The most famous political aphorism of 2004 was "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
Now it seems Judy Krueger, Ward 3 city council candidate, is channelling Senator John Kerry. She is trying to deny that she is opposed to Wal-Mart and is backing away from the extremist stance of the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development, of which she is a member.
In today's Lewiston Tribune, Krueger is quoted as saying that the proposed Wal-Mart location is unsuitable because it lies in between two quiet residential neighborhoods and that she wants to attract retail businesses to Pullman, but in a planned way that avoids sprawl. In other words, "I don't like the idea of Wal-Mart and the only place in town it can be located doesn't work, but other than that, I'm not condemning Wal-Mart." This is what is called a "non-denial denial." She has made similar statements to the Triubune and the Daily News previously. I guess she is learning to become a politician.
Besides the fact that the proposed Wal-Mart location is on the extreme southern edge of town in the middle of a wheat field, not "in between two quiet residential neighborhoods," anyone can clearly see that what Krueger is claiming is disingenuous. Of course she is against Wal-Mart. Ms. Krueger is self-admittedly a board member of the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development which is currently pursuing legal action to STOP Wal-Mart, not have it "relocated" (to where, Almota?). Judy Krueger wrote the letter from PARD to Mayor Johnson requesting a "public meeting" about Wal-Mart. PARD has discussed that the denial of this meeting could be the basis for a future law suit against the city.
Active PARD members are involved in her campaign and are writing letters to the editor in support of Krueger. Just look above at what was on the middle of the PARD table at the National Lentil Festival (in between the "Say No to Wal-Mart" and "One Wal-Mart is Enough" signs, oh brother). Why not just come out and admit it rather than saying she doesn't "really want to get hung up on it"? It's the whole reason she is running fo the council, just as Wal-Mart foes are doing over in Stanwood, WA.
As the writer Douglas Adams put it: "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."
Only a Lewiston reporter could claim that "none of the candidates opposed or supported the Wal-Mart outright." I think everyone in Pullman knows the Ward 3 council race is essentially a referendum on Wal-Mart. Ann Heath said in last Saturday's Daily News that Wal-Mart was "consistent with the city's comprehensive plan", while Judy Krueger said Wal-Mart was the "antithesis of smart growth." How much more outright do politicians get? Are these ostriches or news reporters? I love how our local media takes everything at face value, without any challenge or investigation. Wher have you gone, Woodward and Bernstein?
If Judy Krueger had polled 52% of the vote last night versus 39%, you can bet the media would be playing up the Wal-Mart aspect ("Residents Overwhelmingly Express Opposition to Wal-Mart") instead of printing the pablum about Krueger.
Of course, Judy Krueger only got 39% of the vote, and that is why she is desperately saying anything she can to revive her DOA campaign.