Squid ponders what's really in a name.


TAX MAN… Squid had just barely started recovering from this month’s election frenzy (the outsized Uncle Sam hat was wrapped gently in tissue paper and put back in storage, the piggy bank devoted to the Dave Potter defense fund was cracked open and the money spent on Twinkies) when suddenly the world once again went mad. First, Salinas Councilman Steve McShane (who brought coloring pages and crayons to the dais for one discussion of Measure E, showing disdain for not only the libraries-and-police tax measure, but for the entire process) is now trumpeting a special tax for enhanced police staffing, a new police station and better safety infrastructure. And, check it, he’s doing it along with the Tea Bagging wingnuts at the Salinas Taxpayers Association, which he founded and which also didn’t support Measure E. 

You can read all about it in The Salinas Californian, where McShane wrote an op-ed piece about how his naiveté over matters of public safety has evolved since he took office (and, apparently, since he dissed E, which overwhelmingly passed anyway). What’s that you say? The Californian has gone behind a paywall and you can’t read the op-ed piece because you’ve wasted your monthly allotment of clicks reading archived “Smiles & Scowls?” Someone may want to tell Gannett’s programming geniuses their paywall crumples with a simple resetting of the browser and a clearing of cookies.

REACH FOR THE STARS… File this in the “it’s-never-too-early-to-start-thinking-about-the-2014-elections” category too: Prospective candidates are already circling County Supervisor Lou Calcagno’s North County seat like vultures, and the three-term supervisor hasn’t even formally announced his retirement yet. (Though it seems memory loss has struck at a convenient time, what with a never-ending state Fair Political Practices Commission investigation into alleged conflicts of interest.)

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In the wings: North County Fire Protection District Chief Chris Orman, who’s already got a snazzy website, and evergreen District 2 candidate Ed Mitchell. The rumor mill’s also grinding out names like MPC prof and long-time Latino rights activist David Serena, and Salinas Councilwoman and roller-derby star Kimbley Craig. 

But the biggest clout belongs to Anna Caballero, the former Salinas mayor who ascended to the Assembly, then lost her bid for Senate. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to lead the California State and Consumer Services Agency last year, but local political power brokers hope she’ll quit Sacramento for a gig back home. As Shawn Bagley, regional director for the California Democratic Party, puts it: “Nobody can beat Anna.”

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