Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Wonder If She Owns A Pair of Army Fatigues?

So, what's the difference between Wendy McCaw and Fidel Castro?

One is an iron fisted, cold hearted dictator, the other was the President of Cuba for nearly 50 years.

Now before you go off yelling "foul" and accuse me of being out of bounds with a comparison between McCaw and Castro consider this: is an employer who refuses to recognize a vote really any different from a dictator who won't let people vote?

33 to 6 was the vote by newsroom employees at McCaw's Santa Barbara News-Press in favor of unionization, but McCaw challenged the results at every turn. It was only after she exhausted all avenues for contesting the outcome of the election that she was forced to sit down and negotiate. As a result over a year went by between the time the employees voted and when they finally got to the bargaining table, and there's still no agreement in sight.

My guess is that McCaw will drag her high heels as long as she can hoping she can outlast the union and eventually attempt to have it decertified.

Parade magazine's cover story this past Sunday was on The World's Worst Dictators.

No Wendy wasn't on the list but my guess is if you throw out the votes from Florida she would have made the cut.

Is the dictatorial McCaw getting more miserly with her employees? Last year the 200+ employees of the paper got $50 restaurant gift cards for Valentine's Day. This year all McCaw gave them was a few pizzas from Rusty's for a small Valentine's Day potluck held in the break room.

Well, we know she's not spending the money she saved on Valentine's Day gifts on hiring more staff. She must be spending it on the lawyers.

And if McCaw has her way the streets and highways of Santa Barbara County will soon look like the streets and highways in Havana: deteriorating and badly in need of repair.

On Monday, the News-Press renewed its rabid opposition to the campaign to extend the Measure D half-cent sales tax to pay for transportation infrastructure improvements that is set to expire in 2010.

Can there be any argument that our streets and highways need improvement or that something has to be done to solve the traffic bottlenecks that are now a regular part of the Santa Barbara driving experience?

Anyone who has ever tried to drive into Santa Barbara from Ventura during morning rush hour or tried to go the opposite direction during the afternoon rush hours knows how serious the problem is. McCaw has obviously never had to put up with the same inconveniences that the rest of us do.

Something has to be done and it's going to cost money to do it. If McCaw's News-Press is opposed to a half-cent rise in the sales tax then how would they propose to finance this needed work? Instead of accusing organizers of the pro-Measure D campaign of "scheming" why doesn't McCaw come up with some alternative suggestions for how to solve the problem?

McCaw is right about one thing, with voters in a perennial "no-tax" mood it will be difficult to get the necessary two-thirds margin to pass the sales tax extension, so it's easy to get on the anti-Measure D bandwagon and take some of the credit for it going down in defeat.

For someone who doesn't want to recognize the will of voters, McCaw is not shy when it comes to telling people how they should vote.