Cambridge, MA vs. Troops

On November 6th, 2007 Cambridge, MA election officials have ruled that collecting toiletries, magazines, candy and other items for care packages for US Troops stationed overseas is far too political and violated a Massachusetts State law prohibiting political statements pertaining to a particular election within 150 feet of any polling station . They forced Troop 45 Cambridge Boy Scouts to remove every flyer and every box from the environs surrounding the polling stations despite having twice previously giving their approval for the collection drive!

The troop 45 Cambridge Boy Scouts scouts earned some money in an unexpected fundraiser. Instead of using for the originally suggested purpose of trips to Water Country, Six Flags, white water rafting, or skiing they chose to use it to fund collecting donations of toiletries, magazines, candy and other items for the US troops at the polling sites on Election Day. That’s right, the children chose to give up their fun in order to support American troops who are far from home.

But sadly for us all, on Election Day, Marsha Weinerman, executive director of the Election Commission, removed the boxes from all the polling stations because one woman, a poll worker, complained it was a political statement.

Scouts Had been given verbal permission by the city election commission twice and at the polling stations as well. A promotion for the polling place collections was still up as of November 5th on the Veterans’ Services Department section of the city’s Web site. But it was all in vain; Marsha Weinerman, executive director of the Election Commission had all the flyers taken down and the collection boxes removed because of the complaint that claimed that supporting our troops is implicitly “pro-war.”

The location where this female poll worker was complaining about the flyer was on a bulletin board with 70 or so other flyers, including ones promoting: Get Out of Iraq, Campus Green, College Democrats of America, China’s New Property Law, Save the Non-Proliferation Regime, and Global Warming. The only flyer the Election Commission removed was that of the Boy Scouts collecting things for the troops.

What is truly sad is that, while sickened and enraged, I and many others aren’t even that surprised by Cambridge’s attitudes and behavior. We’ve come to expect such thing from “The Kennedy State.” In the current Massachusetts social and political climate one has to wonder how long it will remain safe for the Boy Scouts to operate. They are in uniforms after all.

Related Reading:

Tank Action: An Armoured Troop Commander's War 1944–45
Psalm 91 Military Edition: God's Shield of Protection
Cub Scout Bear Handbook
Politics For Dummies

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16 Responses to “Cambridge, MA vs. Troops”

  1. Christy Says:

    I’m enraged.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Christy,

    Yeah, it’s a vile situation. I’m not sure if it’s yet another example of extreme political partisanship or if – as it was suggested to me last night – the poll worker had an existing issue with the Boy Scouts and used this as an excuse to attack them.

  3. Christy Says:

    Either way, I’m still deeply angered by this story.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  4. in2thefray Says:

    This story had some legs on local radio (Michael Graham Boston 96.9).The thought of the poll worker having an ax to grind. That is a definite possibility. Cambridge being the hotbed politically of Left of center thought. Scouts homosexual position contradicts that of the city.
    The anti-war angle has a home there too.

  5. jonolan Says:

    It still sickens me. In 1775 George Washington took command of the brand new American Army in Cambridge. Cambridge Common is today called the birthplace of the U.S. Army! Now see what it has become.

  6. Ben Says:

    Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of supporting troops, supporting the war, etc, this really just comes down to extremes. I don’t like extremism, no matter what political bent they might support. This is just silly.

  7. jonolan Says:

    I’s call it something a lot worse than silly, but that’s me. My opinion is quite biased.

  8. Dr. Engr. Says:

    How hypocritical…

  9. Robert Roels Says:

    A society that will bend on its knees and cower for one at the expense of many is a society with misplaced values.

    I do not agree with the Iraq war, but the soldiers that are sent there are doing what they must do. And as long as they are bearing the flag, the citizen’s obligation is to them, for if it were another war, the same people would be doing the same thing, fighting our battles.

    I used to be a boy scout and learned from it. It was positive. There will always be angry malcontents. We don’t have to pay them attention, do we?

  10. Ben Says:

    Robert,

    I completely agree, well said

  11. jonolan Says:

    Robert,

    I agree with Ben – well said indeed!

  12. expatbrian Says:

    The subject of this post and the next two above it are are great example of why I moved out of the US. It has become a ridiculous place where the very trivial becomes mega important and the truly important gets spun to appear minor. In the meantime, everyone argues about gun ownership while thousands get shot and killed every year in your ultra violent cities. It is insane and you can have it.

  13. jonolan Says:

    Brian, as always you bring a fresh perspective 🙂

    Firstly, I admire the fact that you left the US. Normally I end up ranting “Love it or leave it!” at people who are anti-American. You don’t love America and you left it. You may never realize just how much I respect that – truly.

    I disagree with you about the triviality of the posts though. This post is about biased polling practices and the misapplication of law to support a particular agenda. It is also about the rising fear within the US of offending any single individual – except those who approve of the American status quo.

    The GETOSAMA post is also about the rising fear within the US of offending any single individual and the misapplication of law to support a particular agenda.

    The 2nd Amendment post is hardly trivial since it”s the 1st time the US Supreme Court has been willing to make a ruling on gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment in almost 70 years. I do not find Constitution rulings as trivial – I live here in the US!

    As always, Brian, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I look forward to your next visit.

  14. Bob Says:

    “violated a Massachusetts law prohibiting political statements” ….I thought casting a vote was a political statement ….Next thing you know voting will be a violation of the law ….

  15. jonolan Says:

    Bob, thanks for stopping by. I don’t expect voting will ever be a violation, but it may come to the point of restricted voting and a non-choice of candidates.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    free car quote…

    Excellent post. Keep it up!…

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