Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Perfect Models of Muddled Major Mayors

There was a horrible wrong-way-driver crash on the 101 in Santa Barbara this morning, complete with fatalities, and therefore the highway, and soon every surface street, was choked. We became a wonderful parking lot of not moving, not getting to work. Puts stuff in perspective. Late to work is much better than late period. Sometimes we have to be shaken out of our rush hours.

And much more mundanely, there was this--I turned to local AM radio hoping to figure out what was going on, what route might be best. This merely put me in the path of local pols trying to make their cases for being mayor. This merely made me dislike the candidates I already disliked even more.

As regular readers (hiya, both of you) might expect, just a word or phrase can be enough to set me off, as I'm in the business of words. (Didn't say I was a good businessman, just want my vocation clear.) First up is an ad from Steve Cushman, who wants to be mayor. And along his way to trying to prove that in 60 seconds, he says, "Because Santa Barbara is the best city in the world" or something very much to that effect. Sorry, Steve, but even as a big SB booster--I mean I do that professionally too, as George is my name and PR is my game--that's just an asinine, sucking up, bullshit thing to say. Who the hell knows what's the best city in the world? I might take Paris, another San Francisco, someone Cheyenne where I've never been. It's a stupid contest and a stupid thing for someone who has to make smart decisions to say. It means you'll say anything to be elected--it's like pretending that the whole damn town is one big baby to be smooched.

Next up was Dale Francisco, who instead of smooching, choose to shat on whole groups of people. He said to vote for him to keep "political activists and the unions" from running Santa Barbara. First, I sort of missed the political activists running town--I wish folks like Dick and Mickey Flacks were running things, but I'm pretty sure they're not. This "political activists" charge is sort of like when the right complains about "activist judges"--they only mean the judges who do things they don't want done. When the court rules in favor of corporations, white folk, etc., that's just justice, dammit. Comes direct from the god I made in my image.

And then the poor unions. Don't people realize that unions are just a bunch of people who actually work for a living? Sure, many unions are now white collar, not blue, but that's mostly because we've got rid of so many blue collars jobs or are very good at snuffing out any unionizing attempts before they can give people hope for better work conditions or a living wage. But there will always be a segment of the world (led by people like Wendy McCaw--gee, a rich woman hates unions, who'd guess?) that say the word union like they've just bit into a dog poop and maggot sandwich on a leper's shoe leather bread.

So it seems pretty easy, now, to decide who not to vote for for mayor. Glad your ads did the trick, gentlemen.

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Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

Have I mentioned Cushman's a buffoon? Can't believe people actually buy his act... so transparent. At the Arts Collaborative forum, he seeded the audience with supporters to cheer for him. UGH. Anyone but Cushman.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Time to Grow Up said...

I actually know Steve Cushman and have worked with him in the I'm pretty surprised that he would deserve such petty name-calling. While his comment in his ad does seem a bit much, I can say definitively that he is not a buffoon. If you do a small amount of research you'll find that he is a bit of an artist himself and has far more potential to raise money for the arts in this town than his competitors. It's not that I'm a biased supporter of his either, or that I have even decided to vote for him, but I don't see why having supporters in the crowd at the arts forum should be his fault. Some candidates didn't even dignify the event with their presence. I would have been far happier if other candidates' supporters had bothered to show up to fill in the very sparse crowd. I hope that when we send in our votes we all vote in the entire community's best interest, not just your own.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

I've also had direct experience with working Cushman, and don't use the term buffoon lightly.

I question his ability to raise funds for the arts. After one year as president of the Book Fest, which had been going for more than 10 years, he decided to shut it down because he "couldn't get support." He seemed more than willing to act without concern for or understanding of implications under 501(c)(3) corporate codes. He bumbled it. Not encouraging, to say the least.

The Arts Collaborative Forum had a specific focus, directed towards members of SB's extensive community of creative artists and arts supporters. To me, for a candidate to bring people for the sole purpose of cheering--people who have no real interest in or connection to the issue--is a deliberate effort to create the appearance of support where it might not exist otherwise. I didn't see many of the arts people there cheering for Cushman, but based on volume of clapping coming from the Cushman-T-Shirt guys, anyone watching the event on TV (it was recorded for broadcast) would have to assume the entire crowd went wild at his ideas to turn everything over to private business. That was not the case.

I agree that it was a shame that some candidates didn't show at all.

I don't want to appear a petty name-caller, but my observation of his actions lead me to conclude that Cushman is a buffoon. Wish it were otherwise.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Rob Egenolf said...

Queenie your comments say far more about your own buffonery than anything about Steve's.

It also shows that you have no idea who Steve is or the depth of his character and that merely means you have not been trying to learn about either.

Steve is a bright thoughtful and thoroughly experienced candidate who is indeed running for the office because he wants to help Santa Barbara through difficult times.

He is also the the only candidate in this race who has no aspiration to future political office.

Agree or disagree with his politics Queenie, but do not further demean yourself by calling him a buffoon in the future.

8:09 PM  

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