Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall title=
Writer Mitchell Kriegman while virtually chatting with Jerry Roberts
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[Disclaimer as of 2/28/22: At the request of LA Magazine, their articles have been retracted and any associated links have been removed. For further information read our latest update here. The original article is available in its entirety below.]


By Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers

The legendary press baron Joseph Pulitzer, when asked to define "news," famously said it was, "that which is to apt to be talked about."

By that measure, a new 4,000-word investigative article in Los Angeles Magazine that digs into how the city of Santa Barbara's retail recreational marijuana licenses were awarded, represents about a month's worth of news for denizens of City Hall.

It also ruined our weekend; we never complain.

The piece, by veteran television writer and novelist Mitchell Kriegman, was Topic A over the weekend in local political, media and municipal circles, whose inhabitants variously buzzed, pushed back or expressed shocked surprise from the moment it began appearing in email boxes early Saturday morning.

"It's about the angels and demons of cannabis," Kriegman told Newsmakers in a Sunday interview. "It's a bundle of questions to which I attempted to get the answers as best as I could."

Titled "In Sleepy Santa Barbara, a City Hall Insider Raises Eyebrows" (womp, womp for the double cliche headline), the piece delves into the main events and key characters involved in crafting the city's 2018 retail license law, adding a new chapter to the saga of how Santa Barbara County has been transformed into a cannabis capital of California following the 2016 passage of Proposition 64, which legalized pot in the state.

Depending on one's political perspective -- and proximity to the opaque process by which the disputed licenses were handed out - the story either chronicles a major city scandal or is a hit piece, reflecting personal grievances and hidden agendas from unhappy business owners, former and current city executives, and police union types targeting City Administrator Paul Casey, former Police Chief Lori Luhnow and her top aide, Anthony Wagner.

Amid multiple story lines, inferential allegations of corruption and innuendo (at one point Wagner is compared to "a lesser character in one of The Godfather movies" -- sheesh), the through line of the piece is Wagner, who came to Santa Barbara from San Diego in 2017 to serve as a police department spokesman and top aide to former Chief Luhnow, and subsequently led the team of city bureaucrats that crafted the pot ordinance and awarded three retail licenses after a lengthy, complicated and secretive process.

Wagner declined to comment on the article to Newsmakers; he described it to friends as a "salacious hit job" that misstates and misrepresents his background, actions and relationship to two individuals involved in the licensing affair, telling them that he has a trove of documentary evidence to uphold his integrity.

Hours after the article appeared online, mayoral candidates James Joyce ("I am calling for a referral to the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury" he said in a press release) and Deborah Schwartz (she told us "an independent, out-of-town investigation" was necessary) called for official, follow-up examination of its main assertions. Others inside City Hall, however, took issue over matters of accuracy with a host of claimed factual contentions in the piece, as well as its suggestion that the licensing process was improper.

"Our city attorney did review the procedures related to granting the recreational cannabis licenses and found them to be fair," Mayor Cathy Murillo told Newsmakers.

"However, we are looking at a range of options to improve the licensing process up to and including an independent review of allegations in the article," she added. "Serious allegations were raised in the article and we are taking them seriously."

City Administrator Paul Casey told us that he would confer with interim Police Chief Barney Melekian before commenting further.

"I'll be speaking with Chief Melekian on Monday," Casey said via email, "and we will have a formal statement after that."

Watch our interview with Mitchel Kriegman via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here.

Here are seven takeaway questions about the Los Angeles Magazine piece.

Who is Mitchell Kriegman? Kriegman is a 68-year old television writer, novelist, director and producer with a long list of credits that includes a stint on "Saturday Night Live" and '90s and 'oughts TV hits including "Clarissa Explains It All," "Bear in the Big Blue House" and "The Book of Pooh." In a more recent foray into journalism, he wrote stories for the Independent and the Montecito Journal, where he began working on the just-published story last year, before moving to Portugal in July, where he finished the piece and shopped it to the magazine.

So why isn't it in the Montecito Journal? MoJo editor-in-chief Gwyn Lurie worked closely with Kriegman during the start of his reporting and on several early drafts of a story, she told us, but wanted to assign a second reporter, based here, to work with him after he left for Europe; the two disagreed about the arrangement, she added, leaving him free to place the story elsewhere: "I didn't want to publish that kind of bombshell without having control over the reporting," Gwyn said.

