Friday, October 26, 2007

Lunch Time

I have found a writing window!

In the real mayoral race, Matt Lampke continues to have the proverbial Friends Like These. The current issue of ThisWeek has a Bonnie Butcher story about the FOP endorsement that Mr. Lampke has been touting, and the impression among the other candidates that the FOP endorsed somewhat capriciously and without going through their typical notification process. Some of this can be attributed to the timeline, as Mr. Lampke was doing his endorsement interview before Robyn Jones or Scott Weinblatt had made official announcements, and within days of John Brennan's announcement. Bill Minckler and Travis Irvine, however, are both quoted as saying they were never informed, and they were both publicly declared candidates for several weeks at that point.

So, the FOP's credibility takes a bit of a hit from this. Even Mr. Lampke says he went out of his way to ask others about the endorsement process, and does not give any indication that he received written notification. It would appear that, at least by their own standards, the FOP fouled up the process this go-round.

It doesn't appear that Mr. Lampke himself fouled anything up. He pro-actively sought an endorsement and got it. Now, due to factors assumably beyond his control, the endorsement has lost some luster. I tagged his friends earlier over a pseudo-endorsement. The snarky part of me is forced to wonder if ThisWeek is pursuing the Conservation Voters' endorsement.

In the meantime, I'm more upset with the FOP for their efforts to create a special class of records that provide privacy for their members that is not afforded to the general public, or other public employees. I can understand their concerns, but what about judges? What about attorneys? What about teachers and principals? Who, exactly, will never make enemies? Our State Senator, David Goodman, expects their proposal (by expects, I mean he was in an expectative state last Tuesday, which has probably been replaced by actual knowledge in the meantime) to pass out of his committee, although the article doesn't attribute a position to Mr. Goodman either way. Of course, in today's Dispatch, Goodman does come out for greater openness in terms of legislators' emails. Perhaps I should send one of those public record electronic messages and ask him about his position on shielding/hiding public safety officials from the public.

In news of the other mayoral race, I told you so. As if on effing cue: Bill Todd.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Harvey, Naugle, Zherdev

Sunday Sunday Sunday. Most weekends find me playing the part of the man Frank the Tank has become at the outset of the movie Old School:

Frank: I told my wife I wouldn't drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow. You guys have a great time.
College Student: A big day? Doing what?
Frank: Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.*

What's even worse is that unlike Frank, I don't break out of that rut through spontaneous regression to house-partying, I do it by chatting up a mayoral candidate, emailing with another blogger, and going to a hockey game, and I'm sincerely happy with, and exhausted from, the day at the end of it.

So to start - Bill Harvey. I'm planning on doing longer pieces/conversations with several candidates over the next two weeks, and this is the first. I wrote after the C of C forum that Mr. Harvey was a traditional mayoral candidate and that there weren't any surprises. Of course, there's a reason that traditions develop. Mr. Harvey believes that Bexley's significant problems are financial, specifically a potential 2 million dollar budget deficit. Furthermore, he believes that his financial experience exceeds that of the other candidates. So if you buy those two premises, he believes you'll vote for him.

It's a nice 30 second pitch that sounds better in person than from the table. After chatting about blogs, media, and electoral politics more generally, I should have pushed harder at the cost-cutting side of the finance equation, but I was more focused on revenue. We discussed how hard Bexley could be hit if the legislature isn't mindful of the consequences of Estate Tax reform, and he re-iterated his position that government buildings should not be getting in the way of commercial development on Main St.

Mr. Harvey hasn't spent a lot of energy working out plans for the North or South gateways, a subject he admits requires some more thought, but he did respond quickly when I asked about the Woodland Meadows property. Somewhat to my surprise he favors aggressively pursuing the parcel for the city. As he says, it's a one time opportunity to get that extra land, and even though it would take "real money, right now" to purchase the parcel during a period in which Harvey himself says budget cutting will be a priority, he believes that Bexley would regret passing up the opportunity. He suggested that some combination of the City, School District, Capital Univ., and perhaps CSG and/or St. Charles could collaborate.

At some point I cut the conversation short, as I had a hockey game to go to. It was a comfortable conversation, and that's not always easy to pull off.

It's even tougher when you start the conversation with insults. Matt Naugle of Right Angle Blog commented on the race last week, I took offense and commented on the comment. Mr. Naugle took offense in turn and emailed me. I sent a somewhat testy email explaining myself back. Mr. Naugle sent what seemed to be a sincerely friendly email back. So, I apologize for the insulting tone of my last post, and I hope that Matt and I can both be so friendly when we run into each other in person, which is apparently not unlikely in the near future.

I hope we can at least be more civil than Charlotte. You wouldn't believe the trash talk that comes out of that girl's mouth. Here she's saying "Hey Henrik, are you the okay Sedin twin or the one that sucks?"

Don't be too hard on her. Nik Zherdev gave up the turnover that led to the empty-netter right in front of her. It's enough to make anyone cranky, dream seats or no.

*Quote via commenter on this site.