Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Passing Fair Day For The Tattler

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I've posted a screen shot here of something that I get to look at on the internal dashboard of this blog, and that is the live graph that shows reader traffic on The Tattler. During the previous 48 hours we received over 9,000 hits on this blog, which is by far the largest number ever seen here. Yesterday's total, 5,727, is also the most traffic we've ever seen in a single day. Not bad for a blog that discusses the local politics of a town with less than 11,000 people living in it. What this shows us is that when Sierra Madreans wanted to know what was really going on this election, they came here.

Our previous best showing was a little over 4,000 hits in a 24 hour period, and came on the day we first posted Noah Green's unfortunate Facebook pictures. Something that, at the time, was quite a popular attraction in town.

These pictures, in my humble opinion, were the game changer in this election. It shattered the carefully planned election strategy of the Tax Me Party, and caused them to spend a lot of valuable time trying to convince people that the fault here lay not with the fellow who originally posted those embarrassing shots, but this blog for letting you know about them.

Which, of course, was a terrible waste of precious campaign time. First of all, "The Blog" (as it is called at City Hall), wasn't running for any elective offices. Attacking The Tattler is about as effective a campaign strategy as discussing city tax policy reform with a fire hydrant.

But it also distracted them from one of their chief aims this election season, which was surreptitiously smearing Denise Delmar. The Tax Me Party had sent out its usual 24/7 Creep Squad to whisper bizarre lies and slander about one of the most capable and intelligent individuals to run for office here in quite a while. And apparently The Tattler distracted them from their important work.

That is what they do, you know. Election after election. All while shamelessly proclaiming themselves to be some of the most civil and caring people imaginable.

When I was running for office in 2010 the fool that publishes The Mountain Views News proclaimed in an "editorial" that I had been reported to the police for going through resident trash cans. An absurd lie since trash has never excited me that much. And as the SMPD confirmed after the election (I actually had a lawyer inquire), no such complaints were ever filed. Besides, if it was garbage that I wanted, I could have gotten as much as I could ever use by reading her paper.

Payback is a beautiful thing. I can't even begin to tell you.

Even with Noah's strange selfie revelations, the fight for that third seat on the City Council was still a close one. With 293 provisional ballots left to be counted, Denise's lead over Noah is a fairly thin 1,223 to 1,114 votes. It is statistically almost impossible for Noah to overcome that lead, of course. Even Noah knows this as he has conceded defeat and congratulated the winners.

But if those pictures had not come out? If they hadn't been sent to me by an outraged Sierra Madre couple who cared enough about this community to alert us all to who exactly was about to be elected to our City Council? We'd be looking at a very different, and sadly retrograde, outcome today.

I was sent other things as well, by the way. Which I didn't use. But trust me, there was more.

The Tax Me Party almost pulled it off. Despite all of the stupid blunders and narcissistic unsolicited revelations. Their message, as dishonest as it always is, does have a strong appeal to many of the low information voters they almost exclusively target. And there are an awful lot of them in this town.

My advice is that you start thinking about 2016 now. They're wounded, angry, and out for revenge.

A passing fair election prediction

A reader calling himself The Dark Lord posted his election predictions on Monday. And now that the results are mostly in, we can see that his vision was pretty accurate. The numbers are a little high, but the predicted order of finish and the dynamics that drove it were nearly spot on. Here it is:

An election preview for the Tattlers:

Turnout will be approximately 10% below 2012’s turnout of 2,956 voters

predicted absentee voters = 1,200
predicted precinct voters = 1,450

1,007 people have already voted absentee through Monday.

20 more ballots will be received by the city clerk in the mail tomorrow and another 150 absentee and provisional ballots will be dropped off at the precincts tomorrow. These 150 ballots (containing a total of 400 votes for various candidates) will not be counted on election night but will instead be counted approximately a week later. These final 150 ballots will not change the election night results because they will be spread between all four candidates in the approximate proportion of their precinct vote. (Unless Delmar and Green are less than 20 votes apart on election night).

Of the approximately 2,650 ballots in this election, 450 people will bullet vote (vote for only 1 candidate) or cast votes for only 2 candidates instead of the 3 votes they could otherwise cast.

Thus, there will be a total of approximately 7,275 votes (cast on 2,650 ballots) spread among the 4 candidates when all is said and done.

