In Petaluma, when it concerns the dreaded "D" word, aka Development, everybody has a hidden agenda. The louder some scream about the "public good" to more you can be assured that person is seeking some private benefit.
Gee it's tough being a Petaluma City Councilperson, so many activists to placate, constituents to coddle and issues to straddle. And of course, in this climate of diminished revenues (let's not trouble ourselves as to why revenues are diminished), all city departments have to share the pain equally. No favorites. [...]
Now that the sewer rate rollback has been put to rest for the second, and hopefully last, time, the malcontents who hang around (and populate parts of) City Hall will need another goomswoggle to waste our time and eat up precious city resources. I'm speaking of course of the inevitable special election that we'll need to fill the seventh City Council seat, once the two diametrically-opposed camps of council members have exhausted their invective and our patience with the bickering over who best to fill the "swing" seat.
Good luck to all those who won, whether I voted for you or not. Before the election you had supporters and you had opponents. Once you've won your opponents haven't changed much, but your supporters are another case entirely. If they don't get what they think you promised in about...a week...they'll start whining, back-biting, and nay-saying. Before you know it, you're former cheerleaders will be asking for your head.
There are two schools of thought among folks who run political campaigns. One says that voters read and think, just not enough. The other school assumes that voters don't read, can't think for themselves, and is glad about it. (People who think Michael Moore produces documentaries and that Al Gore invented the Internet are proof that there's merit in the second school of thought.) As a result there are two types of political (hit-piece) mailers. One reminds voters of information - usually having appeared in media - that they may have overlooked (or ignored). The other distorts or invents facts to slander the opponent. Depending on which side of the aisle you sit, you likely believe that it's the other guys who distort the facts because yours is the side of Truth, Justice and the American Way. Unless, of course, you're a Progressive then it's Truth, Justice and the Marxist Way. One more thing. If a candidate calls for an end to mud-slinging it means that they have a comfortable lead in the polls. No doubt, as result of the success of their own hit-piece mailers.
I attended the Candidates Forum last night and was awed by a spectacular display of populist demogogery worthy of the great Huey Long. This candidate laid claim to every good deed and positive action that has occurred in our fair city since before he was born. A repeat winner of the Janice Cader Thompson Award for repeatedly stonewalling development, he nonetheless claims be solely responsible an economic revival in P-town, the benefits of which (he promises) WILL come. A vote for this individual is evidence that the particular voter... A) has amnesia, B) lacks the basic cognitive skills required to participate in electoral politics, C) would really prefer to live in Venezuela.