PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE:

A Light-Hearted Look At the Mayoral Election

by A. Robert Kaufman
      OKAY, so offering logical solutions to the crime-drug-school-car insurance-taxes-low voter turnout crises haven’t brought up my poll ratings.
      Maybe it’s time for me to outdo my competition--Lawrence Bell, Carl Stokes, and Martin O’Malley--in empty, feel-good, sound-bite promises.
      To encourage citizens to walk or bike to work, the Kaufman administration will make all city streets--downhill.
      To bring back order to our schools, we will re-institute capital punishment. But to demonstrate our kinder, gentler attitude, capital punishment will only be instituted in high school, at least for the first year.
      To end crime and unemployment in one fell swoop, we figure that half the population will be incarcerated by zero-tolerance of any legal or moral infringement--prostitution, smoking a joint, sexual “perversion” (meaning anything enjoyable), driving while Black, potching the tuchas of your seven-year-old, pinching the tuchas of your 22-year-old girlfriend, having your car registered in the city when you live in the county (hah!), and voting when you had no clue as to the issues or candidates.
      The other half of the population would then be able to find full-time employment as cops, lawyers, judges, jurors, guards, prison builders, and executioners.
      And while the other candidates illegally decorate the empty buildings (for which they are partially responsible because they’ve been do-little Council members) with thousands and thousands of individual posters with their names--I will cut a deal with the wallpaperers union and illegally post block-long murals with my beautiful name, remembering to spell Kaufman with one “f” and one “n,” and Bob with one “o.”
      While O’Malley reminds folks he has a beautiful wife and children, I’ll haunt the strip bars complaining that Munchkin, my ferret, doesn’t understand me.
      While all the other Mayoral wannabes wrap themselves in the cross--as a first refuge--I’ll prey on the voters.
      While Bell promises to “redistribute the wealth” (no kidding--he really said that at two forums so far!), he surely means a redistribution of our taxes to his bank account so he can pay his condo and sports car bills.
      While O’Malley promises to close down open-air drug markets, I’ll take bets on where those drug markets will re-emerge.
      And if people don’t believe a word I say, I’ll praise the Lord so highly, so loudly, and so repetitively that they’ll hardly notice what a con-man I really am.






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This story was published on September 1, 1999.