Town Square

Boyle-Duboc-Winkler sweep - Success sells

Original post made by Divk Poe, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Nov 6, 2006

I just read the prognostication from Tim Russert of Sharon Heights (and NBC?). I'll confess to lacking his assured crystal ball, but I am a strong believer in the extraordinary collective intellect of MP voters.

As best I have observed, Bressler-Cline-Robinson have run a take-no-prisoners insurgent campaign:

- They have used 8 separate organizations/surrogates to run an incredibly expensive negative campaign filled with smears & attacks.

- No one entity looks as if it is spending that much money, but collectively it has to be the single largest truckload of special-interest cash ever dumped on a MP City Council race. I am aware of about 13 glossy mailers, drop pieces and sundry others, the true cost of which must have been well over 6 figures

- These are no "aw shucks" fellows. Polarization and misrepresentation have been their version of a platform. The only positions I really know about is their opposition to Measure "J" and the manufactured claim that they would have done about everything the incumbents actually did - except that they would have done it better and without any form of dissent or controversy in the community (sure......).

For all the well-planted postings I have seen on this Forum and in the press from its Almanac News sponsor (which makes scant secret of its opposition to the incumbents) the only negative campaigning has come from Bressler-Cline-Robinson. Boyle-Duboc-Winkler have run a relentlessly upbeat campaign, talking to voters about their record of success. What a record it has been, indeed:

- A net balanced budget during the 4 years following the dot-com bust.
- A minimum $1.3M surplus this fiscal year
- Preservation of the City's AAA bond rating and its $27M reserves.
- A new auto mall and potential taxes of up to $3M
- A new hardware store downtown
- A new hotel worth about $2M/year in new taxes
- A new pool operated at a $400,000+ annual savings to the City
- A beautiful new Child Care Center at a savings of $3.5 - $4.5M to the taxpayers when compared to the Taj Mahal boondoggle planned by their predecessors.
- Commercial streamlining to bring in additional business tax revenue to pay for our long-term fiscal solvency and the quality of life residents have come to expect without raising their taxes.
- Oh, and those "divisive" efforts to stem the out-of-control spiral of municipal employee pension and health care costs which threatens the long-term financial stability of MP and the entire state.

What a concept!!!!! Incumbents who have had a record to run on, have told us about it, and who haven't had to sling scurrilous charges like Bressler-Cline-Robinson and their SEIU municipal union and other surrogates. My prediction is that MP voters get it. They know the difference between a record with a plan for the future - and expensive whining. Sorry to dissent Tim. My bet is on Duboc-Winkler-Boyle.


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Posted by Hasta la vista!
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 6, 2006 at 1:48 pm

You're right--it will be a sweep. As in Winkler and Duboc will be swept right OUT of office. I see you didn't care to comment on the last post on election predictions, but created a new headline your way perhaps? Now, who is manipulating?

On the subject of negative campaigning, I really liked the original picture of you that was posted in the Almanac on line from the amateurish pool rally the week before last...the one with that look of sheer anger on your face. Why did you also forget to include in your message that you were reported in the Palo Alto Daily on 10/29 as having been behind the fake Democratic and other mailings? The article with you saying the Slate authorized it and suggesting you weren't going to be hung out to dry, Boyle saying he was somewhat uncomfortable with it, and Duboc saying she knew nothing. You all come across as a poor imitation somewhere between White house plumbers and some bad comedy act. In case anyone missed it, here is the link so readers can see for themselves: Web Link Quoting from the article, "Poe was adamant he floated the mailer tactic by the campaign."

Just for starters on the substance of what you mischaracterize--a "net balanced budget"? Interesting wording. You forgot to mention the few million in reserves they used to make it balance. In plain English, that is DEFICIT spending.

$1.3MM surplus? That's is new math as Nicolas Jellins tried to spin it too. Too bad at the council meeting where this surfaced this was thoroughly debunked by the city's own budget director--one time savings, savings against a budget that had vacant positions the city didn't intend to fill anyway... Or Dick, if you prefer, why don't you go on down your line of reasoning and make clear to get to that number, Winkler and Duboc cut police positions that were in the baseline budget? I see that didn't make your list.

New hotel--you mean the one Mickie Winkler didn't even know about beforehand? Glad to see they know about it now during campaign season. Similarly, now we see automall announcements being manipulated for campaign season.

Yup, I see a clean sweep too, only problem is the candidates you ceaselessly spin will be on the receiving end of the broom.

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Posted by EnoughAlreadyDick!
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 6, 2006 at 3:09 pm

Hey, Dick, try responding to this - here's the story about the absolutely shameful "pool rally" that you yourself participated in as reported in the San Jose Mercury News, followed by Mr. Cline's insightful comments on it. Note the one phrase in the news story:
"shouted down by some of the INCUMBENTS and their supporters"
Is that who we WANT running this city - incumbents that SHOUT DOWN others???

No, Dick, you'd better face it - your bums are being thrown out tomorrow!

Uncivil civic race (10/22/06)

Amid a high-stakes City Council campaign in Menlo Park, the veneer of political civility disappeared for a few moments at a rally Thursday.

A shouting match broke out. Insults were hurled. Fingers were pointed. Just another day in American democracy.

