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Kennedy: Central committee should stay out of nonpartisan elections; Biden should be realistic | COMMENTARY

There are a couple of news items that caught my attention recently, both locally and nationally, and I’ll begin with the local one.

In Thursday’s Times, a piece concerning the mayoral race in Westminster was headlined “Is it `reprehensible` or relevant?” This was in reference to the insertion of the county’s Republican Central Committee into what is supposed to be a nonpartisan election. In my opinion, it may not be “reprehensible” but is most certainly improper. Is party affiliation “relevant” in such elections? It most certainly is not.

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As one who believes that all elective offices at any level should be nonpartisan, the insertion of party politics into a strictly local race that is by local law and precedent defined as nonpartisan should remain strictly so. The Republican Central Committee has been inserting itself into supposedly non-partisan elections for some time now, such as the last Board of Education race, and it’s high time to call them out for their interference.

I have no problem with individuals, even those well known to be of one political persuasion or the other, from commenting and supporting any candidate, but the endorsement and support, both financial and otherwise, by the Central Committee is far out of bounds. Let each candidate run on their individual qualifications, ideas, and ideals, and let the voters decide without the unneeded and improper interjection of a party affiliation.

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On a side note, the polls are now open in Mount Airy and Taneytown, where you will find me working as a member of out city’s elections board. Sykesville votes Tuesday, while the other municipalities vote on May 11 or ay 18. Ignore the party politicians and decide for yourselves who will do the best for your community and take the time to cast your ballot. The most important government is the one closest to your home.

Nationally, President Biden gave his first major address to a joint session of Congress and laid out his plans for moving the country forward. There are many good ideas there, and some that I think aren’t so good, but even the best ideas are doomed to fail if he and his team in Congress keep trying to push the whole thing through as one extremely expensive package. I might be so bold as to suggest that they break the plans into smaller chunks and if not abandon altogether at least delay submitting some of the more contentious items.

I would like to see the infrastructure plan broken into pieces such as major highway reconstruction, then bridge repair/replacement, then water supply upgrade and sewer upgrade. I believe that bipartisan support for each could be had under this scenario. Then maybe push for support for increasing the level of support for transitioning to zero pollution electric generation systems, like solar arrays and wind farms, or maybe even smaller hydroelectric generation plants.

Modifications to some of the president’s plans might be able to garner some bipartisan support. These might include changing the child care tax credit into a deduction from the adjusted gross income and limit it to those families earning less than $150,000. I can see a mandate for pre-K schooling, but not for totally free community college. Any tuition and fee waivers must be totally need based, as determined by the FAFSA forms now in use.

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My total gross income, from all sources, is less than $25,000 yet I have to pay Uncle Sam several hundred dollars in income tax each year since the previous president gave the tax breaks to his rich cronies and corporations, who although earning billions, paid no taxes on their incomes. Make them pay at least the same percentage that I do in order to support the country that allows them to make those insane amounts.

Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. Reach him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.

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