Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, October 31, 2005

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.

The News-Press endorsed council candidate Terry Tyler today. It's a little bit of a surprise as they have been using the distinction "recommendation" in recent years over the word endorse.

Tyler, who only recently came back from an extended vacation to run for council, has not recevied any other major endorsements that I know of.

What's the connection here? Will we soon see News-Press lawnsigns for Tyler?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Lawn Signs and Deletion Policy

A flurry of activity was created on this blog last night over the illegal lawnsign blog which tracks and photographs illegal lawn sign locations in Santa Barbara. An innovative use of technology, none of us here at Blogabarbara had anything to do with it...I've seen quite a few illegal SB Police Officer Association signs in the last few days myself. I've also seen a few ones that are in really dumb locations -- like the Lanny Ebenstein one on the way into Hope Ranch. Thing is, Hope Ranch residents can't vote in the city council election. This blog seems to take on a rather bipartisan, objective view -- no matter who the candidate.

Deletion Policy: I've had a few readers question when posts are deleted from Blogabarbara. Our policy is to delete blog spam because if you keep it there -- you encourage them. We don't need to be reading about increasing our web site's traffic or about the wonders of Cialis. We aren't going to delete posts that disagreee with our opinions written herein -- but we don't have any kind of mandate to post every single comment either. Much like an editor of a newspaper decides which letters to put on his or her pages -- we reserve the right to not include posts that use profane language or are over-the-top mean to other posters or the Blogabarbara writers. If one wants to create a blog for such a purpose, they are welcome to create one at We will even link to it...

Identity: one anonymous reader threw down the gauntlet last night and suggested a bet based on a Channing win that our identities at Blogabarbara would become public -- sucker's bet as far as I am concerned. Our writers are actually split on who to vote for in the council race. We won't be revealing our identities now or anytime soon -- and will neither confirm nor deny any posts which speculate who we are.

We appreciate our readership and simply ask for civil discussion in return -- there's no reason for any to use CAPS or post mean statements about any candidate, writer or other blogger. It helps if one gets a blogger identity as well over at Blogger -- if you want to be anonymous herein, create a fake email at gmail and sign up for Blogger with it. It's much more fun watching Valerio EL Cacique or if there was an Anna Pamu post than a string of anonymous posts.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

?Quíen es estranjero ilegal?

Carlos de Borbón observes from his pedestal in the Presidio Real de Santa Barbara—

While royally touring my Alta California I read Señor Alcorn's rant in the Santa Barbara Noticias-Prensa against migrants crossing from Mexico—"illegal aliens." At San Diego I revisited my first Royal Presidio, founded in 1769 when my Captain de Portolá and Padre Serra marched the Sacred Expedition colonists up from Mexico. In 1776 Captain de Anza sucessfully marched a couple hundred colonists gathered from the Sonoran coast into Arizona and then across the deserts and mountains to San Francisco, anticipating a similar colony sent to Los Angeles.

Excepting a few Spanish leaders, these Mexican settlers were mestijos, Indians with a bit of Spanish intermarriage. These aboriginals of America Septentrionalis have wandered throughout the continent for thousands of years. If you take my Camino Real from Santa Barbara to the Pueblo de los Ángeles you will pass into the one-time lands of the Gabrieliño, whose tongue was akin to that of the Aztecs of Central Mexico. The arbitrary border that rewarded the U.S. aggression of the Mexican War has not, and it will, not stop migration toward opportunity.

The pathetic Anglo nativism such as Señor Alcorn (with whom we do not always disagree) and others much more odious display makes one wonder what boat the ancestors come over on, and what Indians met them with welcome gifts and flowery words, these first of the "illegal aliens" to today's United States.

Yo el Rey

Campaign Sign Enforcement

One of our readers came across this interesting blog about campaign sign enforcement -- it's an innovative use of blogging!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Go Tell Mommy!

