Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 11:56 am | Fair 67º


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Election Notebook: Ucciferri Battles Cox; Martinez Enters ‘Danger Zone’; Measure C Question

Jack Ucciferri
Jack Ucciferri

Jack Ucciferri may be a long-shot candidate in the District 6 Santa Barbara City Council race, but that doesn’t mean he’s not making an effort. 

The frontrunner, Gregg Hart, has raised more than $103,000 to Ucciferri’s just-under $4,000. Hart has already served three terms on the Santa Barbara City Council over a span of three decades. 

Ucciferri, however, is a self-professed “Bernie-crat” and doesn’t buy into the idea that Hart should just glide into the seat because he is the establishment candidate.

So this week, Ucciferri took his campaign mainstream, holding a press conference in front of City Hall. The issue?

Cox Communication’s “monopoly” of high-speed internet.

“I knock on doors talking to constituents about the issues everyday and I can tell you that nobody is happy with Cox's monopoly on high speed internet, Uccifferri said. “It is the one thing that I have found that unites our community. The good news is that there is something we can do about it.”

About 50 people attended the event, a good turnout, he said.

Ucciferri, 38, said instead of focusing on all of the things that “divide us,” that people should unite to address a universal problem. 

“The internet is the infrastructure of the 21st century economy,” Ucciferri said. "We have the opportunity to our own internet, which is analogous to owning our own roads rather than relying on a private company charging us to drive on roads we decide to let them own.”

He pointed to Santa Monica as a city that is doing municipal fiber optic. 

He said the third biggest employer on the South Coast is “self,” so creative people need this or else they are forced to drive to Los Angeles to get faster speeds.

Martinez looks to upset the status quo

Angel Martinez, mayoral candidate, is looking to disrupt the state of the city, running an insurgency campaign against four current or formerly elected officials.

Angel Martinez Click to view larger
Angel Martinez

His plan is to blast the airwaves with commercials, meet with influential groups and donors in the community, and run social media Facebook ads.

Oh, and Kenny Loggins is going play a fundraiser at Soho this Sunday. The event is sold out. 

Martinez is trying to appeal to millennials with a concert, even with 1980s singer-songwriter Loggins.  

Martinez has massive support from downtown businesses, but it’s unclear if a guy with no previous political or activism experience can win the mayor’s seat. 

The concert, however, is an innovative move for Santa Barbara politics.

A Clash Over Measure C

Tom Widroe, president of City Watch, spoke at Tuesday’s council meeting against Measure C, the 1-percent sales tax initiative.

Widroe is a Buellton resident and everyone knows it. That didn’t stop mayoral candidate Cathy Murillo for singling him out at the meeting:

“What part of the city do you live in?” She asked him.

“I live in Buellton,” Widroe replied. 

“Are you paid to speak on behalf of City Watch?”

Yes, he is. And everyone knows it. He publicly identifies himself as representing City Watch.

That’s why he’s there. Widroe joked in his response, acknowledging that he does get paid, but that "I wish it were more."

Widroe represents conservative business interests and is opposed to Measure C.

Murillo supports it.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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