Current models show the following election night results with 6,860 votes to be counted (cast on 2,500 ballots with up to 3 votes each...the remaining 400 votes cast by 150 voters who turn in their ballots at the polls will not be counted on election night):

based on observed quality of and quantity of campaigning (including Goss’ name recognition from 2 years ago) election night results are projected to be:

Arizmendi = 1,950
Goss = 1,825
Delmar = 1,600
Green = 1,485

Despite all the hand-wringing over hit mail last weekend, Green already had essentially ceased campaigning three weeks ago when he stopped sending mail.

When the absentee results are posted before 9 p.m. both Arizmendi and Goss will have very large leads over Delmar and Green.

As the precinct results are reported, Arizmendi and Goss will widen their leads over Delmar and Green but not by the percentage margins they will win the absentee vote.

Final conclusion: Noah largely threw his chance away to defeat Delmar because Noah stopped mailing. The revelations regarding Noah’s Facebook photos were a factor mostly because they apparently caused Noah’s supporters, and more importantly Noah himself, to lose faith in his campaign.

Elaine Aguilar can order the nameplates now.

Where we are at right now

There is a nicely laid out election results grid on the City of Sierra Madre website. For those of you who find that site difficult to use, I have cut and pasted it here.


We will post the certified final election results on this site just as soon as they are available next Tuesday, April 15. Which, ironically enough, is tax day. A fitting moment for one of the most regressive municipal utility tax rates anywhere to be sent howling into oblivion.

Oh, and one other thing. It is OK to feel good today. As a matter of fact, I recommend it. Step outside and breathe the air deeply. Nice, right? That beautiful smell is called freedom.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Smells like victory.

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    2. better enjoy the library while we can - it was guaranteed that it would have to close if the UUT failed

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    3. Another lie from the YES side. The City Charter requires we have a library. Try again.

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    4. Requirement of not, the City Library will not close - period. There are enough of us that will see to it that it will stay open. That is just another one of the propaganda machine threats.

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    5. It is a white elephant. Sacred and useless at the same time.

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    6. If you think the library is needed go check out a book. Otherwise use the internet, it is faster and more up to date. The scare tactics are always the same... have you been by the library to check out a book?

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  2. Overheard last night when the Neighborhood Watch and CERT gave a combined presentation at the Senior Housing on Esperanze: "I am worried about the results of the election results." "Why?" "Because the UUT didn't pass." " You were lied to by the YES campaign, some of the mailiings were illegal and you will be getting more information as to why that whole campaign was designed to make you fearful and totally untrue." "Oh, really?" "Yes, really."

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    Replies
    1. I'm worried that City Hall won't tell the truth. Oh, wait.

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    2. our PD could use a little slimming

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    3. An occasional jog certainly wouldn't hurt.

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  3. Mary Ann (one of the best council members ever) was not re-elected because of the lies from the Bart Doyle smear campaign

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    Replies
    1. The odd thing is a lot of the people involved hardly have a nickel to their names. What do they get out of lying about people who have their best interests at heart? What exactly gets put into that Kool Aid?

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  4. John Crawford, Faye Angus and Mary Ann on the council would make Sierra Madre Shangra La!

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you 8:33

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  5. In 2016 Capoccia out...Michael Amerio, CPA in.

    Capoccia...stop talking endlessly at council meetings and start asking staff hard questions about employee benefit costs.

    Harabedian....stop grinning and start exercising some cost controls.

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    Replies
    1. why won't this city put it's legal notices online?

      is that not a legal option or what?

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    2. Right now, it is not a legal option to post legal notices online.

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    3. It should be. It saves trees, cuts down on pollution and saves cash strapped city governments thousands of dollars. That and it would spare us the corrosive influence of Susan Henderson.

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    4. Talk to the newspaper lobby.

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    5. Most bad things in this state have their origin in Sacramento.

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  6. 8:51 Do you know what CPA stands for? It means that campaign season and tax time coincide. There is no way Mike could run. The person that could run and win is his Cindy Amerio. We need Cindy in two years.

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    Replies
    1. Either Amerio would be excellent. They're quality folks.

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    2. We'd better start talking to her now....we need another knowledgeable person on the Council.

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  7. does Cyndy know numbers?

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    Replies
    1. Goss doesn't know numbers. Neither does Harabedian. Guaranteed, Cyndy understands numbers better than those two.

