Tag Archives: Gary Delong

The Price Is Wrong

Given the overall national trend towards reforming marijuana policies, and the host of local problems caused by our city’s dependence on the unreliable oil market and our out-of-control public safety spending, many are wondering why Long Beach has not ended our inexcusable ban on commercial cannabis activities. And while it would be wrong to simply assign all the blame for this multi-faceted public policy quandary onto one person, it is obvious by now that Councilwoman Suzie Price’s illogical crusade against this medicine is endangering both the fiscal viability and public health of this city.

Mrs. Price is an Orange County District Attorney and a novice politician who easily won a barely contested seat onto the council last year by running as a nominal Democrat who is “tough on crime” [full disclosure I was asked by mutual friends to help with her campaign but refused to do so because of her support for the death penalty]. Since assuming office she has more or less continued the laissez-faire economic policies of her predecessor, Republican Gary Delong, especially with regards to her efforts to expand the alcohol-fueled nightlife of 2nd Street. In fact despite her oft-cited support for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and her own residents growing concern with the binge-drinking at 2nd street bars, Price has stated on numerous occasions (including on the public record during council meetings) that she believes that alcohol sales aren’t responsible for crime. She went onto recognize the “personal choice” behind someone’s decision to imbibe alcohol and even defended her choice to expand the already overly-saturated bar scene on 2nd street out of fears of reprisals from that specific business community.

But hypocrisy regarding intoxicants isn’t a crime, nor is it even particularly novel for a politician who came from a world where objectivity and nuanced analysis are professional liabilities. However Price’s argument against legally regulated cannabis went a step further into the land of absurdity when she began citing the legal issues of Belmont Natural Care, a now defunct dispensary that operated in her district before she assumed office. Both in public and in private conversations with stakeholders (including in a lobbying meeting with me), Price and her office have shaped a narrative that describes that business at the symbol of everything that was wrong about the quasi-legal world of medical cannabis dispensaries.

Belmont Natural Care (BNC) was a disgrace, and by all accounts it’s owner John Walker and his lawyer, Richard Brizendine, were justifiably prosecuted for failing to abide by either any of the existing state regulations regarding cannabis or federal guidelines for proper banking. However what makes Price’s continued use of BNC in her argument against establishing clear local policies for medical cannabis, is the fact that her own office has a direct connection to BNC’s most notable (yet un-prosecuted) crime: bribery.

In 2012, Suzie Price’s predecessor in the third district, Gary Delong ran unsuccessfully for Congress. As part of the opposition research against Mr. Delong (which I have attached here), the Democratic Party found evidence of what they called a “possible play to play” scheme involving Delong and Brizendine. It seems that BNC’s lawyer donated close to $2000 to Mr. Delong in exchange for the Councilman’s support of favorable regulations regarding buffer zones for BNC. In fact, as the report details, this alleged exchange took place only “two days after Brizendine was accused of money laundering associated with a marijuana dispensary”.

Banking regulations like the ones that Mr. Walker went to prison for are extremely complicated and relatively easy to break even for a responsible operator. However corruption is a far clearer and perhaps even more damaging crime against the social contract. This is why it is extremely disconcerting that Mrs. Price not only failed to properly provide context for the sort of crimes she is wishing to prevent by maintaining the ban, but that she also hired the field deputy from Mr. Delong’s ethically-challenged office and promoted her to the extremely powerful position of Chief of Staff. If the allegations of bribery and improper lobbying in Delong’s office are true, it is quite possible that Price has elevated someone who had direct knowledge of these activities to a position of real influence over public policy in this city.

But the issue of Mrs. Price’s credibility does not end there. On September 30th the New York Times editorial board published an op-ed specifically calling out the unit in which Mrs. Price established her career for engaging in over 30 years of “unconstitutional abuses” regarding a secret system of using paid criminal informants that were used to help secure death penalty convictions in Orange County. The details of these illegal jailhouse convictions were never disclosed to defense attorneys, and the discovery of this system by the OC Public Defender’s Office lead to Price’s unit being kicked off the Seal Beach shooter case via an unprecedented judicial decree. Given Price’s extensive work in this unit, including one high-profile death penalty case in 2013, it is not unreasonable to think that Price either used this database or at least had knowledge of it’s existence.

