Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Given The Chance, Self Won't Denounce Negative Campaigning

Based on the overwhelming reaction to my post yesterday, I can say that there's no one in Santa Barbara who approves of negative campaigning and attack ads.

Well, almost no one.

I noted that there is nothing stopping any of the candidates who are the beneficiaries of the negative campaign tactics of Preserve Our Santa Barbara from denouncing those tactics.

At Monday night's Youth Council Forum held at the Westside Community Center, city council candidate Michael Self, who is part of the Preserve Our Santa Barbara slate was given the opportunity to denounce the PAC's tactics.

She wouldn't do it.

During his closing statement, candidate David Pritchett referred to one of the mailers that have landed in voter's mailboxes recently accusing council member Grant House, who is up for reelection, of missing eight council meetings during his first four years in office. Of course the ad fails to mention that some of those absences were due to House's wife undergoing treatment for cancer.

Pritchett noted that while he often disagrees with House on his voting record, that House has run an honorable campaign and didn't deserve the sleazy treatment from Preserve Our Santa Barbara.

Pritchett then challenged Self to denounce the ad in her closing statement. When it was her turn to wrap up, Self, rather than denounce the ads, simply said that she could not control their content.

No one is disputing that she can't control the content of the ads. But she can certainly control whether she chooses to condemn them.

I think it's fair to assume that if Self is elected, there won't be a sign in front of her seat in council chambers saying, "The buck stops here."

And what about the other two council candidates on the Preserve Our Santa Barbara slate? Would they have condemned the ads? I guess we'll have to wait to find out. Neither Frank Hotchkiss or Cathie McCammon attended Monday night's youth forum.

I should note that I wasn't present at Monday evening's forum (I was teaching a class at the time) and that this account comes from city council candidate John Thyne, who I spoke to following the forum, and Pritchett himself, who filled in details via an e-mail.
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Had a ball yesterday as the in-studio guest on the Nick and Paul Show on AM 1490.

If you're looking for talk about local politics everyday, Nick and Paul are on the air weekdays from 3 to 4 pm.

Tuesday their guests will be city council candidate Dianne Channing and Tim Allison, who is running for Congress against Elton Gallegy.

On Wednesday it will be mayoral candidate Helene Schneider who will be joining them and on Thursday, Dale Francisco, also a candidate for mayor, gets his turn.

That figures to be one hot seat on Thursday.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com