Sunday, April 01, 2007

Grin and Colbert it

At the conclusion of last Thursday night's debate, Sheila Simon held up a folder containing evidence that Mayor Brad Cole requested $30,000 for travel reimbursement during his term of Mayor. It was no secret that Cole spent City money when he traveled to India and Japan, and probably Washington DC, and other places. I haven't seen Sheila's evidence, but right off I say, so what? What's wrong with the Mayor rekindling contact with the City's Sister Cities? Or traveling to DC to make contacts for money for a state of the art new police station?

Sheila waved the folder as evidence that Brad spends money 'like a teenager'. I wonder which travel expenses Sheila wouldn't allow. Without having all the facts, it seems that money spent traveling to distant lands is good for Carbondale in the 'spread the word' sense, putting it 'on the map'. Like being on Stephen Colbert's Colbert Report.

Mayor Cole agreed to strike a pose for the unusual photo op I told you about. To be fair, I personally contacted Councilman Simon about playing along. I hope to send both hers and Cole's photoshopped photos to Stephen for his consideration, asking him to weigh-in on the election, giving all of Carbondale the "Colbert Bump."

Last I heard, Sheila's thinking it over, probably discussing it with trusted advisers. I hope she isn't influenced by Rep. Rahm Emanuel's warning to freshman Democrats not to appear on Colbert's 'Better Know a District' series, because this situation is entirely different. A one-minute telephone conference call, I imagine with Cole and Simon on separate lines would do the trick.
Stephen will play it for laughs, of course. I think the travel or credenza issue would be good topics, or the thrifty mom vs. spendthrift son, but Colbert's research staff would decide how to frame it.

Having Carbondale featured on a show hosted by one of the most influential Americans in the U.S., who reaches millions of young viewers would be a good thing, 'priceless' even. If Sheila passes on the opportunity, I'll send in Cole's by itself. There is a chance that Stephen will ignore it, but I think it's worth a try -- for good ol' Carbondale.


Anonymous said...

So we need to get the word out to China and Japan? Cole needs to spend $600 of the city's money to travel to Chicago for the swearing in of an immigration judge?

What tangible benefits have been realized from Cole's travel spree? Can he, or you, point to anything?

I'd rather that $30,000 be spent on a new police car, city services, improving infrastructure, hiring another code inspector, rather than being used as the Mayor's personal travel budget.

Anonymous said...

You should tell readers who aren't familiar with Stephen that his name is pronounced in the French manner: Col-BEAR.

Anonymous said...

Travel sounds like marketing to me. Carbondale doesn't have a marketing budget, maybe this is the best way to get the word out? Do you complain about Glenn Poshard taking the SIU plane to Springfield too?

Anonymous said...

Glen Poshard doesn't take the SIU plane to political events (Brad went to the swearing in of a judge in Chicago). Glen Poshard doesn't take SIU plane to a conference in Ireland and then not attend the conference (do your own FOIA, its all right there). Plus, I'm not sure what we're marketing to India exactly. Are you?