The choice of no choice

September 27, 2017 § 15 Comments

I got my mail-in ballot today for the Rancho Palos Verdes municipal election. We have to choose two city council members out of six candidates.

I like elections and try to do a little homework before I pencil in my choice, so I got on the ol’ Internet and started looking up candidates. Of course I didn’t have very high expectations. The RPV city council is led by a bike hating mayor and they recently replaced David Kramer, a fantastic cycling advocate on the transportation safety committee, with a bike hater.

But even though my expectations were low, they sank the minute I pulled up the guy at the top of the list, David Emenhiser. In an online interview, his main “issue” is that people in RPV are happy to live there. It’s a unique platform: We live in paradise, what’s to fix? Oh, and road improvements and city staff pensions. Plus, he wants to be “welcoming” to people who come to speak to the city council. Where was he during the great traffic safety committee paper wad assault of 2017? No mention of dead cyclists, harassing, fake enforcement by Lomita sheriffs, or a traffic safety committee that sees bikes as Public Enemy No. 1.

Next on the list was Eric Alegria. He is vice-president of an unnamed “Fortune 500 Company” and owns two (count ’em, two) small businesses. His hopes and dreams for RPV are to keep it safe (no poor people driving through, please), and to limit development. This last one is important, because once you get your plot of land you need to work like hell to make sure no one else gets theirs. No mention of bikes, bike safety, the miserable work of the Lomita sheriff’s department, or multi-modal transportation on the hill. Of course. I’m guessing he won’t support any plans for low income housing on his street.

John Cruikshank is also running for city council, and has about a zillion Facebag posts on his candidate’s page. John has raised $23,000 (but still needs more!), loves law and order, supports our fire department, believes RPV is a great place to live, and would kiss your baby and eat some apple pie if you offered it to him. My favorite part of John’s campaign is his “Get the Fuck out of RPV” platform, diplomatically phrased on his web site as “I know that public roads must remain public but there is a limit to how much each neighborhood should have to open their arms to others.” In other words, poor people and black and brown people GTFO. Plus everybody in Gardena. His position on bicycles? Probably too far forward with the saddle tilted up, but there’s no way to know, as he’s silent on the issue.

Moving right along we got to Krista Johnson, who is running for RPV City Council and wants to be on the city council so she’s a candidate for city council in order to be a council person. She has two kids and a husband and she wants to listen to your needs and be on the city council and be elected. She is also eagerly soliciting support for her city council campaign to win election to the city council. Bikes? Lame harassment by Lomita sheriffs? Zippo. But she really does want your vote so she can be on the city council.

Down in the gutter of the ballot I dug up Ben Kelly, a student. According to his GoBribeMe page, “Kelly wants to bring a youthful perspective to his hometown’s council, which has a vastly different mindset of politics and community. He has reached out to everyone in his community to start a true grassroots movement. With your help, Ben Kelly has a very good chance of winning this election to make history and inspire countless others to pursue their dreams in politics.” I have a few problems with this quote. First of all, he sure AF hasn’t reached out to me. Second, what exactly is the history he’s going to make? And will it involve bikes? Third, what is the vastly different mindset? Telepathy with aliens? Or is he simply ripping off Krista Johnson’s candidacy–elect me because I’m a candidate for election? Issues, experience, substance, bikes … zero. But new thinking! Yay!

Finally I got to Matthew Vitalich, whose occupation is “writer.” I know from personal experience that writers are the sketchiest, least trustworthy, most worthless people on the planet. James Joyce died from syphilis, for fuck’s sake. Anyway, Matt almost had my vote simply on the hope that he was also a diseased writer, but I googled him and found out that he 1) Wears a suit and tie and 2) Is a blogger and 3) The blog is for “libertarians.” You know, those people who think everyone should be free to not pay taxes but that the government should still provide free services. Anyway, three strikes for him, and a spanking for being such a liar: Everyone knows that bloggers aren’t writers.

So that’s the state of the slate, and a stinky one it is. The only person who seemed like he might not actually hate cyclists enough to run them over was Emenhiser because he has a nice smile, and Kelly because he may not yet have a driving license. It’s gonna be a long few years.

END

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PS: Don’t forget the Wanky’s. As if you could. And I may have forgotten to mention that there is free food and beer for the first 300 guests, so get there early.

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