Richard Milhous Nixon once famously proclaimed, “I am not a crook.” He later became the only president to resign from office.
The recall of Omaha, Nebraska, Mayor Jim Suttle brings that famous quip to mind. Many of the mayor’s defenders argue he shouldn’t be recalled because he hasn’t broken any laws. At a debate last week, restaurateur Nicole Jesse, co-chair of the recall committee, explained, “Omahans deserve and expect more than just, ‘He’s not a criminal.’”
She charged that the mayor had “promised to lower property taxes,” but “he’s increased them twice. He told the Omaha Bar and Restaurant Association he would not impose a new tax. He turned around and did just that.”
Dave Nabity, head of Citizens for Omaha’s Future, says that the mayor’s character — or lack thereof — is the critical issue. He has criticized the mayor and his campaign organization for making false allegations of fraud against the recall effort (as I discussed weeks ago), and can now point to a newly launched police investigation into the mayor’s anti-recall group, Forward Omaha, for fraudulent activity. The group allegedly drove busloads of homeless people to the polls after paying them $5 for “training” for a possible future job.
Mayor Suttle originally argued that the group’s actions were totally innocent and appropriate, but quickly changed his tune, issuing a statement that read, “The Mayor does not support this or any other type of voter manipulation.”
The recall election is tomorrow.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.