Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bruce Ash Radio Address

Tucson, Arizona. While we have corresponded via email, I have not yet met Bruce, but I have every expectation that when we do meet, he will confirm the positive remarks I have received from sources I trust. Those on the left will perhaps object to his GOP stature, but as an Independent, I find people to admire and despise in both parties. The following is a direct translation of a recent radio piece by Bruce Ash, GOP committee man. Those following this blog can note that on many issues at the national level involving health care, the war, taxation, and others, we may have profound differences. Here in Tucson, Bruce and I have some common ground. The following italics are Bruce's words verbatim:

Tip O”Neill said, "All Politics is local."

Despite this being a presidential election year, we must not lose sight of politics in our own back yard. Have you noticed Tucson is at a tipping point? Will this be the City Council that blows Rio Nuevo, loses the gem show, and chases off major league baseball? Probably, plus the U of A bio science research facility to boot. Will we allow Bob Walkup and his city council to sell us down the river, to the enviros and neighborhood factions while our city burns? Losing jobs, tax revenue and prestige to others, I pray not.

The city council has been flailing and failing at Rio Neuvo. How long before the gem show says good bye? The same way professional baseball has. Why has business rejected Tucson? No leadership and no guts from a mayor who lacks the constitution to perform the job we elected him to do. Shortsighted council members unable to even fix the potholes and unwilling to see Tucson’s potential because they are too busy fussing with Kidco and rainwater retention. How much more must Tucson suffer these fools before we rise up and challenge our elected leaders to lead? My name is Bruce Ash, and this is what I believe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need every council and supervisor race to be contested with multiple candidates in each party, so there is a primary challenge and a general election challenge. There needs to be a field of strong, well-informed,and articulate candidates, not just gadflys easily dismissed. Smart people who are willing to lose an election as the price of getting important issues heard and discussed, and forcing the incumbents to offer real solutions.

We only have ourselves to blame as a community when we have the mayor and council members running essentially unopposed.

We are left with weak minds easily manipulated by the city manager and county administrator.

4/19/2008 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, anonymous #1.

Perhaps Bruce Ash could run for either the Council or the Board.

What about Thelma, Travis, Scirocco, Associate, Navigator, Robish, Cigar Man, Policon, Liza, Anonymous 1-50, and all the others? Run, Cigar Man, Run!

The beauty of it is, you wouldn't have to give up your blogger identities!

Nina and Karin are up for re-election in less than 2 years. If Nina wins, she'll run for mayor two years later. Is that what we want?

4/19/2008 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

Nina said -about a year ago- that she won't run again and I'm inclined to belive it.

4/19/2008 5:31 PM  
Blogger Tony GOPrano said...

Bruce Ash is one of the finest people I have met in politics. His radio commentaries are excellent! If there were more people like Bruce in politics, things might be different. ^5 Bruce Ash! Thanks for all you do!!!

4/19/2008 8:23 PM  
Blogger Travis said...

One element that needs to be added here is that our mayor/council system needs at least one major change.

Current setup makes the mayor essentially just another council member with a fancy title. His only power beyond that is the "Bully Pulpit", which only has limited "umph!" This dilutes the mayor's ability to effect real change; the real hallmark of a leader.

If you look at cities with strong leadership, it's often a strong mayoral position supported and foiled by city council members who typically follow the mayor's lead. Truth is, this attracts the kind of leader we really need. (I suspect even Walkup would be able to do a more impressive job of leading if this leverage existed.)

Essentially, though it was set this way a long time ago, we've pre-hamstrung ourselves. How do we change this?

(Cigar Man, I have a sense you know the details of the system better than I... any chance you could elaborate on that?)

4/21/2008 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true, Walkup can't even make a motion. He is just one vote among seven, although he runs the meetings and of course can use his bully pulpit.

We have a city manager form of government, which was a consequence of the Progrssive Era of the early 20th century. Civil service, professionalizing government, minimizing the old patronage system were all part of this. It works if you have a wise and enlightened yet pragmatic city manager, with a city council that keeps him in check.

In practice, we have a city manager that leads the city council around by the nose.

The strong mayor form of government is great if you have a wise, enlightened, and pragmatic person in that position. It's a dictatorship if you have someone intoxicated by power. Big cities in the Midwest and East Coast usually have the strong mayor form of government, because they were established before the Progressive Era. It seems to work with Bloomberg in New York.

Our system is unique in that we nominate candidates through the ward system, but then elect them city-wide. What this means is that a crazy Democrat in Ward 1 or Ward 5, if they can get the party's nomination, will be elected because of the Democrats' huge edge in registration citywide.

I don't mean that Democrats are crazy, just that we are limited to whatever those wards can produce in the way of candidates.

4/21/2008 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The very reason the city staff refer to our elected officials as "substitute teachers" Which Ash was diagosed as Schizoprhenic?

4/24/2008 1:36 AM  

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