Is Whalen the Issue or the Candidate?


Election Day is upon us. As we collectively ponder the wisdom of the various candidates, it is important to remind ourselves that without their effort and dedication to public service it would be a sad state of affairs in communities such as Laguna.

It is important to acknowledge that despite political differences, each candidate is most certainly motivated by a desire to do the right thing.  I do not believe that any of the candidates are evil, that their motivation is anything less than honorable.  While I may differ in an approach to a community issue, I respect the ideas of others and always take the position that different is neither bad nor wicked.

There are no bad candidates; there are difficult issues over which people disagree.

And it is important to stand up when a candidate, any candidate, is disparaged by inaccurate accusations.  While I may (or may not) agree with or vote for Bob Whalen (it is not relevant), I do believe that careful review is necessary when history is cited as a disqualifying issue.  Specifically, the issue of MTV and the Artist-Breakers mascot has fallen upon Whalen’s shoulders as a heavy burden carried to this day.

After careful review of the available documentation, it is clear to me that whether one agrees or disagrees with previous policy, the school board members were motivated by a desire to do the right thing.  It is okay to disagree.  It is okay to choose to vote for someone else.  It is okay to voice one’s opinion, but I prefer that we attack the issue, not the person.

Thus, if I desired to speak against a candidate on an issue of importance to me, I would do it by suggesting, for example: “In the past the school board member’s motives were laudable.  I simply disagreed with his/her position.  I understand that some preferred a change from Artists to Breakers, I did not.  And here is why.” Attacking the candidate weakens your argument.  And for those who know Whalen, the criticism is unfounded and denigrating.

All of the candidates are dedicated to doing what they believe to be “right” for Laguna.  They are all worthy. Disagree over issues, but not Bob Whalen’s motives.  I consider him an excellent candidate.


James Selevan, Laguna Beach

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