Buzz-cut barbecue

Sean Morgan’s re-election kick-off, as seen on Facebook

I sure was surprised when I received an invitation to the vice mayor's recent “Re-Election Round-Up.” It came via Facebook a few weeks ago for the July 17 shindig. When I clicked on the link, things made much more sense. The invite had come via my dad, a tea party Republican, who along with my lovely stepmother (that's not sarcasm, she's a wonderful woman), evidently didn't mind shelling out for the $50-per-plate barbecue.

This is the first I'd heard about Sean “F-Bomb” Morgan's plans to seek a second term on Chico's City Council. It's not surprising or anything, although it does seem a little early in the game, since we're 15-plus months away from the general election. Maybe the fact that he's running during a presidential year has him worried. Or maybe he thinks the whole cursing from the dais and at minimum-wage-earning sandwich makers might have put a bad taste in his constituents' mouths.

In any case, he's out there early.

Morgan's Facebook page is filled with photos from the party and he certainly brought in the local trifecta of right-wing speakers: newly anointed conservative Assemblyman James Gallagher, state Sen. Jim Nielsen and U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whom I've written about several times in this space, especially as it relates to his vote to decrease food stamps for the poor while simultaneously increasing crop insurance (i.e., subsidies) for wealthy farmers such as himself.

Speaking of LaMalfa, last week he voted with a majority of the House in favor of the so-called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. Food activists have a few other names for that proposed law: the Monsanto Dream Act and the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know), since what it would do is eliminate states' ability to require that foods containing genetically modified organisms be labeled as such. Taking away states' rights, huh? Sounds pretty un-American to me.

But back to that barbecue …

I don't recognize a lot of the “regular folk” in attendance, but based on a picture of a poster thanking the hosts and sponsors, the party included a who's who of the local building and business communities. Interestingly, Recology is listed as a host, which seems odd and a pretty clear conflict of interest considering that the city of Chico is in the middle of negotiations on a franchise agreement with that waste-hauler.

You, too, dear readers, can check out all of the photos from this affair on Morgan's public Facebook page (unless he decides to pull them down). You'll recognize a few retired and current members of the local law enforcement community, including Chico Police Officer Peter Durfee. He's the president of the Chico Police Officers' Association who ran that propaganda campaign telling Chicoans that the town was going to hell in a handbasket. Durfee's been quiet on that front since the City Council (all the conservatives, plus Ann Schwab) voted to give the members of the police union a raise.

There's a nice photo of Durfee and Morgan (the biggest advocate for increasing their pay) having a drink together. Seems like they have a lot in common. I mean, clearly they go to the same barber.

Melissa Daugherty is editor of the CN&R