The most dangerous word to a bureaucrat is “WHY?” I was once again reminded of this when I joined 5 other liberty activists yesterday morning at the William B. Cashin Senior Center in West Manchester to educate senior citizens about the heinous things their elected officials are up to. Our event was called “Liberals raise taxes, ditch grandma, and evade taxes.” Yeah, dem Dems are up to no good.
Joyce Craig, a Democrat who is running for mayor of Manchester against Ted Gatsas who announced yesterday he is seeking reelection, was holding an informational session. We wanted her constituents to know that: 1. Alderman Chris Herbert (D) had recently ignited a firestorm for suggesting that everyone living in Ward 4 wants to pay more taxes (really???) and that he wants a “program” to ship home-owning grandmas to Florida and replace them with non-abated taxpayers; and, 2. State representative and Manchester alderman, Tommy Katsiantonis (D), was recently indicted for tax evasion.
Craig, who ran against Gatsas last time when he squeaked to victory by 64 votes, is attempting to distance herself from these Democrats, but Manchester voters need to know it is exactly the tax and spend plans she likes to support that lead to these kinds of issues. Elderly people on fixed incomes are being driven from their homes because the city is too profligate, too eager to do backroom deals, too willing to bust the tax cap put in place to protect taxpayers.
Our signs read: “Herbert: ‘We need more taxes and fewer seniors’; “Tommy K. must resign!”; Tommy K <3 to evade taxes”; “Joyce Craig raises taxes”; “Hebert should resign”; “Democrats’ Economics 101: 1. Always raise taxes, 2. Evict seniors, 3. Evade their own taxes”.
We’d barely gathered when a lady who works at the center comes out and tells us we have to leave. “Why?” I ask. She ignores my question. “Is this private property?” She again tells us we aren’t allowed to be there and have to leave. “Who pays for this center?” “You have to go. You are not allowed to be here.” “Why?” No response. (“Why?” is their Kryptonite.) She tells us she is going to call the police–“OK!” I say (this isn’t my first free speech rodeo)–and goes back inside.
A few minutes later, a man comes out and tells me I need to move my car, which I have parked in front of a dumpster. “Why?” “You just need to move it.” “But there’s no ‘No Parking’ sign, I checked. And there’s a painted parking stripe.” “They need to be able to get to the dumpster.” Not wanting to be a bad neighbor, I agree to move the car, and do so immediately.
A couple of minutes later, lo-and-behold, who drives in and parks in the very spot I just vacated? None other than my former senatorial opponent, Lou D’Allesandro. I kid you not. When we shake hands as he moves towards the entrance, I warn him that they’re going to ask him to move his car since it is not, apparently, a parking spot. “Oh, I’ll be quick,” he says, shuffling into the building. What he means is, “The same rules don’t apply to me, peon.”
Bill Cashin–yes, the man whose name is on the building, as he makes sure to point out–comes out to inform us we are on “the wrong side of the issue.” We have a civil discussion, but it appears this gentleman has never seen a government program he doesn’t like, although I do note from the center’s website on “manchesternh.gov,” that “much of the center was built and furnished by contributions by generous citizens.” That’s a positive. I am a yuuuge proponent of using private funding for people’s pet projects. The more we can keep of our hard earned money, the more we are able to spend it discretionarily on issues important to us as individuals. When Mr. Cashin describes Tommy K.’s tax evasion as a “mistake,” Leah interrupts, saying, “It is a crime. Call it what it is, a crime.”
Now, many of us think taxation is theft, and that you should be able to keep the fruits of your labor. But to be a state rep and alderman who consistently votes to increase other people’s taxes, while evading his own? That is a special kind of evil.
We are still chatting to Bill Cashin when two Manchester Police SUVs roll into the parking lot. I cannot believe the lady really called the cops on us! Two officers approach and I take out my camera phone and begin recording. (In case you don’t know, after prevailing in my own First Amendment case, I recommend you always film police encounters.) Only one of the officers talks to us, and he behaves professionally. He tells us it’s okay to be there (doh!), and to record (uh-huh!), simply asking that we not block the entrance, “Otherwise I will come over and take care of it.” Aww, buddy, so, so close to not being a meanie!
The rain falls harder, and we soon decide to call it a morning. Before I leave, I cannot resist going inside to inform the ladies at the front desk that Senator D’Allesandro is–at least 30 minutes later–still parked in front of the dumpster. “You need to ask him to move his car just like I was told to; after all, fair is fair.”
But, know what? Fair ISN’T fair. There is one set of rules for the “rulers” and another for us mere lowly taxpayers. You better pay YOUR taxes, but us? Nah. Honestly, if they had asked me to move my car because Uncle Lou was on his way and he’s old and frail and can’t walk far in the rain, I would have moved my car, no problem. Instead, they chose to lie, saying it wasn’t a parking spot and that access to the dumpster was needed. But when Lou parked there, this, apparently, was no longer the case. This sort of “double-standards” behavior stinks to high heaven. They’re right about one thing, though: It’s time to clean house… After all, there are dumpsters to fill!