Frank Hotchkiss makes an interesting point about the negativity in the Santa Barbara city council campaign. The negative ads are coming from paid propaganda producers funded by organizations trying to influence the elections, not the candidates themselves. I have attended every forum that would have me (the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce one wouldn’t because I do not solicit campaign contributions) and the candidates have treated one another with respect and courtesy. The only rough moments have been due to the product of the professional propaganda producers when one candidate asked another to renounce the ads. In part, this is happening because so much money is being pumped into our local campaign for city council and mayor … and Measure B.

While this is happening in our small community, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering perhaps the most important legal question of our lifetime In Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the court will decide whether to lift all restrictions on organizations like the ones paying for the negativity. If the justices decide in the affirmative, they will grant unlimited free speech rights to corporations and unions alike.

This is something the media and all citizens should pay attention to.

R. Lane Anderson
Santa Barbara City Council candidate