Monday, April 19, 2010

Help Us Figure Out How Mayor Esslinger Will Screw Up Next

Can somebody please explain to me why an envelope full of cash was given by the Mayor to a retiring councilman in the city council chamber last Tuesday?

I actually went back to look at the footage and I still don't know what the money was for -- it's never really made clear by anyone involved just what the hell was going on. The only explanation that Esslinger bothers to give are the words "fund-raising," "money" and "advertising." When I first heard them I thought he was talking about political campaign money, but EoO says otherwise:
Paul Esslinger apparently did some fundraising and, I have heard, bought some advertising to honor Mr. McHugh.
This makes much more sense: Esslinger raised money to take out a full-page ad, which aren't cheap, thanking McHugh for his years of service. He then framed the ad and presented it to McHugh on his last day at the office and gave him the money left over from the fund-raising effort. In an envelope. In front of everyone at the council meeting. Live on TV.

All this looked extremely sketchy, especially given the fact that McHugh was the one who formally proposed the tavern fee rescission that put Esslinger into a conflict of interest and then was the only council member to vote for the proposition.

Anyway, absolutely none of that was made clear at the meeting. I gather that the ad ran prior to the meeting and that Esslinger assumed that everyone in town saw and knew the back story behind it, but that was obviously not the case. A little explanation would have gone a long way toward making a nice gesture seem less, you know, dubious.

What will Mayor Esslinger Screw up Next?
Ignore an obvious conflict of interest
Dubious fund-raising scheme
Flippant remark from the council dais
Another bar fight
Ill-advised use of mayoral authority free polls


CJ said...

Add the word "again" and one more entry- "all of the above".

Stewie said...

exactly what I was going to say - All of the Above

or maybe the biggest screw up is that he will remain oblivious to the fact that these ARE screw ups.

Stewie, Part Two-ie said...

just a thought - when you raise money like that, there must be rules for it. I mean you'd think you'd have to file some kind of paper SOMEWHERE declaring your intent and some kind of account/record-keeping system. Somme accountability.
And then, if you have "leftovers" that are NOT needed for that officially stated purpose that you told THE PEOPLE about as you got them to open their wallets - well is that just up to the discretion of the guy in charge of the "fund"?
So he could give the "leftovers" to McHugh , OR he could give it to a couple of strippers? no questions asked by anyone?

Now I assume the people who gave the $ are McHugh fans are are happy as shit that old Denny got the remains.
But that isn't the question. The question is, can Esslinger just had it over unilaterally as he did?
How much money was raised total? were can people who donated see any statement? where its the accountability here?

This isn't the same as just casually passing the hat at work or in a bar. If Joe Blow passes a hat it's one thing, If a mayor raises funds for another elected official, it seems perceptions are quite different and also the reality. It's just a totally Good Old Boy/Takin' Care of My Cronies thing to do.

During the last meeting, I really did unfortunately miss the Palmerian Pontifcation Period. I was shocked (yes even now) to see the ONW quote him as saying that E. "has courage" etc. etc. all of his various whitewashing and self-serving remarks.
He himself nothing but a Straw Man. It's depressing really after all the sturm und drang that preceded his gaining this post.
Accountability accountability accountability. he acted like he was gonna be some kind of stalwart Atticus Finch up there, some big moral compass. How many times had people heard all that and..want to believe. Blaaargh it's the same old bait and switch game.

so bottom line - a politician got a check from another higher ranked politician. A little more accountability than people have seen seems called for here. If Blagojevich got in trouble for selling a seat, what had Paul purchased from McHugh? those kinds of questions will be going thru people's heads. and only because of the lame way these guys act.

I guess the lesson is - if you are the guy ranting about accountability then you and your buddies are above the law and accountable to no one, because you ARE the law.