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Flippin’ for Hola



It’s Tuesday, primary election day, and Chris Vanocur just told me that the voting booths are getting plenty of action, especially in Salt Lake City where the three-way race for mayor soon will be whittled to two. If the polls are correct, one of those will be Mayor Rocky Anderson. Who he will face in November is anyone’s guess since Molonai Hola and Frank Pignanelli are running pretty close right now.

However, my oracle of 1 tablespoon of extra virgin Cretan olive oil merged with a dash of oregano, a shot of Ouzo and an Indian head nickel (how those items interact is not a precise science, but if the oregano floats, we always have a long winter) indicates that Pignanelli will advance.

Maybe. Like I said, my method of looking into the future isn’t precise. Sometimes I confuse marjoram for oregano and rubbing alcohol for Ouzo, not to mention the use of a certain Italian brand of olive oil that skews the results dramatically. But, to assure you, this is not a hoax, I have a proven track record of predicting the sex of an unborn child nearly 40 percent of the time. All too often, it comes down to flipping the coin, an act of pure desperation I completed just moments ago. It came up tails. That means Frank.

That’s not a terribly bad thing, just don’t call me tomorrow if it’s indeed the case. I’ll be recovering from drinking the remaining Ouzo, possibly in one gulp, at the thought of perhaps having Gray Davis, oops, I mean Frank “No Man Knows My Record” Pignanelli as mayor. And I write that although I’ve known Frank since he was a sprat. Running as the anti-Rocky doesn’t cut it with me. Frank can and should be better than that. Living among legislators and lobbyists must take a toll.

It will dissapoint me if the Hola campaign—an honorable one up to this point—is not given another 30 days to prove its mettle against our incumbent mayor. Even though he has no idea when our paper comes out—he responded “Monday” when asked our publication date in last week’s mayoral questionnaire—I could support a guy like Hola. I like his honesty, his candor, his ethnicity and his Utah Ute red. Plus, I like his father-in-law, Tom Welch, a guy who could teach Hola plenty about opportunistic politicians.

I don’t care if Hola’s a Republican. At least, he’s a real one. Everyone this side of Pioche, Nev., knows I support Rocky Anderson in this mayoral race, and, barring an earthquake, that won’t change. However, Hola appears to be a rising star. If his number isn’t called this time, he would be in a good position for a future race for mayor or another office. Hola seems like a guy who measures himself with the notion of doing good things, not the notion of saying things to simply get elected.

If Hola doesn’t move past the primaries, where will he place his support and that of his constituency? He could go with the histrionics-driven Pignanelli camp and continue the charade that this is a race against the cult of Rocky. Or he can back Rocky, also a person of independence and candor with a mayoral record Hola himself seldom disagrees with.

It will be interesting to see what move Hola makes if he loses today. Meanwhile, I’m just flipping coins.