Editorial – This is One Definition of “Affiliated With”

Posted 4/4/12

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.

Comments (18)

 

  1. Not Chester says:

    Hmm. I guess we’re still waiting for those adults.

  2. Chester says:

    I love when Crawford posts under a different name. Go back to your hole (tattler) and let the adults talk.

  3. Jim E. says:

    Bill, you have of course missed the point. So often you do. There will be a time in the not too distant future when you will stand before the City Council with your hand out asking for the taxpayers’ hard earned money. And I would say that the chances are pretty good that the people you will be asking for your handout will be Chris, MaryAnn and John. People whose good names you are dragging through the mud this weekend with your half-truths and thinly veiled lies. This is why your partisanship at election time is so harmful to this town. If I were them I wouldn’t give you a dime. The mouthpiece for the Chamber should not be engaging in the kinds of mudslinging you engage in every election. You are hurting this town and it’s businesses.

  4. anonymous says:

    Jim E.
    I don’t know anything about any funds for Wistaria days, but your tone is pretty negative.

    You seem to be getting some enjoyment out of the fact that Wistaria Days was ruined by rain. I wonder if you think maybe there just shouldn’t be a Wistaria Fete anymore. And maybe cancel the 4th of July Parade, too.

    Is that would would make you happy?

    Whether or not the City participates in any costs associated with Wistaria Day, I am unaware of, but, our town is better for having the Fete. If the City does in fact help with the funding of the Fete, then I’m all for it. It’s one of the things that defines our city from others.

    Just because Bill Coburn is a policymaker for the Chamber and also has this website is just by chance. Neither depends on the other and they are unrelated. So, while I gather that you wish Mr. Coburn no good will, it also sounds as if you share none of his pride in our city’s events.

    If the Chamber needs funding help from the City, then the City needs to step up. All other cities contribute in some fashion to their Chambers. No matter what the makeup is for the new council, I would hope that all would support any help for whatever the Chamber needed.

    Jim, you may want to actually volunteer for some of these events. I know people like you never do, but you ought to consider it. You’d be surprised what some pride would do for your poor attitude and self-image.

  5. Jim E. says:

    That Star News endorsement for Koerber and MacGillivray has sure taken the wind out of your tattered old sails, Bill. Here’s a question for you. How much dirt do you expect to have to eat from the new City Council when you ask the taxpayers to cover the Chamber’s losses for the second failed Wistaria Festival in a row?

  6. anonymous says:

    Chester,
    I know you’d have no problem enlightening us with a list of the “phony issues” you speak of.
    As a public service before the election you have a duty to inform all of us, since you have made this allegation.
    I’m waiting….

  7. Chester Chipotle says:

    With today’s endorsement of the 2 candidates Bill seems to have problems with I guess the Pasadena Star News has seen way past what is obviously another Coburn Canard. Every election Bill pulls out some phony issues. Only this time not very many people seem to care.

  8. W.buffet says:

    I was in that womens meeting. It was sad to see Koerber struggle to answer the easy question. Maryanne was shocked because she was afraid to commit. There is something you all should know about the Tea party. Yes they ate fiscally conservative. But, they discriminate against minorities and are against non traditional unions gay/lesbian etc. In good faith I cant vote for people like koerber or maryanne

    • Bill Coburn says:

      I decided to put this up, but have to wonder if you have any substantiation for those allegations of discrimination. I’m interpreting them as allegations against the Tea Party in general, not Chris and MaryAnn specifically.

  9. anonymous says:

    The bottom line is this:
    We have these two candidates willfully misleading all of Sierra Madre, pretending that they don’t have a clue what the question is.
    I remember when we had candidates that really wanted to represent all Sierra Madreans and for the better good of the City.
    Where’s the integrity?
    We’re not used to this creepy stuff here, and we deserve better.
    This “Watergate” style politics is really shameful.

