Sunday, May 20, 2007

GOP the Big Tent Party; Dems Disenfranchise Jewish Voters - Twice

GOP the Big Tent Party; Dems Disenfranchise Jewish Voters – Twice
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
May 20, 2007

Demonstrating that it truly is the Big Tent Party, the Alexandria Republican City Committee has set Tuesday, May 29 as the date certain for its party canvas to select its nominee to fill the vacancy on the City Council due to the resignation by Andrew Macdonald.

The ARCC understands the importance of including all Alexandria voters, and heeded the requests of its Jewish constituency by not scheduling its party canvas on the Sabbath – Saturday, unlike the Alexandria Democratic Committee. Tuesday has been a traditional day of voting for years, and although special elections are usually held on Saturdays by both major political parties, the Alexandria GOP has made the right decision.

As for the Alexandria Democrats, they obviously continue to take their Jewish constituency for granted by scheduling its caucus for Saturday, June 9 from until With the Sabbath ending between and , that gives Jewish voters roughly 40 to 50 minutes to arrive at the Democratic polling location and cast their vote.

This will actually be the second example of the Alexandria Democrats disenfranchising Jewish voters within eight days. The initial circumstance of Jewish voter disenfranchisement will occur on the previous Sabbath – Saturday, June 2. That is the date the City Council, a unanimous seven member Democratic body, has set for a public hearing regarding the Alexandria Election Process.

The Alexandria Election Process Review Committee is holding its only public hearing on a day that would exclude numerous voters – not just Jewish, but also Seventh Day Adventists, from having their voices heard on some vital issues.

Issues such as:
            (1)  Should council and school board elections be moved from May to                               November?
            (2)  Should terms of office grow from three to four years?
            (3)  Should council and school board terms be staggered?
            (4)  Should city council be elected by district, as the school board is                       elected?
            (5)  If districts, how should they be drawn?
            (6)  Should council elections be non-partisan?
            (7)  Should council and school board compensation be increased?

These are important issues and all Alexandria voters should have equal opportunity to participate in the process.

It’s high time that Jewish voters no longer be treated like second class citizens by the Alexandria Democrats and by the City Council – a seven to zero Democratic monopoly.
For those concerned, Bernard Caton is the contact person regarding the Saturday, June 2 public hearing. He can be reached at 703-838-3828 and

To share ones ire with the Alexandria Democrats, contact its chairperson, Susan B. Kellom at

Let’s not sit idly by. After all, what would Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) think?

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and teacher of American History living in Alexandria, VA.