COLUMBIA, 4/12/10 (Beat Byte) -- Gloating, bashing, and negative campaigning. Innuendo over truth and insignificance over substance. We're in the midst of an election, right? Wrong. The 2010 Columbia City Council elections wrapped nearly a week ago, but an early Spring bumper crop of sore winners can't seem to lay off while they're ahead.
All the gloating raises a question: Should a new Mayor's need to lead without continually firing up opposition take precedence over such a sustained harangue?
Referencing a Prime Magazine column that had him anticipating the ouster of Councilmen Jerry Wade and Karl Skala "like a child before Christmas," large-living publisher Fred Parry (above, center, Missourian photo) fired a Facebook missive at the two defeated candidates
Wednesday night after the election.
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Wade! Merry Christmas, Mr. Skala!," Parry jibed. "Drive by our home on West Broadway and see our spectacular Star Magnolia Tree (in full bloom) accented with 8,000 twinkling lights. It's quite a sight!"
Parry included a photo of the tree, which he might lose if new 4th Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley -- who said he supports widening West Broadway, which passes in front of Parry's historic home -- gets his way.
The Mayor(s) speak
"Your polling yielded exactly the results you wanted in order to support your high minded, silly rhetoric," MBS Books CEO, local development godfather, and former Mayor Bob Pugh emailed the Heart Beat Thursday afternoon -- two days after the election. "Both are not worth the powder to blow them to hell."
Columbia Daily Tribune publisher Hank Waters may have set a new record for post-election punditry. In five -- count 'em, 5 -- editorials, he re-visited Tuesday's election results over and over and over again.
"Now Skala and Wade are in retirement, and a new mayor endorsed by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce is in office," he wrote on Wednesday. "For now, the big story is the defeat of business and development skeptics at city hall."
On Thursday, it was the "surprise victory" of Daryl Dudley in the 4th Ward. "We can be forgiven if we did not see this coming," Waters wrote.
By Friday, Waters was pondering a "polar divide based on wealth" and the old "town-gown" division -- basically, professors vs. business people.
"The good old boys, some of them quite wealthy but many not, have been losing out at city hall to smart growth planners and other government activist types mostly associated with the university," he wrote. "In the recent election the voting public pushed back."
After special interest attorney co-hosts David Shorr and Skip Walther spent the better part of Sunday morning trying to explain away all the money and negativity that drove the election results, KFRU Sunday Morning Roundtable radio host Al Germond -- who earlier predicted a big win for Third Ward incumbent Karl Skala -- nailed Skala for his unprofessional attire (his ubiquitous photographer's vest) and what Germond called his "malicious meddling" on the Council.
Quite a change from March 5, when Germond wrote in the Columbia Business Times, "By far the most intense, well-prepared and engaged of Council solons to come along in years, Karl Skala will bag his second term with ease because his challenger blundered so soon out of the starting gate," referencing opponent Gary Kespohl's now infamous Landmark email debacle.