Dear Non-Neighbor

Open letter to Van Wolfswinkle

Dear Non-Neighbor,

Your glossy mass-mailed “Dear Neighbor” thank you note reveals an unexpected talent for stand-up comedy.

All Santa Barbara is laughing as we speak, at some of these howlers:

• Pretending to be a neighbor, when you are not even a resident of Santa Barbara, but rather a billionaire real estate developer based in Texas;

• Your modest expression of “support” for “the efforts of the citizens group Preserve Our Santa Barbara”- a Political Action Committee with no known members from Santa Barbara, and indeed no known membership at all- which your created and bankrolled to the tune of $700,000;

• Your characterization of the present City Council leadership as “a self-appointed ‘ruling class’” -curious, since these people were actually elected to public office in free and open elections. If anybody is “self-appointed”, it would seem to be you;

• Your self-serving claim to credit (“we have broken the dominance:”) for the election of two conservative council candidates. Wiser election analysts give full credit for this to an effective Republican get-out-the-vote effort. The vote totals achieved by these two candidates closely match the vote that elected Dale Francisco to the Council two years ago. Their election is an impressive achievement - but no thanks to you;

• Your convenient failure to mention the defeat of Measure B- which is widely attributed at least in part to your ineptly negative campaign materials, claiming to support it;

• Ditto your vicious attacks on a respected civic figure Steve Cushman- which failed to elect Mr. Francisco mayor, and fouled the political air for everyone, in the process;

• The paean to “an informed citizenry” on the part of a “neighbor” who refused all interviews with the press during the campaign, while flooding the mails and the airwaves with misleading, false and vituperative rhetoric.

And now you tell us to “stay tuned.” Can you hear us all laughing, Mr. Non-Neighbor?-Robert Potter

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