Adios, "Young Jailer/Mayor" (Amended)
THE PARTY'S OVER
OK, my friends, we've all had our New Year celebrations and, hopefully, are all ready for the year ahead. If recent pronouncements are any indication, the local campaign season ahead of us promises to be one filled with more noise than light, but should give us some excitement. So, gird your loins and get ready.
CHANGE OF COMMAND (UGH!)
Tonight our young jailer/mayor - sadly, this blog entry will probably be the last time I'll be able to call him that - will abdicate his throne and the betting is that Eric Bever will become the next mayor of Costa Mesa. I'm sorry, but I can't help but wince when I type those words. I wrote a commentary on Mansoor's decision that the editors of the Daily Pilot felt was worthy of publication yesterday. You can read that commentary, which the editors entitled "Mayor's act of largesse is political maneuvering", here. I think it's quite possible that we'll see Wendy Leece, Mansoor's hand-picked running mate last year, selected as Mayor Pro Tem, which will require some musical chairs on the far right side (as you face it) of the dais. (Well, I was wrong! Imagine that! Just before 7:00 tonight Bever was selected as Mayor and then, instead of the majority nominating Leece as Mayor Pro Tem, Bever nominated his pal, Mansoor! He used as an excuse that fact that "the mayor and mayor pro tem need to work closely together." Duh! I guess he didn't think he could "work closely" with any of the ladies on the dais - no surprise there. So, the boys just swapped seats and kept on truckin'. What a sham!)
HOPING FOR MATURITY (WITH CROSSED FINGERS)
While I hope Bever will throw off the mantle of court jester he's worn since taking his seat on the dais, I'm not sure it's possible. I keep hoping he will realize that when one sits in a position of authority and is, in fact, a voice for our city, those snappy one-liners and other pitiful attempts at humor are completely inappropriate. I hope he finds a way to comport himself with dignity during this next eleven months until the election, but I fear I might turn blue waiting for that to happen. Only time will tell.
BYRON NAILS IT!
Yesterday my friend, Byron de Arakal - in his now-weekly Costa Mesa Unplugged column for the Daily Pilot - presented us with an absolutely spot-on description of the metamorphosis of Allan Mansoor. You can find that column, entitled "Regretting Mansoor's reversal", here. I agree completely with Byron's assessment of the changes we've seen in our young jailer/mayor since he was first elected. I recall Mansoor at our first meeting during a candidate forum in his first campaign as a nice, earnest, sincere young man who, in addition to taking the oath to protect and defend us in his day job as a Deputy Sheriff, was willing to make a further commitment to the improvement of our community by seeking elective office. I'm pre-disposed to think kindly of those who serve us in public safety jobs and was looking forward to his performance as a councilman. I've been disappointed.
A FISH OUT OF WATER
I recall how uneasy he was during those first few months on the dais, looking very much like a fish out of water. Of course, that might have been because he was sharing space with the chronically inept Chris Steel. Regardless, I watched as he groped his way through the learning curve and developed meager political instincts.
I was deeply saddened when he and his majority decided to close the Job Center - a facility that had served this community well for nearly two decades and solved the problem of loitering day workers throughout the city. I was very distressed when that Mansoor-led majority decided, in a complete blind-side, to first defund, then disband, the city's Human Relations Committee without so much as a thank you to the volunteers who spent countless hours attempting to provide a forum for mediation of problems that existed between factions within our city. That kind of callous heavy-handedness was an omen of things to come.
FROM OPIE TO A PETTY TYRANT
I've watched as Allan Mansoor morphed from Opie into a petty tyrant, guided by his core constituency of self-anointed "improvers" who seem determined to blame the latinos in our city - which represent a third of our population - for every ill within our borders. He became an easily-led pawn for any number of persons and entities, including the Orange County Republican Party hierarchy, Minutemaniac Jim Gilchrist and his band of merry nuts and the aforementioned "improvers". Over the past two years since he attempted to convert every Costa Mesa police officer into an immigration screener, we've seen his face on national television, where puffed-up talking heads pontificated about his "bravery" and "leadership" and stroked his growing ego. He was no longer that nice young guy from a few years ago.
EXPOSING HIMSELF, SO TO SPEAK
Among that "improver" group is one guy - heck, he may be your neighbor - who has received much electronic ink in this space and seems to be gearing up for a run for a council seat of his own. When goaded by my commentary in the Daily Pilot he published an entry on his "little newsletter" which, while denying any interest in elective office, provided us with his campaign platform. You can read that manifesto here. When I first read it I found myself wondering why he wasted all those words when he simply could have boiled it down to one phrase, a thread common to most of his entries - "To solve all our problems, expunge all the latinos from the city, regardless of their immigration status". That seems to sum up his view.
A NIGHTMARE COME TRUE?
When I think of the specter of this fellow as a member of our city council it makes me want to puke. He is my worst nightmare for this city. Even though he consistently provided the intellectual stimulation for the so-called "improvers" for the past decade, if he were to hold a council seat and have his way, the bulldozers would already be plowing through the Westside of our city and eminent domain would be the order of the day. Actually, though, I find myself anticipating his candidacy. It would require him to slither out from under his rock and give us more personal information than I think he would care to do. It would also expose to scrutiny his underlying philosophy as expressed in his books, newsletter and hundreds of online essays. While he has consistently said he writes to be read, that view may come back to haunt him.
WILL HE DARE TO RUN?
I don't think he'll dare to run. Instead, he'll continue to lurk in the shadows, spewing his venom anonymously using many pen names on the Daily Pilot blog. Should he decide to venture out from the shadows and actually run for office he can expect to be greeted by several folks more than willing to provide their views of his fitness for office in our city. I have a hard time believing the voters of Costa Mesa would seriously consider as a candidate for a leadership position a man adorns his essays with swastikas and who is revered by Louisiana's David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan - an accolade the fellow uses as a marketing device for his books. One salivates at the opportunity...
MARKING TIME UNTIL TERMED-OUT
So, dear readers, we say adios to "our young jailer/mayor" - the term, not the man. Allan Mansoor, who has looked a little weary recently, will remain on the council, marking time until termed out in 2010 - at which time the Orange County GOP leadership will likely have found another seat for him from which to exploit his naivetÈ. And the beat goes on...