By Bob Emery
My daughter Kathleen, on a business trip to Kentucky, spent election night in a restaurant with colleagues. The place was packed with Republicans who had decorated with an Uncle Sam replica and bunting, waiting for the Romney juggernaut to sweep the Obama pretenders from office and crown king Mitt. My daughter being of sound mind and body was, of course, a strong supporter of our president and said she had to “bite her tongue” all evening. Her colleagues gave her a little slack however, because “she was from California and didn’t know better.”
Krysty, my eldest, emailed me Wednesday saying “I dressed in my best Obama-inspired outfit and quietly gloated all day.” Needless to say, the Emery clan was very pleased with the outcome of Tuesday’s election. Not just because the best candidate won but for the resounding message that was sent: “Americans’ votes still are not for sale.” Estimates of campaign spending at the national level exceed six billion dollars with over two-thirds of it spent by Republicans. Karl Rove, the dark puppeteer of the GOP, hit up billionaire after billionaire for huge donations and it bought them nothing. If I were one of those fat-cats, I’d be asking for a refund.
Speaking of huge sums of money, what a deplorable waste of resources this quadrennial orgy of spending is. Just think of what six billion dollars could do at a time when many are suffering from lack of jobs, damage from hurricanes, wounded and unemployed veterans, educational improvement and on and on. The advent of the “super PACs” and anonymous donors has slimed the whole election process. I have always supported publicly funded elections with some limitations. But that makes sense so it will never happen.
Locally, some surprises. Congratulations to Jim Cunningham and Steve Vaus for their re-election and election, respectively, to the Poway City Council. Jim fully deserves his next four years and we hope he will continue to be a leader on the council. Vaus, who was successful after his second run for office, was the top vote-getter besting Cunningham by a few dozen votes. My only advice to Steve is to remember that this is a non-partisan office. The job of a councilmember is to help formulate policy on roads, water, sewer, recreation, police and fire services and our quality of life in our City in the Country.
A big thank you and a sad farewell to Linda Vanderveen who lost her seat on the Poway Unified School District board. Linda served many years in what is probably one of the most thankless yet rewarding elected positions. Her colleague Andy Patapow was re-elected to another four-year term and we wish him well. The “questionable” school bond issue was certainly a factor in both the school board and City Council races.