Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fire Briefings Reveal Who is In and Who Wants to Be

Community Post by Citizen Stringer

The daily briefings about the Gap Fire are starting to reveal which politicos are in and which want to be. The Saturday morning appearance by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at Earl Warren Showgrounds really topped off this political pattern.

Some observations especially from that event:

* County Supervisor Brooks Firestone finally appears, despite this fire occurring in the area of the County he supposedly represents. Apparently, his time was freed up after he just finished lighting up at the ranch the Family Pack box of fireworks he bought in Santa Maria, despite being the only Supervisor to vote a few weeks ago for selling fireworks in the unincorporated County.

* Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett still is totally incapable of dressing down, appearing everywhere all week in the same taupe suite no matter the setting. He threw a little tantrum at the beginning of the Friday briefing, when he longed for an electric generator "peaker plant" to be revived in The Good Land (as if electrons know city boundaries).

* Always fashionable and TV-ready, County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and Governor Arnold set the example for the appropriate open-collar blue shirt, although some jeans now and then would be warranted for Salud as his mentor Naomi Schwartz knew how to do now and then.

* State Assemblymember Pedro Nava continues to get his million-dollar investment return in his Assembly Member Only jacket, regardless of how warm the day is.

* Governor Arnold adopts quite the Bushian cowboy stance with his thumbs in his belt standing there by County Supervisor Janet Wolf and her always-impeccable hair.

* And making the most irrelevant speaking appearance at the event? None other than --wait for it... State Senator Abel Maldonado, Arnold's little sidekick when no other Republican in the legislature will have him. The coastal District for Maldo extends from Santa Maria north to Saratoga. At least Arnold's sidekick this year was not Rob Lowe, who looked a bit weird at the briefing last year during Zaca Fire.

* For the local Gap Fire briefings held daily so far at 2 pm, Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum and Councilmember Helene Schneider have been present, but no other past or future mayor were there, considering that all the electeds were mentioned at the beginning.

* During the Saturday briefing, future State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson was present and even asked a question to prompt more public information to be revealed.

At least none of the politicos at these briefings wore the yellow fire-resistant clothing that the actual pros use. None wear their never-dirtied Nomex better, though, than Primetime Palminteri reporting from the field. His jumbo goggles Friday night on KEYT were quite the testosterone-enriched fashion accessory!

Link for the entire Friday local briefing at KCSB, where Bennett blows up right at the beginning here:
Link for the entire Thursday briefing here:


Anonymous alsdkfjoawejoijafsd said...

This is classic.

Sara, where have you been already?

7/06/2008 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Suit and tie firewear said...

Yea, does Bennett have any idea how inappropriately dressed he is, or is he only thinking "photo op, photo op"........

7/06/2008 8:53 AM  
Anonymous dan hill said...

Doreen Farr and Steve Pappas have gotten zip out of this... they could have organized help and gotten a million $ in free publicity.

Firestone has been MIA. Interesting that the right wing has been picking on Blum for the Harbor Fireworks, but mum on Firestone being AWOL. Of course, maybe Firestone is ill, or depressed over Smyser's demise.

7/06/2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous christine! said...

Brooks Firestones son was married on Saturday- give the guy a break.....

7/06/2008 9:04 AM  
Anonymous editrix said...

Is this a fashion report, the gossip section, or er, "citzen journalism?" Long on silly, opinionated detail, very short on the facts and straight information the bloggers on this site and others supposedly wanted so much from traditional journalism. Well, at least no trees were lost the the publication.

7/06/2008 11:58 AM  
Anonymous anyone said...

So, Supervisor Firestone's son was married on Saturday, uhhhhh, so what!

So that's more important than the major Goleta area fire --- but not when the governor arrives. When that happens Firestone comes for the photo op on Saturday.

Agreed that both Pappas and Farr missed a big opportunity......

7/06/2008 2:40 PM  
Anonymous the chupacabra said...

I would rather see the actual officials give the briefing than the politicians, they usually give the wrong information. The Governor okay he indicates the seriousness and its his role, the others stay home although how people can be upset with Firestone for being absent, and then feel opportunities were missed by those running for office not taking advantage of the situation.

Kudos to citizen stringer, and blogabarbara readers for realizing the fire should be used to score political points. Who cares about neighbors forced out of their homes when there are your agendas to push, how very Progressive of you all!

7/07/2008 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Citizen Stringer said...

Some comments on these comments:

alsdk... seems to like this post as a classic.

