Residents First?

Are the residents really first? or is it just another political slogan?

Can Mann be trusted?
Can Mann be trusted?

City council candidates Charles Mann and Bob Baker regularly reference their participation in Save San Clemente Open Space (SSCOS), a group formed to stop the rezoning of 50.5 acres at Pacific Golf and Country Club. Candidate Mann is a founder of SSCOS, however Mr. Baker originally was a supporter of Pacific’s plan to convert 9-holes of private recreational open space into 224 single family homes and Golf Villas.   Actually each of the founding members of SSCOS signed petitions in support of the project initially.  One of the SSCOS founders (a real estate developer) even demanded right of refusal on two lots or houses.  When contemplating casting a vote for someone to represent my best interests as a resident of San Clemente, I’ll consider those who come closest to my views on civic issues.  But first I need as best as possible to develop a level of trust for that individual, which includes gaining a sense about one’s ethics, honesty and overall character.  On the national level we have a plethora of media reports as well as sites like factcheck.org and snopes.com to monitor the veracity of statements made by the candidates, and stories or accusations related to them. On the local level it’s more difficult to determine who to trust.

The deception employed by SSCOS was addressed when Judge Warren Siegel ordered Mr. Mann to modify the language in 12 of 13 points in the arguments against Measure C he submitted to be included on the Feb. 5th ballot.  Judge Siegel ruled that the text was “false and misleading”.  However Mr. Mann, in Orwellian political doublespeak, claimed a victory.  Two examples of unethical behavior from SSCOS include:

A founder of SSCOS attended and spoke at the emotionally charged Talega parents meeting regarding the Capistrano Unified School District boundary changes in Dec. 2007.  He told the parents that if Measure C passed, their children would have less chance of attending their neighborhood school, Vista Del Mar, because the proposed development fell within Vista Del Mar’s boundaries.  The allegation was false, children from the proposed development would’ve been slated to attend Clarence Lobo, and the man speaking was not a parent of school age children, nor a resident of Talega. An obvious use of deceptive tactics to take advantage of San Clemente resident’s emotions.

The superintendent at Pacific and his wife were enthusiastically involved in the attempt to educate residents during the referendum petition drive in the summer of 2007.  A neighbor and close friend was approached by an SSCOS founder as she left Wal-Mart and aggressively encouraged to sign the petition.  When the neighbor refused, citing her friendship with the couple, the man lied saying that the wife had already signed and the superintendent wanted to, but would be fired if he did. The neighbor knew better and left.

Switched positions mid-game
Switched positions mid-game

These two examples of questionable ethics were not isolated events, in fact they illustrate the standard operating procedure of the organization that candidate Mann lead.  Mr. Mann continues to mislead residents in his statements regarding Measure W.  Is this the behavior of a candidate you can trust?

Lastly, I am saddened when viewing the images of our wounded brave men and women of military who are risking their lives to give you the opportunity to choose this November.  But I am enraged at the dishonor shown these protectors of our quality of life by those who disregard integrity and choose to manipulate the masses for their own self-serving agendas. Please choose wisely in November.

David Kelsen,

Former Director of Food & Beverage

Pacific Golf and Country Club

POSTSCRIPT

Amazing ride. Protagonists, antagonists, passion, hostility, clandestine operations, derision, deception, “Spins”, petitions, court rulings, and finally a controversial ballot measure where 50% of the voters in the city participated in a Primary election. Any pollster will tell you that is a high percentage for any election, but particularly so for a primary. Ultimately there was a victor and the defeated. In the case of Measure C, San Clemente, what does the victory mean? You saved open space? You prevented traffic congestion? Maybe, maybe not. I wish that for just one election people would actually read up on an issue and not just the signs along the side of the road. A victory for the NO’s here means that the patch of dirt on Vista Hermosa/La Pata will remain so for many years to come, that a new Senior Center will not be built anytime in the near future, nor the wall necessary to complete the new fire station. Parents will still have to drive their sports playing children to Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano because the city they live in won’t accomodate them. We’ll stay the same, stagnant. We will have Charles Mann’s favorite nine-holes. Unless of course the club closes. Hooray.

WHERE WERE THEY??

The group “Save San Clemente Open Space” neglects to weigh in on a conversion of open space just two weeks after a locally publicized open space issue.

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Counter-Productive

Lie to me. Persuade me to fight your fight.  I’ve waited my whole life to save 9-holes of a private golf course.  I’m passionate about being used.  You know I only read the headlines.  Your seductive catch-phrases and hooks have my complete attention, today.  The facts aren’t important as long as we look good right now.  Our children/grandchildren will celebrate our vapidity/shallowness.  After all, we look good right now.  Follow the herd.  Always follow the herd.  Good.

YES ON MEASURE C

Last Recreational Open Space in San Clemente, PLEASE!

Charles Mann and the group “Save San Clemente Open Space” want you to believe that Pacific Golf Club represents the Last Large Recreational Open Space in San Clemente. The city of San Clemente has one of greatest percentages of open space in all of California. Do you know how many cities there are in California? They will say anything, meaning they lie like crazy, to get your support.

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YES ON MEASURE C, SAN CLEMENTE

The faux-environmental group, “Save San Clemente Open Space”, blatantly misleads the residents of San Clemente by gathering their signatures on the premise that the voters should decide the fate of “Open Space”. Then when they get the opportunity to have the residents actually vote on the issue, they turn around and plead with the City Council to have them repeal their approval of the project. Thereby taking the vote away from the residents. The very tool they used to get us to sign in the first place.

This is a remix of an earlier clip, the sound is cleaned up a little and the correct logos are inserted at the end.
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MANN LIED – (submitted Dec.8th, 2007)

I’m going to shoot you in the face. I’m going to kiss you in the face. I only changed one word. Mr. and Mrs. Jones your daughter is dead. Mr. and Mrs. Jones your daughter is alive. Again, only changed one word. Charles Mann claiming victory after being ordered by Judge Warren Siegel to change 12 of 13 points in his “No on C” argument is ridiculous yet totally predictable. He and his golf buddies have been manipulating the media since they began their faux-environmental group in January of this year. This time they were called to the carpet and lost. How arrogant do you need to be to walk out of a courtroom after being handed your lunch and say you won? If you’re reading this, and you know Charles Mann, then you know what I’m talking about. Oh, by the way, Judge Siegel only changed one word in his ruling on 12 of 13 points, from innocent to guilty.