League of Women Voters Candidate Forum
The headline in the HT should have read “Nothing new from the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum” which was held last Thursday evening at Ivy Tech. Democrat’s once again showed their intolerance for anything or anyone that doesn’t lean to the left. The charge was lead by Andy Ruff, their designated hitter who once again managed to show us his contempt for all non-Democrats with his typical condescending self-righteous remarks. It never ceases to amaze me how often I hear Democrats use words like tolerance and diversity when obviously these feeling don’t transcend to anyone with beliefs that don’t mirror their own. When they speak, they speak of a society where everyone is accepted, where culture and diversity makes for a nearly utopian community and we were reminded repeatedly the only way to maintain it is to keep electing Democrats. Yet these words are not meant as an example but rather a mere diversion from reality, a reality where in Bloomington a dog is given more consideration than a person that affiliates with the Republican Party.
There were constant reminders that all things good have come from Democrats and if anything we should perpetuate the juggernaut because without them the city would turn into an overdeveloped wasteland similar to Greenwood. Democrats are really in their element in this type of forum, a microphone, video cameras and a room full of left wing groupies. They can easily spin stories of prosperity, happiness and security since “they” took office. What you didn’t hear at this forum is a plan for our future, a road map of where they see us going and how we are going to get there. What was heard is that our Democrat leaders feel that it is not only acceptable to take on global affairs but rather expected when you sit on the Bloomington City Council. It is obvious that taking positions on global issues gives each of them a feeling of extreme self-importance. Issues like the war in Iraq, global warming and peak oil all take precedent over mundane topics like well maintained streets and sidewalks and finding ways to hold the line on providing the necessary services of our local government. If there was a single highlight in the evening it was council candidate Clifford Meadows’ response to the question “whether or not the City Council should spend time discussing global affairs”, his response was an unequivocal and simple “no”. You have to appreciate someone that has the ability to sum it up so completely. The current administration claims to be concerned about issues like reducing the environmental footprint of our government and has responded by the establishment of various committees and commissions. Their bulging budget supports programs with snazzy names like Commission for Sustainable Living and Living Wage Ordinance but when their term is over what has really been accomplished, has anything really improved over the last four years, I think not?
As has been the case in the past the forum format leaves a lot to be desired as it does little more than to offer a glimpse into each candidate’s ability to read his or her prepared statements. The panel was once again made up of all Democrats, as is the majority of the League of Women Voters and the questions were carefully selected to allow a platform for their candidates to expound on their talking points. In this format the candidates are never allowed an opportunity or the time to truly debate issues as it might allow an opportunity to expose the weakness of those in office. The League can once again pat themselves on the back and indulge in self-gratification for supporting the democratic process on the local home front.
What we were able to extract from the evening was that our current Mayor, Mark Kruzan has been an ineffective leader over the last three and a half years. He has managed to lose support of many of those that help him get elected four years ago. He supports reducing the ecological impact of our local government as long as he doesn’t have to give up his “gas guzzling SUV”. He doesn’t want to be held accountable for his shortcomings but wants to revel in the uniqueness of Bloomington and what he has done to maintain it. In these last four years he has over-promised and under-delivered, no real news there after all it is politics. He wants to be reelected not for what he’s done or going to do but rather what he will prevent from occurring should his opponent get elected. His campaign up to this point has been one of fear of change. Similarly the City Council has been lopsided for so long, so consumed by their agendas that little if any progress has been made in our city over the last four years. The Democrats are extremely comfortable in power and feel like their control is a mandate rather than a privilege. They would also like you to believe that someone other than them controls tax rates and they really have very little impact on how the money is spent. They too believe that they are protecting the uniqueness of Bloomington by remaining in office.
Regardless of the lack of suspense from all of the candidate forums and with all things considered this could make for a very interesting election come November. Sabbagh’s campaign has picked up some curiously unusual support for a Republican, the local Fire Fighters Union and a group of Democrat’s calling themselves Democrats for Sabbagh, a group of individuals that even has an elected Democrat on it, what does that tell you. It appears Sabbagh has transcended the divide in the local political arena and has a great deal of appeal and respect on both sides of the fence. In the last thirty days Sabbagh has also positioned himself as a strong force to be reckoned with and as a serious threat to stronghold that Democrats have held on the local government over the last twenty plus years.