As I told Bob Edwards in February when he stopped at my door, even though I prefer Mayor Brewer to him for reasons we discussed, I thought well of him as a human being, and -- so far as I knew at that time -- as someone who comports himself with intelligence and dignity.
However, in the course of observing this election, I have slowly become angrier and angrier as it becomes manifestly obvious that Edwards is making a hypocritical, egotistical fool of himself. The radio ads he is currently running against Barbara Brewer are nothing short of a disgrace.
Every charge that he has raised against his opponent, he has been guilty of in spades, particularly in the areas of negative campaigning, rumor mongering, extravagant spending, the aggregation of finances from sources outside of Payson, instigating divisiveness, subservience to influence, distortion of the truth, deceit, doublespeak, "cowardice" (Ed Blair's favorite word), failed leadership, arrogance and incompetence.
In spite of the fact that the allegations he has leveled against Brewer and those who support her have inevitably turned out to be baseless, Edwards and his handlers continue to orchestrate a campaign that can only be described as the political equivalent of a Chernobyl meltdown.
There is no question in my mind that the execrable tone of this election season was established and perpetuated by Bob Edwards. Barbara Brewer, who has managed to retain her integrity in the face of unremitting assault, is not even in the same hemisphere as Edwards when it comes to spewing vitriol. For him to continue to maintain otherwise can only be interpreted as hypocrisy.
Should Edwards become our mayor, by the time he is sworn in he will have made so many people in Northern Gila County distrust and detest him that it will be a miracle if he can accomplish anything for the people of Payson. That is, assuming his motives are sincere in the first place, and he even intends to serve anyone other than himself and the private interests of those who stand to gain from an Edwards/Blair victory.
Edwards is the candidate who disingenuously introduced the topic of "morality" to this election. However, the conduct of he and his sycophants these past two months has cast considerable doubt on whether he comes even close to approaching his professed ethical standards.
Mike Crowley, Payson