On Thursday this week I received an urgent communication from the mother of one of Yes On UUT's preeminent personalities. The gist of her complaint was that I needed to stop berating her precious son. If not she would hit me with her rolling pin and make me scrub her rudely neglected chamberpots. Needless to say the prospect of such a punishment did not appeal to me, so I promised that I would never ever do anything quite so bad again. In order to protect the sensibilities of the poor dear thing I will now only refer to the object of her special concern as Napoleon Cheesecake. I would hope that you will do so as well. Actually, I'm going to insist on it.
Of course, that this missive from mother should have appeared in my email box the same day as a mass mailer to the residents of Sierra Madre arrived warning all concerned of a vast interstate conspiracy against local government, and as typified by The Tattler, is hardly a coincidence in my humble opinion.
Some people can dish it out, but don't enjoy taking it quite as much. They'd rather go and whine to mother instead.
So anyway, enough of that. Here is today's story. Many small town politicians prefer that people not discuss election issues in any real depth, but rather spend their time contemplating the bromidic though colorful political mailings their campaigns issue. Those postcards depicting SMPOA teddy bears in Police uniforms a few years back come to mind.
Yes, they really do think you're an idiot.
The Tattler doesn't do that sort of thing, of course. It would just be too boring and dull. Life is far too short to serve as a volunteer publicist for fibbing small town politicians and the vastly overpaid donut chasers who line their pockets with cash at election time.
Besides, and do allow me to assure you, we have always enjoyed the criticism. After all, if The Tattler was not having an important effect on what is going down in the SGV, why would certain special individuals go to all of that bother and expense? I figure that over the years thousands of dollars have been spent in misguided efforts to "Take Out The Tattler." And each and every time that effort has failed miserably.
The most obvious flaw in this scheme is that when The Tattler has been the subject of these sorts of things, blog traffic and interest have increased. For that we have always been grateful to our critics. Without them why would anyone bother to read what we lay down here? People prefer red meat controversy far more than they do the simplistic bloviations of prevaricating local politicians and their pompous and oftentimes laughably inept campaign managers.
As in other elections, The Tattler is now being roundly smeared. It is kind of a tradition here. I think they spent around $5,000 of somebody else's money this time around, which is pretty impressive. We are moving up in the world. But what makes it even more delicious is that these folks, who would happily tell you just how progressive and caring they believe themselves to be are, in my opinion, engaging in a reactionary form political excess known as McCarthyism.
This is how it is defined by Wikipedia (link).
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism." The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression against communists, as well as a campaign spreading fear of their influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, "McCarthyism" soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.
Here is a portion of this week's mailer from what I believe is the Napoleon Cheesecake fronted "Yes On UUT" campaign.
I'll bet the majority of people who voted against raising utility taxes here in 2012 and 2014 are not aware that they're actually "anti-government political militants obsessively determined to advance their personal political agenda." Nor did they know they voted that way to "harm seniors and families." They probably just figured they were sick of being forced to pay the highest UUT rates in California, and decided to vote NO.
In 2014, the Pasadena Star News said the following about that year's attempt to raise UUT rates in Sierra Madre.
Tell me, do you really think the Star News said that in order to destroy property values in Sierra Madre? Is Larry Wilson actually a member of an insidious extremist cabal hellbent on subverting the Wistaria Festival and Huck Finn Fishing Derby?
Besides, property values in Sierra Madre go up despite City Hall, not because of it.
This stupid and nasty attempt to smear the "No On UUT" campaign is, of course, complete bunkum. It is also an example of McCarthyism at its most extreme. An attempt to frighten the good citizens of the Foothill Village into believing that, rather than voting themselves a little bit of tax relief, are actually the target of a vast interstate conspiracy bent on destroying everything they hold near and dear. Or, even worse, are themselves the ones actually doing these terrible things, and really ought to look ashamed about it.
It is also not the only mailed example of McCarthyism this town has seen recently. Here is one from last year's Pasadena Unified School District Board of Ed election.
Kind of similar in a way, especially in the use of an inset display box. Strategically placed to reveal "secret evidence" of evil-doing from those targeted by these rather overwrought and extreme examples of McCarthyism.
Very strange things to see in the Foothill Village. Can it be the Yes On UUT campaign thinks it is losing?