How I got involved with Politics, or How to Become a Loyal Democrat.

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It was around 1984, the wife and I just purchased our first home in Cohoes, New York. The house needed some fixing up, so I applied at the city hall for a building permit. Two days later, I received a letter stating my application was turned down. I called the codes department and asked why I was turned down. The man on the other end said there was a little problem, but he would send a man to my house later to help me.

 Hours later a man showed at my door, introduced himself as a person from the Democratic Committee, and he had my problem solved. He handed me two enrollment cards Already  filled out with the party of our choice, Democratic!  We signed our cards, he reached into his satchel, and handed us our building permit. What personal service! He thanked us. We were now loyal Cohoes Democrats!

 Several months later, it came to us to use our new found voting rights for the first time.  In front of the School 4 polling place was another Democratic Committee person, known by us, with clipboard in hand. She checked off on the sheet that we had already voted down the democratic line.

 I then entered the building, signed in and went to the booth. At this time I was pretty ticked off at the gall of the committee, first telling me I needed to sign the application for party in order to get a building permit, second for the assumption that I was voting their way. I looked at the rows of levers in front of me, and voted the entire Republican line. My duty to the Cohoes Democrats was done.

 I gave the thumbs up to the committee person on the way out with a huge heart felt smile on my face.

 I realized later. though I did vote my conscious, that I would never waste my vote again. I have been a constant voter ever since, down all party lines. If you earned my vote, you got it.

  Never assume you know a person. It will come back and bite you. 

Comments

Dino Manalis Added Aug 19, 2017 - 12:43pm
I'm a registered Democrat, but they're usually too liberal for me, I prefer centrists who come together to solve problems.
John G Added Aug 19, 2017 - 5:54pm
Likely story.
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 19, 2017 - 6:12pm
Why would you call me a story teller? Ever been exposed to Cohoes politics? It is the truth in every word. There are many more "stories" yet.
 
Autumn Cote Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:14pm
Please note, to help increase your readership, I highly advise uploading an author image/avatar.  Many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Dave Christianson Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:45pm
Makes all the sense in the world to me, but then I grew up close to Chicago, which has always been pretty much that way. Now I live in Nebraska, which isn't all that different, except a different party, and it matters more who you know.
Paul C. Added Aug 19, 2017 - 11:04pm
Knowing how corrupt the Democratic Party was/is, it surprises me you don't continue to vote the Republican Party line.
wsucram15 Added Aug 20, 2017 - 12:16am
Welcome to Writer Beat.
I live in a Democratic State and I have never had such an experience.  I mean a County Executive once that was running and a "shoe in " that didnt get elected because he was so arrogant to people except "friends."  He really picked the wrong person to make mad.
We had a corrupt Irish Mayor who got elected Governor then tried to run for President.  His office helped me get help for my house when no one else would, so I cant complain about him. Too much.
I got a death threat from a treasurer and a different County Executive in 2004 maybe for being one of 4 people to expose the theft of over 90,000 at a recreation council.  (they were all family).
Only one went to jail though for the theft.  
Ive seen a lot of shady stuff in politics, but no one ever came to my door for something like that.  I would have to talk to the Republicans about that...lol.
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:20am
Cohoes is a small city, I think now around 17,000 people. Moved out around 20 years ago. If you were not registered Democrat, you simply had no standing with City Hall. There is no written history of the shenanigans of the Democratic Party or the Peoples Party(I think that was the name of Mayor McDonalds party, not sure) prior. Several events do stand out.  Political party members would get their streets, and sometimes driveways, paved, while other parts of the city endured the nickname "Coholes, N. Y.". The postmaster built quite the large house on the hill section, from funds earned from selling counterfeit stamps at the post office for years. He was caught and sent to prison. Before that, he had a huge swimming pool and elaborate heating systems "left over" from the new Lansing Pool and High School. Like I said, many more stories from this city.  
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:53am
 I believe Republican and Democratic parties both used the same tactics. I am registered Democrat, but I vote across all party lines. I voted for Pataki, Republican, Reagan, the First Bush. I proudly Voted for President Obama, and Hillary Clinton. I did not vote for trump. I am firmly Anti-trump, and it would not matter what party he was affiliated with. 
Dave Christianson Added Aug 20, 2017 - 12:01pm
My experience is that anytime one party ends up dominant it will eventually be corrupt. I've seen it with Democrats and I've seen it with Republicans. Lord Acton was correct, 'The love of power corrupts, and the love of absolute power corrupts absolutely." Applies everywhere, unions, dominant corporations, even religions. Basic organizational theory, really. And why real (not crony) capitalism is the only honest system.
Ric Wells Added Aug 20, 2017 - 2:30pm
 I lived in Wilton and Glens Falls for decades. I do not doubt a word of your post. 
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 20, 2017 - 2:50pm
 Thanks for the vote of confidence. But I may have erred on the counterfeit stamp story. I heard the story so many times from so many different people that I took it as gospel. I did try to look up news articles on the counterfeiting, as it should have been reported, but could not find anything. Will keep researching, there could be some truth to it. I do stand by the story of his using "left over" products in the building of his house. 
Thomas Napers Added Aug 21, 2017 - 4:16am
You should have put the word “loyal” in quotes if your title was meant to be sarcastic. 
 
