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Civic integrity is vital for a healthy democracy at every level of government. I’m grateful Councilmember Steve Knoblock had the courage to speak out against unforgivable behavior by a fellow elected leader, especially one whose policies he has supported in the past.

I personally experienced uncivil behavior by Gene James when I emailed a link to the gun sense advocacy group Moms Demand Action, hoping he would permanently halt his attempts at making San Clemente a Second Amendment Sanctuary City.

I thought he might be interested in data that shows the states with the strictest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun violence and abandon the reckless and dangerous notion of ignoring federal and state gun laws within city limits.

He replied with a picture of a George Floyd memorial and said, “Interesting hero for Moms … I assume you want your sons to grow up and be just like this gentleman. This is from MDA website…”  

Not only does he ignore gun violence data and common-sense gun laws, these aren’t the only laws Gene James would like to ignore. His disregard for traffic laws was much more dangerous to the public than using a counterfeit $20 bill, and George Floyd exhibited more gentleman-like behavior in his law enforcement encounter when he was intoxicated than Gene James did while sober. 

OCSD Deputy J. Medina’s ability to maintain a calm, professional manner as he was being so disrespectfully treated while trying to protect and serve is impressive. I wholeheartedly agree with Councilmember Knoblock that Gene James is not fit to hold office as mayor pro tem or in any capacity as a public official.

He is on that slippery slope of believing “alternative facts,” victimhood, and disrespect for our institutions that so many of our elected leaders are on. I hope the rest of the city council holds him accountable now, instead of waiting for “we the people” to do it at the ballot box.  

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