Monday, October 15, 2012

Republicans and cities: The sequel

The blogosphere has been buzzing over the "Republicans to cities: Drop Dead" theme that I wrote about last week in "Republicans and cities: Ill-starred romance?"

Curtis Johnson, president of the Citistates Group and former policy adviser and chief of staff to a Republican governor (OK, it was Minnesota), took up the topic for, in "A presidential proposition."

In it, he wishes he heard candidates talking about the importance of cities and metro regions to the national economy. "Metros host the nation’s treasure of cultural and recreational amenities. They are undeniably the economic engines that power ongoing (if a bit fragile today) prosperity of the whole country," he writes. Yet neither party is giving the full-throated support for urban areas that Johnson would like. He quips that a (Republican) friend "says ruefully that the Democrats don’t have very good answers, but the Republicans don’t even understand the questions."

And, he writes, "Having spent several years of my life working for a Republican governor, I cringe to see the way sensible economics has been chained up, locked out and hooted over by the reigning ideology of today’s leading Republicans."

Over at Next American City, Harry Moroz takes a more contrarian position, in ("The GOP really does have an urban agenda.") After offering some interesting charts showing which voters think city and suburban areas need more spending, he concludes that the Republican Party's platform does, in fact, address topics of great interest to urban voters, such as education reform and mass transit. It's just that the Republicans don't think the federal government should be the one spending the money, he writes.


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