Monday, August 5, 2013

Steelhead's Mayoral Elections: The Debate

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Friday August 2nd, The Steelhead community held a debate between the candidates for the upcoming mayoral election. The three people in the debate were incumbent TotalLunar Eclipse, and challengers Willow Leafstorm (Zoelass Resident) and Jobias Barthelmess. Besides being the incumbent, Lunar is known as the steampunk-themed area's top builder. Willow is one of the Nevermoor sim's leading residents and the owner of the Green Fairy Cabaret. Jobias is most noted for his rivalry with Steelhead's popular sheriff and his poor reputation in the community. Jobia's supposed opinions of nonhumans has brought some additional attention to Lunar being elven, and Willow a fae.

The campaign for mayor came to be because Lunar had made a bet with Jimmy Branagh, one of the local youngsters or "scamps," that if the street urchin won a sumo wrestling match against him, he'd make him honorary mayor for a week. Jimmy won, and Lunar lived up to his word. But as it turned out, Jimmy couldn't just hand back the position. A technicality in Steelhead's laws meant Lunar would have to be reelected to get his job back, and this meant elections. Three people turned in applications in time, Lunar, Willow, and Jobias, whose names were announced in the weekly town meeting on Tuesday July 29th.

The debates began at 6PM in one of the public buildings. Interim mayor Jimmy Branagh was the conductor for the debates and fielded the questions to the candidates. "Good evening ladies an' gennillmin," Jimmy began the event, "Oy'm Jimmy Branagh, currently Mayor of Steelhead, an' Oy welcome you to th' Steelhead Mayoral debate between three candidates - Jobias Barthelmess, Willow Leafstorm, and Total Lunar Eclipse." After he paused for a few cheers from the audience, "Rules will be few faw these debates - no cat-callin', no throwin' of fruit, vegetables or other throwable object's until th' end, an' no knoives aw foirearms will be permitted until off th' premises. Th' audience is, however, free ta comment on th' answers as they occur." Garnet Psaltery whispered, "Note that we can throw things at the end."

Jimmy continued, "Oy will ask th' candidates each a question in turn, an' the toime they 'ave ta answer is totally at moy dis'kreshun. Ifn they gets long winded Oy'll cut 'em off." "Harsh," Garnet commented. "Yah," Myrtil Igaly responded, "but we might fall asleep otherwise." Jimmy went on, "Audience members may submit questions they wanna ask doirectly to me via Aethereal Instant Messaging, a'n Oy'll ask em ifn they're any good." "Ooooh censoring," Myrtil commented. Jimmy gave her a sneer.

Jimmy then turned his attention to the candidates with the first question, "Woy is there no official worm farm in Steelhead, considerin' awl the water around faw fishin in, an' wot will ya do ta remedy th' situation as Mayor?" After a pause, "Awlroight then, first question goes to Miss Leafstorm." Willow took a moment to consider the question, then answered, "If the people want a worm farm, then we should see about get an interested individual to open a worm farm to sell bait and tackle for fishing. But I believe we can set up some Seven Seas booths and make some money for Steelhead in the process." "Mr. Lunar," Jimmy told the elf, "same question." Lunar responded, "I've already set up 7 Seas booths with very extremely limited success on the selling of said worms. Though I do propose bringing back the turkeys to find the worms so we can harvest them as needed."

Jimmy then turned to the man in the black hat, "Mr. Barthelmess?" Jobias gruffly answered, "I believe you should check with your 'Marshal.' He may have worms. Fleas and ticks as well." Although it was known Jobias is on poor terms with Steelhead's Sherrif Fuzzball Ortega, who is a known werewolf, this response got several gasps and a number of stares from the audience. Lunar looked over and shook his head. Jimmy continued, "But, what would YOU do concernin' the issue?" Jobias thought for a moment, then, "Ah, well, probably dig up some undesirable location for worm farming," he paused, then, "(The) Marshal's house, as an example." Thadicus Caligari commented at the remark, "Always one rat in the party."

Jimmy then went to the second question, "What is your opinion of popcorn-creating wands, and why are they not available yet?" Lunar answered, "Popcorn creation requires quite a bit of heat I am told along with corn. As we get closer to the harvest season we will see a decrease in corn prices and increase in production so I could put my best scientist, Tensai, to creating said wands." He paused before finshing his response, "As for it not being created yet, I did not know there was such a need." Jimmy then turned to Jobias, "Mr. Barthelmess, your opinion?" The mustached man answered, "Ah, well that one......I won't blame on the Marshal. ..... rather, on the poor example of builders and scripters in Steelhead. If elected, I'll see to it that everyone has lessons from professionals." Jimmy asked, "Would these be wit'out charge, Mr. Barthelmess? Or subsidoized by taxpayin' people?" Jobias answered, "Not much would Babbage charge for giving Steelhead lessons?" Lunar responded with a loud snort. Garnet commented, "Several pints of sour milk at least."

Jimmy then turned to the third candidate, "Miss Willow, your opinion?" Willow answered, "I wasn't aware of the need for popcorn making wands. And doing a search in the marketplace I do not see any there as well. However, if such need arises one of our inventors or mad scientists could create one. We do have a popcorn making machine at the theater. I do not doubt the creative abilities of our fine citizens in Steelhead unlike Mr. Brothelmess." The comment was followed by a few snickers from the audience. Jobias harumphed, then remarked, " I the only human here?" The question got a few smirks and stares from the audience of elves, fae, nekoes, furs, Jagers, and some humans, with one whispering, "It's been a while since we have tarred and feathered anyone in Steelhead." Willow commented, "You're are surrounded by us non-humans, Bottomless." Myrtil made a comment about, "name-calling going on as it should in any good debate!"

Jimmy went to the next question, "Awlroight then, some serious answers foaw a serious issue. We need more hoy-falutin' landed gentry in Steelhead ta soak up the real estate. Ifn elected Mayor, whaddle ya do? Mr. Barthelmess, th' next question is yours." Jobias promptly answered, "Industry, that is the key. Steelhead needs lots of factories, and a willingness to have these built. Again, I point you to New Babbage and how their great factories make New Babbage what it is." Garnet commented, "Corpses do not count."

Jimmy turned to the next challenger, "Miss Willow, same question." Willow answered, "I have many great ideas for the community to help improve things and bring in more residence into Steelhead and possibly help expand Steelhead into an 8th sim. We need to have greater community involvement from the community. To begin with, I would like to see official greeters here in Steelhead through a program of resident volunteers that greet visitors and assist newcomers that arrive into Steelhead. The major focus would be on Steelhead City, Shanghai and Nevermoor. Next, I would like to see other volunteer positions created and filled by our residents. This would also include having Ambassadorial representatives from each region to provide equal representation in Steelhead matters. We need to reach outside of our borders to bring more people here to attend our events, shop in our stores and finally rent land and settle here as residents. Finally, but not least we need to organize a clean up of our skies of all the loose prims out there."

Jimmy commented, "Whoa, a fast talker!" From the audience, Garnet added, "Nice answer, Willow." Willow answered, "I had prepared notes." Lumina Elvehjem added, " would like to state that the Thursday gig at Prop spinners is attended almost completely by non Steelhead residents." "Hy vuz dere last night," Mamma Gkika stated. "And we appreciate your presence, Mamma," Thad told her. "Yea we geta sprinkle 'o Steelheaders," Lumina commented, "but other 'n Thad 'n me... it's all folks from elsewhere. It's not a problem... It's just interesting."

Jimmy turned to the incumbent, "Mr. Lunar, same question." Lunar answered, "Steelhead was founded on the principle of it being a place people are proud to call home. We have parks, areas of interest, historical recreations, we should advertise those points of interest. We should also not stay within the boundaries of 'Steampunk and Victorian' as our other sister cities in the Steamlands. We are American, Industrial Revolution era, each sim has its own theme, draw and we could expand our advertising to those points of interest, instead of recycling Steamlanders from the same group." "Fresh meat!" Lumina from the audience commented, which brought a grin from Lunar.

Jimmy continued, "The next question is faw Miss Willow." He then read the question, "Wot's your position on puttin' the growin' population of shiftless mammynackered scamps ta work instead of lettin' 'em run around gettin' stuff faw free awl the toime?" That question got a few curious looks from the audience, "That sounds like Jobias' ally." Willow answered, "I think we are handling the situation well by providing them with an education and maybe eventually offereing them training at some point into a profession of their own choosing. The youth are the backbone of our future." Jimmy then turned to Lunar, "Mr. Lunar, same question." Lunar answered, "We have programs set for the scamps to receive education as well as educational field trips. I would like to see more vendors offer work study programs for the scamps such as newsies where they could learn different trade as well as keeping out of Tensai's stash of explosives." The last line got a few coughs and snickers.

Jimmy then turned to the man in black, "And Mr. Barthelmess, your answer?" Jobias cleared his throat, "Yes, well. Everyone in Steelhead needs to earn a living. Education is all fine, but if the 'scamps' want something they should work for it. Factories are a good place. Reopening the mine is another option. Letting them run around unattended and being disrespectful is uncalled for. This past winter, for example, I was bombarded by yellow snowballs by......" Jobias pause, and looked at Jimmy, "Wait a minute……….YOU!" Jimmy spoke up, "Careful Mr. Barthelmess ... Are you sure?" Jimmy grinned, putting his hand a little closer to the pistol at his table. The response from the audience was a mix of nervous looks at grins. Jobias responded, "I never forget a face......and that was NOT lemon flavored!" Lunar blinked and Willow laughed. Lumina commented, "Score one for the brats." Thad added, "He is lucky there weren't rocks in the core."

Jimmy then went on, "Next question is for Mr. Lunar. What is your position on Nuns with Guns, and how do you support them?" From the audience Lumina joked, "By helping them kick their habits." That got a chuckle from Jimmy. Lunar answered, "Hm, simple. I created the group when the sisters of the Magdeline order wished to get involved in the security of Steelhead. We have two full time members of the order living around the town, their usefulness in times of crisis with snipers and direct combat is quite amazing.  Oh yes, and they are nuns, so they pray for our sins and sims. .. I'm done." Lumina commented "Is good for someone to prey for our sims."

Jimmy then looked to Jobias, "Now Mr. ... ummm ... you." The moustached man answered, "Yes.....well....that's all well and good. But, I feel a change is made in regards to Steelhead's law enforcement. So, I'll be replacing all involved in law enforcment. And the Sisters can continue praying for *your* sins." Jimmy responded, "Oy'm also the Deputy Marshal, sir. You'll be replacin' me?" That got a few chuckles from the audience. Jobias answered, "Yes, even you. You'll be too busy in the mines or factories." Jimmy's response, "I see … "

Jimmy turned to Willow, "Miss Leafstorm same question!" Willow answered, "I don't mind nuns with guns, but acid trippers with wood chippers is definately a bad move. As long the nuns treat everyone with dignity and fairness they cab coexist with the rest of Steelhead. We never know when we would have to fend off a full scale invasion and having them handy ensures our protection. Of course the only solution Mr. Bathtubmess offers is probably to replace our own trained law enforcement with his select henchmen, I presume." The audience made a few jokes about "bishops with bazookas" and "monks with skunks," prompting Willow to remark, "Now that is getting too silly."

Jimmy continued, "And one last formal question for awl - What do you feel should be the official stance of Steelhead towards the other Steampunk regions, in general? Start with Miss Leafstorm, and down the line." Willow answered, "We should extend our hand in friendship. We have many dual citizens in Steelhead and I see having more in the forseeable future. By extending a welcoming hand we also have guests that pend their Lindens in our shops and visit our events and clubs." Jimmy turned to the incumbent, "Mr. Lunar?" Lunar answered, "We are already friends with Caledon and Babbage, I would suggest sending our Ambassadors to the other steamlands beyond that." Jimmy turned to the other challenger, "And lastly - Mr. Barthelmess." Jobias answered simply, "We should learn from them. New Babbage especially."

