LONSBERRY: Hell No, Lovely Warren Shouldn't Be Re-Elected


 Hell no, Lovely Warren shouldn’t be re-elected.

               She’s arguably the worst mayor in Rochester history, and undeniably the worst mayor of the city’s modern era.

               In her seven years in office, every socioeconomic indicator in her community has gone down. Nothing is better and everything is worse.

               More poverty, more crime, fewer opportunities for people of color. An empty downtown, bloody streets, vacant storefronts. Every time they make a list of woe and weakness, Rochester comes out near the top.

               That’s Lovely Warren’s Rochester.

               And it’s not because of racism or misogyny or the devil or the police or any other excuse she likes to throw out. It’s because of her.

               Her administration has been a core of incompetence encircled by a ring of cronyism. She has governed under the friends-and-family plan. The city government has been turned into a benefits system for those personally and politically close to her.

               And, unfortunately, the trend has only gotten worse.

               Stumbling out of the box, we had the saga of lead-foot Uncle Reggie demonstrating early what would become the Warren Administration’s theme: The law doesn’t apply to us.

               And the subplot was dishonesty, as the mayor clearly lied about her knowledge of those events. That tendency to go truth-optional has been a recurring problem, manifesting itself most astoundingly in the mayor’s cover-up of the death of Daniel Prude.

               And “cover-up” isn’t my phrase – those are the words of former Mayor Bill Johnson.

               And they are the undeniable conclusion of a City Council investigation that produced convincing evidence that the mayor not only concealed the death for months, she and her staff tried to pressure the police chief to lie about that concealment, specifically to make the mayor look good.

               The biggest issue facing her city in years, the one that caused the most upset and concern, and she was the bad guy. She was the one who concealed and distorted.

               And she is the one who has, facing a tough primary challenge, played the only two cards she’s holding – racism and cop hating. Any question of her is a reminder of slavery and Jim Crow, any challenge to her authority is an assault on all black women, she claims that God talks to her and guides her every political move, and when the crowd called for the defunding of the police, she did.

               While people are dying at a record rate.

               While the department she has directed for seven years is so understaffed that officers are routinely mandated to work successive days of double shifts – sixteen hours, over and over and over again – and calls for service stack up unanswered because there simply aren’t officers available to answer them.

               This is Lovely’s police department. It has danced to her tune for almost eight years.

               And it – and she – are incapable of protecting Rochester from this surge of deadly violence.

               And don’t forget that she is also under indictment in one criminal matter and under investigation in another. Her campaign finances were run like a piggy bank and state and local officials have called her on it, and her husband was apparently running drugs right under her nose. An illegal gun charged to him was found in her bedroom, and their daughter was in the front seat of her car while he was in the back seat allegedly transacting a big-money cocaine deal.

               Her voice is on his phone and the feds and the locals are unraveling who’s going to look into it.

               And when the troopers had her husband in handcuffs and her little girl was home alone with police all around, Lovely Warren sent her city driver in a city vehicle to pick her up. She didn’t go herself – she was avoiding the troopers then and has avoided them since – she sent a city employee.

               Lovely Warren had promise. She was a daughter of the 19thWard, a local girl made good. An example of what you can do when you put your mind to it. But she never lived up to that promise, and she never shined forth that example. She just stumbled from screw up to screw up, relying ever more on sycophants and claims of racism.

               But the law is about to catch up to her.

               And so is the electorate.

               Hell no, Lovely Warren shouldn’t be re-elected.

               Rochester can’t survive another four years of this.


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