POLITICAL PLAY of the WEEK: Hotchkiss Keeps On Giving; Williams Keeps on Biting
The Play this week is our local equivalent of Senator Larry Craig, the national political gift that keeps on giving to more Democrats winning next year in Congress. This Play seems to be the second chapter in the Hotchkiss Chutzpah series for the Santa Barbara City Council election.
Frank Frank is continuing his theme that global warming is good and that the more dependent we are upon oil imports, the better.
“Oil is the lifeblood of modern society,” Hotchkiss said to Santa Barbara Daily Sound. “What's next? Fossil-free fire engines and police cars?” Perhaps not the engines, but for the fire stations themselves, the answer this week is yes in this news video.
By being against well-designed downtown parks and for oil consumption, last Wednesday in the Santa Barbara daily newspaper and in the News-Press, Hotchkiss spun his way to getting front-page stories and photos about him and his dubious friends. One photo even revealed that he has patriotic lawn signs, so he must have read this Citizen Stringer Play from last week.
However, Hotchkiss got spanked hard in comments in both newspapers (the real one and the pretend one) by his election rival Council incumbent Helene Schneider, who reminded all that the Redevelopment Agency funds paying for the park could not legally be redirected to pay for police personnel, as Hotchkiss ranted about at length during his event.
This smackdown revealed that Hotchkiss was not aware of RDA involvement in the Granada Garage and perhaps was not even aware of what the world of downtown Redevelopment financing may be. Or, he just did not think anyone would notice.
Still, frank Frank generated a controversy and got his attention through two front page news articles and photos last Wednesday, and perhaps by now has expended 10 of his 15 total minutes of fame. Neither the Independent nor any TV news, though, covered his indignant spat about the downtown park design.
The Political Play of the Week by Frank Hotchkiss is a ball thrown from a distance towards the goal, but whether Schneider slapped it away hard enough will be seen on the reverse angle, not-so-instant replay.
DAS the BITING
As a bonus Play in this political sport, Council incumbent Das Williams keeps biting on the bait dangled by his Republican challenger Dale Francisco. During the City Council meeting deliberation last Tuesday, Williams half-jokingly said to the other Council members that Francisco, in his love for cars everywhere, may want to convert State Street into a multi-lane freeway (look up the video archive, Gentle Readers).
In addition, reports to the Stringer's stringer reveal that Dastardly Das banged away on Francisco during an unrelated allotment of time during the candidates forum sponsored by Samarkand Neighborhood Association last Thursday. As soon as he had the mic, Dale shot back and challenged any incumbent to a “debate” anytime, anywhere.
A true debate would be nice, though, instead of the redundant forumses with repetitive questions about building density and traffic management.
Unless interrogated by an actual news journalist, why would Das even acknowledge Dale on anything? Up through last week, Das has raised nearly four-times the campaign cash than Dale has, and two-thirds of the Dale dollars were his own loan to his own campaign.
Maybe the $8,000 Das Williams spent on a poll has revealed something about the challenger candidates that the Conventional Wisdom is not telling?
And THOSE --a bunch of fumbles bobbling in the air-- are the Political Plays of the Week!!!