Will Someone Please Hand Me A Tissue?
Well, it's finally all over. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, and with all the votes counted, Allan Mansoor has been re-elected to the Costa Mesa City Council and his running mate, Wendy Leece, has been hauled to victory on his coattails, too. Bruce Garlich finished third, Mike Scheafer fourth, with Mirna Burciaga and Chris Bunyan trailing the field. Assuming that each voter made two choices, fewer than 15,000 of the nearly 55,000 registered voters participated yesterday. Less than 8,000 voters made decisions yesterday that will affect the course of this city for the remainder of this decade.
If you want to read a more conciliatory view of the results, I suggest you slide on over to Itchingpost.com.
Am I happy with the results of the election? Of course not! When the voters in Costa Mesa succumbed to the lies and fabrications in this campaign and re-elected Allan Mansoor and elected Wendy Leece they demonstrated something about this city I didn't think was possible. They demonstrated that intolerance is alive and thriving in our city and that it is possible to play on that intolerance to win an election. With their votes they told me, in no uncertain terms, that the dark philosophy of certain activists here in this town are going to continue to form the underpinning of all City Council actions - at least for the next two years.
Gone to the Sanitary District Board is termed-out Councilman Gary Monahan, with whom I frequently disagreed, but who pulled our municipal bacon from the fire on more than one occasion. His occasional voice of moderation and conciliation has been replaced by a bobblehead doll with no voice of her own in the form of Wendy Leece, who will vote with Mansoor and Bever on every issue, never question their motives and never enhance the debate by providing an independent thought. We know this from watching her on the Parks and Recreation Commission and on the campaign trail. Heck, her web site never did display her "Issues" - she didn't have to, because she was simply an echo of Mansoor.
Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon might just as well stay home and watch council meetings on television from now on, because their voices will continue to be ignored by the new majority. And, with Monahan gone, there is no chance of providing any element of moderation or restraint to the governance of this city.
By casting aside the candidacies of Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer, the voters of this city have told me that, instead of having mature, reasonable voices and viewpoints on the council, they prefer to have our city led by the extreme forces of the radical right. The Minutemen are rejoicing today - they just bought themselves a city.
For more than three decades as a resident of Costa Mesa I have never been anything but proud to call it home. That changed last night. I'm disappointed almost beyond words in the electorate that has given a mandate to the narrow-minded and intolerant among us to do what they choose in this city.
I saw this coming and I've tried to warn you. For more than five years I've written commentary after commentary, telling you this was happening. I've chronicled the actions and influence of one activist in particular that has provided direction for the forces of intolerance at work in our city. The voters were apparently swayed by the fear of illegal immigrants among us and bought into Mansoor's mantra - even though it was repudiated by his boss and every law enforcement leader in the county.
The new majority promises to be even less trustworthy than the previous ruling troika, so don't blink. It won't take long before they show their true colors. It won't take long before they begin to run roughshod over the rights of residents and business owners in this city. November 7, 2006 will be a benchmark date in the history of this city. It is the date that intolerance became an acceptable standard of behavior. It's a sad day, indeed.
The apartment owners in this city should be ready for a full-on assault. Forces in this city want to bulldoze their property, which it will likely acquire via eminent domain, and turn them into parks and owner-occupied homes. That's the only way they can achieve their goal of expunging all the Latinos from our midst.
If your skin is brown and your heritage is from south of the border, illegal or not, you'd better find another place to live. Before too long all the forces of our city government will be aimed directly at you, to make your life a living hell until you leave.
If you operate one of the charities on the Westside, watch your back. These guys will be after you and will use all the tools available to them to force you out. Expect to see eminent domain rear it's ugly head again, despite Mansoor and Leece stating they are against it. It wouldn't be the only lie they told during the campaign.
Watch for another assault on the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, a venue for low end commerce and social interaction for the Latino community.
Don't expect to see any more soccer fields, either. This new majority will likely find a different solution to the growing demand for soccer fields. They will find a way to reduce that need by chasing the Latinos from our city, thereby reducing the demand for fields.
Watch as this new majority jumps when one particular activist in town snaps his fingers. If you thought he exercised influence before, just wait until he gets rolling with this mob. I wouldn't be surprised if he manages to get the new "view homes" on the Westside bluffs named "Little Bavaria".
Finally, it is with great sadness in my heart that I turn to my friends, Mike Scheafer and Bruce Garlich, and thank them for a valiant effort. While Mansoor and Leece chose the low road, distorting their views and resorting to flat-out lies in their literature, Garlich and Scheafer stayed on the high road. While Mansoor and Leece pandered to the radical right, Garlich and Scheafer maintained a steady, honest course. They may have lost this election, but the residents of Costa Mesa are the real losers. They lost the chance to place these two fine men, both of whom have demonstrated their concern for this city through decades of public service, on the city council. They lost the chance to have their maturity and leadership help chart the future of Costa Mesa.