The Democratic Party is essentially weak as my kitten, but it needn't be that way. Indeed, with the right platform, they may be able to make inroads to the Republican monopoly. In fact, an article in today's Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, page 2B, could help galvanize Democratic support.
I'm not a Democrat, but my opinion of the Rankin County GOP is unprintable. In fact, I seriously considered becoming a Democrat back in 2000. I went to the state Democratic Party convention in Jackson that year. I just wanted to observe what was going on. While there were your flaming liberals, I met a lot of conservatives who hated the country club wing of the GOP. If it had not been for a former Rankin County Democratic official who cursed and yelled at me when I was at the convention, humiliating me in front of a lot of folks, I just might have switched. Thanks to this jackass of a sea hag "lady", I decided I wouldn't switch. I would have hated to see her at Rankin County Democratic Executive Committee meetings and having her cursing me in the crudest terms.
Nevertheless, the Democrats are not hopeless in Rankin County despite the demographics. Let us assume the Democrats would nominate social conservatives (i.e., pro-life), otherwise they wouldn't stand a chance. Here is what they should propose and I believe they would be winning issues:
1. The article I referenced in the first paragraph referred to development in Castlewoods. There are a lot of people who are tired of all the development in Rankin County---including me. If I were a Democrat, I would say this: "From Florence to Flowood, from Pearl to Pelahatchie, we are becoming a concrete jungle." I would point out that all of this development has raised our taxes and destroyed the environment. Look at Airport Road. It used to be tree-rich. Now all the trees are being chopped down in the name of "development." Do we want a concrete jungle and traffic gridlock? Do we want to destroy the natural habitat in the name of "development?"
2. Taxes have gone up under GOP rule. I thought the GOP was the party of lower taxes and less government. That hasn't been the case in Rankin County. This unrestrained development is raising taxes and causing traffic congestion. Follow the scenario: We need a good tax base, so we allow more development. Development comes and there is more traffic congestion. So we raise taxes for infrastructure. Plus because more people move in, so more schools have to be built. So we raise taxes to build the schools. To pay for the taxes, we need more development. Notice the vicious cycle? Has the GOP done anything to stop the cycle? Do you believe in Martians?
3. Emergency bidding has cost the county money. Why can't we accept the lowest bids at ALL times, including the purchase of vehicles? I thought the GOP was conservative when it came to spending those coins.
4. Does the Rankin County Board of Supervisors give money to non-government organizations? If so, why? Does it give money to the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce? If so, why? If business is so great in Rankin County, why can't the Chamber of Commerce support itself and not get a dime from the government?
5. Why not zero-based budgeting? That has always been a Republican mantra, but they sure as blue blazes don't follow it. The Democrats would be wise to implement zero-based budgeting. They should turn the tables on the GOP and make them look like big spenders.
6. Have impact fees. If we are going to have unrestrained "cowboy" development in Rankin County, shouldn't some of these developers pay some impact fees to finance the infrastructure where their developments are located? If there are impact fees, shouldn't they be raised?
The Democrats in this county may be surprised at the disenchantment over all this development. The "concrete jungle" is a real possibility in Rankin County and this present bunch of supervisors doesn't even care. If the Democrats have any sense, they would address these issues and nominate candidates. Even in Castlewoods, Crossgates and the Reservoir, there is a lot more disenchantment with all this development than you think.
If I were the Democrats, I would come up with a thorough platform on how they would deal with county matters. People are tired of just the "Development Voice" as propagated by the Republican Party. They are looking for an alternative. Will the Democrats step up to the plate and provide the alternative? If they do, I'd be more than willing to help the Democratic nominee in the election (so long as that individual is conservative on social issues). My disgust with the county GOP is overwhelming. And believe me, I am not alone.