UPDATE on 11/4: Towle has resigned as President of the Sheriff's Council and has been sentenced to 12 hours of anger management classes and 80 hours of community service, $1,000 fine andthree years probation.
Interesting story in the News-Press about a "fracas" involving former Sheriff's Council President James Towle and Chris Edgecomb. In the report, Towle is reported to be a major philanthropist -- this puzzles me as many people I've asked have never heard of him and apparently, he owns the Toyota delearship in Goleta -- jabbed his finger in Edgecomb's chest during an argument and then accused him of leaving to "go tell Mommy" and then "telling Daddy" when Edgecomb reported the incident to Sheriff Jim Anderson. Edgecomb who fell over some chairs and lost his glasses in the incident did not initially press charges over a year ago when this happened.

Is this related to Granatelli's retirement from the Council? Why do law enforcement related charities bring out the worst in people? I'm, of course, referring to the verbal "fracas" surrounding the Secord Roast last year where the Slugger was roasted more than the council member...

In any event, it's a must read....

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Ethics of Campaign Contributions

Her man at De la Guerra, Travis Armstrong, questioned candidates taking money from organizations or individuals that have interests before the City in an editorial this weekend. Although he couldn't quite get himself to praise the Slugger for giving back a check from SoCal Edison, he did wonder out loud about the apparent ethical question involved here:

A check of Mrs. Blum's financial disclosure filings at City Hall, for example, reveals a series of donations from attorneys, architects and consultants that do business before the city. In fact, developers and others employed in the land-use and planning industry in Santa Barbara are big supporters of many candidates.

Under Mrs. Blum's highly principled Edison standard, shouldn't some of these checks possibly be returned as well?

I say the standard should be if there is a scheduled, pending item on the agenda or one that is generally known to be coming soon -- a candidate should not take a contribution from the organization or individual. He was quick to question the SEIU's $7,000 donation to the Rev. Horton Heat but what about the Police Officers Association? or the Firefighters? Would any contribution at all be a pay back for a positive vote?

Candidates wouldn't be able to receive any money from just about anyone under standards that are too strict. Also, how much is too much and what about in-kind, independent expenditures? I agree that this issue bears scrutiny for any candidate -- but let's not selectively pick our examples. Contributions from the POA deserve just as much scrutiny as the SEIU.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Armstrong Cries Foul

Her man at De la Guerra went after the Slugger again about an ad that he says uses a picture of Councilmember Horton without his permission. The ad which appears underneath the Angry Poodle in The Independent this week pushes the candidacy of the Slugger's chosen council -- Horton, House and Channing. Stay tuned....the small blurb will probably turn into a full article by Sunday....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Up for Discussion...

Got this interesting post from a reader about what I call "voting shotgun". Maybe not a conspiracy but interesting stuff...any comments?

McGrew Sets the Record Straight?

Sgt. Mike McGrew's opinion piece this weekend was overall a good, chest-out-we-should-be-proud piece about our men in blue. They certainly work hard -- deserve good pay and our respect. A few things need to be pointed out, however:

1) He states that the police don't "bully" candidates -- wasn't it McGrew himself who used the words "take her out" when referring to the Mayor? Isn't he the one that brought up his boy's cancer status in front of the Mayor like she hadn't just had a double masectomy? She's used mafia talk in her native Chicago -- they aren't all bullys but I don't know if I'd say the POA are choir boys either.

2) He says that not one single officer makes over $100,000 a year but does not explain the overtime issue -- officers get a lot of overtime if they want it. In my job, I don't get close to the kind of overtime available to police officers or the base salary they receive. I'm also not putting my life on the line and realize that -- the question here is, shouldn't they have gotten the same 3% raise as the firefighters? Isn't that fiscally prudent?

The interesting thing to me is that he is responding to Lanny Ebenstein's ads and comments in forums -- but can't say that because they can't look like they are helping Mayor Marty "the Slugger" Blum...

Getting Paid for the Same Work

Travis FactsWrong actually (I can't believe I am actually saying this) made a good point in his Sunday article about campaign brochures for Mayor Blum and candidate Channing having similar wording....

Sometimes you've got to wonder if the candidates for Santa Barbara City Council are getting fed their lines from the same sources. Reading certain campaign brochures, you'd have to think there are a handful of political consultants making a killing by getting paid multiple times for the same work.

