WAITING AND WONDERING
I'm getting bored waiting for the next slice of election results some 16 hours from now, so I thought I'd just barf out some things, in no particular order, that have been rattling around in my skull for the past several days.
I thought it was curious that candidate Lee Ramos
shifted his signage late in the campaign to little oval images saying "Lee
" to his current ones that identified him as "Lee Ramos
" and proclaimed as his apparent motto, "Safety and Civility". Some wondered if that first sign was an indication of ethnic confusion - that he was attempting to attract our "large" Asian population. Guess he decided later that his Latino heritage needed to be proclaimed, which he did - in Spanish - on signs posted around the Westside of town. Hmmm, that didn't seem to work out too well for him. And, I was kind of curious how he was going to deal with those "Safety" and Civility" issues - he never told us because he only attended one candidate forum, and did poorly at that one. Was he going to hire more cops? Was he going to scold uncivil folks and make them stand in the corner? What was his plan?
NO "TEAMMATE" SIGN?
And, since he and Jim Righeimer
were theoretically a team, I always thought it a bit odd that there was NEVER
a Righeimer sign in Ramos' yard. There were some on other lawns in his neighborhood - he lives a block or so from me - but not his yard. Curious, no? I mean, he had a "Perry" sign, for goodness sake!
And, I wonder what has happened to his sidekick and campaign guy, Dennis Popp
? Old Dennis - I can call him that because we're the same age - became virtually invisible in the campaign late in the game. Then, again, so did Lee. But, Popp's almost incomprehensible blog has not had an entry for three weeks! Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining, just observing. Most folks I know that have visited the site and tried to understand his writing simply gave up.
And then there's the case of "Perry" - the candidate with no first name. You saw his (or her) signs around town, right? A cynic might think that Chuck Perry
, candidate for a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board, was attempting to bamboozle the voters into thinking they were actually casting a vote for his brother, Art, who is already on the board. Chuck finished last - way, back - in that race - even behind the "rocket scientist" who told us he was campaigning to get himself fired. When last seen, Chuck was reportedly apparently replacing a mangled opposition sign near Ralph's on 17th Street on Monday.
BRUCE AND CINDY - DUELING SITES
Over on Facebook the Riganista cheerleaders/attack dogs who were hooting and hollering for weeks before the election all seem to have been dumbstruck simultaneously. Yeah, you can make what you want of that word... have at it. My friend, Bruce Krochman
, who developed a bad case of disagreewithanythinggeoffsaysitis
over the past couple months, has swept all the pre-election vitriolic posts on his Costa Mesa Public Square site. You remember that one, right? It was the one he promised would be managed with a very tight rein, to keep folks from being too nasty. Well, that didn't last too long. And, an amusing factoid is that Cindy Black
created an opposing Facebook site - Costa Mesa Sandbox - which she said would be a no-holds-barred site where you could say whatever you wanted. The funny part is that the more civilized discussions occurred on her site, not Bruce's. Now Bruce tells us he's starting anew. We'll see. Much depends on how the election goes.
WILL THE REAL JULIE PLEASE STAND UP?
And, then there's the camera-shy person who calls herself Julie Mecurio
, the self-professed neophyte and wide-eyed, eager-to-learn novice in the Costa Mesa political realm. She surfaced on Nextdoor and on Krochman's site all "golly gee, look at me - I don't know nothin' - please help me to learn
". It didn't take long for folks to realize she was a fabrication - a shill being used to gin up controversy and tilt the race toward the Riganista positions. Since the election she, too, seems to have developed lockjaw or something.
And, of course, there's my neighbor, Andrew Smith
. Andy came to prominence as a member of the Charter Committee and was an articulate participant - one who was able to guide the discussion and craft arguments better than most on the committee. It was Andy who, at the very last minute, maneuvered the committee to delete the "council member compensation" section from their document - a section that had been hammered out over several meetings with much discussion and consideration. It took him only a couple minutes to get them to delete it - perhaps feeling that it might be a stake in the heart of the document. I don't know. In fact, it might have been, but there were other issues that caused it to fail so miserably. That's all moot now. However, Andy was a major player in Ramos' campaign and, we're told, the main man behind the Measure "O" campaign, including signage. That was traced by others directly back to Dave Ellis
- political kingmaker who managed to get his entire slate elected in Newport Beach but failed to get himself elected to the office he sought. I smiled. Yep, Andy was one of those stealth insiders who pretended he wasn't.
HAROLD... WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
And then there's Harold Weitzberg
... I like Harold - a lot. I admire his intelligence and oratorical skills and his passion for issues. I watched him on the Charter Committee and when he spoke to the council over many, many months. He's one persuasive guy. I don't like his Medical Marijuana stance, but understand it. I have a very difficult time understanding his position following the decision by his group, Costa Mesans For Responsible Government (CM4RG), to endorse Katrina Foley
and Jay Humphrey
. Yes, he had every right to be disappointed and, maybe, angry. However, in my opinion, he let that emotion cloud his judgment and it hampered the Foley/Humphrey campaign. Instead, he apparently chose to advise Chris Bunyan
- the here again, gone again, here again current (for now) and former resident and former candidate on HIS
campaign. As it turned out, it appears Bunyan will finish dead last, behind even the nice, but clueless, Rita Louise Simpson
. I kept asking myself, "What is Harold thinking?
" during the last month or so of the campaign.
And then there's Tony Capitelli
, a very likable young man with great potential who carried into the council race what more than a few folks in town consider a burden - he works for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
. Plus, the Riganista mob was trying to get him out of the race because, apparently, they feared he would suck votes from Righeimer and Ramos. And, while everyone I spoke with liked him - a lot - and admired his dedication to solving the homelessness problem in our city, when he told us all that he was supporting the Charter he might as well have said he liked Ebola.
DOG PARK AL
Accountant Al Melone
ran again and again sucked up valuable votes. He's still a one-trick pony - the dog park is his baby - but he spread his wings and took on other issues, which probably did him in. Since the last election he's been an occasional speaker at meetings and had become impatient to the point of anger because he couldn't get folks to agree with him - at least, not quickly enough. He was not a persuasive speaker.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
None of us know how this race will end up. It's the closest one in my memory, which includes Bruce Garlich
's 44 vote loss a few years ago and, last time, when John Stephens
lost by 155 votes to Gary Monahan
. Today Righeimer holds a razor-thin 18 vote margin over Humphrey and it's trending toward Humphrey. Only the passage of time and counting of votes the remainder of the week and maybe into next week will tell. There are still over 135,000 ballots remaining to be counted by the Registrar of Voters office. But, once again, the tightness of this race only demonstrates the folly of so many candidates in the race. Yes, it's their right to run. Last time somebody named James Rader
got his name on the ballot, changed his mind the next day and didn't campaign a lick and still got more than 2,000 votes. This is serious business...
KEEP THEM CROSSED..
That's all for this one. In sixteen hours we'll get another update and I'll report that one to you, too. Please cross fingers, toes and anything else you think can be crossed with the hope that Jay Humphrey can prevail over Jim Righeimer.
Labels: 2014 Election Results, Al Melone, Chris Bunyan, Dennis Popp, Jay Humphrey, Jim Righeimer, Katrina Foley, Lee Ramos, Rita Louise Simpson, Tony Capitelli