August 17, 2007

Why I am voting for David Sabbagh

Brad Devore concluded his letter to the editor last month by directing this phrase at the local Republican Party: "War IS your platform." This is the primary focus of his argument against electing David Sabbagh as Bloomington's next Mayor.

The most obvious flaw in this argument is that when the City Council considered a resolution against the war in Iraq, Sabbagh voted for it. Sabbagh has been a consistent critic of the war in Iraq since before the war began, well before national polls indicated that the war was becoming increasingly unpopular. Where was Mark Kruzan when the council was considering this resolution?

It is silly and foolish to vote on local races based on national issues. I disagree with Sabbagh on the war, but that will not matter when I step into the voting booth this November. The question is which of the two candidates is more qualified to handle the brick and mortar issues that face city government. In my opinion, that candidate is David Sabbagh.

I have disagreed with some of Sabbagh's votes, such as his votes in nine consecutive years votes to give a taxpayer subsidy to Bloomington's abortion clinic. His sponsorship of the city's "gender identity" ordinance in 2006 was particularly destructive. Nonetheless, I realize that the odds are against electing a truly conservative Mayor in this city, and Mark Kruzan also endorsed the "gender identity" ordinance.

It is clear that Sabbagh understands the role of government much better than Kruzan. This was shown by the fiasco in late 2005 and early 2006 when the City Council attempted to dictate the design of a new CVS on North College. (See articles from December 18, 2005 January 5, 2006 and January 18, 2006.) Kruzan supported this abuse of power and even justified the City Council's qualifications to micromanage private property with the phrase "they were elected".

It was Mark Kruzan's unconstitutional attack on Jeff Sagerin's property rights, however, that pulled me from "neutral" in the Mayor's race to supporting David Sabbagh. On this issue, Kruzan has decided he is above the rule of law. Whatever problems I might have with David Sabbagh, Kruzan's illegal behavior is intolerable and I cannot stand on the sidelines any longer.

Sabbagh isn't the perfect candidate, but he's far better than the alternative. His flaws are shared by the current Mayor, which highlights the areas where Sabbagh is superior. I understand that some conservatives have decided they will not support Sabbagh because of his votes on social issues. I respect this position, but I agree with Sabbagh more often than not on city policy. Electing Sabbagh will be an improvement over what we have now, and that is why I will vote for him.