West Hartford G.O.P. Needs True Reorganization

and other rants and raves

By Tom Evers

December 01, 2003

- First, I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day.  Obviously, Thanksgiving is more than eating turkey and stuffing, its about catching up with everyone and giving thanks for all the blessings of this life - and most of us here in West Hartford have many reasons to be thankful.  We were fortunate to play host and cook up a real feast for relatives and friends; no one went away hungry and its looks like I'll be eating turkey dinners, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, etc, etc for some time to come. 

- Ok, ok I haven't been writing regular columns over the past few months. I'm admittedly guilty and I've gotten serious grief for it. But I have a good excuse - I've been busy helping the economy run up to an 8.2% growth rate.   And with the way the credit card is being used around this hold, I think were on track for even bigger increases in the near future.  It looks like the Christmas season is kicking off in fine shape.

- For those who were looking to see me write about the Democratic victory in town, let me just say here that obviously it was a bad outcome for West Hartford taxpayers.  Now that Jonathan Harris and the gang have received a quasi-mandate from residents to embark on increased taxation crusade - the next budget debate aught to be quite interesting.  West Hartford residents already pay more in taxes then those residents of surrounding towns.  But Democrats make that sound appealing and I guess it works - particularly when there's no counter message out there.  Which brings me to….

I have two words for the West Hartford Republican Political Machine:  You Stink.   Plain and simple isn't it?   It would be one thing to say that Republicans actually worked hard, and got out there and campaigned on the issues, but this didn't happen -- whatsoever.  Children would have better run the campaign.  The sad thing is it's not for lack of issues; it's for lack of coordination and campaign execution.  Republican candidates run like individual presidents all competing against each other for position.  Where was the leadership from the G.O.P. team? 

I've there's to be any hope, Republicans aught to do themselves a favor -- remove the entrenched, do nothing, old-timers that have a hold on the party.  In the next column, I might be inclined to start offering up certain names.  I'm talking about the people who have had leadership positions on the town committee or have been district heads for years and have done little but make themselves the center of attention at a cocktail party.  Sadly, they bring nothing to the table with their old ways and defeatist reactive campaign practices.  "If you build they will (automatically) come."  No, I don't think so.  Campaigning takes strategy, vision, and hard work -- and this is something new to most people sitting on the present West Hartford Republican town committee.

Rob Bouvier, for all of his good qualities, aught to look at his failures in this past election defeat.  If he were solid leader, he would use his popularity in a way that benefits his running mates and party.  Ah, yes, Rob, "running mate" means that you are running with someone else on the ticket, and if they don't win, you don't really win, and we all lose.  You'd think you've been at this long enough and would have learned this in the last election.  Hey Rob, what happened to "strategy"? 

- Don't forget to attend the annual holiday stroll in West Hartford Center this Thursday, December 4th.  It's a family friendly event that usually has everyone singing and sipping lots of hot chocolate.  One word of caution: Don't expect to buy anything from most Center stores unless you're in the upper 90% tax bracket.  West Hartford Center stores market the affluent (or stupid) -- imagine paying $350 for an overpriced pair of shoes - on sale.  It's a shame, but that's the demand, I guess.  Well, at least the restaurants and coffee shops have something to offer.

- If you haven't seen Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World, then you're really missing something.  It's a seafaring, action packed movie with significant historical references (and without the usual Hollywood gory and bloody effects).  I'd planned to write a movie review on this, and I still might - time permitting.  I'm a fan of movies about tall ships and in particular of the Patrick O'Brien series - on which this movie is loosely based.  It's true they alter the original storyline found in the novel, but the movie is tastefully done, and Russell Crowe brings Captain Jack Aubrey to life in the way that my minds eye sees the character when reading the series. Also, thumbs up to Paul Bettany for portraying Dr. Stephen Maturin in the same fashion.

- Speaking of Thanksgiving.  It was great to see President George Bush wind up sharing turkey day dinner with our troops in Iraq.  But more entertaining was the media reaction - just when the media clowns think they know everything, our President sneaks out of Crawford, Texas right under their noses.  The media along with the rest of us tuned in just in time to witness the President walk out on stage and deliver his annual Thanksgiving Day address.  Of note, CNN's angry reaction to which media outlets were chosen to go along with the President.   It just goes to show you who the White House trusts and doesn't trust to keep a secret.

- Congratulations to General Manger Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox staff for adding Curt Schilling over the Thanksgiving holiday; the golden pick up will booster the Red Sox bullpen and improve their chances of seeking the World Championship.  But Press reports reveal that the Sox may choose Terry Francona as manager for 2004 season.  The Sox are also in hot pursuit of Keith Foulke for the closer position.  And even though rumors abound about a Manny Ramirez trade for Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez, it's probably less likely that the trade would come so cheap.

- America's Cup watch:  It looks like Valencia, Spain is to host the 2007 America's Cup!  This is the first time that the world's oldest sailing race will be held off of Europe's coast.  The Alinghi of Switzerland won the 2003 America's Cup and according to the tournament rules, the winning team (country) gets to host the next race.  Switzerland's lake Lazerne was ruled out based on the need to have consistent wind, and large enough ports to accommodate such a large spectator event.  More information on plans for the race can be found at America's Cup Global Information Service web page.

- Lastly and on a sad note, after seven and a half years, Tony Snow is leaving as host of Fox News Sunday.  The witty and objective anchor hosted his last show on Sunday, November 30, 2003.  Chris Wallace moving over from ABC news has been selected to take the helm of FNS.  Mr. Wallace has very large shoes to fill and we hope that he will be as fair and accurate in his reporting as we have seen from Tony Snow.  Chris Wallace is the son of Mike Wallace, a well-known liberal, who can be found on the weekly show "60 minutes".   Internet squawk is that Wallace was brought on to offset conservative stars such as Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Brit Hume.  Let's hope that this move doesn't diminish the accuracy and solid news reporting that Fox News offers.  Fox New is the last hold out for non-liberal bias reporting that you find at CBS/NBC/ABC/MSNBC/CNN.  The hope is that this move will help move Fox News Sunday out of fourth place in the ratings.

Tony Snow is to take a position as a syndicated host on Fox News Radio.  Good-bye Tony, thanks for the great work.  You'll be missed!

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