The Mayor vs. The Truth
REPORTS FROM THE TRIAL
I did not attend any of the court sessions of the trial of Benito Acosta last week, but the information from news accounts and anecdotal reports from some who were there indicate there was some pretty interesting testimony provided - including some from our young jailer/mayor. Reporter Alicia Robinson provided an excellent capsulization in her article in the Daily Pilot today, here. She projects that the trial may continue through the middle of next week.
A very interesting sidebar is the mayor's reaction to earlier news coverage provided by the Daily Pilot, here. In fact, once at that link you will be able to scroll down to Mansoor's seven segment, nearly 500 word, rebuttal to the text in the article. Even more interesting is the fact that the mayor's version of events contradicts the actual video record, which is available for all to view by going to the city web site. Use this link, then select the record for January 3, 2006.
THE VIDEO RECORD
In question is exactly what happened when Jim Gilchrist, Mansoor's sponsor as an honorary member in the Minuteman Project, stood to speak. Gilchrist's segment begins at 00:07:13 on the streaming video counter and runs for more than his allotted 3 minutes. Fifteen seconds into his talk he points to his "5 or 6 dozen supporters" in the audience and asks them to stand to show their support. Although the mayor says he admonished them, this video record shows that he didn't. In fact, if you view the video you will see that he actually encouraged them to stand showing support for Gilchrist's view in lieu of speaking, too. More important, he encouraged "the other side" to do the same. Certainly, Benito Acosta's supporters would qualify as "the other side". The mayor has selective memory, which is very strange, since anyone can view the video and see the truth. Although it is possible, I cannot believe that he didn't view the record before testifying.
THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND...
So, once again, we have a fabrication instead of the truth. This whole thing about Acosta is a very big deal - especially for Acosta. He might be fined and/or jailed as a result of that evening's events. Of much greater concern for me is how it demonstrates the cavalier disregard for the truth on the part of the mayor. It's as though he thinks no one will bother to check the record. In fact, in his Daily Pilot blog tirade, he specifically indicates that's what we should do. He states, "We are at a point where people need to provide their own oversight and research to get the facts on issues."
Well, when we do our own research we find that he has not been truthful. How are we to interpret his divergence from the facts in this matter? Is it possible that our young jailer/mayor perjured himself on the stand last week? I cannot imagine him doing that intentionally, but whether didn't tell the truth on purpose or due to ignorance, the effect is the same. Is it really possible for him to testify untruthfully on an issue so easy to verify? If so, one would think this could be big trouble for a sworn law enforcement officer.
WHO CAUSED THE CHAOS?
For a different, longer, view of Acosta's removal from the city council chambers the night of January 3, 2006, go to this link, which is a video posted on YouTube. This five minute clip not only shows Acosta being removed from the auditorium, but the subsequent demonstrations, as well. Near the end, those familiar with city politics will recognize among the demonstrators some staunch Mansoor supporters, trying to "sing down" the Acosta supporters. It certainly seems to me that there was fault on both sides that evening, regardless what precipitated it.
THE OTHER SHOE
Also of concern to me is the fact that, regardless the outcome of this criminal trial, Acosta apparently has filed a civil suit against the city. This reeks strongly of yet another pile of money to be lost by the boneheaded moves of our city council. I'm concerned that we will end up either settling that case out of court or losing a sizable judgment - money that could have been used for more public safety staff members and repairing our crumbling streets.
ANTICIPATING THE OUTCOME
So, as the week progresses, we will look for more information on this trial and contemplate how the outcome will affect the lives of Costa Mesans and the future of some of it's politicians.