Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kenosha Mayoral Race: Is there a "lesser of evils?"

The race for Kenosha’s mayor became more defined -- and probably more boring -- after last week’s primary that eliminated four of the six contenders including two of the most colorful, talk show host and insurance man Scott Barter and Michael Bell, whose mission to avenge his son’s death in an altercation with police turned into a pricey self-funded mayoral campaign that ultimately fizzled.

The race will become more boring because the two candidates still standing -- former Mayor Pat Moran and former Alderman Keith Bosman -- are hardly exciting and seem to have done their best to avoid a real discussion of the city’s real issues.

Moran’s deficiencies have been written about extensively here, notably his repudiation of the very course he set in motion when he was mayor and an ill-defined pledge of a “new direction” which appears to be backward.

Bosman has been accurately described as lacking excitement and banking his campaign on just promising to continue doing what outgoing Mayor John Antaramian has been doing. But Bosman isn’t Antaramian and his campaign deserves much greater scrutiny now that he’s going down to the wire.

Bosman’s campaign is only slightly more defined than Moran’s. In candidate forums he gives stock answers and fumbles and ducks when asked a tough question. Moran isn’t much better. Although reasoned responses are better than shooting from the hip, one who can shoot from the hip with a reasoned response scores big points here.

You don’t need to look very far for a good example of their evasiveness as neither Bosman or Moran have seriously addressed the deplorable job the present city administration has done in handling this winter’s record snowfall. In this context Bosman’s promise to be Antaramian II becomes scary and Moran’s silence on one of a few issues where he can legitimately blast Antaramian is curious, to say the least.

It’s been said that the mark of a good politician is the ability to conceal jealousy when accusing an opponent of deceiving the public. In this sense both Bosman and Moran have performed marvelously.

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