To the Editor:
There appears to be significant disagreement with some Democratic Party members with respect to philosophical views pertaining to governance.
For example, during the 2nd District Democratic caucus, the issue of the Legislative Council candidates became a point of contention. Some members insist upon adhering to strict party dogma while others believe doing what’s best for the town of Hamden should come first.
In one camp we have Paul Jacques. He was taken to task for his beliefs. So what could be so controversial about his beliefs that could cause such dissention? Well, according to the New Haven Register, Mr. Jacques was reported as saying, “I want honesty and integrity to represent the people of the district the right way.
Jacques said he supported Gabe Lupo because he was a “better man for the district.”
The central points that I glean from Mr. Jacques’ position are honesty, integrity and selecting the better man for the job; these truths are self-evident. Mr. Jacques’s thoughts are reasonable and worthy of respectand consideration.
In the other camp, the New Haven Register reported: Democratic Town Chairman Joseph McDonagh said that “somebody who supported a Republican doesn’t deserve to be on the town committee. I’m appalled that (Jacques) thinks it’s acceptable behavior. He’s hypocritical to be running, having supported a Republican for council.”
The central points that I glean from Chairman McDonagh’s position are loyalty to the party and strict adherence to party principals; Failure to abide by these precepts are hypocritical and grounds for expulsion.
Wow! We have two completely different perspectives on the opposite end of the spectrum. In the case of Mr. Jacques, his position seems to be put the town of Hamden’s interests before the interests of any one political party. His support went for who he believed was better suited to do the job.
In other words, the most qualified person should get the job irrespective of party affiliation.
In the case of Chairman McDonagh, the only thing that appears to matter is party affiliation. Qualified or not, party dogma trumps qualifications.
In my opinion, this political philosophy casts a long-term deleterious pall over Hamden.
Friends, national, state and local politics has become a lightning rod for dissention, anger and resentment. Discourse has been replaced by sharp rebukes.
Both parties claim to want what is best for the town of Hamden. However, if a candidate, idea or proposal comes from the opposite party, it is summarily dismissed out of hand for fear that the opposing party may gain the upper hand, causing a shift in the power base. The result is that one party is completely excluded from governance. This can’t possibly be good for Hamden.
Something has got to change. It’s difficult for me to believe that excluding Republicans from the political process is wise. Hamden needs all the help it can get to resolve its problems.
Ultimately it comes down to you, the voting public. Who’s right -- Mr. Jacques or Mr. McDonagh’s? You decide.