Where's the other side? Of the three key current or former city officials on whom the piece focuses -- Casey, Luhnow and Wagner -- none are quoted in response to the most specific and substantive claims and assertions; Kriegman said they did not respond to "multiple" efforts seeking comment. However, Casey told us that he "made myself available to (Kriegman) on a number of occasions last spring or summer...when he was working for the Montecito Journal, including a very long phone interview (over one hour), response to extensive email questions, and a very extensive public records request that he submitted covering five years of communications"; Luhnow referred Kriegman's email inquiries to City Attorney Ariel Calonne, whom Mitchell said did not respond; Wagner said he never got a call.

Was the story fact checked? Kriegman told us via Zoom that the magazine fact checked his piece to make sure that everything was "scrupulously" nailed down. However, others pointed out inaccuracies that ranged from silly to substantive:

  • In the opening lines, Kriegman described Santa Barbara as having a "gentile" style, rather than "genteel" (the description has since been changed in the online version of the piece);

  • in recounting Mayor Murillo's actions during last summer's Black Lives Matter protest at police headquarters, the story says she drove there in an "armored SWAT vehicle" but she says she drove her own Honda Accord;

  • In reporting on Luhnow, Kriegman points to her $392,054.83 compensation package as excessive -- in fact it ranks in the bottom-third of a list of comparable size cities; the piece also critically notes that the ex-chief frequently took three day weekends and was absent during major crises, including the Thomas Fire; however, like all city employees, she was required to take every other Friday off, as a cost saving measure, and close associates sent us photographs that show her on duty at key times during the disaster;

  • In reporting on Wagner, the story misstates the circumstances of his hiring and also says it was "most curious" that he was given a badge and police ID although he did not have law enforcement training; in fact many civilian employees at SBPD are provided such identification, according to City Hall sources.

  • In reporting on Casey, the story takes aim at his "unilateral ability" to make decisions on a permitting issue; in fact, under Santa Barbara's weak mayor form of government, doing so is the administrator's responsibility and entirely within his authority.

 

So what's the scandal? As a substantive matter, the most troubling event chronicled in the magazine story is the sale of one of only three city retail licenses granted by the city; the company that won the award, Golden State Greens, never opened its operation on Upper State Street but instead flipped the license, for which Kriegman reports was a profit estimated in the millions of dollars, to a Florida firm called Jushi, which did not go through the city's original vetting process; The puzzling transaction was first reported and detailed by Josh Molina in Noozhawk last summer.

Was the ex-chief really a slacker? The story also reports critically on Luhnow making recent regular trips to San Diego and staying at her house in Coronado; according to close friends, she was renting out the place and didn't have access to it until July 2019; at that point through 2020, most of her trips south were due to receiving cancer treatments, from which she would recover at her house.

What about the mayor's race? As a political matter, the portrayal of City Hall presented in the article is a net negative for Mayor Murillo. and two of her opponents -- Joyce and Schwartz -- already have jumped on it. The fourth candidate in the race, ex-councilman Randy Rowse, was serving at City Hall during most of the time described in the article; he declined to comment.

Bottom line: More to come on this one.

RELATED ARTICLES

 March 14, 2021: Investigative Journalist Hints at Santa Barbara City Corruption

 March 15, 2021: Santa Barbara City Employee Placed on Leave Following Bombshell Article

 
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52 Comments

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a-1615833274 Mar 15, 2021 11:34 AM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

The inaccuracies Jerry pointed out do not seem that big to me.
1. An auto-correct word error that was overlooked by editors in this day and age is normal, we're too dependent on spell/grammar check and in the age of internet publishing editors are time-strapped to publish the next best thing.

2. I was at the protest in the front. While Murillo did not come out of a SWAT car, the SWAT car arrived with officers in tactical gear and she came out from the police department by them. So it's a small error. And when she flubbed majorly, she was ushered back behind the line and into the department.

3. Luhnow making $400k a year IS excessive and ridiculous. Police officers should not make this much! On top of their double dipping pension, my god. And if you're the chief of Santa Barbara, you should live in Santa Barbara.

