Squid Fry 12.06.12
Thursday, December 6, 2012
LABOR’S LOVE LOST… Squid figured it was a lock when ex-Coastal Commissioner Mark Stone recommended Monterey County Supe Jane Parker to his empty spot. But a funny thing happened to Parker on her way to the commission seat, and it has former District 5 supervisor candidate Marc Del Piero’s name written all over it.
Seems Democratic Party darling Parker gave Del Piero permission to use her name and a laudatory quote on a campaign mailer. That ticked off at least a few people in the county labor movement, and they wasted zero time phoning Assembly Speaker John Perez. Perez, who served as political director for the California Labor Federation, took notice that Parker was helping out a former Monterey County Republican Party chair and appointed San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom instead.
Shawn Bagley, local regional director of the California Democratic Party, has a theory on what sparked the mutiny. “She told Dems she was quoted on a mailer. She told everyone, ‘I’m not endorsing him, but I’m letting them use my quote,’” Bagley says. “And I saw fire in local labor leaders’ eyes.”
Bagley, self-described “party disciplinarian,” had a rough election. Between traditional Dems snuggling up to Del Piero, and many Republicans throwing up their hands and backing Dem Dave Potter, all discipline went out the window.
EXTRA SPECIAL… Squid’s got it bad enough in Cal Am territory, where multi-million-dollar charges pile onto water bills like pizza toppings. But Cal Am doesn’t hold a candle to the Marina Coast Water District, which lately has been bizarre enough to merit an act in Pac Rep Theater’s Spamalot.
The most recent farce goes like this: The four-man board majority sees its days of power ticking down to the swearing-in of newly elected directors Peter Le and Tom Moore. One-woman minority Jan Shriner votes for things she’s against so she can move for reconsideration once her allies join her on the board. The lame-ducks revolt by calling three special meetings where they deploy procedural judo to strong-arm inane policies through. Like requiring a 4-1 vote to approve annexations. And jacking up staff salaries. And appointing outgoing director Ken Nishi to sort out a water-rights battle over sewage – as if he has the ability to build consensus.
Herald Editor Royal Calkins basically summarizes Weekly Editor Mary Duan’s serial Spin comments on the subject in his Dec. 4 editorial, in which he even borrows her term “clown” to describe the preposterous board majority. But Marina Coast might want to take a hint when the town’s two biggest newspapers consider it the court jester of local water agencies. Voters sure did.