Monday, September 27, 2004

'Tis the season

Take a deep breath in...can't you smell it? It's that time of year again, no not fall, but DEBATE SEASON!

Yesterday morning, when a whole two people were watching (the rest were at Church remember?), the three major SL County Mayoral candidates dabated each other. [Republican incumbent Nancy Workman, Independent Merrill Cook, Democrat Peter Corroon]

Lucky for you and I, the Salt Lake Tribune's Thomas Burr was there and has a nice summary of the proceedings:

County corruption?
  • Merill Cook: Says there is "significant corruption" in county government that needs to be addressed.

  • Peter Corroon: Wouldn't call it corruption, but says that all county workers need to know policies and more stringent rules, such as a gift ban, are needed.

  • Nancy Workman: Says the county is not corrupt and that problems are surfacing because the new form of government is flushing them out and cleaning them up.

Slashing spending
  • Cook: Vows to cap the mayor's office budget at $1 million and proposes a 10 percent average cut in other departments, even if workers lose jobs.

  • Corroon: Agrees his administration could limit the mayor's office spending to $1 million and wants to look at each department for further cuts.

  • Workman: Promises to not raise taxes and adds that, "You can always look at making cuts."

Living wage
  • Cook: Does not support a proposal to give preference to county contractors who pay at least $9 an hour.

  • Corroon: Supports a county proposal for that preference, but would affect contracts only where there is no other discernible difference between the bidders.

  • Workman: Does not support the living wage proposal.

Overall, Cook came out the best. Caroon sounds nice and progressive for my taste, but then again most voters might see that as too liberal. Cook and Caroon nicely ganged up on Workman, who really came out on bottom, she sounded like a shrill defender of the status quo. You can't claim there is no corruption when there has been lots of scandals in County government and you were in charge (and you are facing possible jail time yourself for such scandals), you have to propose changes. Caroon played it safe here, trying to keep his lead over Cook and Workman until election day. The less he has to mention things that he supports that favor unions and environmentalists (and other things to tie him to SLC mayor Rocky Anderson), the better for him.

And of course, let us not forget THE DEBATE that is happening Thursday night. BOPNews' Chrisopher Lydon wonders which Kerry will show up, the 1972 Kerry, the 1996 Kerry, or the 2003 Kerry? I personally hope it is '72+'96+9/04 Kerry.

Slate's Will Saletan points out that the current Kerry is on the right track for Thursday I happen to agree with most of that, but I still would like a rehash of the old "How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" question towards George W. Bush: How can you ask our young men and women in uniform to keep dying because of your mistakes and your unwillingness/inability to fix them? I love how Bush now has high expectations on him instead of on Kerry. The more Kerry's people can play up the boring, wonkish, senatorial side to the media before the debate, the more the media will (in theory) gush about how Kerry sounded like a human being.

This week will be filled with mere speculation and no real substance as the candidates hone their message and debate phony versions of their counterparts. Maybe it is the week of the VPs. Everyone knows Democrats want Edwards to be out there and more agressive against Bush/Cheney, now's his chance to shine. Shine on you Crazy Diamond.

PS this is a funny animated GIF:

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