Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Little Sierra Madre History Lesson

Former Mayor John Buchanan
I have a theory about the mixed range of reactions to the Noah Green controversy here in Sierra Madre. Many are troubled, some embarrassed, while others see it as an indication that Mr. Green is just not very serious guy. Certainly not someone up to the complex demands of the City Council gig.

But there are some who have no problem with Naughty Noah's antics, and wonder what the fuss is all about. It is those that I would like to focus on today. That indifference to accepted moral precepts is part of a pattern that has been with this town for quite some time. And is certainly still with us today.

Not all that long ago there was a blog in town called The Sierra Madre Cumquat. There was also another one with a name so vile that it cannot be repeated here. Though neither ever achieved anywheres near the readership The Tattler currently has, they did have sizable and devoted followings. Some of which was made up of actual elected officials here in Sierra Madre. They certainly found a home with many who claimed to be at the heart of our local fashionable society.

And these sites would often use pornographic or homoerotic imagery to degrade and humiliate people from many walks of life in this town, including those who were not politicians and never dreamed of becoming one. Just regular people who supported Measure V. These are the people the Cumquat and its unnamable counterpart blog fiercely attacked.

Yet despite all of that, then Mayor John Buchanan saw fit to use the influence of his office to endorse this Cumquat blog, and did so in an article that was published on the front page of the January 14, 2007 edition of the Pasadena Star News.

In this article, entitled "Blog makes Sierra Madre politics a laughing matter," Mayor Buchanan was quoted this way:

Even Sierra Madre Mayor John Buchanan answered (Cumquat Publisher Jim) Snider's online request for an interview, producing a piece Buchanan called "light-hearted and fun."

Buchanan was a fan of the site even before he was chosen as the subject of one of its posts. He said a political environment like Sierra Madre's, where "substantial tension" exists, is exactly where Web sites like the Cumquat can flourish.

"They provide a kind of comic relief that all human beings need to cope with life on a day-to-day basis," Buchanan said. "A little humor and a little poking fun is good for politicians so we can maintain a perspective."

Not everyone saw the Cumquat in quite the same way as Mayor Buchanan. One of those people, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist from the Los Angeles Times by the name of Steve Lopez, had a decidedly different take on this matter.

In an April 1, 2007 L.A. Times column entitled "Sierra Madre Fears for its Treasure," Lopez described what he found on the Cumquat and elsewhere. I have removed the names of those mentioned in this column (you will see why), and I am not posting the entire piece here. However, if you are curious and wish to read the whole thing you can link to it by clicking here.

Each time I drive back to Sierra Madre I half expect the town to be gone. I figure it must have been a movie set or existed only in a dream, but there it is each time. Postcard perfect.

You settle in at a sidewalk table with a cup of joe from the homey Bean Town cafe and feel like you're in a remote mountain hamlet, the San Gabriels towering overhead and well-scrubbed villagers strolling by without a care, perhaps on their way to the Huck Finn Fishing Derby or Wistaria Festival. 

Or so it always seemed.

But it turns out that looks can be deceiving. Beneath its charming veneer, the town of 10,000 is in a dither over two development proposals: a 72-unit residential and commercial project and a 55-unit residential deal.

Measure V -- which would give citizens approval power on large developments -- is supported by, among others, (name deleted), a columnist for the Observer. In an apparent attempt at humor, an anonymous blogger who's adopted a pen name that can't run in a family newspaper, likened Henderson, who is black, to Aunt Jemima.

Another blogger, known as the Sierra Madre Cumquat, reported -- in one of the lamest stabs at satire I've seen in a while -- that Councilman (name deleted) had opened a bathhouse for young men, superimposing his photo over what looked like a gay orgy. The same website made up a story that pornographic images of Measure V supporter (name deleted) had been released on YouTube.

"It's so vile," said (name deleted), an author who has lived in Sierra Madre for nearly 50 years and speaks with a very proper Aussie accent. "I don't look at the blogging, but there are people around town who monitor it and let me know."

When I told (name deleted) that DowntownDirt.org didn't appear to be as satirical as other sites and instead seemed devoted to jabbing the Observer, she scoffed. DowntownDirt has a space devoted to "lively, spirited and civilized debate," on which a February entry by "Cumquat" asked "how long it's been" since (name deleted) "had an orgasm."

