Let The Campaign Begin
By Jim Sack, 11/5/2018
Candidate for mayor, city councilman, oncologist and trophy hunter John Crawford will become city council president next your in a normal move so the mainstream Republicans can showcase their man, their candidate, front and center for the election run. The benefits are two-fold: limelight and agenda setting. First, he will be front and center every Tuesday night on Channel 58, but moreover his sound bites will be sought by the local media to explain issues that come before council and the community. The rest of the Rs on council will retreat to the shadows to insure he has maximum exposure.
Secondly, council’s agenda is, to a degree, managed by council presidents, as is committee leadership of council by which council presidents determine who will chair the fall budget process that provides the best opportunity for the Republican dominated council to embarrass and distract the mayor during the key months preceding the election.
First, however, Dr. Crawford has to win the primary. His opponents are Tim Smith, the Dodens, much of Greater Fort Wayne, and local old money. The Tim and Eric (Doden) combo got into the news, along with trouble, recently. Seems Eric and Tim took a road show to Republican compounds in Indy where Eric, thanks to his wealthy dad, was once important. Problem was that Eric had already been publicly chided by council a few years back for mixing politics with work and using local taxpayer money to pick up a part of the tab. Doden has since abruptly resigned from Greater Fort Wayne, but the damage has already been done to that organization, to Doden’s political ambitions, and now to novive candidate Smith as party regulars and their families, volunteers and friends lean toward the more experienced, predictable and winnable Crawford. Smith, you see, is a placeholder for Doden, someone daddy Doden’s power buddies know will deliver for them, somebody to carry their water.
Anyone remember when the fringe of the Republican Party got their man, the untainted and inexperienced outsider, nominated to clean the local swamp back in 2005 only for that nominee to get tangled in the basics of campaig law, to then lie about his campaign finances, implode before a grad jury and wither on election day?
With that Republican campaign finance fiasco in mind, Dr. John is beating the local bushes for money, a thousand dollars a whack, and one of the sponsors of a big gala event in the would-be-mayor’s schedule of fund raisers is Democratic city, councilman, Mark GiaQuinta. We could go on and on about Mark’s progressive, Democrat pedigee, so it just a surprising to see Mark’s name on the special invitation…near the top, among the serious givers! So what gives? Has lefty Mark seen the light shown through Dr. John by Ayn Rand, the social Darwinist and Crawford’s philosophical guru? Perhaps it is something even more fundamental, say a bigger chuck of the city’s legal business for Mark’s firm? Regardless, Mark will the one standing next to the grizzly Dr. Crawford shot for fun I Alaska, or Mark might be admiring the forever crouching bunny the great healer shot from his bedroom window, is that Mark admiring the Labrador Rampant, a neighbor’s lnog missing oet that ventured unleashed too close to the doctor Lambraghini.
Mr. Henry rolled out the big gun on the budget debate, Controller Garry Morr. And, consequent, one issue during this budget process, the charge that the administration was uncommunicative and indifferent to Republican requests for budget cooperation, was dashed on the rocks. Councilman Barranda and others had often lamented that their calls to the administration went unanswered, and, that they could get necessary information upon which to vote. Controller Morr turned that on its head this year with unflagging outreach to all councilmen to hear their gripes, ideas, and concerns, meanwhile, in what might be called a flanking move the people at Animal Care and Control noted that they had invited all nine members of council for briefings or in-depth discussion and but two, Geoff Paddock and current council president Tom Freistroffer, had bothered to show. Mr. Arp, Barranda, Crawford and the others didn’t show. Makes one wonder. Meanwhile, the lowest number of proposed cuts to the mayor’s budget were filed by council, itself an indicator of Mr. Morr’s outreach, and the majority of those proposed cuts were withdrawn at the table, before a vote, after consultation with the administration. The mayor got his budget mostly in tact, and the Republicans lost an issue.
Odd thing about that budget. In late summer someone from the administration came down to council to request family leave become a part of the city’s pay package, Despite the many cut baby pictures in the supporting slide show Councilman Michael Barranda told the administration in no uncertain terms to come back in the normal budget process, which they dutifully did, and were shot down again.
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