It’s that time of the year.
The madness of March at last gives way, and it’s time to celebrate the good, the bad, and the ugly of City Politics with our own highly coveted awards, the Hildys. Envelope please.
And the winner is…
Best supporting actor: Mike Beazley.
Like they say, it’s better to be the king-maker than to be the king. Over the course of a long political career, Beazley has been both.
He’s been in nearly every non-elected place of power imaginable. He currently serves as special adviser to Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz. He also serves as the City Administrator in the City of Oregon.
He was instrumental in authoring the changes to the Toledo City Charter that ushered in the strong mayor form of government. He has been chair of the LC Dems, where he held the weighty power of endorsement for wannabe electeds.
It can credibly be said that every good, bad, and ugly thing in the last several decades of City Politics can be laid at the feet of Mike Beazley. From Carty and his emboldened mug-throwing tirades to Wade and his policy wonkish ness, Beazley is somewhere lurking in the background. And yet we bet most of you wouldn’t know him if he Will-Smith-slapped you across the face.
That’s exactly the way he likes it.
Best Performance: Gary Johnson.
Yep, the federally indicted former Toledo Councilman won this category in a close race with Younes “Tony” Dia, the convicted killer. Dia’s indignation at the idea that a person with a rap sheet several pages long might not be the best elected representative
was certainly impressive.
But Johnson carried the day with his “who, me?” persona after being indicted for conspiring to trade bribes for Council votes. After his arrest in twenty twenty he famously opined on camera that he didn’t know the difference between a bribe and a campaign contribution. That ignorance notwithstanding, he later said he could seek re-election if he felt like it. He graciously spared himself that humiliation.
He continues to proclaim his innocence, though. He’ll keep doing so until a federal judge explains to him that, while campaign contributions are fully legal, bribes for votes? Not so much.
Best silent film: the Federal Court system.
Speaking of Johnson, and his fellow indictees, what gives with their court cases? It has been nearly two years since they were arrested, and all we hear from the court is the sound of silence.
Oh, we’ve had sturm und drang. Battling motions. Defiant claims. Bluff and bluster. But decisions? Nada.
Like a Cecil B. De Mille blockbuster, it just keeps dragging on and on. Without the drama.
Heck, one of the indictees literally passed away waiting for his day in court. Another already ran for re-election and lost.
These are not young people. Can we get on with it, your Honors?
Last category, in honor of Chris Rock.
Local politician we’d most like to slap across the face:
oh, come now, you know we abhor violence. You’ll just have to use your imagination on this one. Until next time, keep watching City Politics to see the best drama and comedy, where truth is stranger than fiction.
Even Hollywood couldn’t make up a character like Carty.