Monday, May 19, 2008

The Billboard Strikes Back

So... I had an excessively long missive (sounds better than 'rant') on just how ridiculous the latest iteration of the Lamar/City Council/Billboard/lawsuit entanglement was last week..... but by the time I finished it even I didn't know what I was saying1. The bottom line is that there are no winners in any of this. It is hard to not find fault with just about every actor connected to the dysfunction of last week.

What is more important now is what is all means going forward. Gotta start with Mr. Unintended Consequences. The whole billboard issue itself started out as a pretty serious hit on the mayor and it may wind up that way in the end. But if you ask my take on public sentiment right now, the billboard issue remains confounding at best to most and what happened last week in council is just completely incomprehensible other than it's all clearly bad. I really think that as a result of last week City Council is taking a much bigger hit with the general public than the mayor. Not sure if that was the intention of whomever generated the annotated Sirk blog archive so long ago. Blame that butterfly.

That then becomes ironic given the coincident and nascent chatter that there is a mayors race coming up pretty quickly and the obligatory early handicapping. I myself have pointed out that were are just a few months from when serious mayoral campaigns would have to engage for the 2009 primary. Bob O'Connor was 3 (or is it 7?) years into into his winning campaign at this point 4 years ago. When you can describe the 5th floor last week as something akin to Machiavelli morphing with Barney Fife, the mayor's political situation for the week can be summed up as: With opponents like these, who needs friends? Or as our friend RichL may have once scored the week, a muffed snap in the end zone scores the safety 2 so LR: 2, opponent to be named later: 0.

For those who missed it and have only experienced this vicariously in reading others' descriptions, I'd get some caffeine to go along with the popcorn and soda before settling back to watch this. Honestly, it sounds far more dramatic when you read about it. I swear even the media you see in the back of the room look like they are dozing off. But here is the dramatic (or is that somnolent) city council walkout scene:

If that video does not work, try this link.
1. So yes, what follows is the shorter version.
2. No, I don't know how a kicker would actually score a safety since a muffed kickoff would typically result in a touchback...


Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

Way to put up that video!

A political analysis of how these maneuvers is way premature. This is presently a contest in the judicial and quasi-judicial arena, not on the political field. The general public will know what to make of this based on what shakes down from above, and we have plenty of time for that.

I can assure you the media in the room was in no way drowsy. "Struggling to appear disinterested" is how I would put it.

Monday, May 19, 2008 5:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, thanks for the video.

Monday, May 19, 2008 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger EdHeath said...

I wonder when Sharpe James took his first bribe or kickback? How long did it take federal authorities before he was indicted? What condition did he leave Newark in?

I'm not saying Our Mayor rises (or sinks) to Sharpe James' level ... yet, but several troubling thing have happened already, most of which have occurred under the radar. I can not even remember all the things that have gone on, there was a contract for traffic lights, I believe, in which the RFP was issued just before Christmas and had to be sometime right around New Year’s. A local firm was awarded that, out of the two that submitted bids, amid cry’s of foul from other vendors. And a couple of years ago there were two other billboards (non-electric) that were put in restricted areas downtown and the north shore, by an Oregon firm that also donated 25 grand to Ravenstahl’s campaign shortly after getting the ok on the billboards.

But the public is blissfully unaware, happy about the Penguins, annoyed by gas prices, listening to the media frenzy around the Presidential election. Maybe around the Universities (where we both work) some people noticed the billboard/City Council brouhaha, but I doubt one in ten voters ould accurately recite the facts. But the bad feelings make it that much tougher for a challenger to the Mayor to come from Council.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:58:00 AM  

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