2006/07/15

3 Hyenas...

Well, that tears it…

Here I was figuring I could be sanctimonious and impartial about the Mayoral election, but there’s something about smear campaigns that sticks in my craw.

Our mayoral candidate Schreiber has a smear campaign on his hands. Front and centre on his website is the “endorsement” from a group which was dissolved a good while back and no longer exists in any shape or form beyond the memories of those involved.

This non-existent group handed over its still existent mailing list and letterhead to the Schreiber campaign and used his campaign funds to deceive the community into a) believing that the group still exists, and b) believing that Steve Pierce blocked the YCFE campaign at a 2002 DDA meeting when he was DDA president.

The text of this quasi-endorsement reads in part

“Steve Pierce is the third 2006 mayoral candidate. As president of Yp s i l a n t i ’s DDAin 2002, he refused to endorse us. We believe that if either Richardson or Pierce becomes mayor of Ypsilanti, our cause will no longer enjoy strong political support in this community. “

Please don’t get me wrong, I like what the YCFE stood for, I just don’t like deceit.

If you go over to Ypsidixit http://www.ypsidixit.com/blog/ for a look-see, you can read 40-comment brawl over this paragraph. Trusty Getto http://www.trustygetto.com/ also has a bit to say.

Cameron Getto did the legwork and got the minutes of the DDA meeting in 2002 when the YCFE asked for the DDA’s endorsement. Then president of the DDA and now mayoral candidate Steve “Devil is in the Details” Pierce did refrain from endorsing YCFE campaign because he saw it as out side the charter of the group. And so it is outside the charter of the City (and by extension, its commissions and authorities) to endorse a political campaign. Pierce knew that. Some other heads of various council commissions did not.

Steve was faced with a simple question. Should he use his influence to direct the DDA beyond its charter in the interest of a political campaign, or should he keep the DDA focussed on its job?

When put as simply as that, it’s a no-brainer. Of course he should keep the DDA doing what it does best, and lend his personal support to the YCFE, as he did, in other ways.
Were I in his position, I’d have done the same thing.

As it stands at the moment, Paul “Details? What Details?” Schreiber has two strikes against him in my view. There is the open meetings act, and now the smear campaign. Its a pity, because I like Paul and I think his intentions are pretty good, but jeez I wish he’d pay attention to what’s going on, and I’d be happier to see him conducting more of his YHC meetings in the open. My opening question about Schreiber still stands “does he have the time for the job?” If attention to detail is any measure, apparently not.

There is a third strike against Schreiber, and that is the “turncoat” mentality Just over a year ago, it was the Mayor and City council who hamstrung the YHC in their plans to develop Parkview. Paul was leading the YHC at the time, and the City’s stand made it very clear that they did not believe that the YHC (and Paul) could administer the project. So strong was the City’s conviction, that its interference overturned a “done deal” between HUD and the YHC for the development of Parkview.

This same city turned about face and now Paul enjoys their support. It seems that Paul can’t manage his YHC sufficient to the City’s standard, but he’ll make a good Mayor. Had someone insulted my talent to that degree, I’d have a hard time accepting his or her endorsement.

Politics is a dirty and duplicitous game. It is with good reason that I ignored it for a long time.

Pierce hasn’t done anything to upset me yet, and the more I see of him the more I like what he has to say. I’m not certain that he enjoys enough grass-roots support to win the Democratic nomination.

Richardson hasn’t done anything yet. She did approach me about putting a web-site up for her, but her chances are better without a site than with one I would make. Words, yes, websites, not really. It might have been a good way to find out what she stands for, but I’d feel guilty taking her money for something I do that poorly.


So, we have Steve “Devil in the Details” Pierce, Paul “Details? What Details?” Shreiber and Lois “If only I had Details” Richardson.

My money goes with someone who knows what’s going on.

You can be sure that if there are 3 hyenas and one piece of meat, some unseemly fighting will ensue. Forasmuch as we have striven for better in 5 millennia of civilization, we haven’t advanced all that much.

Take Care

Rod

5 comments:

John Gawlas said...

"Politics is a dirty and duplicitous game. It is with good reason that I ignored it for a long time."

Well now that you have moved beyond simply accusing the Schreiber campaign committee of acting illegally (an unsubstantiated charge) and have engaged in deprecatory name-calling, you are now seemingly well engaged.

It appears quite a leap to extrapolate from the one instance you cited that Paul Schreiber has a casual disregard for the Open Meetings Act. You simply chose to dismiss the attorney who reviewed the issue at the request of YHC (either implying dereliction of his responsibility or worse yet collusion in circumventing the intent of the law).

But what now is your most over-the-top deprecation of candidate Schreiber is to declare that his past differences over particulars of the Parkview proposal would invalidate any endorsement by council members. I personally hold a begrudging respect for Paul’s advocacy of the YHC proposal. In the end (albeit you will point out, too late for HUD’s agenda), council and YHC established an agreement through which that proposal was endorsed by the mayor and council. In another context, such a display of difference between the “status quo” players and a mayor candidate would be applauded, even celebrated as qualification for leadership.

While you began this blog under the guise of a detached observer, it would appear that you were predisposed to further the agenda of one or two individuals in their quest to defame the other candidate.

Rod said...

