"If Lavelle wins, you might as well put Udin's name on the door."
... Tonya Payne, CP, Chris Young
To call my candidacy "an act of revenge" completely ignores the hardships facing the people of District 6. They're not interested in Ms. Payne's personal feuds, her paranoia or her fascination with "power."
... Robert Daniel Lavelle, P-G Letters
In a previous post about an RFP release party, I may have unintentionally left the impression that the meat of the feud between the Payne camp and the Lavelle camp has to do chiefly with disagreement over the Isle of Capri casino project. That's really only one flash point.
The crux of the issue seems to stem from Payne's electoral defeat of her former employer, Councilman Sala Udin, and whether A) Udin's minions have been irreconcilably intent to hound her off the edge of the earth ever since, or B) Payne is simply profoundly paranoid and in some respects an unskilled politician.
This was most famously addressed at the culmination of a controversy about a historic designation bill for the childhood home of August Wilson -- a bill which went missing in Councilwoman Payne's office for so long, despite numerous inquiries, that it may have legally expired. (P-G; 1, 2 , 3, 4, 5)
The greatest playwright of the 20th century was involved, so the Law Deptartment and City Council found excuses to approve the thing anyway. Payne apologized profusely -- in a manner of speaking:
It started off as a tardy but totally classy apology -- then veered into condescension and passive aggression -- swerved around to a legitimate-sounding claim of undue persecution -- shifted bizarrely into what sounded like a completely off-topic attack on Sala Udin for making her commit the mistake and an accusation of his "hurting the District" in so doing -- and finally straightened back out into an apology.
Make what you will of all that, but it does seem like Payne has an uncommon number of "adversaries" -- Udin, Lavelle, Jake Wheatley, Joe Preston, Kimberly Ellis, Paul Ellis, Marimba Milliones -- and these are only the ones I know about.
For his part, Lavelle is doing the best he can to build a substantive phalanx of criticism of Tonya Payne's leadership that has as little to do with politics as possible (see "The Record" and "Top 10 Mistakes"), while Payne is putting forward her own story through the novel "The Tonya I Know" video series on her campaign website. Here's an example: