Fredrick Douglass wrote "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
If we believe that the rich and powerful will not use every arrow in their quiver to retain their privileged position then we don't understand history. As Douglass points out, not only does power concede nothing without a demand, it never has and never will. I hesitate to use absolutes like "never", but in this case I think it's appropriate.
Well, as an example of how power refuses to concede to even allow demand, take a look at the town of Reading, PA. Host city to the 2007 Green Party national meeting, the Reading Greens have done a kick ass job of rounding up what seems like a great team of candidates for local office. One of these fine folks is Jessica L. Ashman. She's running for Clerk of Court in Berks County, and the incumbent Republican, James P. Troutman personally went to her house to serve papers on her. These details come from an article over at The Reading Eagle. In the piece, reporter Mary E. Young says that Troutman went to Judge Scott E. Lash and asked that Ashman be removed from the ballot as she had, according to Troutman, as many as 260 invalid signatures on her petition.
For unexplained "time constraints", Judge Lash allowed Troutman to accompany a trooper as he delivered the papers to Ashman.
Think about this folks. You file paperwork to get on the ballot. The guy you are seeking to run against goes to court and says "Judge, time is clicking away. We need to get this woman off the ballot and we need to do it now." The judge gives the incumbent paperwork and a deputy to deliver it to the challenger. The incumbent, side by side with an armed police officer, hand delivers official paperwork on you at your home.
This is clearly intimidation and I can only hope the Berks County Greens are prepared to defend themselves, as I can see that the Power in Berks County PA concedes nothing without a demand. Douglass told us it would be so, and he was right.