As a long time Republican or just because of curiosity, have you recently wandered over to the Republican Party website https://www.gop.com/platform/ to remind yourself what the Republican platform stands for? I have, and I was not disappointed in fact, I learned what I have known for some 20 – 30 year.
The current Republican Party platform is exactly what I have known and expected and very much what Ronal Reagan, Grover Norquist, Larry Kudlow, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, George W. Bush, Bill O’Reilly, Scott Walker, Rick Santelli, Karl Rove and the rest of the Republican practitioners and ideologists have vocalized and have been fighting to achieve for some three decades; smaller government, less taxes, privatization, self-reliance, hard work and most of all do not mooch on the hard work of your neighbor. Redding has been under Republican management for at least 25 years. The last Republican administration to manage Redding was led by Natalie Ketcham who managed Redding for 14 consecutive years.
In 1999, Ketcham inherited a town budget of just under $20M and a school budget of just under $10M. The town was well serviced by 12 Connecticut State cops costing Redding $900K annually, and Doug Fuchs was one of them. For the following 14 years the population in Redding remained unchanged, about 9000 people, while national inflation hovered bellow 4% and than it significantly dropping in 2009. It remains historically low at almost zero percent. The housing stock in Redding remained essentially unchanged and Redding did not annex any adjacent town or village and crime has remained non-existent. And during the following 14 years, Ketcham and her Republican team, Chris Hocker, Ward Mazzucco, Michael Thompson, Frank Taylor and many other prominent Redding Republicans, proceeded to govern according the what Republicans believe it’s right and effective for everyone’s benefit.
By the time, Ketcham realized that her political life in Redding had come to the end, 14 years latter, Redding’s town budget reached $47.5M, the school budget passed $23M, Redding had a police department with Doug Fuchs in charge, a budget of $2.2M and 17 cops on Redding’s payroll. Two of those cops were now in the elementary and middle school and the parents shamelessly decided to mooch the cost for these cops from everyone in town as opposed to paying for these cops themselves. The town offices reduce work hours form 5 days a week to 4 without any reduction in pay and much of Redding infrastructure drifted into disrepair and neglect.
What happened to the Republican goals of smaller government, less tax, no mooching from your neighbors and relying on your own abilities? Where have all the real Republicans in Redding gone?
And the sad part about the current crop of Republicans in Redding is that when you talk to them, and I have, they don’t see the past Republican performance as a problem. As Eric Witt communicated to me in his last email:
“If, as you and the growth rate of our spending suggest, Republicans failed in their responsibility to be fiscally conservative and wise stewards of our tax dollars, I can only imagine how bad it would have been under the leadership of the Democrats who fundamentally believe in more, rather than less, government.” – Eric Witt
Not only he makes delusional assumptions but he also refused to accept the cold reality that Republicans have failed at their own rules and convictions. According to his logic, the fact that Ketcham and the rest of the Republicans have failed is somehow proof that his supposition is the truth, just one small problem … it didn’t happen. Why change your beliefs when confronted with facts, right? And he wants to manage Redding … like Ketcham did for 14 painful and costly years? Or to put it another way, what Eric is saying – we, the Republicans in Redding, have done a horrible job at managing the town for seven consecutive Republican administrations but … we deserve to be in charge anyway because we believe the other side, would have done worse. Eric, unfortunately for you … there is no worse!
The sad and unanswered question remains; where have all the real Republicans in Redding gone? Eric Witt is certainly no different than Ketcham, not to mention that he has absolutely no relevant experience, qualification and much worse; he has demonstrated a stubborn and unconditional refusal to recognize his shortcomings or try to learn.
Clint Eastwood is a prominent Republican and his famous words in one of the Dirty Harry movies “a man’s got to know his limitations” are profound, and Eric Witt might want to spend some time to reflect upon these words … after November 3rd.
What is the chance of that happening?