The March 2015 issue of the Gainesville Iguana is now available online, and it’s got lots of good stuff (city election endorsements, Chomsky on ISIS, oral history interview with Medea Benjamin, and more!). You can also pick the issue up at any of our distribution spots, which you can find here.
by Joe Courter
VOTE! It really matters, especially in local races. It will be a major upset thanks to Republican gerrymandering, but Marihelen Wheeler knocking out Ted “Little Millionaire” Yoho would be really sweet.
Please help this campaign if you can, in whatever way you can. Dumping Rick Scott and Pam Bondi would be beyond sweet; both of them are disasters on so many fronts. Crist and Sheldon will be vast improvements.
Regarding the Chief Financial Officer, a fresh start and new eyes on the books would be good, though I don’t know of any major complaints on Atwater. Kinda feel the same re Agriculture Commissioner. Many of you will have the chance to vote out Keith Perry and put in a strong progressive in — Jon Uman, another gerrymandered uphill fight. John Power will be an excellent replacement for Von Fraser; he worked with Von throughout his incredible tenure, and will carry on the practice of actively helping people avoid foreclosures.
Regarding the County Commission, bring along a pen and write in Harry Patterson for District 2 and mark the box for Ken Cornell in District 4. He will be a great replacement to Susan Baird and keep the county Commission moving in a positive direction.
by Joe Courter
So what can be said about the Mayor’s race in Gainesville? Disappointing, heck yeah, but not a surprise.
Through the culmination of many factors, Craig Lowe was a very much weakened candidate, quite sad and tragic in some ways, but self-inflicted in others. Ed Braddy, on the other hand, was able to capitalize on all the anti-biomass fervor to build a motivated coalition, use his own talents as a public speaker and sound bite artist, and utilize a backlash against Lowe to score a win.
But that win was an interesting split, with the eastern districts (1 & 4) going for Lowe and the west (2 & 3) for Braddy.
For progressive-minded folks, this is significant because District 3 is Susan Bottcher’s district, and she will be up for re-election in the next cycle, along with Todd Chase (conservative NW district 2), and then an at-large open race as Thomas Hawkins is term-limited.
The balance of power hasn’t shifted yet; it’s still Gainesville and not Braddyville, but it ought to be a wake-up call to progressive-minded folks. And with Braddy as Mayor, there will be a very interesting new dynamic to the meetings; he’s smart, both quick-witted and abrasive, and a committed libertarian free-marketeer. It will be a challenging situation for all involved.