It is time for our long-serving mayor, Mike Haggar, to run for reelection. And sadly, once again, Haggar is running unopposed. While it is normally our policy to forgo endorsements for uncontested races, we feel we would be derelict in our duties if we did not speak out against the mayor.

Haggar, a former wrestler and self-described “Champion Street Fighter,” was first elected in in 1989. He ran on a platform of cleaning up the city and reducing gang violence, touting himself an “expert” at the “backdrop” and the “pile driver.” How this particular skill set would serve him in an official capacity was never elaborated on during that first campaign.

Soon after Haggar took office, members of the Mad Gear gang kidnapped Haggar’s daughter, Jessica. Rather than contacting his chief of police, Haggar enlisted the help of Jessica’s boyfriend, Cody Travers, and a friend of Travers’s only ever identified as “Guy.” They proceeded to wage a three-man war against the gang, fighting their way across the city, mostly using their bare fists, but sometimes wielding knives, iron pipes, and the occasional katana blade.

Another question we have for the mayor is, why are there so many discarded barrels on the streets of Metro City?

While many praised Haggar’s hands-on approach, this paper thought it irresponsible for a mayor to take to the city and engage street toughs in this way. It would have been far more prudent to involve our taxpayer-funded law enforcement agencies than to deputize two unknown vigilantes to assist the mayor on a journey that can only be described as reckless thrill-seeking.

It has also been reported that the trio pocketed thousands of dollars worth of jewelry taken off of defeated gang members including gold watches, diamonds, rubies, opals, pearls, emeralds, and—for some reason—monogrammed napkins.   Furthermore, eyewitnesses reported seeing all three fighters drinking whiskey and beer during the skirmish.

Haggar does not deny this, and claims the alcohol was used to “power up.”

Some degree of collateral property damage is to be expected in any action such as this. But the amount of wanton destruction of both public and private property carried out by Haggar and his men was utterly unacceptable. At one point Haggar ripped a phone booth from its wiring, lifted it over his head, and threw it at gang member Graham Oriber and killing him instantly. This sort of violent behavior in a mayor ought to alarm a population, yet Haggar emerged from this conflict more popular than ever.

Much of Haggar’s behavior during this event was puzzling. After exiting a west-side subway station, Haggar stopped at a convince store before reengaging gang members. He then proceeded to vandalize a parked car with an iron pipe. Though this happened amid his hostilities with the gang, it appeared to be unrelated. However, since the car was of a foreign make, the city’s large UAW constituencies were quick to excuse the incident.

Amazingly there was similar apathy when just a few hours later, Haggar entered a UAW windshield factory in the city’s industrial district and broke 13 panes of glass. It’s important to note that the factory was not occupied by gang members at that time.

This fateful day early in Haggar’s administration culminated in a confrontation between Haggar and Robert Belger, the wheelchair-bound leader of the Mad Gear gang. It is fair to say that Belger is a criminal and that he deserves incarceration at the very least. But we are ashamed to be counted among a population that would laud a man for performing a piledriver on a disabled person.

Haggar should have been removed from office for these actions. Instead, he was elected to an unprecedented seven terms. And Haggar has had to do very little for the people’s unqualified affection. He was actually away from the city during his first reelection in 1993. Instead of running council meetings and campaigning on issues, Haggar was in Japan offering his vigilante services to another kidnapping victim. And when Haggar finally returned to Metro City, we had been overrun by the Skull Cross gang, who had filled the void of the Mad Gear gang during Haggar’s absence.

We shan’t relive this occasion as well, but needless to say, Haggar dealt with this in the same irresponsible way.

Now approaching his 75th birthday, Haggar is seeking an eight-term as mayor. In the three decades that Haggar has been fighting cyclical gang violence, nothing has improved in Metro City.

Under Haggar’s leadership, the gentrification of the Slum neighborhood never got off the ground. One easy fix would be a simple rebranding. After all, it is hard to improve a neighborhood that is literally called “Slum.” Haggar maintains that renaming Slum would dishonor the memory of city patron Walter Leigh Slum. But, anyone can see that businesses are timid to open a Slum location.

Another question we have for the mayor is, why are there so many discarded barrels on the streets of Metro City? In every neighborhood across town, one cannot walk down the sidewalk without coming across several wooden barrels, oil drums, and the odd stack of loose tires. Even the tony Uptown neighborhood is riddled with drum cans and wooden shipping containers.

There is also far too much litter. This is something all large cities deal with. But in Metro City, it is not uncommon to find discarded pizzas, whole chickens, or curry dinners. Whenever someone complains about this to Haggar, he simply shrugs. This is not surprising, as he is known to eat a steak or a pineapple that he finds on the ground. An eerily large number of hammers and lead pipes also clutter the streets. More distressing than this is the occasional functioning hand grenade. We at the Gazette take no comfort in the mayor’s assurance that many are duds.

For these reasons, we cannot endorse Mike Haggar. Given his popularity in this city, we expect many of our readers will be displeased with us, but we hope you will consider our words carefully.

We also wish to preemptively condemn any acts of violence the mayor might take against our editorial staff.