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Commentary: Righeimer's opponents clearly fear the charter

August 31, 2012|By Kevin Dayton

Speaking about Costa Mesa's proposed charter at the Feb. 13 City Council meeting, I was shouted down by a room full of angry union officials and their political allies.

The disturbance was sparked in part by my public analysis of one of the economic benefits for cities whose citizens enact a charter.

Union leaders get very testy when someone points out that a charter city can establish its own policies concerning government-mandated construction wage rates.

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When the council stopped the meeting so order could be restored, I accused the political opponents in the council chamber of Fascism.

Was I hyperbolic or inappropriate? Some people think so.

Six months later, a political opponent or opponents of Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer apparently decided to intimidate and embarrass him by exploiting the state's legitimate authority to maintain law and order.

It seems that the Costa Mesa police responded to the suspected setup with appropriate sensitivity and professionalism, the same way that I saw the Costa Mesa police respond to the disturbance at the council meeting.

But who triggered this incident? Isn't it Fascists who subscribe to the view that the fearsome police power of government can be justifiably wielded as a weapon to intimidate people with dissenting views?

If this incident truly ends up being a conspiracy, perhaps I stand vindicated.

KEVIN DAYTON is president and chief executive of Labor Issues Solutions LLC in Sacramento.

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