This last Sunday I attended a community event at the Sonoma Charter School sponsored by La Luz, which featured the first debate for 1st District Supervisor. The audience was mostly Latino parents and their children from the Springs. The debate was preceded by a traditional dance performance by young Latino students. If there was ever a place to have a model civic debate, this was it. What did these high school and grade school parents expose their children to? A bad civics lesson on how degraded American politics has become.
It was painful to watch Sawyer up there plodding through his consultant’s cue cards, completely oblivious to the context of the event. Did he really think that he could get away with the pot calling the kettle black by charging Susan Gorin with being a carpet-bagger in a race featuring two Santa Rosa City council members? How well do you think that went over with an immigrant community audience?
That’s just the name-calling. Then he trots out the mendacious pandering. His big idea for completing the Springs project is to try to magically transfer the state and federal funds allocated for the Community Connector bridge in the Santa Rosa. He knows that’s not how these funding streams work. He’s betting that the audience doesn’t know that. His plan for fixing the roads is to dramatically cut the wages and benefits of the county workforce, further diminishing middle class jobs, rather than finding the revenues. That won’t happen, either.
This kind of negative and dishonest campaign just diminishes everyone’s faith in the political process and makes the job of the next supervisor, whoever that is, more difficult. Let’s have a real debate about our vision for the future of the county.