Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I am a member of the Libertarian party -- but -- there is more.

Sure, I'm a member of the Libertarian Party. However, I'm the vice-chair of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party. That's an elected postion. Last year, 2005, I was an elected board member. This year, I'm the second highest official in the party. This isn't just for District 3, nor for the city, but for Allegheny County.

So, "Mark Rauterkus, Libertarian," works fine.

Or, if space permits, "Mark Rauterkus, vice-chair of the Libertarian Party of Allegheny County" is accurate. More concise, "Mark Rauterkus, vice-chair of Allegheny County Libertarians."

There is a Republican in the race for city council, on paper. He has yet to appear at any candidate function. He was a no-show again last night when the community gathered in Arlington. These events are on my calendar -- and -- I've offered to share my calendar with him. I don't like it when there is a candidate night and everyone isn't invited. But, I can't do much more than offer to be staight-forward and honest with the dates to him and to others.

Five years ago, I wasn't happy with the way the city was being led. We were on the wrong track. I had had enough. So, I joined the opposition and tried my best to oust the top guy in town -- mayor Tom Murphy, D. I ran around town, networking with citizens and building solutions where I could.

So, I think it is important to put up an opposition. It is important to fight the give-a-ways. It is important to preserve and sustain our rights -- week in and week out.

I want to be certain that we include others and go away from our one-party town legacy. But, for this to occur, other viable alternatives are necessary.

A Republican that is going to skip candidate functions -- all of them so far -- and not work to make Pittsburgh better, in the slightest, isn't to be counted upon as a helper in our general struggle for survival. I have no problem with people sitting on the sidelines, being busy with their life's work, giving family time, whatever. Fine. But a candidate that is a continual no-show has to be questioned.

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