Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rodney Glassman's past life: why character matters in the Tucson City Council race.

If you want to embarrass Tucson City Council hopeful Rodney Glassman, ask him what he was up to when he got himself kicked out of Carol West's office back in 2000. It's already cost him her endorsement, as well as that of former councilman Jerry Anderson, who's leading "Democrats for Oien." In a city full of yellow-dogs of the worst, pseudo-elitist type--the sort that confound Democrat registration with a measure of intelligence and consider it a 1:1 correlate with being a Good Person--that means a lot.

I don't know whether or not Glassman's transfer to the U of A, where he picked up three degrees from known easy programs, was brought about by academic difficulties at Cornell. Regardless, while he was here, he took over management of his family's struggling ice arena.

The official story is that Glassman turned the operation around, making it profitable. We're supposed to admire him for this: it's what passes for accomplishment in the life of a man who has only credentials. What the Glassman camp doesn't tell you is that Glassman first tried to get the City to bail the operation out, becoming so obnoxious about it to alienate Anderson and become the first and last person West ever had to ask to leave.

Glassman has not denounced this rent-seeking behavior or even apologized, leading us to one of two conclusions:

  1. Rodney Glassman the Councilman would approve of the behavior of Rodney Glassman the businessman and accept the transfer of the burden of failing enterprises from private owners to taxpayers.
  2. Rodney Glassman is truly wicked. He knows that government bailouts of business are wrong, but asked for one anyway.

Pace Richard Dawkins, I'm not inclined to think of people as evil or wicked without good reason. Thus I'm left to conclude that to elect Rodney Glassman to the city council would be to elect another cronyist who believes that government should help private enterprise along with favors and privileges.

Should casting a vote for Lori Oien even be in question? If it still is, the ever-irascible right-wing commentator Emil Franzi has dug up some truths about Glassman and his (partly tax-funded!) vanity foundation that will make your decision certain.

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