Tuesday, June 19, 2007

10 Little Candidates: Rocky's A-kicking and Dave Buhler's true colors

Periodically, we strike someone off our Under Consideration list in the Salt Lake City mayoral race. The oddity that is Nancy Saxton and the misdemeanant that is John Renteria have removed themselves from the list, and we have decided to boot Dave Buhler as well.

Although he is a Republican and we are concerned about the enormous imbalance of power in this state, we gave Dave Buhler real consideration for a couple of reasons. First, a trusted friend/politico ranked him 3 or 4 out of the initial 10. We also like Buhler's support for TRAX to the airport, and some of his vision for downtown. But a letter in the Tribune yesterday got us thinking. Jake Parkinson wrote:

Now that the true story is out about the skirmish between Mayor Rocky Anderson and Dell Loy Hansen, City Councilman Dave Buhler owes the mayor an apology. Buhler was predictably quick to personally attack the mayor before anyone knew what had taken place. Buhler was once again defending bad big-business practice. Hansen's fleecing the city out of millions in Redevelopment Association funding is a big deal. You won't see a sign in my yard. I don't like Dave Buhler.
We don't know about the alleged fleecing, although now that we are reminded that it was Hansen's company whose employees "donated" multiple $2,000 bonuses to D.A. Lohra Miller's campaign, nothing would surprise us. But we agree with Parkinson that Buhler was too quick to jump on the Rocky-hater bandwagon. In the initial story on the confrontation, Buhler told the Trib, "Hopefully, the mayor hasn't just screwed up a great thing for downtown." Without knowing the facts, he just assumed it was Rocky's fault. Buhler's quote can't be excused as not really taking a position; we didn't hear him say, "Hopefully, Dell Loy Hansen didn't lose it and do something crazy."

As a city council member, Buhler presumably could have asked to see the security video, later released to the public, that clearly shows Hansen as the aggressor, and Rocky actually trying to avoid a confrontation until Hansen finally grabs his arm. That's when Rocky uttered his famous line, "Don't touch me. I'll kick your ass!" (Sigh. We want a mayor who, when harassed and then grabbed, will threaten to kick the assailant's ass. Do any of the remaining candidates have it in them? We worry about that.)

Instead of saying, "I can't comment until I've seen the video, or until I've talked to the security officer, or until I actually have a clue," Buhler leaped at the chance to dis Rocky. Mayor Anderson annoys us on a regular basis, but we don't need another knee-jerk Rocky basher in office. We already have enough of those. Dave Buhler is okay on the city council; let's keep him there.


Anonymous said...

For the sake of fairness, you should correct a misstatement: John Renteria is not in jail for DUI, nor is he accused of DUI. He was on probation for various traffic offenses, including running a red light and failing to stop when the cops tried to pull him over. He violated his parole, in part by drinking (not behind the wheel - just drinking at all, which is typically banned for someone on probation).

Anonymous said...

Oops, let me correct my last post: He violated his PROBATION, not parole. He had not previous served jail time for his original convictions, which were all misdemeanors. He is in jail now because of the probation violations.

Voice of Utah said...

I will look into it. I was relying on Rolly's column at http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_6111912 in which he said that Renteria was in trouble for violating his "DUI-related convictions." The article said that his violations of that probation included traffic offenses and drinking, etc., but the original offense was still DUI-related. I considered a violator of probation on a DUI conviction as being a "DUI scofflaw," the phrase I used. But I'll check and see if the original conviction was DUI related or not.

Anonymous said...

Rolly got it wrong. Not unusual. The original crimes were alcohol-free traffic misdeeds. The probation violations included car-free alcohol use.

Voice of Utah said...

I haven't had a chance to check the original court docket, but the D-News agrees with your version. See http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,665192854,00.html. Erring on the side of caution, I am taking out the DUI reference. Thanks for the heads up.