In his early writings, Benjamin Franklin warns “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
An intolerant group in Newport Beach has initiated a recall against me because I speak my mind. Their list of “grievances” against me read as though the real reason that they want to recall me is because I am politically incorrect.
I have strong beliefs in limited government, reduced taxation, regulatory reform, property rights, and yes, I am an unapologetic Christian.
I politely and forcefully speak my mind, but I don’t subscribe to political correctness.
The city needs differing opinions. Over the past decade, Newport has lacked robust debate. Unanimous City Council votes have led to saddling Newport taxpayers with more than $550 million in unfunded pension debt and the cost of our excessive City Hall, a $150 million monument to political excess. Our children will be paying for those decisions for decades.
I was elected in 2014 with a clear mandate to stop the city’s excessive spending. Frankly, their criticisms are based on my doing what I promised during the campaign. I know, what a concept that a politician actually makes good on their promises.
My political opponents are still bitter. They want to stifle my free speech and return to the days over-spending and sweetheart deals for insiders.
This recall is based on policy differences; that is what elections are for. If successful, this recall election would be heard sometime between November and February of next year. I am up for election in November next year. I look forward to running on my record.
The recallers will not intimidate me. I will fight this recall to protect everyone’s right to respectfully speak freely, whether you agree with me or not. In my opinion, that’s the foundation of democracy.
SCOTT PEOTTER is a Newport Beach councilman.