In the good old days Encinitas council races were much more homespun.
Candidates handed out photocopied flyers at the grocery stores, met residents at neighborhood gatherings and community events. Real grassroots candidates still do.
But technology and money are changing that genuine person to person contact.
Already there have been two phone polls to gauge public opinion and robo-calls to communicate with the voters without having to actually talk to them.
Phone surveys can vary in costs. The city recently paid True North to conduct a community satisfaction survey at the cost of nearly $20,000. It is now being used in a questionable fashion by an unknown group promoting the “city council.”
Having been on Council for six years I could take credit for the “favorable” ratings but I know that much credit also goes to city staff, our great weather and location. However, I presume it was meant to support the two current council members running in this election.
Earlier in the campaign season there was a poll asking for an opinion of the city council, city government and other general questions. Recently there was another poll. A sure sign that someone is VERY interested in the outcome of the city council race.
The poll included the usual questions. Are you satisfied with the city council and whom are you voting for? However, an unrelated question was also asked. What do you think of the Occupy Movement?
I am sure many people were curious about the Occupy Movement just as they were curious about the Tea Party movement. Does that make them a radical? No. I think that makes them open minded and willing to listen to different points of view.
Unfortunately, we will never know who was behind the polls or who paid for them. You can be sure it wasn’t the grassroots candidates.
We often hear about the October Surprise in politics. It’s the last minute hit pieces meant to change voter’s minds. Generally based on lies and innuendos they are desperate last minute tactics by special interests.
Be prepared for the October Surprise.
Take it for what it is… a desperate act by an unethical group or individual.
It is not the tactic of candidates with a positive vision for the future of Encinitas.
Teresa Arballo Barth,
Encinitas City Councilwoman