Politics can be so ugly, it would just about make you cry. In this video, found on San Jose Inside, both sides of the Measure V & W debate push the limits of stupidity.
Political consultant Tom Saggau, behind the camera, threatens Pierluigi Oliverio with arrest for removing signs from the public roadway. Petty theft is one thing (if Oliverio isn’t justified in removing signs from the public right of way, as provided for in city code), but false arrest is something else altogether. Probably not something Saggau really wants to try.
And Oliverio, even if he was technically justified in removing the signs, ought to have realized how petty it looks for an elected official to be seen trying to suppress his opponents political message. That’s just not smart, Pierluigi.
The only people who look good here are the SJPD. They kept the parties apart, and stopped this from developing into something uglier. They brokered a compromise that avoided either side being allowed to do anything any more stupid than they were already doing, and they got Saggau his signs back.
Pathetic displays of political blustering like we see in the video make me wish I could hide in a cave until November 3. But unfortunately this issue is too big and important to ignore. The City of San Jose has dug itself a big financial hole, and everybody has to join in to dig the city out. City employees have faced layoffs, and city residents will endure service cuts to help balance the budget. But police and fire unions have protected their members from contributing substantially to the solution to the city’s financial problems, and that’s just not right. Measures V & W give the city the ability to get help from all of its employees to fix its problems.
It would be fantastic if San Jose could afford to pay its police officers, firefighters, and all its other employees every penny they deserve and more. But that’s just not possible. Public safety is critical for the city’s future, but so are gang prevention, libraries, schools, parks, building inspectors, and all of the other functions that keep the city livable. If you agree, please come out of that cave, ignore the political stupidity, and join me in voting for Measures V and W.