Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Harmon makes surprisingly strong showing in debate

After having watched the Register Star debate in its entirety, it's clear Larry Morrissey recognizes his only real opponent in the race right now is Doug Block. He went on the offensive several times, challenging Block to think as a mayor, not as a union rep, and to publicly acknowledge that the union needs to make concessions or accept changes for the sake of the city's fiscal health. Well played, Mr. Mayor.

The problem with this two-way race is that John Harmon has far more interesting things to say than Block does, but Block has the bruised legs of the police union to keep him in the press.

If, as I've predicted, the fire fighter union will be appeased (they're VERY happy if they keep four men on an engine), the police union may be alone in supporting Block. Block would do the same for the fire fighters, but as I've noted, the fire fighters know Larry's bound to win. They know it may not bode well if they go against him now.

If the police union wants to get the public on its side, it needs to start doing something about the crime. YOU are the ones I see driving past open-air drug markets. YOU are the ones I see bullshitting with your buddies in the parking lots. YOU are the ones I see turning on your cherries just to go through the red lights. YOU are the ones in MY rear-view mirror when you ought to be ridding the streets of the filth that threatens my family's safety. Don't fucking talk to me about the mayor or the chief. They can't be blamed for your inaction. Start making a difference and people will care more about what you have to say.

Harmon presented a fairly strong case for change and actually seems to have a logical, no-nonsense plan to cut spending. He's a conservative, and I have to admit that might do the city some good right now. It's been a long time.

His platform also seems to have an emphasis on creating jobs. Not sure how he plans to do that, but he's correct in that jobs would start healing some of the city's other ills, like poverty and crime. While Larry's emphasis seems to be education, jobs make at least as much sense. It's a reasonable priority, and one that a lot of unemployed folks might be interested in. This is easier said than done, though, so I'd like to hear more about his plan to make those jobs available ASAP.

It's important to note, however, that Harmon isn't picky about what types of jobs there are. Who knows. He could be right. Maybe we've been setting our sights too high. Baby steps first. On the other hand, I shudder to think about all the pig-slaughtering facilities, ethanol plants and environmental catastrophes this approach might welcome.

Fuck. I dunno. At the moment, I'm not unemployed, for which I'm very thankful. But because I do have a job and am able to pay my bills, I can't speak for the unemployed folks as to what sort of job they would or wouldn't take. My worry about bringing in these shit-jobs as a short-term fix is that we'll be stuck with them in better times.

While there are plenty of things he'd do differently, I like that Harmon praised Larry for the things he's gotten right. If I know Harmon at all, that was probably a difficult thing to do, but it showed some class.

As I've stated before, Harmon's just not a factor in the race, yet, but I'm starting to like the guy. That's saying a lot, because I usually think he's a complete bastard and I don't like the shitheels he hangs out with, truly.

As a Republican, its an uphill battle for him in a Democratic city. To have any chance, he's gonna need to keep the anti-Democrat rhetoric toned down - not an easy task for him - because he's gonna need a lot of their votes to have any chance. I also have doubts as to how strongly Jan Klaas at GOP HQ will want to support him financially.

In short, I guess I'm just a little disappointed Block is posing the biggest threat to Morrissey, because from what I've seen, Harmon clearly deserves that distinction. I hope the press will start paying a little more attention to him instead of just giving Block all the free campaign spots.

I'll probably wait until the last minute, or the maybe the last week, before I make any sort of painful endorsement (and I do realize that counts for nothing, because who the fuck am I?), but for those looking for a mayor who will trim the fat, I think Harmon's your guy.


  1. Yeah,agreed....two points he made struck me...
    first off,Larry often is quick to take credit for the "Lowe's Jobs" I knew that Doug Scott had gotten the deal rolling,(heard he couldn't close the deal)but if Harmon is correct,the county actually SEALED the Deal....
    Second,I caught his one line,regarding all the TIF concessions used to "attract business", something along the line of
    'you can't BUY jobs'

  2. I find it very interesting that the local newspapers are so light on political analysis.

    What are they afraid of - informing the body politic?

    Their silence screams "complacency."