Mayor Diane Dixon, after initially supporting the political campaign reforms proposed by Councilman Keith Curry, flip-flopped and opposed considering these reforms, prior to the passage of another election.
In addition, Dixon voted in favor of the removal of Councilman Curry as chairman of the Finance Committee because, in my opinion, he highlighted in the press some of her own campaign finance tactics. Mayor Dixon’s call to delay until after the next election considering these issues is both disingenuous and illogical.
What Dixon has not done, and should do now, is tell the voters exactly where she stands on the issues. The first reform is to make minor revisions to the wording of our campaign contribution limitation ordinance so that it can be enforced by the city attorney.
For 21 years and 10 election cycles, all candidates, winners and losers, challengers and incumbents, have scrupulously followed this law. Not until 2014, with Councilmen Peotter and Marshall Duffield, were violations of this ordinance reported.
Does the City Council really need a committee to tell it that the city should be able to enforce its own ordinances? Should we have another election cycle where there is ambiguity as to the enforceability of a law that could result in removal from office? The mayor should tell the voters whether she even supports this law.
Dixon’s proposed delay in considering the banning of fundraising more than a year before an election is even more illogical since the proposed reform does not affect candidates running in 2016. It applies to current council members, like Dixon, future candidates who are raising thousands of dollars from people and businesses currently transacting business with the city. This gives sitting council members an overwhelming fundraising advantage in the 2018 election.
I would like Dixon to explain to the voters the reasons for her opposition to closing the slate mail loophole to the campaign contribution limits, a loophole from which she and Team Newport greatly benefited.
Last, I would like Dixon to explain why she opposes the formal disclosure of the identity of the parties who employ lobbyists generally, the identity of the lobbyists so employed, and, who specifically, employs Team Newport campaign consultants to lobby the City Council.
The residents and voters of Newport Beach deserve a mayor who demonstrates integrity and leadership in resolving these issues and ensuring the fundamental fairness of our political system. The least that Dixon can do is tell the public where she stands on these important issues.
Kristin M. Cano
Corona del Mar
Religious practice: Give and you will receive
When I was in college, I had a particularly hard time with one of my math courses. As I struggled through this class, one day I happened to meet my professor in the hall and told him the trouble I was having. I was expecting that he would make an effort to help me in some way so that I could more easily grasp the concepts and be able to use them.
But he didn’t take the bait.
Instead, he told me that when he was going through the same class he too found it difficult. Like me, he also reached out to his professor, and his professor told him he needed to buckle down, study more and make sure to do all of the homework. By doing so, the professor had said, he would experience a breakthrough and finally achieve understanding. And he did.
The message was clear. I had to buckle down, study more and do all my homework!
Perhaps it’s also a message that needs to be heard in religious circles in our current society, since a recent Pew Research Center Report on Religion and Public Health concluded that, “Highly religious Americans are happier and more involved with family but are no more likely to exercise, recycle, or make socially conscious choices.”
What this study suggests is that there is little difference between those who regularly attend worship services and practice religion and those who do not, when it comes to making outward lifestyle choices. And so it makes sense to me that religious attendance and practice is declining in every age group, education level, region, and gender in the US.
What I’ve found true over the years — just like with my math class — is that I need to study and actually live the spiritual truths that I find and understand. As I make these spiritual truths an integral part of every aspect of my life, my religion becomes vibrant and alive – and then a necessary part of my life. Over 100 years ago, author Mary Baker Eddy and the founder of Christian Science wrote, “Mind-science teaches that mortals need ‘not be weary in well doing.’ It dissipates fatigue in doing good. Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.”
Less weariness is not all that comes about from giving instead of withholding. The power of living itself can be upheld by constantly searching for spiritual truth. For instance, a CNN poll authored by Corina Storrs found that women nurses who attended religious services regularly had a death rate 33% lower than non church-going women. And there are those who are finding ways to encourage this spiritual search. In their book, “Essential,” Thom and Sam Rainer strongly recommend that churches not water down Scripture and instead search for ways to be relevant by making the Gospel messages applicable to present culture.
The words and works of Jesus are indeed relevant to today’s world, because the gospel message of God’s love for all is as timeless as our need for healing. And that’s why it is possible, perhaps inevitable, that the seemingly downward trend in current religious practice can be reversed – because the deepest life satisfaction comes through learning the value of what Eddy calls “the power of being magnanimous.”
Or, as Jesus put it: “Don’t hold back — give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap — a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give.”