Here's a line pulled from Mayor Marty Blum's campaign literature: "I'd like our city to once again be thought of as a leader in recycling, clean water, green building and environmental consciousness."

Compare that to this line from council wannabe Dianne Channing's brochure: "Our city should strive to once again be the standard-bearer of environmentalism in America."

OK, maybe the similarity is just a coincidence. And I'm glad they agree with what the News-Press has been saying for two years about City Hall lagging in being an environmental leader.

Although I wouldn't say that these candidates are following the News press' lead -- the wording is similar and they do have the same consultant....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Beating a Dead Horse

Tuesday's News-Press editorial again showed Travis Armstrong's personal vendetta against the Mayor. Yes -- the Slugger has had several cases of foot in mouth disease and I would not want to appear to be an apologist for that except to say that it's rather easy to be taken out of context with a reporter like Dawn Hobbes -- she's a good reporter but is always looking for the more sensational story.

I wonder when Armstrong is going to admit that Council Member Falcone has some culpability in her strained relationship with the Mayor -- it takes two to tango!

I found the Angry Poodle's account of the squabble between Blum and Falcone a little closer to reality. Here's my favorite quote from the article:

Next Marty took on the ever angry Travis Armstrong, the News-Press editorial writer who seems inclined to blame the City Council—and Blum in particular—for everything from flat feet to painful rectal itch.

Monday, October 10, 2005

What's the News Press Keeping From Their Readers?

What if these posts were written like a News-Opress editorial?:

What's the News Press Keeping From Their Readers?

That's the question Santa Barbarans are left with after their continuing effort to pretend to speak for our citizenry surrounding the SEIU questionnnaire. In addition, their lack of full disclosure around their "co-marketing" with 1290 AM is most troubling due to the potential for conflict of interest between their paper and the radio station.

There's a growing fear that their "lease" of 1290 AM will lead our region on a path of even greater misinformation about local news. Perhaps Mr. Cacique's suggestion that KCSB should provide local news for the radio is a good one.

As for the questionnaire, her man at De la Guerra's biggest challenge is to convince us why council candidate's responses to SEIU's questionnaire is a issue that deserves to be in the public domain. A union has rights and can do what they please with the responses they get from candidates -- which were intended for their membership. Showing backbone, Mayor Blum and council candidate House are smart to keep their answers from being published.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mayoral Candidates Go "Mano a Mano"

Yesterday, Mayor Marty "The Slugger" Blum and Lanny Ebenstein went face to face on AM 1290. It was kind of surreal to see coverage of her man at De la Guerra's Travis Armstrong's show in the News-Press. Armstrong, who is really just a permanent guest of the Baron Von Heron, moderated the discussion. The radio show was mentioned again this morning in the article about the Mayoral debates. We've brought up questions here before about this strange relationship between the News-Press and their "leased time" on AM 1290 -- now 1290 gets free advertising in the very realistic form of covering the news. Overall, I think it's great to have local news radio -- this sits a little funny with me, however. I don't remember KTMS or KEYT-Radio being mentioned in coverage of the news before or radio hosts getting quoted when they happen to be a higher up of the reporter...

The battle of the mayoral candidates seemed to go pretty much as expected with the Mayor touting her accessibility and her main challenger touting his fiscal concervativeness. The "Thinker" Bill Hackett added a bit of color. Surprise for the night? I don't remember the Slugger ever saying she was in favor of a carpool lane on the 101 South. Ebenstein, in contrast, wants to pave away. They also discussed the living wage and questioned it's affect on local business.

Last week, Ebenstein ran an ad in the Indie saying that Marty was for higher buildings downtown than he was -- making a weak connection between the height limitation ordinance of 60 feet and the Slugger's position on the matter. Saying he was for 35 to 50 feet buildings, he somehow insinuated she wanted buildings to reach the sky. What a wierd message -- and a stretch as Blum has never said anything of the sort.

You'll notice more lawnsigns going up in the next couple of days -- I predict an article on lawnsign stealing within the next three weeks. You heard it here first.