The upcoming Lily’s Cafe Candidates Forum appears to be a troubling departure from tradition in Malibu. The Candidate’s Forum has always been sponsored by recognized community organizations such as PARCS, the Malibu Township Council, the Malibu Architects, and the Board of Realtors. Unlike the Lily’s Committee, these groups never endorse candidates prior to debates so as to assure the public of an unprejudiced platform.
The Lily’s group was created to defeat the Malibu Parks and Land Bond, and now has become a political PAC with the goal of “supporting candidates for City Council,” according to FPPC filings. John Harlow, the founder of the Lily’s PAC, has already publicly endorsed John Wall and Beverly Taki, the only two candidates who did not support the Parks and Land Bond.
How can the public expect an even-handed treatment of the candidates when the sole purpose of this group is to electioneer for their two City Council choices? Given Lily’s express purpose to elect Wall and Taki, what is to stop them from providing their candidates with the questions prior to the debate and skewing audience inquiries?
The partisanship of the Lily’s Cafe Committee is also evident by their focusing discussion topics on various Development Deals instead of the Coastal Commission’s LCP. Preserving control over Malibu’s destiny is by far the most important issue we face.