Under this nonpartisan philosophy the first concern has always been the affairs of our town, and not the agendas of the usual state and national political personalities and controversies. People who run for office in our town owe nothing to any big political parties, deep pockets contributors, or powerful bosses. They only serve us. Here we have always voted the candidate, and not merely a party. It has stood our City well over the years, and because of that candidates for City Council have always respected the notion that big party politics stops at the city line. This is one of the things that has made Sierra Madre unique.
However, and as was first revealed late yesterday afternoon on this site, that is now apparently not how Joe Mosca sees it. According to what we found on the Los Angeles County Democratic Party website, Joe has now accepted the endorsement of a major national political party. And by doing so has aligned himself with its specific political agendas and programs. Which is ironic when you consider that Mr. Mosca has been presenting himself this campaign season as the "candidate for all Sierra Madre." But now with the exception of Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, Peace and Freedom, American Independents, and regular old "decline to state" independents.
On the Los Angeles County Democratic site there is something called the Guide To The Endorsement Recommendation Process. Here is how they describe this procedure:
The Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee, also known as the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), has the authority to grant the endorsement of the Democratic Party in local, municipal and nonpartisan elections in Los Angeles County. A political party's endorsement is one of the principal tools used to influence the outcome of an election.
Anticipating the inevitable evasions from the Mosca Campaign, let me share with you what I know about getting a Democratic Party endorsement in Los Angeles County. It doesn't just come to you like a gift from on high, nor is it a coincidence. You have to work for it. Here is the text of an email that was sent out to those Sierra Madre City Council candidates who are registered as Democrats:
From: Ivan Light (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: You are eligible for endorsement by the LA County Democratic Party
cc: Clark Lee (email@example.com) Paul Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 1:59PM
As a candidate for the City Council in the City of Sierra Madre, and a registered Democrat, you are eligible for endorsement by the LA County Democratic Party. To obtain this endorsement, should you wish to do so, you will need to submit an application, pay a fee, and attend a brief endorsement meeting.
You will receive official notice and a comprehensive explanation by ordinary mail soon. This letter is strictly unofficial, and intended to advise you in a timely way that an endorsement meeting will be held on:
date: Feb 27, 2010
location: 819 Marymount Lane, Claremont CA 91711
time: starts 10 am; ends approx 11:30 am
If you think you will want an endorsement by the LACDP, please plan on attending this meeting. Should you have questions, you can reach me by reverse mail. If you know you will not seek an endorsement from the LACDP, then please so advise me by reverse mail.
59 AD Chair
As you can see by Mr. Light's e-mail, this endorsement is not something that just happens. You are first required to pay a fee, do the rather onerous paperwork, and then undergo an hour and a half interview. Only after going though this process would you even be eligible to be considered for a Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee endorsement for Sierra Madre City Council.
Joe had to have really wanted it.
So what advantages will this endorsement get for Joe? Out of town volunteers is one. Already we have been hearing reports that people from other jurisdictions have been knocking on doors for him this election. Another is organizational support. Such things as phone banks (Glendale's is the one most likely to be used) and robo-calling will now be available to Mr. Mosca. All big city political techniques that could very well be unleashed upon our little town, and soon.
Sierra Madre has always been independently run. And as a part of that ideal comes the concept of nonpartisan elections. Individuals running on their own merits rather than the muscle and money of any of the big LA County political machines. By obtaining this endorsement Joe Mosca has flown into the face of a longstanding Sierra Madre convention. Another sign that he really doesn't respect the traditions of this town, nor does he feel that they should apply to him.