The highlight of tonight’s civic election was, without a doubt, Danny Vandal coming back to knock off Franco Magnifico, openly endorsed by Mayor Sam Katz, who certainly used whatever clout he had in the ward to return buddy Magnifico to power.
Sadly folks, it was downhill fast from there, as Katz and the majority of the asleep-at-the-public-trough incumbents were returned to power (hello, Mike O’Shaugnessy – try as they might, CSI Kildonan couldn’t find evidence of this guy at anything resembling work). But we digress…
Definitely not so Magnifico was CJOB’s civic election night coverage. Hosted by Richard Cloutier, who usually strives for a bit of balance on his show, thought instead a political panel consisting of Right and Righter -- Shannon Martin, the earnest former Tory staffer to Gary Filmon, and Adrienne Batra, the gushing shill for mindless tax cuts, all things Tory and BFF Heather Stefanson -- would provide some nice insight into election night results, particularly the – wait for it – upset in St. James. (Otherwise known as the Thrilla in Vanilla.)
Breathless with excitement, Batra veritably spurted with excitement at the news that Tory Scott Fielding had defeated Tory Jae Eadie, the helmsman of nearly three forgetful decades in St. James. Not to be outdone, Cloutier immediately anointed Fielding a “giant killer” for slaying a long-time incumbent that even the Eadie family would have a tough time distinguishing from, say… Mike O’Shaughnessy -- except for maybe the girth issue.
To be clear, a “giant killer” would have been a fringe candidate like Marianne Cerilli knocking off the much-moneyed Katz. (Thank yous to Senators Stratton and Zimmer was top of the mayor's agenda as he spoke from the dias of victory -- referring of course to the legendary Tory and Liberal bagmen respectively.)
But there is nothing remotely “giant” about Eadie’s defeat. The much vaunted smackdown by Fielding was essentially a mild Tory nomination dust up, with a soft, tired old Tory in one corner, and a young, up-and-comer with a better haircut in the other. (Eadie and Fielding respectively, in case you still can’t tell the difference). Tory on Tory violence, at worst.
Continuing on the not so Magnifico theme, is the result in River Heights, where Katz’s hand-picked candidate, Brenda Leipsic, defeated incumbent Donald Benham. Benham is a loss because he held the mayor to account and was able to do so articulately, if a bit oddly at times. Listening to Leipsic on CJOB on election night, where she so eloquently, and repeatedly, declared it the “best night, like, ever” (OK, so we added the like), it was clear that Katz had found the River Heights Rubber Stamp he was so anxiously hoping for.
(And, hey, is anyone under any doubt Batra is a PC partisan after that credit card bomb she dropped on Benham in mid-election? This was followed up shortly by the 10-year-old-anti-papal-column smear that CJOB reports came right out of the mayor's office. An election of ideas, eh?)
And not so Magnifico was the voter turnout -- a frightening 38%. That's not much of a mandate for Mayor Katz, to say the least.
Fortunately for the city, Vandal is back in the ring with the gloves on. Magnifico!