Mailbag: MAGA supporters walk among us

Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark pledges to defend a charter amendment.
Supporters of Measure A, a recently passed charter amendment requiring identification to vote in Huntington Beach elections, applaud as Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark pledges to defend the measure during a news conference at City Hall on Thursday, April 18.
(Eric Licas)

I certainly do not want to give disciples of far right dogma any more ideas, but after reading in the L.A. Times this morning that approximately half of the states in the U.S. allow some teachers and other employees to carry concealed weapons on school property, I dreaded the thought that any MAGA disciples would even think of that for California.

Of course, we never thought that MAGA extremist ideas would get a foothold in California, but one need look no further than the city council in Huntington Beach, the school board in Orange Unified and now the council in Murietta, whose members have been applying some of the same extreme philosophy as that seen in some states.

The book banning is a particularly sensitive issue, conjuring up the image of piles of burning books in pre-World War II Europe. Although not as extreme, all three of these communities have been attempting to give nonprofessional librarians the carte blanche ability to pick and choose what books can remain on designated shelves or even be banned from the school or library completely.


I was proud of Newport Beach for not getting involved in any book choice committees, but it seems like that was premature. I have been told lately that there is a process underway in the city allowing the public to overrule professional librarians’ placement of reading material. (Have you ever visited a library or school that looked like a breeding ground for subversive behavior?) Parents should only have the right to select reading material for their own children.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach

The April 19 Daily Pilot included a front-page photo of our Huntington Beach mayor and her extremist compatriots at a rally in support of the recently adopted charter amendment regarding voter identification. Also pictured is a sign setting forth a list of “Things That Require an ID” which included: buying smokes, buying alcohol, buying a car, driving a car and signing up for school. Apparently our majority council members and city attorney believe their examples demonstrate that the imposition of additional requirements in Huntington Beach is not a big deal. But my question is: Do any of the example actions require preregistration, which itself involves identification, residence information, signing a form under penalty of perjury?

Gene Axelrod
Huntington Beach

It’s hard for a rational person to understand the motives behind the culture wars that the Huntington Beach City Council majority and the city attorney have ignited in our city. Are they just trying to get attention for their transparent plans to seek higher office (looking at you, Tony Strickland)? Have they drunk the Kool-Aid provided by their MAGA leader (you, Gracey Van der Mark)? Are they determined to justify their outsize salary by bankrupting the city with lawsuits (you, Michael Gates)? Or are they just followers who can’t think for themselves and like the excitement of being in the mix (you, Pat Burns and Casey McKeon)?

Whatever their motives, the scorched-earth policies that this group have wreaked upon our city will likely haunt all of us for a long time to come. But we will fight back, and we will endure after they are gone, because we the people are the backbone of this beautiful city! We will work tirelessly to repair the damage done by these selfish, unhinged individuals and their blind followers. This is a call to action for everyone who wants to restore Huntington Beach. Protect HB!

Diane Bentley
Huntington Beach