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Welcome to A Bubbling Cauldron, a blog dedicated to the observations and opinions of this writer. Most of the time the subject will be local politics and politicians - those issues and/or people affecting the lives of those of us in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Occasionally, I might write about something obscure that interests me. Or, I may just launch off into some philosophical rant if the urge moves me. I might even include comments by others from time to time.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Draggin' The Mayor Along on Vacation
Through the wonders of technology, these days you can go almost anywhere and still remain tethered to home and all that represents. Sometimes that's wonderful, sometimes it isn't.

For example, while on vacation this week I've been able to plunk down at the end of a fun-filled day and access email, online versions of newspapers and streaming video of city council meetings - like the one Wednesday night.

Using streaming video I had a chance to see our young jailer/mayor whine from the dais about how he just can't understand it when people continue to criticize him for proposing to demolish the municipal golf course long after he says he's given that really bad idea up for lost. He whimpered about the Daily Pilot not printing a letter he wrote in which he made this decision public. Funny, if he'd waited about three hours he could have read that very letter in the online version that night - just as I did. I thought it was a great irony, by the way, that his name was misspelled in the "byline". Editorial license? Probably not, but it was funny, nonetheless.

Well, Mr. Mayor, if you really care about why people continue to criticize you for even proposing this idea, here are a few reasons that I can think of: 1) It was a bad idea from the start. 2) You chose to spring it on your peers on the city council without even the suggestion of vetting it in a study session first. 3) It was an obvious political ploy to find a way to avoid lighting two more fields at The Farm complex. 4) This is certainly not the first time you've done something like this - remember your immigration screening scheme?

I found it amusing and instructive that, once again, our young jailer/mayor's sponsor in the Minuteman mob - the semi-grand pooba himself, Jim Gilchrist - rose to speak during Public Comments to praise and defend Mansoor's immigration screening plan against what he referred to as the "anarchists" in the audience. The best part, though, was his attempt to criticize those in the audience that he said refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag at the beginning of the meeting and to show them up by reciting The Pledge for them. It was illuminating to watch him completely botch that attempt as he forgot the words at the end. Even those young English-learner children in our Westside schools manage to master The Pledge. Perhaps we could get a few of them to coach Gilchrist.

Speaking of racists, our old pal, Your Neighbor, is going after the recently-formed political action committee, Return to Reason, with a vengeance. He dedicated another blog entry to that group today in a feeble attempt to cast doubt on their motives with more of his rhetoric. It sure looks to me like this election is going to boil down to whether people will side with our young jailer/mayor and his buddies, Gilchrist and Your Neighbor and their transparent, intolerant views or those candidates supported by Return to Reason. The editors of the Daily Pilot, in an editorial today, speculated that this campaign would not be full of mud-slinging and name calling. I hope they're right, but if the most recent posts on Your Neighbor's web site are an indication, I doubt we'll see a "clean" campaign.
11:07 pm pdt

Monday, July 3, 2006

Reasoning with the Unreasonable
An article in the Daily Pilot today discussed the recently-formed political action group, Return to Reason. According to the article, this group has apparently been formed "to change the make-up of the council in the November elections." Sounds like a good idea to me!

According to the article, this group is comprised of more than 50 community leaders, including several former council members. The article quotes Steve Dzida, identified as the group's spokesman, as saying, "Supporters of the group are concerned residents who have grown increasingly impatient with the direction the city is heading." He went on to say, "The group wants to elect people on the council that will do business in a professional and reasonable way."

Our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, is quoted in the article as saying, "It sounds to me like it's a return to unreasonableness by not wanting to uphold the laws." He continued with, "It seems to me that (Dzida) is going to support a candidate that does not want to uphold the law through the Immigration Customs Enforcement proposal that was put forward by this council."

An even more interesting quote was from lame duck councilman Gary Monahan. Discussing the group, he is quoted as saying, "If they think the city is heading in the wrong direction, they need to get off their butts." He continued, "Put up or shut up and run a candidate and see if that person can win. If they can't, they're obviously not in the majority." I offer that this is exactly what this group seems to be doing - they've gotten "off their butts" and are, in fact, apparently going to support one or more candidates for the seats available in November that can get this city back on track.

I don't know which candidates Return to Reason plans to support, but I can speculate with the best of them. Clearly, they're not going to support Mansoor nor anyone he hand-picks for the seat to be vacated by Monahan. That narrows the field to a few, based on who we suspect will be running in November. I'll let the group make that decision.

In my opinion, this city does, in fact, need new leadership. Mansoor, Monahan and Eric Bever - Mansoor's buddy - have turned this city in the wrong direction. They have shown themselves to be capricious, devious and flat-out untrustworthy.

Mansoor and his group have chosen a shoot-from-the hip style, which one observer has frequently described as "Government by Ambush". That's an accurate description, in my view. The list of such events is long and has been chronicled here ad nauseum.

Mansoor has shown us that he lacks the intellectual horsepower and maturity to continue to function on the city council. He continues to demonstrate a narrow focus, prescribed for him by his band of "Improver" cohorts and invariably chooses to put the wishes of a few ahead of the needs of the city in general. He has pandered to the most intolerant among us, which is best demonstrated by his embrace of the Minuteman mob and their leader, Jim Gilchrist.

It is, indeed, time for this city to get back on the right path. If the good folks who form the core of Return to Reason can help accomplish that, I will applaud their efforts.
3:23 pm pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West