Crushed Again

by John Washington on August 3, 2012

Yesterday the bastion of journalistic integrity known as the Arizona Republic endorsed incumbent Mayor Jim Lane over me and “the other guy.” I’m hurt.

Well, not really. After all, they endorsed Mary Manross with about the same enthusiasm as the guy who replaced her. If the pattern holds true, I’m a shoe in! They also endorsed Betty Drake in that election, which gave them a .500 average. Two years ago they endorsed Ned O’Hearn, who I now wish would have won.

Maybe I can get the Republic to endorse Lane twice?!

If track record of endorsement isn’t enough, would it be snarky of me to remind readers of Arizona Republic publisher John Zidich? He was on the executive committee of the Fiesta Bowl during the John Junker campaign contribution reimbursement cover-up debacle?

Would it be crass to bring up recently-retired Scottsdale Republic general manager Mike Ryan? He sat on the executive committee of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce when CEO Rick Kidder violated campaign finance laws in a vain attempt to bolster support for the aforementioned former-Mayor Manross.

I do think it is relevant to point out that in years past the Republic at least went through the charade of having the candidates over for coffee and an interview by the editorial board before endorsing the Republic anointed pets. No such interview this time, at least not one to which I was invited.

It is ironic to me that the Republic endorsement is based on Lane’s “potential” and the fact that he’s been “building bridges.” Lane didn’t do anything but occupy a chair in four years as a councilman. He’s done worse than nothing in four years as mayor. What sort of “potential” is there?

Bridges? More like express light rail, right to the very people who opposed him last time (Chamber, developers, liquor industry) and away from those who elected him (neighborhood advocates and citizen groups).

The Republic goes on to encourage Lane to be more visionary. Seriously? Have you people not been listening?

The only “vision” the mayor needs to have is the vision it takes to read the vision statement expressed in the citizen-ratified General Plan. He learned nothing from the stinging General Plan defeat delivered by the voters this spring.

Just as a reminder, this is the exact mission statement (incorporating the vision statement in the General Plan) for the mayor and council, as copied from the city website:

The mission of the City of Scottsdale is to cultivate citizen trust by fostering and practicing open, accountable, and responsive government; providing quality core services; promoting long-term prosperity; planning and managing growth in harmony with the city’s unique heritage and desert surroundings; strengthening the city’s standing as a preeminent destination for tourism; and promoting livability by enhancing and protecting neighborhoods. Quality of life shall be the city’s paramount consideration.

I guess the Republic forgot to read the job description before they recommended the voters renew Lane’s four-year contract.

As mayor, I will be innovative, efficient, effective, and respectful at continuing to implement the citizens’ vision.

Endorsement? No sweat. I’m sure they feel like they know me well enough from all the grief I’ve given them over the years. And I can promise you it wouldn’t have been a fun interview…for them.

It’s just disappointing that as much as people squawk about bias in the media, the Republic seems to always get a pass.

So, for newspaper of the year, I endorse…The Scottsdale Independent!

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