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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Brighton Mayor Steve Larson - Clean and Inarticulate

It's been a week since the local election in New Brighton, but the dead tree media is finally getting their coverage out. In this week's New Brighton Bulletin Mayor Steve Larson comments on his re-election in spite of only getting 45% of the vote.

And to what does "Landslide" Larson attribute his victory? Of course, to running a clean campaign and remaining positive! If one accepts Sanctimonious Steve's explanation as correct, what can we conclude about the campaign of Kim Moore-Sykes? She ran with "Landslide" and Mary Burg as a team, yet finished dead last in spite of Larson's endorsement. Must have been one filthy campaign she ran!

If nothing else Larson proves that his rhetoric is an effective substitute for syrup of ipecac:
"Now we move on. Hopefully, everyone can work together now, instead of working to divide."
Yep, Mayor Larson is certainly a uniter, not a divider. Actually he truly is both in that he united 55% of the voters to divide their votes between candidates other than him which, incidentally, is the primary reason for his unfortunate re-election.

"Landslide" weaseled his way back into office by garnering a large disapproval of voters across the ideological spectrum. There just happened to be two challengers for the office, one conservative, one moderate-to-liberal, that split the "Larson needs to go" vote. Interestingly enough, in spite of their differing political ideologies, both of the opposition candidates based their campaigns on how Larson had royally messed up (there's that "uniter" quality about Mr. Larson coming into play again).

To say Mayor Larson ran a quiet or stealth (or even cowardly) campaign would be an understatement. He pretty much seemed to go out of his way to avoid situations where he would have to defend his record and chose to babble on about vital things like "positive mental attitude", playing Santa, and reading to the kiddies. His candidate speakout statement and LWV performance were definitely not very deep or issue rich and would never be mistaken for an attempt to gain admittance into Mensa.

It's interesting to note that the annual Town Hall Meeting usually held the first weekend in October, was conveniently put off until after the election. It was at this function where our Mayor, the Paragon of Positivity, got into a shouting match with a constituent a few years ago. Larson also bailed on a live television appearance less than a week before the election on very short notice (leaving the host in a lurch) due to a "previous family commitment" that he had forgotten about. Surely the fact that the program generally allowed unscreened callers (as Mr. Clean had taken advantage of a few weeks earlier when one of his opponents was on the show and he called in without identifying himself and proceeded to make a fool of himself) had absolutely nothing to do with the scheduling conflict.

I've heard from several people around the city, as well as through some first hand observations, that The Clean Team's campaign appeared to have done their share of mud-slinging via back channels and back-benchers. Apparently some of the analysis and commentary here and in some letters to the editors of the local papers touched a nerve or two. As usual, the team of Mr. Clean and the Cleanettes labeled anyone who questioned their record or pointed out how ridiculous some of their statements or campaign literature was as purveyors of propaganda. Pretty lame and unimaginative to be sure but, then again, consider the source.

Oh well. The election is over and, like "Landslide" himself said, "now we move on".

Yes, we do move on, and 55% of the voters will be keeping a close eye on where we move and how we get there as the Mayor's re-election statistics fell quite a bit short of being a mandate.



Blogger Force50 said...

One does not have to lie to deceive. That pretty much sums up Mr. Clean's campaign. He says that spending had to increase as much as it did because LGA was pulled. But he never bothers to explain why New Brighton was dependent on state aid. Or why it did not adapt cost-cutting instead of more spending. Or why new spending exceeded what the state took away. He says that his opponents created a misconception about double-digit tax increases, when it happened only once in recent years. But he did not address the key point that spending increases were in most cases at least twice and sometimes three times the rate of inflation. Unfortunately, we are left with a deceiver who will say anything, do anything to get elected. I guess egomaniacs do that.

11/16/2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Mayors' issue with Dahms' campaign was that levys were not as high IN THE END. I attended and watched the past 3 Truth and Taxation meetings. What happened was that the original PROPOSED levies by the past City Admin were VERY HIGH-DOUBLE DIGITS--YES they were! but in the end, thanks to good thinking and a lot of arm twisting by the new women on the council they were reduced. Our Mayor wasn't a proponent of reducing the levies ever. Last year his only proposed idea for reducing the amount the city spends, in a 12 million dollar budget, was to change the election cycle for a savings of 13,000-the result would have been to EXTEND his term in office a year or so. This was really awful to watch. I couldn't believe this out of control EGO MANAIC. For goodness sakes, you would hope he would make a sensible idea on how to reduce the budget for us citizens without thinking of himself first.

11/17/2007 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Larson was elected by 45% of the vote, but if look closely only 25% of the registerd voters, voted....meaning only slightly more than 12% of registerd voters, voted for Mr Larson. Hardly a landslide!!!!

3/08/2008 10:46 AM  

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