Vote as if the future depends upon it
And when you do, we urge you to think about the Irvine of today and tomorrow, rather than the one of yesterday.
We strongly support the three candidates we’ve endorsed for the Irvine city elections. We urge you to vote for Don Wagner for mayor, and Carrie O’Malley and Anthony Kuo for city council. Please refer to our page one story for more details.
This is a remarkable election in many ways. The number of candidates alone sets this year apart in the history of Irvine. It is also a crucial election for the future of our fair city.
Today, Irvine earns so many local, regional and national accolades that it’s hard to keep up with them. It has stable and thoughtful leadership that has kept our city government fiscally fit while managing economic growth and vitality and addressing real issues of traffic congestion.
Compare that to the direction the city was in a decade ago, as $200 million was frittered away at the Orange County Great Park at a time when Larry Agran ruled the city. It took Irvine a decade to recover from the debacle at the Orange County Great Park.
Today, the former Marine Corps Air Base El Toro has evolved into an amazing place. There are schools, parks and playgrounds. There’s a remarkable Sports Park that is already a favorite of families and the envy of other cities. There’s a new ice complex coming soon. And the planning for the Cultural Terrace is well underway.
But there is a “the sky is falling” faction in Irvine that has successfully manufactured an “us vs. them” wedge in the city. The Larry Agran-led “No on B” slate is designed to divide us rather than inspire us.
Why do politicians create wedge issues? Because unfortunately they often work. Wedge issues thrive on our emotional reactions, rather than our ability to critically analyze them. As a New York Times article put it: “the temptation to elevate non-core issues in specific elections in the hopes it will win over a few more voters is too great for most candidates to ignore.”
A year ago, the editorial board of the OC Register weighed in with an opinion piece about the Southern California Veterans Memorial Park and what would become the misleading “No on B” campaign:
“This is all about politics and trying to win next year’s city election. Sadly, this is par for the course in Irvine where creating a political wedge issue and riding it to the election seems torn right out of the pages of former Irvine Mayor and Councilman Larry Agran’s playbook. It should come as no surprise that the pro-Agran Irvine Community News and Views publication supports the referendum. Agran even wrote a column in its pages supporting it.”
Now, here we are a few days from the Nov. 6 election, and it’s clear the whole “No on B” effort has indeed been “all about politics and trying to win the city election.”
One more note from that story. One of Larry Agran’s main liberal mouthpieces, Dan Chmielewski, posted a comment: “Of the candidates declared or rumored running for city council, no candidate represents the Pope or Agran factions. For the Register’s editorial board to claim this shows remarkable ignorance of facts.”
This was a year ago. Today, Chmielewski and his LiberalOC blog are all in for Pope and the Agran attempt to take over the city of Irvine once more. Intriguingly, Dan also suggests that Republicans vote for Daigle for mayor, over the proven incumbent Mayor Don Wagner.
That speaks volumes about Daigle’s role in the election: as a spoiler, an old Agran trick that voters no doubt remember well from past elections.
We know the direction of the city will change fundamentally for the worse if the city leadership reverts to the control of Larry Agran and his slate. A vote for Wagner, O’Malley and Kuo is a vote for the future, and not the past.
We urge everyone to vote in this election. Take into consideration all that you’ve read and heard, here and elsewhere. Then vote your conscience, vote your pocketbook, and vote for your children’s future and for the future of your community, not its past. But please, vote.