Chamber, Council Members Back
Revelations published by The New York Times, exposing the dark side of longtime city councilman Ken Bukowski have generated a heavy wake, amusing and shaming residents while lashing an insular political elite that has stood by Mr. Bukowski through thick and thin.
Mr. Bukowski's admission to using methamphetamine during his tenure as both city councilman and mayor is a shock to many. It's less astonishing to those who have witnessed Mr. Bukowski nodding off during council and committee meetings, or to recipients of one of dozens of rambling typo filled e-mails featuring a predawn time-stamp.
|Ken likes to inject his meth rather than smoke it|
according to his niece's public testimony
The real surprise is focused on Mr. Bukowski's council colleagues and financial backers at the Emeryville Chamber of Commerce. Both groups have willfully ignored, if not enabled Mr. Bukowski's downward spiral as long as it suits their purposes. After all, there's more comfort in applauding and rewarding a vulnerable man's unyielding political fealty than to help him regain control of his life and integrity. As what seemed to outsiders as an occasional bump escalated to what may have been routine dependence over the years, endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce and councilwomen Nora Davis and Ruth Atkin grew stronger and more effusive. The Chamber has even upped it's commitment to Mr. Bukowski's various re-election campaigns through its political action committee, EMPAC.
|The Chamber loves Ken|
Which begs the central question here: Are Mr. Bukowski's votes ideologically driven, or have certain powerful forces aware of his personal and financial misfortunes able to influence Mr. Bukowski's votes by threatening to release certain information?
An examination of Mr. Bukowski's lengthy voting record shows that only over the last seven or eight years has he become a reliable Chamber lap dog.
During recent campaigns, the Chamber has spared no adjective praising Mr. Bukowski in mailers and its newsletter---perhaps rewards for being a dependable vote.
|So did |
Residents should be forgiven for wondering aloud what other elements of our elected official's private lives aren't exactly secret from powerful forces that could be leveraging that information into favorable public policy.