Thursday, October 11, 2007

The "Speedy Gonzales" of Mexican Politicians: Roberto Madrazo and his marathon miscalculation

While Eric Scheidler and the Families Against Planned Parenthood continue to plug away at uncovering the deadly-serious, politically-corrupt decision that "allowed" Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner to open the Planned Parenthood abortuary despite a zoning violation and without the approval of the city council, it seemed a FIT-ting time to write about the lighter side of political scandal, this time not a corrupt Chicagoan, but a Mexican miscreant running from the law in more ways than one.

Like the citizens of Windy City, Mexican natives are quite used to and accepting of their politicians bending the rules, but Roberto Madrazo's latest escapade may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Madrazo, a former leader of the infamous Institutional Revolutionary party, which was accused of stealing the 1988 presidential election, Madrazo was no stranger to election razzle-dazzle himself, as enough vote fraud went in his favor for him to become a state governor. But after finishing third in last year's presidential election, the never-say-no Madrazo was looking for some positive spin to push his way back into the political forefront, and the feel-good story of his age-group win at last month's prestigious Berlin Marathon seemed to be just the ticket. Unfortunately Madrazo's story of a record run turned out to be just that, a Rosie Ruiz-type tall tale of cutting and betrayal.

Although Madrazo, 55, had been an avid marathoner for years, his remarkable finishing time of 2 hours and 41 minutes almost immediately raised eyebrows. First, in all of his previous races, Roberto had never finished better than 3 hours and 30 minutes, and indeed his time at Berlin's half-way checkpoint was comparable with that figure. But when the middle-aged marathoner arrived at the finish line less than an hour later, despite the humid-weather-wearing warm-up pants and jacket barely breaking a sweat, an investigation was under way. It turned out that Madrazo missed two checkpoints covering a nine-mile span, not to mention the fact he would have had to have covered these nine miles faster than any human being had before for his time to check out. Race officials quickly disqualified him, while opposing pals, not to mention Mexican media, had a field day. One paper nicknamed Roberto "Speedy Gonzales" after the Warner Bros. cartoon character, while another showed a cartoon caricature of Madrazo smiling with his winning medal for the Berlin Marathon—along with a medal for discovering a new route to the West Indies and a third for curing cancer.

How Madrazo hoped to get away with such an obviously fraudulent performance, especially in such a technologically-advanced country as Germany, is beyond explanation. Perhaps Roberto thought he could bribe the Berlin race officials as he did the Mexican voter-counters, but in any event, his false race of glory backfired to the point that not only is Madrazo a global laughing stock, but even his own party, easily one of the most corrupt political organizations in history, is running from Roberto now. "He keeps damaging the image of Mexicans," said IR party leader Emilio Gamboa, "and we demand an explanation"—none of which is forthcoming.

But WHY the world is so solidly against Madrazo's sporting chicanery, while more grievous acts are ignored, is an interesting question. One answer would be that world sports is one of the last places on earth where the rules are clear and the playing field level, so violators are easy to spot—and dispose of. Still to a person with a soul, it would seem the legal violations by Steve Trombley and Mayor Tom Weisner in pushing through their Aurora clinic are just as ridiculous—yet the outcry here, though strong, is nowhere near unanimous. After all, Madrazo IS a runner and he DID run more than half the race, and Tommy and Stevey did follow at least half the building codes for a medical building, where at least half of its medical procedures are moral. Is it because sports is the only arena left where one can fairly judge the outcome? Or is it that the public only sees Weisner and Trombley (and their abortionists) at the finish line barely breaking a sweat, but is unable to view them hacking away at people's rights (or at people themselves) behind the bulletproof walls? For if the masses witnessed the deadly deals (and dealing of death) that went on behind closed doors, chances are they'd be just as likely to disqualify Trombley, Weisner, and friends, from the race for freedom, as Madrazo from the race for fleetness.

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