Monday, June 14, 2010

14 JUN 10: Colonel Likes the Lady

A crude brown cardboard sign hangs from a pole at 28th Street and Second Avenue. It says: "Poydasheff for Mayor." Did the poster know something the rest of us don't? Or was this some kind of protest statement, against all the new police officers?

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff told your blog Sunday he and his family are endorsing Teresa Tomlinson for Mayor. This may stun some people, who know Poydasheff is a Republican and Tomlinson is a Democrat. But it's not quite on the level of Glenn Beck promoting Rachel Maddow's talk show.

Col. Robert Poydasheff (as he's listed in the Columbus phone book) explained Teresa Tomlinson shares his "vision of this city." By that, he means encouraging business development and job creation. They also agree on the development of a "green city" - which means the Streetscape project on Veterans Parkway, not Spencer dominating high school sports.

The Columbus city elections are nonpartisan, of course. But Bob Poydasheff told me he's more of a "Colin Powell-type Republican." Not quite enough to endorse Zeph Baker for mayor, but still....

Bob Poydasheff heaped the praise on Teresa Tomlinson - saying she "knows how to express herself, she's a very good leader.... not a hint of scandal." We'll have to see about that last one. It's only June -- and as we know from past mayoral races, one traffic collision could change everything.

Bob Poydasheff added he supports Teresa Tomlinson's work in recent years to "regentrify Midtown." We throw in that quote for any parents who might want to improve their children's vocabulary during summer vacation....

So what about that sign urging Bob Poydasheff to run for mayor again? Poydasheff told me he drives down Second Avenue to his law office every day, but hasn't seen it yet. Others had mentioned the sign to him, including Columbus State University President Timothy Mescon - who probably wishes someone would post signs on campus supporting him.

Qualifying week for the Columbus city election is only two weeks away. But while Bob Poydasheff says he appreciates whomever posted the sign and wants him to run again, he will not. He explains why with a smile - saying he "exploded my head" at the thought, and his wife had to "cut a new door to get into the house, to hold my ego."

Bob Poydasheff reminded me of a statement from last fall, that his wife Stacy set some conditions on his running for political office again [25 Oct 09]. Someone would have to donate $150,000, and he'd need 25,000 names on petitions. One cardboard sign on a street corner doesn't quite meet that standard.

While we didn't bring it up during our telephone chat, we should note Bob Poydasheff turns 80 this year. Yet he's happily busy with various civic causes -- from the board of the National Infantry Museum to judging last Friday's celebrity spaghetti cook-off. I assume the latter promises a better chow line....

We also asked Bob Poydasheff about the "Rec-Gate" debate involving the Parks and Recreation Department. He recalled a similar city budget issue in 2006, involving two million dollars in missing landfill fees. "Everybody knew" there was a problem, Poydasheff said. So the debate over funds for elite basketball is a bit like a double dribble.

Yet Bob Poydasheff came to the defense of Parks Department Director Tony Adams, saying there's "no criminality" in what happened with the Innovative Sports Program. He thinks some people are trying to make him a "cause celebre" and turn "a molehill into a mountain." Perhaps we should note there's NO elite program for mountain bikers.

"Basketball is crime prevention," Bob Poydasheff insisted. Of course, some people would take issue with that statement - especially considering there's nothing in the rules against stealing basketballs.

Our apologies if we've stymied a grass-roots political movement today. But considering the high temperature in Columbus Sunday was 97 degrees F., it's a bit challenging to get anything growing from the grass roots right now.

Let's see what other hot topics made news Sunday....

+ As it happened, Keep Columbus Beautiful ended its annual tour of local gardens. This year's focus was on the Historic District - and one of these days, someone will plant nice flowers in the middle of Broadway to match the ones on either side.

+ Columbus Police reported two Money Back stores were robbed. From what I saw on WTVM, both of them sold BP gasoline - so natives of southern Louisiana should be considered prime suspects.

+ Alabama gubernatorial candidate Robert Bentley announced he's changing his campaign manager and press secretary. Is that why Bentley was second in the Republican Primary - because his press secretary didn't include enough provocative quotes?

+ Clemson clobbered Alabama 19-5 in NCAA Super Regional baseball, to even the best-of-three series. The winning team today advances to the College World Series. The losing team finally can end its spring semester one month late.

+ Instant Message to WTVM's Andrew Wittenberg: What do you mean, the Southeastern Conference should take in some Big 12 colleges and rename itself the "Southern Conference?" There already IS a Southern Conference. In fact, Tennessee-Chattanooga from that conference plays at Auburn in November. Just because your Tennessee Volunteers never play them....

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