Saturday, February 23, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 51

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on July 11th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 19

Due credit

I know I spend most of my time pecking at people, but hey, I'm a bird! It's what I do. That's why it's always good to give some credit when it's due, especially to those I've pointed my beak at recently.

A couple of weeks ago I challenged the Santa Maria City Council and Mayor Alice Patino to attend the Pride event organized by House of Pride & Equality (HOPE) on June 30 in downtown Santa Maria after they all snubbed the city's first Pride last year ("Embrace the change," June 28). While none of the council members made it out (Mike Cordero at least emailed HOPE back that he couldn't make it), I have to give credit to Mayor Patino, who did make an appearance this year.

Way to go, Alice! That's leadership: embracing everyone in your community. A gesture like that means a lot to a whole cross section of Santa Marians who've felt ignored for decades.

Speaking of feeling ignored, I think that's the opposite of how Reason in Government and its head Robert Collector feel right now. The organization was put into the spotlight by the Santa Barbara Independent's Angry Poodle, Nick Welsh, as their redistricting commission proposal was about to go before the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

Welsh alleged that 4th District County Supervisor Peter "Mustacheman" Adam was involved with the organization's efforts to redraw the supervisorial district map, through his chief of staff Bob Nelson, which cleary pissed Adam off. He called the Indy a "tabloid" at the July 3 supervisors meeting. Sick burn, Pete!

Reason in Government's supporters and Collector whined that they're getting all this sudden attention, and that local columnists including myself ("'Rigging' elections," July 5) were unfair in pointing out that the acronym for their organization is RIG. To give the organization some credit, I did mess one thing up–RIG isn't a "new" group, they started in 2016, so I was wrong. My bad, RIG!

Having said that, I might be more inclined to believe their organizers that redistricting was just one of their many issues of focus if Collector hadn't said at the meeting that they've been working on this proposal almost as long as the organization has been around.

I still stand by what I said last week, though, that RIG shouldn't muddy the political waters by claiming it represents the "radical center." First of all, that phrase is freakin' meaningless, and secondly, it illustrates the obfuscation at play here, using words like "reason" and claiming the center when you obviously swing right, and would probably like to see the county swing that way too.

But hey, I will give credit where it's due. Adam tacitly approved 1st District Supervisor Das "Kumbaya" Williams' proposal for a redistricting commission after a tense meeting. Adam said the dueling proposal was in "good faith," and "kind of restores my faith in society a little bit."

But to go back to pecking mode real quick, RIG's idea that because their proposal was shorter than Williams' made it better, or more "elegant," as Collector put it, sounds familiar. President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans touted their Affordable Care Act replacement last year by pointing to how much smaller the stack of paper was for their bill compared to the existing law.

Anyone remember how that bill ended up working out? 


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