The Montgomery Democratic Organization (MDO) regrets to hear about vandalism of the Republican candidates’ signs in our town. Let us be clear: Neither the MDO nor our candidates encourage, excuse, or engage in acts of vandalism. As victims of similar vandalism of our candidate’s signs last November, we understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of this type of angry, pointless, and destructive behavior.
The Montgomery Democratic Organization and its members and supporters are part of this community. We are your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. We have always been respectful of those with different political beliefs, and we pride ourselves on conducting the Organization with dignity and integrity. There is no place in Montgomery for hostile behavior and intolerance. We do not condone vandalism of our opposition’s signs, as we know that all those running for office locally, regardless of political party, are Montgomerians who want to serve the public.
Township Committee candidate Marvin Schuldiner had the following to say about this incident: “I am a firm believer in the first amendment rights of everyone, and strongly condemn the theft and vandalism of political signs of any party.” Schuldiner’s running mate Catherine Gural added, “It’s disheartening to see vandalism of any kind in our town. I think it’s important for everyone to promote a culture of respect and civility.”
Upon hearing about the incident, the MDO reached out to Montgomery Republican party leadership via emails to Mark Caliguire, Ed Trazska, and Christine Madrid. We proposed releasing a joint statement between our two parties condemning this behavior and imploring Montgomerians not stoop to this level of anger.
Unfortunately, we did not receive a reply, so we are pressing forward with our own statement to make clear that we are intolerant of destructive acts of partisanship in our town. We believe that we can win the race for local election based on our ideas, command of issues, and respect for all constituents, and we have no need to rely on any untoward practices. If a partisan member of the community did indeed deface the GOP signs, it certainly was not at our behest and is an isolated act that is in no way connected to the official Democratic Party in Montgomery, or its candidates.
Current Democratic Committeewoman Sadaf Jaffer reiterated, “Having experienced vandalism and disappearing signs when I ran for office last year, I know how disturbing it can be. I wish the best to the Republican candidates. I know Mr. Quraishi has been targeted for being Muslim in the past and I sincerely hope we can move past bias and prejudice in any form in our town.”
The MDO looks forward to a time in our democracy when politics are not this fraught. We welcome conversation about these issues, and if you would like to raise any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the MDO via our Facebook page or our website, www.montydems.org The future of our republic relies on an engaged and informed citizenry!