Sunday, October 23, 2005

Michael: Tucson Begging for Leadership

"I begged and begged and begged and begged and begged."

That pretty much sums up the political philosophy of Kathleen Dunbar, incumbent candidate for Tucson City Council. That's how Dunbar describes her leadership role in refurbishing Jacobs Park; as a beggar. Government's proper role in her view is to beg for crumbs off corporate America's table while sticking the least among us with heartless fees for essential services. This isn't leadership through government, this is government as a PR operation to polish the 'community profile' of major corporate donors.

No surprise, really, given Dunbar's professional background and Associates degree in Marketing, that she seems to think that being the "best friend of business" is her highest calling as a representative of the people. She says of this sort of fawning private-public parnership, "That's what this job is all about."

Excuse me if I disagree. Election as a representative of the people of Tucson is not a license to beg, it is a license to excercise the will of the people to make Tucson a better, stronger, more desirable place to live. I don't think that can be accomplished by begging. Leading means that you have to get out in front of the pack and give it direction. It means taking on the entrenched interests who profit of the status quo and resist any change. It means rallying the people behind goals they believe deeply in. None of these things are possible for a timorous, beholden, perky servant of power like Kathleen Dunbar, whose leadership mantra is, "I begged and I begged..."

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