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There were—until Sunday, Oct. 20—three leaders in our city council election: The Kid (lots of special interest money), The Newcomer (lots of special interest money), and me, Mickey McLane (no special interest money; taking no donations of any kind). I have been in San Clemente more years than those two combined.

An ugly public incident happened that Sunday at the Free Speech Corner of the Farmers Market. Police had to be called. One or more of The Kid’s group and a woman simpatico with The Newcomer’s group got into an altercation. I was stuck between these two feuding groups.

Two squad cars arrived fast. Cops have better things to do—like dealing with the hard-druggies in the homeless population, for example—than having to deal with the lightweights of two political camps.

As a law enforcement officer for 16 years, it was satisfying to see the high professionalism demonstrated by police. Officers calmed things, took names, and made a report. Whether this incident will result in warrants issued, or in lawsuits, is too soon to tell.

What can the supporters of The Kid and The Newcomer be thinking? The incident was so brazenly loud and rude, yelling in front of so many people, in front of dozens of families, locals and guests strolling our main drag, Avenida Del Mar.

I am shocked and offended ethically by the behavior of those two campaigns. Making the Free Speech Corner look like a crime scene set a new low standard. I demand both camps issue a public apology to the citizens of San Clemente.  

Maybe I should be thanking them for revealing their true colors. With two candidates under investigation for campaign violations, and one I’ve never met because she doesn’t show up at public debates, that leaves, especially after that Sunday, only one reasonable and undamaged candidate: me.

Knowing the behavior of each of my four opponents, I don’t know how anyone could vote for them.

My long-held desire—and the basis of my campaign—is to return cooperation and civility to our public forums. Looks to me like I’m the only one of the five who cares about that.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The FPPC has decided not to pursue an investigation into accusations made against Dee Coleman, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an event attended by Jackson Hinkle held at the Orange County Fire Authority’s headquarters.

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