Makes you wonder if there are any grown-ups left in town.

That gives you a taste of what was going on at the time. Those running the "NO on Measure V" campaign, financed to the tune of $180,000 in developer and Realtor money, had incorporated into their efforts attempts to humiliate their opponents through the kinds of Internet smear attacks described by Steve Lopez in his column. 

And the then Mayor of Sierra Madre, John Buchanan, a leading light in the campaign to defeat Measure V, endorsed the most well-known of the two sites engaged in that effort, something that sent hundreds of curious readers The Cumquat's way.  

Now call it a coincidence if you like, or fate, but that core community of anti-Measure V political activists, those who had no problem with the Cumquat back then, or even supported it in some ways, are today key proponents of Measure UUT. This same core group of political activists also supports the two pro-Measure UUT candidates running in April's election.

Kind of serendipitous if you think about it. And it would certainly explain why certain folks have had no problems with the antics of Noah Green. And continue to support him despite his now widespread notoriety.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

91 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Going to be here for a while longer, dude. Certainly through the election. You'll just have to wait, I guess.

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    2. It will be a bad day for Sierra Madre when Crawford leaves.

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  2. I remember those days of the Cumquant. A few of Sierra Madres finest were being totally humiliated in unbelievable ways. No part of the human body was left out of the writings to insult people. Body functions were used in disgusting stories that permanently turned us all off, and off to Mayor Buchanan who supported this discussing child like talk. Funny how now that same group acts like they never liked that. The Tattler is right, these are the same people who always want to raise the taxes and are for upping the UUT. Thanks for bringing this up less we forget those rude crude people trying to run Sierra Madre. It ruins my breakfast just thinking about those people.

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    1. I remember it too, 6:10. Just goes to show us that this little rotten group will do anything to win. Anything.

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    2. 2012 was a disaster for the dirts. 2014 is shaping up to be even worse for them.

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    3. After my personal computer was denied access to the downtown dirt website, I used the library, those were eventually locked out, the cofeeshop in Arcadia I used for a while till it was locked out of the website. I would post pro Measure V comments and would mirror the hostility of posts of the anti Measure V comments but Buck would lock out computers - she was just a tool for the Buchanan crowd.

      Buck wailed that she was a journalist, took credit for starting a paper in town when she didn't and like Susan Henderson, was completely one sided and sort of batty.

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  3. Fay Angus repeatedly tried to get "Mayor Smut" to apologize. Did he ever do it?

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    1. Nah. The more reasonable and eloquent Ms. Angus got, the more resistant and pompous Buchanan was. Seeing his picture brought back a lot of bad memories. Thank goodness we don't have to listen to him anymore! Remember those endless droning speeches, full of weary sighs?

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    2. Noah Green is his political heir.

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    3. I'm pretty sure that Mrs. Angus was the elderly "Jewish" lady that Henderson the Coward called out as bigoted and claimed that Fay verbally assaulted her downtown.

      Which we all know by now, that Susan is a flat out liar and exaggerated a simple conversation to push her own deceitful agenda.

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    4. we gotta stop electing lawyers to the Council. With the exception of Kurt, who spoke in clear concise and directed comments, every other lawyer we have had on the Council has been a disruptive force.

      Lawyers by training are paid by the hour and trained to argue and over analyze to the point of accomplishing nothing. Lawyers make for terrible businesspeople and public servants.


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  4. No surprise that John Buchanan is still involved, it must be the sick lawyer humor that brings them out into the public eye. Wonder if Ms. Jofee ever figured out what Buchanan did to her reelection. That group really knows how to play dirty and for the life of me I can't see what pulls them all together, do they tell jokes at there mid day meetings?

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    1. John is just a marketing rep for SoCal Edison. He joined all the "in" organizations as management, never did any real substained grunt work as it was beneath him and ALWAYS sought out a photo op. He was and still is just a pawn for a utility company.

      And John was the leader in the original public forums that were lying about the water infrastructure and that he needed emergency monies for repairs and later we discovered that the entire emergency of impending doom was a complete falsehood and John and Joe Mosca, along with the City Manager was planning to use rate increases to secure matching federal funds for pet Buchanan projects like a new library ($7 million) and a $ 50,000 counter top for city hall.

