Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dems the breaks

I apparently got the attention of county Democrats with my Monday column.

In it I noted the challenges they face in the November elections. Despite the many gains and inroads they have made, there is one place they have yet to make a dent in. That, of course, would be the Media Courthouse.

I suggested they have no exactly been keeping a high-profile in the campaign so far. They demurred. County Council candidate Keith Collins even sent me a great letter disagreeing with my stance. You can read it below.

They also were more than a little intrigues by my pointing out that there were no Democrats on the dais for the county’s official 9/11 ceremony at Rose Tree Park. Of course the Republican slate was there, and were introduced as part of the ceremonies.

I didn’t think it was appropriate to point out then, it was a day to remember the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001. But it was obvious to me what was going on.

The Democrats surfaced last night and held their kickoff event. You can read about it here.

And here is Collins’ letter. Now it’s on to November!

To the Delaware County Daily Times:Greetings Mr. Heron, it must be election season. I haven’t seen this much beautification (new street signs, flower gardens etc...) and roadway projects since last election. From Chester to major arteries like Chester Pike road crews are feverishly working. You can also see them in places like Ridley, Springfield, and Upper Darby among other locations. A movement is afoot and large sums of money are being spent to enhance the county aesthetically. I’m in favor of having a county that this appealing and easy on our vehicles, but the timing is a concern.


Further confirmation of election season is found in your recent article, “Uphill battle in council race awaits Dems.” Any astute follower of Delco politics is aware of the political paradigm shift in our county. Republican strongholds like Upper Darby have given way to a majority of Democratic registered voters on the heels of newly elected State Rep. Margo Davidson. Chester has a two to one edge in Democratic registration and Councilman (Professor) John Linder is poised to become Chester’s next mayor. The recent passing of one of the most austere state budgets in history has motivated Democrats and moderate Republicans to question the “status quo.”

For the record I held a campaign announcement on Feb. 12 at the American Legion Post 777 (where I am a member). There were 127 people there from around the county. We have been campaigning vigorously since 2010 and reached out to over 25,000 people through canvassing, phone banking, and participating in community events. We also have websites and facebook pages which will allow you to monitor our activity should you choose to visit them.

I have been to or walked in Bethel, Colwyn, Radnor, Chadds Ford, Springfield, Marple-Newtown, Folcroft, Sharon Hill, Chester Township, Yeadon, Media, Haverford, Trainer, Marcus Hook, Chester, Swarthmore, Upper Darby, Parkside, Lansdowne, Secane, Darby Township, Aldan, Lansdowne, Ridley Township, Ridley Park, Morton, Clifton Heights, Darby Borough, Norwood, Neither Providence, and Upper Providence.

I didn’t notice you or your staff while out on the trail. We have not staged sanitized photo ops, we have covered the length and breadth of this county talking to people, all people, young and old, haves and “have nots”, listening to their desires and dreams and feeling their pain.

I was somewhat taken aback by your 9/11 Ceremony comments. As a journalist you and your staff have an obligation to process information before it goes to print. Your reference to a lack of Democrats at the 9/11 Ceremony in Rose Tree troubles me. As a veteran (1st Lieutenant U. S. Army and decorated police officer) your subtle inference

implies a lack of patriotism on behalf of Democrats or the Democratic Party. I thought the “Times” was above this type of myopic journalism. Mr. Heron there were a myriad of ceremonies all over the county and the country. This most solemn occasion was observed by me and my colleagues.

It will take more than an article in the “Times” to stop the movement that has begun. Things are heating up, on August 23 there was rally for jobs at the Media court house, I didn’t see any County Council members of any of our distinguished opponents. Surely they want to create and preserve jobs.

In a county where just about everything is politicized, it’s time to “Move in a Bold New Direction.” People want and deserve a government that is of the people, by the people and, for the people, where it doesn’t matter whether you have a D or R behind your name.

That time has come for Delaware County. On behalf of all of my distinguished colleagues, Jayne Young, Lin Floyd, Kendall Brown, Larry DeMarco, Sally-Ann Heckert Bickin and, Michael Schleigh we have found common ground and a place of agreement regarding your sentiments.

Don’t bet on it! Don’t bet the house and don’t bet the farm. It’s not over till the fat lady sings…see you at the polls.

It's a great letter, but I could not disagree more with your statement about Democrats and patriotism. I never questioned it. In fact, I think you entirely missed the point I was making about the 9/11 ceremony. It had nothing to do with patriotism. It had everything to do with the fact that the GOP slate for County Council was included on the dais, while the only Democrat I saw there was Media Mayor Bob McMahon.

That is proof of the entrenched power of the GOP, and the challenge facing Delco Dems in trying to wriggle their way into the halls of power in the Media Courthouse.


Anonymous Michael Schleigh said...

Mr. Heron:

The only thing that the Republic Slate appearing at the Media 9-11 Observance proves is that they were invited. It would also be quite odd for the Mayor of Media not to be invited to an event held in his jurisdiction.

Not surprisingly, members of the Democratic Slate attended observances where they were invited or hosted. For example, here is Lansdowne Mayor, Jayne North, observing the event at the Lansdowne Arts Festival.

I can say that I never received an invitation to appear on the Dais in Media. If I had, I would have humbly accepted it.

Very Truly Yours,

Michael F. Schleigh

September 28, 2011 at 11:14 PM 

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