Right up to the day of last week’s mayoral election, people asked me which candidate I planned to endorse. Some of them even said they wanted to know so they would know who to vote for. Anyone who has ever read City Weekly has to have known that my personal support was for Rocky Anderson. He once was our attorney, he has eaten at my home, we supported him for Congress and during his first run for mayor. As a thank you, he gave my family his dog, Sebastian.
While I personally supported Rocky, it did not and does not mean that this paper shall. D.P. Sorenson scorches him every other week in his Deep End column. Bruce Baird, a regular contributor to our Voices column, got lots of TV face time at Frank Pignanelli’s headquarters on election night.
City Weekly recently revealed that the mayor’s office had compiled files on local media members said to paint the mayor in an unfair light. The bulk of that dossier regarded Salt Lake Tribune reporter Heather May. I don’t know Heather May. However, knowing the mayor’s office kept files on her and tried going over her head to Tribune editors to make a case that she was biased against him, or even allegedly was wrong in some of her reporting, just stinks to high heaven.
About a month ago, Rocky called and asked for an endorsement. I said no. One reason was the May dossier as well as a comment from the mayor’s office that even City Weekly had been unfair to him. That so? Well, tough.
I reminded him that the paper is not comfortable with endorsements, and we have only endorsed two candidates in the history of the paper: Sheriff Aaron Kennard, when he ran against Pete Hayward, and Rocky in advance of the crowded primary election for mayor four years ago.
Meanwhile, it was clearly lost among members of the Pignanelli campaign that this newspaper has quite a bit of clout when it comes to local politics: that our readers are robust, independent and intelligent voters. It’s not lost on me, though.
If you’ve read this column before, you’re probably aware I’ve also known Frank for more than 25 years. But, not once during his campaign did he bother to call, even to try to temper my support for Rocky. Not once in eight months. He didn’t need to call me, an old associate, but he shouldn’t have ignored City Weekly’s readers. That was arrogant and stupid. Bad advice, I guess.
Neither did he contact us when it was widely reported that we are moving our office to Main Street. Instead, via a phony “Main Street is Dead” press conference, he made a mockery of our investment and the investment of others. Thus, Frank revealed he had no plan for Main Street other than using it as a prop.
In the end, I was quite sure Rocky was ahead further than the polls indicated, thus not in need of an endorsement. It would have been window dressing. I did support him though since I believe he’s been a good mayor. But I can relate to his critics.
I haven’t heard from Rocky since that phone call a month or so ago. Use ’em up, and spit ’em out, I guess. Oh, and Rocky, your dog is doing fine. And I don’t mean Sebastian.