Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Hits Keep Coming

The furor over Jim G's appt to the zoning committee has not quite died down yet. Margo Hackett gives us the 411 on JG's and JoMo's involvement in the stealth condo conversion of a building JG once lived in. JG pipes up to knock the wankers, and is followed by Pamela who knocks the grant proposal. I suspect she skipped class the day the teach explained that you won't ever win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. The snark continues ever on.

Meanwhile, Tom Westgard declares he's voting for Moore, which elicits more snarkiness, and some very thoughtful comments about the two candidates.

I will say I can't give it up for Moore. I have only lived in RP one year, and spent nearly half of that traveling between here and the East Coast, so I suspect I am still a noob to the long time residents. I get the distinct feeling that, at the core, Moore is the lesser of two evils in Tom's view. Personally, I prefer to boot JoMo out and take a chance that Gordon could fail. I may not have lived here a long time, but I have a real problem with Moore's lack of political savvy, not to mention ethics.

Westgard acknowledges that Moore, a 16 year political veteran, has made political errors. He knows that Moore cannot be trusted and refers to the need for supervision. Moore has also demonstrated a willingness to ignore the law (his electioneering) and community (where to start). If the reality of a run-off has become his "Du-uh!" moment leading to transformational change, GREAT! But I don't think that is the case. More likely, he wants to keep his job and will do whatever it takes to convey that message. It will take more than JG's appt to the committee to convince me Moore is serious about being our alderman.

Gordon has been hammered by Westgard for failing to follow through on a number of initiatives. I don't know enough to question Tom's claims on their face, but I do understand the dynamics of groups and leadership to wonder if the responsibility and accountablity is all Don's. Who were the players besides him and what were their roles? It's not enough to put me off Don as a viable candidate.

JG, for his part, manages to come off as fairly statesmanlike in The Chicago Reader story.

"I believe we can either be an angry voice in the wilderness or we can stay involved. I want to stay involved in the community."

It's a sane statement, that is intended to build bridges. Predictably, he has been criticized for, in effect, being a crass opportunist and selling out to the opposition. His critics appear to have forgotten that politics is both the art of the possible and of compromise. It can make for some very strange bedfellows, as the ACLU can attest. But it is the willingness to look past agendas and find common ground that enables progress to trump differences. It will be very interesting to see if, and how JG applies that philosophy to committee business. It will tell us a great deal about his character and ability to build the coalitions needed to move the ward forward.

If Moore wins Westgard is correct; we have to hold his feet to the fire, and then make sure he is good and gone the next election if he fails to deliver. However, if Gordon wins he'll be a lot easier to bounce than an entrenched alderman with questionable ethics, poor political judgement, and a $600K+ war chest. I will take my chances with Gordon.


Sheesh said...

I never thought I'd see the day that I'd side with Craig over Tom, but here it is. Your post summarizes exactly what I've been thinking all day.

Fargo said...

You've summed it up very well. Thank you.