Monday, May 04, 2009

Fetterman's troubles ...

Apparently John Fetterman is going to lose his primary in a few weeks. Not that I know much about it, but it seems the safe way to bet. Fetterman won his first election (which might have been the primary) by one vote. Now, according to the PG, he has antagonized a large part of the Braddock Council and picked up “vocal” critics. There are accusations that he is spending too much time on national television, and out of touch with the community. But I thought I detected an undertone of superiority in the PG’s reporting of the story, although I basically trust the story (as much as I do any newspaper story).

So the story covered Fetterman’s national exposure and his local efforts. It also covered the Council’s seeming dislike of Fetterman, as well as the anger of various individuals. Some of the points strike me as valid but complicated, like Fetterman owing taxes on two properties he bought for individuals in Braddock's youth programs(one of whom was shot and killed, the other moved away). Fetterman says he is trying to sell the properties to pay the taxes, but I would ask whether he was intending to offer these properties without having taxes paid up? The answer is, of course, we don’t get the full story, even in a paragraph devoted to it. But it does look bad for the Mayor to owe taxes on property, even in a complicated situation.

Maybe that is what comes across in the PG story, that at least part of Braddock does not want a complicated Mayor, they want a simple, easy to understand hometown boy. Fetterman’s competitor, a Jayme Cox, is a local business man made good, but he has a criminal record of sorts. Years ago he apparently attacked his wife of the time and took her purse. The charges were later dropped, but the two did get divorced. Cox said he “contested "everything" in the police report.” and says it is a personal matter that has been resolved (the wife apparently said nothing).

The PG is practically dripping with condescension when it finds a local critic, Lemuel Howell. He essentially accuses Fetterman of being a carpet bagger, complaining among other things about murals that Fetterman has encouraged. He compares Braddock to Mayberry, saying “And Mayberry is a little too small for them big ideas”. In the real world, I think you can entertain big ideas, even if you don’t adopt them. Doing things to make Braddock unique, like having a bio fuel shop in town, benefits Braddock and the larger region.

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