4. Do all SBPD employees wear their ID badge around town and bully local business owners? Or whip out their badge and threaten people?

5. Many are saying Casey still has far too much power and a bloated salary to go with it.

a-1615835103 Mar 15, 2021 12:05 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

The knee thing was part of it but mostly I was referring to how indignant and argumentative she was towards the protest leaders. All she had to do was listen and be empathetic. Wagner was waiting in the wings and led her out and then escorted her back in, I wonder if he coached her on how to act. Regardless, she's an individual person who could have taken the temperature of the situation like any normal human.

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 12:33 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

12:18pm - Well crap!! I just watched that video, and I now I have to say something nice about the Mayor! She seemed to handle this pretty well! What the heck did she do wrong in this video? She was being yelled at by someone right next to her with a megaphone who's demanding she listen and then saying she'll never listen to the mayor...where's the mistake on the mayor's part here? Maybe it's a different video as this one is a 1:16 video (but also put up by BLM M). If that's the one though, what did she do wrong? Again, maybe I'm missing something but the mayor is being yelled at by an angry group...what could have done differently. She's seemingly handling it pretty well. What's the criticism here?

a-1615837258 Mar 15, 2021 12:40 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Duke, let's help you with context:
The BLM women had tried multiple times to meet with the mayor before this march. She didn't respond.
The mayor comes out from behind police lines, with police dressed in riot gear, to meet people who had just lain in the streets for 8.5 minutes in silence to understand just how long it took to murder George Floyd. That is perhaps the worst entrance into a highly charged moment she could have possibly made.
That was a time of extremely high tension in the country. There were protests everywhere, and some devolved into looting. The female organizers of the march in Santa Barbara were adamant that there would be none of that here.
The mayor said she didn't want to march with BLM because she had concerns about COVID spread.
So she rips her mask off, a la Trump, and yells at them.
She is no social and racial justice warrior, though she was happy to let people drape her in that banner.

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 12:51 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Context helps! As such, terrible video to recommend...in a vacuum, the lady with the microphone comes off quite poorly in that exchange! And "ripping her mask off to yell at them"? She didn't seem to be yelling...the only yelling I heard/saw was the lady yelling at her through a microphone...who was maskless!! Again, context helps...and so that does move the needle...but again, terrible video (as a criticism of the mayor)! This video looks pretty good for the Mayor who's seemingly the calm one here! She seemingly (naturally) takes down her mask to address the person who doesn't have a mask on that's yelling at her. I'll give you the presence of riot police behind her doesn't look great, but as you said...high tension situation...

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 08:56 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

I just watched that video again... the mayor literally is never yelling and the other Ladies are literally yelling through a loudspeaker. How can you possibly say the mayor is yelling “a la Trump”?? I on record on edhat literally hundreds of times saying how much I hate Trump because of his dishonesty... but this is dishonest! The mayors not yelling in this video you recommended... it’s the exact opposite! What the hell??!!! You are doing what Trump does/did... you are saying the opposite of what actually happened ... and bizarrely somehow seemingly actually believe it!

a-1615873419 Mar 15, 2021 10:43 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

I am not sure you can understand the tension of the day or the moment.
Which really is a tragedy, and precisely what frustrates black activists the most.
Here's what EdHat said about it:
"Murillo stepped out from behind the police line and attempted to engage with protest leaders Simone Ruskamp and Krystle Farmer Sieghart. Murillo was asked to listen but attempted to talk over the two women."
The Edhat video on youtube (search Cathy Murillo Black Lives Matter on youtube and you'll find it. You need to watch it, and try to understand how arrogant Murillo was, how inept in her handling of this situation. Our country was in flames, and sheriffs, cops and mayors across the country heard the cry of a people too long oppressed, and responded.
That's not what happened here.

dukemunson Mar 16, 2021 07:34 AM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

1043pm - the video you keep pointing to shows the opposite though of what you are saying. The mayor is no yelling and is seemingly trying to calmly talk to the protestors who are yelling at her through a blow born and refusing to let her talk. It’s Trump like!!! Watch your video again for god sakes... The mayor is pretty damn calm... she’s handling the tension well!!!

