Following up on Clark’s post about the St. Louis Young Dems, I want to briefly put in context why I take such stuff so seriously.  Sylvester Brown Jr. has a column today that describes how Slay handled the rumors that License Collector Mike McMillan would run for mayor.  According to the story, Slay hired a Chicago public relations firm that specializes in “highlighting opponents’ weaknesses” and began making “carefully-worded” threatening calls to urge supporters not to attend McMillan’s annual fundraiser.

In regards to the calls to his supporters, McMillan said:

“These were people who have business connections with City Hall,” said McMillan. “They all said they were very afraid of losing business or relationships with the city. The language used was careful, but they all said they felt threatened.”

and also:

“I said nothing about running,” McMillan said. “The mayor’s behavior – the way he handled the (former fire chief) Sherman George situation, his work with the public schools and his inability to heal the city’s racial divide – those are just some of the acts that instigated conversations about my ability to challenge him in this race.”

And after McMillan said he couldn’t endorse Slay after what he had seen, we get this:

A few hours after hanging up with the mayor, McMillan said, he received calls from staff members from the Board of Aldermen and other public agencies about a Chicago firm seeking information about him.

Really, you need to read the whole column (it’s funny in addition to being damming).  But the behavior of the Young Dems under the guidance of Slay’s campaign can be seen as part of a larger picture of incredibly corrupt politics.  Scandals and corruption can take the Democratic Party down, especially with a media that loves GOP Daddies, which is why we need to fight it whenever we see it.  We can’t condone up-and-coming Democrats learning this style of politics, even if they are only taking “baby steps” in that direction.  And we can’t continue to support a mayor who thinks of power as the only end in itself, and puts all ethics aside for the sake of getting his way.