County executive primary certain to be entertaining

By Mike Anthony

It would appear that County Executive Charlie Dooley just can’t catch a break.

It seems that bad news for Dooley is all that’s coming out of St. Louis County government these days. Even Dooley’s re-election announcement last week was overshadowed by news of a major snowstorm facing the region. The decision to go ahead with the Dec. 5 announcement in the wake of the inclement weather was just another example of the poor judgment exercised by Dooley and his campaign handlers.

For our part, we’re excited about the Democratic primary next August when Dooley, who is seeking his third full term, will face fellow Democrat Steve Stenger, who currently represents the 6th District on the County Council.

If Dooley’s successful 2010 campaign against Republican Bill Corrigan is any indication, voters are certain to find Dooley’s re-election quest entertaining, to say the least. We certainly hope that Dooley and Stenger will square off face to face in some candidate forums.

Just consider these comments uttered by Dooley at a 2010 forum in which he and Corrigan debated issues such as a St. Louis city-county merger, trash districts and crime.

At one point, Dooley went after Corrigan for frequently referencing and holding up his economic development, tax reform and ethics plans when answering questions.

“Let’s be clear. Leadership means making difficult decisions in difficult times … not holding up a piece of paper, talking about what you think you have on paper, which you have absolutely nothing,” Dooley said. “If you had something on paper that was meaningful, you’d be a swami.

“We’re talking about real issues that impact people’s lives. And it’s insulting that every time you speak, you’ve got some four-point plan, six-point plan, eight-point plan that’s not real, it’s a fabrication in your own mind.”

“I’ve been called a lot of things in life,” Corrigan quipped in response, “but never a swami before.”

During the 2010 race against Corrigan, Dooley referred to himself as “Triple-A Charlie” in his campaign ads, citing the county’s AAA bond rating. Because that AAA rating recently was downgraded to AA+, we guess he’ll just have to call himself “AA-plus Charlie” now.

Yes, as we said, the Democratic primary for the county executive’s seat should prove to be extremely entertaining.