Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday = Tom Knox Day

I title this post a little tongue in cheek, but apparently we've hit some critical mass of concern about Tom Knox in the mayoral race, both among candidates and among journalists, and there are enough stories and new info. about him today to justify a solo post. So, here goes.
  • The Inquirer leads off with a story about a Maryland healthcare firm run by Knox that got into trouble for hiring a crook to oversee their legal compliance. He may have been giving a friend a second chance, but it was in violation of federal law regarding such matters. A number of lesser (but common) violations by the firm are also noted here, and given more play in a Daily News article that notes the record fines paid by Knox's firm for its misleading statements, lapsed licenses, and other violations. Knox points out that most of these errors were not his directly, but it raises questions about his ability to bring reform from the top.

  • Next come stories of the other candidates ramping up their attacks against the frontrunner, with Evans, Brady, and Nutter all raising questions about different aspects of Knox's qualifications. My favorite is Evans handing out empty hamburger buns with the question, "Where's the beef?" heh. More on the new feistiness here.

  • The Daily News takes a closer look at Knox's claims to be an outsider and finds them a bit wobbly, noting his large contributions to local power figures, his previous contemplation of a mayoral run with insider backing, and some business dealings that benefitted from his connections. They even note that a previous stint as "state-appointed rehabilitator" of an insurance firm ended with his dismissal for an investment judged to be a conflict of interest. Oops!

  • Somehow anticipating today's theme, AAJane posts an impressive research piece on Knox's business involvements. She finds several of the indelicacies mentioned above and a number of other strange and/or questionable actions and broken promises.

  • Dan at YPP looks at the accumulating evidence from Knox's record and finds much to worry about.

  • Less concerned than the other commentators, John Baer looks at Knox as a phenomenon, suggesting that his surprise lead over the "connected" candidates speaks less to bulk advertising than to a real desire among residents for change. There's certainly plenty of that, but it's good for people to know what kind of change they're getting.


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