Doomed If We Do, Doomed If We Don’t

Earlier this year we predicted Senator Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney would be fighting head to head for the U.S. presidency through the November election. Boy, were we wrong! Obama fought a savvy and guileful campaign against Hillary who, it was once believed, was to be coronated Queen of the Democrat Party come the August convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, and subsequently to have been crowned leader of all the people in January ‘09. It was written in the stars.

Both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney petered out early, and by the time the California primary came around there was nothing left of their respective campaigns. In Romney’s case, he failed to commit early; in Giuliani’s case, well, in retrospect, we’re not sure he ever committed to run. So now we are left with Arizona Senator John Sidney McCain III and Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama Jr. Truth be told, we’re not particularly fond of either candidate, but as a libertarian I shake in my size-twelves imagining an Obama presidency coupled with a Democrat-dominated House and Senate. Our vote – reluctantly and with some trepidation – goes to Mr. McCain, who is strong on defense, against all earmarks, and has proven fiscally tight. He was neither our first choice nor our second, but faced with the alternative McCain is now our only choice.

Our best most recent years of governance occurred when Republicans first led Congress in 1994 to ’96 and Bill Clinton was president. Our founders’ proposed system of checks and balances worked like a charm and real progress was made with welfare reform and balancing the federal budget, along with holding the line on taxes. Seven years ago, Republicans got it all: the presidency, House of Representatives, and the Senate, and they squandered their opportunities. “Mavericks” like McCain made it increasingly difficult to carry out an agenda that included more energy production on public land, and quicker confirmation of conservative judges, for example, so there is some residual resentment. But, McCain doesn’t shoulder all the blame, Republicans did it to themselves with out-of-control spending and a complete lack of ideological direction.

With that said, readers should know presidential hopeful and Republican Party putative nominee John McCain will be hosted at the home of Carol and Bill Foley on Monday June 23. Tickets are $1,000 per person; more information can be obtained by calling Mary Belle Snow at 565-1821.

We hope McCain raises a lot of money in Santa Barbara; unfortunately for him, he probably could have raised a lot more if it weren't for his McCain-Feingold “Campaign Finance Reform” bill that has squelched freedom of speech and stifled real competition.

Montecito Association Reminder

Beginning June 16, the Montecito Association will host three consecutive Monday evening meetings (June 16, 23, and 30) regarding and addressing the issue of cityhood. I sat down with Gene Sinser and Bill Palladini, president of the Montecito Association, to discuss their upcoming forums and left with the overall feeling that is important to stress one point. The Montecito Association is not endorsing cityhood or even contemplating it. MA board members believe that with its resources, the Montecito Association is the best host for such forums. Local attorney Michael Cooney is not an MA director, but he will moderate; the Montecito Association has not developed an opinion on the subject and has no desire to sway public opinion one way or another.

These meetings are strictly for information and education, and to ascertain whether the public wants to entertain the idea of cityhood. Public comment and questions will be encouraged, and the Association has invited experts from different organizations to answer questions and concerns from the public.

The first forum on June 16 will feature Bob Braitman, Executive Officer of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The second forum (June 23) will discuss Economics and Finance and feature Bob Geis, Santa Barbara County Auditor and Daniel Singer, Goleta City Manager. The final forum (June 30) will concentrate on Land Use Planning and Development Issues; former Planning Commissioner Joan Wells and Director of Office of Long-Range Planning for Santa Barbara County John McGinnes will be there to discuss and answer questions.

The Cityhood forums will be held at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, 1455 East Valley Road, from 6 to 9 pm on three successive Mondays: June 16, 23, and 30.