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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June 9th, 2011

2011 campaign season officially begins

The campaign season has officially begun in Sullivan County as the petitioning process gets underway. Up for grabs this year is the entire legislature, county clerk, coroner, town supervisors, council members, as well as other positions.

The crème de la crème will of course be the legislature races. And, Democrats and Republicans have both come up with exciting formidable candidates. Interestingly, each party has only three incumbents running while each are boasting six rising stars.

Four of the incumbents, two Republicans and two Democrats have continually worked together, so if any one political party misleads the public into believing they represent anti-incumbency they would be lying to you.

Democrats in introducing their candidates included an impressive ten point pledge including night meetings and fiscal responsibility. Republicans are expected to do the same in the near future.

Hopefully voters will also get a chance to decide the County Executive issue through a referendum. There are enough votes to call the issue if one legislator who keeps wavering does the right thing. A petition drive to get it on the ballot also has not been ruled out.

Although it is healthy when incumbents have challengers, there are times when there should be exceptions to the rule.

It is uplifting County Clerk Dan Briggs and Coroner Alan Kesten are both running unopposed. Their positions are non political and both men have served Sullivan County well and deserve to be reelected.

It is equally good to see Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini running unopposed. Cellini is not your typical politician.

Cellini has worked his tail off to bring us economic development. And, unlike other politicians, Cellini is not afraid to tell you where he stands on the issues. He is no phony.

Those who don’t approve of Cellini’s form of government should have produced a viable candidate. It is now time for those critics to shut up because they did not put up. Cellini has truly earned the unofficial title of “Mr. Sullivan County.”

There are many Supervisor races that will be exciting, especially the one in Liberty. Incumbent Democrat John Schmidt is facing a primary challenge from Town of Liberty Democratic Committee endorsed candidate Charlie Barbuti, while Councilmember Lynn Killian who often comes to blows with Schmidt is running as a Republican.

A sidebar to all this is that I recently inherited the position of chairman of the Town of Liberty Democratic Committee due to the resignation of the former chair. I want to make it clear that this column discusses issues and has never and will never be slanted towards partisan politics.

It has always been my belief that we should elect people based on qualifications and not party affiliation. In fact, as chairman, I already fought for Democrats to cross endorse two Republican incumbents, town clerk and judge, because of their outstanding records of public service.

I still expect to be attacked from both sides of the political aisle, because critics like to shun real issues by attacking one personally.

Yup, this should be an exciting election year. But, aren’t they always?

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