To the editor:
Following the recent bombshell of Councilman Sweeney being bounced from the Democrat town committee, it’s time to hear some hard truths of who the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ are.
Mr. Sweeney clearly demonstrated the judgement of a statesmen. One who puts principle-above-party, and whose loyalty to his constituents of all political stripes out-ways petty loyalties of ‘Party First.’
By supporting Mary Parella (an even-handed moderate in her own right) as Town Council Chair, it shows experience trumps ideology — a mindset the public has wanted from its officials for some time.
The fact remains that voters are clearly looking for open-eared leadership as opposed to dyed-in-the-wool Democrat loyalty.
In 2010, Bristol elected its first Independent to the town council in Mr. Teixeira. They later rewarded his pragmatism two years later by making him Bristol’s first Independent Town Administrator (to which he has been doing an admirable job).
But the real Hall of Shame in this debacle lies greatly with Bristol Democrat Committee Chair John Faria and his followers. Forcing Councilman Sweeney out of his own party is the biggest act of low-life dirty pool and unethical political fascism since the days of the Mayor Daley machine in Old Chicago.
This stunt is such a perversion of the JFK-style governing: The party mantra should be ‘Ask not what The Democrats can do for you, ask what you can do for the Democrats.’
Such behavior is not unexpected. When then-candidate Sweeney first announced his run, I recall Mr. Faria and company opting not to endorse him pre-primary. With such a lack of warm reception from the beginning, can anybody blame the councilman putting principal above party?
Sadly, such a lack of bi-partisanship is pretty routine from most R.I. Democrats. During the then-Chairman Barboza era of the Bristol Town Council, partisan pot-shots would often be doled out to citizens of opposing views (especially during the budget season, as I came to experience).
On a more state-wide level, East Bay-area centrist-Democrat Rep. Jan Malik was similarly stripped of his role as chairman of the House Committee of Environment and Natural Resources back in 2010 (he held the chairmanship for over two years), after backing a different candidate for Speaker of the House then party-old boy Gordon Fox (the same speaker responsible for 38 Studios “investment” and Sakonnet Bridge Toll). Today, Rep. Fox still reigns as speaker and holds the defacto-most-powerful position in RI.
When will the disconnected Democrats look beyond their own political interest and reward leadership that reflects the will of ‘we-the-people’?!
As a Republican, I can say with great certitude, that the part of Lincoln and Reagan fosters a welcoming environment of open-mindedness and fesh perspectives – beyond petty politics -and if Councilman Sweeney or any Bristol voter ever want to give the ‘Rs’ consideration – our door is always open.
Will Sousa Grapentine,
10 Monterey Drive