Jimmy was getting close to the end, "Awlright, so ends the questioning. Now, each candidate may make a final statement. Please keep it brief, an' lemme know when you're finished. Miss Leafstorm first." Willow made a long statement, "I know I haven't been here as long as many of you, but in the nearly two years that I regularly attended meetings and now have over 1 1/2 years of actual residence in Nevermoor I think I have proven that I am dedicated to Steelhead City. In May of 2012, I even opened up the Green Fairy Cabaret in Nevermoor to serve the community. I have hosted and DJed Steelhead dances for the community and have shown that I am also reliable and responsible in my duties as a DJ and business owner. Of course, Lunar is really one of the best people for the job. However, it is really a big job and he has enough on his plate building and handling the business end of things. If I am elected I can take care of the other civic duties as Mayor such as attending local events and other events in other communities as an official representative of Steelhead. Running one of the establishments here has provided much PR for Steelhead and I am one of the faces that many first see here in Steelhead. Why am I then running is the question being asked? I realize I do have little chance of getting elected against the popularity of such a worthy candidate as The Great Elf himself, Lunar Eclipse. How else can I serve Steelhead and have my ideas implemented to help Steelhead grow? How can the voice of one small fairy be heard over the din of others and be taken seriously? The only way is to stand here before you all and ask that you vote for Willow Leafstorm as Mayor of Steelhead. When you go mark that ballot I want you to remember "ich bin ein Steelheader." I am a Steelheader!" The statement got both applause and a couple snickers, referring to Kenendy's "I am a jelly donut" mistranslated quote.

Jimmy then turned to Jobias, "And next, Mr. Barthelmess." The man in the black hat spoke, "I understand that I am the most popular. Seems many have not forgiven me for that little incident with your marshal and a silver bullet……" the then corrected himself, "I am NOT the most popular." There were a few chuckles from the audience, Thad saying, "Not is understated," Lumina adding, "half point for stating the obvious." Jobias continued, "But, where was I? Oh, yea, Not the most popular.....However, we have seen plenty of riff raff and undesirables come into Steelhead." Someone shouted from outside the building, "You're one of them." The candidate continued, "But ....... hmmph. ...... If elected, I will drive the undesirables out and create a new Steelhead. Remember, a vote for Barthelmess is a Vote for Humanity." Lunar stared at him for a moment, shaking his head. Thad grinned, "I would make a military arrest of you if I had the chance." Lumina openly wondered what Jobias meant by "riff raffia and undesirables," then remarking, "I love it, his closing statement is 'I'm not popular."

"Well then …" Jimmy then turned to the incumbent, "Mr. Lunar, please." Lunar spoke, "Steelhead is one of the greatest assets I have ever come to steward. We have gone through much together, highs and lows and coming closer to seven years. I can tell you it is still one of the most precious things I hold dear, not for the builds but for her people. I would be honored to maintain stewardship of her, to keep going, to keep growing. The ideas stated here, except those by Jobias, I am taking to heart and will pursue to keep this city running." The statement was greeted with applause and cheers. Jobias asked, "Not even the putting scamps to work in mines?" He was answered with boos, Mamam Gkika remarking, "Hy tink de non hoomanz hef hyu out numbered und gunned, Herr Battlemass." Lumina called out, "Even our humans don't like ya much!" Lunar remarked, "I caved in the mines so we didn't have scamps working down there."

Jimmy then called out, "Awlroight then, one time, applause fawn awl the candidates?" The place then erupted in claps and cheers. After about a minute, Jimmy thanked the crowd, "Thanks to ya awl faw participating!" Lunar smiled, "And we have enough time to head to the dance." "Thanks faw 'avin me as interim Mayor awl!" "Thank you Jimmy." Jobias stepped down from the podium, "Ah, then I shall take my leave before the tar and feathers come out." "I believe that is for the best Jobias," Lunar told the man in black as he made his way to the door.

Talk then turned to the upcoming dance, mixed with reminders to vote on August 6th, "Glad to have the civics lessons, see you at the dance!"

Bixyl Shuftan

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