Politics gets personal -- and one doesn't have to look far to find examples. Monday's Akron Democratic Mayoral debate is a case study.
Councilman Mike Williams asked Mayor Don Plusquellic about travel reimbursement for non-city employees accompanying the Mayor, in particular the City's travel policy pertaining to use of the city-provided credit card to pay for airfare and reimbursment for the charge for a ticket used by Plusquellic's girlfriend. The question drew a pointed and personal response, as the Mayor retorted Williams "...was the last one to use the word girlfriend..." as part of his answer.
Williams' family was seated near the front of the room; we asked the Mayor to clarify. He told AkronNewsNow we should ask Williams, and that he wasn't the one who made it personal but would be ready for a fight if the fight was brought to him. Williams says the question wasn't personal.
With reference to what many in the room to be Plusquellic's insinuation against Williams, Williams told me he has only one girlfriend, and that is his wife of 31 years. Williams said he is still waiting for Plusquellic to answer his question on what Williams believes is a violation of the City's travel policy, but felt there was no personal disrespect directed toward the Mayor and "didn't care" what the Mayor did in his personal life. Williams added the entire incident was "hurtful", and doesn't want his campaign to sink to the level of personal attacks.
To watch the entire Mayoral debate, this link to AkronBuzz.com has video from the event.