How Folks Felt about the 2011 Elections

Plus a community events update, including the Sophisticated Ladies' Halloween costume party pics.

By Turiya S. A. Raheem
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 3 | Posted Nov. 9, 2011

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Dr. Homey and Soul Homey (the Clown) at Wash's.

ATLANTIC CITY — The elections may be over, but there is still a bad taste left in the mouths of many local voters.

I’ve attended a number of social events over the past week and one thing is for sure when it comes to this year’s political elections, which were held Tuesday, Nov. 8: People are disgusted by the mudslinging!

As far as their choices are concerned, it seems many people voted along party lines, Democratic or Republican, but a few people told me prior to the election that they might be splitting their votes for the first time. The Independents I spoke to at a community meeting said they would mainly be voting for Democratic candidates.

More than once, people echoed, “It doesn’t really matter anyway. They’re all about the money. Nobody really cares about the people anymore.”

How sad that it has come to this.

People are so fed up with their elected officials, but few have the energy to fight what they feel are uphill battles against those who are financially well-off. 

Whomever has the most money can run the best campaign. Whomever has the most money can pay officials to vote for policies in his/her favor. Whomever has the most money can pay lobbyists to persuade officials to move in a certain direction.   

I asked women at a skin-care party if they felt like they really had anybody to vote for this year. Most responded that they were voting against the Republicans more than they were voting for the Democrats.

Local teachers told me they were not voting for Vince Polistina, the Republican Senate candidate, because he’s been endorsed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has had been at odds with the NJEA. 

One teacher said, “I used to vote Democrat, Democrat, Democrat, but now I don’t know. Whelan is a teacher and he voted against teachers and Polistina’s been endorsed by Christie, who has been pushing me and my colleagues around like we’re nothing.” 

Her friend, another teacher, said, “I would go with Polistina, but I don’t really know him. It’s so hard this year.”

“I haven’t been impressed by Mayor Langford or Senator Whelan, but the other choices are not looking too good either,” said an Atlantic City homeowner at the recent Sophisticated Ladies’ party held in Atlantic City prior to Election Day. 

“They still haven’t gotten us a [bleep, bleep] supermarket and my property taxes went up again. I’m so dismayed by what’s happening in Atlantic City right now. I don’t feel comfortable as a taxpayer and I pay big, big taxes.  The whole casino thing was supposed to help us and it really hasn’t."

A group of long-time residents and property owners in Venice Park said things such as: “Who’s really sticking to the issues?" "I wish they’d just talk about what they [Democrats] have done, their own records, and what they plan to do. The whole campaign has been so muddy this year, calling you on the phone, the TV ads, newspaper, it’s been ridiculous, just so muddy.”

When I asked people if they thought that Democrats take the African-American vote for granted, the response was usually the same: “Yes, they do, but what are the alternatives? What are our options? The Republicans are blocking everything good President Obama is trying to do, so we sure don’t want to send another one of them to Trenton or Washington.”

One Atlantic City city employee told me: “We have to exercise our right to vote. Too many people died for us to have this right. This time it’s like choosing the lesser of the evils, though, and hoping some good will come out of it."

A number of Atlantic City residents said they’ve always been independent thinkers and want to do some more research on the candidates before going to the polls. 

An elderly man said he tries to weigh whatever the present officials have done for local residents against what others claim they will do. He said, “I think there is some talent and expertise in each column. I go from side to side. Right now, the community needs jobs. Not having a job for people who want to work is a disgrace, so that’s how I’m thinking.”

People have a lot on their minds, but they are definitely disappointed by all the negativity of this year’s campaigns.  Imagine what it must feel like on Capitol Hill.

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Comments 1 - 3 of 3
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1. Anonymous said... on Nov 9, 2011 at 09:05PM

“what election?”

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2. Geoff Rosenberger said... on Nov 11, 2011 at 12:25PM

“The senatorial race spent over $3M to call each other names. For the 1st time ever, I did not vote in that race, refusing to support either candidate.
The question remained throughout the campaign, "What are you going to do differently?" That question remains in other areas of the county as well.
Atlantic City residents are as tolerant as any city populace can be, having waited years for the promise of gambling to change lives. They have the right to feel left behind. They are. It's time for the residents to get their due.
I split my ticket depending on the candidates in the other offices being elected.

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3. Hassan said... on Nov 13, 2011 at 12:37PM

“Ever since reaching the legal voting age the majority of my votes, both local and national, have been a vote against someone that I was certain that I did NOT want instead of a vote FOR a particular candidate. My first time voting was over 30 years ago (lots of elections) and sadly, I still cast my vote the same way. If any part of your criteria or expectations are based on how your current leaders vote, that was also a difficult decision as Mayor Langford endorsed Polistina while the Council President Marsh was on the ticket with Whelan.

To me, it’s ridiculous to think that one must spend an exponentially larger amount of money to run for office than they will receive in compensation IF they are elected. As far as my vote counting, that thought transitioned to a false concept that had been in the making for quite some time when that farce in Florida happened in the Bush vs. Gore election.

P.S. This is to take care of an omission. Photos by Hassan Abdur-Raheem.


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