Mrs. Price has established that she doesn’t like providing legal access for cannabis to because of her sincere concern that patients would somehow endanger, rather than patron, ice cream stores on 2nd Street (seriously she said this). In her defense of prohibition, a system that has cost the city millions and ruined the lives of scores of people for no good reason, she has made ambiguous claims without proper statistical data and employed racist dog-whistling terms to describe patients who use cannabis. But while Price is within her right to be hilariously wrong on a public policy issue, she does not get to assume anything resembling the moral and ethical high ground, especially when there are serious questions about her own capacity to exert these values in her own chosen professions.


In Which I Unabashedly Praise Gary Delong For Being A Decent City Counselor


It’s been almost a year since the 2012 election, so it’s probably time to take a quick look back and deconstruct the race here in the 47th Congressional District, and to examine the depressing difference between that race and the larger trend in other parts of the country.

For all the bellicosity that erupted from blogs like this one in 2012, the race in the the 47th was remarkably policy based. The two candidates, City Counselor Gary Delong and the eventual winner Alan Lowenthal, debated actual intricacies and nuances of issues ranging from fiscal policy to the use of the military, to personal privacy (i.e. marriage rights and drug use). While folks like me tried our damnedest to draw firm and politically useful distinction, the candidates themselves remained civil and even in agreement on several very important policy problems.

A year removed from that race we can, and should be extremely proud that our district can produce that sort of contest.

For someone who spent an inordinate amount of time trashing Delong I believe that he had a slim, but very real possibility of winning that race based on his own beliefs and resources. He was (and is) a moderate Republican in the old sense of the term, meaning that he actually believes that the government has a right and a purpose to spend in the public interest, and that a social safety net is necessary for a modern society. If Delong was running in some of the southern places where I have lived, he would unquestionably be a Democrat.

What doomed Delong, despite running against a fantastic established politician and excellent facilitator like Alan Lowenthal, was his campaign. His daily schedule was designed to raise money, which while essential for a modern campaign, allowed Lowenthal to passively portray Delong as a tool of the rich. In addition the video where Delong discounted the impact of global warming did incalculable damage to his credibility, not just as a moderate but as someone who had worked to portray himself as a data-driven politician. Long Beach and north Orange County voters are not as simplistic as the hapless folks who keep electing Dana Rohrabacher; we live on the coast and know that we’re going to be the first screwed once the planet really starts to turn on us.

So Delong lost and lost badly mainly because those running his campaign relied on the massive amounts of money coming his way from sources like the Chamber of Commerce instead of maintaining the disciplined and “door to door” style of attack that is necessary to beat someone in our community with the name recognition of Alan Lowenthal. Oh well. The headline of this post however is derived from what Delong has done since losing.

I personally thought he would use his massive war chest to run for mayor or some other position where that money would have a greater impact, but instead Delong has (to his great credit) focused on hyper-local issues concerning our public infrastructure. It was Delong who spearheaded an effort to expand our costal running/bike path after seeking out opinions from residents (not development officials), even taking a supportive email from the likes of me- a person who spent most of last summer writing nasty things about him-  into consideration. Delong has also been a necessary and critical voice when discussing city contracts,  questioning the cost- not the concept- of city plans regarding street paving, trash collection, etc.

It is encouraging in a city like ours that the conservative voice is someone who actually acknowledges the need for publicly financed parks and seeks to ensure that appropriate levels of tax revenue are devoted to preserving these staples of modern life. While the rest of the Republican Party is continuing its slide into insanity unabated (with malignant assholes like my old neighbor Stephen Fincher of Tennessee using the bible to justify cutting food stamps while voting to give his own farm millions of dollars in government subsidies), it is a very good thing to have a member of that party who believes in community responsibility- and seeks to balance that ideal with a degree of fiscal constraint.

