Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Kiwanis Debate

A trick I've learned is that when giving presentations, take in the room. Instead of focusing too closely on those you are speaking to, look at your surroundings and get a sense of the place you are in. It engages the subconscious and helps you relax. And at the Masonic Hall where the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club meets they have an extraordinary room. Bright and airy, with lots of windows and a big kitchen attached. And plenty of room as well. Those who attended this meeting had ample room and could stretch out a bit. Always helpful when you want people to really take in what it is you're laying down.

But this room truly is something special. I found myself feeling like I had wandered into a Norman Rockwell painting. There was a sense of peace in both the place and the people there that evoked a simpler age. A time when folks were not so rushed by the kinds of things that rule our lives in these more troubled times. Something I became acutely aware of as the meeting went on because in order to attend I had to play hooky from work. I badly needed to read my Blackberry, and then head back to Burbank for the special joys of the day job. You see, my New York employers move at a decidedly more strident pace.

But reality did intrude from time to time. There were those moments when I was required to speak, and then the times where I found myself engaged by the words of my fellow candidates. It is sometimes hard to follow the speeches of others in a debate because you get involved in sketching out what you are going to say next. But I did catch and hold some memorable moments. Here are a few of the things that stuck with me.

Josh Moran seems to be an affable enough guy. He likes music, and I found myself enjoying the conversation we had before the debate. His tastes are reasonably sophisticated, and I did get to tell him my favorite Sublime story. Which caused him to laugh. If only he'd known how many times I've told it.

But I have to tell you, the guy apparently lacks for the kinds of genuine insight that come from reflection. After delivering his rather pat narration on the necessity for civility in Mayberry, Josh then launched into a sarcasm laden attack on Don Watts for missing a plane to some meeting in Sacramento. Now I don't know the reasons why Don missed his flight, but being something of a business traveler myself, I would suspect it might have been traffic related. Or maybe a previous engagement that went on for too long. Believe me, it happens. And to make this a big debate pronouncement seemed rather petty and, well, uncivil.

"We don't need representatives that miss meetings!" sputtered Josh. Apparently not realizing that when the pot calls a kettle black, the word most sentient beings think of is hypocrisy.

Nancy Walsh seems perpetually confused by concepts that most would find simple. When asked if she had accepted money from any out of town campaign contributors or PACs, she couldn't seem to decide upon an answer. She asked several times what a PAC was, and when the answer "Political Action Committee" was provided to her, it didn't seem to take very quickly. Initially her answer was no, but she later had to reclaim the microphone and admit that there were some friends from out of town that had thrown her a few bones. For someone who claims to be a nuts and bolts person on fiscal matters, this all seemed rather unimpressive.

Nancy also coughed up a very strange revelation regarding our UUT taxes. These taxes, onerous at all times, but especially so now that the economy seems to be in perpetual crisis, have already been raised to 10%. Something she proclaimed herself to be happy about. But when she said that we should also consider raising the UUT even more if the opportunity arises, you could sense the dry snap of a pure disconnect. Casually intimating that tax hikes are OK not being the kind of thing most fiscally responsible people would greet in so carefree a manner.

Besides, I'm just not certain that tax increases are something the more fashionable politicians in town are wearing this season.

Joe Mosca, of course, talked to his usual themes. Which, as usual, had him taking credit for just about everything accomplished by City Hall in the last four years. And obviously he was quite comfortable in a room heavily populated with devoted fans. His defense of big development preservationism was an exercise in tortured logic that showed his expertise in these things to their best advantage. Certainly it pleased the crowd, and Joe was willing to share in their oxymoronic joy. On Planet Joe you can have your cake and eat it, too. Which is the kind of news the entitled segments of any society always enjoy hearing.

However, interested parties will be going to the video tape very soon on his apparent confession that he is a lobbyist. This has been a talking point for quite some time in certain political circles, and to have Joe confess it in front of the cameras is a treat many will enjoy discussing throughout the rest of this campaign.

One last point. A new red herring swam out of the proto-development hatchery at this confab. And while it was no Moby, or even a Wanda, it did have some fishy attributes that I at least found to be funny.

This latest whopper proclaims that if a sitting Mayor sends out a letter endorsing the candidacies of those she both respects and thinks will do a good job for the town, it means all those named are members of some sort of cabal or conspiracy. This seems to be an article of great faith among the chosen, and they did not enjoy having to hear this simplistic concept being challenged. You could almost imagine that they were about to erupt into an Orwellian chant of "One candidate good, three candidates bad" at any second.

Of course, in the soap opera setting that most of them operate in, this was taken to mean that MaryAnn doesn't like their candidates, and will refuse to work with them. You know, like when John Buchanan, Enid Joffe, and Joe Mosca ran the City Council.

Which is kind of insulting to MaryAnn if you think about it.

