Dave Hodges

More About: Corruption

Phil Gordon, Public Servant: An Oxymoron?

An oxymoron (i.e. "sharply dull" in Greek) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms. They appear in a range of contexts, from inadvertent errors to puns such as  extremely average” to “jumbo shrimp”, to the “same difference.” 

Phoenicians might petition the dictionary referees to enter a new oxymoron into our official lexicon: Phil Gordon, public servant

Ideally, an elected official is a good steward of the public’s money, and acts in good faith to reduce crime, increase the efficiency of essential services (e.g., fire, police, trash, sewer, etc). However, when we remove our idealistic goggles, we are left with the stark reality that all too often our elected officials use the public’s money to curry favor from the deep pockets of corporations in order to secure the much needed future campaign funding needed to secure a win in the next election. It’s a vicious cycle which leaves many Americans scratching their head on why their government seems intent on not serving the will of the populace.

Being the good steward of the public’s money that he is, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is currently telling the public that his city is facing an "economic emergency," Certainly; this must mean that the good mayor is abandoning his reckless position of aiding and abetting Citynorth’s demand that the good taxpayers of Phoenix pay nearly $100 million dollars to the cause of corporate welfare to fund the building a privately owned mall parking garage. Meanwhile police and fire services to the public have suffered during the recent economic downturn.  The economic downturn is certainly to blame for the reduction in police and fire services. Yet, Gordon’s attempt to give away $100,000,000 of his constituents money, for selfish reasons, has made a bad situation worse.  The Goldwater Institute legally challenged Gordon’s authority to give away Phoenician’s money, and the courts have ruled against this practice. However, this has not deterred the best friend of special interests, Mayor Gordon, from spending more of the People’s money to fight the ruling of the lower court on appeal. Again, Gordon is throwing good money after bad on behalf of ultimately his own personal interests. Mayor Gordon doesn’t seem to realize that his constituents do not want corporate welfare. They would rather have their homes saved from a catastrophic fire than pay for a privately owned parking garage from which some of the tax money would go back into Gordon’s future campaign coffers from the grateful corporations which he seems intent on serving.

To pay for this private abuse of the public’s resources, Gordon wants to fund his corporate welfare follies by imposing a “temporary” sales-tax increase to keep already diminished services from being cut further. When has an imposed tax ever been temporary?  

Although Gordon is trying to create the impression that this “temporary” sales tax is his first response to squandering the public’s money, the fact is that the mayor has already, in effect, raised taxes. Only fire, police and mass transit are sensitive to a decline in city revenues. The rest of the services, which have had their fees raised, are paid for by user fees, which have already been increased (e.g., trash, etc). By default, the good people of Phoenix are already unwilling partners in Gordon’s corporate welfare scheme.

In an attempt to pile on the government sponsored corporate abuse, Gordon's said during a City Council meeting that the city needed a sales-tax hike, or "emergency economic surcharge" in order to prevent further service cuts. "It may take that to get us through the economic crisis," Gordon told fellow council members and staffers. "…do they want these draconian cut, be understaffed in fire and police?” A reasonable person would have to wonder how far the money wasted to date, on the Citynorth fiasco and other similar misguided and illegal corporate welfare projects, would extend the public services provided to the residents.

The only question left to answer about the oxymoronic phrase, Phil Gordon, public servant, is to determine whether he and his position are the personification of an oxymoron, or is Phil Gordon merely the poster child for a political moron? Phil exemplifies the vast majority of our country’s elected officials, who get themselves elected only to personally cash in on the experience at the expense of the people they purport to serve.

Mayor Gordon is emblematic of the type of politician which needs to be replaced if we are to preserve what is left of our country. In November of 2010, if this country re-elects any incumbent, save Dr. Ron Paul, then we get the government that we deserve.
 

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