Everyone likes to be let in on a secret, even if it's one that will eventually become public. If you get to be part of the in-group, you gain some loyalty to whoever let you in. The same for someone who lets you in on a secret planning meeting.
General Growth Properties Inc. has invited members of the ten Columbia village boards to a closed-door meeting on 13 December. They should decline to attend. The Columbia Association Board has already declined a similar invitation, and as far as I know, the County Council has not been invited. The village board members should avoid the temptation to lend loyalty to GGP, since they were elected by the village residents and other property owners.
I find this particularly interesting because when Phil was a Columbia Council Representative candidate (back in March 2003), he wrote this letter to the Columbia Flier (scroll to the bottom):
Accepting political aid does not mean being 'bought'
Recently Mr. Kirk Halpin, who represents Kings Contrivance on the Columbia Council, wrote to the Village newspaper, the Crown Prints. He asked people to run for village board or to succeed him on the council. Fine, so far.
It also contained this curious sentence, "In the past, there has been an issue with individual candidates pledging their support to an organization in exchange for promises of financial and campaign assistance." (It's a toned-down version of Mr. Halpin's piece in the same Crown Prints last fall, complaining about a mythical "ZIT party.")
Human beings get together and help each other, including in elections. Everyone knows that. Just because someone accepts political aid does not mean they are obligated. They would not get help unless they had views similar to those of their friends and will have those views after the election as well. Mr. Halpin, of course, fully understands that.
As a candidate to succeed Mr. Halpin as representative from Kings Contrivance, I should probably take offense at the idea that because I have political friends willing to help me I have been bought. The notion is too silly to take seriously.
It seems that the intervening years has worn on Phil’s philosophy. It appears that in Phil’s world, an elected representative will be mystically bound to a “loyalty” by simply attending an information session, but political aid during a campaign, and its possible effects, is a “notion too silly to be taken seriously.”
I have always found Phil to be a thoughtful, intelligent person, but I am curious as to what has happened in the intervening years to place him on both sides of his argument.