Meet The New Boss!
I’m not just talking about the past four months of mayoral and city council campaigning, though. No, what I’m really referring to is that we finally no longer have to deal with King David. No more mushy-mouthed speeches. No more staged photographs of our pal Dave helping out the street crews. No more closed-door meetings with the real people who ran this city, or his rarely-seen six-figure, do-nothing news bunny. King David can finally do the job he was born to do, and that’s greet people as they waddle into Walmart.
But it is a relief that the local election cycle is finally complete. No more robo-calls. No street signs dirtying up the lawns that are finally turning green. And finally our local media can go back to actually reporting news. Ok, scratch that one. It’ll never happen.
As long as we’re bidding farewell to the 2010 city elections, and also in part because I’ve neglected this site the past few months (outside of details on my silly little pod casts), it’s probably time to evaluate the campaigns of everybody who attempted to replace King David:
6. Janoct Adja. It probably was no surprise to anybody outside of Janoct himself that he ended up with the least support of this election. He had no cash, and didn’t help himself by not showing up at a number of mayoral discussions. While many stated that he had no business being in the race, I have to give him credit for making his voice heard. Every race needs candidates willing to speak for those that are rarely heard, and while Adja rarely was a coherent voice, he does give credence to the idea that any citizen can (and should) run for office. Plus, he gets an extra point for actually giving an honest answer to that idiotic KELO question on who people should vote for besides himself - “none of these people!”
5. Bill Peterson. Truthfully, I have no idea why Peterson even ran. Although a pretty well-known local political insider, he really didn’t run a campaign. Plus, his overused one-liner about how he’s “not Al Franken” had no shred of humor or truth. As a friend stated to me last night, it’s almost as if he quickly realized he didn’t have a shot and folded his campaigning.
4. Pat Costello. Arrogance can sometimes be costly, and Costello is living proof. From the very beginning, the attitude that emanated from Costello seemed to be that the citizens owed him this title. The problem is that to the average working-class citizen he was too closely aligned with the elite developers that most people believe actually run this community. Money can obviously buy a lot of things, but for once it didn’t purchase the head office of this city.
3. Vernon Brown. After making serious headway in the 2006 Mayoral elections, “Fedora Boy” clearly thought he was on the inside track of becoming our next Mayor. It didn’t quite work out that way, even with the help of his former employers at KELO. Long a favorite of the blue-haired crowd, Brown was also too aligned with the De Knudson/Dave Munson/etc. crowd to be a serious contender this time. After years of irresponsible spending and insider dealing, the “I love Sioux falls” mantra was simply not going to work this time. His anecdotal lies about the local presence at Sioux City events also didn’t help him.
2. Kermit Staggers. You have to hand it to Kermit for making it as far as he did despite no help from the agenda of our local media. He wasn’t the prettiest face on the campaign trail, and being the smartest man in the room rarely is a beneficial asset. Ultimately, the very reason he made it to the runoff was also his main downfall. He was always the lone man who wouldn’t rubber stamp everything King David brought to the table. While this fired up a considerable voter base who was tired of the wasteful spending of the previous administration, it also made it easier for his opponents to create a false image of Kermit as a “no no no” curmudgeon. Despite his loss, the newly elected Mayor and City Council members should keep in mind that voter anger is continuing to grow.
1. Mike Huether. Congratulations are in order to our new Mayor. He wasn’t my choice, but I’m actually not offended that he came out with a victory. Sure, I was not happy with the robocalls that clogged up my voicemail, and I’m not especially crazy about the idea that this office is nothing but a stepping stone for bigger political ambitions. But he had a goal, and showed that he would do whatever it took to win, even if it meant controversial moves like hiring a nationally-prominent campaign manager or soliciting support from one side of the political spectrum. It worked, and I have no doubt that he will prove to be a breath of fresh air after the nightmare we’ve just endured under the Pothole King.
I leave you now with one minor plea for our new leader. For your first act, I’d love to see you take a maintenance crew down to Falls Park and yank out that hideous shrine to the Mayor who actually did the least work on the decade-long project to clean up our most beautiful landmark in the city. If Mr. Huether heeds my advice, I promise to support his reelection campaign in 2014.