Thursday, November 02, 2006

Looking Forward

SV411 has declared victory today in its quest to get its candidate of choice, Chuck Reed, into City Hall. As the election season comes close to its conclusion, I have to wonder how SV411/Metro have any credibility whatsoever. The two publications have been relentless in their partial pursuit of destroying the Chavez campaign. That's not to say that San Jose Inside (or us, for that matter) have been exactly fair and balanced. But remember - we are bloggers. SV411/Metro are supposed to feature journalism. Why did they even announce that they were endorsing Chuck a couple weeks ago? They endorsed him the moment the primary ended. Really. Whatever side you fall on in this campaign, I hope that our readers put pressure on these sorry excuses for journalists. In this day and age, our city deserves better. Next time you pick up a Metro, flip to the back of it. Look at how the Metro makes its money. That piece of trash is a regular printed red-light district. Hookers, strippers, smut, etc. etc. pay their bills and yet somehow we give this publication the right to influence our opinions on values and ethics in City Hall. Remember the fear they tried to instill in voters about an alleged connection between Chavez and Indian gambling? Well, the very existence of these jokers is utterly dependent on the sex industry. But the website correctly points out that Chavez now trails Reed by a double digit margin. It is a little curious how large of a lead Reed has allegedly built when last than a month ago both candidates were within the margin of error. Polls schmolls, some might say. But the import of a 12 point lead can't be ignored. I'm going to bet that the Chavez campaign starts pulling out all the stops with what appears it might be its final Hail Mary drive. Yesterday's announcement that Reed used public money to send a staffer to a parochial educational institution, however, seems to have not stuck in the public consciousness. While certainly not on par with Reed's earlier reimbursement scandal, it is still surprising that there has been little uproar over Reed's most recently revealed gaffe. Maybe I'm too young to understand how people can swallow this. But to me, that separation between church and state is one of the most vital features of a contemporary democracy. Would the staffer been afforded the same privilege if she were Jewish? Buddhist? Hindu? Reed offered a number of justifications for the move. For one, he claimed that the expenditure of public money for religious education made his staffer a better person. While that may sound noble on its face, I think most of us know that that is complete bullshit. If an official took city money and used it for pilates, a history class, or even Oprah's book club, most would agree that it might help improve said official's personhood... but nobody would agree that that is appropriate. I don't think Mr. Reed is this stupid. His next justification is probably more sensical. Reed claims that the religious training will enable the staffer to better deal with Reed's constituents. I am not clear how or why religious training would help accomplish this objective in any way shape or form. Religion is not like language. Religion is not instrumental to constituent services. But even if it were, this is not the type of reality that our politicians should be catering to. Some may point to this miscue from Reed as an example of his lack of ethics. To me, I probably wouldn't take it that far. I don't think Reed intended to enlarge the bloated municipal bureaucracy by using city money for personal gain. I think he honestly believes that this was an appropriate expenditure. And that's what I see this upcoming election coming down to. Chuck Reed is a good guy. There's no two ways around it. I believe his campaign staff has turned him into something he's not. But I do sincerely believe that he is a good dude. But his values and his vision are outdated. Someone who thinks that this type of expenditure is appropriate --- that this practice of keeping religion integrating into the mainstream of our political practice is legit --- is not the type of leader I want. Remember how he voted when the city took a symbolic stance against the initiative requiring parental notification for abortions. Remember how he voted when asked to recognize same-sex marriages in SJ. Many spin these votes as old fashioned values. To me, that's a euphemism for conservativism. Next Tuesday, you can vote for the past. Or you can vote for the future. I'm going to vote for the candidate who wants to move our city forward. I'm going to vote for education, housing, and the environment.


At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Terrible Tom said...

Not a fan of Chavez. Not a fan of this website. But yes - Metro is a joke!


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