The more that Gary Delong listens to his own instincts and learns from his own successes in Long Beach, rather than the insane supply-siders in Orange County, the greater he improves his chances at a future political career beyond the city council. In the meantime, the city is a better place because of work like his.

Long Beach City Council Spends $500K To Fuck Over The Public Sector

The workers want a PENSION?!!

The workers want a PENSION?!!

This is older news (as in it happened while I was studying for finals) but it’s still incredibly important given the fiscal issues that many state and local governments are facing right now. Here is the Press Telegram’s Eric Bradley dutifully reporting the GREAT NEWS from the City Council that should be sending shivers down every resident of Long Beach right now:

Long Beach to spend $500K to implement study aimed at saving millions

This should be the first sign of trouble for anyone who is concerned with the already shabby state of our local government. Why exactly are we spending half a mill to strain more blood from the stone? Oh but it gets FAR worse…

The operational savings, as much as $28.8 million annually, were suggested earlier this year in an efficiency study conducted by Cincinnati-based Management Partners.

Alright let’s stop right there. I was busy studying/failing my finals but I found time to read this scary fucking article in the New York Times. Without many people noticing, local governments across the country have embraced the corporatist “race to the bottom” agenda over the last few years by subsidizing private businesses at the expense of public services. In order to do this in the most “efficient” (i.e. business friendly) manner, nationwide firms are hired– like the aforementioned “Management Partners” for the sole goal of finding places where the officials can “trim fat”. So firing civil servants and removing public oversight over essential functions of the government have effectively been rebranded as “TAXPAYER SAVINGS!!!”

Most of the report’s reforms were tied to changing overtime compensation, lowering specialized premium skill pay and scaling back educational incentives. It also examined outsourcing certain municipal services.

In other words if you are currently a Unionized Painter or Mechanic working for the Parks Department and supporting your family on the solidly middle class salary that you make from the city, these fine gentlemen would like a word with you:

SO what is it that you do around here buddy?

SO what is it that you do around here buddy?

This is a horseshit move that the City Council is trying to pull when no one is paying attention. Without any hyperbole the Council is blatantly wasting liquid cash in the city’s reserves in order to pay a consulting firm for the privilege of finding the best way of replacing city workers with cheap labor. This is the height of arrogance from a political body that draws much of its support from organized labor and is supposedly working towards broadening the middle class in this city.

“That sounds like a heck of an investment to me,” Councilman Gary DeLong said.

Of course he does. Delong (in case you need to be reminded) the kind of smart public servant who just blew millions of dollars on his own, mostly outsourced, dog fart in the wind of a congressional campaign. Certainly he’s the kind of economic genius whose leadership we need to follow in this time of need.

This idea is fucking terrible and those Council members who voted for it should know better (Excluding Delong, he’s hopeless). Feel free to drop them a line when you get the chance and voice your opinion.

Bob Foster (Mayor): 562-570-6801

Robert Garcia (District 1): 562-570-6919

Suja Lowenthal (District 2): 562-570-6684

Gary Delong (District 3): 562-570-6300

Dee Andrews (District 6): 562-570-6816

James Johnson (District 7): 562-570-7777

When All Else Fails In OC Politics, Just Call Your Opponent A Commie

From a fan with a much better computer than I

Our friend, the weary, wealthy, and ridiculous disaster of a candidate known as Councilman Gary Delong has somehow reached yet another nadir of outright desperation in his failing candidacy for Congress. He has abandoned his quest to be the Michael Bloomberg of the LBC/Norther OC 47th district and has instead decided to go the full Palin in the last five days of this campaign. Given that he is trying to reach an area that includes people who once fled Vietnam in the 1970’s, the geniuses at the Delong campaign have gone old school and are trying to mix the candidates 1920’s economics with some 1980’s Cold War derp:

Republican candidate Gary DeLong sent out a mailer in Vietnamese attacking Democratic opponent Alan Lowenthal for his 2008 authorship of a bill that would remove references to communism in the Education Code for community college employees.

