A small-scale political machine? Perhaps. A personal empire? I guess you could say that.
That wasn't the point, though. Sure, the treasury grew to triple its value. Yes, local officials who spoke out against me ended up getting replaced with those who worked better. But the town was prosperous, the schools made national rankings in standardized tests, and the New Art Museum got built. Things got done. My political system, however tiny, worked.
And now those damned journalists are trying to make more out of it. I haven't been returning their calls. "The Beast," indeed. Why cause trouble now? It's all over, anyway. Who needs the boat rocked?