59 comments:

  1. Three candidates, Don Watts, Pat Alcorn and John Crawford's messages were clearly superior to the other candidates.

    WATTS CRAWFORD ALCORN

    for Sierra Madre first!

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  2. Mosca, Moran and Walsh are not fit to sit on the same council as Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray.

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  3. Josh Moran idea of civility is a world where only he gets to be uncivil. Obviously he's a case of arrested development.

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  4. It's not how you get to the meeting, it is what you bring to
    the meeting. In that regard Mr. Moran isn't suited to even
    carry Don's pencil box.

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  5. Confidentially speakingMarch 17, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    Mr. Moran and his coterie of hanger-on-ers have highjacked Mary's Market for their campaign headquarters. Can't even get a bite to eat without being accosted by someone wanting to talk the Mosca-Moran-Walsh slate. Some have accepted signs just to make sure their morning oatmeal is hot but confidentially they're not so sure they're going to vote for the D.I.C.'s surrogates.

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  6. And the lies just keep coming... although one bright spot in yesterday Kiwanees chatter by Mosca - he admitted to being a lobbyist on behalf of the City in Sacramento (and the 30 other SGV cities he represents in the SGVCOG). So, we have a lobbyist, a tap dancer who doesn't know a PAC from a SB375, and a realtor turned mortgage broker running against three candidates who are long time Sierra Madre residents, knowledgeable about the issues, and committed to the ideals of our small foothill community.

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  7. What does a lobbyist do? He/she gets paid to lobby legislators to spend taxpayers' $$$. Sierra Madre may get a grant or two, but taxpayers pay for it in state and federal taxes. What's a grant? Well it's money with strings and a generous income for lobbyists.

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  8. As I recall we all pay state taxes as well. So it really isn't free money after all. Just ask all thouse furloughed state employees and those of us who got Sacramento IOUs. And it looks like all that will get far worse if the state goes belly up. In part thanks to lobbyists.

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  9. No on Joe, he's still running a scam on the cityMarch 17, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    joe mosca is a disaster for Sierra Madre and it's been clear for almost 3 1/2 years that Joe is in Sierra Madre to benefit Joe, not the other way around

    josh moran will cause a disaster because he's in this just for the potential real estate commissions for his Mom, friends and probably himself, the dude just whines about nothing, almost bratty. Can't vote for the dude because he moved into town just hours before filing papers and I'm not convinced that he still doesn't have another residence in Monrovia, can't trust the guy at all, another salesman, next career will be selling Toyotas

    Ms. Walsh, I put her on the same playing field as Mr. Tice, both may be nice but are so far off topic that they appear completely out of touch with issues, Ms. Walsh is just pushing a downtown development agenda and speaks like she's been coached but hasn't studied enough to be able to repeat what's she's been told to say by John Buchanan's wife and most likely John.

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  10. When Nancy speaks its almost like she's trying to remember how to say her lines.

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  11. Mr. Crawford, thank you for this phrase:
    "big development preservationism"
    Exactly!
    Nice summation of the hypocritical foundation of sooooo much of Mosca's and Buchanan's verbiage over the years.

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  12. Does anyone remember just how many votes Tonya Torres got when she tried to run again, after betraying the people who voted for her?

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  13. Mr. Moran is running on the Love ticket, for the Love party, his brochure announcing the Love platform.
    Look here residents of Sierra Madre, hasn't that dim Mosca been enough for the last 4 years? Are we actually considering another person with suspect intellectual ability?

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  14. I showed my wife the Moran flyer last night. She thought he looked like the reason most women won't go to bars.

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  15. ...and there aren't any three story buildings on Montecito.

    The dirts blew it again.

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  16. Tonya Torres pulled 843 votes in 2006.

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  17. New slogan for the Mosca Slate:
    "We is what we ain't."

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  18. My husband watched the debates on TV. His take on Nancy Walsh is "she is as dumb as a stump" and "has nothing to offer the city."

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  19. Who asked the bonehead question about the city having a landscaping plan?

    The Kiwanis did an excellent job of not asking any questions about important city issues.

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  20. Are Nancy Walsh and Bill Tice brother and sister?
    Both are nice but very confused.

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  21. 11:47 am, if they asked any questions of substance their slate of candidates wouldn't have been able to answer them. I used to have respect for the Kiwanis, the Rotarians, the Chamber of Commerce, but not any more - at least not the Sierra Madre chapters. They've been infiltrated by decidedly self interested individuals.

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  22. Hey, could somebody write more about Mosca saying he was a lobbyist? When can we see that?
    Will the debate replay on the oh-so-unpredictable channel 3?
    What a career path - bankruptcy lawyer, Sempra PR fellow, and now lobbyist.

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  23. Thanks Crawford for that description of the room. I'll actually mosey over there to check it out.

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  24. I am still unclear about Nancy Walsh and the money for her campaign. Did she file the required papers? Did the question about why she was late filing come up at all? Do we know who her treasure is?

