Dear Kip — An Open Letter

November 15, 2009

Dear Kip,

For the past couple of years, you have focused what seems all of your attention as our mayor on this “Alive” project, even refusing to listen to the citizens of Baton Rouge when the largest turnout you would get in an election denied you the first time. They told you no, even as they re-elected you. The failure in communication didn’t come from your administration, it came because of you, you failed to lo other explanation for what you did Kip. You could not accept defeat during the largest turnout, so you put it as the only issue on the ballot, betting that you can get it passed while the majority people were sleeping and that thisten.In doing so, you spent half a million dollars, or approximately $19.40 for each vote your bond proposal received this past Saturday. It didn’t matter if you spent over $1 million on the vote, all you would have accomplished was spending nearly $40 per vote and made the people even madder. You did not respect the people when they told you NO and you tried to slip this vote through when nobody was looking. There’s ne low turnout would get it through. You had this on the ballot during an LSU home game, betting that the people opposed would be thinking about Tiger football and not how this will affect their ability to attend those Tiger games. You were thinking that you’re so well adored, so loved, that people are willing to pay the next thirty years so that you may have a plaque with your name on it somewhere downtown. Kip, you were… wrong.

You can blame the Baton Rouge Tea Party, or give them credit, I don’t care what you do, but I will do neither. Sure they worked hard, were unrelenting, and put up a valiant fight, but Kip, you and your team had far more political experience and far more dollars in hand. The Baton Rouge Tea Party, and I’m positive you won’t admit this, was nothing more a reflection of the hard cold political realities of today. Economic times are tough and the federal government is an ATM machine with a severe malfunction, to say the very least. We’ve got a congress that’s a dangerous cocktail mix of brain dead and tone deaf. People across the nation are trusting government officials less and less everyday, and people are starting to take Michelle Obama’s advice. You see she was right about one thing, if we elected Obama, we can never go back to our lives uninformed… after one year, we can’t afford to. If you choose to be as brain dead and as tone deaf as the folks back in D.C., you’ll end up as well liked as the rest of them.

I have to admit Kip, as much as you’ve talked about Chattanooga and Austin, I’ve come to the conclusion that you think Baton Rouge is middle earth. What you failed to recognize is that both Austin and Chattanooga have other forces unique to their cities that serve as their driving forces and that their respective downtown developements are more eye candy than substance. Do you really think I cared to see a statue of two feet and ankles in downtown Chattanooga? Maybe I’m abnormal, I just don’t have a foot fetish.

I often joke that I am a “reasonable extremist” and I am proud to say that it is much better to be a reasonable extremist than an unreasonable moderate. I don’t mind being so sure of my political beliefs as I learned from an wise old rancher a long time ago… “About the only thing you get from straddling a fence is a sore backside.”, but I also heed the advice on Benjamin Franklin “Politics is the art of the possible.”. What do you gain in being so sure of your beliefs that you refuse to listen to other people, even those with less experience than you? More importantly, why would people listen to you, despite how right you may be, when you won’t give them the same courtesy? Why should they? I beg of you Mr. Mayor, drop Alive. Listen to reason… And if you don’t know where to start, then start by listening to Councilman Joel Boe’.


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