Among other things, the bill would have removed the provision making Communist Party membership a dismissable offense.

Perhaps Senator Lowenthal realized that a law that pretty blatantly violated the 1st Amendment perhaps should be modified some twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall to reflect a country that grew the fuck up and realized that witch hunts usually end up looking bad for the side prosecuting them.

DeLong decided to make that an issue among Vietnamese American voters, many of whom fled communist Vietnam or are descendents of those who did. DeLong’s mailer specifically decried the effort to block screening for Communist Party ties of teachers and their families.

Greg Diamond over at the Orange Juice Blog puts it succinctly. Delong’s hail mary is nothing more than him red-baiting Lowenthal

DeLong’s argument about why we can’t allow communists in community college is a lot like the argument that I’ve heard some right-wing fundamentalist preachers give about why we must shun homosexuality:Once we start down that path, we’ll never want to stop!   Wisckol quotes him as saying:

“According to the Communist Party of the United States website, members of the U.S. Communist Party believe that capitalism should be replaced with socialism.  The Communist Party calls for the nationalization of the banks, railroads, and industries like steel and auto.  I am adamantly opposed to Communism and do not want a teacher attempting to convince my children that communism is better than our system.”

Ah, here we get to the crux of the problem: DeLong has so little faith in capitalism that he’s afraid that even hearing teachers questioning it could bring it crashing down.  After all, capitalism was questioned in the 1930s and in the 1960s, and in both cases it was permanent eliminated from the country.  Wait — no, that didn’t happen.  So … huh?

I’m just impressed that Delong was able to remember a whole wikipedia entry on Communism for that quote. This is the work of a clueless party with serious buyers remorse and an increasingly irrelevant message for this area. Perhaps the national party should do actually vet their candidates before funding them next time.

Alan Lowenthal For Congress, And We Deserve Better Than Gary Delong

Only an idiot (or Brian Addison) could not tell that the man on the left would make a better congressman than the fraud on the right

I am a relatively new resident to Long Beach. After my acceptance into law school in 2010, My wife and I decided to move here specifically because of this city’s economic and cultural diversity (as well as the beach, wow it is nice to run next to that every morning). We are happy with our decision, and have decided to stay here and raise a family in this thriving community.

Given this major investment for two people in their 20’s, we obviously have a vested interest in ensuring that our representatives in all levels of government reflect or at least can respect our values and concerns  and work in our best interests. After a year of carefully examining the candidates for the 47th Congressional District, I can beyond a shadow of a doubt say that Senator Alan Lowenthal is the right person to represent Long Beach and Northern Orange County. His tenacious leadership with respect to the environment and education alone could serve as qualifications for Congress, but in this era of viciously insane political posturing it is Senator Lowenthal’s willingness to engage and negotiate with ideological adversaries for the purpose of advancing the public’s interest that truly makes him a prime candidate for House of Representatives.

As qualified as Lowethal is however, we must also discuss why his opponent is so awful. By promoting the likes of a scoundrel like Gary Delong, the Republican Party not only lost a potential seat in congress, but showed an abysmal lack of consideration for the people of the 47th District. Gary Delong is not an appropriate person to run any office that serves this community, much less a position with as much power as a member of Congress. His candidacy has been remarkable only in its ineptitude, and the fact that high ranking members of his party considered him as an individual capable of holding this office demonstrates just how little they care about the 600,000 people who live here.

Gary Delong’s rise to prominence is not the remarkable story of a man fighting against the odds, or even one of a dedicated individual citizen who has worked hard to make this area a better place. No, the narrative of Delong’s ascendancy is actually one that directly parallels modern intertwining of money and our democracy. Delong’s involvement in local politics is nothing more than yet another example of rich people treating our representative government as nothing more than a plaything or a status symbol for impressing other members of the yacht club (where the multi-millionaire councilman actually holds his public meetings).

