Recently, I attended the 4th Ward debate/forum held at the Jubilee Center. As the evening progressed, I became more and more confused. It seems that Michael Lenz is running against everyone but Tim Occhipinti. Furthermore, it became quite clear that he sees anyone who didn’t vote for or support the Zimmer/Lenz team in the mayoral election as either corrupt, a criminal, or simply looking to line their pockets from the city coffers. When you consider that they lost that election, the implication is that the majority of voters must be corrupt. When I read some of the blogs, I was amused to see how they were spinning the results to favor Mr. Lenz. How convenient was it that so many questions asked fell into Lenz’ s daily talking points? One might think that perhaps people were instructed to ask specific questions. In fact, the one question I asked (via index card), asking him to clarify if he felt that everyone who voted against them was corrupt, never made it to the table. Is it also coincidence that so much of what we heard from Mr. Lenz that evening can also be heard, almost word for word, in his 2008 TV interview with Pat O’Melia? Seems like scripted answers to me.
Finally, as if Lenz’s obvious assault on 4th Ward voters supporting Tim Occhipinti wasn’t bad enough, one of the moderators ends the evening by thanking everyone for attending, “After all, we weren’t sure how many people would show up to a debate in the 4th Ward. Some people felt that we would have riots” This, my fellow 4th Warders, is how we are perceived by so many. They see us as ignorant, corrupt, parasites, which contribute nothing, and only look to feed off the establishment. They scoff at the notion that the 4th Ward has been ignored for so many years. All one has to do is but to look around and see for oneself. I haven’t felt so strongly about a candidate for a long time. I see in Tim Occhipinti the ability to be a leader and an independent voice for all the people. He is an honest, hard-working, independent young man committed to doing what is right for the 4th Ward. The fact that Mr. Lenz regularly attempts to connect Tim Occhipinti to past administrations is evidence that they have no grounds to attack him directly. The old adage about throwing enough mud to see what will stick seems to be Mr. Lenz’s failing game plan. I have complete faith in Tim Occhipinti, and it is without reservation that I endorse him for 4th Ward councilperson.