Recently the El Paso Mayor joined our Music for Life Tour, spending his own time and his own monies to get to five of the events where he sang and spoke out concerning
his opposition to the death penalty.
He is now dealing with the political implications from the El Paso Times. Scroll down the home page to see the poll. Again, please note that his travel and time was on his own dime. The paper has run an editorial against his actions which you may be able to find on the site.
Cook’s tour: Stick to being El Paso mayor
El Paso Times Staff
Article Launched: 10/10/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT
Mayor John Cook says he’s not a phony, so that’s a reason he was recently singing on his guitar in several Texas big cities promoting abolition of the death penalty.
He admits political advisors warned him not to do it.
We side with the advisors. Cook is mayor of El Paso, which needs a lot of tending to as one of the nation’s largest cities. As the mayor of El Paso, he should carry the insignia pins of El Paso issues on his lapel, not those of his own personal missions in life.
Cook strummed and sang with the Music For Life Tour, which is affiliated with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Cook appeared in Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, Waco and Austin.
Among the entertainers was noted singer, songwriter and speaker Sara Hickman. Kinky Friedman sang along in Austin.
Hickman said Cook was the only one of several mayors she contacted who agreed to get involved. She said only one other mayor even responded.
Cook has long been a guitar-playing folk singer, way back to growing up in Brooklyn. He carries the instrument to local radio talk shows and to luncheons. He’s cut a CD or two for charity causes.
Is Cook’s stance on the death penalty right or wrong?
That’s why he shouldn’t have done the tour. The death penalty, like abortion, is a no-no on the political stump. It’s such a no-no — with such strong opinions on both sides — that many national TV and radio talk-show hosts won’t even allow on-air debate.
Cook chose to go there, saying, “For me, it’s a moral and religious conviction.”
On one side, give the mayor credit for brevity. In Texas, the death penalty has strong support, and he’s officially come out against it. He said he’s lost friends over it.
We know where he stands. And he’s always been a good man, feeding hundreds of needy persons every year at Thanksgiving, singing for victims of hurricanes … and now he’s toured with an advocacy group.
For John Cook, the man, that’s his personal right. His convictions are his convictions, and this is free America.
As mayor, no. He represents all the people of El Paso as mayor, and he should stick to El Paso issues.