadership took to discrediting Brooke and in his own defense Brooke penned a letter to the precint committeemen. 

Brooke was reluctant to talk about difficulties between him and Democratic Party Chairman Dennis Tyler when contacted Friday.

In late March, Brooke wrote a letter to local Democratic Party precinct committeemen. Committeemen in the county’s precincts form the central committee of local political parties and have the power to name the party’s chairman.

In his letter, Brooke noted that former Democratic Party Chairman Phil Nichols had — in a recent public forum — ‘raised certain questions about my involvement in the commissioners office.”

Brooke wrote that he took ‘great offense” at Nichols’s comment that Brooke was not a ‘true Democrat” and had been ‘going to the press” to talk about government and politics.

‘Mr. Nichols has no basis to question my party loyalty and affiliation,” Brooke wrote.

Brooke said he believed that county residents wanted ‘leaders that can solve problems and work with other elected officials.”

Neither Tyler nor Nichols could be reached for comment Friday. Tyler did not return a message left for him at party headquarters.  April 2005, Star Press

  Don Dunnuck, party insider announced his bid to run against Brooke.

County Democratic Party Chairman Margie Landers introduced Dunnuck to a group of supporters as “my man.”

Without mentioning Brooke by name, Dunnuck spoke out against Democrats who “follow their own dictates,” stay away from party headquarters and don’t stay grounded in party politics.

“When we’re elected, we need to act like Democrats,” Dunnuck said.

Dunnuck declined to comment afterward on whether his words were focused on his opponent.  February 2008 Star Press

Just like Coulter and Bex, the Democrats recruited Bilbrey to run in the race with Brooke and Dunnuck.   Brooke lost.  2008 was an ugly election year.  With the Democrat party working against Democrat candidates Tom Canon and Linda Wolf.  They won.

Imagine the possibilities when we work together…..

In 2010, it is widely believed, the Democrats fielded several unknown people to run on the Republican ticket.  Ghost candidates, if you will.  I believe the Democrats were worried voters, possibly Republicans and Democrats and Independants would cast a vote for Democrats not supported by the Democrat leadership.  

There was no love loss between party leadership and Larry Bledose, and the Democrats clearly showed their choice was another Democrat insider, Bill Smith.  Larry’s downfall, like Brooke, was to work for the citizens and not the party.  It was a clean sweep of Team Democrat candidates.

2010 primary election night was a nightmare for the losing party favored candidates.  But, instead of embracing the winning canidates and preparing for the fall election, they chose instead to enter a public on-line forum and proceded to trash the Democrat winners.  People tend to follow the dictates of their leaders.  As the leadership goes, so goes the supporters. 

2011 Dennis Tyler faced with being in the minority runs off to Urbana for five weeks while his campaign slogan “Imagine the possibilies when we work together” grows mold.

I have just given you a few examples, as any more would talke a small book to write.  But anyway, this is why I don’t believe for one minute the Democrat leadership is all that serious about a clean campaign or promises of working together and giving volume to your voice.

I hope the voters are paying attention.

Had enough?

Vote informed.


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