Letter to the Editor

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It didn’t take long for the “Good Democrats” to come scurrying out from their warm little nests to condemn Pat Goodwin for choosing to run for mayor as a Democrat. 

How could he, they wail, when he ran as an independent last time?

He called you and me cowards.

He said he was a sore loser, and here’s proof.

Let’s start with the last one first.

Yes, he wrote that, and I don’t blame him.  Do you want somebody who feels good about losing their chance to improve Terre Haute?  I sure don’t.  I do want them to heal their wounds and get back in the ring.  Maybe that’s what these “Good Democrats” are so scared of:  Someone who opposes them who won’t go away even though they worked so hard to make him.

I was a sore loser, too.  Who thinks Terre Haute is prospering after decades of these “Good Democrats” handling local affairs?  Are we any better off as a community than we were when Ralph Tucker ran the place into the ground?  Has our reputation improved statewide, or even among locals?  

Not in my opinion.  Thanks in large part to these “Good Democrats,” we’re still living with a reputation of old boy politics and stagnation.  

What has happened in the past 16 years to change that?  More, better paying jobs?  Better community assets?  They can’t even operate a swimming pool.  

A casino?  Wow.  Talk about late to the party.  

Pat Goodwin isn’t calling you and me cowards.  He called out the people who pretend they’re “Good Democrats,” but who work behind the scenes to keep real Democrats in line so they can continue to be part of a system that has held this community back for years.  Decades.  

Let’s look at them.

Some of the very people who moan loudest about Pat not being a “Good Democrat” were in 2007 organizers of the “Democrats for Duke,” which helped take from Terre Haute the last chance a real Democrat had to occupy the mayor’s office.  Kevin Burke upset their cozy arrangement, and they moved heaven and earth to get rid of him.  Those are “Good Democrats?”

Does anybody think Burke would have lost without their opposition?

If that’s a “Good Democrat,” count me out.

The “Good Democrat” who lost the mayoral election in 2019 got a nice patronage job from Republican county commissioners and a Republican Mayor after his loss.  I guess that was to allow him to “stay engaged.”

Since 2007, “Good Democrats” have ensured that Democrats have lost the Prosecutor’s office to a candidate many of these “Good Democrats” supported financially.  It’s no secret.  Look at the law offices who donated to his campaigns.  Match their contributions with people who now staff patronage jobs in the Public Defender’s Office.

The sheriff donated our taxpayer money to the Republican prosecutor’s campaign. Which one is the “Good Democrat” in that?

“Good Democrats” in 2022 helped a Republican win a bench in Vigo County courts, openly opposing the real Democrat.  

Why would they do that, you wonder?  I don’t know either, but following their proven pattern, they must have gotten something.

“Good Democrats” managed politics in Vigo County such that Republicans now claim all three county commissioner’s seats, and have gained seats on the county council.

What we got is stagnation.  Inertia.  No plan other than business as usual.  

You and I aren’t the cowards Pat is talking about.  The cowards are the people who will fight tooth and nail to keep things the way they are. 

It’s predictable to hear these “Good Democrats” cry about Pat not being part of their cabal.  Pat’s an outsider who threatens their meal ticket.  

Who would join that?

These “Good Democrats” are only good at being good turncoats when it’s time to defend their own seat at the trough.

Pat’s running as a Democrat because he wants to win.  Go to his forums to see and hear for yourself.  He wants to win to make Terre Haute a stronger, healthier community for all of us, not just a few insiders who hide in the shadows until it’s time to show which coat they’re wearing today.

What their action shows is that they think party loyalty is for suckers.  They hope you won’t notice them treating you like one.  They shout about Pat’s loyalty hoping you won’t notice they’re gathering feathers for their own nest, period, wearing whatever coat it takes.

It’s past time for a change.

Vote Pat Goodwin for Mayor of Terre Haute.

– Peter Ciancone



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