Monday, October 20, 2008

Why bother?

I've given Red Petrovs a hard time in some areas, but I've got to defend the poor guy here and, in a broader sense, roundly criticize Athens Grow Green for this.

I mean, what the hell? Ed Robinson's answers to their questionnaire are sufficient to garner an endorsement? It's embarassing - and borderline disconnected from reality - to read such a full-throated endorsement of Robinson based on such scant answers that are, in some areas, superficial and, in other areas, littered with typos. The lack of depth in the answers to a five-question survey is rather staggering.

And to land the endorsement? Robinson may very well be the more green friendly candidate, but I don't think you get a clear sense of that from the questionnaire. Perhaps he worked behind the scenes as candidates (rightly) do, but why then even bother with a survey?

And what about Petrovs? He obviously took the necessary time to contemplate the questions posed to him and present what he felt were honest and thoughtful answers. Sure, I have some areas of agreement and disagreement with him, but they were surely more thorough than Robinson's.

I've spent a good bit of my time, particularly in 2006, defending AGG - and, make no mistake, the organization lobbies and fights for sound and noble environmental standards - but this is almost inexcusable. If it was determined to endorse Robinson from the outset, which now seems apparent, then the organization ought to seriously reconsider how it makes it endorsements. Perhaps a closed-door meeting with the group's leadership would make more sense because this doesn't make any.


Blogger Brian said...

Wow. I'm not surprised but very disappointed as a member of AGG. Robinson's answers were perfunctory and read like someone who is taking the endorsement for granted.

In previous campaigns, I helped two candidates -- Annette Nelson and E.H. Culpepper -- prepare very thoughtful responses to Grow Green questionaires. Neither of them got the endorsement of AGG, but their opponents also provided good answers and one of them had a strong record in office to back him up, so I wasn't surprised.

Robinson's answers are pretty weak. Petrovs' answers, while not necessarily toeing the AGG line, are much more thoughtful, insightful and compelling in a number of ways. Good conversation starters.

Another interesting note is that the district they are competing in includes a large concentration of retail and many of the industrial and distribution jobs in Athens. These places of employment are often quietly hardest hit by regulations like stormwater bills, etc. that seem well intentioned in intown neighborhoods but have enormous consequences in other areas.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

I would like to hear from someone in the Athens Grow Green Coalition about this but Ed has a long history of working hard on their issues. They noted Ed's "local environmental protection efforts for many years." Clearly Red's answers weren't good enough to overcome his lack of a history in these areas and weren't good enough to overcome Ed's well-proven positions over the last decade. Ed's answers were good ones, even if they could have included a little more detail. I think AGG knew what they were doing because, as you said, Ed "may very well be the more green friendly candidate".

9:18 AM  

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