To The Daily Sun,
On Oct. 22, the League of Women Voters held a forum in the town of Grafton for the state representative candidates of Grafton districts 9 and 17. Both Steve Darrow and Catherine Mulholland running in District 17 were there, but I'm not writing about them today. Of the four candidates running to represent District 9 (two will ultimately win) only one showed up. This is inconceivable.
Jeff Shacket, a.k.a. "No Show" Shackett, the only incumbent in the race, did commit to be there after many attempts to get a response to the invitation. He said he would be out of town on the 29th, so despite that being a better date for some other participants, the league chose the 22nd in order to have four of the six candidates participate. But it was announced at the opening of the forum that Mr. Shackett had called that morning to beg off as he had a "business emergency" in Florida he had to fly out immediately for. (While he wasn't expected to be there by those he had told on the preceding Saturday he had no intention to fulfill his promise, the excuse he gave was still shocking to them.) He was asked to at least give the league a statement they could read for him, but didn't.
The other candidate running in the Republican Party column, Bob Hull, not only didn't attend, but didn't even have the courtesy to respond to numerous invitations to participate.
On the Democratic Party side of the ballot, Judy Wallick was there, and admitted getting a phone call from Alexandria resident Jennie Tuthill telling her what the hot topics are and what her position should be. Ms. Wallick talked about a need for bipartisan problem solving as she's somehow connected to a group called No Labels that wants Washington to "reach across the aisle" and socialize with members of "the other" party. It wasn't clear on this, or many other relevant issues that came up, just how her answers told us what she intends to do should she be elected. The number of times she responded without answering the question (3), "I don't know" (3) or "I agree with" either Steve (Darrow) or Catherine (Mulholland) (4) left most of us wondering if she had done any research or could even think for herself.
She seems like a very nice lady, but I couldn't help wondering when it was all over if she would just end up being another Catherine Mulholland who only votes as the Democratic Party tells her to. They did, after all, pay for some very pretty postcards to be mailed to voters. Postcards filled with scare-tactic spin that she should be ashamed of having her name on. One thing she did clearly repeat was that because we have no sales or income tax, there's no good way to "increase the broad income" as she's opposed to "drastic" spending cuts.
Unfortunately, Jeremy Olson, the other Democrat running against Wallick was also a no-show. No-show and no response as well. I know a lot of people won't vote for Mr. Olson just because he's a Free Stater, but he's intelligent and articulate. It would have been nice to get a chance to hear his views and compare them to the other candidates.
So what do we do on Nov. 4? We're again left having to choose between the "lesser of the evils." I'm tired of having to choose between drinking the rubbing alcohol or the turpentine. (sigh) Too bad it's too late for someone worthwhile to launch a write-in campaign.