Friday, March 30, 2007

Who's Really Doing the Spinning?

“A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.”

- H.L Mencken

The Emporia city commission race is just about over. The election will be held this next Tuesday.

I spent a bit of time today putting up signs in locations where some mischievous soul has been taking them down about as fast as I can get them planted in the ground. I’ve found it quite amusing. I lived for a while near Chicago where folks deceased for fifty years or more still vote. In Massachusetts where I grew up the slogan has always been, “Vote early, vote often.” Here in the “Heartland” folks pilfer the opposition’s signs.

Since Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Rasmussen, and Opinion Dynamics don’t poll in our election I have no idea about the outcome. The one thing I do know is that the issues won’t magically disappear the day after the election.

Steve Sauder, our local media magnate, endorsed two candidates this past week. He stopped short of endorsing a third, but did say that I was the politician in the group, a guy who only says the things people like to hear for personal political benefit. Just about everyone I’ve talked to says that his insults amount to a supreme compliment. I suspect, then, that his rhetoric may have me on the road to sainthood.

For the past three nights there’s been some gunplay in our neighborhood. We call, the police come, and the perpetrators disappear into the night. The police understand that there is something going on, possibly a turf rivalry or some sort of a dispute over a bad loan. They’re hoping to catch them by the weekend.

I’m sure I’ll be accused of pandering by some in this race or others with vested interest in its outcome for even mentioning the gunfire. Their logic probably goes something like this, “Since it’s not happening in my neighborhood, it’s not happening at all.” That’s the sort of twisted A form proposition politicians have hoodwinked the good people of Emporia with for some time. Aristotle is probably turning over in his grave. I’m tempted not to report the shooting at all. If I give it some time it will in all likelihood migrate over to their neighborhoods and then we’ll get a real political response.

I sent one last pre-election letter to the Gazette. I hope it gets published, but in case it doesn’t I’m asking that those who read and agree disseminate it far and wide.

The City Commission election is less than a week away. I’m proud of the campaign I’ve run.

I especially want to express my heartfelt thanks to those who’ve supported me financially or shared encouraging words, fresh ideas, and for their prayers. I’ll always treasure that!

I’ve outlined the issues this city faces because I care deeply. Some have said I’m the consummate politician, spinning for electoral benefit. Nothing could be further from the truth. The issues we face are very real, not spin. There are over 5,000 of us living in poverty. That’s reality, not spin! Our property taxes are excessive, and still climbing. That’s reality, not spin! Businesses are leaving Emporia and our median household incomes are 27% below the Kansas average. That’s reality, not spin! Slum lords are profiting at the expense of Emporians living on the economic margins. That’s reality, not spin! Hispanics represent 22% of our population but less than 10% vote because they feel disenfranchised. That’s reality, not spin!

This city will never get from where we are to the bright promise the 21st century holds for us unless we accept the facts we currently face. That’s reality, not spin!

I’ve campaigned for a seat on the city commission because I love the people of Emporia. I have an abiding faith in their goodness and the goodness of the God who made them. I’m convinced that with servant leadership the citizens of this good city will respond to the current challenge and embrace the hope that’s set before them.

That’s why I’m running. I believe the time for a change of direction has come!

I’m asking for your vote on April 3rd so that I can partner with you to be a voice for change, energy, and a brighter future.

With Warm Regards

Phil Dillon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sorry you didnt make commissioner,I think you are what the old stale,same ol,same ol, city commission needed. I applaude you for your efforts!!from lifetime Emporian and business owner who was really hoping for some change,Sincerely,Greg Giger