    C'mon, it's a campaign for a city that needs to watch it's money, and that is coming back to normal after disgraceful financial overseeing on the part of shenanigan councils. If it weren't for the slow growth majority on the council, we'd probably still be wondering where the audits were.

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  25. 2:29 ---- it does seem to be a downward swirl. Of course, the job of City Council does require the utmost in professional dedication. After all, we're a regional entity now.

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  26. Did Joe actually claim the L word? You can see his schtick about representing all 31 towns in the blahblahblah almost anytime the council discusses regional organizations. But my favorite is in the Heather Allen smack down Joe speech. Mosca is claiming that he represents all the small towns, until Heather silences the fool.

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  27. Can we infer from Ms. Walsh's lassiz faire attitude toward her campaign filings that she'd be equally lax about the City's audits?

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  28. I feel sorry for Nancy.
    She's a nice person, and that she does good things on the senior commission.
    The problem is that the Downtown Investors Club and the Dirts have put her up to this, and she's in way over her head.
    It's actually very mean, and I think it's probably Buchanan who got her into this position.
    Not civil, at all.
    No courtesy in that.
    She's probably giving it her best shot, but you need experience, and you need to have followed council business, or you'll make the kind of mistakes that she's making, like not understanding the blight ordinance, or the letter to SCAG.

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  29. Yes, neuroblast fan he did. However in the official version videotaped by Dean Lee Mosca's declaration may be edited out. A second version was taped by another individual; we'll have to see what it shows if Kiwanis President Henderson's heavy handed editorial handiwork skews toward the representative of 31 SGV towns.

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  30. Nancy would basically do whatever John B. tells her to do. She is not an independent thinker, and never will be. I have always thought that her concern about bickering is because that is what a conversation about the issues between informed people sounds like to her. She senses the tension, but can in no way figure out the meaning.

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  31. Just saw the Heather smack down again. He "represents the 31 cities of the San Gabriel Valley of which most of them are very small towns."
    Check it out. It's a great vid.

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  32. Kind of insulting to MaryAnn to suggest she's in a 'conspiracy'? Hell, the DIRTS have never been anything but insulting to MaryAnn.
    I think it's her obvious integrity and skillful leadership that does it. They don't have the ability to really understand just how much she outclasses them, but they sense it, and do what they know bets - passive aggressive trickery, lots of projection and whining.
    BTW, her letter was great. Clear and reasonable. That's what we want in a mayor.

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  33. If the tape is going on SMTV3, it should not be edited. If so, there will be hell to pay, I guarantee. Oops can I say that?

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  34. I hope not only that you can say that, 3:13, but that you can come through on that guarantee. It's good to know there's some watchdogging going on, given the ethics of the opposition, and the comfort level some seem to have found with fraud.

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  35. Remember the DIRTS have been lumping bankruptcy attorney Mosca and SoCalEd Human Resources attorney Buchanan into the same category of lawyerhood as Zimmerman, who has authored numerous articles on environmental law and policy and was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Super Lawyers Magazine. Imagine their spinning a three-time elected Mayor into a conspirator. The DIRT brains must be in hyper swivet.

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  36. I've heard that Kiwanis debates have never been shown on SMTV3. Is that true?

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  37. I'm pretty sure they were shown on SMTV3 last election 3:37.

    That was the one where MacGillivray made the rest of them look pretty dumb.

    MaryAnn MacGillivray outclasses this weak field of dirts by big numbers.

    She explained in her letter to the folks why she needs Don Watts, John Crawford and Pat Alcorn on the council.

    MaryAnn has earned our respect and loyalty.

    Let's all get the vote out and elect Don, John and Pat.

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  38. The World's Largest Flowering PlantMarch 17, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    My roots are deep in this community. From our hillsides I draw my sustenance, and it is here that I flower. And why have I grown to be so big and fragrant? Because I love this town.

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  39. A word of warning this evening. If you are out and about, and you are not wearing green, you could very well get pinched. This Irish tradition started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick's revelers believed that wearing the green made you invisible to leprecauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone that they could see. People began pinching those who did not wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch those who neglected to wear the color of Ireland.

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  40. So you think it's not not ok to have MaryAnn send out a letter of endorsement but it's ok for John B to have his Mosca,Walsh,Moran signs in his yard? Really?

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  41. Good point 5:34.

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  42. No one should feel sorry for NancyMarch 17, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Nancy chose to get herself into this mess. She is a grown woman and she is embarrassing herself. If she gets elected....heaven forbid...she will continue to humiliate herself and the city. It is amazing what she does not know, and how she continues her ignorance of what is important basic knowledge in local and state politics. She lives in a dream world to believe she will leave the world in a better place because she listens to greedy people. They are using her.

