Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tribune Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

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?

Steve Sinai
East Sharp Park

Posted by Steve Sinai


Anonymous said...

Ever read the book?

How to win friends and influence people.

mike bell said...

Thank you Steve for telling it like it is.
This dirty trick used by Martin and her supporters to pervert the election process is totally in keeping with their lack of honesty and common decency.
An illegitament fraud in the White House followed by an illegitament fraud on our local city council. Hard to believe!
Now the much larger majority of Pacificans will have to pay the consequences.

Steve Sinai said...

Both political parties are garbage, which is why I switched to independent years ago.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunate situation, but what proof do you have that Martin knew any of this when she sought the Dems endorsement? This was not the first time a candidate for PCC asked for or received the Dems endorsement. Furthermore, if we're just speculating...if past candidates failed to ask for that endorsement, was it because they winkwink knew of the legal prohibition within the Hatch Act and hoped to avoid it being raised? Yeah, all of this is pure speculation without proof. And if you believe that Martin should have withdrawn from the race when this mess arose, then we're also dealing in self-sacrifice and nobility--qualities not often seen in this world.

Steve Sinai said...

I never said Martin should have withdrawn from the race. What she and her supporters should have done was allow Nihart to remain in the race so Pacifica voters could decide who was on council.

94044 said...

Martin allowed her close supporters to make dozens and dozens of posts online here, at Riptide, Pathetica.Stink, and on Next Door stating that a vote for Mary Ann wouldn't count which was flat out untrue.

This is in addition to other similar lies such as: Nihart was under investigation; Nihart broke the law; Nihart concealed her ineligibility, etc., etc. Let's call this what it is, plain and simple: voter suppression.

Martin never took any steps to publicly disavow these lies and never asked her supporters to stop making them. Dierdre's supporters are her campaign and her campaign is her supporters; their behavior reflects the character of the candidate.

I never saw a statement from the candidate herself. I saw one from Cynthia Kaufman, but never one from Martin. That shows you something right there. In any case, the statement from Kaufman was a weak-sauce, "it's not our fault" that never took any ownership of the public behavior of Martin's own inner-circle of supporters.

What the Martin campaign fails to realize is that she's now tainted with the dirty bathtub ring of her supporter's behavior, because when she had the opportunity speak up, she took the easy way out and chose to stay silent. Martin lost any moral high ground a victory would have given her before she even "won."

Anonymous said...

What should Martin have done to allow Nihart to remain in the race?

The Watcher said...

9:32, read 8:01 again. Maybe pay attention.