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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Poor Paula

The Gainesville Sun's endorsement of Republican Mark Minck over Republican-turned-Democrat Paula DeLaney for Alachua County Commission shows just how tilted against growth management a candidate must be to get The Sun's endorsement.

DeLaney, if you don't already know, was a Gainesville city commissioner for two terms and the town's first elected mayor, a post she had for one term. She was defeated in 2001 when environmentalist Tom Bussing defeated DeLaney in her mayoral re-election bid.

As a daily reader of The Sun and as a reporter who covered the City Commission the entire nine years that DeLaney was in office, I can't recall The Sun singing anything but praises for DeLaney's commitment to economic development.

In this county, when a candidate professes such a commitment, it is code language for opposing strong growth management regulations or any government action that the real estate community does not want. People who make money from growth want growth to happen in as many places as possible, as fast as possible, and with as much taxpayer subsidization of growth as they can wrangle.

Minck is a newcomer to politics, but he has learned the code phrases well. And at least in terms of his campaign promises, he is even less concerned with managing growth than DeLaney. For Minck, it's growth growth growth, tree huggers be damned.

But they are both clearcut from the same cloth. You can count on the winner voting against the environment on a regular basis.


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