Do not be distracted: Donald Trump is not the issue

Monroe County Democrats are trying to make county government elections all about Donald Trump. It is a strategery that deserves to fail, but it may well work. Voters should not fall for it. Taxpayers, voters, and county employees deserve better than Democrats’ efforts to reduce elections for Monroe County government to Donald Trump’s controversial statements or his policy proposals.

In a comment on my letter to the editor last week, someone said that he would not vote for Nelson Shaffer for county commissioner because Shaffer supports Trump. How can I, as someone who does not support and has harshly criticized Trump, justify my support of Shaffer?

The answer is easy: Vote for local office based on local qualifications. The topic of my letter was transparency and open government. Shaffer’s opponent (Julie Thomas) is using her personal e-mail to conduct official county business instead of the county’s e-mail server. At best, this is unethical and unprofessional. At worst, it’s an effort to hide what she’s doing from the people who pay her salary. Shaffer has promised to use the official county government e-mail server. Character matters.

Pointing to Trump is a transparent way to excuse corruption, massive financial mismanagement, credit card fraud, theft, and hiding county business from the taxpayers. All of that has been perpetrated by Monroe County Democrats, and none of that has anything at all to do with Donald Trump. The issue is who will better serve us as a county commissioner. The issue is who has the better policy proposals on planning and zoning. The issue is who is committed to transparency and open government. The issue is who actually respects and will listen to taxpayers. On every one of those issues, Nelson Shaffer is far better than Julie Thomas.

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