Rob, Toni and Village Laguna are the big money ticket in 2014. If you could buy an election, they win! But VL spent 10 times over the opposition in 2012 and lost both the $30 million parcel tax and VL stalwart Verna Rollinger’s council seat.
Trouble signs for the 2014 VL ticket include Toni’s embarrassment over her 2002 “floodgate” vote. Next shoe to drop was Rob’s admission at the Firebrand Media-Chamber of Commerce forum he paid to appear on a slate mailer labeled in large bold letters “Republican Election Day Voting Guide.”
Rob’s stunning excuses were “everyone does it,” “just political marketing,” “outreach to Republicans.” Then on radio he tried “seeking name recognition,” “voters should not rely on mailers,” and “read the fine print at the bottom.”
If voters should not trust or rely on mailers, should they trust or rely on candidates who send fake mailers? $30,000 in yard signs, media ads and glossy mailers aren’t enough name recognition for Rob?
Rob claims to be an “independent nonpartisan” reaching out to Republicans, but he does it by tricking voters to believe he is a partisan Republican. Rob wouldn’t explain why he didn’t “reach out” to Democrats with fake mailers.
Rob’s confession he thinks the fine print disclaimer justified deception only proves he understood bold lettering on front targeting Republicans was meant to deceive voters. Do we really want a City Council member who tells us to “read the fine print” to find out the truth is the opposite of what he told us?
A lot of our good friends who were all in for Rob saw this as his chance to be the transformational “Big Tent” consensus leader he has promised. Instead of candidly admitting his campaign manager used fake mailers in 2012 and it worked, but he now realizes it was a mistake, Rob tried to talk his way out.
Career bureaucrats think they can talk their way out of anything. Elected leaders can’t blame voters for being too stupid to read the fine print. Elected leaders can’t fall back on the fine print like subprime mortgage brokers blaming underwater homeowners for taking too much risk.
Nor can they blame honest questions for less than convincing answers, especially when the person asking the question is not the one misrepresenting his party affiliation.
Howard Hills, Laguna Beach
The writer is president of Laguna Beach Republicans