Bever Trades Veracity for Mendacity
At the end of last week the agenda for Tuesday night's Costa Mesa City Council meeting appeared on the city web site. I scanned down through the agenda items to the very end and found an interesting entry. It seems the council will consider sending a letter to President Bush decrying the "amnesty" bill that has been resurrected and may be passed by the time you read these words. That's not really the point of this entry.
Attached to that agenda item was a draft of the letter proposed to go out over Mayor Mansoor's signature, theoretically representing the views of the City Council. In the letter it made the following outrageous comment, "Our community suffers significant impacts as a direct result of unfettered illegal immigration, including hundreds of hit-and-run accidents every year in our small city alone."
Well, not only did this comment catch my eye, but two Orange County Register reporters, Jeff Overley and Tony Saavedra, saw it and investigated the claim. Apparently this piece of fiction was fabricated by the actual author of the letter, our municipal court jester, Mayor Pro Tem Eric Bever. This is not atypical for him. He's been known to shoot from the hip and bend the rules with regularity.
According to an entry by Overley on The Total Buzz, the Register's political blog authored by reporters Martin Wisckol and Peggy Lowe, CMPD Police Lt. Dave Anderson, who told Overley that the cops don't keep such figures, was quoted as saying, "We're a little taken back by that, because we have (found) no correlation on hit-and-runs and illegal immigration."
According to Overley, Bever says there were 728 hit-and-runs in Costa Mesa in 2006, of which 284 were solved. Of those, 186 involved unlicensed drivers. Bever, without proof, infers that most of those people were illegal immigrants. He is quoted by Overley as saying, "We didn't have a rash of 14-year-old kids stealing mom's car and playing bumper cars through the city." That's a typical glib, smart-aleck response from him.
Subsequently, investigative reporter Saavedra reported, "A look at Costa Mesa arrest data compiled by the Register shows that only seven undocumented immigrants were picked up for hit-and-run between Dec. 5, 2006 and May 31. That is a far cry from the "hundreds" every year reported by Councilman Eric Bever. Even when you consider the number of illegal immigrants arrested for driving without a license -- 26 in the six-month period -- Bever's numbers don't add up. "
Prior to reading these reports I contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department myself, but no return call was received. I'm sure they were very busy trying to figure out how Bever came up his numbers. They needn't have bothered - he just makes up his "facts" as he goes along.
A check of the city web site on Saturday found a new, revised version of the letter to be considered by the council on Tuesday. Yep, you guessed it - the reference to hit-and-running illegals is gone.
This would be comical if it were not so darn important. This is precisely the kind of things I've commented on for years. Bever, Mansoor and their cronies really don't care if they have to play fast and loose with the truth as long as they get their way. Even though Bever continues to act the clown, this should deeply concern every resident of this city. It's clear from watching him that veracity is an "alien" concept to him (pun fully intended).
One more time... you just cannot turn your back on these guys or they will stomp on your rights eventually, too. Consider yourselves warned - again.