Mick’s crocodile tears | AspenTimes.com

Mick’s crocodile tears

Dear Editor:

Reading Mick Ireland’s recent letter to the editor about the terrible treatment of his poor niece, immediately reinforced by Molly Ireland and Scott Writer, made me almost nostalgic. Did everyone else spot this vintage example of political libel from the Ireland play book?

My first assumption was that Marilyn Marks, rival candidate for mayor, must have charged Mick with a violation of ethical standards by not revealing a connection between the museum and his niece before voting on museum business, or recusing himself from that vote. A classic Mick tactic, thought I, managing to twist that accusation into an attack on his niece.

But I was wrong. I took the time to look it up, and discovered no such accusation; Marks merely posed a question well within the range of standard conflict of interest concerns: “Should Mayor Ireland have recused himself from the museum negotiations and council discussions after his niece was granted a college scholarship by the museum?”

It is a perfectly good and reasonable question, deserving of a civil answer. But here’s a collection of comments in response from Mick, Molly, Scott and an anonymous blogger:

“The compassion and admiration I feel toward all who offer to serve in elected office is severely strained by a recent letter attacking me … The clear implication of the attack is that Katie did not receive the aid because of her need or ability but because the Aspen Art Museum was trying to bribe me for support … While I accept that I have offered myself for office and must endure whatever is thrown my way, I find the implied attack on Katie Bird decidedly uncivil, unfair and unjust.

“If this ‘throw garbage at the wall and see if it sticks’ strategy is Marks and Koles’ idea of a ‘civil’ campaign, thanks, but no thanks.

“To attack Ireland on something like this for apparently nothing more than simple political gain and in turn potentially tarnishing the reputations of all those involved is, in my view, not productive or appropriate.

“Ms. Marks shoves ‘civility’ down our throats and she is the most uncivil person in this entire campaign.”

Wow, that’s a lot of scorn for simply asking a question. I guess the lesson is clear, keep your mouth shut and don’t ask any questions.

Most people are probably too busy to look up the original quote from Marks, and are likely to fall for the crocodile tears being spattered across the newspapers. However, exploiting that preoccupation is more than political cynicism; it is an example of the total contempt which Mick has always held toward the constituency he supposedly serves.

During his 16 years in public office, the most consistent source of malevolence and acrimony in Aspen politics has been abundantly clear.

Jeffrey Evans


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