Oct. 8, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 10:45 PM UCT
I. Charles Matthews: The man the New York Times thinks can run the city of Hartford better than Mayor Perez.
Editor's Note: This column was published in the Hartford News the last week of September, but since I have been on delivery with the good ship Maverick, my website maintenance has been lacking. But the event I wished for in this column did not occur, unfortunately, as Art Feltman has endorsed I. Charles, and Frank Barrows inexplicably has thrown his weight behind Eddie. The world is as *&*^%^ as it seems.
Imagine this scene, at the breakfast counter at Rajun Cajun: over orders of sausage, eggs and grits, cups of coffee and the morning din, I. Charles Mathews, Frank Barrows and Art Feltman discuss the results of the September primary.
I. Charles, the clear winner among the also-rans, offers Barrows and Feltman positions in his administration if he should win.
He proposes to Feltman and Barrows that they pull out of the race, and publicly pledge their support to Mathews.
It is clear that with I. Charles’ 29 percent, Feltman's 13 percent and Barrows’ nine, they have enough between the three of them to knock out Eddie’s 49 percent.
While those numbers are among Democrats, the general population in Hartford will likely go that way, too. Call it a triumvirate, like Caeser, Crassus and Pompey.
Mathews, in return, publicly offers leadership positions in his upcoming administration like Chief of Staff to Feltman and Chief of Police to Barrows. God knows we need a new top cop.
A good leader would find a place for Minnie Gonzalez in this mix. A shrewd politician and numbers cruncher would let her stay in the race to half Eddie’s Puerto Rican vote total.
Sure, other pundits have suggested it, but this is time for Feltman and Barrows and anyone else to unite for the good of the city. Show the voters that leadership counts for more than policy proposals and stump speeches, leadership is also sacrifice.
It is time for them to put ego aside, and study the numbers.
Four more years of Eddie Perez is a black eye for Hartford. When I read the primary results, I was ashamed not only that I am still a registered Dem (leftover from those halcyon Lamont Days), but also that my absentee ballot never reached me in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
I wondered how stupid the voting Democrats in Hartford were (and how much stupider are the ones who let a little rain keep them insides – they should be ashamed). Really. Weren’t any of these donkeys paying attention? Or do all the people who voted for Eddie live with Abe Giles?
The only way someone can unseat Perez is in a fewer contestant race. I love the concept that seven people are running, but Hartford lacks fundamental electoral reforms like instant runoff voting.
If we did, voters could rank their choices on a scale of one to seven, and the votes from the people who lose would go to the next choices, and after seven rounds, we would have a clear winner.
But without that option, we could have Instant Runoff Leadership. We need for the main candidates, the almosts and the not-even-closes from the recent primary must band together, form an alliance, and do what our unresponsive democracy demands.
The previous tumultuous changes in Hartford city politics resulted from strange bedfellows, from Carrie Saxon-Perry to Mike Peters, the candidates who defeated the entrenched incumbents did so through wide-reaching coalitions.
To unseat Eddie, some of the challengers have to swallow some pride, show some guts, and forsake their personal desires for the good of the city.
So, what do you say the I. Charles, Art Feltman, Frank Barrows and Minnie Gonzalez meet at Rajun Cajun at 9 a.m., Monday, Oct. 1? It’s just a random time (okay, in time for the news deadline of a certain weekly), but challengers, take the first steps.
You rebels must join forces to defeat Eddie’s evil empire. No one can do it alone, and that much is clear.