Nasty Politics

With three months left before the Redondo Beach City Council election, the worst of politics has already begun to surface.

My friend Michael Jackson, who has taken on the formidable challenge of unseating an incumbent in the Redondo Beach City Council race, told me his uphill battle just got a little more difficult. It seems a person or people have embarked on their own campaign, a campaign to remove his name from public view.

It seems in the last week, five banners his campaign paid for and placed around the city have been stolen. The first thing I thought when I heard about it is probably the same thing you thought when you heard about it. Who stole the signs?

As I worked through the question, my first thought was someone who dislikes him for some reason stole the signs. That didn’t make sense, I’ve known Michael for a few years and he just doesn’t seem to evoke that kind of response from people. He’s a good guy and people like him. In fact, on the Harbor Commission, I’ve seen him work for harmony at times when I’ve chosen to give up on that possibility.

The next obvious answer would be one of his two opponents in the District 2 city council race. That one’s just too crazy. I can’t imagine a legitimate candidate for Redondo Beach City Council who would automatically assume his or her message was so weak the only chance of winning was to try to remove all of Michael Jackson’s yard signs from the city.

If it was just a rash of random yard sign thefts, the other candidates’ signs would be gone too but they all seem to be in place. That leaves only one group from which a suspect in these thefts could be found, supporters of one of Michael Jackson’s opponents.

No doubt, people get passionate about this political stuff. I’ll be honest. I thought about destroying a yard sign for the party I didn’t support in the 2012 presidential election. There are two reasons  I didn’t follow through with those impulses, One, I’m not a sleazebag. Two, I’m not a thief.

I also knew that if my candidate’s message was sincere and persuasive, he’d win the election. More fundamental than that, I had to believe my candidate had a message. If a supporter or supporters of one of the candidates in District 2 feel the best way to win the election is to commit larceny on behalf of their candidate, I have to believe it’s an act of desperation by people who understand their candidate has no message.

Read more at Building the Best Redondo...

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Kelly Sarkisian January 04, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Harry, It appears the same cool aid drinkers on here, who can't resist their cut and paste comments, also can't drive past a rival candidates sign. The behavior seems to be about the same. Give them time, they will be seen/caught, just give it time.
Harry Munns January 04, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I think you're right about who did it Kelly and I hope you're right about them getting caught. My gut tells me a simple minded person who would steal signs wouldn't be able to resist taking credit for it. If someone gets caught in the act and he or she tells the cops that one of the candidates knew about the thefts, then we'll have a lot to write about. Frankly, I'd just be happy if the sign stealing stopped but the other outcome would certainly make the race interesting.
Robert Keane January 04, 2013 at 05:12 PM
And therein lies the problem with Jim Light. If you disagree with him on any point it's an attack. How can you possibly govern this city, when you feel you are always being attacked. I want a councilman to be able to see all points of view, form a consensus, and be capable of reasonable compromise. Sorry Jimbo, you have none of these qualities
Jim Light January 04, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Robert - On the contrary. I always listen to well supported arguments and have changed my mind based on new data. Also contrary to your ad-hominem attack, I work well with people of different opinions, or I would not have risen to the level I have in the companies I have worked in. The Citizens Growth Management and Traffic Committee set up by Mayor Gin met for over a year. It had between 20 and 30 folks representing stakeholders of all types across the city. 90% of our decisions were concensus opinions. We did not start that way on each decision, but through thoughtful debate we came to common ground on the vast majority of items. I value differing opinions. I may present contradictory data that supports my side of the debate, but that is hardly an attack. When the opposing side has no basis for their side of the argument or is clearly wrong, I call them out on it.
Chris January 05, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Very interesting power plant debate not withstanding. However, the issue of missing signs seems quite simple to me. I for one am no keystone cop, but I have witnessed on several instances over the years in Redondo Beach minors tearing down signs just for fun. I would hope that operatives within our city council campaigns would not behave in this manner. Nasty politics like this is reserved for our neighbor Lost Angeles!


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