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In case it escaped your notice, the influential Coby Mach put on a new hat this summer.

He’s now a political insider in the Republican Party.

In August Mach was in Cleveland as a duly elected delegate to the GOP’s nominating convention, where he cast a vote to nominate Donald Trump.

His new role means that the opinions Mach offers in his various roles should be evaluated from a new perspective.

He has surrendered any pretense to political independence.

When he lobbies the City Council, for example, his positions should be examined for the presence of political gamesmanship. Is Mach lobbying for the public good or is he attempting to advance the party’s cause?

Mach has worn multiple hats over the years as his influence in the community grew.

He’s been a radio talk show host on both KLIN and KFOR. He’s been corporate operations manager for Three Eagles Communications and operations manager at KFOR.

He’s been president and chief executive officer of the Lincoln Independent Business Association for more than a decade.

There are positive aspects to Mach’s involvement. He’s a hard worker and he does his research.

It’s no secret that he views government from a conservative perspective. Nothing wrong with that; so do a plurality of Lincoln’s registered voters, based on political affiliation.

But when Mach picked up his credentials to walk into the Quickens Loans Arena in Cleveland to vote and cheer for Donald Trump, he crossed a line.

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Keep that in mind the next time Mach jeers at Mayor Chris Beutler, a Democrat, and extolls the latest maneuvering by the four Republican members of the City Council.

Does Mach really have the best interest of the city at heart? Or is he part of a partisan scheme to make Democrats look bad regardless?

Everything done in the name of political conservativism is not necessarily deserving of the label. Mach pushed for the city to reduce the amount budgeted to cope with the damage to Lincoln trees from the emerald ash borer. That just means the problem will be bigger when the city finally does take action.

In recent weeks Mach has praised the Republican-controlled Lancaster County Board for holding the line on the property tax rate. When the nonpartisan Lincoln School Board did the same, however, a LIBA representative criticized the board for not cutting taxes. Now it turns out the property tax rate for schools may actually drop a fraction.

Hmmm.

Our advice: When Mach speaks these days, make sure the salt shaker is handy.

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