, Kingston, NH

March 1, 2012

Witches in Raymond?

— How could I live in a small town and be completely oblivious to a "witch hunt"? Witches in Raymond, could it be? I have seen little witches on orange signs asking to "End Raymond Witch-Hunts" on property in town including the lawns of a local selectmen and a State Senator.

Why are elected officials promoting this idea? Could they be suggesting that a moral panic is brewing, or are they just trying to make their beloved town look bad with this negative propaganda?

Is there just cause to conjure up the intensity of feelings expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten social order?

"A moral panic occurs when a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to social values and interests."

Who are the "Witches"?

Who has started this panic? What do they fear? Is it accountability that they are afraid of?

"Moral panics" are controversies that involve disputes and social tension in which disagreement is difficult because the matter at its center is taboo. This becomes wildly ironic when the tension and disagreement is centered on Ethics.

Raymond residents are being asked to vote to rescind the Raymond Code of Ethics to put an end to "witch hunts". The fact is that since 2006, there has only been two Ethics Complaint hearings, six years apart! If there is actually a witch hunt, it's being conducted by some pretty inefficient hunters.

Lets send the message to the good Senator that we want to keep Ethical behavior in Raymond. Please vote "No" on Article 20 to maintain the Raymond Code of Ethics and its elected committee. Remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Kathy Lee