The Plant Man


Unsolicited Campaign Advice

The big secret to winning elections is to get more votes than your opponent. 
     –Jesse Helms


By Steve Kawaratani.

As an interested party (not to be mistaken as a candidate or a Tea Party member) during Laguna’s biennial silly season (the City Council election), I try to keep current with the latest events, forums, and debates that include incumbent, challenger, and citizen participation.

I am of the opinion that local issues will likely affect me to a greater extent than outside politics and policies as I approach the latter stages of my life.  So, support of clean water and beaches, local business development, and traffic and parking management are high are my personal list.

Other potential campaign issues such as the vetting of the village entrance won’t likely occur during my life cycle, so I no longer scrutinize the many iterations that have been previously designed and discarded.

Campaign venues range from beautifully designed and appointed homes, which would boast fabulous views if not for fog, cavernous event centers that appear even larger with a dearth of supporters, and neighborhood pubs like the Marine Room or local hangouts like Madison Garden.

I generally prefer Kelly’s place as a greater selection of libations are available…. and of course, I happen to like Kelly. Nevertheless, as a former and potential host to local, non-partisan fundraisers, they are in the main grassroots and basically segregated (not by race, color, or creed), but by political leanings.

Of course, I sometimes wonder why a grassroots candidate invites supporters to listen to political discourse and ask questions in homes that only the very wealthy can afford.  Most of us live in comfortable, “regular” homes, but enjoy the “political”  excuse to explore the local mansions.

As a favor to all of the announced candidates, I’ve decided to offer some unsolicited advice in the upcoming months leading to Election Day.

•  If you’re an incumbent, emphasize that you have provided proven leadership, are experienced with the myriad challenges ahead, and reflect the quality of government in Laguna.

•  If you are a challenger, deny that any of the above is true of any of the incumbents.  It is a proven strategy perfected by others.  Also stress your experience outside of government and that you have the strength to make tough and necessary decisions.

I’m hoping for a campaign with some teeth, with an honest focus on real issues, and promises for solutions to the challenges that face Laguna.  See you next time.


Steve Kawaratani has lived in Laguna for sixty years.  He can be reached at 949.494.5141 or [email protected]

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  1. “The big secret to winning elections is to get more votes than your opponent. 
 –Jesse Helms”

    You forgot Good ol’ Boy Jesse’s REAL secret to success: Make sure the Blacks can’t vote for your opponent, and spread fear among your WHITE constituents.

    Personally, I prefer the tactics of Saul Alinsky, a friend of MITTEN’s father, George Romney, a Man who knew what he stood for and didn’t
    switch positions like a “well oiled windmill!

  2. My first letter was no reflection on Stan. I just think, KNOW, that Jesse Helms is not an example to use when discussing politics in a Civil discourse.


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