Bites accidentally ended up in Folsom last week—don’t you hate it when that happens?—at a Meg Whitman pep rally. It was at the community center, right next to the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary. That’s normally a favorite spot for Bites, but it was a little strange to hear the peacocks—or maybe they were peahens—call out as the Meggies greeted each other across the parking lot.
“Hey, I see you’re wearing your tea party shirt. Right on!”
“Yep, take back America!”
Whitman is known for her highly controlled media events, and the rap she delivered at her town hall on Thursday was little different from the canned answers she gave at her televised debate with Steve Poizner in San Jose on Sunday.
But there were a few unscripted moments and glitches, as when she shook her head sadly and said, “Here in Fresno, I believe unemployment is 13 percent.” Yep, the economy is so bad, we just got demoted to Fresno.
Bites kept a hand waving wildly in the air during Meg’s brief Q-and-A session. Once, she seemed to see Bites but instead called on a little old lady a few rows up. The little old lady’s “question” went something like this: “I want to see the free lunch program go away. Most of the people eating our free lunch are Mexicans. And most of their parents are on welfare and food stamps. They should get off their asses and make them a lunch.”
Laughter and applause filled the community center. Rather than tell the woman, “Hey, little old lady, don’t be such a racist,” Whitman just smiled and said, “Thank you for that,” and then explained that free lunch was pretty much a federal program; she couldn’t end it if she wanted to.
And when Whitman later had to tell the crowd that “I understand why Arizona did what they did,” but that she would have opposed that state’s draconian anti-immigrant law, all you could hear at that point were the peafowl complaining outside. Meeawww!
But Meg won the crowd back when she started rattling off the details of her own high-tech, only slightly sadistic, anti-immigration plan:
The state should use infrared cameras, motion detectors and an enhanced “E-Verify” system for employers to check the legal status of their workers, send the National Guard to defend the border, and build “two really good fences,” Whitman suggested. Oh, and she wants to “eliminate sanctuary cities,” starting with San Francisco.
It was probably the biggest applause line of the evening, the good people of Folsom cheering the elimination of San Francisco. Bites knew it was time to high-tail it back to north Sac.
Bites was much more at home hanging out with the League of Women Voters folks last weekend—having been invited to serve as one of several media panelists for the league’s all-day candidate forum Sunday.
The award for best field of candidates goes to Sacramento City Council 5th District (that’s Hollywood Park, Oak Park and Curtis Park, etc). This group is gay, straight, black, white, Latina, includes lawyers, activists, cops and small-business owners. There are five candidates in all, and not one of them sucks. In fact, they’re all kind of awesome.
The award for the most mind-blowingly unironic use of a Whitney Houston lyric at the event goes to Lovie Kirkland, who is challenging Don Nottoli in the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors 5th District. She explained, “I believe the children are the future,” and Bites promptly forgot the question.
Check out the rebroadcasts at Channel 14 on your cable box; the schedule is at www.sacmetrocable.tv.