Hi John,

As usual, you have presented about 7 different thoughts in a few sentences, and obfuscated the issues, so lets deal with them one by one shall we?

Yes politics is a dirty and duplicitous game. That’s why I said it, and I made no pretensions about excluding myself from that process. The day I first took the media desk at City Hall was the day I began to get my hands dirty with it, and I may eventually wash my hands of it completely. We’ll see.

I don’t believe (nor did I say) that Paul has a casual disregard for the open meetings act. I believe Paul has a basic oblivion to detail, and its hurting his campaign a lot more than either he or his minders care to admit. (I suffer this malady myself, and I have to work very hard to keep on top of it).

What you describe as an “over the top deprecation” of your favoured candidate reflects a fundamental difference between he and I. I personally could not have my administrative ability called to question so thoroughly and so publicly, and a year later accept endorsement form the same people who had insulted me so deeply, and cost my clientele so much in the process. Nor could I defend its status quo.

In May 2005, the City Council including yourself, put together a series of conditions that stopped the YHC from closing with HUD at the expense of the Parkview residents (who, to this day, are languishing as a result). In that obstructive process, the ability of the YHC to administer this project was constantly and continually called to question. 13 months later, the chairman of the YHC is lauded, by the very council members who called his ability to question, as a candidate for the next mayor of Ypsilanti. It doesn’t invalidate the endorsement, but you have to wonder what has changed in that short period to turn him from incompetent, to potential incumbent.

I think it is an insult to the intelligence of the Ypsilanti community to call an agreement reached 7 days too late anything more than a political face-saving device. The residents of Parkview are not comforted by this agreement, and the citizens of Ypsilanti should feel insulted by it.

Yes, Paul has what it takes to stand up for what he believes in. I have to question why he believes in a status quo that is capable of such obstructive intransigence.

I opened this blog with an open mind. I like Paul. I think he’s a nice guy. I think he has done a great job with the YHC. I defended his stance on Parkview, and I stand by that endorsement.

Pierce will do well to remember how strongly I defended Schreiber and the YHC in 2005. Loyalty takes third place behind integrity and ability in my book.

I made a couple of mountains out of molehills in this forum to see what Paul is actually made of, he is, after all, the favoured candidate. It takes more than being a “nice guy” to be Mayor. I am, to date, disappointed with the results. It would appear that Paul’s team is more interested in escalating conflict than in addressing issues. With better management, the little dirt I flung at Paul wouldn’t stick. In escalating the conflict, "team Schreiber" makes the mud stick.

I am not innocent of flinging mud, or of escalating conflict. and I am not a memebr of "team Pierce" either. I wanted to see how the teams handle that kind of pressure.

Pierce comes back with minutes of meetings and quoting chapter-and-verse of the law. Schreiber comes back with legal opinions and smear campaigns.

This city, however should be tired by now of pitched battles between factional groups.


I have yet to see a definitive written action plan from any candidate on

1. Water Street
2. the city income tax
3. the future for economic development.
4. securing adequate funding from Lansing

So, a note to all 3 candidates, lets cut with the crap and get down to business shall we? Who has a better plan?

Take Care

Rod

Anonymous said...

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Rod said...

And a brave coment from Anon Ymous.

I'll be posting a blog (rather than a comment) on the best I can make of the scuttlebutt I'm hearing about Pierce shortly.

However, ANON, every piece of software, every internet contract, every onlne service you get, has that gobbledegook (or similar) attached to it becaue smart people cover their backsides. If they didn't, you wouldn't have your ISP, your server, your software or your computer, the companies would be too busy in court to attend to their business. If they don't deliver the goods, you go to another company, there's plenty of competition out there, so the gobbledegook is largelty irrelevant.


Our City is in deep do-do over Water Street because it didn't cover its backside.

Take Care

Rod

Rod said...

It occurred to me in the light of morning and coffee, that our dear and brave friend, Anon Y Mous(e), was actually trying to have a shot at ME!!.... Oh dear, poor misguided soul!!!.

You see, at first I thought it was spam. Then I saw the Pierce4Mayor.com stuck in the middle, and my naturally fertile imagination figured this was a very clever, comment on Pierce's attention to detail (which is the context in which I answered it).

Upon reading it this morning, for those of you on whom the subtleties of the Mous(e) mind are lost, the author is simply accusing me of fast-talking my way out of a "team Pierce" stand.

So, to M(r/s) Mous(e), please have your thinking cap ready, you will need it.

I have sufficient disdain for public officials, that, if they leave themselves open to criticism, I will hammer them, period. I don't care what side they represent. If they are sloppy, and they make my radar, they will pay.

Because I hammer Schreiber, does not mean I support Pierce. I hammered Schreiber because he left himself open to be hammered. Had Pierce left himself open for that treatment, he'd have gotten the same.

Pierce knows that. That just makes him slick. It doesn't, of itself, make him a better candidate. He covers his backside. He always has. Its one of his trademarks.

Just in case you didn't get it, I will hammer Pierce if he is sloppy. I will hammer Richardson if she is sloppy. (though Richardson is clearly campaigning "offline" and the only debate I can make will be the CBC debate next week) For all of my pontificating about Schreiber, he hasn't done much of anything to disqualify him from the race, he was just sloppy enough to get hammered.

That's what I do.

Take Care

Rod