Delong’s first foray into politics was a failed candidacy for a school board position in 2003. What could not have been imagined at that point was how that contest actually served as test run for strategies that Delong would employ in later elections (including this one). Late in that campaign illegal flyers were distributed by rather notable (and expensive) conservative media organization, who was later found to be working as a consultant to the Delong campaign. Delong also stood out in the campaign by his willingness to spend enormous amounts of money for his own election. At one point Delong loaned his own campaign $110,805.52 or more than double the amount that the eventual winner of the race raised in her entire race. He also distinguished himself and his paper thin resume by sending out costly brochures, all the while toting his now familiar line of “fiscal conservatism” (interestingly the only specific expenditure that he wanted to cut was busing, which he wanted to eliminate entirely despite the impact that this sort of decision would have on the poor).

Once Delong finally succeeded in buying his seat on the School Board he flipped that investment into a city council seat, partly by provoking feelings of race and class resentment within his wealthy district. He has been the sole Republican on council during his entire tenure on that body. What he now calls his record in “bipartisanship” was in reality a reflection of his complete lack of influence in any major piece of legislation. Delong came into the race this year with a six year career in public service, and yet has failed to at any point name a specific act or policy initiative that he spearheaded or passed. His entire purpose seems to have involved sitting in the big chair, collecting a paycheck, and waiting for the opportunity to get called up to the big leagues.

Since this campaign began in earnest after the June primary Delong has distinguished himself as the head of an extremely well-funded disaster of an organization. Instead of performing actual community outreach to gain name recognition, he simply (and illegally) used his constituent list to send out campaign materials. When pressed to stake his positions on any of the major issues affecting either the District or the national race, Delong demurred and instead replied with a word salad of meaningless conservative platitudes (or just outright lied by obfuscation). By the time the debates rolled around Delong was so incensed that people actually cared about his political objectives that he started physically lashing out at campaign trackers. By the end of this campaign his attempt to remain as generic and non-offensive as possible has worn out entirely. Delong is now openly denying climate science (just in time for Hurricane Sandy) while raving about a communist infiltration into our local public schools like the other Mcarthyite psychopaths in the Orange County Republican Party.

Throughout this entire campaign Delong proven that he lacks the temperament, convictions, knowledge necessary to work in the public interest. Delong’s conception of how to attain a seat in Congress (and what that position entails) is reminiscent of a venture capital effort. He has been adept at collecting investors (including the vultures at the US Chamber of Commerce), publishing pretty marketing materials,  and exploiting the piss-poor local political press, but the substance within the Delong “product” simply does not exist.

As the race stands today the contrast between the two candidates could not be any clearer. Alan Lowenthal is a career public servant who has dedicated his life’s effort towards bettering the lives of the children and students in the Long Beach area through his teaching. As a government official he preserved the delicate balance between economic opportunity and environmental protection here in the nation’s busiest port. Lowenthal is the sort of politician who has an actual tangible record of bringing seemingly  opposing sides of a policy debate and facilitating solutions that benefit the community on the macro level (who else could brag that they forged a working relationship with Maersk and the Longshoreman’s Union). On an anecdotal level, every person who I have spoken to in the city who has come in contact with the Senator always expresses the deep respect that they have for the man’s ability to engage with everyone in the community, even if they oppose him.

Delong on the other hand, is nothing more than a common fraud. He is a man whose ambitions far exceed his capabilities, but he is someone who cynically knows what rhetoric to employ when taking advantage of the low information aggregators currently wasting space in our local media outlets. If Delong is elected next week, he will exist as one of the many Republican congressmen on the hill who  see their job as rubber stamps for the rapacious corporate interests and reactionary moralists who make up the Conservative movement. He and his friends Dana Rohrabacher, Buck McKeon, and Ed Royce will continue to the pay-for-play schemes that are the basis of Republican governance, all the while making lives worse for the politically vulnerable communities who cannot afford to bribe their way into relevance under the rule of John Boehner and Eric Cantor.

