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Political Gumbo: Candidate Lessons, Weed and NAACP

Published on Monday, February 24, 2020 | 4:49 am
 

We received a very small number of complaints after we ran the story on the state Assembly’s successful vote to apologize for the atrocities committed against Japanese Americans during World War II. One of Gene Masuda’s opponents claimed it amounted to a campaign story for the District 4 incumbent because we told Gene’s story and quoted him. The rights of more than 120,000 people were violated and Masuda experienced the impact of this racial injustice, so of course, we would report about it and quote Masuda, just as ABC News and other outlets did. In light of this, here’s a lesson to current and future political challengers’ seats.

If you run against an incumbent, you have to accept the fact the incumbent is already an elected official and recognizable local figure charged with doing the city’s business, so it’s very likely the incumbent will be called for quotes in big local and national stories.

Yes, this was a big story. I first wrote about Masuda’s family right after I was promoted to Deputy Editor at the PW. As far as we know, Masuda is the most prominent Pasadena resident directly impacted by the relocation camps. As always we welcome letters on the matter.

More campaign lessons: If you’re sending out a mailer, take the time to ask before you include a prominent Pasadena resident’s photo, otherwise you come across like Mike Bloomberg adding former President Barack Obama to his campaign commercials.

Mayoral race: He didn’t get a lot of press, but whenever Candidate Jason Hardin spoke, even if I disagreed with what he was saying, I believed he was coming from a place of conviction. That’s a great quality to have.

They destroyed my weed point: Right when I was going to say I was hoping the candidates would be asked about the city overturning marijuana-related convictions, the City Prosecutor’s office dismissed marijuana-related charges in 250 cases and reviewed 24,000. Hope to hear about more.

More weed: Some presidential candidates are calling for supervised injection sites where people addicted to opioid use disorder may use drugs under medical supervision in order to prevent fatal overdoses. That’s amazing when you consider how many black and brown kids were placed in the system for selling or smoking weed. I wonder what the difference is. Oh, wait, nah couldn’t be.

Talk it up: Yes, NAACP President Allen Edson, you should meet with Steve Mermell to discuss the hiring of more African Americans.

You can vote today at voting centers across Los Angeles County. Rock the vote.

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