Aug 19, 2007

Livco Democrats make more friends at Melon Festival

The Livingston County Democratic Party made its presence known this weekend at the 48th Annual Howell Jaycees Melon Festival.

The party drew a great response marching in the parade Saturday and enjoyed wonderful weather, and all but a few comments were negative. The positive response seems a little strange when we are constantly told we are the minority party in the county and our presence is marginal at best. The party member carrying the sign that said universal health car for all was greeted with applause all along the parade route down Grand River Avenue.

What was noticeably lacking was the presence of the so-called majority party in the county. The county Republicans had no presence in the parade, other than one elected official. A few people, including the chair of the county GOP, marched for U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, but Rogers was no where to be found. The House took the entire month of August off to be spent it in their district, but Rogers has been as scarce in his home county and district as snow in July. He is becoming harder to see than the Wizard in the story of the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps he can play that role in the upcoming presentation of the classic story by the Community Theater of Howell.

The Republicans in Livingston County hold the Congressional seat, the state Senate seat, the two state House seats and all of the nine Board of Commissioner seats, but the only elected official in the parade was state Sen. Valde Garcia, to his credit. Our two state Representatives were absent, but that was really no surprise. Rep. Chris Ward, R-Brighton, even blew off the parade last year during an election year.

On Sunday I did a shift working in the Democratic Party booth, – tent actually - and despite the terrible, rainy weather – which we really needed so it’s OK – we did talk to a few people. Those who worked on Saturday said the response was tremendous. Of the few people I talked to the most depressing was the man who stopped by with his two young daughters to get some stickers for them.

He is set to lose his job and health insurance in less two weeks. For the past seven years he has been a custodian at Howell Public Schools, but the school board voted to fire him and 39 of his co-workers and privatize the service. He said the union was more than willing to make concessions, but the board went for the indefensible position of getting rid of 40 loyal employees.

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