Thursday, February 19, 2004
DO THE HOMEWORK…Apparently District 4 Supervisorial candidates don’t like filling out surveys. Of the four candidates, only Planned Parenthood VP Jane Parker answered the Weekly’s, which followed up candidate interviews with detailed questions about how the Board should solve critical problems facing the county. The other three—Darlene Dunham, Jerry Smith and Lance McClair—were no shows. A similar Q&A sent out by Citizens for Responsible Growth, a Salinas-based government watchdog group headed by Alex Urciuoli, also went ignored by McClair and Smith. Snaps for Dunham and Parker who answered the questions and returned the survey. But one of the candidate’s answers don’t match up with her endorsements.
When asked by CFRG, “Do you support the Rancho San Juan project to be built north of Salinas,” Parker says “Rancho San Juan should not go forward.” Dunham, on the other hand, says, “I believe the Rancho San Juan Project will be an example of the type of development we should encourage throughout the County. Its ‘one decision, multiple benefits,’ concept is a forward-thinking, highly desirable way to create not just streets and buildings but also vibrant, efficient, interactive communities.” Do Squid’s eyes deceive Squid? Dunham gives the project—called a “megalopolis” stretching from Salinas to Prunedale by some opponents —a glowing review. The city of Salinas remains one of RSJ’s most vocal opponents, giving the planned development a symbolic-yet-emphatic no vote. However, its residents and its mayor are some of Dunham’s staunchest supporters. Mayor Anna Caballero, who has endorsed Dunham, has called RSJ “poor planning,” and says Salinas will fight the development in the courts. Looks to Squid like someone didn’t do her homework.
PAW THE VOTE…Squid votes permanent absentee—it’s difficult to make it to the polls on Election Day. Not because Squid prefers swimming, as opposed to walking. The truth is Squid’s sick and tired of the looks—ranging from mild confusion to terror—when Squid shows up to vote.
Lucky for Squid, Paw PAC’s (California’s Political Action Committee for Animals) endorsements for the March 2 primary arrived before Squid’s ballot did. As one might imagine, Paw PAC’s mission—”working for animals and their environment through politics”—is near and dear to Squid’s heart. Squid tore open the envelope—not an easy task to perform with tentacles—eager to see how Monterey County’s two state Assemblymen, John Laird and Simon Salinas fared. Laird currently represents the 27th Assembly District, which includes the Peninsula, and Salinas represents the 28th District, covering the Salinas Valley. Laird has one opponent in the race, Jack Barlich, the Republican Mayor of Del Rey Oaks. So does Salinas, who faces off against Republic Farm Bureau Manager Bob Perkins on March 2. Paw PAC endorsed both sitting assemblymen, giving Laid an A grade and Salinas an A-, based on their voting records on such bills as AB 202, the Unweaned Parrots bill, AB 395, the Cat Declawing bill and SB 732, the Cockfighting bill. Phew. Squid will vote much easier now.