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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lie big, lie early  

The “Big Lies” are starting early. We have to ask why?

Expensive fear generator

We just received a beautiful, four-color, high-gloss mailer warning us to vote no on the charter. “Protect our General Law City from becoming a “charter” city like Bell and its corruption (sic).”

And, it has a dark and ominous picture of well-dressed, gangster-looking men drinking from Old Fashioned glasses around a table – two have unlit cigars in hand (and no ashtray). The text warns us “Charter Cities remove oversight of politicians...In a 'charter' city, officials could work with favored developers and contractors out of public view to bypass lowest bid contracts, bringing waste and cronyism to taxpayers and our city.”

Scary but untrue

Big Labor screaming fear-inducing slogans, and the slogans in this brochure all are untrue!

This ad was paid for by money that is--often involuntarily--withheld from union members' paychecks throughout the State. Their money is routed to the PAC, “Committee for Costa Mesa's future,” from “Labor & Management Organizations” in Sacramento. That's right, a Big Labor group in Sacramento wants to protect "our" city -- and they have a picture of a pretty city that looks something like Costa Mesa. Perhaps an accurate picture wasn't worth the drive from Sacramento.

Just playing pretend

Their “appear-to-be politicians in a smoky back room,” and beautiful picture of a peninsular city somewhere, and their warnings about danger to Costa Mesa all ring hollow. Actors and models are good at pretending to be gangsters, and the union fear-mongers are good at pretending to want reduced risk for Costa Mesa.

The whole brochure is “just pretend.” Just pretend backroom deal-makers, just pretend cigars, just pretend warnings, just pretend picture of a city something like Costa Mesa. “Just pretend” designed to scare those who don't want to read the Charter and think – about what it actually says.

Printing big, ominous black and white pictures and full-color brochures is expensive, though, as is television time. If the Big Labor folks are starting already, they must plan to spend a great deal of money to repeat and repeat and repeat their message.

The simple message repeated

The dark picture of pretend gangsters and the bright picture of the mayor of Bell being arrested are part of the very simple message that's going to be repeated. It's simple; Bell had a charter, gangsters met in back rooms, and the Bell corruption resulted. It came from having a charter, right?

Not mentioned of course is the four charter cities that declared bankruptcy due to charter provisions giving unions exceptional deals – who knows, maybe those provisions were written in a dark bar, with union officers waving unlit cigars. If that were the case it would surely be ironic!

Could it happen in Costa Mesa

Could the corruption and bankruptcy happen here? It's very unlikely under this proposed Charter.

Costa Mesa' charter specifically forbids the kind of shenanigans used by Bell officials, and it contains none of the provisions that drove Stockton, San Bernardino, Vallejo, and Compton  to declare bankruptcy. (See the 2 October blog.) Slogans and pretend pictures are all that's needed, though, to strike fear into hearts of  the union followers.

Not created for readers or thinkers

After all, the brochures aren't for the thinking voters who read the charter, because they're going to vote for it. The brochures are for the union supporters and others who don't want to read and think. It's designed to make them vote in fear because the brochure was so scary.

Big Labor's fear of losing their walking ATM’s – employees whose paychecks they can assess for “donations”-- must be acute. Perhaps the Big Lie is starting early because there's Big Fear by Big Labor that the voters of Costa Mesa will actually read the charter. That's a worst case scenario for the unions.

Big Labor + lost "donations" = stir up fear, early and often 

The “Big Lies” are starting already. Do we have to ask, why?

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