Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Is Caledon having a seat sale?

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone. For you gringos that would be the 5th of May which coincidentally is the day I predicted that my local councillor would announce her candidancy for the holy grail of the Caledon council, the mayoral seat. As I understand it that announcement didn't materialize...yet. Can't say I'm totally surprised about this nugget of news. Me thinks that there is some bet hedging going on as I write this and small side game of cat and mouse. I do know that my regional rep has been making the rounds of the local bizzie's looking for some doh-ray-me to bank her mayoral run. She's been glad handing since the middle of last year. It's gonna take a fair amount of g&c-notes to hold up the end of a town wide mayoral campaign. This should be really interesting. It's too bad that we don't get full disclosure of campaign deniros until after the election.

On a small side note, I'm thinking that Ms. Groves isn't the only one hedging her bets. I'm thinking that perhaps another wannabe, a certain former newspaper dude is also in the market for some gainful employment but is waiting to see what cards Annie Groves lays down on the table. I'm thinking if she plays it safe and decided to stick to the regional chair, of which would be difficult to unseat her from, then he'd be tossing his hat into the area councillor ring. Mr. Editor has no room for error and is probably looking to what would be his safest choice. It's all a waiting game.

So, today I'm wondering are the seats on the Caledon council for sale?
Think about this peeps. If a developer wanted control of growth in Caledon he's gonna need 5 seats, right? Winning an election often comes down to who has the most greenbacks to afford the most high profile campaign, the slickest campaign material, the most mail outs, the most signage, the most newspaper ads and perhaps a viral campaign to ice the cake. So if a developer has millions of dollars tied up in lands that are being held up for development wouldn't the cost of bank rolling candidates be considered a small investment for millions upon millions of dollars in development? Hey, it's peanuts compared to the pot of gold at the end of the development rainbow.

Get out your abacus out and let's start counting. $50K for a Mayoral campaign and then maybe another $30K split up between potential regional/area candidates. $80K is chump change for the kind of development payback we are talking about here not to mention having control of the direction of council for the next four years. It's la dolce vita when you get to be the Kingmaker! Talk about leaving the gun and taking the cannoli. On top of it, masking campaigns donations is a cake walk. I suspect there are plenty of cousins named Guido or Luigi who will donate plenty.

So if a person(s) with vested interests in Caledon, who is ready & willing, with their built-in ATM machines all loaded and ready to pump out those pics of Sir Robert Borden, sidles up to candidates who are so ripe for the picking, who wouldn't flinch at getting into bed with the devil himself because they want to win no matter the cost, this could be a dangerous election for the community of Caledon. Think long and hard about your candidates folks. We've already got some dicey names on the ballots. (I'll come back to that comment in a future blog)

In the last election my regional councillor raised approximately $10,000. I should know, if you check her donation list you'll even see my name on it. Yeah, yeah, this was well before she turned in to Darth Vader in drag. Regardless, tell me how does a candidate go from raising $8K to raising at minimum $40-50K? Raising money for a campaign is an out and out drudgery, even for the most seasoned veteran politicians. Hell just ask the Federal Liberal team who are still trying to raise money to pay off left over debts from Steffi Dion's debauchery. It is most likely there will be little to no funds for her to suck out of the west side of Caledon so Councillor G. will basically have to raise all her moola here. Hence all her "hands in your pockets" visitations around town.

Days are quickly passing and time lines to make any sort of serious run for this council grow shorter. The election is in October this year which shortens up the time lines even more. Place in the dates of the advanced polls and the reality of a campaign is that candidates will have about five short weeks for the really big push. It is, as they say, all about the timing. This is the ultimate game of Battleship.

Finally I'll leave you with my morning thought/question. Will Tony "always a bridesmaid, never an elected bride" Viola toss his hat once again in the ring for a seat in Wards 3/4 against the incumbent, Richard Whitehead and former regional councillor and wannabe comeback councillor, the lovely Miz Nancy Jean Stewart? I get the feeling that Tony would put his name on the ballot just for the hell of it. His antics during the last election were akin to being in a sideshow with his rants and his no shows at debates. A move like that though would surely be a torpedo in the side of Miz Stewart's campaign and almost surely guarantee long time veteran councillor Richard Whitehead a return to council. Small tidbit of trivia, Richard Whitehead ran in his first election when I was in Grade 5 (1967).

TGIF peeps! Cocktails will be shakin on 'da Beava this evening. If you are looking for a libation the bar is open after 7 p.m.! We can imbibe and gab politics.

Next up.....meeting the candidates. :)

p.s. Be sure to check in on this weeks Loser of the Year Award....

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