Regular visitors to this space know that I do not endorse candidates. I analyze, I criticize, and I ask others to vote their conscience. It should not be any of my business how someone else votes. But this time, for this election, my conscience won’t let me remain silent.

Ed Oakley has campaigned as one of the good guys, yet his campaign has been despicable. It is the campaign of a coward. His smears, innuendo and other low-brow methods smack of Willie Horton. Yesterday, I got a phone call from someone purporting to be from something called Progressives for Oakley (or some such) who breathlessly asked me if I knew who Tom Leppert gave money to. I said no, told him his phone call was a travesty of the democratic process, and hung up on him.

Good guys do not do things like that. Good guys run on the issues. It’s one of the things that makes the good guys different from the Lee Atwaters and Karl Roves. Oakley has not done that in any way, shape or form. He has back-stabbed Leppert. He has asked voters south of the Trinity to vote for him because he lives south of the Trinity. He has asked Democrats to vote for him because he is a Democrat. Those aren’t issues. Those are the methods of a cynical, dishonest campaign. A good guy would explain why Oakley would pave streets and hire cops and also explain why his opponent wouldn’t.

I do not write this lightly. I don’t see how Tom Leppert will be anything other than another downtown mayor who does the bidding of the elite at the expense of the neighborhoods. But Leppert, at least, has been more or less honest. And, in this campaign, that’s enough for me.

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