Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to Costa Mesa Politics

As we prep
are to celebrate this long holiday weekend, and with the campaign season now fully launched, just a word of counsel to the newbies on the campaign trail.... Watch Your Step!


This is uncharted territory for four of them, and it's full of potential stumbling blocks
, trip hazards, quicksand and other hazards. They will have to rein in that adrenalin and walk this path carefully lest they get snagged.

One of the candidates has already learned this lesson the hard way. He, gentleman that he is, made the mistake of answering a telephone call from a person with a very specific agenda. He paid the price when that guy used the telephone conversation to skew his words and discredit him. It was kind of like accepting a bite from that Biblical apple.


Interestingly, reports have it that another candidate - also a naive neophyte - almost succumbed to a similar ploy and, even more interestingly, from a member of the same family of snakes.

This is how it's going to go this year. Members of the improver-supported trio running for council will likely be the beneficiaries of dirty tricks as the campaign goes on. While they may not participate, some of their more rabid supporters - those unburdened by ethics - will attempt to influence public opinion by fabricating issues, distorting candidates statements and defaming those they don't support. We know this will happen because it's happened in the recent past.


So, new candidates, when you answer that evening telephone call from someone you don't know who is eager to "help" you, proceed with caution. If you misspeak, or even answer questions straight out that can be manipulated and distorted, you may pay the price. Even if you are clever enough to avoid those pitfalls, certain elements in this city will still attempt to make you seem like Lucifer to the voters.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Costa Mesa politics. Watch Your Step!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Target of the Day

It certainly didn't take long for the "improvers" to decide just which candidate represents a threat to the stranglehold they have on the City Council.


Tuesday Daily Pilot Columnist Steve Smith - with whom I've had more than my share of disagreements - published a comm
entary about the recent Candidate Forum in which he praised newcomer Bill Sneen.

Almost before the ink was dry and the newspaper hit our driveways in the wee hours, the Mesa North Mouth jumped into this issue with both rear cloven hooves. He issued his "#467" a several times today. In the first version he simply ridiculed Smith and Sneen. In the second version he added a snide Obama comment. In the third version - after a comment thread began to form on Smith's commentary - he made a little telephone call to Sneen, apparently to find out if he, Sneen, was a closet Return to Reasoner.

Now, Bill Sneen is a neophyte in Costa Mesa politics or he would have known better than to take that telephone call. Anyone who has been paying close attention t
he past few years knows that the Mesa North Mouth has only ulterior motives in this kind of a situation. He sees a man with strong credentials who poses a real threat to his chosen slate of Monahan, Bever and Righeimer and is looking for ways to discredit him. It was like opening the door to a rabid pit bull.


Sneen, gentleman that he is, apparently took the call on face value - big mistake - and paid the price in the form of yet another revised edition of good old #467, which further ridiculed hi
m. Sometimes you just have to get some lumps to learn in politics.... Bill Sneen has a big goose egg on his cranium now - a lump he won't soon forget... and this is just the beginning!

Oh, yes - that comment thread I mentioned above... Much of it was generated by the petite "improver", Judi Berry, the smart half of the Judi and Mike Berry duo that frequently speaks before the council. She went after Smith for his support of Sneen in her own little old Southern Belle way. What she conveniently forgot to mention to Smith's readers is that she is Eric Bever's campaign treasurer this year. So, in one venue you have the Mesa North Mouth, frothing all over himself trying to tear Sneen to shreds and in the other you have the Westside Pit Yorkie yapping away, also trying to discredit him.

I don't know yet whether Bill Sneen deserves one of my votes in November. I do know th
at he's a pretty smart fella who appears to be trying to go about this campaign the right way - taking the high road. He's making the rounds of folks who play an important role in how this city runs and trying to learn from those who have been there before him. How quickly he gets up to speed on the important issues that face our city now and in the future, and what kind of solutions he sees for them, will help me make up my mind.


One thing is very clear, though. The self-anointed "improvers" who hold this city firmly in their grip must really be worried about Bill Sneen. That fact, alone, is enough for me to give his candidacy serious consideration.

A word of warning to Sneen and all the other candidates running against the "improver" slate... I've learned from personal experience that dirty tricks are to be expected from this group. There are no "innocent" questions from this mob - they always have an agenda. As was the case two years ago, they will misrepresent the facts about their opponents and resort to flat out lies to achieve their goals. Perhaps one day I'll write about my experiences with them... it will make for fascinating reading.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 25, 2008

City Council Candidate Forum Viewing Schedule

The schedule for the re-play of the tape of the Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum held live on Thursday, August 21, 2008, has been released.

The forum, hosted and conducted by Mesa Verde Community, Inc., will be shown on Costa Mesa TV, Channel 24 on Time Warner Cable at the following days and times through the month of September. Any future scheduling of this event will depend on whether other forums are available for viewing:

Here's the schedule beginning today:

Mondays - 4:00 p.m.

Thursdays - 9:30 p.m.

Saturdays - 5:00 p.m.

Sundays - 10:00 a.m.

Additionally, the nearly two hour presentation will be available for viewing on streaming video on the Costa Mesa site. It should be up and available Tuesday HERE. Simply click on that word, then look for the Candidate Forum under both the "City Council" heading and "Special Events".



One of the things we can expect to see during the next few month is bending of the truth, fabricating "facts" and outright lies presented as the truth by candidates and their supporters in an attempt to discredit and disqualify opponents.

A perfect example is the entry published today in the CM Press, his # 466. The Mesa North Mouth, in an attempt to whip up more anti-immigrant frenzy, quotes a year-old Orange County Register article on FBI crime statistics, which itself uses data from 2005 and 2006. I'm sure this bozo would use more current statistics - if they met his needs. They don't, so he won't.

This is the same guy who gave you a "comprehensive" report on the candidate forum from last Thursday night, even though he left well before the forum had ended. He's never going to let facts get in the way of his opinions.

This is how it's going to be as this guy lobbies for your votes for his "slate" of candidates, Gary Monahan, Jim Righeimer and Eric Bever.

Separately, but on a similar issue, slide over to the link on the right side of this page and click on the CM TRUTH blog. The author has provided a very comical presentation using the Mesa North Mouth as a centerpiece.