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Cord Bauer, San Clemente
The first political “hate mailer” of the season arrived at my door this week. It falsely claims Steve Swartz and Dan Bane as pro-sober-home and wanting to pave over all our open space so they could put up jumbo mall signs. If Gandhi and Mother Teresa were on the ballot, they’d get the same treatment. It’s complete nonsense, of course, and I expect more nonsense to come.
Why more? Because it happened the last election cycle. And the one before that. Actually, this
“slash-and-burn” policy comes from one family: Charles and Jeri Mann and their group, “Watchdog for San Clemente.”
A quick search of old San Clemente Times stories and letters give headlines like “Mann Defends Anti-Dahl Mailers,” “Mann Apologizes to SC Chamber: Statements in campaign mailers acknowledged as false,” and “Applauding Those Who Stand Up to Bullies,” Mann being the bully.
The fallout from Mann’s tactics are twofold. First, good citizens in San Clemente don’t want to run for City Council simply because they don’t want their names dragged through the mud. Half-truths and outright lies hurt families. Secondly, Charles and Jeri Mann simply outspend the competition by tens of thousands of dollars, all for a job that pays $400 per month.
In other words, San Clemente ends up getting the best City Council that Mann can buy.