This editorial is the opinion of Bill Coburn, publisher of Sierra Madre News Net and 17-year Sierra Madre resident. It is not intended to reflect the views of any other person or entity with whom I am associated.
I’ve had several people ask me if I was going to write anything about Chris Koerber and MaryAnn MacGillivray and their conservative stance, and the possibility that they are affiliated with the Tea Party. I didn’t really see much point, as I (and many of the Sierra Madreans with whom I’ve discussed the issue of party affiliation in Sierra Madre politics) don’t really care if a City Council candidate is affiliated with the Tea Party , the Democratic party or the Republican party. I’m more interested in how they stand on Sierra Madre issues, though I do admit that I’m more inclined to figure a Tea Party member and I are going to be coming at things from very different angles. I just don’t get how some people think Sarah Palin would make a good president, or how somebody who forgets where they put their loaded gun as they enter an airport is the right person to be making important decisions in Sacramento.
I really think MaryAnn is a very capable Council Member, even if I don’t agree with her on some issues. It’s not because of her political party, it’s because we don’t agree on the issues. I even wrote an editorial in her defense when I felt the other Council members weren’t giving her proposal proper consideration (an editorial her campaign manager chose to post on Facebook this weekend). I also think Chris would be a capable Council member, but I disagree with him on the issues as well. I didn’t endorse Braudrick, Harabedian and Goss based on political party affiliation, I did it because we agreed on the issues more than I do with MaryAnn or Chris. Until yesterday, I didn’t know Harabedian’s political party, and I still haven’t talked with Goss or Braudrick to find out what their affiliation is (I think I can assume from the Democratic party robocall last weekend what Colin’s affiliation is, though). I do know, though, that they aren’t affiliated with the Tea Party because they were forthcoming and straightforward with their answer to the question “Are you affiliated with the Tea Party” when it was asked at a City Council candidate forum held at City Hall in March.
The fact is, anybody that wants to find out if Chris Koerber is involved with the Tea Party can do so with a simple Google search. Google Chris Koerber Tea Party, and the first three results are Tweets on Chris’s Twitter page with the hash tag “Tea Party”. The eighth result quotes Chris as saying he’s proud to support a Tea Party Congressional candidate in Georgia. Easy enough. Heck, according to Sierra Madre Patch, Chris even spoke during public comment at a City Council meeting in November of 2010, saying “Tim (59th District Tea Party Assemblyman Tim Donnelly) wanted me to make sure that I thanked the people of Sierra Madre for their support.”
As you can see in the embedded video, Chris, when asked if he was affiliated with the Tea Party, chose not to answer the question directly, opting instead to poll the attendees as to how many wanted to see their taxes raised, announce the results, and say thank you. Immediately following, MaryAnn MacGillivray, when asked if she was affiliated with the Tea Party, responded that “I don’t know what you mean by affiliated with the Tea Party, but I’m certainly not in favor of raising taxes either.”
Why have I decided to write about this now? First, I watched as Patch.com posted two polls of their readers about the election, and the Tea Party issue got quite a bit of attention, meaning it’s important to some of the voters in town, even if it’s not an overriding factor for me. Then this afternoon, someone suggested I visit the TeaPAC Pasadena website and click on the link to their Facebook page, then look at their photo albums. Here’s what they wanted me to see: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.242957369111850.56299.227420357332218&type=3.
What I can’t figure out is why these two candidates, who are shown speaking, as candidates, at a TeaPAC function, don’t want Sierra Madre voters to know about their affiliation with the Tea Party. Why did they evade the question, rather than standing up for what they believe in? And to say “I don’t understand what you mean by affiliated with the Tea Party”? MaryAnn, you’re a highly intelligent woman. This picture of you speaking as a candidate at a TeaPAC website launch party shows, BY ANYONE’S DEFINITION, that you are affiliated.
I don’t understand why these two candidates think we should vote for them, if they aren’t willing to tell us who they are and what they believe. I’ll be voting for Colin Braudrick, Gene Goss, and John Harabedian.