Bring in the clowns

The midterm election result, while bereft of sanity, has left us a delicious twist of irony.

Conventional wisdom has it that Speaker of the House aspirant, John Boehner, will be sitting only a third heartbeat from the crown come January. Mr. Boehner, an exquisite political hack, has made a career of living off the largesse of lobbyists and inside business cronies while racking up a stunning record of special interest support.

Distinguishing himself largely through acquiescing to the demands of industry, playing golf a hundred times a year and sporting the best tan in any of the three branches, it has been his fronting for the tobacco industry that has defined him.

In 1994, in advance of a House vote for the continuance of a federal tobacco subsidy, and while simultaneously decrying the awful Waxman committee for interfering in the affairs of R. J. Reynolds, et al., Mr. Boehner personally passed out multiple tobacco lobby checks to his fellow voting members while on the floor of the House of Representatives! Appropriately, the loot was stashed in a cigar box. Surprise ... the subsidy was continued.

Now that Congressman Boehner will apparently accede to the third most influential position in our "representative" republic, we won't have that disgusting Nancy Pelosi to kick around anymore. No more Botox jokes.

The good news is that the right has given us an equally uninviting, buffoonish caricature that will provide cartoonists and satirists with fodder for as long as he stays in the saddle.

Why don't I feel better about this? I guess because it's sad that those who purport to represent us cannot or will not give us the honest, inspirational leadership that represents the best interests of our country.

Instead, we get highly partisan rhetoric with political advantage always at its core. The joke, unfortunately, is on the rest of us.

Doug Prescott

Southport

Winners and losers

Congratulations to all the winners in the Nov. 2 election. Let's hope that us tax payers do not continue to be the losers.

Since my property taxes have almost tripled in the past 10 years I can only hope that over the next 10 years my property taxes barely increase. Our political leaders from all sides need to take a hard look at future policy decisions as we can't continue what we have been doing.

An examples: we have to stop bonding non-essential projects. Bonding a skateboard park and bonding a softball field for 14 and under girls should never have been bonded. These kinds of special interest projects only increase future costs for the town in maintenance and liability, let alone interest costs.

How about the dollar-a-year lease deals that we have done with town-owned properties?

We also need to change our pension system. All new union employees should be on a self-directed 401K with a matching program from the town.

Overtime should not be counted to one's pension and we should not be paying out pensions until a person is over 60 years old at least, or if they want to collect their pension at a younger age it should be discounted 5 percent for every year below the retirement age.

I could go on and talk about Fairfield having the only SWAT team in Fairfield County, but you get the point. We have to change our mind set and look back to go forward.

In 1980, our population was 58,000 people and now our population is 59,000 people. It would be helpful if our town leaders did a side-by-side comparison to see what has really changed since then.

Steve Sheppard

Southport