Saturday, October 8, 2011

FOR COLUMBIA'S "SHADOW PUPPETEERS": Maybe a boycott ain't such a bad idea

COLUMBIA, 10/8/11  (Op-Ed) --  Watching Daryl Dudley address an angry crowd at the library yesterday was agonizing in spots. 
 
There he stood, all alone, clearly at the beck and call of his shadow backers, the same people we-who-were-not-born-yesterday realize are behind this insidious plan to gerrymander Columbia's historically progressive neighborhoods.

People hereabouts call these folks "The Chamber Crowd," but I beg to differ.  I call them Columbia's "Shadow Puppeteers." 
 
I like and respect Chamber president Don Laird and have a lot of friends in the Chamber.  The people who set Mr. Dudley up don't represent the majority of this city's businesses, those who understand that we "little people" are their customers -- not their playthings. 
 
 
They are the same people who can't speak without a lawyer in front of City Hall; who fight transparency at every turn;
who disrespect public opinion, marginalize dissent, and then have the gall to reach into public pockets.  
 
 
I publicly asked Mr. Dudley to convey this to the shadow puppeteers:   Shame on you
 
Shame on the shadow government we rarely hear from publicly, but that has enough political muscle to foist such political suicide on a volunteer Councilman who seems like a nice guy. 
 
He stood alone and ill at ease, a first year, first term elected representative sent to wade into a political thicket so controversial, even veteran operatives -- like Rob Monsees -- would find it challenging.
 
Shame on those who prefer to do their work in the shadows, through surrogates like Daryl Dudley.
 
And for what?  All so a group of overpaid, over-indulged fat cats can get even fatter on our collective dime.  The same fat cats who call themselves "Republicans," but toss away the Republican fiscal ideals they supposedly hold so dear to line their pockets at the public trough whenever the opportunity presents, from lining up for tax credits to forcing taxpayers to subsidize development infrastructure. 
 
They are the same people who can't speak without a lawyer in front of City Hall; who fight transparency at every turn; who disrespect public opinion, marginalize public dissent, and then have the gall to reach into public pockets.  
 
Shame on those who prefer to do their work in the shadows, through surrogates like Daryl Dudley.  After watching this agonizing spectacle play out today, maybe a boycott ain't such a bad idea. 
 
-- Mike Martin for the Columbia Heart Beat

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