Latest in a series of posts on Ethics and City Government
Councilman Callahan, of course, defends himself. Gadfly wonders how effective you will think that defense is. Frankly, Gadfly sometimes has trouble following BGC’s train of thought. Now it must be said that BGC may have been caught by surprise. Councilman Reynolds seemed to be working from a prepared or roughly prepared text. No doubt he had the advantage of prior organization of his thoughts. BGC, on the other hand, had to answer in defense spontaneously. It is telling, however, that BGC’s first response to JWR’s motion to relieve him as liaison to the BPA is to see himself as a kind of victim of an “orchestrated” conspiracy, and his last response, similarly, is to see himself the object of game playing. That’s frustrating to Gadfly. That’s a tease. That’s innuendo much like what BGC aimed at AMK. What exactly are you talking about, Councilman Callahan? Tell me, tell us the public, what game is Councilman Reynolds playing? Out here in the cheap seats, we don’t know what you are talking about. What exactly do you mean so that we can judge your truth? That kind of framing by BGC seems to Gadfly a deflection from the charge of the “unequivocally inappropriate” behavior of advocating for his brother’s company and knowing more inside information than he should have if he were simply acting as liaison. In addition, Gadfly could not connect the relevance in BGC’s references to the Transfer Tax, to the Mayor’s role in building the Polk Street Garage, to the departure of Mr. Livingston. And to establish the “bias,” the “slant” of the proposal backed by the City but not accepted by the BPA would need concrete examples and deeper analysis.
(Pardon some perhaps peripheral Gadfly venting. Certainly, it’s a free country. People can do what they want. Certainly family relationships in business and politics need not automatically be looked on with suspicion, need not be thought of as or necessarily be nefarious. Because you are somebody’s relative shouldn’t mark you as some visible sinner like the Hawthorne character in the classic Scarlet Letter novel. (Pardon the professorial reference, but after the Gadfly follower brought up “Kabuki theater” yesterday, the metaphorical roof is off!) But what was Hunter Biden thinking when accepting that Ukraine appointment? Could the Mayor’s son not have a good job somewhere besides with the parent company of a business that does City business — enormous City business? Why doesn’t BGC stay totally away from situations that involve his brother? It just seems to Gadfly that ethical quicksand is readily visible, but, sadly, people walk into it anyway.)
- I’ll step down if you feel that way Mr. Reynolds, I mean obviously this has been orchestrated.
- But know this, nobody, nobody on this Council has been harder on Peron Development [the company that BGC’s brother John works for and the company whose proposal was accepted by the Parking Authority] or BethWorks in what happened with that Transfer Tax.
- You can mention my brother all you want, my brother’s in the private sector right now.
- I had no vote for the Parking Authority on that . . . never had any conversations about it.
- All I knew is that report if you look at it line item by line item by line item, it would be very tough for anybody, rational, and not go, hmmm, there’s a slant to that.
- I didn’t speak to my brother for two weeks about it . . . he was upset.
- So to suggest that I don’t take a middle ground on everything to me is pushing it.
- You know what, I’ll step down from the Parking Authority [the Council liaison role].
- My issue with it is the fact that the Mayor runs the Parking Authority.
- Mr. Livingston [executive director of the Parking Authority] is leaving . . . because that garage is being built because the Mayor wants it built.
- If the Mayor didn’t want that garage built, it’s not getting built.
- [The Mayor] raised the fine increase to build it.
- Instead of throwing the Parking director out there to take all the heat, [the Mayor] should have stepped up.
- To suggest that I’m not fair and I’m not trying to play both ways is disingenuous.
- You know what, Mr. Reynolds, I know your games.
- I will step down as the Parking Authority liaison.
to be continued . . .