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  5. It some ways the common thread that it all comes down to is money and power. The pro-development crowd seem to put money first. They don't seem to care about preserving what's special about this town. The UUT proponents want to take more money out of the pockets of us little people, grow government and concentrate power in the few enlightened people because they think they know what's best. for all of us. They want the power to tell us what to do. If you take it all the way to its extreme, you have a country like China where all the members of the politburo are billionaires and get to tell the billions of other people what they can and can't do. That's what it comes down to. Its also the end justifies the means crowd. For those in Sierra Madre who support Noah Green, there is probably no odius act that he could do to lose their support. As long as his views are consistent with their views, he'll have their support no matter what he does.

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    1. The end justifies the means crowd, well said. The town itself, so small and different from its neighbors, so unlike most of Southern California, is really much more of an "ends and means are the same" kind of place. Unassuming and successful in its own, modest way.
      They've been ruining it.

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  6. 6:20, Buchanan never apologized, in fact he seemed to take pride in his support of that kind of humor. He even said that at a council meeting. Hard to believe but he did. What is not hard to believe is some of these people denied knowing the international child pornographer who was in there circle of friends. I believe the child pornographer even had a party at his house for Joe Mosca for reelection. No wonder Mosca moved out of the country.

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    1. There is a real sleaze factor on the big tax side of the equation. Of course, these people present themselves as being Sierra Madre's finest. Which is hilarious.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. "Nobody can tell me what I should find to be humorous or not!" - Mayor Buchanan to Fay Angus one memorable evening.

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    4. Buchanan assumed public service meant that the public was there to serve him.

      He passed that logic onto Nancy Walsh.

      Buchanan - full of yucks.

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  7. Thank you Tattler for bringing this up less we forget or so that others can be educated to what Sierra Madre has been exposed to.

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  8. Hey, we don't call these people DIRTS for no reason.
    However, FILTH is a better name for all these moral lepers.

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    1. The dirts named themselves. The blog was called :Downtown Dirt"

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    2. It lived up to its name. It was very dirty.

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  9. This all comes down to immaturity. The cumquat crowd has not advanced beyond middle school level in what they think is funny. Sexually based humor is just too easy, it requires no real thought or knowledge or creativity. And yet, these middling minded folks believe they are smarter than the rest of us and therefore can tell us what to do. All you need for proof is to look at the current state of our city. I say it's time for the grown ups to lead; no more Moscas Moran's, or Greens.

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    1. I think it's younger than middle school....

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    2. Middle schooler's know that Facebook isn't private but not a lawyer and a newspaper publisher.

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    3. what's deplorable is that the supporters of the Cumquat used and manipulated an alcoholic in their desire to unrail Measure V

      I lost all respect and will never respect again a certain spikeheaded realtor, her firm(s) and others in town.

      They all proclaimed that they were great friends with the publisher but the poor soul died it was days before his body was discovered.

      Disgusting users - just to build condos.

      If Buchanan would have had his way, today there would be 70 condos at Howies, 50 + condos across from City Hall, we'd have a paid 3 story parking lot across from the Post Office and building owners downtown would be given the green light to build upwards to add condos.

      The vision that the Dirt crowd had for the city was just for the realtors.

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    4. Snider was the toast of the dirt world when he was useful. But once Measure V won they dropped him. His phone stopped ringing and he didn't get invited to fancy parties anymore. He drank himself to death and lay dead. on the floor of his apartment for days.

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    5. Gee, if John Buchanan and the Dirts had got their way on condos, we could look just like Monrovia, Alhambra, Pasadena, So. Pasadena and everywhere else where they've put in lots of stack and pack "sustainable" housing. How cool.

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  10. Nice summary of the Civility Party, aka the Dirts and the Downtown Investment Club members. These carpetbaggers are so damn tricky that they attack the slow growth side as being the sleazy ones.

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    1. They describe themselves but use the names of their enemies.

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    2. Thank you 8:25, yes! That's it exactly.

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    3. laughable that Nancy Walsh ran on the platform of bringing "civility" to the Council

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    4. Don't speak bad of Nancy Walsh. She'll "take you out!"

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    5. Hopefully for tacos.

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  11. Joe Mosca was a perfect representative of duplicity. His supporters would have been shocked to hear the things he said about them behind closed doors.
    He was one person in public, and somebody else in private.

