Friday, April 06, 2007

District 1 Mayhem

The bitter battle for First District's City Council seat reached new heights. Todd Ruiz documents the escalating conflict for the Star-News, where the debate questions sparked nastiness.

It was one question that was more a statement characterizing Salzer's motives for running that caused audience members to turn on one another.

"Your intention seems clear to use your position of power for your own benefit," Devine read from the unsigned card, which was one of two questions challenging Salzer's reason for moving into the district and running for office.

Some present, including supporters of Salzer, tried to shout Devine down and prevent her from continuing. Multiple arguments broke out, such as one between Pasadena Journal Publisher Joe Hopkins, who helped sponsor the event and is one of Robinson's chief supporters, and another woman at the back of the room.

Yikes. Among other things, however, we can thank Ruiz for making clear what was left abmiguous in the earlier Pasadena Weekly article on District 1 drama. In that article, at no point was the relationship between Hopkins and Robinson noted by the author. In fact, the only mention came through Salzer's mouth.

Salzer, who is white, said he feels Hopkins, who is black, and others are opposing him and supporting Robinson, who is black, because of her race.

“He's got the power of the pen, and he will say whatever he wants to say. This whole thing should not be about race. It should be about merit and experience and who can reach out to the people,” said Salzer. “Jacque is [Hopkins'] candidate, and I think they are afraid they are going to lose.”

Put that way, Salzer comes off rather unfavorably (or so it seems to me). Hopkins connection to Robinson, though, should give any savvy reader pause when he makes assertions that Villicana attempted to intimidate Robinson, particularly without contacting Salzer and his wife for comments.

Of course, as Salzer's supporters demonstrated, neither side seems to be above the acrimony. Coming up, Proctor watch, District 2 faceoff, and the comment roundup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ok, let's get real...

The Black Male Forum was a complete sham. If the Forum had outreached to the community to bring undecided voters out to the Center to hear both candidates, it was not obvious. It looked like the room was packed with both sides' supporters, and it was political theater - at its most mediocre.

I can tell you one thing: the only candidate who has shown up at my door was Salzer - TWICE. And I asked him tough questions - and he answered all of them without blinking an eye.

I was hoping like hell that Robinson would come to my door because I had heard good things about her, but she relied on paid walkers to get the job done. I have never seen her in my neighborhood, let alone at my door.

In the end, I am a voter. I want to know who the hell I am voting for. And, in the end, I need a councilmember that will know how to answer my questions, work like hell for our District, and pick his/her allies carefully to move our District forward instead of backward.

Looks like the choice is pretty clear to me. Robinson lost my vote when she picked Joe Hopkins as her ally. He neither lives in the District and he certainly doesn't live in Pasadena!!!! He lives in Altadena!!!! And his rascist attitude is the last thing we need in our District, especially when there is so much diversity here.

Too bad.... I really wanted to vote for Jacque, but it is sooo obvious she isn't ready for the City she grew up in. Not by a long shot.