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Cape Gazette VIEWPOINTS TUESDAY, JULY 29- THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2014 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 approximately $200 billion/year since the onset of the wars. In contrast, according to the Senate Budget Committee, the govern- ment spends approximately $740 billion/year ($3.7 trillion in the past five years) off over 80 dif- ferent means-tested poverty and welfare entitlement programs. Hence, not to debate the valid- ity of war or the merits of social programs, but from a financial perspective, the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars pale in comparison to other areas of government expenditures. Third, there is strong resis- tance by many to approve any tax increase due to the lack of accountability, inefficiency, inef- fectiveness and incompetency by our government to spend the money wisely. Remember the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, AKA the stimulus bill? $787 billion revised upward to $831 billion of unfunded government spending to save or create new jobs, keep unemployment below 8 percent, and to fund "shovel ready" infra- structure projects. By any measure, this act did not accomplish its intended goals. Unemployment did not stay below 8 percent. Jobs saved or created are dubious at best, and of the $Ul billion earmarked for infrastructure projects, only $37.7 billion was spent on infrastruc- ture! According to the council of economic advisers, most of the $831 billion was spent on items such as tax benefits for special interests ($290 billion), food stamps increase ($37.6 billion), unemployment extension ($61B) entitlement spending ($240.7B), Medicaid grants ($89.8 billion) and other social programs. Not exactly what the American tax- payer was sold! So, pay attention millennials - rational, tough-minded baby boomers demand accountability and real solutions to problems before we give another nickel to our government. Wise up!! Mario Roca Rehoboth Beach Free speech is one of the most important freedoms Over the past few weeks I have read some letters to the editor regarding whether the Cape Gazette needs a conserva- tive columnist. In one letter from Richard Freeman [July 15], he expressed "some amusement" on the need for some balance to Don Flood's Politics column. Mr. Freeman, what are you afraid of?. If you are sure of the views you and your side espouse, then surely a few words from a different point of view won't hurt the cause you support. But I suspect what you and your DELAWARE CAPE REGION HISTORY IN PHOTOGRAPHS )) SURF LOOKS THE SAME BUT A BIT OF A DIFFERENT CROWD DELAWARE PUBLIC ARCHIVES PHOTO/ROYDON L. HAMMOND THIS SCENE FROM AUG. 30, 1931 shows the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, looking north from the upper floor of the Belhaven Hotel, which used to stand at the corner of the Boardwalk and Rehoboth Avenue where Candy Kitchen is now located. The Boardwalk looks similar to today, as does the surf and the Women's Christian Tem- perance Union fountain at the end of Rehoboth Avenue. But the crowd and its clothing are a far cry from what we see these days. like-thinking party members are had thought this way, we would afraid of is non-group-think. If still be a colony of Great Britain. the founders of this great country This country is a great country precisely because we don't have the heavy hand of government Continued on page 8 mong the more inter- esting 2012 races was the Representative District 20 race be- tween Republican Steve Smyk and Democrat Marie Mayor. Some polls showed Mayor ahead late in the race, but Smyk pulled it out, winning about 53 percent of the vote. Those two candidates are back, but the race also includes another contender, Don Ayotte of the Independent Party of Delaware. Ayotte, who lives outside Georgetown, ran and lost in 2012 as a Republican against Democrat Joan Denver for the Sussex County Council District 3 seat. Though Deaver won rela- tively easily, with about 56 percent of the vote, Ayotte outpolled her in some areas. He's counting on his strength in the smaller District 20, where he served as a Republican Elec- tion District chair, to carry him to victory. (Both Sussex County Council District 3 and Representative District 20 include Milton and Lewes, but District 3 extends farther north and south.) As a former Republican, Ayo- tte might be expected to draw more votes from Smyk than Mayor. But, he insists, "I'm no spoiler, I can tell you that." "If I can do 8,000 homes and talk to those people," Ayotte said, "I believe I've got this thing." He's definitely out there knocking on doors. His cam- paign recently dropped off literature at my.house. And that's part of a new strat- egy of the Independent Party of Delaware. "We're concentrating with areas, districts where we have a chance of winning," said Wolfgang yon Baumgart, state party chairman. "We used to be happy just to have warm bodies on the ballot." Now, he said, they've raised the Criteria for candidates. Baumgart said he recently received a call from a man who wanted to run as an Indepen- dent just so he could take part in the debates. Baumgart said he told him to try another party. If that means fewer can- didates, so be it. "We're not running symbolic campaigns," Baumgart said. Though Ayotte had already fried, the party's official nomi- nating convention was held Saturday at Ayotte's house on Gravel Hill Road. Ayotte said says no to about 15 people attended. As of Monday morning, Ayo- tte was the only candidate run- ning for the Independent Party. By email, Ayotte said, "We are working on a candidate for the 14th District, but haven't nailed anything down yet." Their aim is to actually win an election. Just one Indepen- dent Party member serving in the General Assembly, Ayotte said, would "change the politi- cal landscape." They do face some problems, beginning with their name. Ayotte said people still get confused about the difference between being a member of the Independent Party of Delaware and being an "independent," or unaffiliated voter. His campaign literature includes a form telling people how to make sure they are properly registered as members of the Independent Party. They're also plagued with a ghost website: independentpar- tyofdelaware.org. Google the state Independent Party and that's the site that pops up first. An apparition from the party's past, it hasn't been changed since 2006. It in- cludes outdated party platforms and contact information. "It's basically the Flying Dutchman of political web- sites," said Baumgart. Unfortunately, they've been unable to get the site taken down, though they plan to do SO. The current, correct website is the same except that it has ".corn" at the end instead of ".org." It's very colorful and features a picture of the State House surrounded by bright yellow "CRIME SCENE" tape. Near the top it says, "Politics is NOT the Answer," an interesting mes- sage for what is, after all, a polit- ical party. But you get the idea this is not a party interested in the status quo. The site includes platforms not just for the Independent Party, but also for the Demo- cratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green parties. According to Baumgart, that's a measure of theconfldence the Independents have in their plat- form, which is called "Blueprint for Freedom." Baumgart said it's designed to take power from special interests and back to the people. (The website, which features many buttons, still has some areas under construction.) Ayotte feels he can work within his new party. "Al- though my party affriiation has changed, my political phi- losophy has not," he said. "I'm a conservative person. I'm both fiscally and socially conserva- tive." "But I do fit in with the peo- ple of the Independent Party of Delaware, because they are not judgmental," Ayotte said. That 9 wasn't his experience with the Republicans. "The infighting within the Re- publican Party is unbelievable," he said. "I got sick and tired of it." Democrats have the same problem, he said, but they do a better job of hiding it. In addition to being a candi- date, Ayotte is director of spe- cial operations, which includes recruiting for the party. The contact number is 302-344-4433. OOO Reader Howard Gaskill of Georgetown contacted me this week to say that the Afghani- stan and Iraqi operations were not "our first unpaid-for wars." He mentioned President Johnson's "guns and butter" pol- icy during Vietnam. "I believe the Vietnam War was our first conflict where the home folks were not taxed, subjected to rationing or inconvenienced for the duration," he wrote. This is a good point. We didn't start down this road with President George W. Bush. I should have said it was the first time taxes were lowered during wartime. The other big difference was that men were still be- ing drafted during Vietnam. Imagine how hard it would be to build support for wars if the draft were still in effect. Don Flood is a former newspaper editor living near Lewes. He can be reached at floodpolitics@gmail.com.