Executive Director of the Cambridge Elections Commission Marsha Weinerman, who sicced the cops on a Boy Scouts troop trying to collect goodies for our service men and women in Iraq--calling their efforts a POLITICAL STATEMENT-- is feeling the heat from patriotic Americans. Your e-mails and phone calls shut-down both their server and voice mail in Cambridge, Ma. on Friday.
A troop of Boy Scouts in Cambridge set up donation boxes at 33 polling stations in that city on election day last week. Their mission was to collect amenities for troops serving overseas - those little items like snacks and lip balm that make life a little easier. The Scouts had spent considerable time and money to publicize the event, distributing fliers in city buildings, libraries and local businesses well ahead of time, according to their troop leader, Jamisean Patterson, writing in this week’s Cambridge Chronicle.
Most of the boxes were set up in the lobbies of those polling stations with the permission of the Cambridge Election Commission, Patterson wrote.
Then one resident in one precinct complained about the implied “pro war” message, according to Marsha Weinerman, executive director of the Election Commission. The city’s law department was consulted and “it was determined that the best course of action would be to remove the boxes,” Weinerman told the Chronicle.
Now her boss responds.
Notice Mr. Tim Toomey never addresses the ACTUAL issue. Smart. Change the subject. He calls it a 'bureaucratic oversight'.
But distraction and deflection doesn't work for me.
Ms. Weinerman and Mr. Toomey ARE the problem. ONE resident complains about a 'pro-war' message from the kids and the cops come rushing in to shut-down the Boy Scouts humanitarian efforts.
Here's Tim Toomey's side of the story.
In light of recent events on Election Day in which Boy Scouts Troop 45 was asked to remove donation boxes it had placed in Cambridge polling locations to collect essential goods for local troops serving overseas, I think it is only appropriate to clarify a few matters.First, it is important to note that although over the past five years there has been heated debate about the wars themselves, Cambridge always has and will continue to support the men and women from our city who have bravely put their lives on the line for our country. Three weeks ago, on October 22nd, I sponsored a Cambridge City Council resolution in support of the Cambridge Boy Scouts Troop 45 and their effort to support the Cambridge Military deployed overseas. The Cambridge City Council unanimously approved the resolution and went on record on October 22nd commending the Boy Scouts on organizing the Care Package Donation Drive and urging all citizens to support the Boy Scouts effort and bring in donations for the Cambridge men and women proudly serving abroad. Resolutions like this one reflect the deep support Cambridge has for its soldiers fighting abroad. The people of Cambridge understand that supporting our troops and supporting the war those troops are fighting in are often two very different things. While this is an extremely unfortunate event, it was caused by an apparent lack of communication and understanding rather than the malicious intent of any of the parties involved.
Although they had informed the Election Commission of their intent and received encouragement from the City Council, the individual polling locations had not been notified in time and therefore had not granted the necessary permissions to Troop 45.This is the kind of frustrating bureaucratic oversight that better communication will help to prevent in the future. Cambridge is the first city in the State—and to my knowledge the country—that is offering full salary and benefits to city employees who are overseas serving our country. To say that we do not care about the well being of our troops is preposterous. The Home Rule Petition that I sponsored on behalf of the Cambridge City Council is one of the most comprehensive benefit plans for our brave men and women around. Since the beginning of the military involvement in Afghanistan, City Councilor Marjorie Decker has read the names of every fallen soldier from every community around the country at each weekly meeting. We do this to honor and recognize the supreme sacrifice these heroes have made on behalf of our country. I encourage all those cities and towns currently looking down on Cambridge to examine their own policies and see if they are on par with Cambridge. If any good can come of this controversy I do hope that this will be it. Boy Scouts Troop 45's efforts to support our troops are a benefit for the entire community, and the Council will continue to work with them to ensure that their goals are fully realized. I'm glad this incident has brought their admirable mission into the public eye, and I encourage everyone to show their support in this season of giving by donating to the Boy Scouts of America. Thank you for expressing your concern, I hope you will continue your civic involvement in the future. Tim Toomey
Marooned in Marin (who doesn't actually live in California anymore) is keeping a close eye on the situation from the East Coast and reports:
It sounds fishy when the Boy Scouts donation box was removed while anti-war fliers hung on the bulletin board in the same polling place, as a story from the Boston Herald said (which was linked here yesterday).
"At the same polling station that was the scene of the complaint, on the same bulletin board where the Scouts had posted their flier were about 75 other fliers. According to Patterson they included those “promoting Get Out of Iraq, Campus Green, College Democrats of America.” The only one removed belonged to “those evil Boy Scouts collecting things for the troops,” he added."
Simple. Because Toomey is an anti-war, anti-military lib who voted to approve a resolution calling for the censure and or impeachment of President Bush on April 24, 2006. The text of the resolution cited (without any proof) that "President George W. Bush knowingly misled Congress and the American people into an illegal preemptive war against Iraq, costing its citizens billions of tax dollars and countless American and Iraqi lives; and (Whereas) President Bush has admitted to conducting warrantless wiretaps in direct violation of the laws of the Congress of the United States.
No, Vice Mayor Toomey. We know whose side you and Ms. Weinerman are on and it isn't on the side of our troops or the American people, no matter how you try to sugarcoat it.