Your vote is the most valuable asset that you have in this democracy as it is the most powerful weapon for protecting and advancing your interests in this increasingly unequal society. Make sure that you cast it for someone who actual understands what it means to work for the greater good. Vote for Alan Lowenthal.

Congrats To The LB Post For The Most Inane Political Article Of 2012

I honestly hate to be mean to a fellow author, but this sort of bullshit is why people do not take local news seriously. Let’s start with the title.

“Gary DeLong: Underneath the Suit is a Call to Adventure”

The man is running for congress, not fording the mighty Mississip’ with his trusted steed. Maybe your in-depth profile should focus on his political beliefs instead of his day dreams. But there’s more here to laugh at…

A few years ago, DeLong repelled down the Hyatt Hotel in Long Beach, claiming that the hardest part was the first step.

You know what is easy to do? Falling down. Gravity does most of the work. You know what is actually hard? Working everyday at the Hyatt, a hotel chain which treats its workers like absolute shit and is currently engaged in an outright war in Long Beach to prevent its staff from having a basic living wage. On a related note, Gary is helping the Hyatt in their quest to fuck over the maids and caterers who work here at the Long Beach Hyatt by opposing Measure N. I guess his call to adventure doesn’t involve scrubbing tubs for 80 hours a week.

What sticks out about DeLong is his adherence to tradition and his love of history. As a hobby, he collects first-edition memoirs from the 1800s. He has a first edition of General Grant’s memoirs and he’s fascinated with the men of the prairie—the pioneers who survived difficult economic circumstances.

Or to translate, Gary Delong wants you to know that he is kind of a big deal

And the coup de grace..

Sometimes, though, DeLong breaks from tradition. For example, if elected to Congress, he says he will become a member of No Labels—a movement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who claim to bypass bipartisanship to create meaningful legislation free from political labels.

Of course Delong belongs to No Labels, a movement which more astute political observers have described as:

(O)ne of those faux-reasonable exercise in “centrist” wankery that argues that the principal problem with American politics these days is that there are too many politics involved….

What No Labels has demonstrated here is a sweet tooth for efficient, gentle authoritarianism. There is not much daylight between “making things work” and “making the trains run on time.”

So congratulations to Joseph Lapin and the Long Beach Post for confirming the stereotype for terrible local news. We might be a major metropolitan area with several systemic political and economic issues, but our proud print media is fine with publishing a softball interview that would embarrass Highlights Magazine. By the time next close election rolls around here in Long Beach I look forward to your hard hitting interview on a candidate’s preference on pie flavors.

Measure N, Gary Delong, And Why The US Chamber Of Commerce Is Buying This Election

Like many people in this election, I do not live one of the swing states which (due our ridiculous electoral college) get to essentially dictate the entire course and tenor of the election. No I live in California, the country’s most poulous state and the world’s 6th largest economy. In a functioning democracy those two facts alone would mean that our interests here in the Golden State would drive the policy and politics for the rest of the country, but alas since one party has done too well here in the last generation, our concerns as a state are less important in this election than corn subsidies in Iowa.

It must be stressed however that there are in fact important races on the ballot this November, and one of the local Long Beach initiatives deserves some special attention as its importance can be demonstrated in several different ways. This fall Measure N could finally provide the workers in our downtown hotels with the cost of living increase that they absolutely need in order to live and work in our community. This initiative benefits both the individual pocketbooks of those workers as well as providing the larger economy in our area with a much needed boost. However despite the fact that this bill is as close to a panacea to our problems as one law could be, it is opposed by the many large business interests. This opposition however has little to do with economics, and everything to do with those groups cynically protecting their political power.

