|Sho Tay and Bulldozer Bob chewing the fat (link).|
You and I might not read The World Journal too much because we are not Mandarin speakers. Otherwise I am certain we'd be eagerly awaiting each insightful new issue and tearing into it just as soon as the paper hits the doorstep. No, as an English speaking denizen of this corner of California's Happiest Valley you would be turning to The Arcadia Weekly or the Pasadena Star News for your election coverage. There you would discover that the issue defining the candidates most is aggressive development. You would also get both sides of the story. It is how polite journalism gets done.
However, if you are getting your news from The World Journal, there is a decidedly pro-McMansionista bent to this year's City Council election coverage. As there was the last time. That, coupled with some rather nutty conspiracy theories about an evil cabal of certain politicians, "historical preservation," HOAs, and, of all things, Arcadia's Planning Commission, makes for some decidedly colorful reading.
There is also an unfortunate "us versus them" feel to The World Journal's election presentation. This comes off as being a sadly cynical approach to the development topic because, rather than trying to bring the City of Arcadia together on an important issue, it instead attempts to pit Arcadia's residents against one another. I can only assume that this ugliness is being promoted in order to further the interests of the usual McMansion developers who, of course, are only interested in making a lot of money. No matter what the consequences to the community, or who gets hurt.
It is hard to believe that in the 21st century people are still falling for this style of old school ethnic based election hacking, but there it is. Like a bad penny it just keeps turning up. Some things never change.
Here is a translation of a recent World Journal article on this year's Arcadia City Council election. There are some notable inaccuracies, especially on who would be running for office. But the overall feel is pretty much as described.
Bob Harbicht has won many past Arcadia City Council seats. Due to his failing to win a seat in the last election, he is restarting his engine, again. This time, he is especially focusing on trying to win the Asian vote. Last election he won 3,658 total votes. A substantial amount of those voters were from the Asian community. On November 30, he met with over 20 Asian people to hear their opinions and their concerns about the City of Arcadia.
It seems like what people are concerned about the most is crime, safety and historical preservation. It should be decided by the homeowners instead of "others". At the same time, he believes that the city planning department cannot allow a few to decide what homeowners can and cannot do to their property. As long as homeowners follow city regulations, an HOA or Planning Commission should not be allowed to decide. He hopes this coming campaign will be clean. He hopes to avoid the smear campaign that happened in the last election.
Bob Harbicht will be running as a candidate in District 2. This will be the most contested district. Current city council member, Tom Beck, past city council member Gary Kovacic and Dr. Cheng are all part of this district. Currently Tom and Gary have all communicated they would run. Dr. Cheng has expressed passionately he would run during council meetings on districting. Dr. Cheng has shown intentions during his speech that he has an intention to run. There are so many in competition in this district. By the deadline of December 1 for this article, he has not communicated that he would run. In this district, there are 49% Asian voters. It is clear that any candidate must fight for the Asian vote.
In comparison, our current Mayor Pro Tem Sho Tay is in District 3, and city councilman Roger Chandler is in District 5. Currently, there are no other candidates to run against them. Sho's district has 53% Asian voters. Roger's district also has over 50% Asians. Currently, it is advantageous to them. Sho expressed, it does not matter what race, picking the right person for the job is the key. The best thing about districting is each person can only vote in one district. There is no splitting the vote.
District 4 will not be running. It has the highest concentration of Asians: 69% There is an Asian lawyer Paul Chang whom had ran before. He lives in this district. By 2020, this district will run. Not sure he would be interested to run again.
Mr. Liu has said that Arcadia residents are sensitive about the election. Any candidate must be truly doing things for the city. It has nothing to do with new fresh face to be expected to win the seat. Now, we have 5 districts. Every vote from each district has become even more important. This requires all candidates to truly get close to Asian people and understand what they want. In return, they will get their vote. He is also hoping more Asians will stay close and on top of the election related issues to protect Asian people's rights. Be involved and vote, otherwise benefits for Asians will fall to a deaf ear.
I had to laugh at Harbicht's cantankerous claim that he was the victim of "smear politics" in 2016. What doomed his campaign last time was the revelation that he received an incredibly large last minute $26,850.00 campaign cash infusion from, you got it, a developer (link). People I am certain he is still beholden to today. Obviously Bulldozer Bob has his price.
Wikipedia trashes The World Journal
I was poking around the Internet looking for some information on who actually owns The World Journal. The most generous source I found on the topic was Wikipedia (link). Here are three passages that do the paper no favors. Click on each one to enlarge.
We will be providing more in depth coverage on the Arcadia City Council race in the weeks and months ahead. Do stay tuned.