The message with this election is that authenticity matters. Voters on all sides scoffed at the idea that elections in Berkeley Heights could be bought. Last year Republicans had a lesson to learn, this year it’s the Democrat’s turn.
Every single district. Every. Single. One. Rejected what has been occurring in our community for the last three years.
District 1 - Republicans won by 26
District 2 - Republicans won by 73
District 3 - Republicans won by 36
District 4 - Republicans won by 72
District 5 - Republicans won by 107
District 6 - Republicans won by 141
District 7 - Republicans won by 242
District 8 - Republicans won by 8
District 9 - Republicans won by 128
District 10 - Republicans won by 123
District 11 - Republicans won by 91
Victory in an election does not give your supporters or backers carte blanche to implement any program they want, especially in our schools. If you run on “purple” it means acknowledging the contributions of Republicans in an authentic manner and taking their ideas seriously. It means actually living up to that idea and endorsing Republicans because they are the better candidates. If you run on transparency, then it’s about remembering that this applies to disclosing where your money and support are coming from and not giving residents a lesson on the letter of the law when they ask questions.
The road to victory in an election in our town involves a few very simple ingredients:
1 - Candidates with serious positions on local concerns, being respectful of differing opinions.
2- Face to face contact with voters
3- Respect for the intelligence of voters who live in our community
So I have a proposition for both parties:
That they agree on a firm spending cap.
That only the campaigns themselves fund mailers and communications.
No more endorsements, videos or letters from County or State officials that have little to no knowledge of our community.
Instead of polished videos, agree to one online debate in addition to the LWV debate where residents can ask questions without screeners.
No robocalls, no paid temporary poll watchers, no edited video clips with buzzers after a candidate’s response, no paid social media ads with booing in the background as a line runs through a candidate’s face, no neon trucks, no canvassing outside the polls, no hiding behind volumes of mailers.
Keep it real, within town limits and on the ground.