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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March 30th, 2012

Jenkins Gets the Last Laugh

Gordon Jenkins won reelection as Village of Monticello Mayor, and you know what, he deserved to win. Jenkins understands grassroots politics and he knows how to win elections. Many of his critics, as vocal as they are, do not know the first thing about politics.

Over the years, whether being my friend and foe, I have always admired Jenkins political drive, passion, and ability to organize his core base. He learned a lot about running political campaigns from Roy Innis founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Jenkins has always been considered a political outsider and not by his own doing. When he first ran for elective office he was shunned by the Democratic Party machine and was forced to organize and run on his own G Man line. Since then, Jenkins changed his political registration from Democrat to Republican and now back to Democrat.

Critics can argue all they want that the results were not a true accounting of the electorate due to low voter turnout. The outcome speaks for itself. One does not have to be a Sunday morning quarterback or rocket scientist to realize that those who opposed Jenkins could not grasp Political Science 101.

In order to have beaten Jenkins, all parties should have agreed to run one candidate. If they wanted to split the black vote, and win that way, they could have run a person of color with another candidate. Sadly, that is how people win elections, utilizing the old divide and conquer theory. It has been used against and in favor of every ethnic, minority, and non minority group in the past.

Perhaps Jenkins won reelection because he has been doing a good job as Mayor, and it is actually his panache that provokes us.
Jenkins says what he feels and does as he pleases. He is clearly afraid of no one. I wonder if Jenkins were white if so many people would be so angry with him? Why is it ok for other elected officials to act like bosses, powerbrokers, and deal makers? Why is it ok for them to cater to certain groups and it is not ok for Jenkins?

Unlike many other elected officials, we can all agree that Jenkins is no phony. Not only do we know where he stands on issues, but he is loyal to those who support him.

My criticism of Jenkins has been extensive and is no secret. But, that does not negate the fact that perhaps Jenkins means well and wants to do that right thing.

Despite the flaws we might see in him, Jenkins has a solid record of delivering for Monticello. To his credit, he has been working hard to restore Broadway, is overhauling Village Hall, and has kept taxes down. When a Torah was stolen from a local synagogue he was the first to condemn it and the first to celebrate its return.

After winning reelection, the first words uttered out of his mouth was that he wanted to unite and work together with everyone. I believe he is sincere and I fully support his new efforts.

I am glad that Carmen Rue won reelection as a trustee. She has been a consistent outspoken advocate for all the people, and has proven she can work well with Jenkins despite their many disagreements. Rue like Jenkins understands grassroots politics and how to win elections. Perhaps she could have won as Mayor.
Yes, Mayor Jenkins, you got the last laugh.

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