Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Will The Star Endorse A BLOGMEISTER Mayoral Candidacy

The BLOGMeister, dammit, who else!

Honest, that was my first reaction as I saw the Star online headline and photo. Really, I thought that people would completely understand that my recent BLOG "BLOGExclusive: BLOGMEISTER Reconsiders Running For Mayor" was just tongue in cheek.

What a one-two punch though.....Schmidt and Henderson writing all of this for me, to get me to run.

It seems that people have been taking me seriously. My phone has been ringing off the hook. My email box is full. After all, the Star published headline wrote off every member of Council as did the story:
  • "Observers say city councillors lack leadership
    Clock ticking for top-job hopefuls

    Regardless of whether Eddie Francis pursues a third term as mayor, if there's anyone else around the council table toying with the idea of a run for Windsor's top job, they'd better start displaying some leadership qualities, according to some of city hall's closest watchers.

    Leadership, they argue, is an essential element for a mayor, yet the consensus appears to be that it's a quality lacking in the 10 current councillors.

    For a year-end informal survey, The Windsor Star interviewed leaders in the local business, labour and non-profit communities, academics, bloggers, civic activists and an assortment of city hall gadflies. Some of them requested anonymity because of close working ties with the municipality."

At first, I was shocked, and yes, disappointed, that I was not called as a Blogger that is a close City Hall watcher. But then I understood why. The Star was protecting me. I might have been in a conflict position if I had bad-mouthed Edgar (aka) Eddie and then run for office.

Moreover, the Star was doing my election campaign polling for me again. Seriously, this story was similar to the previous one. Except this time CUPE was replaced by the Lewenzas--father and son--to discredit them. No chance that Junior would run for Mayor now.

It was beautiful how the story was put together too.

Has Doug Schmidt been practising answering interview questions for a new job? The first section was pure job interview Q&A. When you are asked to name a weakness, name one but make it a positive. Here's how Edgar was described:

  • "With notable exceptions, most describe Francis as hard-working and a decisive leader making tough, sometimes bold choices during very trying economic times. But even some of his supporters perceive Francis as a "control freak" and he's seen by many as a polarizing figure who has difficulty bringing people together...

    "A time like this calls for real strong leadership."

    Derbyshire, who is plugged in to many facets of Windsor community life, said Francis impresses her with his willingness to hop on a jet for a one-man overseas mission to ferret out investment opportunities and potential jobs. But she and others express concern Francis is not communicating his plans well with others, he's taking on too many tasks on his own and he's not doing enough to reach out and tap into the talents of more community leaders, including big labour."

Poor Edgar, so worried about our City that he has to do it all himself with such a useless Council!

Then of course the real meat in the story, Edgar's only hope---slam the Unions and discredit Junior personally. Make sure no one will believe what he said during his Star unreported Ward meeting when he demonstrated conclusively that Edgar and the hardliners failed miserably during the unnecessary 101-day CUPE strike.

Then poor Councillor Marra, viciously attacked again. I especially liked the picking of Mark Boscariol who was used again to attack Marra and he just keeps on doing it:

  • "Even some of his biggest supporters feel Marra needs to torque it up.

    "I want to see more out of him ... he's been a little too quiet," said downtown restaurateur Mark Boscariol, a self-described "communitarian" with a deep interest in city hall affairs."

With friends like Mark.... Remember how Henderson wrote about Mark and Bill Marra, his friend, who was running for Mayor:

  • ""Boscariol, who backed Bill Marra's failed 2003 mayoral campaign, swore he would switch sides and support Francis in 2006 if he could bring a campus downtown."

    Astounded I wrote Mark about the quote and got this reply:

    "He [Henderson] must have taken that from my article 2 years ago where I said "If Francis does what he says he's going to do, I'll pound in signs for him". I'm happy to support Mayor Francis helping downtown, I don't like being used to give a shot at Bill Marra."
But there Mark is again. Being used to give a shot to Bill.

And Dave Cooke is so out of it, that it is shocking:

  • "Cooke adds it’s time for a new generation of younger leaders “who really have a stake in the future.”

We have just experienced that with Edgar! Who needs more of the same? No wonder it is claimed

  • " former Ontario cabinet minister Dave Cooke, who is on the top of many wish lists as mayoral material...insists he won’t be running in 2010."

