A LESSON LEARNED
TROJANS SLAPPED AROUND BY BEAVERS!
Bummer! I just finished watching USC get it's butt whipped by the Oregon State Beavers in a 27-21 game that wasn't really that close. The Beavers dominated the #1 ranked Trojans most of the night. They dammed up USC's offense and their running game chewed away at the vaunted Trojan defense like an aspen forest.
However, that game got me thinking about the Costa Mesa City Council race, in which three heavily-favored characters seem to have no way in which they can lose. After all, you've got an incumbent mayor, Eric Bever; a former 12 year councilman and multi-term mayor, Gary Monahan; and uber-politically well-connected carpetbagger, Jim Righeimer competing for a seat on the dais. All of these men expect to receive major backing by the Orange County Republican Party, which has inserted itself in Costa Mesa politics for the past two elections and seems determined to use our city as a bullpen, where wannabes for higher office are plunked down and told to keep their arms warm while waiting for a "real" opportunity to open up. I don't like that very much...
With the exception of incumbent Katrina Foley, all the other candidates are either complete newbies or also-rans in an earlier election... seems like no contest, doesn't it?
...SHE'S THE BEST
I wouldn't be so sure, though. Foley has been, and continues to be, the brightest of our current council mob and knows how to run a campaign. She has clearly demonstrated over her term on the council and on the Planning Commission that she cares about the city first. She's smart and tireless - managing to effectively juggle her council responsibilities with those of a parent and business owner. She's got a good chance of maintaining her seat.
That leaves two seats for the other three "biggies" to fight over.... maybe.
Of the remaining candidates, Bill Sneen brings lots of energy and leadership experience to the race. He's probably done more since filing his papers to get up to speed on important city issues than any other candidate. He's been a quick study and brings a maturity and business leadership that will be welcome on the dais. He's not a new guy when it comes to public service, having been very actively involved in school issues while his boys were growing up here in town.
Lisa Reedy, a long-time community activist and President of the Mesa del Mar Homeowners Association, also brings maturity and business savvy to the race. However, her campaign seems to have gotten off the ground slowly and has a lot of ground to make up in the next 5 weeks.
Businessman, author, activist and hair stylist Chris Bunyan, who finished last in the last election, has worked hard in the past two years and immersed himself in city committees and environmental issues. He's at the forefront of the move to preserve Banning Ranch from development, plus purports to have creative solutions to a couple other major problems in our city.
Chris McEvoy, an educator and a true neophyte in local politics, is using a lot of energy to run a low budget campaign and enhance the debate of important issues. His enthusiasm and candor are quite refreshing, but I'm not sure he really thinks he has a chance in this race. Still, he will provoke debate on issues that might otherwise slide by - that's a good thing.
Nick Moss, another young fella operating a bare-bones campaign, seems to be keeping a low profile. It's not clear whether he's been studying up on issues or not. I guess we'll find out soon enough when future candidate forums take place.
TRIO SHARES CLOUT AND BUCKS
The three "biggies" are running as a virtual slate - they share many of the same endorsements and will likely raise money from the same sources. Should even two of the three be successful in November that will result in an "improver" Super majority - an unbreakable majority which will allow it to govern without any kind of effective check and balance system in place. It will be a virtual junta.
UNDER-RATED COME OUT VICTORIOUS
Which brings me back to the mauling USC got tonight at the hands of the Beavers - who slapped them around (pun intended) mercilessly all night. The Trojans were overwhelming favorites over the unranked and generally disregarded Beavers. Still, that young team managed to pull off the biggest upset of the college football season.
LEARN FROM THE GAME
I think our newbies should take this event to heart and work harder than they had planned if they actually think they have a chance to win a seat on the dais. It's not impossible. All they have to do is make the voters understand why they are better candidates than the "biggies", and keep pounding away at it.
CONSIDER WHO SUPPORTS THE TROIKA
There are a few people in this town who view the "biggies" as a slam dunk, and crow about it practically every day. One of these people is infamous in these parts for his racist writings and his attempts to intimidate and control previous members of the city council. He recently portrayed the troika as patriots and the others as zombies on his blog and has denigrated them practically every day since the filing deadline. His support for the troika above should be reason enough for voters to pause and contemplate their choices before marking their ballots.
MORE TO COME
We'll talk more about this as the election nears. There are at least three more candidate forums scheduled between now and the election on November 4th - plenty of opportunities for the voters to meet and greet all the candidates and make up their minds.
READ "CM TRUTH" AND "CM UNIM PRESS ED"
In the meantime, I suggest you make it a practice to read two other blogs here in town. CM Truth and CMunimPRESSed both offer insights into local issues and players that will help readers gain some perspective not otherwise available. Links to each are on the right sided of this page.