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Tropico Perspective: Separating personal from political

June 17, 2011|By Michael Teahan


I will confess some small satisfaction when a politician whose politics I dislike suffers the indignity of a private scandal. Family-values candidates found to have none are a particular delight. Trying to use them as a foil to undermine a political point of view, however, is intellectually dishonest.

Republican policies aren't wrong because a congressman takes off his shirt on Craigslist, and they aren't right because another hits the wrong key on his Blackberry — even if more than once. The same goes for Democrats.

Separating the motivation for the ballots we mark and the candidates we support from their personal failings is important. The issues haven’t changed, and while we should express misgivings over the behavior, we should never regret the votes we cast.

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Keeping the issues in this perspective for local politics is equally important, even though it can be difficult because we are closer to the drama. Whether former Councilman John Drayman was the victim or perpetrator of the circumstance in which he finds himself doesn’t invalidate the reason he was drafted to run for the Glendale City Council in the first place.

The campaign four years ago was about a completely different kind of perceived corruption in Glendale politics. The Design Review Boards couldn’t identify a project that was too big, were stacked with appointees that were openly hostile to the valid concerns of homeowner groups who were seeing their neighborhoods’ character undermined, and met at hours that made it impossible for public input.

Rafi Manoukian was at the center of that controversy, and the gadflies were nowhere in sight. They were equally absent when our newly reelected council member’s appointments to boards and commissions, one of whom offered to fundraise on my behalf to vacate my campaign debt if I would have stepped out of the council race two years ago.

Perhaps it was because Barry Allan, publisher of the online newsletter Vanguardians, once conveyed to me his view of residential development as an economic engine; that Glendale needed mansions to provide entertainment venues for captains of industry, without which they would not move their manufacturing plants to Glendale. Brilliant.

Whether or not Drayman illegally delivered for Advanced Development and Investments Inc. isn’t something that any of us can say.

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