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    2. Now that the taxpayers have put Johnny and Goose on a tight budget they had better learn to understand numbers. Maybe now that these figures are so much smaller they will find them easier to grasp.

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    3. Cyndy know numbers and has common sense. She is known for hard work....St Rita School, Little League, AYSO soccer, Tournament of Roses Executive Board. Cyndy would win.

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    4. Having three smart professional women on the City Council just might save this place.

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  8. I would like a Council that doesn't lie to us and hide facts from us

    we need one more cleansing of the Council and NEVER vote for another lawyer

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  9. Noah will run again - all his life his dream was to be elected to a political office

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    Replies
    1. I was hoping his dream was to be a responsible member of society. So much for that.

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    2. Noah should start with serving on a commission to learn what the City is all about. He is woefully uneducated when it comes to government and its responsibility to all of the citizens.

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    3. Judging by the people who recruited him, I am certain he was made aware of how dangerous townies are.

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    4. maybe Noah will take Gene Goss' place on the library board. after all, Gene got that position as a consolation prize when he lost council first time around

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    5. Seems like a fitting place to do political penance.

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  10. Michael Amerio is the managing partner of his CPA firm....he isn't down in the trenches grinding out tax returns with the staff....all he needs to do is make some time on the weekends to campaign which he can easily do.

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    Replies
    1. John Lewis would make a hell of a candidate. As would Matt Bryant. Then there is the return of Chris Koerber. All far better candidates than the dopes sitting on the dirt bench.

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    2. 10:13 are you out of your mind. Mike works horrendous hours this time of year.

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  11. Harabedian!!!! Do away with the time clock. More residents would speak if you would not restrict and intimidate them!
    Oh wait! Maybe that's your plan?

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    Replies
    1. Johnny believes in the process. That means freezing out the townies.

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    2. The time clock was installed as a suggestion at the Strategic Plan meeting as a way to speed up the meetings which were previously running on until midnight or so. Partly because of Moran's ramblings, but also because of long orations from the public. Paulie comes to mind. If you want this changed, come to the Strategic Plan meeting scheduled for April 25, 8:00 a.m. It starts at 8:30 and public comment is close to the beginning of the agenda. A suggestion would be to extend the time to 4 minutes instead of the 3. Also, the time limit was supposed to be for the council persons too, with them speaking only once on the subject unless questions. So they should be held to that.

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    3. limit the time of the Council for their own speeches

      but Johnny Boi loves to talk too much

      must be the lawyer in him

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  12. Thanks to the call out of the smear crowd. Sounds like the same people who posted their sour grape posts yesterday. Good blog today, Crawford. Now, lets hope that the bad guys crawl back into their hole and let the newly elected Council do their job without all the bad vibes. This means you too, Paulie.

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  13. Just about ready to break 2.25 million hits.

    Nobody reads The Tattler.

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  14. does carol Canterbury still roll around town on that stupid bicycle with a lollipop in her mouth?

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  15. While we can savor victory for a short period of time, the Tattler is correct that the losers are going to reconstitute themselves and still be a potent force. We must not become complacent. Our job is to continue to inform residents about the issues and gird ourselves for future battles ahead for the soul of Sierra Madre.

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  16. Democracy is to be always guarded like a young child as their are evil influences growing.

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  17. Through a combination of tax increases on businesses and a new utility-users’ tax on residents, the measure would have brought millions of dollars into the city’s general fund. But the measure was trounced at the polls Tuesday night, with 56.6 percent of voters opposed.

    City Council members argued that the city could crumble without it under the weight of multimillion-dollar deficits projected in coming years.

    “Measure A would have resolved the deficit going forward and allowed the city to fund much-needed capital improvement projects, which have been deferred in the last several years,” Finance Director Deborah Cullen said. “The outcome of Measure A means that, in the short term, the city’s management team will be immediately looking at ways to reduce spending through the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.”

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  18. For those who might have second thoughts as to how they cast their ballot, city hall will always cry the sky is falling knowing all to well they have the rainy day money tucked away. The citizens of Sierra Madre have ben played and fooled by city hall who claims to spew current and factual information pertaining to issues at hand. Lies or half-truths at best.

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  19. Previewing their defense of Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, attorneys for the accused on Thursday portrayed their client as an innocent man whom undercover law enforcement officers tried and failed to lure into illegal acts.

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