Mayoral incumbent Phil Hardberger’s been avoiding debates and public forums with his six osbcure challengers all season, and so we were shocked and flattered when he was one of the four runners who returned our candidate surveys.
“I don’t like toll roads, and it was a mistake to drain off gasoline taxes for other purposes. But confronted with the situation as it is today, and considering our growth, I do bleieve that toll roads have become a necessity. Ultimately, the choice is simple: toll roads, slow roads, or no roads.”
— Phil Hardberger, who prides himself on consensus-building, and is willing to stake everything on the passage of the $550-million bond package, which includes $306 million for streets and sidewalk improvements.
“First of all, you have to ask the mayoral candidates if they have lived anywhere else in the world; Michael Idrogo has lived in the most populous city in the world: Tokyo! Tokyo is far, far more efficient than San Antonio! ... Michael has been talking to Airbus about bringing the double-decker Airbus airliner to San Antonio.”
— Michael Idrogo, a Navy commander, who claimed on his survey he “figured out how to defeat Milosevic in the Yugoslavia War,” and attached an image of his beloved Airbus.
“The city of San Antonio will have to have a summit with agencies responsible for aquifer/water protections ... Henry B. Gonzalez is said to have created a moratorium regarding development over the recharge zone. Maybe that too should be revisited while we try best to avoid incidents such as those that the mulch fire incident recently created.
— Eiginio Rodriguez, a former firefighter who served on the Zoning Commission, the SAWS Citizens Advisory Panel, and the EAA Water Quality Advisory Task Force.
“Create human-rights initiative office, develop oversight, communicate within city government as well as non-gov human rights org.”
— Rhett Smith, a human-rights/anti-war activist and What-Would-Jesus-Do candidate, who diligently filled out our survey by hand in our lobby. This was his tangential response to the question, “How do you envision the City’s role in supporting arts and culture?” Smith carries triple-purpose business cards: one side advertises his mayoral campaign, the flipside, his 2008 U.S. Senate/Presidential runs.
Here’s the latest scoops on the remaining three candidates who didn’t return our surveys:
• On Monday morning, Julie Iris Oldham, aka “Mama Bexar,” left a long voicemail claiming she’s the victim of a smear campaign, in which someone reported to the police that she was planning to assassinate Mayor Hardberger. SAPD Public Information Officer Joe Rios confirmed that she’s long been on their watch-list because of the tone of her letters to City Hall, but could not comment on any current investigations.
• Hometown gay-rights activist Gene Elder has launched an email campaign against Hardberger and endorsed Christian-right candidate and Joseph’s Storehouse bakery and restaurant owner Patrick McCurdy, even though, according to the Express-News, McCurdy “believes homosexuality is morally wrong.” Elder wrote: “I am voting for him for the very simple reason that Hardberger has never ever, ever, ever had anything to say about the gay people in this city ... I would rather have a baker Baptist that may have issues with the gay community and says so, than a ‘friend’ that has nothing to say.”
• After a short illness that kept him from answering our survey, Sanantoniolightning.com publisher R.G. Griffing is back on the circuit. He is convinced he’s going to lose, but plans to use the remaining days in the campaign sun opposing Hardberger’s $550-million pet bond package.