Buffoon Duet In The Daily Pilot
I thought I might be able to ease into the upcoming weekend by only writing about the events next week - easy stuff to address - but NO, it was not to be.
ONE STOOGE SHORT
Tonight two of the "3 M's" that are running for Costa Mesa City Council, Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger, have written commentaries in the Daily Pilot that, I think, may appear in print Friday morning. You can read Mensinger's campaign piece HERE and McCarthy's hit piece HERE. Let me take them one at a time.
CAMPAIGN STUMP SPEECH
Mensinger lists for us what amounts to his campaign stump speech in ten (10) stanzas. I'm not going to attempt to duplicate them here - you can read his commentary at the link above - but will provide to you my response to each of them as I presented in a "comment" appended to the commentary.
HERE'S WHAT I WROTE...
OK, Steve, I'll play your game.
1) You held public safety hostage while bullying employee organizations into submission.
2) And yet you refuse to create the same openness in negotiations with developers and others trying to get their claws into the city. You refuse to make your contacts with potential vendors known. Talk about a double standard!
3) Envision all you want. Until we have a SAFE city all the rest is just fluff.
4) Before you took office as an appointed (3 votes) councilman we HAD a safe city, one in which most residents were very proud. You describe our police force as "top-quality", and I agree with you. Those officers who remain are among the best to be found anywhere. However, you and your pals have gutted the department with irrational, politically-motivated cuts in the staffing levels that cannot possibly do the job necessary, even with the excessive, onerous overtime such staffing levels demand. Even the best police officers can only do so much. Shame on you for this hypocritical political posturing at the cost of every residents and visitors public safety!
5) Now that you've beaten the firefighters into submission Chief Arnold can hire the necessary staff to implement HIS plan - it is HIS plan, not yours. Whether you're elected or not, it's going to be implemented as soon as the staff is in place and the necessary equipment is acquired.
6) You've facilitated the facade of transparency, but the real decisions are made out of sight.
7) You and your pals would have actually accomplished much of your outsourcing scheme if you had just followed the rules. But, no, you jumped the gun, issued layoff notices to over 40% of the city staff and mired our city in a lawsuit that has cost $2 million - so far. There are undoubtedly some savings to be made via outsourcing, but every misstep you've taken has cost us municipal wealth in the form of exorbitant legal fees - with a law firm charging $495 per hour without a cap! Sounds like fiscal irresponsibility to me.
8) About that partnership with the school district.. we saw how much you care about that when you and your pals demanded the School Resource Officers be removed from campus and take up regular patrol duties. The value of the SRO program is undeniable as a tool to head off gang involvement. When you poll your Mesa Verde neighbors about WHY they move their children to other schools I suspect one of the first things mentioned is safety. Removing the SRO's was a BAD idea.
9) You've long criticized previous councils for "blowing through reserves" without giving them the credit they deserve for accumulating those reserves to be used in times of emergency - like the past four years. The real heroes in this drama are the employees of this city - at least, the ones who remain. We're down more than 25% and municipal services suffer for it. But you don't care - you're happy to thump your chest and say, "See what I did!" You didn't do squat! What you have done is completely demoralize the staff by your heavy-handedness and micromanaging.
10) I'll tell you, Steve, I had a good belly-laugh when I read your final item. You crow about "listening" to people with your now-infamous "coffees". The only problem is that, while you may listen, you don't hear what the people are saying. During your tour as a political appointee on the council - again, 3 votes - thousands of people have stood before you to air grievances, ask questions, provide guidance and ask for your help. In exchange, many of those people have endured your smug smirks, belittling remarks and disrespectful comments. When you were sworn-in you said you REALLY wanted to be a coach. Well, I think that's a GREAT idea. In that job you can be the dictator you've demonstrated to us that you really are.
COLIN'S LIE-LACED ATTACK ON EPPERSON
Then, to address Colin McCarthy's hit piece on retired Costa Mesa Police Lieutenant Clay Epperson, I wrote the following as a comment. You can read Colin's letter at the link above.
HERE'S WHAT I WROTE...
What a surprise that Colin McCarthy chooses to use valuable column inches to denigrate a highly respected former member of the Costa Mesa Police Department - Clay Epperson - and fabricates "facts" to do it!
McCarthy tells us that his father-in-law retired after 50 years as a union iron worker at age 70 and only receives a fraction of Epperson's retirement income. He says, "Something isn't right." It's this kind of attempt at class warfare that makes McCarthy such a bad choice for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council. His glib, smarmy attempts to paint every retiree as greedy slackers is despicable. Maybe his father-in-law should have chosen a different profession a half-century ago - but he didn't. He picked his career and the benefits that went along with it. To now have his son-in-law demonstrate the worst kind of class envy on his behalf is very unseemly, but not unexpected.
McCarthy says, "the police unions spend hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars to elect who they want...", which is a bold-faced lie. Yes, Colin McCarthy is a liar! Whatever dollars the members of employee associations might spend on political activities are THEIR DOLLARS, not yours or mine. They earned those dollars and, just as you do, have the right to spend them ANY WAY THEY CHOOSE!
He fabricates a theory that employee pay increases are somehow illegal and should cause them to end up in jail is so preposterous on its face that words almost fail me - almost. Yet another case of class envy by an under-achiever. He should be ashamed of himself!
He also fabricates the position the police association has taken, all to further his bogus theories.
Near the end he says, "We are tired of the lies." Well, Colin, so are we. You're going to find out just HOW tired on November 6th. Just keep those lies coming...
It's very clear that, since the Feet To The Fire Forum earlier this month, both Mensinger and McCarthy - who each performed marginally, are beginning to scramble. Certainly, Mensinger didn't like being boo'd by the audience several times and is now attempting to perform damage control with this commentary. He misses that mark.
LIES AS AN ART-FORM
McCarthy has apparently decided to crank up his anti-police mode and doesn't seem bothered at all that he must lie to do it. There's a very clear message to the voters in both of those essays, but especially so in McCarthy's. That message is that he doesn't care what he has to say to sway the voters and will lie if required to do so. The scary part is that he does it so easily...