dukemunson Mar 16, 2021 07:51 AM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Seriously though... watch the video. The mayor never yells and seemingly handles it quite well! It shows the opposite of what you are saying. Again (and CONTINUOUSLY!) Mayor Murillo needs to be replaced this year in the election... she isn’t leading us the right direction... but this video shows she handled that minute and 1:15 seconds well at least.

a-1616015936 Mar 17, 2021 02:18 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

sorry but this line of attack on Murillo is just wrong; there may be other issues that could be more compelling, but anyone who watched the verbal abuse meeting after meeting from the women who claimed she behaved poorly at the march [which, by the way, NO other Councilmembers or County supervisors even attended]- you would know that the uncivil, almost irrational berating of anyone who tries to reason with them is really not a hill on which to die [or, in this case, use against Murrillo]. Find something else. The more people look at the context and big picture, the less this reflects badly on Murrillo, and more on the organizers.

a-1615838786 Mar 15, 2021 01:06 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Duke, there are other videos from other angles that show cathy being disrespectful to these women. Edhat put up a video that shows the woman with the bullhorn was using it to signal the crowd and keep them calm because Cathy was not handling this moment well. Sac is right - she always painted herself as sympathetic to causes like BLM, but that day, she came off like a tone deaf white woman.

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 01:18 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

I'll look for some other videos! Based on that video though, and her refusal to kneel for a demanding and angry crowd, it seemed like pretty damn reasonable/commendable behavior. Again, I'm hugely down on the Mayor, but I can't criticize our first Hispanic Mayor from refusing to kneel when demanded. I have a ton to criticize her for...and truly TRULY hope she is voted out as she is not steering our city in the right direction, but this specific video that you pointed to doesn't portray her in a bad way (in my opinion of course).

SBSand Mar 15, 2021 01:28 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

I strongly dislike Cathy too but agree that she has the right to refuse to kneel and that there is nothing wrong with that. I wouldn't be kneeling either, even in support, it would be physically painful and there are other ways to show support than to hurt myself.

AwareHuman Mar 15, 2021 01:17 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Well, he went diggin' to try & make light of VERY serious & concerning issues in OUR city governance. He failed. Schwartz and Joyce are right on to demand a more neutral , distanced team to lead an investigation. Ostensibly, where there's smoke, there's fire. I certainly have been UNimpressed with city hall , especially with its unresponsiveness to individuals.

CoastWatch Mar 15, 2021 02:26 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Mitchell Kriegman might want to look into his own backyard of Los Angeles before stirring it up here... Garcetti has ruined L.A. more during his tenure with corruption and blight- Similar to San Francisco, New York and Chicago.... I wonder what the common denominator is with the current leadership of what were once 4 large gems of U.S. Cities....? Oh yeah, they are run by uber liberals who have crushed them

Sun Mar 15, 2021 05:22 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Not sure if you were awake for 2020 but due to ignorance and arrogance regarding the Pandemic or just plain denial Under Republican watch, death toll was the highest in a century(100 years) ... 500,000 plus dead and oh yah, unemployment through the roof, ...when you don't listen to science the economy fails ...the Dems are always cleaning up the repubs mess, like 2007 remember that repubs run disaster, deregulation, wars, people loosing their life savings, everything, sounds like good times, NOT.... Now the dems have to clean up the biggest repubs mess in history due to arrogance and not taking the pandemic seriously,

Sun Mar 15, 2021 06:25 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

First off,
Acknowledge Covid-19 was real , President leads by example Social Distance, Wear a Mask and Wash your Hands
First line of action is containment, contact trace, science is important
Don’t fire your Scientists in 2017 in China who monitor disease out breaks
Be proactive not reactive, have a disaster plan in Place this is not the first or last virus outbreak, but the worst
Use experienced Health Disaster Management individuals, don’t use your inexperienced Son in law to lead operations
Use experienced Health Distribution Teams to distribute PPE and ramp up production, not your Son in Law
Be consistent in your message, Social Distance, Wear a Mask and wash your hand
Don’t hold huge Rallies for political gain
Present Science not fiction
Containment is key, Scientist on the ground monitoring disease around the world, denial, not wearing a mask, not social distancing all promote dramatic spread. Look at New Zealand, they took the virus seriously, did contact tracing, isolated, contained and they didn't have many deaths, They used Science. It's not the first time viruses have taken hold, but when you don't use science, do not have a plan and system in place to prevent the spread of viruses than you get a horrible outcome and mess. Trump removed the scientists in China who monitor disease, Trump did this back in 2017, Trump said, well we will hire them as needed, no that's reactive and not proactive. So yes Proactive measures were not in place and should have been, the virus was not taken seriously by the repubs and they did not lead by example. Don't hire your son in law who has no experience in a health crisis to organize PPE and distribution. A team of unknowledgeable people who lacked experience or direction in distribution of PPE, sourcing it or otherwise. The only example the repubs lead their followers to believe was that covid 19 wasn't real and don't wear a mask, don't social distance and promoted huge congregations and fiction.

