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« Stirfry

What about party loyalty?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


Published May 2, 2010

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What’s wrong with this political campaign pitch?

“Elect/Lorraine M. Ellis/Democrat precinct committeeman/I can …/You can .../And we will!/I support Jim Traficant.” (There’s a picture of Traficant.)

The mailing is part of the campaign to wrest the party chairmanship away from Atty. David Betras. The precinct committeemen and women who are elected on Tuesday will gather at the party’s reorganization meeting in the near future to elect the chairman.

Betras has a slate of candidates, as does Atty. Mark Hanni, son of the late Don L. Jr., who had served as the party’s chief for many years.

Invoking Traficant’s name is classic Mark Hanni, who has been hanging around the former congressman-turned-federal criminal since before he went to prison for seven-plus years.

But here’s the irony of candidates for precinct committee expressing their support for the ex-con: Traficant has turned his back on the Democratic Party, and by Monday afternoon could well be challenging a Democratic congressman in the November general election. The filing deadline for independent candidacies is 4 p.m. Monday.
Precinct committeemen and women are supposed to be party loyalists, committed to the election and support of Democratic officeholders.

How can someone run for Democratic precinct committee and yet support a man who has publicly repudiated the party?

That’s a question Democratic voters should ask themselves before they cast their ballots on Tuesday.


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