12 Tuesdays to go: fight at 6 for the mayor of SB, Scrum on the mandate of vaccines


By Jerry Roberts from Actors of the news

Cathy Murillo’s chances of winning a new five-year term were boosted on Tuesday, with the official announcement that the Santa Barbara mayoral candidate now includes six – 6, count them, 6 – candidates.

The late entry of publisher Mark Whitehurst, as well as the unexpected candidacy of eclectic Funk Zone investor Matt Kilrain, in a field of challengers that already included former city council member Randy Rowse, the commissioner of the planning Deborah Schwartz and entrepreneur James Joyce, will further dilute the vote. for the mayor in the winner’s contest, bolstering the weight of Murillo’s 27 percent loyal base.

Since Santa Barbara’s current and irrational electoral system does not require a run-off between the top two for the single elected post in the entire city, a wide range of mayoral candidates makes it likely that a large majority of voters will favor a candidate other than the winner. ; Exhibit A for idiocy is Murillo, the Democratic Party flag bearer, who started her troubled first term with more than three of four voters voting against her.

Unsurprisingly, she like the current system.

The new guys

Of the two new names on the ballot, Whitehurst is best known, as the owner and publisher of Voice, a weekly tabloid. Previously known as Casa, it offers a mix of artistic content and community and local entertainment, funded by income from real estate advertising.

Unlike some historic Californian press barons who have gone into politics – think William Randolph Hearst, William F. Knowland and the Otis and Chandler clans – Whitehurst appears to have more modest goals, telling Newsmakers he has decided to presenting himself, in part, because of his lived experience as the father of a homeless son:

“Several weeks ago, a series of things made me reassess my role,” he wrote in an email.

“I had reflected on the needs of our city’s art and culture sector, the massive changes to our world-class image with the introduction of the Promenade and COVID adaptations, and the upcoming reopening of the art museum. In the midst of this, my often homeless son was hospitalized and received exceptional care here at SB …

All this pushed me to embark on a new path and motivated me to run for mayor. “

Politically, Whitehurst’s entry potentially cramps Rowse the most: another like-minded white old man, urging non-partisan pragmatism and the private sector perspective.

The lesser-known Kilrain, who calls himself “Boat Rat Matt”, displays his myriad of business interests on an eponymous site; one of its companies, “Chrismatic investments” is described as a “small investment firm that built a house in Big Bear with the money they earn from Chrismattic Car Care and running boats with Boat Rat Matt.”

The central promise of his campaign:

“Boat Rat Matt will develop and implement a profit sharing program as citizens own the SANTA BARBARA COMPANY and receive (sic) a dividend and pension for living in Santa Barbara.”

Such a deal.

Tax mandate of the town hall

An old precept of political campaigns says that when you lose, choose a fight.

Joyce, founder of the Coffee with a Black Guy franchise, which has fallen behind in the field, did so this week.

Seeking to get back into the conversation, he called for mandatory vaccinations or tests for all city workers.

“It’s time to demand vaccines or weekly tests for all city workers, in fact it’s long overdue,” he said in a press release. “At the bare minimum, the government should focus on keeping people alive. We have seen an increase in COVID infections, but unfortunately we are behind on our vaccination rate. The city of Santa Barbara has more than 1,000 employees and fully immunizing these employees will help save lives. “

His rivals were skeptical.

Murillo revealed in an email that “a vaccination requirement is currently under discussion” with the town hall unions she is addressing, and who are returning the favor with campaign contributions. “The safety of our municipal staff and the public is paramount,” she wrote to us. “We continually evaluate our procedures internally and with our public employee unions to ensure the highest level of safety.”

Rowse said that while he agreed that “everyone should be vaccinated … I hesitate for elected officials to develop medical and work-related policy.”

“Political divisions over everything have been part of the resistance to vaccination, due to mistrust of officials,” he added. ” No. I am in favor of everyone being involved with simple information… Should an elected district council reinterpret the leadership of our appointed health professionals? “

Schwartz lightly criticized James in her response, saying she promotes “awareness and communication before making one-way statements (such as a press release) about policy changes.”

“It is vital that this does not become a politicized issue, and I would be disappointed if anyone did,” Schwartz added.

Two clashes and a coronation

In the end, Eric Friedman skated, as City Clerk Sarah Gorman released a final list of candidates on Tuesday, which shows he has no opposition in District 5.

Not so District 4 incumbent Kristen Sneddon, who faces strong opposition from developer and fellow SBHS colleague Don Barrett Reed, or District 6 incumbent named Meagan Harmon, opposed by longtime town hall insider Nina Johnson, business owner Jason Carlton and DJ Zachary Brochet.

The 2-question question on the recall

Joe Holland, our steadfast county election czar, who is leading both the November 3 municipal elections and the September 14 poll as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall, obtained the voter handbook for the recall in timely mailboxes this week, and the ballot example shows the complexity behind the deceptively simple question of whether to vote to oust Prince Gavin.

The ballot is made up of two parts, in quick succession. The first one:

Will Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from his governorship?

Followed by this language:

“Candidates to succeed Gavin Newsom as governor if he is dismissed”:

Which is followed by a list of 46 aspiring governors, including a libertarian, two members of the Green Party, 10 independents with no party preference, 24 Republicans and 10 anonymous Democrats, who did not obey the party fatwa ordering all Democrats not to participate in the poll. , for the purpose of helping the Gavin team’s political calculations.

Newsom and his allies had come out this week to ask their supporters to ignore the second question, and only to respond to the first – No to recall – a high risk bet that essentially cedes the decision of a new governor, if Prince Gavin were to be recalled, to a small number of Republican voters.

What will Willie sez. Among Democrats worried about the recall is California political icon Willie Brown, Newsom’s mentor, who appointed him to his first local government positions in San Francisco decades ago.

California Politico correspondent Carla Marinucci sat down to lunch with Brown, and filed this report:

Among those sounding the alarm bells is Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor and state assembly sage, who raised his concerns over a two-hour lunch at John’s Grill this weekend in San Francisco. On the subject of shrimp cocktails and fish and chips, Brown – who mentored Newsom and appointed him to his first political post – gave the governor’s team stern advice: move him.

“On Election Day, Gavin is 2.1 million votes behind: the people who signed these recall petitions,” Brown told us. “And they’re all going to vote.” Newsom can have a big financial advantage with $ 45 million in the bank, as Jeremy reported on Friday. But “the money is not going to win this election,” Brown added. “It’s not a traditional campaign.

Brown said his daily conversations with Democrats on the streets still showed shocking ignorance of the upcoming election among Newsom’s grassroots voters. Case in point: He says Democrats at a recent rally in Chinatown told him “they were going to vote ‘yes’ on the recall ballot to help Gavin.” He had to educate them, “No! You have to vote no.

So this is it.

Hot podcast

City Hall is in turmoil over Josh Molina’s latest podcast interview with iconoclastic developer Ed St. George. It’s all worth listening to, but don’t miss St ‘George’s oh-so-retrograde patriarchal sexist rap on board member Harmon, which starts around 12:30 p.m. and continues for an excruciatingly squeaky 10 minutes.

Journalists say Check it out.

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