CoastWatch Mar 15, 2021 09:07 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

@SUN... An interesting RANT. You might want to consider that the Pandemic is a world wide issue, not an American (U.S.) perpetrated by the one you hate so much. In fact, the one you hate deregulated the U.S. pharmaceutical companies red-tape to streamline the acceptance process for vaccines... Your guy, Biden, is like someone who participates in a 20 block parade in the 18th block and says "wasn't I great leading the parade...." LOL!

Sun Mar 15, 2021 04:17 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Good news ...Sundial Growers inc ( Ticker symbol SNDL) is up today, 14% , play at your own risk, not advising anyone , just saying... wait till it dips down or good news comes out...monitor it for awhile before making any decisions... most active stock for a while now
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SNDL?p=SNDL

Fresh Voice Mar 15, 2021 06:18 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Sorry Jerry, your reframing of the article to discredit Mitchell Kriegman is weak. Just because you and Comrade Nick ( all government is good) Welsh didn’t report it, doesn’t mean Kriegman’s article is soft or off in any way. The Independent would never want to upset its big public advertisers, and report this kind of corruption. No one working for the City of Santa Barbara should be making anywhere near $394,000/year. The process used by the city to hire Wagner is corrupt. The process used to award cannabis retail licenses is corrupt. Just because other cities are incompetent doesn’t make it ok. The worst part of this is there is no system of oversight that works. No checks and balances. No one on the City Council, other than Alejandra Gutierrez, who appears to know what’s going on.

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 07:43 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Sun - we made a ton of mistakes... trump first and foremost! But your interpretation of the situation is wildly simplistic. How is comparing us with new zealand in any capacity logical or reasonable? Trump screwed up in many capacities, but so did every country (not to mention governors like newsome in their over correcting the other direction response). We screwed up... we did... but so did countries with actual comparable situations to ours. Factor in how we’re over 110 million vaccines distributed from a situation that’s what, 14 months old and ... well we also did a lot right! Identity politics make it easy to blame trump or Obama for anything/everything ... they tend to be wildly and ridiculously simplistic. Trump was a shitty president... that’s a fact. But your thoughts don’t factor in reality. They are hyper partisan BS.

bornatcottageho... Mar 15, 2021 08:41 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Jerry had to come out from under a rock to try and dispel this? That alone should tell anyone interested that the LA Mag piece was on point. Only in SB would a media interpreter be needed for the GP. So sad and hilarious at the same time. So, Jerry, you've never inflated a sentence? The DA doesn't inflate charges? Anthony Wagner didn't make a few bucks on a weed deal?

Bene Mar 16, 2021 12:00 AM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

BornAtCottage, I think Jerry Roberts did an excellent and even-handed analysis. He isn't saying none of the allegations are true. He is merely trying to provide information from the perspective of more professional journalistic standards. With florid writing and rookie mistakes (gentile for genteel, which I noticed myself before reading Roberts' piece) from Mr. Kriegman, I had figured he was a very young and inexperienced reporter, Now that we know he is more of an entertainment industry writer than a reporter, it is more clear why he wrote the piece as he did. And the way he wrote it required another journalist to parse it.

