Friday, October 1, 2010

Whither goest Johnny Protocols?

Loyal followers of Other Side, a sketchy media enterprise that is up to date on its property tax payments (not that this matters in elite circles), should recall our reporting of last year on the public pronouncements of John Richardson, Brunswick’s one-time political muckety-muck in matters of state government and Naval Air Station redevelopment.

We nicknamed him “Johnny Protocols” following a cryptic statement he made to the Brunswick Town Council in June of 2009.

Side was reminded of his once prominent role in the future of our area as we listened to the words of Senator Stan Gerzofsky at the debate sponsored by the local Chamber a few days ago.

Richardson, a four term member of the Maine Legislature who rose to the Speakership, and a recently disqualified candidate in the race for Governor, is considered by many to be an ambitious and adroit participant in political circles.  He even convinced Brunswick’s Town Council Chair, Joanne King, to be his treasurer in the recent campaign.

We are convinced that his political expertise is exceeded only by his ambition.  And hence our puzzlement over why we haven't heard from him since his forced withdrawal from the gubernatorial race.  Seems like years ago, doesn’t it?

You may have seen the report about a month ago that formal charges are being filed against a number of workers on Johnny’s campaign, Bill Moore among them.  Bill stated that he was going to get a lawyer to help him fight the charges against him, which he believes are unwarranted.

All we could think of as we read this report is that Richardson is a lawyer, and that Moore should at the very least be entitled to pro bono services from Johnny as a quid pro quo for his help in the campaign run up.  But wouldn’t you just know it; after that initial news story, there has been virtually no further reporting on the specifics of the situation.  Along with the lack of reporting on the Ostrich’s tax delinquency.

To the heart of the issue, do any among you believe that Johnny is simply going to fade away, rather than reinvent himself for future pursuits?  Do any of you believe that F. Lee Bailey moving from Massachusetts to Yarmouth, Maine will have no bearing on this situation?  If so,  we clearly don’t think alike.  But that’s what adds the spice to our daily discourse.

And another thing. If we are to believe in Johnny’s commitment to our well being, and that of Maine, we should expect his diligence in securing our prosperity.  Going back through our notes, we came across the record of his statements to the Brunswick Town Council at that joint session with the MRRA in June of last year.  He stated that he had been in personal discussions with “no less than a dozen” Fortune 500 CEO’s and COO’s regarding occupancy at the base, but that confidentiality was king in these matters.

Surely, as a dedicated ‘public servant’ of the people in this region, and given his commitment to our well-being, he would not simply have allowed those discussions to wither away with his change of roles. 

Surely, he would not have deprived us of the benefit of his personal contributions to these discussions, and the influence he brought to them.  Surely he would do everything in his power to see that those high level negotiations would continue apace, and that our future would be secured, even if he would not get the credit.  This is the mark of a true leader.

Leaders, of course, understand that looking good is critical to doing good, and Johnny is fortunate to have the sartorial expertise of a local legend readily at hand.  In the photo below, we see him consulting with his personal haberdasher, Senator Stan Gerzofsky, former owner of a chain of men’s clothing stores.

While we could not hear the details of the conversation, we believe that Stan was telling Johnny that pinstripes look far more sincere than nubby-weave sport coats, and that facial hair adds to the aura of authority.

So from now on, expect to see us around town suitably striped, and with a full display of salt and pepper head-wear.

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