After an eternity of reading news reporters’ observations about Malibu, I have come to the conclusion that when the Malibu press is united, it is always wrong. I was amused by your recent definition (editors note) of the word, “curmudgeon.” In as much as English is a living, changing language, and your source for the definition was ancient in the world of the Internet, I interrogated my Internet search engine and found the Curmudgeons Dictionary on-line which states: Curmudgeon, noun: someone who smells flowers and looks for a coffin. Sentence: The Curmudgeon noted that the bequest of open space adjoining the state beach was tied to supplementary beach parking and public access.
I recently wrote a letter on campaign reform to The Malibu Times that, unlike our Malibu political candidates collecting a war chest of $50,000, in neighboring Agoura, Councilperson Jeff Reinhardt gored his opponents for only $4,299.34 and the help of his wife, kids, posters and magic markers.
Councilman Reinhardt added the following thoughts on this article published in The Malibu Times via e-mail:
“I just won re-election with a bit over $5,000 (not much change from the figure you cite from 1997). A few years ago, Agoura Hills passed the toughest local campaign laws in the state. A $250 total cap on contributions per person, stringent public reporting of contributions to city (every two weeks during the campaign), no contributions at all during the last week of the election (to keep out last-minute “dumping” of non-reportable cash), name, address and occupation of every contributor giving over $5; no cash contributions. “In-kind” (non-cash) contributions are reportable and count toward the $250 total. So if someone throws you a fundraising party, the cost of the food and other ‘stuff’ is reportable. The result? It worked. Kind of! There was a last minute “slam” campaign funded by ‘outside development interests’ under the guise of an ‘independent committee’ registered with the county. The same group tried a slam campaign in Calabasas last spring that did not work. They then slammed an incumbent in Westlake Village in this election and he lost. Money flowed into that committee from as far away as Florida. Could Malibu be next?”
YES! I suggest that Malibuites should move on city campaign reform quickly and extend the reforms to city ballot measures, as the city of Malibu has no city financial guidelines for these measures and as Agoura Council Reinhardt states, “As to Malibu, spending $50,000 for a job that pays $300 a month, it is obscene. That kind of money is definitely seeking favor that should not be condoned.”
Nothing changes in Malibu politics, just the sides the Republicans and the Democrats take.
And that is all I have to say.