Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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January 16th, 2010

Democrats alive and well despite attempted coup

The Democratic Party is alive and well in Sullivan County despite the attempted coup by several hypocritical members of the legislature.

Those who orchestrated this political power ploy did not even consult with Democratic Party officials, but yet they call themselves party loyalists and team players.

Democratic support to keep Jonathan Rouis chairman was strong and far reaching within the party, and included such political powerhouses as Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, County Treasurer Ira Cohen, and Democratic Chairman Steve Wilkinson.

The motive behind the attempt to overthrow Rouis with Ron Hiatt had nothing to do with Sullivan County, but instead was organized by members of the legislature with their own selfish and mean-spirited agendas. To think they did this because they care about our welfare would be the biggest joke of all.

Kathleen LaBuda and Frank Armstrong are indeed furious their coup failed. They are blaming everyone in sight, including Elwin Wood. The tension at the government center is at an all-time high while morale is at an all-time low.

Insiders say items on their hit list included firing key employees disloyal to them, plus set an ultimate goal to replace Public Safety Commissioner Dick Martinkovic with Armstrong.

The sad part here is that LaBuda and Armstrong were able to convince Hiatt to buck Rouis with the help of Republican Alan Sorensen.

Tunnel vision obviously led Sorensen to make a deal with LaBuda and Armstrong. He would not even listen to reasoning from Republican County Chairman Dick Coombe. Luckily for Sullivan County, Sorensen misjudged Sager, who was smart enough to see through the smoke screens, and do the right thing and vote for Rouis.

Hiatt is a good guy and I admire his leadership skills, but becoming chairman was not his original intent or brainstorm. His time-consuming law practice would have forced him to be more of a figurehead, opening the door for other members of the legislature to run the show and move their agenda along. Sadly, Hiatt was being used and manipulated.

Both LaBuda and Armstrong are unhappy with Rouis because he has begun to show some major leadership qualities. He wants people hired based on ability and qualifications. Rouis has come to understand the need to work with everyone, instead of bowing to “backroom politicians.” I am certain Hiatt will join with Rouis in his new open door government efforts as will his supporter Wood.

Republicans Jodi Goodman, Binder and Sager view this as a new beginning of cooperation and coalition building. The opportunity is at hand for Rouis to realign committee chairs and be inclusive of Democrats and Republicans.
Contentions that Wood was going to vote for Hiatt were false. It was Sager who was expected to be the vote Hiatt needed because of pressure coming from Sorensen.

Sager, in discussing his support of Rouis, told me, “While my criticism has been well documented, I ultimately had to question the motives of those who orchestrated this attempted coup. I do not believe that Ron firmly understood the underlying reasons why he was being spurred to challenge Jonathan.  The very people who inspired Ron were the same ones who dominated the actions of the majority caucus for years. How could I then trust those very people to suddenly become honest agents of change for the betterment of Sullivan County?”

The outspoken and trustworthy Sager added, “I ultimately felt that this was not only a  power grab by certain individuals to regain their stranglehold on the legislature, but also a means of making Rouis the scapegoat for all of this legislature’s ills. He did not deserve that.”

Goodman said she has never seen Rouis play partisan politics. “He has always been open to my ideas and comments, and a good leader willing to make some tough decisions for Sullivan County.”

Hopefully Democrats and Republicans will finally work together for the benefit of Sullivan County and backroom wheeling and dealing will finally cease to exist.

1 comment to Democrats alive and well despite attempted coup

  • Tony

    The legislature has to go. It is all about self serving political agendas with this crew. It is all about them and not us. This article proves my point. It is time to clip their wings and free up some cash in my opinion. How can we go about eliminating this layer of the Sullivan County Gov?