By Bill Cleary
“The time has come, ladies and gentlemen, to stand up to ‘theMachine’ of a select group of people, who have controlled your lives for far too long. The time has come to ‘hold the high ground’ and stop the decline, to ‘fight the good fight’ and to give Gloucester City government back to the people. This town belongs to each and every one of us, and this year, each and every vote can and will make a difference, in both the up and coming election and the future of our community.” Democratic Mayor candidate William James, October 2006
For those out of the loop, George Norcross, is the South Jersey Democratic powerbroker that candidate James was referring to in 2006 as ‘The Machine’. He has ruled like a ‘king’ over South Jersey communities since 1991.
Image: Before July 9, 1776 an equestrian statue of King George II stood menacingly on Bowling Green in New York City. On that date Patriots toppled the structure and cut it into pieces.
Candidate James did win the election that year, and was re-elected for a second term in November 2010. Yet, many will say ‘The Machine’ also known as King George is still in control of Gloucester City today.
I believe those powerful words spoken by the mayor in 2006 are just as prevalent today as they were five years ago.
Look around your community, than ask yourself has my town improved in the 20 years that ‘King’ George has been in power? Or have things stayed the same or gotten worst? Am I being taxed out of my home? Do my elected leaders listen to my cries for help? Do they just patronize me with the response “we will look into your problem and get back to you.” Do those in power make decisions that
will affect my life without asking for my opinion (e.g. Camden County wide police force).
I could continue but you get my point.
image: Tammy Hall Political Boss William Tweed. For the better part of a decade following the Civil War, virtually nothing happened in New York without Boss Tweed giving it the okay. He even hand-picked a mayor named Oakey Hall. Sounds like George Norcross!
Today's election (Nov. 8, 2011) comes down to a simple choice. If you are satisfied with your community/county/state being governed by George Norcross hiding in the shadows and telling those in office what they should do, than vote the Democrats back into office.
On the other hand if you want to change the way your government has been run for the past 20 years then vote straight Republican on Tuesday, November 8.
Whatever you decide just remember to vote. A government by the people, for the people just cannot work without the people. This is a simple fact. While it is easy to say "one vote doesn't make a difference" the reality is that every vote counts. You have to remember that as an individual your vote may seem to be little more than a whisper, but when your vote is combined with the votes of others who share your views it becomes a voice. The more like-voters there are the louder that voice grows.
Polls are open Tuesday from 6 am to 8 pm. Remember to check your sample ballot for the location of your polling booth.