Fries With That?
Wednesday, November 22, 2000
Truly, it is not good to be cheap. It is not good to be easy. This is true if you are dating and it is true if you are voting. But Squid would caution readers that, like dates who drop a lot of cash on dinner and then wait expectantly for a particular kind of something to happen, the politicians who spend a lot of money wooing voters are not necessarily the ones to be trusted with a four-year-long evening on the couch. Burgers or chateaubriand? You take risks either way.
Keeping this in mind, Squid did a quick check to see what the pols spent to get our votes.
The most extravagant expenditure per capita was by Simon Salinas in his successful bid for the 28th District Assembly seat. Salinas spent $21.46 for every vote he got, by Squid''s calculations--a sum nearly matched by the $21.09 put forth by Salinas'' competitor Jeff Denham. Combined they spent $1.4 million. Following those two big spenders were the lucky fellas at Pebble Beach Company, who ponied up over $1 million to get Measure A passed, spending $15.29 per Yes. (The No on A folks spent 69 cents per vote--and got 40 percent of Pebble''s pie.)
Coming in fourth is the No on E campaign in Marina which, with developer Gibson Speno''s help, dropped almost $30,000 on the campaign, or $11.71 per vote. The victorious Yes on E campaign spent $6.17 per vote. As some of you high rollers know, money doesn''t always impress.
The cheapest winning date was Clyde Roberson, who easily retained his Monterey council seat with an expenditure of less than $500, or 7 cents per nod.
Sadly, the cheapest date wasn''t a winner. Anselmo Chavez, Bachelor No. 2 in the race for 15th District Senate seat, fed his date a few grains of rice and got to third base with 40 percent of the vote against Bruce McPherson. McPherson nearly spent a Happy Meal ($3.16) per vote. Chavez'' total: 2 cents each.
As we all know, we can''t be bought, even for a Happy Meal. Persuaded, yes. Bought, no.
Back to Book Burning?
With all the stink out at the Steinbeck Library in Salinas these days, you''d think someone had blindfolded me and sent me back 50 years to the McCarthy era. Or to Nazi Germany, maybe. Banning books at the public library? In this day and age? Salinas resident and counselor Bruce Becker seems to think censorship is a fine idea, and it''s that old mainstay of the subversive arts and crafts, The Anarchist Cookbook, that he''s after.
First of all, Bruce, that book has been around for 30 years. Rumor has it you even read it back in your wild days. So what''s all the fuss about? You saw a couple of kids reading it with glee and you got upset, huh? Well, lucky for the rest of us, the library staff, commissioners and director Julia Orozco are courageous enough to think about the larger issues here. After all, sex ed and even Steinbeck himself have been challenged before at the Salinas library.
Seriously, I''d rather have my little Johnny checking out anarchism at the public library than his next most likely option--the vast, unsupervised expanse of the World Wide Web. Squid took some time to e-vestigate and happened easily upon www.angelfire.com''s "WeLcOmE tO hELL" site, as well as esteemed venues like Amazon.com, where you can find 273 books relating to anarchism, or Borders.com, where you can choose from little-known gems such as the satire Blow Job. When it all comes down, Bruce, I think we''re better off sticking with the library.
Send Squid a tidbit: Squid@coastweekly.com.