Monday, May 21, 2018

Never Apologize, Never Explain

"Never Apologize, Never Explain." Purportedly, that was the guiding philosophy of the Victorian English in how they ran the British Empire. I don't believe I have any English ancestry, and I certainly don't rule an empire. I find a better personal guiding philosophy to be, "Always Apologize, Always Explain." That brings me to a rather awkward moment in my blogging archive: that time when I endorsed Laura Maczka for Richardson mayor.


Remember, the election that brought us Mayor Maczka was in May, 2013. That was before the Palisades development was even on many people's radar. The zoning change request that became so contentious wasn't submitted until October, five months after the election, as reported here: "The Premiere of Palisades Village".

Many other people had other reasons to endorse or oppose Laura Maczka for mayor. For many, Maczka had become a proxy for the Richardson establishment. If you supported the Richardson Coalition political action committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and the five other members of the city council who endorsed Maczka, you supported Maczka, too. If you opposed the establishment, you supported Amir Omar.

My own now embarrassing endorsement was made for reasons other than that, and other than the Palisades development and the then unknown future scandal involving the mayor and the developer. My own endorsement didn't really have much to do with the characters of the candidates at all, as I explained in my endorsement.
After weeks of growing despair at the increasingly negative tone of the mayor's race in Richardson, after going from being very happy with both candidates to beginning to wonder if Richardson would be better served by having a third choice, the time to vote is finally here.
...
I choose to decide based on my original thinking. That is, the mayor's role is like that of a chairman of the board, a speaker of the house, a foreman of a jury, a captain on a football team. If he doesn't have the trust and confidence of the rest of the team, teamwork breaks down and the team falters. So, I endorse the candidate who has the trust and confidence of the five incumbent council members who will be serving on the council in the next term. For that reason, I endorse Laura Maczka.
Source: The Wheel.
In short, I had grown to dislike both candidates' campaigns and endorsed based on some esoteric theory of government. That explains my endorsement, but it doesn't vindicate it. I put my trust and confidence in "the rest of the team," the entire city council, save Amir Omar, who wanted Maczka to be their leader. My trust was misplaced. I was wrong.

I knew I was wrong way before Laura (Maczka) Jordan was indicted for bribery last week. In fact, I knew my 2013 endorsement was wrong when I made my endorsements in the 2015 election, when I declined to endorse Bob Townsend for re-election.
[Bob] Townsend endorsed Laura Maczka in the first direct election of Richardson's mayor. This turned out to be an egregious example of poor judgment...(Full disclosure: I endorsed Maczka for mayor in 2013, in part because all council members, including Townsend, endorsed her. Fool me once...)
Source: The Wheel.
I might have declined to endorse the other incumbents who also supported Maczka for mayor in 2013, but of the ones who ran, Mark Solomon, Scott Dunn, Steve Mitchell, and Laura Maczka herself(!) were unopposed in 2015. If they ever made public apologies for their endorsements in 2013, I missed them.
As for myself, I repeat: I was wrong in 2013. I apologize.

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