Years ago our community depended on a large industrial manufacturing base as well as our shipyard. Once those businesses moved and jobs dried our city decided to try and attract tourism as the savior to our hemorrhaging middle class. After $114 million in direct tax subsidies and another $750 million in public investments Long Beach has several very nice hotel chains dotting our downtown. However the tourism industry is highly unstable and extremely susceptible to downturns in the larger economy. Despite the existence of these hotels, there are few people who can afford to stay in the city and spend enough to support the industry (and the rest of the business that depend on the presence), including the people who work in the same hotels.

If you are critically examining the current strategy for our city planners, we have basically given these multi-national corporations a ton of our money to build an inherently risky business (with no guarantees that they will stay) and allowed these hotel chains to employ our workers at a rate where they as individuals lack the means to support themselves and the larger community. Measure N corrects this huge oversight by providing these workers with guaranteed sick pay (the benefits of which can be read about here and here), a living wage commensurate with the harsh realities of their job, and tip protection to prevent a ill-intentioned boss from stealing their money. None of these requests are particularly radical or unreasonable, and the positive effect that they would have on this city would be tremendous and widespread. So why would sentient person oppose them? The answer should make you sick to your stomach.

Despite the hyperbolic complaints from the Press Telegram about the “evil unions” coming from outside of Long Beach to ruin our way of life, the truly malignant organization that is seeking to degrade our standard of living for their own benefit is actually the US Chamber of Commerce and its partners in big business. These groups despise the existence of empowered workers and the existence of a middle class solely because those groups exist as check against the inherent political power that wealth provides the super-rich in our society. In the last 30 years (the same time period that Long Beach has used to build its tourism sector) saw the political power of the 1% in this country solidify and overpower the actual public interest. Now the super-rich can direct the government to work for their direct benefit by using advocacy organizations like the Chamber. As you can imagine that is reality that the upper class would like to maintain.

Opposition to common sense ideas like Measure N represent the last attempts of these malignant organizations like the Chamber to remain relevant in an era when people recognize the insanity in promoting concept like “trickle down” economics. In reality the Chamber and their clients are promoting a cause that goes against basic principles of economics, social justice, and even basic concepts of humanity, which means that they must rely on ignorance and fear in order to preserve the status quo. This is why you have seen a plethora of “No on N” editorials in our local business journals, and independent expenditures to enterprising politicians who would love to have the resources of the Chamber working for their election.

And that is where Gary Delong comes in to this story.

Gary Delong, fresh from one of his “neighborhood meetings” at the local Yacht Club (this is not a joke by the way, he actually does this) recently issued statements in opposition to measure N. Despite the fact that the fiscal impact would mean a minimal reduction in profits for companies (that can easily afford it) in exchange for more money for both individuals citizens and our local government, Delong aped the same ridiculous talking points that the Chamber of Commerce has been using regarding the bill and the “scary unions” that support it. In reality Gary has been essentially bribed by the Chamber by way of a $300,000 independent expenditure that directly benefits his failing campaign for Congress. In exchange for this “campaign contribution” (that would have been illegal before 2009) Gary has been more than willing to promote the false equivalency argument concerning Union power and corporate power in our community. (Just as an aside let’s lay that idiotic comparison to rest. A Union exerts political pressure as an organization whose leadership and decisions are made via the democratic process. A Corporation meanwhile does the same thing- only its decisions are made via an edict from immensely wealthy the CEO and board of directors. Which group do you think actually works to benefit the largest swath of people in a community?). Again Delong, like his benefactor in the Chamber, is relying on fear and low information voters to prevent any challenge to the considerable economic and political power of these outside interests within our community.

This fall those of us who love our city have two major choices to make on our ballots. If you care about the well being of our community and the continued existence and promotion of a sustainable working class you must vote for Measure N and Alan Lowenthal. It might seem cliche to say this, but the stakes are high and the forces working against the public interest are very powerful. Your vote is the most important tool that you have to correct the mistaken policies of the past and counteract against the short-sighted strategies for growth. Use your vote to support the true welfare of the people of Long Beach, not the aristocrats in the Chamber of Commerce or their sycophants in right-wing politics like Gary Delong