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    1. Joe lied to my face when he stopped by during his first campaign. Because I was not in favor of building out downtown, he said he was against downtown developement.

      He said whatever you wanted to hear.

      Typical lawyer.

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    2. Joe lied to everybody.

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    3. He was very gifted at it.

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  12. They have ruined this town.

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  13. I would say Buchanan must have embarassed himself with his overwhelming endorsement of the defunct Cumquat, but obviously he has no shame.

    Amazing that SoCal Edision didn't bring him in for a little chat.

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  14. Enough about Green. Many uneducated voters, read the paper and feel that he is being picked on. This is getting him votes. Why don't you do a Q and A with the candidates and publish their views on such things as the UUT, water, staff, police, etc. Give us something instead of dumb little noah.

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    1. Read your sample ballot statements. That stuff is all there. If you don't like what you see here, for God's sake don't read it.

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    2. Green and Goss want you to pay 25% more Utility User Taxes in 2015. 'Nuff said.

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    3. Absolutely right, the dumb readers of the town rag think Crawford is an "awful man" and should be stopped.

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    4. The truth to your average dirt is like holy water to Dracula.

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    5. There does come a point when you have to pull the plug.
      Either the residents of this town want to preserve it, or not.
      If they vote for Green and Goss, they obviously are pro over development. Condos, MacMansions, whatever the market will bear. Eternal hook up to the MWD to support all the development. If that's what the majority of voters really want, it might be time to just let them have it.
      I'm watching this election with a considered attitude. If Green wins? I think the town is lost.

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    6. What an irony. The guy who is into telling the truth is the one the civilitarians vilify.

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    7. So 9:47, tell Crawford not to write about who these people really are, in order not to upset the "uneducated"? The be silent and let corruption have its way approach.

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    8. No, 11:28, Crawford needed to do his thing with the pictures, but then drop it. He is taking votes away from Denise and Rachelle by making Green a Mosca in terms of the little old ladies (who vote) being sorry for him. Green was not committing any corruption, he was being stupid and juvenile. That's what needed to be brought out and it was. Now, attack his policies which is campaigning on yes for the UUT, and his obvious lack of knowledge of the city.

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    9. Denise and Rachelle have nothing to do with The Tattler. They should say so. It is stupid to assume it that is the case.

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    10. 12:52 fancies him or herslf to be a managing editor.

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    11. I disagree that what Green has done is not corrupt. He takes an ugly picture with a mannequin, gets naked, is obviously drunk - and then says it was just being "playful." That's a corruption of "playful." It is a debasement of the word.
      And it's cowardly for him not to say, "Yes I like taking naked pictures, getting drunk, and yes I like molesting mannequins."
      If he were a good guy he's apologize and drop out, instead of trying to manipulate to make other people wrong.

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    12. It's a blog, not a political candidate.

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    13. Agreed that Denise and Rachelle don't have anything to do with the Tattler, but they are associated with it. If you don't believe me, talk to the people in the canyon.

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    14. Yes. Don't say or do anything. Otherwise the Crazy Lady Real Estate Posse will say bad things about you.

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    15. Denise & Rachelle are associated with "NO" on the UUT tax increase. That's why people will be voting for them.

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    16. Plenty good enough for me.

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    17. Concerned CanyoniteFebruary 26, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      I want to pay 25% more in utility taxes plus elect someone to the city council who posts nude selfies of himself on Facebook. Who should I vote for?

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  15. true 9:47, I haven't heard one word of substance from Noah about his platform and putting him and others on record about specific issues.

    Noah is getting support because many think he's being raked over the coals for being a doofus (oops)

    We make the same mistake over and over - someone puts up alot of signs so others vote for him or her because it's easy.

    Despite my reservations about the maturity of Noah, I'd give him more credence over Goss if he would at least have the courage to do a real analysis of the SMPD, downsizng the PD or brining in the Sheriff's dept. Many say they are against it but it's without a real comparison and the PD union sues the city left and right.


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    1. I feel the same way in many respects. I don't think Noah Pants is beyond redemption. In fact, a primer like this may help him to understand what caught so many people off guard. Personally, I think the pictures ar a hoot, and no indication at all of what kind of councilman he would make. What weighs much morearethe company he keeps, his ability to take responsibility for his folly, and most importantly his stance on taxes, spending, and building expansion.

