Last year, after the May Council elections, the Democrats in Alexandria (my hometown) were SO steamed that they lost two seats in the election.
They tried (and failed) to challenge new Councilwoman Alicia Hughes’ eligibility to serve and the lame duck members along with many of the current Democrats on Council voted to move the spring elections to November.
In June, during the last public hearing of the last Council, with two lame duck members attending, Council voted 5-2 to move the elections to November even though the number of people in opposition to the move far outweighs those in support. This is even though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in Alexandria.
Many Democrats and Republicans spoke at the hearing (about 5-1 against the move) and the Mayor and 4 liberals on the Council ignored the will of the people. The vote, which included former Councilman Wilson and former Councilman Lovain, was a clear abuse of power by the liberals in Alexandria. The move is a ploy by the Democrats to keep them in power for years to come.
Think I’m wrong?
Arlington County, which moved their elections to November years ago, have seen one (1) Republican win since. One.
So, the Alexandria City Council has been stuck since on whether to have the elections in November 2011 or November 2012 and whether or not to have staggered terms. As it stands right now, Alexandria’s next general election date, November 2012, is coupled with a presidential election year.
In November 2012, what’s going to matter more to voters in Alexandria? Getting President Obama re-elected or the local City election. With up to $2 billion dollars that is going to be spent in the next election, the City election will get second billing.
Councilwoman Alicia Hughes, during a recent Council meeting, threw her hat into the ring by proposing a resolution to have the voters decide what Council has yet to decide. Vice Mayor Kerry Donley, a big spending liberal, said the following:
“Quite frankly, the Council is elected to make decisions and I don’t see that a referendum right now should substitute for our inability to arrive at a compromise…”
Meaning you and I are too stupid to decide this via a referendum vote. The Vice Mayor then said (emphasis mine):
“Because we can’t arrive at a decision … would we start doing the same thing on land use planning and fiscal matters?” he said. “I don’t think so.”
Councilman Smedberg said (think he’s on the side of the people?):
“I’m disturbed that we are even talking about this
I hope we can tone down the rhetoric.”
“Let the people decide. The people, not politicians, should rule.”
The Alexandria Times has a list of what the Hughes resolution wants voters to decide.
Hughes’ drafted resolution called for the Hobson Commission — a bipartisan committee that recommended preserving the status quo election process in 2007 — to fashion the wording of three referendum questions: Whether Alexandria’s next election should be in November 2011 or 2012, if terms should be staggered or remain in a single block and if the terms should be changed from three to four years.
The voters in Alexandria are too stupid to decide this? I don’t think so and the hundreds I’ve spoken with don’t think so either.