Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – May 16, 2016 –
It seems we all have a bad day every now and then, but according to LA Times reporter, Steve Perez, our own Supervisor Martha McClure, had a particularly bad one last week during the course of a interesting conversation she had with Mr. Perez. It seems that Mr, Perez was poking around in the bad politician closet and a rather invective, worst Mr. Perez has ever heard, Ms. McClure popped out. The question Mr. Perez had posed that elicited the profanity laced response, was connected to a probe that he and other Times reporters were following about favors given to Coastal Commissioners for alleged favors in return. It appears that our very own Coastal Commissioner was connected to a consultant who had extensive dealings with the Coastal Commission. During one of her many trips to those meetings it was discovered that Ms. McClure had accepted an overnight stay in the luxurious villa owed by said consultant.
But that does not appear to be the end of the story. Many of us know here locally, that during the 2012 reelection campaign for Ms. McClure, she had received many a donations from out of the area folks. Mr. Perez indicated that some of those donations came from current Coastal Commissioners at the time as well as from people who had connections to developers with business in front of the Commission. While at this point all this seems to be a lot of fuss over a small thing. Commissioner McClure could have reported the “gift” of a nights stay or more properly found a nearby hotels room to give the appearance that she did not accept favors. The problem being that she did neither. When McClure’s voting record was checked following the free night at the villa and into some of her campaign donations there appeared to be a pattern of favoritism for certain consultants and their developers. Mr. Perez finished his article by saying that due to size constraints this article would have a sequel, implying that there was much more to tell.
While the article doesn’t really provide a smoking gun which shows that Ms. McClure did anything illegal, it does confirm some of the things I’ve heard people say about her when in a confrontation and her behind the scenes activities. She appears to be able to profane with the best of sailors. In meetings she is regularly found to be not as combative, yet manipulative. She seems to go to great lengths to support coastal protection and the coastal environment, yet many of her votes on the commission say otherwise. She has established a record while on the Commission of being more inclined to accept certain development over coastal protections. In light of these preliminary revelations, is there a pattern of favors for favors?
Of course Ms. McClure will deny any such activities; however, she does have some out of character behavior to clean up before she talks about being a value to this community by being on that Commission. It would seem that she is much more the true Democrat than a true unaffiliated Supervisor. Her record on the BOS is marred of late by quiet rebellion, and seemingly an inability to be the listener, the consensus maker or that supervisor that is content with her fellow Board members. I suppose that comes from realizing that your agenda has gone off the rails, and you feel that you must do something to resurrect a rather uninspiring twenty years on a board you hoped to control in 1996.
To be plain, I have much more respect for politicians in the Roger Gitlin mode, because you have more faith in knowing what it is exactly you are getting for your vote. The Martha McClure’s are of a political stripe that oozes in the background and rarely are you completely sure of where they stand or will end up as circumstance changes. I understand that there are people in this community that think she is the best thing since sliced bread and you are more than welcome to that opinion, but you had better hope that you do not get in her way. After her long tenure on the board she is subscribing to the notion that she is too important not to be reelected. That in itself should be a warning sign that she values position over representation.