SURFING SOAPBOX: Dirty tactics backfire

Disappointing. Unacceptable. Perhaps “second-rate” is how I can best sum up my thoughts regarding the bushwhack efforts in the 12th hour to smear the good name of City Council candidate Verna Rollinger — and I am not only saying this because I was a Verna supporter.

I offered my support to council incumbent Cheryl Kinsman as well, but was in complete dismay when Kinsman’s campaign tactics turned dirty. This isn’t the first time we have seen our City Council elections turn dirty. It was only a few years ago that a similar dirty campaign was run against Wayne Baglin — and what a disgrace that was. Luckily, this time it didn’t cost Rollinger her election as it did in Baglin’s attempt at being reelected.

If you have to resort to dirty politics, name-calling and childish games, then this should be a good barometer of knowing that one shouldn’t be running. Ironically, a move that the Kinsman campaign thought would garner more support in the way of voters ultimately may have cost her just that — the support of her own voters.

What was perhaps first thought of as a “swift” move potentially backfired on Kinsman’s reelection bid as the Rollinger camp rode into victory lane. I have seen people take dirty strikes against Kinsman, and she always stayed the course, never lowering herself to that level.

I admired her for that.

So it’s a great disappointment to see such levels of class reversed.

Let’s not forget in these times of election, or otherwise, many of these people are merely trying to do their best. But more importantly, many of these people have families, and name-calling doesn’t do anyone any good — and I myself have been guilty of this in the past.

It took the ugly campaign years ago against Baglin to better understand the right way of doing things and the wrong way. Staying the course and referencing city topics both short and long term are a much better way of achieving our goals than classless attacks.

Besides, we all know that the goats like Verna, too.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha

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