A few days back, I started on this "thread" of what will likely be many posts over the Edmonton civic election to be happening this year. I do want to add a point about my last post. Mandel had me so worked up (probably a part of his plan to distract people, something he is very good at doing) that I forgot to mention this added point concerning his speech..
He spent a lot of time bashing the Alberta Government over the state of education. I suppose he did make some potentially valid points but the real issue here is the hypocritical conflict of what he said. He's mad the Province is cutting back on educational funding in one hand, but his other hand is greedily rubbing away at the thought of stealing educational funds as part of the CRL financing he is trying to con the Province into approving for the arena project... Remember, the taxes he wants to divert, include the educational component as a part of the whole...
Next week, City Council will be hiding behind closed doors to ratify the agreement for the arena. The one where Mandel and crew have been outright lying to you about every step along the way. They will present their masterpiece of manipulation, which will result in at least a half of a billion dollars in tax costs and loses to the City while at the same time adding at least another 600 million in pure profit for a billionaire. So this is well over a billion dollars worth of loses, costs, and missed profits for Edmonton taxpayers. And of course, he refused to step up to the plate about his plans to run again... Because after all he has unfinished business in hijacking taxpayers money.
This has left others in a quandrum, for announcing their intentions will be difficult...
Probably the first to step up to the plate (and its not been all that much of a secret) has been Don Iveson. His latest blog post confirms that he has no intentions of running for council again, only for Mayor. To be honest, I don't really know Don at all. I wasn't impressed with his handling of the screw ups on the LRT for 111 street. An area that is still a nightmare for the locals. And I was totally shocked when he tried to make me the bad guy over the baby that died because of the closing of the airport runway.. I seem to recall he said something along the lines that I was trying to take advantage of the situation... Geezus, a baby died and it's my fault? Seriously?
A while back, Kevin Taft wrote a book (many others have as well) which was all about "following the money". If you haven't read it or books like it, you should... You really need to know politics IS all about the money. For the most part, those with the most, win. Gary Mar tried doing that... buying his way into the Premiers position. Several jumped off their bandwagon and on to his, which in hindsight was a huge mistake. People just did not trust his dirty side but he still got rewarded.. Crime does pay. But anyway..
I have serious doubts about Mandel running again, for in essence he has just about burnt his bridges behind him with his breach of trust of the public dollars... And for many many months, the general sentiment is that the money backing him is now being directed towards Don (I'm guessing in order to take over where he left off, but who knows) and if indeed that is true... then I find that to be a very scary thought. That's all we need is another Mandel in charge. I've heard a lot of suggestions that Don has been groomed for this run for the Mayors chair for quite some time. It tends to make one wonder if his "lack of support but I'll accept it anyway" version of the arena was planned out a long time ago At least, that is what I am hearing from a lot of different sources. Regardless of whatever the facts may be, the end result is there are many many councilors that you just get the feeling that you can't trust them. And in my humble opinion... rightly so.
As for the arena... I am very disappointed that many on council will vote to approve it. To think that so many could be conned into believing this is a good deal shocks me. Are they really that stupid... or have some been bought? It was suggested to me that one councilor was.. one who came out with a huge letter on why he was supporting it, which was followed up by a trip to China to replace the Mayors visit. And then we also have Tony Caterina who was emphatically against this and mysteriously changed his mind. Lets also not forget the lies of Dave Loken who promised to bring sanity and honor back to council, and said he knew everything there was to know about the arena... but didn't.
Perhaps the real question is, will the Alberta Government actually step up to the plate and make some needed changes to both the MGA and how MSI funds can be used, and considering the current state of the educational system, deny any further CRL's for any area. They promised they would be for the people. I'd like to see that promise kept... If not, I fear it will be four years of corruption from many in our next council.