TOO TARDY… The Monterey County Elections website is a fascinating place this time of year, and Squid loves spending a Monday clicking through candidate statements. It’s a long list, but not so long that Squid would miss one name that’s listed twice. Brad Imamura, a retired public employee, is running against Kathy Biala for the District 2 seat on the Marina City Council – and also running against Herbert Cortez and Tom Moore for the two open seats on the board of Marina Coast Water District. That’s a huge red flag because holding these two offices simultaneously would lead to conflicts.

Imamura tells Squid’s colleague how it happened: “At first I saw two candidates running for two MCWD seats,” he says. “That’s not an election.” So he decided to run. Then he saw that Biala was running unopposed and again, he thought, “People have to have a choice.” He was more interested in the city council seat. But when he asked to withdraw from the MCWD race, it was too late. If he weren’t running, the two other candidates would automatically take the open seats and MCWD would not be on the ballot. Since he is technically running, MCWD will have to pay the county elections office $60,000-$80,000. “That sum is really boggling my mind,” Imamura says. “Why would it cost that much?”

 

867-530FINE… Squid hopped into the jalopy to run errands and came across a fundraising bash for Salinas mayoral candidate Mike Lipe, who can sometimes be found rocking an Uncle Sam suit, standing at the corner of Blanco and Main with a sign that reads “Jimmy Panetta is a socialist.” (He’s not.) Lipe’s event, at Grower’s Pub, was complete with The Money Band playing the greatest hits of the ’80s and maskless supporters shuffling, snacking and drinking in the parking lot.

So Squid wasn’t surprised to see the “news,” per Mike’s brother Jim, that Lipe had been cited by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Mike Lipe posted on social media: “The deep state of Salinas flexing their power against the people. Amazing what they will do when they know they are behind and on the verge of losing.”

Only problem is, the DA didn’t actually cite Lipe, or the pub. DA Jeannine Pacioni says, “We received a complaint that didn’t involve the Lipe rally at all. We sent an investigator out with a letter saying we wanted them to comply with social distancing and mask rules, and when our investigator delivered the letter, everything appeared to be in compliance.” Plus, she says, there’s no way that a complaint made on Sept. 10 would result in a citation on Sept. 11 – there’s this thing called an investigation that needs to happen.

Squid needs a reminder: What’s the hashtag that Republicans are so fond of? #mikelipe #fakenews.

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