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The City Council Recall is a Cynical Power Grab
by John Kevin Rothwell
Thursday Oct 17th, 2019 10:27 AM
Let’s tell it like it is. The Santa Cruz City Council recall campaign is a political power grab sponsored by landlord and real estate interests - the same class of people who have been relentlessly driving up the cost of housing here for years now.
Their objective is regime change, an electoral coup d’état, carried out by means of deception and deceit. In the past two elections, a new majority of progressive City Council members has come to power, whose policy directions threaten the interests of the rich and powerful. The aim of the recall gang is to reverse the results of the democratic process.

The targets of their hit job, as their leaders have proclaimed, are the two City Councilmen they think are “the most vulnerable.” They said so, in a public meeting way back in March 2019, adding, “If we take them out, we’ll regain control of the city.”

The instigators of the recall effort are the reactionary political action committee “Santa Cruz Together,” which formed last year to blast the grass-roots rent control initiative Measure M with a million-dollar propaganda blitzkrieg. Now they’ve re-branded as “Santa Cruz United.”

They won the battle against rent control in last November’s election, but their candidates lost the City Council race. Now they’ve rolled out their final solution, hoping to win the war in one fell swoop before the next election.

Their recall would disenfranchise more than ten thousand citizens who voted for the scapegoated Council members, Mr. Krohn and Mr. Glover. The recall gang has engaged in a full spectrum war of disinformation and misdirection, intending to defame and smear their duly elected targets, in a modus operandi modeled after the worst of right-wing political activism on the national stage.

In the recall leaders’ own cynical words, they have “pivoted toward the homeless,” scurrilously blaming Krohn and Glover for encampments of homeless people, harnessing widespread fear and loathing among certain sectors of the electorate.

Beginning months ago, they orchestrated a sneak attack enlisting the opposition of the City Council minority and a few City staff women in a disingenuous insider game alleging gender-based bullying by Krohn and Glover in City Hall, thus engaging widespread #MeToo sensibilities in a war of words about imaginary abuses, even though an $18,000 professional investigation launched by Ms. Murphy, the HR Director, revealed nothing of the kind.

Their rampant character assassination reached a crescendo last week in a failed attempt by two Council women in collusion with the mayor, Ms. Watkins, who had instigated the faux feminist assault, to censure Glover and Krohn, and the fakery continues with a certain Sentinel columnist amplifying the pretense of bullying from his bully pulpit on the Opinion page.

They have spent thousands of dollars on full-page newspaper ads, slick campaign mailers, and squads of professional paid signature gatherers. They will spare no cost to dupe the public into climbing onto their recall bandwagon.

The thrust of all this nastiness is simple. I’ll say it again; it is a political power grab by the electoral losers, seeking to overturn the last two elections in one anti-democratic stroke.

The next regular City Council election campaign is only a year away. Four seats on the City Council will be up for election. In due course, everyone will have the opportunity to participate democratically in the ordinary way. There is no justification for adding a dysfunctional recall wild card to the process. Wait for the next regular election, already.

Don’t sign the recall petitions.

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