Tension is thick in Menlo Park these days because there's a possibility that the pro-growth council majority might lose power. Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and Nicholas Jellins have enjoyed control the past four years. But now Jellins has decided not to seek another term, and Duboc and Winkler are running with transportation commissioner John Boyle.

If just one of a trio of challengers -- Rich Cline, Heyward Robinson and Vince Bressler -- is elected, it could shift the balance of power and mark a new day in Menlo Park. Cline and Robinson both are endorsed by the Service Employees International Union.

Which brings us to Thursday's rally, called to decry a union mailer opposing Duboc and Winkler. Things degenerated after a member of the public who opposes the Duboc-Winkler-Boyle slate tried to speak and was shouted down by some of the incumbents and their supporters.

The unidentified woman was ordered to shut up and leave before she asserted herself and said, ``I am a citizen of Menlo Park. You can't tell me where to be.''

Suffice to say, the rally backfired.


Save Our Pool? More like Save Our City...

posted by Rich Cline, a resident of the Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2006 at 3:12 pm

I attended the Save the Pool Rally yesterday. I wanted to listen to what folks had to say on the topic, and I felt that it was important for a city council candidate to respect all opinions and represent. Aside from the fact that no one candidate for council has publicly threatened the Menlo Swim program -- a claim set forth by many slate supporters -- the fact that residents were gathering to voice concern seemed valid.

Needless to say, this event kind of took a different turn. I wouldn't say this was planned, but the end result was an embarrassing collage of anger, finger pointing and shouting matches. Unfortunately there were several children in attendance who were able to see first-hand how not to handle a disagreement. Some of the children even played a hand in the ridiculousness.

I did not plan to speak -- but when I was asked by my slate opponents to answer questions relating to the pool, the unions and child care, I respectfully obliged. I am not sure if anyone heard my answers over the shouting but I tried. If you wish to know my position on these issues, please visit my website at Web Link.

During my Q&A session I had sitting council members shouting accusations, deriding me and cutting me off … yes, just like our current city council meetings. We all witnessed one slate supporter walk up and bump one of the challengers and shout in his face.

The big point here is that at no time did any of the three host slate candidates try to regain control of the event or try to restore civility. All three encouraged the racous behavior.

I asked some of the attendees several times to calm down, stop shouting and just ask the questions, which I was willing to answer. Some folks did settle down, and I thank them for that, others just couldn't get past themselves.

This event was like a small representation of what is wrong with our city right now. There is much resentment and lots of anger. It seems Menlo Park is now more about the politics than the issues, and that is sad. I reiterate what I have said throughout this campaign. When an organization or a community is suffering from dissention, low morale and lack of unity, who do you blame? Do you blame the people in the organization or community?

No. You blame leadership. Good leaders stand up and take responsibility and work to find common ground. Leaders don't polarize for personal gain, and they don’t relish in unprofessional shouting matches as the slate did yesterday.

The fact is Menlo Park is listing like a wounded ship. Our rudder is broken and our captain and crew are blaming us.

It is time for new leadership.

We can shout if we want to, that is our right. But we can also express ourselves quietly and with dignity when we vote for our next city council.

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Posted by ElectionWatcher
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 6, 2006 at 3:24 pm


Given your comments about The Almanac's "bias" against Winkler-Duboc-Boyle, can we expect a "liberal main-stream media" (LMSM) excuse from you on Wednesday after your slate is kicked out? Just wondering...

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Posted by followthemoney
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 6, 2006 at 11:54 pm

Dick -

You can't be serious about claming that the total spent by the challegers was *anywhere* near the grand total of the Slate plust Menlo Park Matters, which according to disclusures to date is approaching or possibly over $100,000. Large contributions have been coming in daily... Who knows what the grand total will be.

From what I understand that outspends the challengers by around 2:1, and even with Menlo Park On Track, it's still over 3:2.

Even with all that spending, the inexpensive Menlo Park On Track "blue sheet" dropped by volunteers citywide over this past weekend, revealed the false accomplishments. The claims of credit for "momentum is largely for projects begun or completed before the Slate took office.

People understand this. The believablity of the slate had evaporated. Luckily for you guys like Robinson, Cline and Bressler are going to be fair to both sides. So despite your ranting, your opinions will be heard - though it's in better form to stop ranting and start being a constructive part of the solution. That is the only way to "stop divisiveness" -- are YOU up for it, Dick? The first step is to TRY.

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Posted by Political Animal
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2006 at 12:53 am

Dick may be right, I don't know. I certainly hope not. Boyle-Duboc-Winkler have spent over $85,000 to influence voters in this election. While I disagree it's all been positive, $85,000 buys a lot of spin. Most voters don't pay that much attention to the council race, and I wouldn't underestimate the impact of $85,000. I think the unions have levelled the playing field to a certain extent as far as spending goes, although the incumbents still enjoy a sizable funding advantage. Without the unions spending as much as they have, I think the challengers would be roadkill. As much as I'm hoping for a sweep by the challengers, my official guess is Boyle, Duboc, Robinson.

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Posted by Political Animal
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2006 at 6:29 pm

Hmmm, I guess Dick and I both make lousy political forecasters. In my case though, I'm glad I was wrong. Yay, Cline!