“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I did my time at the candidate forum 2007

George sez he'll print the transcript of Monday night's Potter-Randall Democratic Club candidate forum in the Amarillo Indy

". . . so anyone can get a full look at how the candidates responded to some pretty good questions."
I'm all in favor of that. I think posting/printing a transcript is a good idea.

But, as for any "full look," chances of that were ruined by the f'ed up forum rules. I've already discussed this a bit. The only question the place 2 candidates were asked was George's, and that was just because he asked it to everyone. Place 1-- a deadly dull choice between two evils-- got most of the action. Place 4 has by far the best speakers, and would have provided the best soundbites, but they weren't thrown many bones, either. And the candidates for place 3 weren't asked questions that made any sense, because the F'ed Up Forum RulesTM stipulated that all the candidates for one place and only the candidates for that place be asked the same question-- and asking Daniel Martinez and Ron Boyd the same question is like opening exactly two locations of an identical-down-to-the-caged-rattlesnake Big Texan Steak Ranch: one in Amarillo, Texas and one in Bombay, India.

I'm going to post my reactions, in the time-honored PTS manner, addressing whether or not the candidates met expectations. If you don't like that format, sue me. I've had to sign too many cheesy employee evaluations in my life.


Debra McCartt, incumbent: Met Expectations.
I'm a fan of Debra. I think she has been a true uniter. She's shown political courage by reaching out to gay Amarilloans, speaking at Pride Day and elsewhere. But she's also assisted at a Trinity Fellowship groundbreaking. I don't resent her shoveling dirt with fundies, and I could be wrong, but I haven't heard anything about Brother Jimmy smiting her when she walks among the legions of the damned, either.

And she's come a long way since her disappointing performance at the PRDC forum in 2005. However, she still gets ruffled by Manny Perez. I understand that Perez is abrasive, but his county commission days date back to Old Tascosa. The dude's been around forever, and he plans to stay on the Potter County Commission until the sun goes supernova. If you're going to be around Amarillo city government, you need a Manny Perez strategy.

Audy Thomas, no show.

Jim Brokenbek: Exceeded Expectations. I expected "Brokenbek Mountain" to be another vanity candidate, bleeting his way to the altar to be sacrificed, so when I say he exceeded expectations that's not saying much. He took John Kanelis to task for misrepresenting his position. I'm always in favor of taking Kanelis to task. If I understand correctly, he thinks Kanelis said he didn't support downtown revitatilization, and he claims that characterization's not completely accurate. He's not against it, he says, he just thinks the money should be spent in other neighborhoods. Um, I hate to agree with Kanelis, but how, exactly, is that position supportive of downtown? Maybe I'm not getting something here . . .

Brokenbek Mountain supports single-member districts, which is good, but his damning of downtown with faint praise, his crotchety-old-man demands for noise ordinances everywhere and his wacky idea for an "I-40 visitors center" won't win my vote away from Debra.

Place 1

Madison Scott, incumbent, and William Sumerford: Unacceptable. In a sad, sad display, Place 1 was asked the most questions by a country mile. Madison Scott bragged about how many businesses his daddy owns and how much money he has, and then he lit a paper sack filled with shit on Mean Mr. Sumerford's porch. Mean Mr. Sumerford-- having chosen to put himself on a fixed income through a misguided and self-imposed "freeze"-- came to his door in a threadbare gown and duct-taped reading glasses. He was reading a budget spreadsheet prepared in VisiCalc, and mumbling "nice to have, must have, nice to have, nice to have." When he saw the flaming bag o' poo, Mean Mr. Sumerford stomped on the bag, screeching "Can't afford! Can't afford! Prioritize! Prioritize!" And young Madision giggled like a junior high school girl from behind a cottonwood tree. Whereupon Dr. Brian Eades' father sternly put his hand on Madison's shoulder and said he hoped he'd learned a valuable lesson. "Oh, yes, sir, I have," Madison assured Mr. Eades, his fingers crossed behind his back.

Or something like that.

Place 2 wasn't asked any questions.

Prenis Williams: Demonstrated a professional appearance at all times.

Wanda Sanner: Oh, I don't know, Arrived at meeting on time.

Dr. Brian Eades: Not evaluated in this cycle. Dr. Eades was unavailable so his dad showed up. I'm telling you, this helicopter parent thing has gone too far. As a teacher, I've had more parents of seniors contact me about their little darlings this year than in all previous years combined. And I understand that this overprotectiveness is bleeding into colleges, where student's parents now regularly contact professors and deans. I've even heard that parents are starting to contact employers at their children's first post-college jobs. But when your child is a doctor, with his own children approaching college age, running for city commission-- I think it's time to cut the umbilical cord.

Place 3

Daniel Martinez, Actively listens to suggestions and feedback from others and responds with whatever he thinks they want to hear.

Ron Boyd, Gathers and analyzes relevant data and ignores workable solutions like single-member districts entirely. But he used to be a Boy Scout! And he may be against single-member districts but he was raised by a single mom! And his mom didn't have any money, but still she threw in two mites, which make a farthing! And Jesus called unto Him His disciples and said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow-- I mean, single mom-- hath cast more in than all they that have cast into the treasury; for they all cast in of their abundance, but she of her want cast in all that she had, even all her living!" Whereupon Dr. Brian Eades' father sternly put his hand on young Ron's shoulder and said he hoped he'd learned a valuable lesson. "Oh, yes, sir, I have," Ron assured Mr. Eades, his Boy Scout neckerchief blowing in the panhandle wind. Hiding behind a cottonwood tree, Norman Rockwell set up his easel and began to paint the scene.

Charles Collins, no show. Don't these folks have parents?

Place 4

Jim "What a Coup!" Simms, incumbent: Met Expectations. Which were really, really low.

Fransetta Mitchell Crow: Demonstrated competence in expressing ideas verbally .

D.C. Chamberlain: Demonstrated competence in expressing ideas verbally.

Erik Williams: Achieved far beyond incredibly high expectations. [Disclaimer at bottom of post.]