On the Campaign Trail
Thursday, August 20, 1998
Role models are a wonderful thing, but Monterey County''s 28th District Assemblymember and self-styled "Cowboy in the Capitol" Peter Frusetta has definitely seen one too many Clint Eastwood westerns.
How else to explain Frusetta''s refusal to debate opponent Alan Styles on the grounds that the Salinas mayor insulted Frusetta''s horse, Billy, in campaign literature?
Frusetta insists that no debates will be considered until Styles apologizes for making fun of Billy, and signs a pledge not to engage in any further "dirty tricks" campaigning.
Hey, I''m a great believer in the old-fashioned virtues, but this sounds like horseshit to me. While the Cowboy in the Capitol hides behind his insulted horse, there''s plenty of issues the voters want to know about--prisons, class size, methyl bromide, and labor issues--just to name a few.
These two need to stop nickering and get on with it.
One of the oddest tales coming out of the election filing period was the one told by Salinas Councilmember Fernando Armenta, who announced last week he was not running for Salinas mayor. Not only is Armenta not running, he told at least one local reporter that he "never intended to run in the first place"--despite the fact he had taken out nomination papers from the Salinas City Clerk''s office. Furthermore, Armenta explained in a local newspaper that he had received those papers "while picking up other papers" from the office--as if they were somehow handed to him accidentally.
Can someone accidentally get nomination papers? Not unless they accidentally reach behind the counter at the clerk''s office and get them, and then inadvertently fill them out. (Of course, it is possible to accidentally vote, but only after you die, and only in certain Chicago precincts.)
There''s nothing wrong with a politician changing his or her mind, and there''s definitely nothing wrong with not running for office, but what''s with the doublespeak? Just say neigh.
I also want to know why so many local candidates registered with the county elections office have declined to list their phone numbers on the official nominee list? Sure, I understand all about privacy and personal lives. Who wants calls from snotty scribes and sniveling citizens during those all-important prime-time television hours?
Want the public''s vote? Take the public''s calls.