The ’60s Revisited

Barney's Revisiting Them, Too

I’M REVISITING THEM, TOO: Gerry DeWitt’s long-running The Sixties Revisited radio show had a theme that went: “It’s the same old song, but with a different meaning since you’ve been gone …”

From 1976 to 2001, Gerry’s show aired on local airwaves, first on KTYD, with the Four Tops’ 1965 Motown theme providing bittersweet memories of wonderful music and turbulent times.

Barney Brantingham

“The show lasted two-and-a-half times as long as the ’60s did,” Gerry reminded me when we talked the other day. He’s collecting copies of those shows and sent me one featuring Walter Cronkite’s sounds of the 1960s, including what Gerry terms Cronkite’s “heart-wrenching collage of the sounds of that weekend in November” when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The 50th anniversary of the November 22, 1963, day of infamy looms next week, bringing a “potpourri of pain” for those doomed to remember those horrific events “and the psychological impact they would have on a generation whose youthful ideals were shattered in the course of a few short seconds,” Gerry said.

ELECTION, SMELECKSHUN: Someday they’ll have an election, and no one will come. Look, all you had to do to vote in last week’s Santa Barbara City Council election was put a couple of marks on the ballot the city mailed you, sign your name, and stick it in the mail. But only 38.3 percent of city voters managed to find time or interest to do that.

An election with no issues? Maybe, but the voting could have a lot to do with who’s going to battle for Congress when Representative Lois Capps decides to retire to the Upper Eastside. But she shows no sign of leaving the lunatic asylum that’s the House of unRepresentatives, and when I saw her last week, she said she’s running in 2014.

<b>SECURELY SEATED:</b> The envy of many a Santa Barbara politician, Lois Capps’s tenure in California’s 24th U.S. Congressional District remains pat.
Barney Brantingham

It can’t be a lot of fun for Capps, a moderate Democrat outnumbered by Republicans, Tea Partyers, and other assorted types, many of whom seem to hate the government they were elected to be a part of. Only in America can you base a political movement on being against health care for the very people you represent.

Crazy as our nation’s Capitol is, a good many Santa Barbarans, restless as only political types can be, appear anxious to sit in the House, despite its cellar-dwelling polls.

Three councilmembers, including one who was just elected, seem anxious to pounce on the seat when Lois Capps retires. Term limits, both on the City Council and State Legislature, have created an endless game of musical chairs.

Mayor Helene Schneider, who raised over $115,000 against weak opposition and surely has bucks left over, has long been seen as itching to move up. Having been reelected last week, she’ll be termed out in four years. What then? A run at Congress? As a fellow Democrat, she’d never challenge Capps. Standing in her way is 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, long considered Capps’s heir apparent, with close contacts with fellow Democrats in Washington, D.C.

If Salud gets Capps’s vacated seat, then political observers (where would we be without them?) see Schneider vying for his vacant supervisorial chair.

Gregg Hart ran a gangbuster campaign to get elected to the council last week, spending more than $120,000, a new record and perhaps has some left over for future electoral adventures. Hart, who served two council terms (1996-2003), looks to some like a guy with a yen for the mayor’s gavel or a seat in the Legislature or Congress.

Cracked ex-councilmember (1982-1993) Gerry DeWitt about last week’s election: “We replaced a bald, middle-aged, union-backed councilman who supported high-density development and bulb-outs whose initials are GH with another bald, middle-aged, union-backed candidate who supports high-density development and bulb-outs whose initials are GH. All that money and time, for what?”

Translation: Grant House was termed out, replaced by Gregg Hart. (The peeple have spoke.) Forecast: clouds with a chance of “smart-growth” density storms and freeway hail. Hart and Schneider sharply disagree on freeway plans, and the mayor didn’t endorse him. Some also speculate that former councilmember Das Williams, an ambitious Democrat, might be interested in a shot at Congress when he’s termed out in the Assembly.

Another councilmember supposedly eying a seat in Congress is Republican Dale Francisco. Meanwhile, people are talking about the spirited election battle shaping up when current Goleta Mayor Roger Aceves, an ex–Santa Barbara cop, takes on 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf next year.


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