The Republican Party has been taken over by a bunch of kooks"-Barry Goldwater.
Since I was a small child I remember watching with a certain awe the political audacity and committment to which Western New Yorkers, especially in my home county of Genesee, committed themselves to not only political candidates but their ideas as well. Everywhere I went growing up, whether it was in Dunkin Donuts or the grocery store everyone had an opinion around election time. No matter who you were for, you were for someone and you had an opinion on everyone.
Why then, is this predominantly Republican county now registering more Democrats than Republicans? Why are even Republicans coming in our small, rural county committee's office asking for Obama/Biden, Mesi and Kryzan signs?
Perhaps their just not falling for the same old tired talking points anymore, maybe they realize what an aged Barry Goldwater said during the rise of the Religious Right (see above quote)......
We have two major competitive races in our county, one for State Senate and one for Congress. In our State Senate race we have a 20+ year incumbent Erie County legislator, a legislator who was also the biggest proponent of the policies of the Joel Giambra administration. These policies caused a bit of a crisis because Erie County, well, see, they ran out of money. He often quips that he "never voted for a tax increase,". The record shows this is true, however, he bullied those same policies through the Erie County Legislature that caused a fiscal collapse and constituted the need for massive tax increases. What Ranzenhofer is saying, in short, is this...."I caused the problem but I don't want a solution,". Nice, real nice.
On the other hand, in our Congressional race, we have Christopher J. Lee. A nice fellow and a businessman, it's true that his company does have some factories here in Western New York. Even so, his company did have manufacturing facilities in China, a fact that he tried to hide numerous times before being confronted on it during a debate, when finally being backed into a wall, Lee called it a "business policy" with something about assembling being done in China but not manufacturing. Disingenuous much? Politics of parsing on overdrive.
It finally seems that even in a deep red county like Genesee County, people are starting to pull the Democratic lever despite being traditionally Republican for years, that same opinionated attitude may very well be the downfall of a once very dominant rural Western New York Republican base.
Maybe its health care, maybe its education, maybe its the war in Iraq, maybe its the economy.
Or maybe, just maybe, the good and normally Republican voters in Genesee County have had it with the state of their party, because it's been "taken over by a bunch of kooks,"