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    2. Noah is for a 25% increase in the UUT. Outside of that, does anyone know what he stands for?

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    3. I was struck by all of the like-minded opinions on this page, until I attempted to offer a differing viewpoint and it was not approved by admin. Hmmm, wonder if this one will be. Stop mining social media sites for dirt on people running for office and try reporting on issues that actual affect our city. Heaven forbid you, or anyone else posting holier-than-thou comments, should have a skeleton or two in your closet. Move on!

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    4. Actually most people are laughing at him. Noah was, quite literally, caught with his pants down. I myself cannot see myself voting for anyone that will raise my utility taxes 25%. In your opinion, is that something else I should not be talking about?

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    5. Woah Pants. Hold on there. The impression is that these pictures were indicative of some sort of troll miner who went digging in the troll mine to find this, Not at all. This was due to an accident when I was redirected by FB away from a campaign post. That's it. Put blame where it belongs/

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    6. Dirts sense a conspiracy here.

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  16. Thanks, Mod.

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    George Santayana

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  17. Sure are a lot of Gross and Green signs around town. Yeah, Buck was nuts. She was as much a journalist as my dog is a cat. I do think that all of these blogs serve their own purpose and interests. I've had quite a few posts here, that weren't vulgar or rude, deleted because they went against the message delivered here. Some of the moderators are a bit overboard with their Tea. However, I do appreciate the way Crawford drags dark goings on, into the light. Although, Mother Teresa, you're not , Crawford......

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    1. As a Tattler reader who has occasionally asked the Mod to delete comments, I am thoroughly delighted to be accused of association with the Tea Party! That's a new one. Last time, I was accused of association with the anarchists. The time before, with Big Dems, and another time, with moderate Republicans. What a kaleidoscope of political assumptions.

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    2. Really? I've never seen so few signs in a Sierra madre election.

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    3. " I am thoroughly delighted to be accused of association with the Tea Party! ". Say no more...good luck with that.

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    4. You obviously haven't driven down the Blvd, or Baldwin, or Orange Grove. Or you text while you drive. The two G's are spreading their little signs around town.

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    5. Same places Goss had his sign last time. Except not quite as many. As I recall he ended up beating Bill Tice.

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    6. Mother Teresa? No. More like Monte Hall.

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    7. 11:30, skip reading never helps a person's accuracy. Try reading the rest of the comment, and there's a chance you'll understand.

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    8. I was accused of being a Monarchist once, 11:44.

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    9. Screaming about Tea is all the dirts got. No decent candidates, tax hikes, and a crushing defeat on Measure V. Life must suck for them right now.

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    10. Anarcho-Syndicalists are not respected by these people, either.

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  18. Kind of a heavy handed troll with the Tea Party stuff....looks like the Dirts are trying to say the Tatt is into the Tea, as yet another smear that they hope will win them the election.

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    1. If they want to spend their time yapping about something that isn't on the ballot, then they can just go at it.

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    2. The paranoid psychopaths are out today.

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    3. It could be Steve.

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    4. Facts are to a Civility Party member as Kryptonite is to Superman.

      "Kryptonite is a fictional material from the Superman mythos—the ore form of a radioactive element from Superman's home planet of Krypton. Within the mythos, it is the ultimate natural weakness of Superman and most other Kryptonians." (via Wikipedia)

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  19. 8:29, you are so right about attorney Mosca. He was telling me about how much these people drank and the parties they had and he didn't approve of that. Several years later these same people were watching his adopted son, go figure. It's amazing that real life is better than fiction. Please people, learn from the past, let us not repeat history here, we can't afford it again.

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  20. Right .. SM can't afford any more attorneys like Buchanan. Zimmerman was good, where is he?

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    1. Kurt has left the building.

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    2. Kurt received a job offer and moved up north to take it. People are allowed to do that. Even Sierra Madreans.

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  21. the houses surrounding those posting Green or Goss signs should be mailed with facts about them so the neighbors will hear the facts about Goss and Green

    in SM, people vote based on signs not substance

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  22. would you please change the picture on this article?

    I get a backwash of bile up my throat when I see a picture of Buchanan.

    thank you

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