Mayor Sam Abed’s tenth town hall meeting began with the usual pro-business oriented video. Many of the scenes were shot in Dailey Ranch, which I’ve no doubt had Abed anything to do with it, would never have been purchased by the City as it was in 1996 by a City Council that had an environmentally friendly majority of Richard Foster, Sid Hollins, and Jerry Harmon. Escondido’s other big draws, according to the video are the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the Stone Brewing Company. Abed had nothing to do with the park, and it’s doubtful he had much to do with the brewery.
Then Abed went into his “update” which started with bemoaning how bad the federal and state debts were, and of course, how excellent Escondido had done, with Standard and Poor’s upping Escondido’s bond rating to AA-. He then cautioned that even though the crime rate in Escondido had been lowered by 22%, the effects of Proposition 47 that reduced many non-violent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors would release thousands of criminals onto the streets. He continued with his anti-state tirade by quoting from the San Diego Union Tribune about California having the highest taxes and being the most over-regulated of all states. Escondido was different—they had brought in $500 million in new business, Palomar Hospital was a wonderful part of the City, even though the downtown campus had shut down—not to worry, the City Council will be very selective in what will take over that downtown campus. Abed boasted that the roads in Escondido were improving, and mentioned that it was becoming and educational hub—you know with such high prestige institutions like John Paul the Great University and the Classical Academy.
He ended his update was a picture of Ronald Reagan with a quote about morality, at which point I laughed out loud. It was a truly spontaneous laugh that a better person than myself would have stifled. He said I was laughing because I disagreed with Reagan’s politics. No, as I emailed him tonight:
You said I laughed tonight when you brought up the morality quote by Ronald Reagan because I disagreed with his politics. Yes I do disagree today, but I confess to voting for Reagan twice. I used to be a Republican, but in 1992, Pat Buchannan made it clear that people like me, who were pro-choice, agnostic, and believed that decisions of government should be based on science and reason, not patriarchal mythology, were not welcome in the Republican Party. Since then the Republican Party has become the Fundamentalist Party of God, with more than half of them so backward they don’t believe in evolution, though evolution is a theory like the theory of gravity, and denying it is like saying you believe the sun goes round the earth or the earth is flat.
But, you are wrong. I laughed because such a quote by you was so predictable. Ronald Reagan has become the touchstone of your party, even though his politics would be considered flaming liberal by today’s group of Tea Party Neanderthals. And, I laughed because I believe than anyone who cannot see any conflict of interest in running a business that is a “public relations firm [that] specializes in how to describe a project to elected officials and the media…” (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Mar/02/escondido-mayor-launches-consulting-firm/) is someone who is very lacking in a moral compass.
Abed mentioned how poorly the economy had done in the present administration, which is odd, because, according to Forbes, Obama has had a much better record on the economy than Abed’s hero, Ronald Reagan. http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2014/09/05/obama-outperforms-reagan-on-jobs-growth-and-investing/2/
Tomorrow: Abed’s dilemma continued.