Weekly Feature

2012-07-26 / Letters to the Editor

Grass roots efforts proven successful

Congratulations to David Sherman on his July 11 column “Watering Your Lawn is Similar to Running a Political Campaign.” He is right on target.

I served as the Town of Tonawanda Republican chairman from 1962-1982. When I left the chairmanship, every town public office was held by a Republican. We had a simple policy: “Provide an abundance of services within the framework of fiscal responsibility.”

From the political standpoint, the best government was the government closest to the people. Nothing can replace a welltrained volunteer grass roots political organization where a district committee person communicates one on one with the voters in their election district.

My experience as a town chair also taught me, clearly, bad government exists when good people don’t vote. Again, the importance of the grass roots makes getting out the vote critical.

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, political campaigns changed dramatically. Today after years of party politics and citizen involvement at the grass roots level, political consultants and strategists are rapidly displacing parties as the means for raising and spending enormous amounts of money. Super PACs will expend millions of dollars in this year’s presidential election.

Politics is truly the act of directly communicating with voters one on one. The neighborhood party worker is the direct connection between the political party and the local elected official.

Sherman’s analogy of watering your lawn is similar to running a political campaign. If the roots of the lawn are well nourished, you will see a beautiful green lawn, not a dry, brown one.

Same with political organizations. Money and Super PACs should never replace the importance of the every day citizen involvement in the political process.

In other words, soak the grass roots and watch good government grow like a well-watered lawn.

Dr. John B. Long
Colvin Boulevard
Town of Tonawanda

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