Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ZAP! #56: Final Exam

ZAP! #56...May 10, 2011

The mayoral election is Saturday, May 14th. And if you haven’t early-voted, then take out your pencils for a pop quiz. No cheating or looking on your neighbor’s paper. Staff of the CCR hopes that you have been paying attention during this election cycle. Your vote could be critical to restoring Irving to its citizens.

The pop quiz is in three parts.

Question 1

Assume for practical purposes that Gears is elected mayor. (Let the CCR stress that this is not considered an endorsement...just a hypothetical example.) If you are an average citizen, involved in the political process and actually donated $200 to Gears’ campaign, what would be your standing if you had an item before the council and Gears would be voting on it? And consider your agenda item is good for the city...in your estimation. Oh, and for this example, Billy Bob Barnett donated $177,000 or more to Gears’ campaign and was not in favor of your agenda item. When voting on your item, Gears would side and vote for:

A. Your interest as an average, involved citizen who donated $200 to his campaign.

B. Billy Bob who bought and paid for Gears’ vote with $177,000 or more.

Question 2

Assume the same circumstances as above, except VanDuyne won the mayor’s slot. (Again, this is a hypothetical example.) Consider that J. Ralph Ellis contributed or “bundled” campaign contributions from other special interest for her in an amount that might exceed $100,000. When voting on your item before the council, which J. Ralph was not in favor of, VanDuyne would side and vote for:

A. Your interest as an average, involved citizen who donated $200 to her campaign.

B. J. Ralph Ellis and his cohorts who bought and paid for VanDuyne’s vote with $100,000 or more.

Question 3

The basic assumptions remain the same, except Putnam is elected mayor. (And we sincerely hope that this is the reality of the situation.) Since Putnam has not taken any contributions from Billy Bob, J. Ralph, or any other north Irving special interest group, how would he vote on your item before the council?

A. What is right for Irving based on the merits of the case before him.

B. Your interest as an average, involved citizen who donated $200 to his campaign.

Okay, pencils down. Turn your papers over and pass them forward. In order for you to be an informed voter, staff of the CCR will give you the correct answers. We would hate for you to go to the polls uninformed as to what could actually happen if you vote incorrectly.

If you answered B to any of the test questions, you failed! The correct answer is A in Question 3. The big bucks of special interest groups, or those who stand to gain financially from items before the council should always take a back seat to what is right for the city. Also, campaign contributions should never sway council decisions.

There is no make-up exam for this election quiz. Voters will have to suffer live with the results for three years. Vote carefully...Irving’s future is in the balance.

………….Mark Holbrook