Deference to the Mayor? Why? For What?


Deference to the Mayor? Why? For What?

Last Sunday the City County Observer first reported in our IS IT TRUE column that Mole#3 had confirmed from a highly placed informant that Rick Davis will be announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Evansville. We went on to report that the announcement will be taking place at 6 PM on November 11, 2010 at the Soldiers and Sailors Coliseum. At this point in time Mr. Davis’s plans have been widely reported and the Democratic Central Committee’s Fall Festival Booth Removal crew is spinning like a whirling dervish again.

This Monday, Mark Owen, chairman of the Vanderburgh County Democratic Party, said he preferred that Davis had shown “deference” to Weinzapfel. Owen has consistently asserted that “deference” is expected from prospective candidates for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Evansville. Chairman Owen believes that aspiring candidates should wait until Mayor Weinzapfel makes his intentions known to challenge his supremacy. Owen is quoted as saying that “There is a certain level of respect due to the incumbent mayor”.

Davis said he will run for the Democratic nomination without regard to what Weinzapfel’s timing or intentions may be. Davis went on to say that, “no one is entitled to any position in the Civic Center”. The City County Observer agrees completely with Mr. Davis that there are no nobles of rank, title, or entitlement in the American electoral process, the City of Evansville included.

The dictionary defines deference as “respect and esteem due a superior or an elder; also: affected or ingratiating regard for another’s wishes”. Is any sitting elected official such as a Congressman, Governor, President, Dog Catcher, Magistrate, Assessor, or Mayor actually due the level of a respect of a superior or elder? If these people are truly superior beings with elder status shouldn’t they be running unopposed and enjoying near unanimous approval ratings?

We are somewhat relieved that this call for deference came from the mouth of the Chairman of the Democratic Party as opposed to from Mayor Weinzapfel himself. Clearly there is a bit of hero worship and adoration for Mayor Weinzapfel behind Chairman Owen’s words. For any candidate to personally express such a sense of entitlement and superiority would constitute an extreme case of arrogance or narcissism.

Does Chairman Owen want to see a Democratic Mayor of Evansville take office on January 1, 2012? If he does then he should not take actions that undermine the pool of candidates that are starting to come forward and throw their hat in the ring for the nomination. Rick Davis is the first but he probably won’t be the last. This primary is shaping up to be a spirited contest with or without Mayor Weinzapfel on the ballot.

From what we hear the Republican primary will be contested as well. That is the way it should be. There really are more than two people in the City of Evansville with the ability to govern and the more ideas that get introduced the better our governance will be. The election for Mayor of Evansville in 2007 was basically Mayor Weinzapfel against a completely unqualified person that won the Republican primary because there was no truly strong Republican candidate. In spite of the fact that the Mayor’s opponent was widely recognized as not ready for prime time, the challenger still got 15% of the vote. Mayor Weinzapfel went on to his second administration with a sense of mandate. Is it possible that this sense of absolute power contributed to the decisions and actions that have led to his fall in popularity?

Chairman Owen has undermined the democratic process by his insistence on deference. What will he do if Rick Davis wins the primary? Will he support a winning candidate from the party that he has the responsibility to lead or will he give a half hearted effort to a candidate whose every effort he has tried to blunt. First it was the childish removal of one of the Democratic Party’s booths at the Fall Festival and now it is a call for “deference to the Mayor”. What will the next effort to undermine Mr. Davis’s efforts be? Perhaps a phone bank to undermine Mr. Davis’s candidacy will come next. We certainly hope not.

This is the United States of America not the Soviet Union. We do not shuffle our Komrads into and out of power positions based on party allegiances and deferring to others. Americans do not wait our turn to lead. Americans seek leadership position when their ideas and their desire to serve inspires them to do so, not when the head of the Politburo grants permission to do so. This country is better because all people are able to file their papers and run for office when they choose to do so. That is what Rick Davis has done. The Chairman of the Vanderburgh County Democratic Party continues to attempt to blunt his ambitions. Chairman Owen may rest assured that the Republican Party will not be showing any deference to Mayor Weinzapfel.

If Chairman Owen is to lead the Democratic Party, then he needs to do the job that he was chosen to do and stop treating that job as though it is the Chairman of the Mayor Weinzapfel Entitlement Committee.


  1. We may not be the “Soviet Union”…

    -But we have Commissioners that are allowed to plead ignorance on homestead exemption laws.
    -We had one trustee removed from office.
    -Various law suits going for various things…
    -Our Mayor is providing citizens with everything from homes, to banking to Saturday night entertainment!
    -We have secret meetings where taxpayers money vanishes into thin air with no accountability.
    -We have bureaucrats ramming down their great fantasies onto Joe public. (Visitors Bureau.)
    -We have an Assessor, reportedly, firing folks for their lack of rowing the kings boat so to speak.
    -We had a Union boss threaten any Dem not to endorse Davis when it first leaked.
    -We had significant “bid” issues with Johnny dome.
    -We have talk of declaring massive swaths of the city, blighted, just cause it comes with a Federal interest kick-back.
    -We have a daily (C)ommunist (P)eriodical.

    OK, technically, we are we lacking a Gulag.

  2. The Democrat Party needs to get Owen out of the chairman position. There has been strife with the party since Owen took the position. There are very few party people out there that care for anything Owen has to say! Get him and Weinzapfel out of there!

    • THANK YOU for speaking for us in the local party. Owen is a complete embarrassment to the party, and saying that doesn’t even begin to cover it. If Weinzapfel cared about the local party, he would have gotten rid of Owen long ago.
      We local Dems are ready to say good-bye to BOTH of them!!!

      Rick Davis has my vote!

  3. Little Johnny Hitler strikes again. Rick needs to think about changing his party affiliation. If he has any honor at all he would do so.
    There is an enormous amount of corruption and thuggery in the party and I believe if Rick is truly honorable he should do so because the Democrat Party is beyond restoration.

  4. Mark spends a lot of time with his daughters and his grandkids. He’s a wonderful father and grandpa. To me that’s a lot more important than coddling and kowtowing to a bunch of local political prima donnas … particularly these young unpstart quixote-come-latelies who are constantly tilting at windmills. Seems to me like adults could take care of their own affairs … especially those sticky situations of their own making.

  5. I miss Larry Aiken.
    I miss Royce Sutton.
    Certain characters are slipping away and the remaining dogs fighting over the scraps just don’t have any polish or even manners.
    Feisty old broads with integrity- cast aside.
    I’m dealing with Democrats who just plain lie to your face, or worse, just assume that the office is theirs. (found out different didnt they?) Tantrums, sniping, gracelessness.
    I miss earnestness-every one is so cynical and these are scary times for a lot of people-we so desperately need hope.
    Mr. Owen doesn’t appear to bring out the best in his party-it IS snipey, and petty.
    I like Rick Davis so well that I hate to see what they’ll do to him-that’s one fellow who really wants to help.

    There used to be this feisty old broad with massive integrity who thought he was good people, and I will vote for him-hoping she’s still right-when everything else seems to be so wrong-maybe to get back that good feeling-like people who really want to do something HERE-not stepstoning to “something better” (like that fellow Ellsworth-who used to have some integrity–“they” got a hold of him till he’s plain unrecognizable)
    I hope the next mayor runs his office looking to the future of Evansville, like they’re caring for their HOME, not using it like a goody bag to curry favor to the big boys so they can grab the money and run.

  6. And somebody needs to tell Mr. Weinzapfel that he may as well quit waiting by the phone-there’s no prom date coming from Indy-they didn’t buy the cow.
    The milk was great kid-don’t call us we’ll call you.

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