the Controversial Committee Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”
The clouds have parted, the thunder has boomed and the Words have rolled across lips directly into Councilman Webb’s ears. Yes, his latest semi-pious pronouncement as a voting member of the Doddering ½Dozen* is that an ‘investigation’ is required to review statements by the mayor in the heat of the current city council campaigns. Huh?
For once, staff of the CCR would find it pleasing if a council member would just state what their real agenda might be instead of using spin and smoke to muddy campaign waters...which apparently Webb believes he can walk on.
First, Councilman Webb is a staunch supporter of Councilman Stopfer. As such, he is interested in keeping the coalition of the Doddering ½Dozen intact and seeing that Stopfer is re-elected. To this end, Webb realizes that current election discussions shouldn’t be about council votes on the Entertainment Center, McDougal Heritage District development (or lack thereof), campaign contributions from special interest groups or developers, fireman’s PAC involvement, or city hall management and morale. After all, when an incumbent has a poor record, the last thing they want to do is to try and defend it to voters.
And the best way to divert voter’s attention from issues is to fabricate a non-issue and launch an attack against those who would attempt to shed light on the many wrongheaded votes by the Doddering ½Dozen. However, these issues and the votes by the Doddering ½Dozen are currently lurking in voter’s minds...as they should be.
Isn’t this what Councilman Webb really has in mind...forget genuine problems and the incumbent’s record by concocting a sideshow of flimsy rhetoric to distract voters? Doesn’t this create a lot of smoke with no fire?
Secondly, if Councilman Webb was really interested in investigating any “back room deals,” would he be agreeable to sharing with voters his and the other members of the Doddering ½Dozen’s e-mails, phone conversations, or summary of meetings that they may have had with fireman’s PAC members, Entertainment Center development personnel, lobbying conversations by ex-mayor Gears, or any other individual currently pushing projects or contracts through the council?
Yes, staff of the CCR knows the trite retort that campaign contributions ‘do not influence voting‘ as is often confessed while members of the Doddering ½Dozen deposit mega-bucks into their campaign accounts. However, one has to wonder if Webb’s personal $43,477 in campaign contributions from these folks doesn’t qualify him for charter membership in the group. After all, it does seem that recent votes on the desires of special interest contributors have met with consistently favorable votes by the Doddering ½Dozen. Was all this favorable voting for special interest concerns just a mere coincidence?
Where was Councilman Webb when he had the opportunity to vote on a forensic audit of Entertainment Center questionable expenditures? Where was Councilman Webb when he could have voted to amend the flawed Entertainment Center contract? Where was Councilman Webb when the vote was taken to deny citizens the right to vote on the Entertainment Center project? Ask another member of the Doddering ½Dozen and they can tell you where Councilman Webb was.
Certainly, Councilman Webb is not so politically naive as to believe that his casting an ‘investigative’ first stone will not cause rocks to fly back in his direction. Staff of the CCR does note that his voting record indicates he must know what he is doing. And his sermon on what might be a venial sin of word choice by others is genuinely without merit. Additionally, no penance on the part of the mayor or those attempting to correct the city hall ship-of-state is required. Rather, a burning of the ‘investigation’ false idol by Councilman Webb will restore grace to city hall when all the smoke clears.
Can we have an Amen?
* For newer readers, the Doddering ½Dozen have been the leaders in pushing the contractually flawed Entertainment Center project. Members are believed to be: Rick Stopfer, Rose Cannaday, Michael Gallaway, Lewis Patrick, Roy Santoscoy and Dennis Webb.
DMN article regarding Webb’s request for an ‘investigation.’