Sunday, April 29, 2007

SI covers Sheila exit from the city council

I'm sure that most of us know that Sheila has or will soon move out of Carbondale for her Father's old house beyond the city limits, but Caleb Hale's piece in today's SI has a couple of passages that deserve a comment.

Sheila claims she got into the race because Brad kicked $50 into a gift pool for George Ryan. I have been giving $50 or $100 or more for this sort of thing for many years. I can't decide if Sheila has just never had a real job or if she has never had a job where she had to excel. Maybe when you are a lawyer you are allowed to make up historic facts on the fly? This is standard office politics and it is hard to believe an adult has gotten this far without seeing it. From the bosses kid's Girl Scout cookies to Dance-a-thon money, to baby showers, we are all asked to give, to keep the political peace and butter people up.

The second item of interest was the part about running the TV ads. I don't watch TV, so I didn't see them, but when push came to shove she threw her grass roots approach right out the window? She says, "she's a little embarrassed of?" Yes, that is ironic.

Bet she is happy to have lost, there is lots of hard work for the mayor to do. What did she think Brad did over the last 4 years, make the easy calls? Maybe Sheila could take my place in a couple of months and get heavy into writing her blog? After 11 months of campaigning, she likely needs a rest.

A good postmortem on the mayor's race.


sandra said...

Goodness!...If contributing $50 for a X-mas gift in the context of work calls into question a person's motives and ethics, does that mean contributing for sympathy flowers for a co-worker's loss is off limits as well?

If one were to distinguish between the two, what are the limits to the kinds of arguments that base moral judgments on "imagined," potential situations, versus "actual," realized situations at hand? While I understand it could be argued that the boundaries I point to above will always be blurred, isn't too much such kind of skepticism in danger of generating infinite amount of distrust and paranoia for one another? What kind of healthy government can come from that? Only a strengthening of a continued state of surveillance (as if we don't have enough of that already to affect our daily interpersonal relationships).

Peter in Carbondale said...

Rumor has it that the Sheila people think that Brad somehow rigged this election and Sheila should have won. I looked at the person and said, "you realize he won by 500 votes?"

Anonymous said...

'Rigged the election?' You mean by offering free beer to students who voted for him?

Nah, that's not 'rigging.'

Bob the Builder said...

Hey anonymous-

are you still drunk off that beer?

You act like you are...

Kyle Raccio said...

And let's not forget telling student voters that Sheila was going to "shut the bars down early!" What's even more hilarious is people aren't intelligent enough to see through that.

Brad left a message on Lauren Wardell's Facebook wall "Thanks for your help" etc. with the Facebook group. Brad would have gotten my congratulations had he played fair.

Since all of the local media was against Sheila from the gitgo, this stuff gets ignored.

Sam W. Clyde said...

The campaign is over.
Let's go back to knowing that Sheila Simon is a good person and beat up on someone else.

Peter in Carbondale said...

I'm just wondering, when Sheila buys you tea is that unethical? How is tea different then beer?

Anonymous said...

Who is Sheila buying tea for?

gadfly said...

When you're a politician in elected office you're not the "normal" boss and its not the "normal" workplace. Indeed, we even have different laws in place for what is and is not acceptable for just this reason. Sure, you may not be shocked by $50 but how much graft is too much graft? $100? $1000? $10,000? I personally don't see the point in making such distinctions. Either elected officials play by the rules, or they don't. Would the Abramoff scandal be any less insulting if we halved the sums of money involved?

Honestly, people in Carbondale should not longer gripe about money in politics. They forfeited their right after this election. Never again will a candidate be able to run for mayor here without raising $40,000 or more in a competitive race. And there won't be a candidate who can do it without accepting significant contributions from people with a real and vested in interest in the decisions being made. That is the traditional formula for corruption and machine politics. Well done, C'dale.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Now here we agree Gadfly. Everyone should follow the law and if you don't like the law, work to change it. Was pitching $50 into a pool illegal? I'm guessing not, how about you? I can't ever get to unethical or immoral very easily.

I agree again that Carbondale did well in voting for Brad over Sheila. Now they don't have to complain about the mayor's performance and can worry about more trivial issues.

Rob Taylor said...

I think if you take a look at the precinct breakdown you would find that Brad didn't need the students to win.

gadfly said...

"Was pitching $50 into a pool illegal? I'm guessing not, how about you?"

Its not legal. The entire university just went through an ethics test a couple of months ago that hammered this particular point home. And, since the money personally went to Ryan and not his campaign account, it does not get covered by our lax campaign finance laws.

And, again, the size of the gift is really irrelevant. $50 is just as wrong as $5000.

Anonymous said...

I think if you take a look at the precinct breakdown you would find that Brad didn't need the students to win.

Well, that makes trading free beer for votes ok then.

Peter in Carbondale said...

This size doesn't count argument is unproductive. Does giving a stick of gum make you a bad person? Does a quarter? Sorry, the laws are lax in the Land of Corruption, but your argument doesn't hold water. What you are saying is that $50 is over your personal threshold, and nothing else.

I'm wondering, what would you do if your promotion was based on if you bought enough Girl Scout Cookies from your boss? Most people at SIU don't really care, because their jobs are secure by contract (which, of course, is part of the Land of Corruption program). Would you buy a few boxes or would you look for a new job? What happens if there weren't any new jobs in your field?

It is easy to judge from a protected position, but for most people, life is harder then that.

gadfly said...

"It is easy to judge from a protected position, but for most people, life is harder then that."

Poor Brad Cole? Please.

Elected officials should be free and clear of corruption. The fact that it might have been $50 or $500 is irrelevant. The fact that this is the "Land of Corruption" is irrelevant. Its still wrong, no matter how you slice it.

sandra said...

And concerning students...I think assuming that their vote can be bought with alcohol (or anything else) is dangerously close to trivializing their position, and/or capacity to discern their own opinions.

The mass often referred to as "undergrads" are actual thinking people with lives as complex as anyone else's writing here. "They" attend school, work full time jobs, pay taxes, have children, watch the news, read the paper, etc. It's incredibly condescending and disrespectful to believe "they" can't think.

Peter in Carbondale said...

I guess I'm confused Gadfly, I ask if a stick of gum is a problem and you ignore the question. If you want to discuss morals, you don't get to ignore the holes in your argument.

Everyone should be free and clear of corruption, but we all know that no one is.

Your logic holes are large and not well thought out.

You are now gone from here, until you start to play the game right. You are wasting my time.