As the chairman of the Democratic Party of Ulster County I am extremely concerned that the will of the voters is at risk of being subverted. Last month the people of Ulster County exercised their constitutional right to vote. At the county level, the result of this election was 12 Democratic county legislators, 10 Republicans and 1 non-enrolled (an individual who ran for office on the Democratic line and caucuses with the Democrats). This clean and fair election created a Democratic majority for the first time in four years. It was the byproduct of a great deal of hard work from all of our Democratic committees and voters across Ulster County committed to a better county legislature.
These results would have historically meant a smooth transition of leadership within the county legislature from the current Republican control to one led by the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, rather than participating in the responsible transition of power that has been the hallmark of American democracy for centuries,we have been dismayed to learn that Republican county legislators are now working behind closed doors to subvert the will of the people, attempting to lure individual Democratic legislators with the promise of the chairmanship of the entire legislature in return for continued Republican control. This scenario is only made possible because of the narrow separation between the number of Democrats and Republicans within the legislative body.
With this desperate effort to cling to power despite their loss at the ballot box the Republican Party appears willing to say anything and do anything – even if it means subverting the very will of the Ulster County citizens. It is my great belief that no honorable Democratic legislator would even entertain the idea of turning his or her back on the hardworking Democratic committee people who have done so much or on the will of the voters of Ulster County in return for selfish short term personal gain.
Simply put, the majority of legislators, as elected by the people, select an individual legislator to serve as chairman. The preliminary portion of this process has already been completed and the Hon. Hector Rodriguez has been selected. On behalf of the entire executive committee of the Ulster County Democratic Party, we stand as one in condemning the Republicans back room shenanigans that, once again, remind us of the “jail politics” of the past. I urge solidarity throughout our party in insuring the democratic process is not high-jacked as well as in opposing the subversion of the core democratic principles that have helped make America great.
Frank L. Cardinale
Chairman, Ulster County Democratic Committee