By Tom Prezelski, cross-posted from Rum Romanism and Rebellion.
Contrary to what the Arizona Daily Star says, Shaun McClusky
is not an “ex-mayoral hopeful.” Back in 2011, the failed former Ward 5
City Council candidate made some noise about running for Mayor on the
Republican ticket, but failed to get enough signatures to get on the ballot. In other words, he was never actually a candidate.
This points to the central problem with McClusky and the Tea-party
vibe that he represents. Just as Sara Palin argued that a gig as a
talking head on cable
teevee was somehow more noble and useful than being a Governor,
McClusky’s inflated reputation as a community leader has more to do with
his willingness to say outrageous things rather than anything he has
actually accomplished. To folks like McClusky, having strong opinions
and a big mouth are considered more important than having a real
constituency, so it goes to follow that grand gestures and stunts are
far more important than the grunt work of governing.
The latest stunt, which has gotten some national attention, is his
plan proposal ill conceived notion of handing out shotguns to folks in “high crime” neighborhoods, by which he means Midvale Park and Pueblo Gardens.
Of course, he never consulted the neighborhoods in question. He knows
better than they do about what they want and need. After all, they only
deal with these problems every day, while McClusky has an ideology.
The one redeeming thing about the Star’s coverage of this
story is that they include comments from Joseph Miller, the president of
the Midvale Park Neighborhood Association. Naturally, Miller is
offended by McClusky’s proposal (as is the leadership in Pueblo
Gardens). I have worked with Miller in the past and know him to be a
sincere and dedicated man who has devoted a lot of sweat to the
improvement of his neighborhood. In other words, he is everything that a
shallow blowhard like McClusky is not.
It is unfortunate that the Star chooses to be so cynical and
clueless about this town that folks like Miller who do good work in
this community cannot get front page ink except in the context of a
meaningless stunt from a preening exhibitionist like McClusky.