Wednesday, December 05, 2007
This may be a bold claim, but Nagin appears to be getting weirder. A few weeks ago, he inveighed against voter apathy, telling a TV station, "It was kind of offensive to me, because here I am busting my butt every day and all I'm asking citizens to do is to plug into the democratic process." He was practically inviting the press to check his own voting record.
Why would the mayor have expected anybody to accept that invitation? The mayor made an issue of his opponent's campaign fund-raising when he ran for re-election, and the press didn't consider that an invitation. Maybe it couldn't during an election, but it didn't six months later when two huge garbage collection contracts went to two big Nagin campaign donors. The press didn't accept that invitation until the federal government forced the issue. Even then, I thought the press barely scratched the surface:
when Michelle Krupa mentions campaign contributions by Metro Disposal, she should also mention Jimmie Woods' other companies, AMID Landfill and AMID/Metro Partnership, as well as Durr Construction -- Metro's partner in AMID.
She also omitted any mention of Alvin Richard's donations to Change, inc.. At any rate, that particular "invitation" shouldn't be limited to garbage contracts. While others were getting angry over the destruction of apartments with small kitchens (and only one bath), I couldn't help but notice a couple of other things about this article.*
In addition to the campaign contribution "invitation," there's also:
"All I can say is that the allegations that he, that the senator is making regarding an investigation about the mayor, aren't true," she said. She said Nagin "has a proven track record, from his first term until now, of being a champion of transparency."
For six years we've been hearing about the mayor bringing transparency to city government, yet the press hasn't bothered to examine his actual record on transparency. Well, there was one editorial, but that was the bottom of the editorial page on a Saturday. The top of the page seems to be reserved for football teams.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see Gill turn his famous sarcasm and wit on the mayor. But I don't expect the mayor to be on the defensive about not voting, or going to Jamaica, any longer than he was any of the times that he stuck his foot in his mouth. Maybe he should have expected the press to accept that "invitation."
updated: Just noticed that I originally typed, "the press considered that an invitation" -- undercutting my entire argument.
*Just to be clear, I do think the demolition is the bigger issue.
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