But it is the Sheriff who who really wants to be my big supporter. Clearly, he and I are "in sympatico" together as he has guided me throughout with his columns. Gee, I even have a "sympatico" as my personal email address.

Seriously, which other person could he be referring to except me:

  • "The learned types, the folks with the impressive diplomas and immaculately polished crystal balls"

I have so many letters after my name and can almost predict the future as I have demonstrated on here time and time again.

Or is Gord really trying to fool me. Egg me on to declare early so Eddie will have another mayoral wannabe to take away votes from Councillor Marra.

I really took Gord seriously for a bit:

  • Mayor Eddie Francis will have freed himself from the chains of office by the end of this year

  • he knows his time is almost up and he has no intention of sticking around beyond 2010

  • The so-called coyness? To me, that’s just canny politics. The longer you keep would-be contenders guessing about your intentions, the longer you retain some control over council

  • The strongest evidence that Francis is leaving lies in the lengthy to-do list that he’s compiled for the first part of this year.

And so on and on and on.

But Gord signalled me right at the start not to take his column seriously at all and to ignore everything he had to say including Edgar's ambitious efforts to prove he was not a complete failure. Here is what I mean:

  • "I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. But I’ll wager a pint or two of fine Ontario barley extract that Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis will have freed himself from the chains of office by the end of this year...

    The to-do list is massive. Francis is shifting into overdrive. He’s in a race to get his key files cleared by late spring, because it will become almost impossible to get anything done once the jockeying begins in earnest for the mayor’s job as well as the 10 council seats."

Gord gave it all away! I am not going to take a sucker bet. I am not going to be fooled. Gord has made this similar bet before, with Arthur remember, only this time he is a lot cheaper since he knows he is going to lose:

  • "Betting on a vision

    It might be pie in the sky to critics, but the proposed Caron Canal, or Pitt Street River Walk, or whatever they choose to call it, is now a deadly serious business in my books because the water of life, a precious bottle of Scotch, is on the line.

    Arthur, a reader with a dry wit and a nice touch with words, contacted me Wednesday to express deep skepticism about the marina and canal being touted for the near west side, and to throw out a thirsty challenge...

    "I am willing to put a bet on this marina -- say a bottle of whatever it is you drink. Let me know if you are interested," he concluded.

    Challenged in that manner, I had no choice but to respond. And given the nature of the debate -- moving water -- I chose to put on the line a bottle of Scapa, single malt whisky from Scapa Flow, the great natural anchorage (and final resting place of the battleship HMS Royal Oak) off the north coast of Scotland.


    After placing the bet I developed the inevitable cold feet. In a subsequent conversation with Mayor Eddie Francis I confessed to having rashly placed my wallet and a piece of my Scottish heritage at risk.

    His advice? "Double the odds. Double down. Raise it to a case. I'd take the bet because it will be done before I leave office," he insisted.

    I'm not about to raise it to a case. But when Francis oozes this kind of confidence, as he did on the WFCU arena deal, the St. Clair College agreement on the Cleary and the reclamation of the city's finances, I tend to assume he has his ducks already lined up."

There. Edgar is running again. It has all been a phony to scare Councillors, to see what people think, to judge the anti-CUPE, anti-CAW mood, to test Edgar's popularity and to try and draw out possible opponents.

No Gord, go and sucker the Councillor formerly known as Councillor Budget as you and mini-Gord have been doing by building him up even though the front page story dismissed him as a credible alternative. He is ripe for the plucking because you said before in January 2008:

  • "Marra vs. Brister?

    Now that the dust is settling from the kerfuffle over Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis's musings about staying on for a third term, here's an outrageously premature prediction of how the next mayoral race will really play out.

    Going out on a limb, blindfolded, my guess is that Francis, although he's pushed that door open a crack and given himself the option of seeking another term, will have had more than his fill in three years and shall be more than happy to hand over the ball-and- chain of office.

    But anyone who thinks this means the 2010 coronation of Ward 4 Coun. Bill Marra is back on schedule should give that a second thought. There will be no free ride. There will be a war, a vicious, take-no-prisoners struggle and I'm placing early money that it will be between Marra and Ward 1 Coun. Dave Brister.

    Brister told me in his rookie term that he had no interest in the top job. And he's still circumspect about his intentions. But what I'm hearing, from people close to him, is that if Francis does pack it in to go make some serious money, Brister will not stand idly by and let Marra claim this (dubious) prize without a fight."

You are such a character Gord. No wonder we get along so well!