POWER PLAY… Squid keeps the lair dark to save on the PG&E bill, and because Squid is into conservation. So Squid put a Sept. 21 festival hosted by Monterey Bay Community Power on the calendar. Or wait, was that Sept. 30?

Squid wasn’t the only one confused about two consecutive green energy events. There’s MBCP’s shindig on Sept. 21, then Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane’s “Regional Community Meeting on Clean Energy” coming Sept. 30. The event flyer notes some sponsors at the bottom, including MBCP. It’s a rebranding of the event which, a week ago, was called “Clean Energy Forum,” with a flyer that had MBCP’s logo at the very top. But there was a problem with draft one: “MBCP wants to avoid the perception that this was a MBCP event when it is not, ever,” spokesperson J.R. Killigrew tells Squid’s colleague.

Another problem: As McShane – who is running for county supervisor – was courting government agencies as prospective sponsors, it started to look to them like they were being roped into a political event. Monterey Regional Waste Management District GM Tim Flanagan wrote to staff, “While campaign season is upon us, we should just be careful how our logo and/or name is presented in community events. We should double check on events and make sure it is truly a community event and not campaign related.”

McShane promises it will be “overtly clear” it’s not a campaign event. But Squid can’t help but wonder, then, why a Salinas councilmember is hosting an event in Seaside, where he’s seeking higher office.

Snack City… Squid loves pizza. Squid especially loves Buffalo shrimp pizza, loaded with saucy-spicy shrimp, topped with blue cheese crumbles and garnished with celery leaves. But Squid usually ends up going with plain cheese because, let’s face it: Toppings are pricey.

Squid wonders if paying for toppings is what Steve McShane (see above) had in mind when he offered to buy pies for an event with the Monterey Peninsula Democratic Club. McShane, a former Republican who recently came out as Democrat, apparently made the offer for a Sept. 12 debate watch at Mountain Mike’s Pizza. But according to emails that dropped on Squid’s colleague, the Marina Democratic Club, a co-sponsor of the event, wasn’t interested in eating what McShane was buying.

“There is the appearance of a conflict of interest and the Marina club does not support Steve’s offer to pay,” Elena Loomis, chair of the Monterey County Democratic Central Committee, wrote. Marina club board member Paula Pelot wrote back and said she was concerned that a candidate likely to seek the club’s endorsement would try to fund an event: “I will be looking into this and I can only hope that this has not compromised either of our clubs.”

In the end, the Marina and Peninsula clubs split the pizza costs. It probably tasted pretty good, politics aside.

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