Women’s Political Committee Calls Out St. George for ‘Sexist’ Comments

Ed St. George at City Council. (November 19, 2019)

This story was originally published by the Santa Barbara Independent and is reproduced here in partnership with Edhat.

By Tyler Hayden of The Independent

The Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee is taking developer Ed St. George to task for what the organization called “egregious and sexist” comments he made about City Councilmember Meagan Harmon and her political ambitions. 

During a recent podcast interview with journalist Josh Molina, St. George, a frequent critic of Santa Barbara’s elected leaders and City Hall staff, suggested Harmon, now running for reelection to District 6, was overextending herself by serving on both the council and soon the California Coastal Commission while also working as an attorney and raising young children. As talented and well-liked as Harmon is, St. George said, referring to her as “the girl we all had a crush on in high school,” she ought to take a five- to seven-year “pause” from politics to focus on her family.

In a prepared statement of solidarity, the Committee lamented that St. George was “given a platform to share offensive and sexist viewpoints” and “condescendingly urge” Harmon to step aside. “Women belong at every table where decisions are being made,” the statement reads, “and it is not up to men to be the arbiters of a woman’s personal decisions or ambitions. … Misogyny, in any form, has no home in Santa Barbara County. And no, the women of Santa Barbara will not take a pause.” The statement has since been signed by dozens of government and community leaders, both men and women.

In response, St. George took a defensive tone, referencing comments made at one time by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that being a full-time mother prepared her well for politics and explaining that his suggestion for a hiatus had nothing to do with Harmon’s gender. “I encourage everyone to have a healthy and balanced life that includes time with their family,” he said, “and if that offends people, they can certainly do otherwise, and I wish them luck in finding happiness.” Some members of the Committee have since privately wondered if St. George would give the same advice to Barrett Reed, a new father and fellow developer also running for council. 

George also went after the Committee itself, criticizing it for not speaking out when Mayor Cathy Murillo compared approaching Councilmember Alejandra Gutierrez with an endorsement request to “asking your wife for a favor” and “waiting until she’s in a good mood.” He also wondered why the organization wasn’t commenting on the pending sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a female city employee against former finance director Bob Samario.

Harmon herself stayed mostly out of the fray, instead expressing her pride in being part of Santa Barbara’s legacy of “strong, feminist leadership.” On the council, she said, she “fights for working families because I understand the challenges they face trying to make it in our community. As a woman and a working mom, I understand it because I live it.”

Harmon made her statement while at the same time trying to wrangle her daughter. “Oh, the irony,” she said.


Written by Tyler Hayden

What do you think?


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  1. He does some things to get good press it seems. Supported the Isla Vista Teen Center when it needed money. How hard it is to make a lot of money being a landlord in a college town? The kids will either pay outrageous rents or transfer to UC Merced and miss out on the parties.

  2. Ever heard of defamation. Can be a bitch when you are being sued by someone with unlimited resources. Everything you say there is defamatory and you are either without money to protect and don’t care, or you are really really stupid. Ed grew up here. Like all of us he is not perfect but he has been a very successful business man and he didn’t get there ripping people off. Be careful, very very careful!

  3. He’s all about ripping off students per YELP reviews? Someone actually believes reviews??? LOL! Ridiculous! He could cut the rent down 50% and the lil’ bitches still be bitchin’ and moanin’ about “My rentz 2 HIGH!” Funny how when someone who’s self-made gets torn down by those who know everything there is to know, but for some reason decided to get degrees in art history, dance theater, philosophy, or . Self-made people are tough as nails and don’t get bowled over by the weak….that’s just how it is peeps.

  4. Nice try, but I don’t think you’re going to get much sympathy for removing non-native eucalyptus trees, which are filthy fire hazards to say the least….not to mention drop their branches and kill people all the time.

  5. Tranny…do not blame this guy for a decline in monarchs LOL, that is just over the top ridiculous. he is not responsible for this. I would point a finger at Monsanto corp for the decline of insects….this has already been discussed and settled.

  6. These Edhat conversations can get convoluted but my Defamation Comment was directed to Wilcoxon. Every statement in his post is untrue. I have known Ed since we were kids and his name was always Ed St. George. Another poster asked if defamation needs to be false. Yes. Defamation (and yes I passed the Bar Exam 40 years ago) is the publication of false statements that are derogatory to a person in her Community, that the publisher either knows or should have known was false. Wilcoxon is guilty as charged!!!

  7. I think Eucalyptus are dangerous, fire hazards and they suck up a tremendous amount of water. They drive out natives species, their bark and leaves are messy and the trees are allelopathic (they kill the shrubs under them).
    But the stats on death from ALL trees not just Eucalyptus in Austraia is minimal.
    59 over a 12.5 year period.
    They do recommend not camping under a Eucalyptus in a tent
    Eucalyptus are not native and crowd native plants and animals out, which makes me ask:
    Where did the Monarchs rest before Eucalyptus? Maybe we should plant more of those.

  8. Plus you get to live your life without jealousy and bitterness eating at your soul.
    Can you imagine how awful the world would be if everyone conformed to the same jealous, bitter program?
    We all have our flaws.
    Would I want to live in a world where everyone thought like me and acted like me? NO

  9. Ed was never the most intellectual guy on the block and his public comments here are just stupid for someone who is still in the mix and needs women in power to approve his projects. I have known Ed since we were kids. He is a self made man who made more money in IV than anyone who participates on Edhat I can tell you that. He sold one of his IV companies for $35 million and Ed started from scratch, I know. He is one of the most successful self made men from SB. Maybe he has issues with women. ask his first wife, a supermodel who never seemed happy. Ed ain’t going anywhere. He is not done yet.

  10. Alot of Good things were said of Ed St. George when he let an elderly woman stay in her apartment at Beach City she would have otherwise been homeless and most likely would have died homeless when her time came. I don’t see many others taking people in but I hear alot of talk, alot of bark but no bite…

  11. St George can say anything he pleases. He is not an elected or even a public official. He is private citizen free to take any position, state any statement, and say anything he chooses. And there is NOTHING you can do about it! Well, not exactly. You can form a committee, clutch your pearls and write a strongly worded letter. And boy oh boy, if there is one thing that gets people to change its a strongly worded letter. lol

  12. He is often in the public arena requesting special favors and project approval from the politicos. If you don’t think this will make these efforts harder to accomplish in the future, you don’t know the way SB works.

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