CT: "Shocked but not Surprised" – On the Sec. of State's Major Party Propaganda Campaign and Recruitment Drive

In a letter to the editor of the Hartford Courant, Pete Healey of the Proportional Representation Party weighs in on "affiliate and participate," the Connecticut Secretary of State's ongoing major party propaganda campaign and recruitment drive. Under the headline "Party Promotion is Wrong," Pete writes:
The campaign being conducted by Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz to encourage independent voters to affiliate with one or the other of the two major parties has become a topic of discussion outside Connecticut as well [courant.com, July 13, "Conn. Voters Urged To Register For Primaries"].

I'm shocked, but not surprised, that a statewide officeholder would shamelessly prop up the two major parties in this way to hype upcoming party primaries.

In New York, my county has a registration pattern similar to Connecticut's: Almost 40 percent of voters are not affiliated with either major party, with the Democrats and Republicans roughly equal at about 30 percent each. No statewide official here has ever, to my knowledge, attempted to do what Bysiewicz has done. To the contrary, in Democratic circles this year especially, an effort has been made to force Democrats to accept that party's endorsed candidates and suppress any primary campaigns.

I'm neither Democrat nor Republican and have little interest in their internal party affairs. And I would expect that statewide elected officials would, at least outwardly, express the same kind of disinterest. Isn't it a mistake for Ms. Bysiewicz to coax people toward one party or another, even when we know (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) that this two-party system is closed to all others?

Pete Healey, New Paltz, N.Y.
"Affiliate and Participate" might be more appropriately titled "Bait and Berate."

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