Tina, We Hardly Knew You!

Tim McGivern
5 min read
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Here's some rambling, nonsensical analysis, so take it with cum grano salis.

City Councilor Tina Cummins threw in the towel today and will not be seeking reelection to the City Council. Dang, that sucks. Actually, I'm not at all surprised. Tina got creamed in her run for the Republican nomination in last year's PRC race. Most of the voters overlapped with her Council district, which could have been perceived as ye olde harbinger of things to come. She also barely squeaked past incumbent Michael Brasher four years ago when she won a Council seat, after Brasher forgot to file his paperwork on time and ran as a write-in. (A freaking incumbent running as write-in! That's classic.) Of course, the Journal savaged Tina with the whole “I looked fetching in my bolero jacket” story and I'm sure that made her feel victimized by the press, as well.

By the way, the Journal's big scoop that Cummins failed to disclose her DUI charge was covered in “Payne's World” almost a year ago. At the time Greg Payne mentioned it, the Council was talking about enforcing stricter penalties on city workers busted for drinking and driving. Sally Mayer called me and said Payne made the whole story up and libeled Tina, so I explained we factchecked it against court records, and Sally was like, “Do what?” Anyway, what will we do without Tina's quirky personality on the Council? Who else is going to bust out into a British accent? Compared to the Council's hard-workers, Cummins never seemed enthusiastic about the job. Her legislative record is abysmal. Name a single bill she got passed other than the one that ends the Council meeting at 10:30. At least her counterpart Sally Mayer (Payne called them “The Laverne and Shirley of the Council”) passed a home alarm bill and promises to unveil her Ulyssesesque animal ordinance soon.

Cummins District 9 seat now seems wide open. It's an interesting segment of town with Four Hills mixed in with an expanse of trailer parks and poorer areas further west. I'd expect Ted Hobbs, Tim Cummins, Tina and the home building folks to find a candidate they can all support. Can't say I've heard much more than tiny rumblings about a progressive candidate getting in there.

As for Sally, I've heard a few local Republicans speculate that she will drop out of the District 7 race soon as well. Because there are two Republicans challenging her, Ed Glenn and Wayne Johnson, as well as the Soltari-backed progressive Democrat Marianne Dickinson, some folks think Mayer will get creamed in a run-off if she can't get to 40 percent in the general election.

Another rumor is that Ken Sanchez, Marty's campaign finance manager, is eyeing a run against Miguel Gomez for his District 1 Council seat. Sanchez has name I.D. in that district and he could make it an interesting race. Imaging if Sanchez got in there, Diane Dorn Jones (Marty's former Chief Operating Officer) wins Eric Griego's seat in District 3, Mayer holds onto her District 7 seat and the development folks fund a winning candidate in Cummins' District 9. Throw in Craig Loy, and Marty would have a very friendly Council majority waiting for him if he wins a third term.

OK, a quick muse on the mayor's race. It's gonna get nasty. It already has actually, with Chavez putting out an embarrassing pile of horse excrement in the form of an attack on Brad Winter's voting record aimed exclusively at Republicans. Winter meanwhile has shown that he is going after the conservative base, by announcing he opposes a minimum wage increase at the local, state and federal level. (Well, he's due to announce this in about an hour, in order to get his name into tomorrow's paper when the Journal covers the minimum wage rally at Civic Plaza, which starts today at 4 p.m.)

Another thought: Did you catch the Journal's glowing editorial about Mayor Marty and his prudent decision to call for a minimum wage increase at the federal level? How transparent can you be, Journal editorial board? You're sucking up to Marty, when anybody who reads your fishwrap knows your publisher and editor would never support a minimum wage increase of any sort if it was actually being voted on by lawmakers. That was pitiful.

So expect personal attacks to be elevated from all sides in the mayoral race in the coming weeks. Eric Griego is aggressive, and he'll be calling Marty corrupt up until election day. Brad has some aggressive people running his race, and they'll also be pushing the “corrupt Marty” message to the GOP faithful. Judy Espinosa also has some things to say, and from what little I've heard, it sounds like more “corrupt Marty” talk. Marty of course will push back in an effort to do anything to win. Sadly, all of these candidates have ideas for how the city should be governed, but I expect them to be drowned out by the nastiness. Remember: cum grano salis.

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