Suit and Tie, maybe Goleta Mayor Bennett is having daily meetings with his financiers who are the wannabe Bishop Ranch developers?

Dan Hill and Anyone, indeed Doreen Farr and Steve Pappas could have interjected themselves into this, but they likely would have been criticized 5 to 1 if they did. No doubt plenty of aftermath will be good fodder for how the County could have done this all better and that would be a campaign issue ripe for the time.

christine!, the junior Firestone indeed was married that same day. Wow. Why does Brooks even bother with these token appearances like he really cares?

editrix, you obviously do not get what Blogabarbara is traditionally all about for the past nearly four years, as described so well in its subtitle as "Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture". For detailed, journalistic treatments, read the Indy web site and/or the official agency statements about Gap Fire.

For all, check out the front page photo in the Daily Sound today (Monday), with Governor Arnold trying not to get scratched by an evacuated black cat and his Little Friend Abel vamping for the photo.

7/07/2008 12:20 PM  
Blogger chow mein said...

The tongue-in-cheek humor over who's wearing what is kind of lost on those of us who were in the line of fire so to speak. The last people I want to hear from in a disaster is the Governor, the mayor of Goleta and any other policitian pimping for media exposure. What I really could have used was up-to-date information available on the radio-especially through the evening hours. This event really pointed out how badly our community is prepared for emergencies.

7/07/2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Radio saturation said...

To chow mein---- perhaps you have an outdated radio---I actually got tired of hearing all the updates and STOPPED listening to the radio. I suggest you program in:
1290 am
91.9 FM

7/07/2008 6:28 PM  
Anonymous editrix said...

Chow mein said it well. The seriousness of the situation might have tempered the silly treatment of it. Fashion choices and hairstyles aren't so funny when the flames are close at hand and information is hard to come by. Flip and fun has its place--just not this situation, imho.

7/07/2008 7:09 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Interesting range of opinions -- all valid IMHO. For my part, updates on the fire are important but the political theater of it all is not necessary and should be pointed out -- even with a bit of sarcasm.

7/07/2008 9:11 PM  
Anonymous No breaks in SB for politicos said...

these comments illustrate the conundrum elected officials face: aka: damned if you do damned if you don't. If you do show up and maintain a presence during a crisis, you can be accused of grandstanding even if that's far from reality. Or, if you're keeping a low profile, checking in but...let's say your son is getting married and you have guests from all over the world in so you're not physically showing up at all the media briefings're accused of being AWOL--- so as my grandma used to say "you can't win for losing".......

7/07/2008 9:45 PM  
Anonymous anyone said...

That's often true, No Breaks, damned if you do and damned if you don't --- but since you are being paid by the citizens you have a duty to do ...with the result, part of the job, being damned for it.

As MY grandma used to say, if you don't like the heat, get outta the fire.

7/08/2008 3:51 PM  
Anonymous veteran Bloga reader said...

While people evacuated or nearly so indeed have a right to have lost their political radar and sense of humor, others may think that all these breaking news notes at Blogabarbara really are not necessary in consideration of all the straight news sources so readily available already.

Also, apparently Little Abel is so uninteresting that a mockery of him is not even worth any new commentary.

And for some real hybrid analysis here, if anyone... Sara et al.... actually can confirm that radio 1290-AM (a Wendy McCaw Ampersand production) had any coverage except for late readings of their late print-edition reporting, do tell.

7/08/2008 5:25 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

veteran bloga reader -- I actually thought about the fact that other sources would do a a better job and be more able than I to provide updates. In the end, I decided it was too important and that I could link to The Indy (who did a great job)....

I didn'tlisten to 1290 AM -- someone else will have to comment.

7/08/2008 6:49 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

So as I'm leaving for the airport on Tues., I look over at my friend and remarked about the little wisp of smoke we the time I land in Delhi, the first thing I see on BBC was the Goleta fire. Didn't see Bennett though. Must not have liked his suit.

BTW, you don't need a $125 doctor's Okie Dokie note (prescription) to get any drugs, there's very few police about and incredible as it may seem, the city is not filled with crazed drug addicts creating chaos...imagine that. People here don't seem to need five million laws with all the inherent minefields of fines and penalties and threats from the gov't. They just get on with their lives, educating their kids so they will grow up to eat your kid's lunch.

What have our Rep's done to make our lives better? Something about lead ammunition and 15 MPH is all I recall...

7/09/2008 9:23 PM  

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