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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



    Debating in dreamland

    The story: In last week’s Democratic presidential debate, moderator Tim Russert quizzed Dennis Kucinich, a minor candidate and congressman from Ohio, on his purported UFO sighting, in which he saw “”a triangular craft silent and hovering”” and “”felt a connection”” and “”heard direction”” from alien beings. Kucinich reminded the audience “”that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO, and also that more people in this country have seen UFOs than … approve of George Bush’s presidency.”” According to Russert, 14 percent of Americans have seen UFOs. The latest Washington Post poll puts President Bush’s approval rating at 33 percent.

    The response: It’s funny that this is the only news headline Kucinich has gotten in the last month, as seeing a UFO is hardly the craziest thing he has asserted thus far. For starters, there’s the “”Strength Through Peace”” slogan, which seems to be directly inspired by George Orwell’s “”1984.”” Judging from his advocacy of a single-payer health care system, withdrawal from NAFTA and the WTO, and his support of steel industry protectionism, it seems that his alternate slogan will be “”Wealth Through Bankruptcy.”” Kucinich also claims that “”securing Constitutional democracy”” is one of his campaign goals, but at the same time he has signed on to a letter in support of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who is attempting to make changes to that country’s constitution that even Bush, Cheney and Co. would stay far away from.

    While the intelligence of the average American voter is often thrown into question, the fact that Kucinich polls within the margin of error is a refreshing sign of sanity. Perhaps most Americans are unfamiliar with the nuances of the Constitution, but they are at least certain that Kucinich’s interpretation of the Constitution is far from the mark.

    Former President Jimmy Carter also claimed a UFO sighting, and he also believed that Americans should live “”as though Jesus were coming this afternoon.”” There’s a reason nobody supports Kucinich: it’s because he’s borderline insane. The only way he can recover from this one is if he dumps the “”peace agenda”” and declares an all-out war on the Chupacabra.

    -Evan Lisull is a sophomore majoring in
    economics and political science.

    Walkup’s free pass

    The story: Mayor Bob Walkup wants another term. Tucson’s 40th mayor, an incumbent with eight years of experience behind him, shouldn’t have much trouble getting his wish today – the Democrats aren’t running anyone against him, even though registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2-1 in Tucson.

    The response: Why have the Democrats shrugged off a race that, with a decent candidate and a moderate amount of sweat, they could easily capture? Maybe Walkup’s old rival, former mayor and UA professor Tom Volgy, shed some light on the subject when he told The Associated Press: “”(Maybe) Bob convinced everybody that the mayor’s position was not important enough to go through the agony of running.””

    Maybe it’s not. On the other hand, maybe we just need a mayor with the willingness to stand up for the little guy against the stagnant bureaucracy that rules our city. Robert Reus, who ran in the Ward 2 Democratic primary this year, has argued convincingly that Tucson’s stagnant “”city manager”” government makes the mayor little more than a figurehead, and that the mayor needs to take command of the bureaucracies to fulfill the wishes of the voters.

    One could argue that Tucsonans are satisfied with Walkup’s performance. But that misses the point; we don’t skip elections simply because no one hates the incumbent. If the Democrats refuse to raise a candidate to challenge Walkup, it can only be because they fear raising the issues that such a candidate would inevitably have to raise. That’s shameful.

    The main option remaining to those not willing to countenance four more years of stagnant mayoral rule is to vote for Walkup’s only real opponent, Dave Croteau of the Green Party.

    Unfortunately, it’s been clear since 2000 that the Green Party without Ralph Nader is like a hot-dog bun without the dog – not likely to win any cooking contests. Their ideas, divorced from Nader’s robust citizen-republicanism, are pretty vague and wishy-washy.

    Fortunately, there is a third candidate: hot-dog vendor Bruce Gerowitz, an independent and former Volgy supporter. He’s the longest shot on the ballot, but he’s the only one who doesn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    -Justyn Dillingham is a senior majoring in history and political science and the wire editor for the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

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