December 16, 2013

Bristol Republicans in driver's seat for first time ever

For the first time in the city’s history, the GOP controls both City Hall and the Board of Education.
It’s a stunning reversal for Democrats who have traditionally held power and never before been so completely shut out.
Political insiders point to a series of reasons for the shift in control that include a bitter rift in Democratic ranks and an aggressive and professional Republican effort to capture ground.
But some of them also see something potentially more profound for the long run: a change in the political attitudes of city voters, who had lined up with the unions and the Democrats for generations but may be backing away from them in search of lower taxes.
Democrat Allen Marko, who lost two City Council races, said that Bristol “for the most part does not embrace Democratic Party ideals, viewing them as too liberal.” For full story, follow this link.

Frank Kramer, an independent who ran unsuccessfully for a City Council seat, weighed in with a much fuller explanation of his view of what happened than I could include. Here it is:

1. In-fighting in the democratic party yielding a spectacularly unsuitable mayoralty candidate chosen by an acutely and politically instinct deficient DTC leadership ( and you know who  "  they is  "---and it ain't a she ). This also yielded a garbled, bland,  and diffuse message at best. 

2. The above drama unfolding in a year when the Republican message was focused ( low, low taxes and blight, blight, blight--and that's it--what else do you need to know? ) and their party unified. You also had a stronger Republican mayoralty candidate that  despite what some thought of his politics and style, they were attuned to the fact that what you saw was what you got -- to the extent you can with any politician.

3. Money. That is a dynamic little talked of when and if you get the final tallies in. Just look at the mailings  ( frequency and individual pieces ), campaign signs especially for mayor and 2nd district candidates ( just sayin' and not because it was my contest--I was amazed at how many signs Henri told me he already had and had coming while at the Rotary breakfast ) though, admittedly you had two well known candidates there with one sporting an already decent track record, imo. In addition to it being the strongest Repub. district despite the statistics. And, oh yeah, one Dem. candidate who didn't show up.

4. I think the reason the Dems did as well as they did, council-wise, was because they won against the weakest of the Republican lot. And if I recollect, Derick didn't lose by that big of a spread. And Albert might have won if he came in sooner.

5. So going forward, the Republicans with their mayor being able to engineer the agenda, it looks like : I have no idea.

One more thing. The economy and Bristol population''s struggle to keep their heads above water ( not to put to fine a point to it but we are one of but 8 towns in CT where 25%+ of us go to bed with the fear of hunger on our minds ), those who would naturally vote Democratic were too busy surviving to pay attention to the election. This struggle naturally puts politics on the back burner when you're out of work, finding money to pay the rent or save your home,  or keep the lights on. When those with the most to lose and the most to gain have the leisure and wherewithal to put politics into their forward thrusters.  

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