The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Darkness Falls On Mayor's Race

A push poll has begun in Rapid City, according to a friend of mine. The friend, who could recognize a push poll when asked to answer one, was quite surprised that the poll was bringing up our current mayor's darkest hour...the Sam Kooiker censure.

I can't quote exactly because I wasn't polled, but here's what the friend says it asked: "Would you support Sam Kooiker for mayor if you knew he had been censured for abusing e-mail?" There is apparently another question asking respondents if they would support Kooiker if they knew he had asked that the city's insurance pay his personal costs associated with hiring a lawyer to defend himself against ridiculous charges.

Wow. I suppose this could be coming from a candidate other than Alan Hanks, but it seems really unlikely, since Hanks is supported by Stan Adelstein (who has the money for such a poll) and Jody Severson (who has the know-how to conduct such a poll.) Maybe Stan can just re-read his quote from an earlier campaign:
Adelstein was quoted as saying: "Poor Alan, he wasn't comfortable with what we had to do. But we had to do it."
With Kooiker not even declaring his candidacy yet, it seems pretty premature to go negative right out of the chute, especially in light of the public's opinion, as well as those in the media. (They didn't get really dirty until the day before the election, last time.) Check the Journal's editorial after the censure hearing here.

It is even more surprising in light of the public's reaction in the following election where voters sent censure proponent Lloyd Lacroix packing. Read that one here.

Whew! I'm only assuming that Mayor Hanks is behind this poll. But who else could it be? No matter who it is, I'm stunned than anyone other than Kooiker would want to remind voters of this travesty. I'm more surprised that anyone would think of picking up this turd with the idea that it could be polished.


taco said...

This push poll is going to back fire, big time. People are extremely irate that these pollsters are making complete fabrications, especially about the widely unpopular censure that Mayor Hanks orchestrated.

Spending money on Hanks' campaign is going to prove to be as wise of an investment as the money spent on LaCroix's campaign which was an unqualified embarrassment.

Spreading lies is no way to advance the ideal of an educated citizenry. Hanks thinks that the people of Rapid City will accept the lies being sent to them via flyers and push polls. He's dead wrong. Likely voters know about his dirty tricks like the wingnut flyer, his arrogant comments about how mere employees aren't as qualified as business owners (even failed business owners) to run the city and to a litany of other things, most prominently, the censure which will, no doubt about it, prove to be his undoing.

I hope those pollsters squeeze every dime they can out of the Hanks campaign - the good people of Rapid City will not let this election be bought nor will they sit at home during a runoff campaign - this is 2011 and America, including Rapid City, is awakening.

Please run Sam - Rapid City is looking for a leader not someone who has others try to destroy his political enemies via dirty and, by now, desperate politics.

Duffer said...

It's easy to be attracted to the inquisitive nature of Sam Kooiker as a politician analyzing the bureaucracy before him . . . but I'd be concerned about his ability to manage that nature and a staff of human beings doing the city's work at the same time.

The trick is to accomplish goals without alienating everyone in your path. Is that the ability he's demonstrating?

Just sayin' . . . .

taco said...

Sam already manages over 100 people at his job and he does so very effectively and professionally. He has an MPA which is probably one reason why he is such an effective manager.

Michael Sanborn said...

Kooiker has had a relatively stellar career at Golden West, managing a whole lot of folks. And, every one of those folks with whom I've spoken, really like the guy and his management style.

Further, there are a whole bunch of city employees who like Kooiker and appreciate his efforts to give them the right to bring forth their concerns about how their various departments are operating.

He's pretty well-liked by everyone I've spoken with, except those who have something to hide or something to lose.

Duffer said...

Like everyone else I observe Rapid City government through local news. That picture is disturbing to any student of organization and management.

Sam Kooiker appears at once to be a champion for the taxpayers - the little guy. A mounted knight for government-haters.

He also appears, from a different perspective, to be a rogue councilman meddling in and undermining the management of staff.

Gasp. I know.

There are always staff members that have an axe to grind, and will do or say anything to undermine the supervisor who directs their work. Upper-level management (which I would include the Council in) must exercise great care with intervention in those relationships.

I'm not convinced I see Sam doing that. Maybe, as you say, when the staff is his own things might be different. Is that what you're after? A purge?


taco said...

Duffer, many city employees want Sam to run; he's a popular manager who has consistently fought for city employee rights, e.g., the fraud and waste hotline, the anti-retaliation ordinance and union rights.