Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jeff Gahan's got an overly inflated opinion of himself and lots of leftover cash. Of course he's running for State Senate in 2018.

A while back, it seemed as though my Twitter parodist had taken an extended holiday, then two NAC posts in late June prompted another labored Rogar wheeze.

Truth is stranger than fact: A whole day before the vote, Jeff Gahan publicly urges greater transparency in the hospital sale.

In s subsequent guest column, Nick Vaughn picked up the ball.

WITHIN CITY LIMITS: Episode X, A Look Ahead to 2019.

... I do not think Jeff Gahan will be running for a third term because he really shouldn’t be; three 4-year terms is slightly unprecedented, and only one Mayor has served more than two consecutive terms.

C. Pralle Erni served from 1948­-1963, enough time to make any follower of Jeffersonian Democracy shiver. (By the way, I found this cool excerpt about Mayor Erni from a book by Gregg Seidl, which you can read here. Beware though, annexation is mentioned!) So, although there is precedent for Gahan to run for a third term, I do not think he will. He will have been much too busy running for State Senate the preceding year.

Team Gahan specializes in soft, not hard evidence, and in politics, Viagra is money.

In 2010, with the District 46 State Senate seat open following Connie Sipes' retirement, the winning Republican Ron Grooms raised $183,000. When Grooms ran for re-election in 2014, his total zoomed to $527,000. Challenger Chuck Freiberger lost to Grooms both times. He raised $160,000 in 2010 and $149,000 in 2014.

The Green Mouse continues to be told Grooms will retire, and if he does, it's hard to imagine Gahan not trying to contest an open seat. It is Gahan's historic preference to compete when the seat is open (as both councilman and mayor), then rake in the chips for re-election, as Grooms did after four years.

Based on a reading of end-of-year 2015 campaign finance reports, Gahan had more money after last year's November election than before the campaign began. He probably already has about as much money as Freiberger raised in both his losing campaigns.

What's more, there is no risk. Gahan can run for State Senate in 2018, lose, and still remain mayor. He would be free to seek a third term as mayor in 2019, but anyone remotely familiar with hizzoner's resident megalomania knows that at present, he's daydreaming about brother-in-law Steve Bonifer somehow beating Ed Clere for the District 72 House seat in 2016, Gahan himself capturing Grooms' Senate seat in 2018, then enjoying the luxury of handpicking a new mayor from a list of underemployed relatives in 2019.

As Vaughn noted, this candidate might not be able to get past Al Knable, but this is another story for another time.

During the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu in communist Romania, there was a joke riffing on Joe Stalin's previous refashioning of Marxist doctrine in the USSR ("Socialism in One Country.")

In Romania, given Ceausescu's promiscuous habits of nepotism, people would say, "In Romania, we have socialism in one family."

My parodist "Rogar Bayler" is being disingenuous (sorry for five syllables, Shane -- and sorrier still that a whopping $466,494 of someone else's money couldn't win you Bill Cochran's old seat back in '10) when he/she/it says there is no hard evidence of Jeff Gahan running for State Senate in 2018.

Isn't a hard, swelled head and firm, bulging coffers always evidence enough when it comes to the ambition of the local political class?

(All dollar amounts are taken from

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