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Op-Ed: This new party is not like the old party

by TOM CRONIN/Special to The Press
| September 29, 2021 1:00 AM

This is an open letter to those of you who have in the last five or 10 years found your way to our little corner of the world and declared it “paradise.”

I’m sure many of you came from another part of the country and for one reason or another thought where you came from was “paradise.” I am sure that in the busy and hectic world you previously lived in, you were a good model citizen and as part of this busy life, you took time to vote.

You lived in that part of “paradise” and you enjoyed the fast-paced life and probably just looked at your nightly news, newspaper, cable news center, and supported whichever party closely paralleled your thinking. This support could have come in the way of actual involvement or supporting with limited funds available to you for the candidates or party of your liking.

Now you have moved to this new place. You got busy with life again, maybe with a new job, or school or kids or just getting to know some folks. Just like before, you seemed to be a little overwhelmed with this thing called life.

So here in your new “paradise” you would just assume that the local party would mirror your allegiance that you followed in the past. You trusted that the local party would be like the old party, but it is not.

There is a reason that our local elections, i.e. city councils, North Idaho College board, Kootenai Health board, school boards, etc., are nonpartisan. For that reason, we do not allow the use of the D I R, Democrat, Independent or Republican, in describing a candidate.

The best example of a problem in this area is with the local Republican Party. On Friday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m., our local elections office closed for business. This was the last time someone who wanted to be a candidate could file.

The next day in the Coeur d’Alene Press, the local Republican Party, the Koootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC), announced that the “KCRCC has completed its vetting and rating process for the upcoming November elections.”

Wow. That must have been a very, very long night to complete a review of all 33 candidates who were listed and allegedly vetted. That’s just counting the ones who are getting KCRCC’s support — not including all the candidates who didn’t make the cut.

We now know that their system for vetting is a sham and that many who are running for a position were not even contacted. This is just one example of an organization that has been taken over by a few zealots and again are trying to bully the citizens.

Please take time to research the candidates, make a wise decision and remember there is no D I R.

Oh, and welcome to “paradise.”

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Tom Cronin is a Coeur d'Alene resident, Rotarian and former chief of police.