  10. Chester says:

    Pat Holland, you sound very angry, which makes perfect sense as you are supporting Chris Koerber and MaryAnn Macgillivray. Enough with the Tea Party apologist talk — its obvious you are a member, so thanks. The difference between the other 4 candidates and Koerber and MaryAnn is that the other four have been completely transparent about where they are getting their support and who they are affiliated with. Koerber and MaryAnn have attempted to stonewall and avoid the questions about the Tea Party at every pass. Their twitter accounts and websites are run by a Tea Party organization — why don’t they just admit to it? SM voters don’t like to get lied to, sir.

    • Pat Holland says:

      I am not a member of the TEA Party but I do support what they stand for, taxed enough already. I am not an angry person, I just get frustrated with people who do not educate themselves about issues and philosophies before they make unsubstantiated statements. This is suppose to be a non partisan election and it should be that way. No one needs to state if they are a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Independent, Socialist, etc., and that’s the way it should be in this election. This issue was brought up by the League of Women Voters and shame on them for bringing it up in a non-partisan election. The issue should not have been raised in the first place. No one should be lied to in any election, including all candidates!

      • Bill Coburn says:

        Chester:

        I have to agree with Pat, I didn’t see the anger you saw. Maybe I’m missing something, but I didn’t feel it.

        As to the League of Women Voters – they didn’t bring it up, they just read a question that was submitted by someone in the audience. While Sierra Madre has traditionally been non-partisan regarding City Council, I’m not sure that the same can be said of all the cities in which the League moderates forums, and I don’t know that they would necessarily be aware that SM traditionally tries to stay non-partisan for Council races, so they would have no reason to omit the question. And of course, I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who think it’s an appropriate question. Certainly the person who wrote the question and submitted it felt it was.

        There’s also the idea that just because things have traditionally been done one way doesn’t mean it’s going to remain that way forever.

        • Bill Coburn says:

          Oh, by the way, I don’t know that anybody vilified anyone for standing for fiscal responsibility. I questioned, as did anonymous, why the candidates didn’t come out and say what they stand for, choosing to evade the question rather than answering it directly. No vilification intended on my part. Just a question.

  11. Pat Holland says:

    First of all, let me educate people who do not know what TEA Party means. TEA means TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY, period. Is there anyone out there that feels that they aren’t taxed enough already? If there are, you better check your property tax bill(s), your state tax, your federal tax, your city tax, your county tax, your UUT tax, and all the other taxes and fees that are included in all of our bills. Take the time, as I did, to look at all of these taxes and fees and you will understand why the TEA Party came about. Nothing else. I have gone to a TEA Party meeting to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I didn’t know what they stood for until I attended. And I was pleasantly surprised that there was no mention of political parties, just where people stood. Before people start criticizing people who attend or are “affliiated” with the TEA Party, educate yourself and find out what the true facts of the TEA Party are.

    By villifying the candidates who stand for fiscal responsibility you are making a big mistake. Yes, we are all in fiscal uncertainty now and probably in the near future so hard decisions need to be made without taxing and imposing fees on citizens again and again.

    Has anyone asked the other candidates where they are getting there support, especially financially, in this election? You would be surprised where their money is coming from, especially outside of this fine city.

  12. anonymous says:

    Chris Koerber had a large “Tea-Party” flag draped on the front of his second story for many months prior to his taking out papers as a candidate to be on the city council. Then, right before he “pulled papers” to run for office, it disappeared.
    It begs the question as to why someone would be so bold as to put up a flag claiming to be a supporter of any group and, yet, be either ashamed or overly cautious about such an affiliation when running for public office.
    Why would someone think that a core value that they feel so passionately about as to put up a flag to support then become worried that these personal values would be a political liability?
    Shouldn’t we all be proud of what we stand for and shouldn’t we see our views as a label who we really are?
    So, why did Koerber do such a “side-step” when asked the question of his leanings towards the “Tea-Party”?
    A solid: ….”Yes, I am a member, and so much so, I have a flag on my house” would have given him a real boost in my opinion of him as being a candidate of conviction and courage.
    Isn’t that something that we need more of these days?