Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gipson Returns For Another Round

Despite Mayor Jim Dear's efforts to unseat Council Member Mike Gipson, Gipson has been re-elected for another term on Carson's city council. This means that the newly re-elected Jim Dear will still be in the
political minority.

(Unofficial results from the City of Carson website)

Election 2009

For this election, The Daily Breeze reported that Dear teamed up with Gipson's rivals, former Council Member Julie Ruiz Raber and incumbent Council Member Harold Williams, who sent out mailers blaming Dear's rivals for the council's "strife and discord."

In the same article, it was reported that an anonymous rumor was spread "drawing a link between Gipson and Bill Smalley, a political activist and a registered sex offender on the Megan's Law Web site."

The piece, titled "The two faces of Council Member Mike Gipson," was suspected of being Dear's work, but he denied it.

The Daily Breeze reported that "Gipson countered with a mailer accusing his opponents of mudslinging."

This is not the first incident of unpleasant rivalry between the two politicians

Past Conflicts

As reported in the Timeline of Trouble, in the previous post, in November 2007 Mayor Dear accused council member Gipson of "challenging a member of the audience to a fight." The disturbance was posted on YouTube.

Dear also said that Gipson acted in a threatening way towards him after the conflict at the council meeting. Gipson, in turn, said that he was threatened by one of Dear’s friends who said, “I’m going to get you.”

In 2008, Dear called Gipson a “nutcase” and a “phony” and listed Gipson and what he called Gipson’s “cult followers” as his main political rivals.

For his part, Gipson said, “I’m not against Mayor Dear… we can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Gipson and Dear also disagreed about the proposed incorporation of the 1,710-acre Rancho Dominguez area into Carson. Dear supported it while, in 2008, Gipson said "At this time, the city of Carson can not afford to annex the area.

The Possibility of Peace

A truce doesn't seem to be out of the question for these rivals. In 2008, Gipson said:
"We need to get the situation behind us and move on as a family...I pray for our city, I pray for the mayor."

Monday, March 2, 2009

It May Be The Dawn Of A New Era, But First Let's Review Carson's Chronology of Chaos

Hopefully, the re-election of Mayor Jim Dear, who himself had a rocky first term, will bring political peace for the City of Carson. Only 41 years old, this city has seen more than its fair share of political corruption.(Photo from the official website of the City of Carson)

Timeline of Trouble

  • September 10, 2002 former Mayor Michael Mitoma pleads guilt for defaulting on $3846 worth of taxes out of his official salary in 1995 and 1996, LA Times reports.
  • November 22, 2002 former Mayor Daryl Sweeney and former Mayor Pete Fajardo are arrested and charged with extorting money from businesses for three years. Former council members Raunda Frank and Manuel Ontala are charged with related crimes, LA Times reports.
  • January 30, 2003 Former Mayor Pete Fajardo pleads guilty. Former council members Raunda Frank and Manuel Ontala sign plea agreements, LA Times reports.
  • July 30 2003 Former Mayor Daryl Sweeney pleads guilty, LA Times reports.
  • February 15, 2005 The twelfth person is convicted in Carson corruption ring, LA Times reports.
  • July 20, 2005 Robert Dennis Pryce Jr, the lawyer who brokered the $585,000 corruption deal, gets 6.5 years in prison, LA Times reports.
  • In 2006 a political activist group called Carson Citizens for Reform begins a movement to recall current Mayor Jim Dear.
  • October 2007- then Mayor Pro Tempore and former council member Elito Santarina says he witnessed Mayor Jim Dear call council member Lula Davis-Holmes a “bitch” during a private argument. Dear denies that this ever happened. (Photo from the official website of the City of Carson)

  • November 2007- Council member Mike Gipson disturbs a council meeting by refusing to sit down and "challenging a member of the audience to a fight," as Dear describes it. (Photo from the official website of the City of Carson)
  • January 2008- former Mayor Vera DeWitt charged with misdemeanor battery after hitting one of the mayor’s supporters on the head with a bunch of papers. YouTube video “Carson City Council SMACK” receives over 500,000 views.

  • April 17, 2008 Former Mayor Vera DeWitt reaches court settlement to avoid criminal prosecution and jail sentence, LA Times reports.
After more than 7 years of political unrest, let's hope Mayor Jim Dear still believes the words he said in 2008-“I want to make Carson a great city, it can be done,” -despite having what he called a "dysfunctional" city council.