Sun Mar 15, 2021 09:20 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Dukemunson, using an example like New Zealand, demonstrates how containment, tracing and using science, and, being consistent (Mask, Social Distance, Wash your Hands) on message by leadership helps to reduce major outbreaks., no matter the population size. You state Governor Newsom over corrected, but what you fail to recognize was Governor Newson was really trying to slow down a California Variant of Covid-19, which was spreading like wildfire., highly contagious and deadly. We all saw the numbers, and he was trying for containment. Those Countries which took the same approach as Trump, believing they could achieve herd immunity by just exposing the population to the virus, ended up with the same results, ie Brazil and others. You say Simplistic, I say logical. It is logical to use Experienced Health Crisis Management Teams and Scientists, it is not logical to use your Son in Law. It is not logical to attack Scientists for Speaking the Truth,. Remember, it was Scientists who developed the Vaccine. However, it takes more than just a Vaccine, it takes logistics to get the vaccine into the population of which was missing until now. You say BS I say Science. If you think Blasting Science is a Hoax, well think again, Climate Change has a real kicker with more deadlier disease, potable water shortage, food shortage, vector control, extreme drought, extreme fires, extreme floods with Sea level rise etc... which republicans tout as a hoax. Kind of like the hoax they touted about Covid 19 but much worse. If we don't get our act together now, Climate Change, which is already happening will be worse than any Covid 19. We can either use Science and benefit or consider Science as a hoax and well, you can already see the results... Instead of republicans focusing continuously on their elections and voter
suppression, why don't they focus on solving Climate Change. Do some actual work and help reduce the impacts. Science, Science , Science it's not a hoax.

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 09:39 PM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Sun - no... using New Zealand (a multi) island nation as an example is simplistic... and dumb. We partially/occasionally followed the science and we partially/occasionally ignored it... and that was from a republican, democratic and independent perspective. We aren’t better off than Florida and we aren’t better off than Texas. Europe’s had their surges. A lot of mistakes. Trump was a train wreck. But he was also part of getting us to 110 million vaccinations today. You are blinded by partisan identity politics. Which... ok... so are quite a few people on both sides. It was/is a pandemic. Trump sucked... so did newsome. Merkle is struggling. Boris has had quite a few hiccups. You are right about science though... just wrong about the interpretation. Both sides embraced/ignored it at varying times... such is life in our current idiotic hyper political situation. You though are as much of t he problem as anyone that is as far on the left or right as you ...

a-1615880347 Mar 16, 2021 12:39 AM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

SUN 9:20 PM - I agree with your analysis and would just add a few points. Although trump fired “the early warning CDC employees” in China, which didn’t help, it has been reported that the Intelligence Community warned of the existence of the virus as early as November or December, 2019. This warning was ignored by trump and his administration, because he didn’t want the stock market to dive and thus affect his re-election hope and/or his portfolio and those of his rich supporters. Had such a warning been given to Hillary Clinton (or most other people who could have been the POTUS), she would have immediately implemented the measures you mentioned. She would also have used the Defense Production Act to manufacture PPE and, eventually, the vaccine. She would have further used the Act and/or the military to distribute the vaccine. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died who didn’t need to because of trump’s narcissism, greed and incompetence. We need to remember this if he decides to run in 2024.

a-1615911133 Mar 16, 2021 09:12 AM
Deciphering the Bombshell L.A. Magazine Piece That Just Hit SB City Hall

Oh wow where do you want to start? Look at the Santa Barbara channel on Youtube. There are several videos there of Cathy's ineptness over the years: What to Watch For With Your City Council, No Respect for Homeowners, and How the City Council Spends Its Time.
There's the PODER protest she organized to bully the Mexican family that owns El Bajio, a tiny tacqueria on Milpas, when they wanted a business improvement district.
She had no problem, however, in handing a business improvement district to the rich white merchants in Montecito on Coast Village 3 weeks ago. Maybe she feels Latinos can't have nice things too?
She bullies City Council members, particularly the women, but males are by no means exempt. She was only backed by unions in her Assembly race. None of the local Democratic Party establishment orgs backed her.
The total sexist crap she said in Jerry Roberts' interview re Alejandra Gutierrez. This is no feminist leader.
She was AWOL in all three recent disasters: Thomas Fire, Debris Flow, and Pandemic.
The whole Black Lives Matter fiasco, coming out from behind police lines, when they're dressed in riot gear. Ugh. The optics are just so bad.
She has no understanding of business development, and she's not smart enough to know to ask people who do know what to do, so State St's implosion proceeded unchecked under her watch.
This fiasco with the cannabis licenses.
She just really needs to go.

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