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The InTowner
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How appalling. The prospect of losing one of the city council’s truly aggressive gadflies who has consistently been watching out for unabashed wild spending and making sure we all know about it — at-large Councilmember Catania is the other aggressive one — is definitely cause for alarm. And this result, the primary election win of Patrick Mara, cannot be allowed to hold up.

Republican at-large Councilmember Carol Schwartz throughout her long and dedicated city council service has performed in the true, historic tradition of the Republican party — the party of Eisenhower — before it got co-opted by the extreme right wing.

Now we face the prospect of a prospective city council member who claims, as he recently told the Washington Post, that it is he who is a true Republican, not Carol Schwartz who he characterized as “not representative of core urban Republican values.” This is astounding! From everything we have witnessed since the 1980s, it seems to us that those so-called core values are aimed at totally undercutting the social and economic progress that has been made since the end of World War II and which has been so instrumental in bettering the lives of the average citizen, both on the farms and in the cities.

But in the last couple of decades all we see as “core values” of most of the Republican Party leadership and apparatchiks (politicians and their ilk) are philosophical imperatives that strive to take away a woman’s right to choose as if her body is state property (Communist China’s one-child law comes to mind), that deny there is global warming, is highly suspicious of established biological science, claims stem cell research is evil, that separation of church and state can be ignored notwithstanding the Constitution, that the Second Amendment means everybody should be free to brandish deadly firearms here and there and everywhere.

The list goes on, but our readers get the point. But will the voters in November’s general election get the point and understand the ramifications enough so as to do everything in their power to derail Patrick Mara’s attempt to become one of the two (as required by the Home Rule Charter) non-majority party at-large council members?

How can this be turned around? How can we get Carol re-elected? The answer is simple although the follow-through and ultimate victory will be tough — but doable if the voters rally to the cause.

We are talking Write-In. It can be done — in fact, it was very successfully done by then incumbent Mayor Anthony Williams who was seeking a second term. Because his campaign people messed up he didn’t get on the regular ballot so he turned around and ran a write-in and won handily. If enough thousands of voters across the city — and, remember, it doesn’t matter if you are Republican, Democrat, Statehood or Independent — exercise their right to take in hand the little pen that is provided in each and every voting booth and write in the name of Carol Schwartz on that ballot, she could very well be returned to her at-large seat on the council.

What we see was Carol’s undoing in the minds of those Republican Party voters who wanted her tossed out was that they got suckered into believing the propaganda put forth by the Board of Trade and the big corporate boys that she is anti-business. Of course, the Republicans completely (conveniently) forgot that it was Carol who has bottled up a bill in her committee that would force large retailers to pay the city’s higher, so-called “living wage” out of concern that it would be detrimental to them. Furthermore, it has been Carol who has blocked other anti-business proposals. So there it is, the fat cats are biting the hand that’s been helping to feed them. Shame on them.

And, notwithstanding her sympathetic leanings toward the business sector, the Republicans decided she had to go because she had done a terrible thing by championing the little people by actively supporting and carefully steering through her council committee the law that now provides for minimal paid sick leave days, the “Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008.”

Is this really so terrible that it will destroy business in the city? We don’t think so. First off, it exempts from coverage anyone who has not worked for the same employer for at least one year and for at least 1,000 hours; nor does the definition of employee include restaurant wait staff and bartenders who work for a combination of wages and tips, students, or a certain class of health care providers. As for the number of days businesses will be required to provide paid sick leave to covered employees, to us the law does not appear to be unfair to the employers; in fact, especially for small businesses having fewer than 25 employees, only three days are required. And, as for the “mom & pop” businesses which make up a substantial number of businesses in the city, relatives (and that includes domestic partners) are excluded.

So this was Carol’s reward for doing the right thing. It surely appears that the Republicans have totally rejected any thought of compassion for the average person despite their constant carrying on about their love of the average person. Don’t believe it for a second. No, their agenda for our city will be no different than that of the barracuda from Alaska!