To the Editor:
Partisan politics should not be a part of Wellesley’s local elections. It has always been thus, and it should have remained so. Candidates for local, volunteer offices do not run with a “D” or “R” after their name. Moreover, those who do volunteer and throw their hat in the ring to serve our community should not be personally attacked and have their reputations smeared for the “crime” of espousing a position that runs counter to that of party activists. There is good reason for this. When the partisan
politics of personal destruction enter our local electoral sphere, we will lose candidates. People will be unwilling to serve. We saw this in our last election, when there were no candidates for an important position such as the Recreation Commission. This is unhealthy and ultimately destructive to our community.
That is why it is so significant that the Democratic Town Committee broke with tradition to send out an attack email against me in the days before the election, and then doubled down on the attacks in a statement issued to The Swellesley Report shortly thereafter. The original email, the “comment” thread that accompanied it as it made the rounds, and the subsequent statement to the Report employed rumor, innuendo, defamatory falsehoods and totally unsupported and purposely vague and sinister terms like “legitimate and deep concerns,” “astroturf” and “right wing” support, none of which are true or were raised in any of the traditional public forums and “Meet the Candidates” programs. The DTC also asserted, without any facts, the same unspecified “concerns over [my] prior government service in the Town of Wellesley.” I am proud of my voluntary, non-partisan service to the Town on both the Planning Board and the Wetlands Committee. However, the attack begs the larger question as to who will volunteer to run again for office if prior, honorable service is to be used somehow as a defamatory cudgel against them?
Just a year-and-a-half ago, September 2, 2020, the current co-Chairs of the DTC both were signatories on a Letter to the Editor in a local newspaper entitled “Keep partisan politics out of Wellesley town elections.” That headline was correct then, but hypocritically ignored in this election cycle.
It is as though the DTC sees a need to destroy candidates with whom they do not agree. Raising questions germane to the office sought is not enough. Any “heretic” who dares to approach the third rails of their partisan dogma must be eliminated –“canceled” in the current parlance—from the public square, now and forever. The irony of this is rich, as I ran on a platform that included getting politics out of the public schools. The DTC attacks clearly establish just how inbred politics has become in our public schools.
And the DTC is not content to just destroy a candidate. No, his/her supporters must be attacked as well. The DTC claims “legitimate and deep concerns” about a group that I, along with several others, helped to establish called “Wellesley Concerned Parents.” This diverse group includes people of various races, religions and political beliefs. As its name implies, it is a group of concerned, Wellesley parents who have or had children in our public schools. Since when is it objectionable to the DTC or anyone else that a group of Wellesley parents get together to discuss their concerns about the education of their children, and seek to raise those concerns with the public at large through a website? According to the DTC, that exercise in free speech cannot be allowed if it does not fit within their partisan belief system. It must be driven out of the realm of public discourse, by attacks that are both vicious and nonsensical.
Vicious in that the same terms, techniques and falsehoods used to attack my candidacy are deployed against WCP; and nonsensical in that co-chairs Ryan and Griffith state that “CRT teaching” is “non-existent” in our public schools, while simultaneously deriding WCP for seeking to remove the very same, non-existent CRT teaching.
As I am sure that your readers do not wish to hear me address each and every one of the gross canards and misrepresentations published by the DTC, I will simply challenge DTC co-chairs Ryan and Griffith to an open, public, Lincoln-Douglas style debate on their “legitimate and deep concerns” at a time and place of their choosing. I do not mind that it could be two-against-one, since I will have facts on my side. I am willing to let this engine of truth settle the matter.
89 River Street, Wellesley