Might Makes Right?
Thursday, November 26, 1998
Minnesota''s got nothing on Monterey: They have Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura and we have Assemblymember Peter "The Fist" Frusetta.
In The Fist''s latest "Cowboy in the Capitol" column, he gloats over his re-election victory over Alan Styles. After rambling about how he slept while his campaign workers toiled, a memory jarred loose as he recalled his glory days as a Stanford jock...
"When I finally got my opponent exhausted," narrates The Fist, "I took careful, calculated aim and with renewed energy drove him to the floor with relentless, punishing lefts and rights to the midsection and then my best punch, a solid left hook to the jaw. It is with exhilarating emotion, even now 40 years later, that I recall my opponent collapsing, helplessly to the mat."
Without commenting on the assemblyman''s apparent brutishness, Squid has a question. If The Fist so loves a fight, why wouldn''t he debate Styles? Or allow himself to be interviewed by the press? Or attend candidate panels? Frusetta should be ashamed of taking credit for winning a fight from which he was conspicuously absent. The voters definitely lost in this round.
Imagine you''ve gotten a bad review, your co-workers hate you--so much, they''ve banded together to give you a vote of "no confidence." You''ve made up parts of your resume--and your boss knows it. Worried about getting fired? Hell no. For your efforts, you get a raise, a year''s paid vacation, and the guarantee that never will be heard a discouraging word about your past performance, should you decide to foist your talents off on other unsuspecting employers.
That''s the deal Seaside City Manager Tim Brown got from a unanimous majority of city councilmembers present at this week''s meeting (Brown''s defender, outgoing Mayor Don Jordan was out of town and not present for the rush-job vote.)
Brown, by state law, was entitled to a six-month so-called "cooling off" period following the election of new Mayor Jerry Smith--a measure designed to protect city managers from the political winds of change. And, the Seaside council, in its infinite wisdom, two years ago voted to boost Brown''s severance package to include nine months worth of salary, even if the city manager was convicted of a crime. But don''t pity the council too much. The same majority hired the guy, kept him on through union votes of no-confidence and revelations of resume fabrication, and cast the vote for the golden handshake. But they''re not picking up the tab. That would be the job of Seaside residents. Once again, the public takes it on the chin.
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