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  43. It's perfectly okay for MaryAnn to send a personal letter, and it's perfectly okay for John Buchanan, Joe Mosca, Enid Joffe, Glenn Lambdin et all to have Mosca, Walsh and Moran signs in their yards.
    It's perfectly okay for former mayor and councilman George Maurer to endorse Mosca.
    It's called the FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS of FREE SPEECH.

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  44. Anyone need WATTS, CRAWFORD or ALCORN signs?

    Please call Diane or John Shear at 355-4776.

    We will deliver your signs asp.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful and generous support!

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  45. someone send nancy a copy of today's blog since she said she never read it.

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  46. Not even Nancy is buying Joe's story of how much he has done in the past 4 years with her statement, made at least two, maybe three, times at the forums (City Council, Women's Club, Kiwaniis) where she stated
    " . . . we have to get the council back to doing the work of the people . . " As per Mayor MacGillivray's letter about the council accomplishments, Nancy dismisses all the efforts of the other four councilmembers, too: John Buchanan, Kurt Zimmerman, Mayor MacGillivray and Encumbent for re-election, Mayor Pro-tem Don Watts. Oh, Nancy, this is not good. You have not been paying attention.

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  47. Sure and begorra! It was bound to happen. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Moran has sent out holy cards to arrive on St. Padraig's Day. No more incivility, no more divisiveness! All is Love and Love is all. Some of Pat, some of Don, and much of John Crawford. Watch for the soon to come letter where Moran endorses MaryAnn, John Buchanan and Nancy Walsh.

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  48. There I was minding my own business at the Kiwanis Club and a bright light emanated from the stage. It was so white! Then my eyes brought it into focus -- it was, it was the smiling countenance of Josh Moran in all his saintly glory. And when I received his flyer in the mail I knew I had seen the true white light. The glowing nimbus around his body and his eyes raised to the heavens in saint like beatitude convinced me I would never buy a used car from this man.

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  49. Ah, yes, the "anoited one"
    Moves back into Sierra Madre after several years absence, two days later, files for City Council candidacy.
    WTF??????

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  50. Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo are baaackMarch 17, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    No one is as funny as the Irish. Thank you all for making me laugh out loud today. This was the funniest blog ever. Maybe I should make a movie out of it and call it Duck Soup? oooops, that's yiddish, oiy vey, it still fits....

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  51. Begorrah! I've been pinched!

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  52. There is plenty of proof that Josh Moran has lived in Sierra Madre way before he filed for his City Council candidacy. He has a lease agreement dated back to 2008 and I can verify rent checks from when he resided at my home prior to that. Let's try to stay on task during this election and address real issues.

    I'm too computer un-savvy to be able to post under anything but Anonymous, and when I state my position I hope Mr. Crawford's bloggers don't attack me or any of my co-workers again like they did last year while some of us were fighting fires and bringing income into this city, not wasting your tax dollars :) -Firefighter/Resident

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  53. Wait till Easter Sunday.

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  54. too un-savvy to figure out this dang gum computerMarch 18, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    1:05, sorry but I don't buy that. I actually spoke to Moran at Mary's, way before the election and he told me that he lived in Monrovia.

    ? how can you fight fires and bring income into the city at the same time?

    sounds like a made up post

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  55. lol 1:05, u didn't make such a ringing endorsement of Mr. Moran. A realtor who rents? not saying much for his salesmanaship and now the same guy wants to be our Mayor?

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  56. I was wondering about that fighting fires/ bringing income thing myself... for someone who claims to be un-savvy you seem to be able to figure out the emoticons... I would think a true friend would come right out with their name and say Josh Moran lived at my house and I have the rent checks as evidence. If I were Moran I'd be waving my... wait, wait - you're his mom, right?

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  57. Sounds like another soggy claim of victimhood from the usual suspects. Plus it is a lie, which makes it even worse.

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  58. no, I'm not his mom, Toni isn't a firefighter, lol. I was once attacked on the tattler by Kentucky saying that the city was safer with me gone fighting the Santa Barbara Fire.

    Josh Moran rented from me after he moved back from Monrovia. He then moved to the canyon around October 2008.

    Regarding how the fire dept makes money while we are fighting brush fires, that yellowish fire engine in our station is from the CA Office of Emergency Services (OES). They station it with SMFD while we agree to man it when they call upon us. When large incidences break out and we go to assist, our contract with OES pays a certain amount per day for fire personnel and engine services which goes to the City's General Fund. It's quiet a good sum of money. It's also very educational for the personnel, thus why we are so good at defending our own backyards during fires like the Santa Anita Fire. Rich Snyder just spoke to a man who's house we saved during that Santa Barbara Fire, it was really rewarding. Mary Ann can verify this if you doubt the validity, she is the SMFD liaison for the City Council.

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  59. With approximately 12,000 comments on this site you're likely to find just about anything if you look hard enough.

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