Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 10:45 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Positive Campaigns Amid Negative Attacks

I suspect all 13 candidates for Santa Barbara City Council, myself included, are a little surprised at the personal attacks that have been printed and televised recently. We are each fair game for criticism of the policies we support, but in my opinion it is not beneficial or constructive to attack someone personally. Instead, we should address ideas to balance our city’s budget and rebuild the reserve fund while supporting our police and fire departments in the wake of devastating wildfires, increased panhandling and youth gang violence.

I applaud and thank my fellow candidates for running positive campaigns, and call on everyone involved with this election to focus on the issues facing our great city, and not the character of opposing candidates.

That said, I would add that free speech is a hallmark of our country, and it throws a very wide net. As public figures we are not subject to the protection of libel that otherwise we would be. It is better to err on the side of unrestricted — even erroneous — speech than to try to monitor precisely what is fair and in good taste, and what is not. Painful as it may be for those of us attacked, we must rely on the public to judge what is honest and forthright, and what is salacious and mean.

And then the public should vote accordingly.

Frank Hotchkiss
Santa Barbara City Council candidate

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