Let’s make it very clear we are not about to allow a never-ending tête-à-tête every time a couple of individuals happen to have a difference of opinion on this blog, but when it comes to political differences, as opposed to personality issues, a fair debate is warranted.
So, in response to Encinitas Councilman Jerome Stocks’ post of yesterday, in which he takes past city council candidate Joe Sheffo to task, we are allowing Mr. Sheffo some “equal time.” Obviously, an elected official putting a strong opinion in the public “rostra” cannot be expected to pass quietly or go unnoticed. To a reasonable extent, that’s the purpose of this weblog.
Please understand the equal time alloted in this case is by choice, not by federal mandate (so far). And, we caution all — now that everyone has stated their peace — you may always choose to end it here. Or, have a beer and discuss it. Either way, we will not allow any rebuttals to digress into other than policy differences or campaign related matters.
I am flattered by that fact that, over a year after the election, Mr. Stocks suddenly feels the need, and has the time, to launch such a detailed personal attack against me over all things, a request for money to support the San Diego Young Republicans.
As he is someone who prides himself on hewing closely to the facts, so will I:
“then he [Sheffo] decided to run for the Encinitas City Council in 2008, the same race in which I was seeking my third term. In a City that has never granted a third term to any Council Member not named James Bond.”
It is true that Jerome Stocks won a third term in 2008, but so did Maggie Houlihan, and she actually got more votes.
“But this guy Sheffo made a whole campaign out of bashing me and good Republican James Bond while simultaneously praising Democrat incumbent candidate Maggie Houlihan and Democrat candidate Collier.”
I did not make a whole campaign out of bashing Jerome, although, given his support for numerous taxes and big ticket infrastructure projects over the years, I most certainly could have. I did make the conscious decision to distance myself from him, which I made clear to numerous people, Republicans and non-Republicans alike. Had Jerome asked me, I would have gladly told him as well.
I never in any way endorsed Maggie Houlihan, a Democrat, or Rachelle Collier (left-leaning, not sure of formal party affiliation), although I am guilty of having pleasant relationships with both and may have made positive statements about them if I agreed with their policies. When I did not, I made that public, too.
As anyone involved in local politics knows, party labels sometimes have less meaning in city races, especially in a small town like Encinitas. I believe that my main crime in Jerome’s eyes was not going out of my way to bash these ladies.
Finally, if Jim Bond is such a “good Republican,” and I am such a bad one, why did I get the party’s endorsement in that race and he did not?
“the good voters of Encinitas re-elected me as well as James Bond and rejected Mr. Sheffo”
This is the only true statement in Jerome’s slightly unhinged tirade.
“In fact, after walking precincts for himself as well as the Republican party, and sending mailers… “
I didn’t send out any mailers, hence one of the reasons I lost.
A few additional facts that Jerome left out:
Tax Pledge: I am the only candidate who signed a “No New Taxes” pledge. I challenged him and other candidates to take a similar oath. Jerome, like all the others, refused to do so.
Same Sex Marriage: Jerome was asked twice, once by the U-T and the other time at a forum sponsored by the Del Mar Seacoast Republican Women Federated, to give his position on same sex marriage (remember 2008 was the year we voted on Prop 8). Both times he refused to answer. I made clear that I opposed gay marriage and favored Prop 8 in both instances. In my view, especially on this issue, silence is consent.
Public Safety Unions: Jerome has repeatedly sought and received the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, a public employee union. I took one look at their questionnaire, which dealt primarily with pensions and benefits–not public safety–and decided I didn’t want their endorsement.
Taxes: As a private citizen, councilman and representative on numerous regional boards (SANDAG, NCTD), Jerome has supported at least seven local taxes that I know of. They are:
Prop R — Tax on Businesses for Sand Replenishment (1998)
SANDAG’s Property Assessment for Sand Replenishment (2002)
SANDAG’s TransNet II Sales Tax (2004)
Lighting & Landscaping Assessment (2005)
Prop F — Increase in TOT (2008)
Prop G — Sand Replenishment Tax (2008)
Prop K — Sand Replenishment Tax (2008)
To these can be added his advocacy on behalf of the half-billion dollar Sprinter and various sand replenishing schemes that would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Overall a very strange post. I can be accused of many things, but being a RINO is not one of them.
It seems to me that if Jerome wanted to direct his venom at me, he should have been man enough to do so during the election or any of the numerous times I’ve seen him since then.
Finally, I’m left with one outstanding question: If I’m such a big nobody, why is Jerome Stocks so preoccupied with me?