Deirdre Martin does not deserve a place on Pacifica City Council. Rather than respecting the will of Pacifica voters, and in a tactic criticized by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Senator Jerry Hill, and State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, Martin assured herself a seat on council by using an obscure provision of the federal Hatch Act to force Veterans Administration employee Mary Ann Nihart to resign from the race.
Martin tries to spin this as an unfortunate set of circumstances beyond anyone's control, but Martin and her supporters worked to force Nihart out. The Hatch Act says federal employees cannot run in partisan elections. Unlike Nihart and Vaterlaus, Martin pursued an endorsement from the San Mateo County Democrats, which turned the election from non-partisan to partisan. Martin's backers used that opportunity to appeal to the government agency that oversees these matters to eliminate Nihart from the race.
This is one of those laws that's only enforced if someone complains. Former Councilmember Jim Vreeland was an EPA employee who also ran in partisan council elections, yet his opponents never stooped to the level of Martin's backers and appealed to have him removed.
Recognizing the way the provision was abused, Speier has promised to try to get it removed from the Hatch Act.
So when Martin is giving the requisite platitudes about how she wants to represent and listen to all Pacificans, ask yourself why she didn't let you, the Pacifica voter, decide who would be on council?
East Sharp Park
Posted by Steve Sinai