Nobody, and I mean nobody around me predicted that the 2006 Mayoral race in Hamilton would see Larry Di Ianni go down to defeat to Fred Eisenberger. I was so confident, so sure of Di Ianni sweeping back into office, that I only prepared one cartoon to run on the front page of the day after the vote Hamilton Spectator. I thought I’d mark the re-election of Larry Di Ianni by referencing his miraculous recovery after pleading guilty to 6 charges regarding illegal campaign finances in his 2003 campaign — how all the king’s horses and all the king’s men managed to put Di Ianni back together again.
Well, you can’t mess with the storylines of nursery rhymes it seems. The above cartoon was to be the sequel to one I did in March when things didn’t look all that well for Di Ianni after city council voted to charge the him for violating the Municipal Elections Act. The charges probably would not have been made were it not for the dogged persistence of citizen Joanna Chapman. Next to Eisenberger, she could be considered a big victor in the aftermath of the vote.
Another winner in this race is the notion that you do not need to have the biggest campaign donation warchest in order to win the mayoralty in Hamilton. Fred Eisenberger only accepted campaign contributions from individuals because, he thinks big money shouldn’t have a place in the electoral process. Turns out it was the principled stance to take against Di Ianni’s acceptance of corporate and union donations.
The people have spoken, and I blew a whole day on a cartoon that’ll never get printed. Oh well, lesson learned.