The Daily Gazette reported today on an extraordinary new effort taking shape. The effort is a grassroots independent ballot line initiative that I am pleased to say I am part of. I thought it appropriate to clarify our initiative in my own words, now that Mr. Lamendola has given you his interpretation of our effort.
Our candidate slate is comprised of:
Brian McGarry for Rotterdam Town Supervisor
John Mertz for Rotterdam Town Council
Michael O’Connor for Rotterdam Town Council
Brad Littlefield for Schenectady County Legislator District 4
We are collectively, trying to collect petition signatures in an effort to create a new independent ballot line, the No New Tax Party. It is a monumental task.
Our message is simple and straightforward: No New Taxes. We are all committed to 0% tax increases for the next 2 years. We believe it is a realistic and achievable goal. More importantly, we know from knocking on hundreds of doors that it is what the people need, want, expect, and demand. The taxpayer is maxed out. He desperately needs relief.
This is not, as Mr. Lamendola reports, an “insurgency.” Insurgency implies that our cause is illegitimate. Insurgency also negatively introduces a suggestion of unlawfulness or armed revolt. Our effort can more accurately be described as a grassroots movement. It is intended to create a totally new dynamic of governance. A dynamic where taxpayer concern is placed first. We aim to shed the labels and constraints of party politics we’ve grown accustomed to and replace them with a true commitment to fiscal restraint and tax dollar efficiency. We intend to be held accountable.
Are these ideas brand new? Of course not. We’ve all heard politicians promise these things before but they have failed in large part to deliver on that promise. Our effort is the tangible incarnation of the displeasure associated with that failure. We have taken the highly visible tax protest gatherings we’ve witnessed across the nation to the next logical level. Action. We’ve become candidates for office to facilitate solutions to the dissatisfaction already so prevalently displayed. Despite what appear to be insurmountable odds against our success, we are motivated to try nonetheless. If we fail, we’ve tackled an “impossible” task and reinforced its impossibility. (Or maybe we’re just the wrong messengers.) If we succeed, then we’ve suddenly made the “impossible” possible. We intend to succeed and believe we can.
It’s been suggested in some circles that our actions are “destructive.” I prefer to think of our actions as creative. I’ve heard the term “creative destruction” by some and maybe that is the best description. We are challenging the status quo for sure and in that sense, success would certainly lead to the demise or destruction of certain party interests, I suppose. I think that’s a good thing. Governance should be about the people’s interests. Our goals, however, revolve around what we intend to create, not destroy. We need to transcend the negativity and distractions that currently engulf our electoral process and return to a mindset of accomplishment that best serves the electorate’s needs.