Today the local Republican Party came out with some bold statements criticizing Mayor Jerry Abramson. Brad Cummings, the local GOP chair, for the first time, listed the Mayor’s sins in a lengthy document, which you can see here.
Ultimately, the Republicans are encouraging the Mayor not to run for another term. Last week, amid speculation that he might be a part of Steve Beshear’s gubernatorial ticket in 2011, Abramson said he’d make a decision on his future by August.
The GOP isn’t alone in criticizing the Mayor, and perhaps today’s presser is meant to persuade him in making that decision. A loud contingent of South End-ers, led by Doug Hawkins, has its own complaints about the Mayor on multiple issues ranging from taxes to placement of a bomb storage facility.
The Mayor might be considering whether he’s up for a campaign in which he’ll be mightily criticized, but the GOP campaign could also backfire and push the ego-flashing Mayor toward a more determined run for re-election. Who knows what he’s thinking?
The question remains, though, who’s got the name ID and resources to challenge him? Certainly no one on the Metro Council, though we’ve speculated that the Republicans might put up Kevin Kramer. It’s hard to imagine him doing any better than Kelly Downard last time.
The critiques center on the multiple controversies we’ve been chronicling in the last several years. You know what we’re talking about here, but the list indicts the Mayor for his handling of and promotion of individuals in the departments of Inspections, Permits and Licensing, Metro Animal Services, Planning and Zoning, Libraries and the notorious Department of Housing. Cummings didn’t even mention the problems at Corrections, which is a disaster waiting to happen.
Any opponent would be able to thrust these people into the spotlight of a political race — John Flood, Kimberly Bunton, Charles Cash, Gilles Meloche and Mark Bolton — just to put names to the perceived Abramson mistakes.
Cummings devotes much of his speech to criticism of the city’s deal with Cordish Companies, but doesn’t talk about his ill-conceived decision to promise to clean up everyone’s yard after the big storms.
The local GOP makes a strong case against Abramson, and no doubt wants him to get to a decision on running again right away. The field for the 2010 Mayor’s race won’t form until we knew whether Jerry’s in or out, and there are plenty of people eyeing the race with a plan to jump in if Jerry’s out.