Thursday, January 8, 2009

What a Mess

I wrote about the challenge for chair of the county legislature, but I haven't followed up because what happened next was such a comedy of errors that it defies description. Martha was interested in a challenge to Mike but not committed to one. Whoever leaked the story led the Democratic caucus to issue a compromise: If Martha wouldn't challenge, she would become Vice Chair. That meant that current Vice Chair Leslyn McBean Clairborne would step aside. Everything would be pleasant and not divisive.

Well, that's not what happened. Yes, all of the Dems voted for Mike as Chair. Then the vote for Vice Chair happened, and Mike first voted for Leslyn and then voted for Martha, making the votes 8 to 8, which exceeded the number of legislators. He then switched somehow to vote for Leslyn, at which point the deal appeared to be off. Then Dooley, apparently irked at not getting the deal she had approved earlier, asked to switch her vote for Chair, presumably to vote for Martha. That led to a recess, during which the IJ reporter saw and reported on seeing Martha and Mike talking animatedly in the corridor. (I can imagine!) Then they reconvened, and Mike declared that his vote was for Martha, making it 8 to 7.

Now this has led to a challenge from the Republicans, possible legal follow up, and all kinds of ill will.

I guess if there's a moral, it is: If you want to run against the Chair, do so. I can't help thinking that Martha might have had the votes to win. Now she may end up with no Vice Chair position; Mike is tainted as racist, which is certainly not his particular flaw; and The People are angry. No winners.

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