Monday, January 17, 2011

Omaha Recall: "Reads My Lips" Moment for Mayor Suttle

The Omaha World-Herald apparently is using news stories as well as editorials to try to save Mayor Suttle.

The front page headline in the Sunday OWH said: "Addressing city's problems proved taxing for Suttle." The sub headline said: "His fix-it-all-now approach to Omaha's budget wound up raising taxpayer ire."

Translation: Martyr Suttle had the courage to tackle Omaha's fiscal crisis in a bold and comprehensive way, but the stupid taxpayers are fussing about it.

Today the OWH news stories read as if there is dispute about whether candidate Suttle promised to not raise taxes. The truth is he made that promise numerous times, in campaign stump speeches (I heard them in person as a city council candidate at the same events) and in written materials and TV ads. In some instances he promised lower property taxes.

His claim that he did not know how bad the fiscal crisis was until after he was elected is the dictionary definition of the word "incredible" -- too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.

I don't know what specific promises Mayor Suttle made to the restaurant industry, but you rarely see business people get so passionately political. Usually business people say about politics: Sure I'd like lower taxes, but just tell me what the ground rules are and I can run my business accordingly. It's when the ground rules keep changing that business people truly get agitated.

I can't believe the restaurateurs would take a leading role on recall unless they received a "read my lips" type of promise that was broken.

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