Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Philly mayoral election and Republican thuggery 

Our story thus far for those outside of Philly:

The mayoral election is very tight, with a (black) Democrat incumbent, Street, running against a (white) Republican, Katz. Last week, an FBI bug was discovered in Street's mayoral offices, and the FBI carted away papers from various municipal offices. Street says (and no one has contradicted this) that he is a "subject" of the investigation, not a "target"—i.e., he is not threatened with indictment. Meanwhile, Katz actually is being sued by a former business partner for shady business practices, but this story never seems to make the front pages.

Now Street may not be the greatest mayor. But there are some of us who find the timing just a little odd... And some of us ask whether, given that the Mayor's office is regularly swept for bugs, whether the bug was meant to be discovered when it was, just before the election...

Anyhow, the letters have begun to appear, with "silly" apparently being the new winger meme for the idea that, well, the Republicans might just be playing for keeps (i.e, for a one-party state). Here's the argument I like the most for why Democrats should support Katz even though he's a Republican:

If anything, a Republican mayor may bolster the Democratic organization. The desire to unseat a GOP mayor may make Democrats more motivated, thus increasing Democratic turnout in other elections.

Right. Kind of like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, because when you stop, it feels so good.

Anyhow, after a billion dollars worth of winger funding led to the slow-moving, media-fuelled attempted coup against Clinton, after Florida 2000, after Texas, and after California, maybe there's good reason for Democrats to think that the Republicans might, just might, be taking an interest in a mayoral election in the largest city in Pennsylvania, a swing state.... A state where Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum is the kind of Pennsylvanian Republican who's really pretty middle of the road, if you're not from Philly or Pittsburgh...

My view: As usual, the Republicans are playing for keeps. Having taken over the parking authority, the convention center, and the public schools, they now want the whole thing. And why wouldn't they? (Every time they ram another parking garage into historic center city, it's not only more pollution for us and a degraded streetscape, it's money for their patronage operation. We have a winner!)

And suppose that Street is guilt of graft and corruption, which nobody is claiming he is. Given the crony capitalism under the Republican yoke in DC—Say, is Ken Lay in jail yet? Just asking—makes any mayor look like a piker. In fact, given the fraud and theft on the grandest possible scale under Bush, a little "honest graft" (as Boss Tweed put it) would a positive return to progressive values.

So, as usual in politics, things come down to a choice of lesser evils: And given that electing Katz could hand a swing state to Bush, I'm voting for Street.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?