‘This afternoon I will officially leave the Democratic party to affiliate as an independent’

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O P I N I O N

THE SOAPBOX

Stand up. Speak up. It’s Your Turn.


This afternoon, I will officially leave the Democratic Party to affiliate as an independent. There are many reasons for this disaffiliation: 

  1. The undemocratic nature of the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP). It is ironic that the Democratic Party has been the least democratic organization I have ever been part of. All power within the NHDP is centralized around the Chair and the Executive Committee. Regular party members, convention delegates, and even the state committee members are not allowed to partake in discussion and debate on Party matters. Both the State Convention and State Committee are used as rubber stamp bodies for the Chair of the party, with no discussion before votes are taken. I cannot in good conscience be a member of a party that claims to be democratic and grassroots when it does not let its own members have a say in the decision-making process.
  2. President Biden’s wholly inadequate response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is maddening to me that as a candidate Biden stated he would be the one to handle the COVID pandemic but as President, it seems he is more beholden to the special interests that fund his campaign. Only a few weeks ago Biden relinquished responsibility for fighting the pandemic when he said, “Look, there is no federal solution, this gets solved at a state level.” It is disgusting to me that someone would prioritize their donors ahead of the lives of our citizens. This is just the most serious of campaign promises that he has reneged on such as student loans, climate action, voting rights, and criminal justice reform.
  3. The broken two-party system. I went into politics expecting toxicity and hyperpolarization. As a member of the New Hampshire House I have been able to see what goes on behind closed doors, and let me say it is worse than what I ever could have imagined. From using parliamentary procedure to create deadlock to hypocrisy and political maneuvering – the party has looked out for itself rather than the people it serves. This is prevalent between the parties and within the party itself. It feels as though we are constantly watched and that one misstep can have us ostracized by our fellow members. It is time to bring an end to the two-party system which breeds polarization and deadlock and to move to a multi-party and consensus-based system. I will not be part of partisan shenanigans on either side which distract us from governing.

My priorities as a representative for the town of Amherst have not changed. I will continue fighting for my values as outlined in my electoral platform including electoral reform, criminal justice reform, protecting our environment and natural beauty of our state, increasing state aid for education, and lowering local property tax burdens on our community. I look forward to continuing my work with members on both sides of the aisle. I shall continue to faithfully serve our town and our state for the remainder of my term. 


Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? Thoughtful commentary of general interest is welcome. Send submissions to publisher@manchesterinklink.com, or DIY it here.


 

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tonylabranche

NH State Rep. Tony LaBranche

NH State Rep

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