Ah, Supervisor Gibson. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. And in this case, the gift that keeps on costing the county. And keeps Tribune reporter, Bob Cuddy, fully employed. Case in point, a March 7 story, “Gibson’s email search daunting; Sifting through 5 years of files while ensuring privacy isn’t easy – or cheap.”
No, indeed, it isn’t cheap, but thanks to the Public Records Act, it’s gotta be done when former Los Osos CSD Director, Julie Tacker, decided she smelled a possible rat in the Gibson Canoodlegate and sent in a PRA for the emails. And since she thinks there is a rat in the pile of paper but she doesn’t know where it’s lurking, so she requested the whole pile, which has to be sifted.
So there sits a county employee and a county attorney, rustle-rustle-rustle, a Rumplestiltskin-like pile of paper before them, spinning it all into redacted gold, line by line, page by page, 1,300 down and 14,000 more to go.
Ridiculous, you say? Well, if you think somebody’s the sort of character who breaks the rules with impunity, is up to no good, who sneaks around behaving badly, then when found out, games the system and basically indicates that he’s above the social norms of behavior, well, you might be inclined to think that this personage has likely been up to no good in other areas of his career not involving romance. Like maybe this personage has been skating over the line and has gotten involved in other wrong doing or illegalities.
So you put in a PRA and the County starts sifting and runs up the bill, which in this case, may end up costing a few thousand dollars with a 50/50 chance it’s all a wild goose chase. And Bob Cuddy writes another story and the Tribune sells a few more papers. And the Supervisors are left to roll their eyes again and lie quietly in the bed Mr. Gibson has made for them.
Speaking of Rodents
I never thought I’d live to see the day when I would praise Libertarian Wing-Nut, Congressman Rand Paul, but I’m here to praise him for his stunt: Filibustering for 13 hours on the floor of the Congress to demand the answer to a question he already had. Silly, yes, but by gosh, he had the guts to filibuster the way it should be done – in public, his face and name all over his remarks, ‘splaining to any and all what his objections are about, what his point is, right there in the middle of Congress, in public, instead of using the silent, secret un-American shiv in a back room the way Senator McConnell does it.
So, good on Rand Paul. Some of his blathering trivialized the whole drone-killing debate – Rest peacefully, Jane Fonda, you’re in no danger – but at least Paul dragged the beast out into the public eye where it needs to be. I can only hope that the debate doesn’t get stuck in the “Let’s Kill Jane Fonda” nut-case mode that the media loves, but can seriously engage the public. Drones are here to stay and whether we use them well or ill, whether they increase our freedoms or diminish them, depends on how we act now to control their use. And that discussion will have to be guided by adults and the rules of engagement will have to be debated by adults who understand that the real world lies somewhere between appallingly sociopathic Dick Cheney’s “dark side,” and the sitting duck smile of Dr. Pangloss.