Friday, September 29, 2006

*Debate Highlights*

Richard Robinson has a nice article summarizing the debate last night.

The Merc also provided this coverage of the debate as well.

The best coverage of the debates has to go to NBC11 which includes actual clips from the debate.#

The coverage focuses quite a bit on the "Chuck E. Cheapskate" scandal. Chuck Reed opened the night by stating that he refused to drag non-profit organizations through the mud and therefore he wanted to repay the city with his own personal funds because some of his reimbursements were "too personal, possibly too political and too religious." Reed made the point that some of the expenditures were legitimate but that if he picked and chose which he felt obligated to repay that that would do a disservice to the NPOs in question. I have looked through his reimbursements. Besides the $4 spent on parking at an airport press conference, I am not sure any of the expenditures "served a public purpose." His attempt at quasi-financial martyrdom was insincere as he continued to stress legal ambiguity. One email we received summarized the controversy in the following words:

"Reed still doesn't "get" the issue: it has nothing to do with hurting non
profits, or giving city money to non profits. The problem is Reed
spreading money around (personal checks, his name and his wifes name),making it
APPEAR that he is the donor, when in fact it is the city that is the
donor. The problem is Reed, not the non profits."
The focus shifted away from the Chuck E. Cheapskate scandal but not before Cindy attempted to bring it up one more time. In the words of another of our emailers:

This seems a little shady and Cindy noticed that during the debate when she caught Chuck off guard. Cindy asked how Chuck could reimburse the city and still not admit that he did anythign wrong. Chuck froze after the question and only replied with"I stand on my opening statement."
Chuk Reed did a great job at sticking with his message. There were two slogans that he repeated over and over: "more of the Chavez-Gonzales administration" and (when discussing the Grand Prix) "cars or kids?".

Click on the "Reed: Grand Prix" link on the NBC11 page to hear some of the sloganeering. Reed attacked the Grand Prix on business grounds. He said the Grand Prix was a "great event", "a wonderful time", and "great for the city" but that if he had to do it over again, he would vote against it.

Chavez responded to his cars vs. kids dichotomy calling it disingenuous.

One thing that many felt was inappropriate was when Reed continued to say the "Gonzales-Chavez" administration over and over again. While effective for getting his soundbite (which he did, see the Merc article), many claim that this is a mischaracterization of the facts. Though Chavez was one of Gonzales's Vice Mayors, she was not his VM during 2 Norcal rate increases nor when the $11 million dollar amendment was passed. Pat Dando was the Vice Mayor when that occurred. Many continue to see the lumping together of Gonzales and Chavez as being racist. ("Of course he puts the two latino names together" we've heard in comments and in emails.) Reed called the culture a "cancer". Some called this extreme and inappropriate.

Reed simultaneously attacked some of Cindy's endorsers and the local Dems in the area. Richard Robinson covers this diatribe well on his site. Reed said that local Democratic leaders want the SJ Mayor to be a part of the "Democratic fundraising machine" which he refused to do. He went so far as to trash the honorable Susan Hammer's name by claiming that her endorsement was based on the fact that she was a part of this machine. I don't think I am going on much of a limb but Susan Hammer's name should not be mentioned in the same breath as Ron's.

Robinson says that Cindy's personality stole the show:

She proved once and for all, nice people can win. They can also be
tough, decisive, inclusive and funny...

But the night belonged to Cindy. Obviously giving her “handlers”
the night off, Cindy became a Mayor last night. Freed from
scripts and talking points, she was inspiring, inclusive, humorous, spontanious,
knowledgable and most of all, she showed all of us why she is the
leader to take San Jose forward into the future.

But don't take our word for it - take a look at some of the video clips on NBC11's site! Keep sending emails to sj_rookie AT and/or misterfouroheight AT with your reactions and insights!


At 10:59 AM, Anonymous phillip s. said...

People are willing to tolerate the "Chavez-Gonzales" connection because they are both Latino/Chicano. Period. If her last name were Smith or Johnson, they allegations wouldn't be made.

Why don't people talk of the Gonzales-Dando administration that approved of the 11.25 amendment????

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous SickofReed said...

Chavez wasn't even vice mayor when the mess happened, Dando was, so it should be the Dando-Gonzales administration. Chavez has been vice mayor AFTER, not during, the actions that Gonzales took.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous alex m. said...

The debates are going to be what separates the could be's from the will be's. Reed and Chavez can preach to their own audiences all they want about whatever they want, but that's not going to fly in the debates. Last night proved that when both candidates are up against the wall only one can handle the pressure. Chavez knocked Reed out last night with her question. Reed stands on his opening statements, but not much else. As the "ethical" candidate, Reed is losing ground with every new story. The truth shall set you free Chuck, and we all know how much you like free things. You should issue a formal apology to the city of San Jose, and try not to wate our tax dollars in doing so.


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