The Star-News


Of politics and propaganda

Sat, Oct 30 2010 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

While the final salvos in the political battles of 2010 are deployed this weekend, there are some notable moments worth reviewing.

As an observer, it was disappointing to witness Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox dispatch her opponent Councilman Steve Castaneda in the June primary.

For the sake of political and human drama, it would have been more gratifying to see the Chula Vista mayor's race decided in November.

The two have been going at each other for years, dating back to Cox's first run in 2006 (when she bested Castaneda in the primaries then, forcing a runoff between her and then incumbent Steve Padilla). As candidates, Castaneda and Cox bring out the best - and worst - in each other. The final result is usually entertaining.

What we're left with now, however, are Larry Breitfelder and Pat Aguilar running for a seat on the Chula Vista City Council. That's like trying to decide between two competing brands of generic vanilla ice cream.

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Speaking of Cox, she'll be around for another four years for critics to slam. But she should also be praised for, if nothing else, having the gonads to stare an elephant in the eye and not back down. Twice.

The elephant, of course, is the Republican party, and as a member, Cox is expected to be vehemently opposed to tax increases of any sort.

But recognizing that her city is in dire financial straits she supported two tax proposals.

The most recent, of course, is Prop. H, the measure that updates the city's laws to include taxing Internet and cell phone use.

But she also supported an increase in the city's sales tax, Prop. D. A Republican supporting a tax increase is like a Snoop Dogg advocating stricter marijuana laws. It's just not done.

Prop. D bombed at the polls -and it remains to be seen what happens with H - but her stance demonstrates that Cox doesn't always blindly follow the Republican party. Refreshing.

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The No on H crowd, lead by slim Ed Herrera, might have a future in Hollywood.

They've produced and distributed via the Internet an almost 10-minute film attacking the Chula Vista City Council and merits of Prop. H.

Heavy on the dramatic music and shots of Herrera fighting for the common man, the propaganda is an entertaining look at political theater and a vast improvement over Herrera's last cinematic appearance that had him sitting on a park bench, following an appearance by a little girl presumably from outer space.

Correction: The sales tax initiative proposed in Chula Vista in 2009 was Prop. A, not Prop. D.


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