I think almost all municipal governments are tainted by liberal leaning politicians.  The reason is that local government workers (police, fire, teacher) are almost always unionized and therefore very interested in having Democrats as their check writers.  They all do a great job of making it sound like the sky will fall if they don’t get what they seek in labor negotiations.  It also doesn’t hurt when the person you’re negotiating with is as interested in you getting as good a deal as the taxpayers will swallow.  I mean, how often do you hear a local politicians proclaim he will lower taxes by cutting spending on public education?
Shane Laing Added Aug 21, 2017 - 4:57am
My word, I have had my suspicions of Democrats from this side of the pond but this story really does take the biscuit.
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 21, 2017 - 10:15am
Thomas Napers, The title got you to read it though. It's not only the Democrats who play the game. Republicans have played the same game. Cohoes was once a Republican stronghold in it's Industrial Revolution heyday. Lot's of history in this small town. Daily, the population would swell from 20,000 to over 50,000, when the mills opened in the morning. I could not imagine that happening today, and how they did it in the past. I do write as if I still live there. My parents and their parents were all born there, I can point out the houses they were born in, right down to the room. I lived there for 47 years.
 I had originally joined Writer Beat intending to show my Anti-trump side. This first article, intended to be my introduction, has me thinking I now have two distinct subjects to write about. 
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 21, 2017 - 8:13pm
Shane Laing There are an equal amount of Republican stories. Both sides play dirty. 
Thomas Napers Added Aug 22, 2017 - 3:34pm
I’m I might have read your article even if your title wasn’t misleading.
 
So are you suggesting Republicans are just as corrupt as Democrats in obtaining voters?  If so, what proof do you have?  Allow me, just because the Republican Party was preferred at one time, doesn’t mean they stooped to underhanded methods like the Democrats. 
 
For whatever, it’s worth I’m an anti-Trumper too, but tickled pink he was elected over Hillary. 
 
So what are the two distinct subject you intend to write about? 
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 22, 2017 - 5:27pm
Thomas Napers With everything going on with politics these days, you believe Republicans are squeaky clean? No such thing. Dirty politics are the norm for all sides. Want to write anti-trump stories, with proof of Republican tactics, and more on small town politics and history. Did not title the article to be misleading.  
Thomas Napers Added Aug 23, 2017 - 6:13am
The reason your title is misleading is because after your experience with Democrat corruption, you voted the “Republican Party Line.”  In other words, you didn’t become a loyal Democrat, you became a loyal Republican.  Hence the reason “loyal” should have been in quotes. 
 
I do not think the Republican Party is squeaky clean.  However, I have no knowledge of the Republican Party doing anything like what the Democratic Party did to you.  So I find it odd you still don’t vote the Republican Party line, when the only sin you have on them is the fact you believe they might have sinned similarly.
 
Look, I don’t think one should ever vote the party line, as I’m sure there are some strong Democratic politicians out there.  Problem is, I’ve never seen one, so I always end up voting the Republican Party line.  This article provided me one more reason to do so. 
Dr. Rupert Green Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:17am
As a candidate for NYC council, I took the voters' list to find Republicans to sign my petition. All I found was mostly a lot of abandon house or deceased individuals. I guess both parties are into proxy voting--dead voting as living or living being manipulated to vote for the dead.
Paul H. Mayo Added Aug 23, 2017 - 10:26am
Thomas Napers, Please do not use this article as a reason for voting Republican, just look at Dr. Rupert Greens comment above for some of the Republican's dirty work. I am neither a  Democrat or Republican voter across the line. I vote for the person who earned my vote. I have voted in Republicans as well as Democrats. The greatest "sin" of this century is the voting in of a repugnant and unqualified trump.