As we all know by now, Jim Vokal came out yesterday and said, "No Fire or Police Union money or endorsements for me!"
And then Hal Daub said, "Uh, me too!"
Suttle? "Sure, I'll take me some a that."
But of course that's not the end, is it?
First lets look at this from the Vokal standpoint:
Now he HAD to know he was going to get hit for taking Fire Money in 2008. According to records (as far as we can tell) Vokal took $2,500 in May and another $2,500 in October from the Fire Union. Vokal's argument is that that was money BEFORE he was a candidate for Mayor.
Well, for what it's worth, 1) that money has been lumped into his current campaign war chest and 2) the second $2,500 came AFTER the RunJimmyRun billboards went up. While those were not "official" campaign signs, we will go ahead and assume the campaign was in motion then. Vokal's argument really has no wings.
So, in order for Vokal's claim that he's not taking any Union money to be accurate and politically persuasive, should he give that five grand back? Uh, yeah.
(However, we separate our political suggestion from the demands on the comments boards -- many identical on such places as Leavenworth Street and WOWT -- that Vokal MUST give the money back. We don't really care whether he does or not -- just that if he wants to go down that road, he has to see that at as the end result.)
And Hal Daub? Well Daub hadn't received any Police or Fire Union money yet, and he says he won't take any money or an endorsement from the Police.
The OWH's evening edition (not online at the time of writing this) said:
Daub said in his press release that he had made his decision well before Vokal made his announcement.Chuckle.
Daub said his campaign informed union President Aaron Hanson Tuesday night that he would not accept the endorsement.
Hanson initially denied talking to anyone from the Daub campaign Tuesday.
When told about Daub’s announcement, Hanson replied: “What are you talking about? Where are you getting this information?”
Hanson called back about 10 minutes later, saying Brinker Harding, Daub’s campaign manager, did talk to him Tuesday night about the decision. Hanson said he believed the conversation was private. He said he simply was trying to find out the source of the information.
Though frankly, Daub was in a bit of a tight spot on this. If he says nothing at all, Vokal can make some kind of hay out of Daub being "beholden" or whatever. Now he could have gone the Suttle route, but maybe that is too risky for him. In any case, he told KPTM that he is "bending over backwards" to avoid the suspicion of impropriety (while pointing out that Vokal had taken money from the Fire Union while gearing up his campaign).
The thing is, Daub looks like he was forced into those gymnastics by Vokal, which makes the declaration seem less sincere.
Anyway, it's worth noting that both Daub and Vokal have taken money and endorsements from the Police and Firefighters Unions in the past.
Why is that noteworthy?
Well, each has argued that their self denial of endorsements and money is based on the importance of negotiaing with the unions this year.
Well, we're to understand that it wasn't important in past years? So cash or an endorsement in the past didn't taint their neogitiations and votes, but this year it would? What's magic about this year?
Oh, it's because it's a bigger political issue that everyone is watching. Ohhhhh, OK.
See, we get that, and understand what the campaigns are doing. But does either camp think the public is that dense that they don't see that as well?
Did Camp Vokal think the money issue wasn't going to come up IMMEDIATELY? Did Camp Daub think they weren't going to just look ME-TOO-ish on this?
And Suttle? Well, frankly, we can't really blame Suttle's answer on this.
Suttle said he,
"...welcomes any endorsement saying his campaign is based on working with unions, ethics and trust.For what it's worth, here is how much we think this "refusing money and endorsements" issue will resonate with the public: We think Suttle gave the best response.
'It's out of that trust that I am perfectly comfortable to taking endorsements and taking donations from anyone in the city. This is their city and I want to be free to represent all people.'"
(And don't think the public may already be tiring of the Vokal-Daub bickering...)
Hey, state workers, if I were you, I'd be watching over my back every time I get on the internet at work. You know it's just a matter of time before State Auditor Mike Foley starts reviewing your blog-viewing habits.
(And you better be doubly careful if you ever snickered at his Mullet-Suit!)