(Franklin Township Democrat Leader Roz Sherman and Councilman Elia)
Between 75 and 100 Democrats of Franklin Township, New Jersey met to discuss the issues at the Johnson Park facility in Piscataway. Several area politicians were present including Congressman Frank Pallone, Councilman Ricky Sumpter and Councilman
Daniel Sullivan, among others. The morning to afternoon event was very upbeat with almost everyone being optimistic about Democrat success in November. The Democratic candidates locally and nationally are ahead or tied in most major races. Many could not explain how Joe Lieberman has opened up a ten point lead over Ned Lamont in Connecticut but Menendez is now ahead of Kean Jr. in New Jersey, Rendell leads Swann in Pennsylvania where Casey has a dwindling but still comfortable lead over Santorum. Carter is within striking distance of Ensign in Nevada. In Ohio Strickland has a comfortable lead over Blackwell. The way things look on this cloudy to sun shiny day indicate a Democratic triumph in November. But there are always the intangibles, Greg Palast says that the GOP mechanisms to steal the '06 election are already in place. What new attempts to disenfranchise the voting rights of minorities in general and African-Americans in particular will be seen. Even more important what will the reaction by the Democrats be...will it be vigorous protest like we are seeing in Mexico now with the alleged theft of Lopez Obrador's earned presidency or will we see wimpy acceptance like we saw with Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004? Many in attendance agreed that it could take over fifty years to undo the harm George W. Bush has done to the environment, the nation and the world. I was happy to discuss the issue of the "Fairness Doctrine" with Mr. Pallone who also agrees that this is an issue Democrats should wholeheartedly endorse. There was once a time when network television was obligated to present both sides of an issue during a news broadcast. Ronald Reagan destroyed this practice as a result we see the reason why people like Pat Robertson, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh have risen to prominenence. They don't have anyone to challenge their lies so the people believe what they say is the truth. Rush Limbaugh refuses to have Randi Rhodes being broadcast on the same network as him. When Ms. Rhodes appears on cable television she usually has at least two conservative commentators present. The playing field is NEVER even. MSNBC has only one middle of the road commentator, Keith Olbermann and we are constantly hearing how his job is in jeopardy. NBC had no problem giving conservative Ann Coulter eight unchallenged minutes to promote her vitriol. I contend that the battle to bring back the Fairness Doctrine should start at the grass roots level because the average person has no idea what it was. Those of us who were around when it existed are more likely to appreciate it and share it with those after the Reagan era. At this time I don't know how many Democratic Senatorial, Gubernatorial and Congressional candidates are affiliated with the DLC. If "DLC" Democrats are elected there will be very little change with regard to foreign relations. The war in Iraq will not only continue the war in Iran will begin and the 45 million uninsured in this country will get no relief. It maybe good that Harold Ford Jr (a known DLC affiliate and the man who uttered the words "I love my president" when referring to George W. Bush) has a lead over Ray Corker, but what guarantee do we have that Ford won't become a Republican after he wins as a Democrat. These were just a few of the discussions I had with fellow Democrats at the picnic. All in all an excellent time was had by all.