For some years now the editorial staff and I have been floating the idea of a regular publisher's column for the papers. In principle it should be common as the big nose on the end of my face. In reality, I'm a reader, not a writer. I've penned many columns over the years, but doing one weekly has always been my down fall. Blame it on writers block, not being a professional writer (my high school English teacher is still aghast I'm in this position), or not wanting to come off as a Know-It-All, which I am far from. All have contributed to the spotty appearance of offering a regular voice. I envy other publishers who craft regular, witty and insightful pieces. Perhaps in time I'll find a comfort level, but for now here goes as I dip my toes once again.....
Mr. Hoffman, nice try but it's over. Well, at least that's what I originally wrote when I drafted this column a few days ago. We just learned this morning at press time (Oct. 5) that Mr. Hoffman has made the difficult choice to suspend his candidacy for the 23rd Congressional District. While he will remain on the ballot in name only on the Conservative Party ticket, he has encouraged his supporters to vote for Matt Doheny. After attending the two debates between Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Doheny it seemed clear to me that their positions on most issues were relatively close. The biggest difference between the two was their position on winning the Republican nomination. Matt made it clear once the people voted he would respect their choice while Doug made it clear he was in the race til November regardless of the primary. To me, there was something disingenuous about taking that stand but obviously a position Mr. Hoffman felt he needed to remain firm on, at least until after the primary. Clearly it was the right choice for Mr. Hoffman to withdraw and it was the right choice for the constituents of the 23rd District. Now it's time to let Congressman Owens and Doheny have a fair go at it without the "what ifs" of a third party candidate. Let's hope for a good race based on the issues and not personal attacks ... Hey, come on! I can hope, can't I???
Two-Party System I don't know about you, but I for one am really getting sick and tired of our two-party system. It's just to damn self-serving. I want to see candidates who are seeking office to solve problems ... in particular, my problems. I don't want to put anyone in office who's first interest is their party, second is their own self-interest and lastly comes their constituents. Far too much time is spent beating the other team over the head instead of finding solutions and seeking compromise. Before you know it, those of us not in office will have to resort to a form of "Fantasy Government" much like they do in sports. You know, when your team stinks you can take solace in selecting players from other teams for your make believe team, in make believe league and pretend they (really YOU) are winning. In sports you can win on many levels. Unfortunately with government, unless you are winning in the pocket book, it's pretty hard to put on a happy face.
Initial inquires have gone out to both Owens and Doheny camps regarding a debate in the coming weeks. I personally placed the calls. We will keep you abreast of a date, time, and location as soon as we can.
We continue to hear from local merchants that the flow of dollars in our community is not what it should be. We hope the recent "$25 on the 25th campaign" yielded some strong local action. But, it takes more than a one day reprieve to rebuild the lost confidence that is evident on our main streets. As a community we all have a stake in making things work and only when the dollars are flowing throughout the community will we be able to put this nasty recession behind us. I do see positive signs in other communities around us but this northern most region of New York State still appears to be lagging behind. A recent national study noted that only $15 remains in the local economy when $100 is spent at a national retail store while $45 remains in the community when $100 is spent at a locally-owned store. Here's hoping we get this thing turned around soon, as our ability to publish and deliver these papers is based solely on the local enconomy.
Daniel Alexander is owner and publisher of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.